A Lie ( A Novel)
There is a line we do not cross
Hop over it once and it’s all your fault
Step over it again and find out what’s wrong
Thin lines grow between hearts and breaks
Thin lines grow between us
Keeping us apart yet very much the same
There are lines we do not cross
Reach over them once and it’s all your fault
Fall over it again and find out what’s wrong
Thin lines grow between souls and life
Thin lines grow within us
Keeping us together yet very much the same
“What do you got there Sylvia?” An orderly asks. Her young frame hunched over an open notebook. She pretends to not hear the question. “Hey Sylvia,” he calls out once again. As the youngest patient in the asylum he isn’t used to her teenage attitude in this dark dingy place overcrowded with pain, neglect, and isolation. “Nothing, just something I have been working on to pass the time,” she answers. “Did you not hear me the first time?” He ask. “I heard you,” she says into her notebook. “Okay, well maybe sometime you could show me what you have been working on,” he smiles. She looks up at him, “Yeah maybe.” She buries her head back into her notebook. The orderly shakes his head and walks over to the other side of the room to talk to the other patients in the recreation room. “So what are you working on Harold?” She hears him ask the only other patient not drugged out of their mind. She picks up her pen.
I’m so depressed here. I wish I never “volunteered” to be admitted. Should have just run away again or finished what I started. I’ve been rubbing the scars again. No one would listen to me outside of this walls or inside them. I should have known he would have sent me to a place that wouldn’t listen. This place is like school. “Sylvia stop your lying.” Maybe I’m not lying. Maybe you aren’t listening. The deep jagged cuts down my arm don’t help me to forget. The pain is long gone from the last time, but somehow still linger in my mind. Thought maybe if I wasn’t pretty anymore. Wasn’t perfect then maybe. It doesn’t matter what I thought. How many times am I going to tell myself the same thing? How many times am I going to justify trying to kill myself? No one cares why it happened as long as it isn’t happening. I’m safer here than at home. That’s what is important. As long as I keep my volunteer status he can’t hurt me. As long as I am here I am safe. The reason doesn’t matter anymore. No one is going to stop him, but at least I did.
The orderly makes his way back over to her. His footsteps echo within the room. She closes up her notebook, “Yes Charles?” He checks his watch, “I’ve been reminded to remind you that your next appointment is in a five minutes.” She rolls her eyes, “Funny how that seems to be the case every week.” He smiles and pretends that her attitude isn’t bothering him. A talent he learned from his two girls at home. “It is quite odd. Might have to do something about that,” he jokes. “Them doing anything here would be a first,” she says as she gets up from her chair and walks away.
The door to the doctor’s office is open slightly as she knocks on the door. “Come in. How are we doing today Sylvia?” The doctor asks as he looks at a chart that isn’t even hers. “Fine, I guess. Same as always,” she mocks. “You know you can leave whenever you want? Maybe go back home and spend some time with your family. Wouldn’t that be nice?” He asks without looking at her once. “I’m sure they miss me immensely. At least that is what they would want you to believe, but I’m certain I am just fine right here,” she looks down at her scars once again. “Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. I’ll make a call to your parents and tell them you are ready to go home,” he says. “I didn’t say that at all,” she says. “I just want to tell you Sarah we made some real progress in the time that you have been here,” the doctor rattles off. “My name is Sylvia,” she says in anger. “Yes, I am aware and I don’t want you to worry. I’m going to write you a script for some mood suppressors. You don’t have to take them, but if you feel all the anxiety coming back on I want you to feel safe,” the doctor says. “I feel safe here. I want to stay here,” She tries to reason. “Change is good for you. You have been here too long. It’s time for you to go home. I know your father misses you every much. I have been keeping him updated and he seems as optimistic as I am about your recovery,” he looks up from his chart. “So go ahead and get your things ready for tomorrow. That seems like a perfect place to end today,” he gives off a weak smile. Sylvia begins to cry. The tears falling from her eyes to her arms and running along her scars, “I don’t want to go.” The nurse comes in and places a hand on her shoulder. “Nurse remind me that I need to call her parents in a bit and if you could have Charles bring in the next patient that would be wonderful,” the doctor asks. “Yes, sir. Come on Sylvia let’s get you back to your room,” the nurse says to her. “But I don’t want to go,” she begins to sob. “I know dear. I know,” the nurse says as she rubs her shoulder. The doctor goes back to his file as the nurse escorts Sylvia from the room.
