Waves of Memories
There is nothing less acceptable than death.
Gentle winds billowed around my ears as the ocean splashed on my feet, once, twice, thrice. Redistributing my memories. My thoughts. Not that it mattered.
Crash. I was five, watching as the world began to destroy itself. The country was being invaded, everyone was getting killed, the rebel forces were fighting, and killing, and destruction was everywhere, on the streets, in the rooms, and stability was never to be assumed…
Crash. I was eight, watching as a new government formed. But it was only formed out of necessity – people were dying, crime was abundant, and nowhere in the entire country was it safe anymore. Everyone had closed their borders – there was nowhere for me to run – and nobody cared. But of course, nobody would. There was nothing to gain from caring, from sympathizing with a bunch of poor peasants suffering from war.
Crash. I was ten, as the country collapsed again, this time from civil war. Nothing mattered anymore, and as I watched the battles with an empty eye, I realized this world was nothing but destruction. My family was gone, my friends were all killed – there was nobody else but me. Alone.
Crash. I was eleven, and a humanitarian group had finally begun to work. But they didn’t care about me, about anyone – this was just what they were getting paid to do. They were the rich trying to gain forgiveness for their sins, their sins of stealing, of destroying, of ignorance. I stared at them with knowing eyes, and they avoided me as they aided me out of the country, aware that I knew about them, how they ruined my life, how their words were nothing more than pleadings so they could sleep peacefully at night…
Crash. I was twelve, and it was the first time I met him. And that was when I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe it was all over, that my views were wrong, that someone actually cared. I put all my faith in him, trying to see everything, trying to prove myself wrong so there would be more hope… he rekindled something in me that had died out years ago. And for a brief, heart-stopping moment, I thought that my life would at least regain some semblance of normalcy.
Crash. I was thirteen. We were both growing up. I never talked about my previous life, and he never brought it up. We had reached a silent consensus that I didn’t want to remember. I thought that the most painful part of my life was over. For a year, I had slowly become accustomed to him, and he to me, until I was no longer afraid. Instead, we were talking about small, inconsequential matters, matters that didn’t really change the world. But I could change them, even if it only had to do with the colour of the roof, and it made me happy. I was beginning to control my own life, and with his help, I regained a sense of who I was. And I was happy and content.
Crash. It was my birthday. He practically dragged me out of the house and onto the beach, and showed me the sights of my life. There was a fireworks competition on that night, and we both stayed by the edge of the water, watching the brightness light up in the sky. I was heavily reminded of the gunfire years earlier, but he noticed my fear. Then, I realised I was really wrong, he really cared, and I fell asleep knowing that life might still get better.
Crash. I was fourteen, and like everyone else my age, was struggling with adolescence. I was still avoiding news of my home country, not wanting to know what other crimes that had been committed, and was sitting idly when he turned up and told me the country had been liberated. I could hardly understand the concept of the word – my own country had been under enemy occupation for too long – but was somehow sad. It was only later when I realised that my refugee status was no longer valid, and I would have to return.
Crash. A few weeks later, I was still struggling with the idea of leaving. I had put so much into my life, so much, that I thought I was almost healed. I had hope, ideas, goals, and, more importantly, there was someone who cared. The very thought of having to give it all up was too outrageous, impossible. I didn’t know if I could survive the impact. I made excuses to myself, saying that this was now my home, that it was all the result of emotional instability. I refused to even accept the true reason. I didn’t want to leave him.
Crash. A month later, I let myself go, and told him. Even though I knew it was impossible, that it went against all odds, went against society, I told him. I risked everything I still had and blurted out the truest words of my life. For the longest, slowest, and most terrible second in the world, I could hear nothing but silence. It was a moment filled with anticipation and dread – accepting me would be reality, rejecting me would only be logic. I was prepared for the worst. And, as it always was in my life, the worst came.
Crash. The water flowed over my feet, and I took a couple more steps forward. There was very little left to live for. If I had to leave, I might as well leave forever and never come back. I thought of the smile on his face, the smile that had kept me going for so long. I could not accept the fact that I was never to see it again. It was beyond my comprehension.
Crash. My hand graced over the white crests of the sea as the sun rose in the far distance. I closed my eyes and took a final breath.
Crash. I plunged into the cold water, bubbles foaming out of my mouth. There was nothing but blackness. But it didn’t hurt. Going was less painful than I had imagined. It was faster, easier, more comforting than falling asleep.
I’m sorry, Hieronymus.