Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Anu's Story

'We'll See Stars'

       "Was this world to be without stars, of only darkness and pain?” I asked wonderingly while staring up at the ceiling, seeing only complete emptiness. Jett looked up, inhaled deeply and said, "We'll see stars, Blaze. We'll see stars." I crawled closer to him in the midst of the icy night and muttered, "Freedom." He put his arm around my shoulder, pulled me closer and whispered into my ears, "Salvation."

       The sound of whips cracking lingered in our minds, it was not evanescent. I sucked on the blood gushing from one of my fresh wounds, the latest addition to my collection, and thought, "Our captors had tortured us long enough." Our scars had already burned deep into our souls. 

       We were together, we shared our pains, but even that could not act as a tourniquet. All we did was talk, scream, bleed. Repeat.

        After months of precarious planning, we timed our demonic captors' every move for the following few days and finally found a way out. We had just paved our path to freedom. Freedom to go back to our old lives, once again. Freedom to find out who we were meant to be. Freedom to do what we want. Freedom to wander around mindlessly knowing that there's no bars holding us back. Freedom to live. There was one problem, only one of us could get out.

        We were barred from the outside world for years. Restricted from everything everyone else could have...everything everyone else could do. For years, we only had each other, but now...we were to segregate.

        Jett looked into my eyes. He looked deep into my eyes and held his gaze for a few seconds. "How can you see into my eyes like open doors? Blurring and stirring the thoughts in my head, so that I can’t trust myself anymore?"  I wondered, keeping my eyes wide open until he was done with his version of mindreading. He knew that separating was the hardest thing we could do right now.

       "I can't go without you. I can't and I won't," I said. My tears were hot on my eyes, but they felt cold when they poured down like rain my face. Jett reached out, brushed off my tears and said in a shattering voice, "I know it's hard, but it's our only choice. It has to be you." Words could not explain how I felt when he muttered that last sentence, 'It has to be you. '

        For the first time after being stuck here in this wretched place, I saw him cry. Seeing Jett cry was like having your heart broken a million times over. I saw tears pouring down his face, and I guess that killed me a little.

        He sighed and said, "They'll be back in five more days, less if they change their minds. You can come back for me when you're safe and have told someone what’s going on here. "I turned away from Jett and looked blankly at the space in front of me ."Blaze," he began to say, "Blaze. I'm not going to burden you. All I want is for you to be free."

        I was alone in the darkness, just like Jett was. Running through the empty night, with the wind blowing through my hair, I felt so free. I felt free, but I also felt something was missing. A part of me. "Is this what it feels like to be free?"  I wondered.

        I was no masochist. Never in my life have I taken pleasure from pain, but tonight...tonight was different. The feeling of sharp objects piercing through my bare feet, was somewhat relieving. “If only Jett was here to feel this,” I thought.

        Using the scraps of money I had, I bought a cheap room in the middle of the ghost town I had wandered into. I stumbled up the stairs to my room. I took a deep breath and ended up choking on the heart-wrenching stench. It smelt like a decaying corpse. The room was tiny. The wallpaper was damp and seemed to have some sort of fungus spreading over it. There was a creaky old bed in the middle. I could see the rotting carcass of a rat lying on the corner of the floor. “There goes my dinner,” I thought.

        I dozed off and I was soon taken back to how this hellish nightmare swept over me.

        Gravestones. It's dusk. I'm kneeling before my elder sister's grave, I ask her spirit for guidance. Eerie sounds fill my ears, as if beckoning me to come and join the dead. I somehow hear my sister's voice. I don't find it creepy, at all, that she's been dead for a almost a month now, but she’s saying something to me. She's screaming, "Blaze!". I draw in a weird scent, and seconds later, the world is spinning under my feet. Everything I see or hear is distorted. I collapse onto the ground. I feel someone's presence behind me. I black out.

        At the break of dawn, I start towards my family home. I see a board pointing towards 'Mist Street' and head in that direction.

        My parents were getting ready for lunch. The smell of steak searing on the grill made me explode with jealousy. "Was this heaven?” I asked myself. They looked so happy. Of course they were, they were free and they had each other. "I should be happy for them," I told myself and forced a smile. Only one thing bothered me, there was another girl wearing my old clothes, and my mom called her 'Blaze'.

        I walk into their backyard. Our backyard. My mom instantly runs after me, instinctively calling me 'Raphaela'. Raphaela, my middle name. They replaced me. Angered by the thought, I don't speak to her. Even though I see her lips moving rapidly, I don’t say a word. Nothing she says enters my head. I let her embrace me. I then shake my head as if saying "No," hoping that my parents know what I'm getting at. I then barge into my old room. "Glad to know you're still the same," I say out loud. The night soon followed and I fell asleep.

        I could see Jett. He was shirtless, more scars were covering his chest. He was looking up at the ceiling. His fingers trace the word 'Blaze,' which he had engraved onto his arm before I left. I had 'Jett' on mine. He was looking up, but he couldn't see anything. He couldn't see stars...

        Jett said, "We'll see stars," not that 'I' would. He said 'we'. I have to go back for him. I don't care if I die trying, but I'm going to get him out. I couldn't just leave him there. He was my best friend, my brother and sometimes even my father. He sacrificed himself for me. I couldn't leave him.

        I closed my eyes and thought of my way back in. I then packed what I needed, stepped outside and looked up at the night sky. I looked at the stars and whispered into the darkness of the night, "We'll see stars, Jett. We'll see stars."

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