“There she is,” Charles calls out as he walks by her open door. “Glad to see you writing again,” he says to her. She doesn’t respond to him as she sits still at her desk. Memories flooding her mind. “Wanted to check in on you. Heard you were pretty upset earlier,” he says to more silence. “Also heard you were going home tomorrow too. That is good news,” he tries to sound excited. “Mind If I take a look at what you are writing? I understand if you don’t feel like talking,” Charles suggest. “Very much so. It is private,” she snaps at him. “I see you are excited about leaving tomorrow,” he snaps back. “Maybe even sooner,” she says under her breath. “What?” Charles asks concerned. “I said I want you to leave. Did you not hear me the first time,” Sylvia screams at him with tears in her eyes. “I just want you to know that I am here if you need to talk,” Charles says in a caring voice before walking out of the room. Sylvia quickly gets up from her chair and slams the door behind him. Only doors don’t slam here. She pushes all her weight against the door to try and get it to close faster. Tears streaming down her face as she struggles. Despite living in the same room for the past six months her room is nearly bare. A bed, a dresser, and a desk. “Her desk,” she thinks to herself. Her father’s money was at least good for something in this place. A private room and her own desk, but they wouldn’t let her have her pens. Not after what happened. They gave her special hospital pens, but only after she had developed trust. She couldn’t do much of anything with those useless things any way. She calms down enough to return to her desk and flips open the note book to where she left off.
There is a silence
It is a constant
There is a sadness
It is a constant
There are so many things
And they are all constant
I can taste the blood on the page
I can feel the sweat on the page
I can see the tears on the page
As each drop becomes the page
Why doesn’t anyone understand
Sylvia tosses the note book as hard as she can. It bursts open as it smashes against the wall. Papers, words, time falls to the floor. She begins to sob at the thought of the words, “I know your father misses you very much.” Visions of the past fill her mind. Remembering the pain. Remembering the fear of it all. Remembering that no one would listen. No one cared. “How could you ever say a thing like that about your father,” her mother’s words echo in her mind. Only to be replaced by the memory of his touch and his words. “You are so beautiful. My perfect little angel,” his words like poison slipping into her mind. You are confused at first. Why now? Why this? So you fight it the best you can, but the fight becomes useless. The whole thing becomes normal. A daily routine that you can’t wash away from your mind. The thought becomes clear. If I’m no longer perfect then it will stop. The memory of the pain from before washes over her once again. Make myself imperfect. Make it go away. The blood drips on the floor. It stains the carpet, but they clean it and they move on. It never stops the abuse. The monster doesn’t care if you are perfect. The monster doesn’t care at all. Deeper you dig. Deeper you find yourself in pain. Deeper until you think that it is over. Until you find yourself here and know that it is. Sylvia reaches under her desk to grab the item hidden beneath. When she got here she was hopeful that it would never have to be used again, but deep down she knew someday she would need a way out. She holds the jagged piece of mental in her hands. “We don’t even know what she cut herself on,” he mother told the hospital. Squeezing all her anger and the pain into it. “Here we go again,” she thinks. “A conclusion I can no longer hide away from.” She holds the broken piece of metal in her hand. She gently places it on her desk and opens her last remaining note book.
