This is a short story which holds in some way a reflection about life and our right to heal and to take chances. When our motivation is based on love, then we trust life will catch us...."Let me fall, if I do, the one I am becoming will catch me." Breaking Through Alone I stand in this room, looking at my reflection in the mirror; I try to avoid doing things like this. After all, what good can come out of it? -"The past is the past" I try to remind myself; more like trying to convince myself. I look at my lips, my cheeks, the wrinkles now showing on my skin. I look everywhere else but fight to not look at my own eyes. I stand here, trying to be the man others think me to be....avoiding the man I really am. I close my eyes and her memory comes forth. Damn it! had I not promise myself I would not think of her? So many times I tried to forget her memory...how can one miss what one never had? I hate that she saw me, or maybe I hate that I miss her seeing me again. I look out the window, it is dark outside. There are no stars tonight, just a dark painful and lonely night. The night looks as exhausted as I feel; tired of trying to live a "dignified life" yet everything in me feel as if is dying. Her image rushes forth, "fuck, fuck, fuck"--did she not say life expresses differently in each individual? Did she not try to explain how life calls us in different ways to walk different paths? -- My heart knew what she was saying was true; I don't know how it knew, it just did. Her words felt like an ancient song, which somehow every fiber of my being already knew yet my mind fought with the reality of it. "Old soul" they call her. - "Where are you now? Do you think of me? or was I simply just another lesson on your curriculum of life?" --how could I blame her, after how hard she tried. I wasn't ready, not sure that I am now, but something in me wants to move in her direction. Every muscle in me tenses up, as if it knows it will be the death of every mask I fought to protect; hoping no one sees past the armor. What would they think? -- I already know... they will think me weak. -"You are weak and undeserving"--there goes that voice. How long since I have heard his voice? Now here it is, ready to punish.... after all this time, he rises up to punish one more time. The only way to drown him is to keep moving forward and don't look back. Why then, do I feel this tired? I have run and run, hoping to leave it all behind yet here I stand... alone, sad and depleted. He has caught up with me. She always says you can't outrun your shadow.... damn her for being right. I dare look up; there they are...those eyes. Years have passed, yet my eyes seem as lost, hurt and confused as when I was a child. Maybe that is what she saw in me. My legs start to shake, I want to look away as the memories flow...ugly memories. Then I remember her; her memory feels so real, as if she was here, standing next to me. Her gentle voice disables this ugly course... -"Don't look away. You are not alone, I am here. Why run when it is him who should hide? You were just a child seeking to be loved and accepted. Don't run. That child was strong; I want you to remember his strength and offer him your love in return." -"I can't...it hurts too much. That boy should have just kept his mouth shut, then maybe father would have left him alone." -"Your father was ill. There is nothing you could have done which would have satisfied his own rage and pain. You have allowed his rage to murder your inner child, but he is beautiful and very much wanting to live again. Hold on, don't run." My knuckles turn white from how hard I squeeze the sink. I want to look away -- it would be easier to do so, but I can't. Remembering each word of hers, I hold on. Like an old horror movie, each painful memory is played. I can see the lonely boy crying. I hear her again "tell him you love him". Tears run down my cheeks, my lips shake as I struggle to say the words, yet her voice can fuel even the most cowardly warrior with courage. - "I love you" I utter. "I love you"...I say louder. "I love you. I love you. I love you. You didn't do anything wrong. That fucking bastard shouldn't have done this to you. I am sorry, I am so so sorry. I love you, please forgive me for turning my back on you too" My tears now feel like rivers, my muscles shake as I shiver. I am angry, hurt and full of regret at the same time. "FUCK!" --I scream. Tears keep falling, tears locked for too long. I keep crying; this time I don't try to stop myself. I cry, fearing I may never stop. Minutes feel like hours.... I look up and see my face distorted with pain. There I stand, facing my own brokenness. Without fighting it, my body starts to compose itself, tears start to naturally subside. I feel as if a man who was trapped inside a glass prison, which no one else could see except her....that man, that boy is now free. My wounds were safe with her, but I turned my back on her. Yet even now, her memory lovingly guides me. I pay attention to my eyes; what seemed strange now feels familiar. Suddenly sweet childhood memories come forth...not many but good ones. I find myself smiling...this is what she was talking about. Afte a few minutes, I find myself laughing. I am exhausted but happy... and something else.... is it peace? I feel as if some load has been taken off my chest. I feel as if I can breathe again. "You can't outrun it, face your pain instead"--her words like a broken record playing over and over again. She has the power to face anything at a battlefield, taming even the wildest of warriors or beasts. She offered me soul medicine in exchange for vomiting my pain...in return she wanted just to see me live again. Broken they say she is, but all I see is someone who takes the pain of others. People offer her only their pain and still she offers them a way out of this fucking maze. Broken...yet she stands in love with life. Broken they say, yet she might just be more whole than all of us. There are days the pain she ingests adds to her own and the old monsters gather to collect. Those days she hurts...she hurts alone. Time after time she manages to make it through; after each battle she gathers herself and smiles again, offering the world the wisdom she has gained. Faith in life she has, but when it comes to her own being, her faith on people is not the same. She battles alone, for that is how she prefers it. Or perhaps too many turned their backs when she needed them the most.... I did too. Where are you now old soul? Am I still your friend? Would you forgive me, if I said I won't do it again? -- But how can I trust my own words, when I haven't learned to trust myself. A voice inside me gently says "Stop questioning, she already knows what your heart has to say." I feel strength gathered in me...despite the doubt, there is determination in every step I take. I keep walking until I reach her. -"Hello" is all I have to say She smiles back and says -- "where have you been old friend?"
Sofia. E. Falcone