October 2, 2019

that midsummer's evening

it was midsummer, in the evening. i was sitting outside, alone, headphones in, terrified my parents would take my phone away if they knew what i was listening to...but lana was the only one who understood. her words spoke to the empty darkness sitting deep within me. i didn't know what i was feeling, but she did. my family couldn't relate. but she could. my friends couldn't understand, but she somehow knew the exact feelings. it was like a whole new world.

national anthem was the first one. i heard about it from my friend emily. i think we were both going through similar things, but she lived much farther east than i did, and i only knew her online, there wasn't much to say; i was scared, so was she.

i would scream into my pillow as i couldn't fall asleep, i would cry, the linen soaking up all the tears, and wake up the next morning, somehow, after miraculously falling asleep, to a dry, stained, stiff face, and then wash it off as if nothing happened. i thought i was too much, that those who loved me couldn't handle it, so i hid it. i felt i had no choice.

i became so distant. my family would speak in hushed tones about me, i remember hearing things. they tried to reach me, they did, but they couldn't; the wall i had built could only contain me, and i physically, emotionally, and mentally was unable to let anyone in.

i remember so many times when those close to me would come towards me, i felt my stone face harden, my jaw lock shut, and i heard their words, "what's wrong? are you okay?", bounce right off me. i physically could not open my mouth to even attempt to say any words. i stared blankly, as if a statue, and i could see the confusion and hurt in their face, but the emotions they felt couldn't break through that thick stone wall, and the worry they told me they had was like a new brick, building up, stronger, and stronger, so that i would be unbreakable.

a boy told me he liked me, i didn't know how to feel, but i did know that it was new, so i went with it, because if someone liked me, maybe they would accept me.
i was wrong. we talked, we talked so much, about him, about his problems, about how his problems were so much worse than mine.
no, he didn't accept me at all. he made me feel as if what i was feeling wasn't bad enough to be worth validation as something to be wrong. it was trivial, it didn't matter...we must talk about how what he was going through was the ultimate worst way to live.

everything so romanticized, it didn't take until a severe disloyalty to show me the disaster of that situation, but in order to grow, to get up, i had to be broken, all the way, and this was only the first chip in the ice; i had a long way to go.
xx, rn
photographs by oliver sandoval
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yes, you have a beautiful soul.