“When we bleed it is only to cleanse our souls. It’s like letting the air out of the tires every now and then. Sometimes it hurts more than others, but the hurt never compares to the pain. The hurt feels good in a way. The pain doesn’t. I wish someone would have listened to me. Anyone at this point. I wish I could explain the pain that I am in, but for some reason, I can’t. It could be the lack of blood still left within me or my ever lack of words associated with the pain. Pain is nothing like the hurt. The hurt comes and goes, but the pain. The pain is always there. Every once in a while I found myself here in this place. This dark hole surround by all the pain I don’t understand. This place of self-loathing and hate. I control my own destiny, right? Or have I just misheard some well-placed advice? Maybe I don’t control anything since no matter my choices I always end up here. I always end up with this pain. No one cares, but everyone’s still listening. I know it is not my fault and maybe it still is. Should have never. Should have done things differently. This has to be for the best. Nothing else left to do. Except release myself from this burden. Release me from this hole. I tried. I really did. Maybe not enough or in the way I should have….”
This is a work of fiction, but sadly the concept behind it is not. This story is lived day in and day out by an unknown amount of children. Many of whom do not reach out. It is not normal and it is not okay. If you or someone you know is being abused. Please reach out for help and never stop reaching out for help. Help is always there even when it feels like the whole world won’t listen to you. Click the links below to find help or to find out how you can help those in need. You are not powerless and you are loved.
I debated on how graphic I wanted to get with this story… from the suicide to the abuse… I debated for a long time… this story kind of took a life of it’s own… I started the story with the idea to write a back story to a previous character… Sylvia from Purgatory… seemed pretty simple… I liked the character a lot from that story… I liked her attitude… I liked who she could have been… seeing how everyone in that story is dead already when we meet them… I wanted to do a sequel…
The original idea for Sylvia was to write out a “love story” where she explains what her scars are from to the main character of Purgatory… (Fun fact… I only kept writing that story because of her… Sylvia to me was the thread that held that early story together for me…) but I don’t do love stories very well… and I wasn’t sure how she had gotten her scars… In the original story she never says… she hides them when ever she can… spark… “why?”… and the more I thought about it… the more it became the story above… Of course when I came up for air I found myself someplace very far from a “love story”…
The first couple of drafts had way more detail… way more things that didn’t need to be said… and I’m not afraid to say certain things… I’ve got stories to prove it… but this one seemed different… though this didn’t happen to me personally… it felt personal… which made this one that much harder to write… as an observer it is always easier to write something when you are not attached to the subject… I of course didn’t want anything to ever happen to Sylvia… I don’t want anything to happen to anyone… and sadly these things do… So I didn’t want to just file it away and pretend like these things don’t happen… That these things could never happen…
Sometimes the hardest things to say are the ones that need to be said the most…
“What the hell are you even doing up at this hour?” A voice asks with a yawn. I bang on the door harder and harder. “Ain’t no one want to see you in there. Hell I see you and I don’t even want to,” the homeless man moans. “Shut up you stupid vagrant. As a matter of fact someone in there really does want to see me,” I inform him. “Oh, really? That why you have been out here for a better part of an hour messing up my sleep? The only fact I see around here is that no one wants your ass around. So why don’t you go ahead and give it a rest so I can get some rest. Got an early morning. I’m a busy man,” the homeless man mumbles that last bit but I still here him through it all. I stop banging on the door and I’m ready to bang on something else. I raise my fists, “One more word old man and I’ll see to it that you get plenty of rest.” The homeless man giggles. He giggles at me. I can feel my anger and frustration rising. “Don’t go starting trouble when troubles already found you. Take my advice. I didn’t end up here by design,” the man preaches. I start to take the steps down to his garbage bed when a familiar sweet voice takes a hold. “He’s right you know?” Her voice cutting through the commotion. All I wanted from her was an acknowledgement that I was even there. “I’ll ring you in. I guess we need to talk,” she says from the second floor window. I turn back towards the door. “Are you sure Miss Kelly?” The vagrant asks. “Of course she is sure,” I snap at the man. “There you go starting trouble again. I ain’t afraid of you. Honestly I ain’t got nothing left to lose,” the homeless man smiles a toothless grin before putting up his fists. “Yes, I’m sure Frank, but if I change my mind.” “I’ll be right here miss Kelly,” Frank finishes for her. She smiles and moves away from the window. Moments later I hear the sound of the door buzzing and I head inside. Frank lies back down on his makeshift bed, “Can’t get no peace and quiet. Thoughts this was a good neighborhood. God damn kids with their drama.”
