Drowning in Fire

Submitted into Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt


Sad Coming of Age

“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

Or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

In secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms,

But carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

Thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

Risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

Therefore, I love you because I know no other way

Than this: where I does not exist, nor you,

So close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

So close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.” - Pablo Neruda


“I hate love. I really do. People say that there is a thin line between love and hate. If you live without love are you living at all? What is your purpose? You’re just… floating along with the space-time continuum. You mean nothing. I mean nothing. I’m just a gasp of fresh air that exists for a little infinity and then is gone. He loved what he could get from her. What he could take from her - use her. The idea of love seems great. You see and view love in a certain way. In movies and TV and books and poems of pretentious never-ending love. How it’s a gift, an opportunity, a once in a lifetime thing. You are lucky enough in life if you love one person deeply enough that it consumes your entire being. So they say. But love is selfish. It allows you to be selfish and lie and cheat, and it’s all fine because ‘you are in love.’ What a load of bullshit. They love the way love makes them feel. You choose a person to be in love with - to fall - notice that wording? Anything that falls, breaks - in love with and you decide they’re ‘The One’ when they have no say in it. That seems like a lot of pressure. All of a sudden they’re a martyr. Anyway, who could actually really love someone for who they are? How can one love all flaws?”

“Have you ever felt like the whole world is against you? That’s because it is. The Universe is against everybody. No one has a perfect life. In fact, perfect seizes to exist. It never did. It was just a term created by some messed-up wannabees who wished they were more. But what is perfect? What makes someone perfect? Who defines it? We as a species are insatiable. Never satisfied. Ungrateful. Always searching for more… ah.”

“Do you ever feel like the world is falling apart? Piece by piece. Little by little. You’re just dangling there, holding on, like the last autumn leaf on a tree. We tell ourselves there’s a person out there that’s measuring how much shit we can take or something. Like, ‘okay, they’ve had enough, let’s go rain on another innocent bystander’s life’ but the way I see it, life is set to random. There is no such thing as Destiny. Or Fate. That’s MORE bullshit. Denial, denial, denial. We live our whole lives in denial. Screwing our problems away, drinking them away, trying to get a good high and forget them in our haze. Oh, and ‘True Love’? Don’t get me started on that sappy shit. It doesn’t exist. It’s a fairytale made up for children who have no better judgment. I may seem like a Negative Nancy to you but that’s only if you’re an optimist.”

“There are two types of people in this world. Realist and Romantics. Romantics see someone and believe that they were put on the earth for a reason. Like they were created just for them. Romantics believe in the slavery that is marriage. They believe in a forever. That if you really put your mind to it, you and love can achieve anything. That everything was created for a reason. That we have a purpose. That the moon knows our name. That we weren’t just a series of events and explosions in a big galaxy. That it’s not just pure coincidence we even exist at all. What fools! But you see Mister, realists see someone and put everything into perspective. To them, it’s just another random person just like the last, who will be just like the next. No one is special. Realists realize the truth: Nothing lasts forever. Everything has an ending. Most people may call these people cynical, or downers. They’re sad. But I don’t find it sad. I find it awakening. To realize the truth and not waste your time with the white lies, with the walls that we put up to block people from hurting us. To realize that the wall does nothing but shut you out; you get hurt either way. The second you open up; you hurt. The person you love most is the most dangerous weapon.”

“Anyway, you ask me what this sonnet means to me and that insults me. How are the words of a dead man supposed to mean anything to me? It’s a beautiful poem if you’re into that kind of thing. I just… I don’t agree with it, is all. Not to diminish his words or anything. There is a calm beauty to being able to love in darkness but people are messed up, and they always will be. Have been since the beginning of time. That’s the problem here. WE are the problem with the world. People talk about the fault in the stars, but we ARE our stars. We are literally a combination of dust particles and atoms just trying to outrun our inevitable death and sugar coat things along the way. So, we are our faults. What meaning can be found amid our stars? God, just… Uselessly insignificant. A speck of sand in a black hole that can suck you out of existence. Why try? Once the sun swallows our only Earth whole, no one will be alive to remember Love Sonnets or Poe… it is all for naught. The world will envelop in oblivion. So why not smoke? You tell me I’m fucking up my lungs but why does it matter because in the end my lungs will be fucked up anyway. ‘Cause I’ll be dead. You know? And at least then I won’t have to donate my organs to science…”

"My grandpa died today. I don't even know why. I was too scared to ask. I wonder if he knew he was going to die. Like, did he have a moment of realization or clarity when he realized: this is it. This is my life, and this is all I am going to get..."

"I wanted to get sad. Like, cry or something, but then I thought I don't deserve to like, mourn him. I never knew him. I never even met him. Only saw pictures of him when he was younger. And, like, I don't even know if he was a good person that deserves mourning over, but who am I to judge? He left my mom and my grandma, but it's like... you can't be mad at him anymore. You have to forgive him, even if he never was sorry, 'cause he's dead. You know? That's fucked up if you don't. I thought to myself: everybody dies, and that's when I realized there might be something legitimately wrong with me. How could I not feel sadness over death in my family? Am I that cold?"

“Every. Body. Dies. So, I smoke. We don’t get to decide anything in life, you ever realize that? It’s all mapped out from the get-go. You can’t decide how you come into this world, let alone how you leave it. But I want to have a choice in this world, so I trick myself into thinking that maybe I might die from lung cancer. At least then I can decide how I die. You can pretend that you’re something. You can pretend that the stars know your name. That we are infinite. The illusion of Permanence, Neil Gaiman once called it.”

“I think a lot about that last breath. Is that weird? The second when I realize: this is it. This is the end. I think about my lungs trying to get air but not being able to get any. The last time I gaze at this god awful world. The last time my fingertips touch the ground. Just drowning in the flames of my mistakes. Might as well enjoy it while it’s here. Enjoy the Now.”

The therapist only stares at her, as Victoria puffs out another pungent cloud of smoke. “You got issues.”

“Yeah,” She snorts. There was something truly hopeless about her. “Maybe.”

January 09, 2021 20:12

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Megan Sutherland
03:33 Jan 10, 2021

This is... wow. I saw you liked one of my stories, so I decided to come see one of yours. :) It was so heart-wrenching. Honestly. You kind of see life through a whole new lens when you read this. I'm not usually used to the swearing in stories but I loved it all the same. Great job. :) -Megan


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Sunny 🌼
00:02 Jan 10, 2021

HI CELESTE, WELCOME BACK! Glad you're back and doing ok. Also that ending, the therapist just stares at her like "You got issues". Hi-la-ri-ous.


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21:21 Jan 09, 2021

Omg, you wrote a story!!! So glad to see that you're back! This was awesome! Loved reading this...hoping to see more coming soon!


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B.T Beauregard
21:04 Jan 09, 2021

Awesome story, I really loved the ending and how you made it all come together. Great job! PS: If you get the chance, I would really appreciate it if you took a look at my story. :)


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Kate Reynolds
20:49 Jan 09, 2021

WOW THIS WAS SO GOODDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the way you formatted it!


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I don’t s have Tiktok D:


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