Love Story
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Love Story

Aaron Collins

This is an unexpected love story in which I entered wearing a broken badge of my identity. Something one would never guess is that I spent an exhausting, much extended amount of time in pure hatred of life and everything in it. I inserted bottomless craters where the spaces between my fingers used to be, so that no one could occupy them. I was frightened that once someone’s fingers interlocked with mine, my most gentle touch would weigh them down with my self pity, ripping apart the ligaments that made up their hands. One of my biggest obstacles was normality-- it constantly held me back. I must have been tired of feeling ordinary because I found myself reaching for more in every direction. I was either rushing towards rumored forthcoming discoveries or shamefully walking backwards to rewind my temporary indulgences. Sometimes I would seize the opportunities above me, but more often than not I dug beneath my feet, entangling myself in tree roots that would not set me free without first declaring war.

My rapid and extreme downward spiral had been ongoing for about a year now and when it began, I had already withered into a slave to my grave. I spent every minute glued to the ironic security I found at the core of one particular demon. Consuming my natural gift of radiance, he found out how to crawl through my ears and inside of me. He allowed himself to rewire each fold in my brain and figured out how to string my veins to his so that we could tiptoe past personal morals and values together. Not only that, he remodeled my bedroom. He had a twisted pleasure of imprisoning me, so he chained my wrists and ankles onto the corners where my bedroom walls and ceiling met. He also had a few sidekicks. Apathy crushed me like an accordion, making so compact that I became a doormat on my front porch instead of my family’s fine china only used on holidays. At the time, I was too attracted to him to notice that he was really quite destructive. He manipulated me into thinking that he could win, so I almost let him.

He supplied me with an imaginary bottle that encased an enticing story titled General Discontentment, which isn’t read by most. Unless anyone reaches the bottom of the bottle, like I had. I gulped down his poison much too quickly, I practically inhaled it. I was most certain that he spiked it with the most seductive distress. His bottle seemed human and i stuck to it, never stopping for air because his bottle and I were already surviving off of each other’s breaths. Then, General Discontentment travelled up into my nose as if I had skipped the drinking altogether and snorted it directly.

Over time i’d adapted to his tricks and games. I figured out how to play his game of chess slowly but surely. somewhere along the way I manipulated his very own claws to slice through the bars that trapped me inside head. I’m not sure that I really wanted to leave the comfortable mess he made, but I definitely became sick of it. I wasn’t completely free from his leash yet, but i convinced him to lengthen it. I told him I was going for a walk and that i needed the fresh air, but I’d be back. The love story begins.

I’d known of this neighborhood field for many years and became fairly infatuated with her the previous summer. She’s a two minute walk from my house (all the exercise my body was good for at the time). I entered the mowed walkways and endlessly admired the sections with tall grass that cohesively brushed the air with swift back and forth movements. I quickly noted that though it was a cloudy day, when I laid on the grass and looked up, clarity suddenly smothered the sky.  The birds did not chirp, they harshly squawked. I was intrigued by the ugly croaks; I found them more approachable than flawless, on-pitch humming.  It was then that I recognized how deeply distracted I get by imperfections.

After rediscovering the neighborhood field, I returned daily. Nothing was more beautiful than entering a space that was my own canvas. There, I always felt like I was engaging in heartfelt conversation with an old friend. In fact, she had an imaginary beverage for me every time.  It tasted of sweetness as it hugged my taste buds with a delicate fluid with ease and compassion. I instantly made her my permanent audience as i slowly sipped my new favorite drink. She was entirely different than him. Our relationship was not romantic, like it was with him, but one based solely on acceptance and stability. That was new for me, not because I didn’t have anyone that could provide the same support… but because no one made me feel that it was okay to need it and thrive off of it. She’s my home. Not the home that is used just for sleeping, eating, and hygiene but the eternal space that surrounds you in resilience and versatility.

I knew she transformed me when my reflection was nothing but a stranger to me, but she suddenly made the my mirror clearer. At this point in time, I knew I had to break up with him. The break up doesn’t happen until much later, but i began distancing myself from him. I made her my best friend because she always encouraged self-expression and well-being. I threw away his bottle and asked my parents to help me cut off some chains. They provided every resource they could to free me from my abusive relationship. I went through several treatments and received professional help so that I could get on a path to remodeling my room myself and erasing everything he did to it. I guess i never formally introduced him, did I? His name was Clinical Depression.

This is an unexpected love story in which i entered wearing a broken badge of my identity. The love story lives and grows inside of me today.

 

Written by: C.S