I ascend the stairs rapidly. A flight of stairs in an instant. There is much to say and who knows how long to say it. The door is cracked and waiting for me when I get there. I take in a large breath. Be cool Miles. Be cool I tell myself one more time before knocking on the door. She is waiting just on the other side as I enter. “May I ask what is so important you have to disturb me and the whole neighborhood at 3 am?” She starts right at the door way. There are so many things that I want to say. All at once, but only one thing I should say. “I’m sorry,” is the only thing to come out. “Sorry for what? What you did or disturbing everyone? Because only one of those things can be fixed with an, I’m sorry,” she says. “I’m sorry for all of it. I’m sorry I’m here so late disturbing you and everyone else. I’m sorry for what I did earlier. I’m sorry for a lot of things,” I say searching for my words. “Yes, you should be,” she informs me watching my reaction. “Your sorry has come too late I’m afraid. They are useless at this point and are no longer any good here,” she pauses for a moment to let it sink in her eyes very different from all the other times. “Kelly please,” I interrupt. “Kelly please what? Forgive you again and again? Damnit Miles you can’t just keep messing up and thinking I will forgive you later for it. You can only play a song so many times before it becomes background noise,” her eyes like fire. I step closer to her. I let her speak her mind and now I have to try the one move I have left. If I can get her in my arms I know she will change her mind. I’m greeted by an open hand on my chest, “Not this time Miles. We are done,” she says sternly. “This is the last time I swear,” I reach for the hand on my chest. She quickly moves it away before I can even touch her one last time. “You said that two times ago and every time before. Let me say this so you understand. I am done and this is the last time I am going to tell you,” she locks eyes with me. “But?” I try to say. I’m at a loss of words. “It’s time for you to leave and I’m not asking. I’m telling you,” she commands with her finger extended towards the stairs. I look her in the eyes one last time before doing as I was told. There comes a time in any battle where winning is losing either way so there is only one thing to do. I turn and walk my new path. I hear the door close behind me and the door’s lock click over as I reach the stairs. “I didn’t mean it,” I say to an empty audience. From behind the door she breathes a heavy, “I know,” before a tear falls to the ground.
I leave the apartment building at the slowest speed. Lost in thought. What have I done this time? What have I given up for nothing? Questions I only have excuses for but no answers. I pass by the vagrant known only as Frank. “Out in your ass I see. You ain’t the only one. Join the club as they say,” he lets out a small laugh. The street goes silent as I walk down the block. A coldness washes over me. Where I am off too. I really don’t know.
