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The Surface

Every breath I take pierces my lungs like a blunt dagger moving deeper into my body.

Every breath I take pierces my lungs like a blunt dagger moving deeper into my body.

“I’m running out of time.” I whisper, my words floating to the surface.

Music of voices begin to trickle through the city as the streets become overcrowded with lost tourists. Cities aren’t the best place to get your head straight. My mind is overfull, but nothing is falling apart. It is waiting like the ocean, for the moon to ignite so that it can start its dance. I can’t leave, I’m bound to this city. I lay in bed last night hoping that the world would change. Instead, I woke up to a blackening sky over London, a city coupled with sirens and screams in the distance. I could hear no happiness in the unfaltering sounds, only numbness and silence. Deafening silence.

I walked out of my house, left the door unlocked and dropped the key on the street as the rain that hid behind the black sky began to descend. Ignoring the cold, I began to take off my jacket, allowing the tiny droplets of liquid ice to cover my skin. My veins came to the surface and my once pink skin was turning the pale blue that I craved the sky to be. With every step I took, I allowed my clothes to drop from my body, leaving them behind on the ground.

The Thames flooded in to view, I couldn’t feel myself moving, knowing only what I was moving toward. I was ready to dive in, to see what would happen; then the voice in my head, the one voice of reason, screamed in my skull,

“Wait. Listen to me. Wait” A reflection of myself, appearing as a ball of vapour in the water, had her hands outstretched before my face, as though she could stop me. She tried to reason with me. Her face smiled one of remorse as my movements came to a halt at the edge of the water along with my thoughts. Why was I listening to her again? The cracked reflection that had brought a bitter cynicism to each decision I had made for the past seven years.

I sat down in the pouring rain, leaving my legs to dangle over the edge. I heard the whispers of the people walking past, the curious wonderings of strangers at the naked girl by the river. My purple skin was numb to the weather and my mind became ignorant to the stares. The beating within my chest once gave me comfort of my existence. But as my body crept closer to the edge, my heart felt like a ball of lead, heavy against the cage encasing it. Heavy enough to weigh me down to the depths of the river beneath me. I stood, wiping the tears from my face that have blended with the rain, I glared at the woman in the water, no longer cracked, but blurry against the droplets of the slowing rain.

I knew the result of my choice, but my mind lingered in the alternative. To return home and get ready for work and watch the world go by for a minute and give myself a faux reassurance of the day. Allow myself sixty seconds to close my eyes before my body resumed its transition in to the blur of the world that I had been watching. If I could turn back, I would sit there for hours trying to find the answers to all these questions. But I know I’ll find nothing, nothing but the nothingness that has led me here.

I can feel the weight of my body dropping from the edge into the darkness. Submerging my being in a coldness that pushes my body further in to its frozen state. The icy water steals my final breath from my lungs. I can’t seem to recall the life that I’m leaving behind, and as I force myself towards the depths of the water, I begin to forget the tiniest fragments that lingered in my mind. I can see the light bouncing against the water above me, and as I allow the water to fill my lungs. I find a moment of clarity before I lunge my body to the surface.

Water drips from my throat as I gasp for air. Clutching the sides of the porcelain bathtub, my knuckles turned white in misplaced relief.

I heard a faint knock on the bathroom door and I collapse at the sound of reality. Another knock. My mind is playing tricks on me. I was still trying to learn to breathe again as the knocking grew louder in my skull. The door fell to the floor behind me. Masks covered their faces, and blood-stained uniforms concealed every inch of their skin as they drag me away from the water that had seduced me.

I kicked for freedom, trying to find the surface again, wishing to return to the water that had showed me my end.

“Why are you doing this?” I scream, but they refuse to hear me. Refuse to respond.

They grasped my arms harder until red hand prints became a part of my skin. Dragging me down to the street, no one said a word, or whispered a complaint. I was thrown into a metal van and driven into the middle of nowhere.

Thrown into a cell, with only one flickering bulb to provide me with a sliver of light, the same light that had led me to the surface. 

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The Surface
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