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Sad

The stars are dim tonight. Not hidden, no, under the soft blanket of the clouds, but lusterless in the velvety night sky. Trapped in a ceaseless dark cage, they whisper for help, I conclude.

As twilight bids farewell, I avert my gaze from the window, heavy thoughts blurring my vision. I stay huddled under my avalanche of covers, the coffee in my shaking hands left untouched. I know it's too sweet, anyway. If you hadn't been so busy these few long days, perhaps you would have offered to blend it for me. Giggling in the kitchen as I begin my earthly rants, you'd complain about your head spinning. We'd end up standing in silence, comfortable in our own worlds.

The sound of you trailing up the stairs shakes me out of my daydream, your strong presence roaring volumes even when you're not in the room yet.

I set my coffee on the nightstand, smoothening the covers of the bed as you open the door. That signature smirk on your face cripples into worry as we lock eyes.

"Why are you still awake?"

"You don't sound like you're snoring either," I mutter, rolling over to give you some space on the bed.

A soft chill runs down my spine as you childishly fling onto the bed. My head throbs and I feel myself falling in place. My thoughts weep and wail, laugh and cry, keeping me filling spaces as time passes on.

You can tell that I'm drifting away, behind every ounce of playfulness within your soul is the power to observe in your heart. Noticing little things was never difficult for you. Still, you choose to do nothing, watching me out of your sleepless eyes.

I feel myself breathing again, with my eyes closed and in another reality. My feet hit the ground again, sinking in the glistening kisses of the rain. As I leap through infinity, dancing through tears, humanity embraces me again.

It's these nights where my thoughts reward me.

The warmth is back in my palms, relief is massaging my shoulders. Nobody is real anymore, and my mistakes and worries are a figment of my own imagination. Perhaps I'm so broken that even pain gifts me solace.

It's these nights when I'm reminded that I'm not dead.

Because I can feel-I can feel the stars escaping to their own paradise as I run from Earth. The endless fears that stab me for a mere way of passing time hurt again, and through that pain, I feel ecstasy.

But then reality's wave crashes back down on me.

"Sleep," you whisper, "It'll only feel good for a little while."

I want to believe you and your candid words, but again, the youth dissolves from my veins. Another moment I've lost from an empty paradise.

Let me feel.

"But I'm living again."

Your choked laugh bounces against the walls as the "Your mind is a prison. Don't believe it."

I nodded softly, but I knew you couldn't see it in the darkness. For the first time, our silence felt uncomfortable. I shifted, my back facing you as I tried to halt all my thoughts.

Sometimes we'd joke about my overthinking as a tainted ocean. Diving into the past's ocean is nostalgic. That bittersweet feeling of wanting to go even further. Then, as one loses their breath, all they can think about are their past mistakes.

"It's not fair, it's like I'm the only one suffering."

"If only you knew."

 Now it was my turn to laugh. "Oh, I do."

There's no moment one can capture where you're imperfect. Never a stutter in your words, a crack in your armor. Gravity tugged people closer to you. Anyone in the world would take life to spend time with you. I wonder if it's out of pity that we are one.

How could you know how long I spent trying not to care, forcing myself to fit an eccentric mold? Or the way I grimace to myself, hoping to soften myself again, to hold onto any microscopic emotion that trails across my skin?

You are smart, my love, a caring empath. You'll feel what others do. However, one can't read a book with no pages. They just fill in the pages.

*

With the morning's warm kisses against my face, I wake up, dancing in my own thoughts. I forgot to take my pills yesterday night. They're probably still lying on the kitchen island, snickering at my foolishness from yesterday night. They don't know I snicker back at them, for I had lived once again.

The countdown starts: In an hour, another neighbor will arrive, comforting me with woven words. The pity small talk and prodding questions never left my side. Sometimes, when I'm just between being wide awake and still dreaming, I see you, fluffing up your favorite purple pillow and taking a seat beside me on the couch. You roll your eyes at one's fictitious stories and smile at another's tender care. People tend to notice when we see each other, a genuine smile paints across my features. They think I'm crazy, lost in my own fake paradise. For a sprinkle of weeks, I cared, trying to push you to the side when you made an appearance. Yet people will find ways to talk anyway, I've come to realize. So we sit side by side, exchanging glances throughout the day and night.

I wonder if it's a blessing or curse, knowing that you exist. Knowing that you left me but found me again, broke and fixed me. The tears of sorrow soak into tears of acceptance. Soon, even they fade. Every time I see you, I'm reminded of it.

You left first.

And I'm reminded why I can't feel again.

Through the void of nothingness in my stomach, I imagine that we still live together, exchanging moments of each other's gaiety. We could be undying, living till even the sun falls dutifully. Yet, even more, I wish that we had both died together, knocking on each other's graves and dancing with our ghosts. Nothing would be between us anymore.

So for a moment, I lay there and envision us together, drowning in withered roses, a blissful torture. Our souls reunite in small pieces that I'd gladly glue back for you.

I'll see you soon.

August 06, 2022 01:11

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12 comments

A D
01:16 Aug 06, 2022

Nice story!

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Shaivi S.
16:28 Aug 13, 2022

Thank you!

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Lily Finch
19:03 Aug 13, 2022

Such a true story of how grief affects one partner when the counterpart leaves in death. Well done. I enjoyed the diction and the well-nuanced story. Thank you for the read Shaivi S. LF6

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Shaivi S.
19:18 Aug 13, 2022

Thank you for taking time to review this piece. Glad you liked it, Lily!

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Samuel Eppley
15:57 Aug 13, 2022

Wowowowowo. I almost cried and then i cried.

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Shaivi S.
16:29 Aug 13, 2022

Thanks, I'm a sucker for sad stories!

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L. E. Scott
14:08 Aug 13, 2022

Very powerful piece. Just one thing "yesterday night" is a little jarring to me. That being said, your words flowed beautifully and you painted a realistic picture of grief-fueled depression.

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Shaivi S.
16:35 Aug 13, 2022

Thank you! I'm glad you pointed that out for me, it flew right over my head. Despondence is a response I have trouble painting, I'm elated that it came out well.

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L. E. Scott
16:40 Aug 13, 2022

No problem. I was wondering if it was intentional (some dialect difference that I didn't understand) or accidental, but it took me out of the story enough that I remembered it by the end. If you wouldn't mind, would you consider reading my most recent submission Lost?

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Shaivi S.
16:45 Aug 13, 2022

Most of the time, I have to reread my stories a sprinkle of times before they're ready for the world (I tend to space out). Thankfully, people have a better eye for that than me! Of course, I'd love to read it.

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L.M. Lydon
12:50 Aug 13, 2022

Your opening paragraph is an excellent hook. Throughout the story, you use strong imagery (the caged stars, "avalanche of covers," overthinking as a "tainted ocean"). The ending is poignant.

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Shaivi S.
16:41 Aug 13, 2022

Your support means a lot, thank you! Sometimes the world is easier for me to peer into through natural occurrences.

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