What a love story?… am I in the right place?… sure are… a bit different from what I normally write… minus the strong woman character… the darkness… and the absences of a story… this was very much an experiment piece… one where I tried to write about emotions with no real context… oddly enough this one was written in third person perspective and I switched it… Actual Meaning started out in first person and I switched to third… proof that not every story starts and ends the way you think it will…
Everything goes through a couple of drafts… I won’t bore you with all the changes and story shifts… this story did take more time… way more time then it should have… a couple of years actually… yeah you read that right… let me get this straight… I didn’t obsess over this story for years… I wrote it and filed it away… I write or start writing things all the time… come back later and rewrite the whole thing… then file it away again… sometimes the ideas come and other times they are nothing more than a thought… that all sounds confusing… see a thought…
I spend different time on different things… these final thoughts at the end… a rambling commentary of what I am thinking right here and now… the stories take on different layers as I drag myself through life… I believe that is the point I am trying to make… but I barely know what the hell I am thinking at any given moment… dragging my corpse on…
Writing from my humid, fart smelling, and spider infested desk has to be the pinnacle of everything in my life right now. Hammering nails into wood would seem almost more productive at this point. Year fucking zero on a life that has yet to begin. I wonder how many more Ghost reference I can push through my brain for no reason at all. Bored with all the time in the word. Sitting still seems like the only thing to do, but I have a mountain of shit I have to do for free. I guess we all bide our time doing something. Broken part of my brain won’t let me just enjoy life. No I have to be working towards something at a glaciers pace on a budget of zero. Maybe today will be the day I drink enough energy drinks and smoke enough cigarettes to kill myself. Unlikely, but maybe the alcohol will slip me into a comma that I don’t give a fuck about what other people think. It won’t, but I need to submit my thoughts none the less. Don’t get me wrong I love to write, but I could do without all the pressure of being liked. I have yet to find any audience that wants to hold me high above their shoulders and chant my name. Nope instead I am sweating my ass off in my garage plotting away a life time’s worth of work.
It’s hard out here for a pimp. Working away at nothing is exhausting. I know what I would do with all of the attention and it isn’t pretty. But to be honest I fear it all the same. I don’t want to be the center of attention. That is how I have always been. I don’t want to be someone’s hero. I like being the villain and I just want to write. I love it. It is all I do and everything else is something I do to pass the time in between thoughts. Get in line right? Well I already am in line. Been there for a while waiting for my number to be called. Gone through all the stages and been left behind. I can feel my heart growing even more bitter with every day. I’m not there yet, but I can feel it coming around the corner. Digging out the hole in my heart. The more it hurts the closer you get right? Being sober is a long walk to the same exact spot. The more I say the more I want, could use a drink. The depression takes a hold and all I can think is maybe tomorrow. All the time in the world and I don’t want to do anything, but ramble on. Ramble on about my failures in a game that makes no sense.
Nothing handed to you is worth anything at all. Anything worth anything won’t just be found. Stumbled upon maybe, but odds are that it won’t. Digging a four foot grave because six feet seems like too much work. An analogy for my whole life. If only I could change something in my brain. Flip a switch and set all this shit to off. Wake me up when any of it matters and yet I know I’d never flip that switch. All this pain, all this effort, all this waiting has to be worth something. Even if it is worth nothing at all in the scheme of things. Life isn’t about anything other than living, but living is the boring part. The day to day drag of nothing at all. The best moments in life are the ones you don’t know you are living until they have already gone by. Remind myself that this isn’t over, but I know I want more. Feel it in my bones. Rattling around in my head to keep going for a dream that makes no sense. Who the fuck cares what anyone has to say when we don’t? Let alone pay for it? Print is nearly dead and I cling to its dying corpse in hopes that it will pay off. Seems very much like something I would do. Get it from my mother. This optimism that everything will work out if you work hard enough. Where the fuck I get this bitterness I do not know.
Threading the line between optimist and pessimist becomes exhausting over time. A fucking wave of emotions that crashes against the rocks of my brain. Will I or won’t I actually give a shit today? And even if I do will I even do anything with it or just sit and suffer? Living life stuck in between everything else is exhausting. Word of the day. Exhausted and bored with every thought. I could, but why should I? Stuck in between here and there and I just want to be there already. Though I have no idea where there is. Happy? Unlikely. Content? Stop trying to fit yourself into a box. Comfortable? In this skin? Highly unlikely. Fighting for something and swinging at nothing. A circle jerk with no pay off. Lost and lonely, and that is where I am today. Doing nothing at all.
If you click the links maybe some Amazon book magic will happen without you having to buy anything… I don’t know I am stupid and desperate… but if you have a Twitter account… you can click that link… and tell me how much life sucks… or how much I suck… I’m open to interpretation… don’t forget to use the hash tag… #BrokenThought….