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Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

The tenacious dewdrop has traveled solemnly across the foliage and is prepared to make a final descension; contemplating its dive into the pond, it anticipates leaping towards that glorious impact and initiating the most illustrious ripple. But it never comes. The droplet only gets as far as the brink of the leaf, never achieving the climactic finish it desired. This is the image I see when this wave of apprehension takes over. I’m not trying to bar its progress, I just can’t quite get there, no matter how hard I try to tell them. 

Why is this happening? 

They’re the ones that have kept me afloat all these years. Even when it felt as if my soul had been beaten and battered beyond repair, they cauterized my wounds with their burning passion and enclosed me within their ever-broadening arms of kindness until I felt whole againSaving me from the tormenting despair. 

Removing them from my life would be like taking away the supports of some frail old building. Maybe it’d hold for a second but it would ultimately collapse and crumble under its own weight. 

Some say it’s unhealthy; I just can’t help but depend on their support to keep me afloat. Why can’t I do this then? Why can’t I tell them how much this all means to me? How much they all mean to me. 

Do I not appreciate them as much as I thought? 

Maybe this feeling of gratitude is something more selfish than I originally assumed. 

I should feel guilty.

Why do I instead feel scared?

What kind of person am I to be scared of showing gratitude towards those who so clearly deserve it? Surely not a good one.

No one thinks of me as a good person anyway. 

In fact, I’ve hardly even had regard for myself as a person at all.

The hate I had for myself was the strongest thing I felt for a while. Years even. I suppose after such a long duration of handling my self-loathing, it only makes sense that my need for reassurance of my own worth wasn’t a very charitable venture.

But does my prior suffering make my selfishness justified?

What did I do to even deserve any sort of help? Why was my life deemed important enough to preserve? If I were gone, it would hardly even matter. I’d be a mere droplet in a pot of water. But when that drop makes its descent, not a singular ripple would manifest.

I’m being too hard on myself, something I was frequently warned about. I should try to look at it from a more objective position. 

First: No, I’m not selfish. 

It’s only natural for me to want to feel better. I shouldn’t condemn myself for that. The fear I feel isn’t something to feel guilty about either and I don’t need to believe I’m a bad person for having it. 

Although it shouldn’t be disregarded, there has to be a logical reason I feel this way. I’ve been friends with them for years. For most of middle school and the first half of high school, we’ve been inseparable. 

It’d be an understatement to say that we’re kind of close. 

So why wouldn’t I want them to know how much I appreciate them? How come whenever I have the opportunity to express my endless gratitude, my nerves take over and I’m possessed by an overwhelming wave of unrelenting fear? 

I just want to tell them how much harder everything would be if I didn’t have them. I want them to know how pivotal they are in my fight against the darkness in my head. 

I don’t think I could’ve possibly mustered the strength to continue if I hadn’t been blessed by their companionship. 

Maybe that’s what scares me so much: thinking about what would’ve happened to meOr more appropriately, what I would have done to myselfif I didn’t have them. 

That excuse isn’t fair to them though. 

I must seem like such an ingrate. 

Sure I’ve said “Thank you” once or twice but that doesn’t properly emphasize my gratitude. I want to do more but I’m just too scared. And all because I’m hung up on some alternate future in which I was never rescued from myself. 

It makes sense to be scared of such a thing, it really does. And I realize how probable it was for the events of a darker reality to play out. But what’s the point of fretting over it? 

Wouldn’t it be better to forget about the more painful days?

And yet, what would forgetting the pain do for me? Sure, those days were bad, but removing it from my memory would be like removing a part of me. It’s my struggles that make me who I am. Even if letting it go is easier for me, I would surely be losing more than I gain. Maybe being more aware of the pain I felt back then will shed more light on what is truly wrong with me and give me a better understanding of how I could help myself. The fear is just a symptom I’ll have to deal with along the way; It comes with the package, whether I like it or not. 

Much like how every droplet of water comes with a ripple, it simply cannot be helped.

I’m kind to every single one of them; I make sure they never feel left out and I’m constantly wary of their feelings. 

I treat them like family. 

They are family.

We’ve managed to stick together all these years without the need for outwardly expressing gratitude. Could it be that our companionship is enough? Words are just words after all. 

Sure, they have the potential to carry great meaning, but for expressing compassion, I believe that actions are far more impactful. And I’m nearly certain that years of true, genuine friendship classifies as enough action.

And yet, there’s always this minuscule droplet of doubt.

What if it’s not enough? Was I really worth all that time and effort? It’s possible that something more substantial than my existence was expected. But then again; would our friendship really be genuine if the only reason they cared was for the prospect of gaining something? Maybe spreading goodwill was enough for them. Maybe the idea that their actionsdespite seeming small in the grand schemecould have a grandiose impact; Like the ripples in a pond. Kindness radiates from a dense center and covers the water in its captivating patterns until at last, settling itself and leaving the water to gently sway to the calming melody of its own tranquil tune. Even if it can’t be seen on the surface, the influence of the gentle droplets will forever remain.

November 23, 2021 17:45

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1 comment

Serena S
22:28 Dec 01, 2021

this is so beautiful, I love your diction and how self-aware the character is!

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