No one believes me when I say I’m hearing whispers. My mom just looks away, washing her hands without any water. My dad yells, and his neck blossoms a deep red. My sister, well, she just looks away, like if she doesn’t hear it, it’s not real. I know I am though, no matter what they do.
I don’t understand why they won’t believe me. I’m hearing voices, and I want help! It’s not normal, I know, but does that mean they should ignore it? I thought there were certain mental disorders that make someone hear voices, so why can’t I go to the doctor?
If I’m going crazy, why am I the only one who want to accept it? My family can be so annoying sometimes.
The voices told me to do something awful today. I don’t want too. At least I know they are real now, they have to be! Who or what else would say those horrible things? (I can’t even write them to you!)
They’re real, and I’m not crazy. My family still won’t believe me, but I know better.
They won’t leave me be! I can’t sleep anymore. They never shut up! I screamed at one. It wouldn’t stop singing. Over and over and over and over the same song. I want them to go.
They said they’d stop. All I have to do is listen. That’s not so bad. The voices will go away.
It’s quiet. I like it. No voices. My hands. They’re wet. Blood? It’s quiet.
For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.
Ernest Hemingway, the shortest (and one of the saddest) stories ever written.
It’s hard to feel so alone, he thought. To feel this alone, he knew something used to fill him. The absence of what was. That is where the pain lived. The empty feeling of missing something.
Past memories flicker through his mind like a candle’s flame. But the shadows casted are all he has now. Time has moved on. Like the shadows, the past is intangible.
People tell him to move on. They say it isn’t healthy to linger. He ignores them Lost in thought. Lost in memories. Lost in another time. A better time. A time when he wasn’t this alone.
They used to hold hands walking along the beach, water pushing and pulling against their ankles. They grew older, but the ocean stayed large. He would protect her. She would make him laugh. Every birthday she drew him a card, they improved with age.
They used to play a game. She would hide, and he would look. He couldn’t find her now.
Her eyes sparkled from birth, life shined through the deep blue. “Like a star,” he always said. They dimmed when she heard. She smiled for everyone, but he saw the light go out. He had already lost her.
She held his hand, her hair fell out in patches, her body pushing and pulling her skin. The world seemed small. It was just one person, just one. The person was fading away, like the stars at sunrise.
She was supposed to paint the next Mona Lisa. To guide him in finding a wife. To befriend her husband. To watch watch each other grow old; wrinkled skin, not taunt and yellow, grey hair, not patches of dying skin. He was supposed to go before her, he was older. She was young, still so young.
He held her, held her in his hands. Grey ashes ready to be scattered into the wind. He scooped her up and let her fly. She drifted over the ocean waves. He let her go, but he still held on.
Their parents cried, lost in a sea of water. He closed his eyes, alone in empty darkness.
Now he is alone. He closes his eyes and remembered what he had. Her shining face, her hand in his, the cards on his birthday, the stars in her eyes; he reaches for her but she is gone his fingers wrapping around the darkness around him.
I recently fell in love with this song and felt like sharing.
How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past? No. Leave it. Burn it.
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath