“What on earth are you doing?”
“Run before it’s too late”
“Look at you in that dress, should’ve skipped that extra slice of pizza last night”
“Shut up.” That was all I could muster as I stood in front of the curtains on stage, trembling with fear, anxiety and pure terror. They told me that this would be good for me, that it’ll help me gain my confidence back and finally, just maybe, it’ll help me let go of the past.
“You don’t deserve the applause, that’s if they give you any.”
“Those chubby arms dangling by your side is a foul sight my friend.”
I tried recalling the advice Amanda gave me the last time we had a session together. She said to accept these voices, give them a colour and not fight them. She made it very clear that accepting was different to believing; she didn’t want me to believe in those voices because they were bad for me but instead, she wanted me to accept their presence, to acknowledge them but not give them power. Amanda always had a way to make me feel safe in my own skin, even just momentarily; it was a nice break from the constant fear I possess within me.
People tell me I’m broken; they tell me that it was because of that incident and they say it like they know me better than I do myself. Maybe they’re right, maybe that night really changed my life, but a part of me knows that it isn’t all that simple; I wish it was that simple.
That night was nothing short of magical; it was peaceful and serene, as if the night was trying to coax us to let our guards down, to let lose, to not worry; we fell into the trap.
We were walking home with our heels in one hand and another thrown over each other to support ourselves. We felt invincible, like nothing in the world could ever possibly go wrong, especially after such an enchanting night, a night where everything felt good and right… The skyline was extraordinarily beautiful, as if it was shining with a purpose, like it was shining just for us. The road wasn’t busy as it was very late but occasionally, a car would zoom by so fast that it resembled a shooting star, there and gone before you know it. Suddenly, Felicity had the boldest idea and in a spur of a moment, she ran. She ran like she had never before, she ran across the highway that separated us from the skyline, just to get closer to the view. It was late at night and we were tired, our eyes were blurry from all the excitement but suddenly, I was shocked back into reality as I stood there helplessly watching it happen.
I wasn’t screaming, I wasn’t crying, nor was I processing. All I thought of was what I had done, or more so, what I hadn’t done. I could’ve stopped it, I could’ve said no, I could’ve told Felicity that she was being crazy, I could’ve but I didn’t, and now she’s gone.
They tell me that it wasn’t my fault, that these things are unavoidable, and that it was beyond my control. They’re wrong. I was there, I was the one who saw my best friend die and I was the one that let her do so.
I can’t stay here, I can’t do this, I don’t deserve this, especially after all that I’ve done. I finally understand why it’s so hard to ignore those voices in my head; I can’t ignore them because deep down, I believe them, I agreed with them, the voices were mine.
I run, I run as fast as I can towards the rooftop where it’ll just be the skyline and I, no audiences, just the skyline that Felicity died for and the person who could’ve stopped it. I guess you could call it a reunion, to ‘commemorate’ what the both of us did to a beautiful soul. The skyline doesn’t show any sign of guilt for what it has done; to me and to her, to all of us.
That night I understood how beautiful things have the power to kill, to take you by surprise, to rob you of your happiness just when you think you’ve had it all.
I finally understood.