FREE BIRD

Story written by Luzzzifer on Wednesday 9, January 2019

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Sorrow. Despair. Fear. Hope. Redemption. Freedom. A short story about a great loss and its consequences. (One shot)

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I'm standing in the line, waiting for my turn. I look around. Lots of people walking in different directions with blank stare on their faces. Playing on their phones or engrossed in what seems like banal conversations. Whatever they are doing, they don't see anything else. They aren't aware of their surroundings, and they don't even care. Society is losing its humanity. So ironic. There is an old man standing with his suitcase. He is invisible to the world. The passing of the years is clear in his face. Seems like he doesn't remember how to smile. Wrinkles frame his sad and lonely eyes. But it isn't just that. Sorrow, a slow and silent killer, is living deep within his heart. Next to him there is a young couple. She's asking him to repeat some selfies because she doesn't look good. They'll probably upload them to facebook, instagram, or some other social media site. But not before editing or adding some filter to enhance them, of course. Not that I care. I just don't understand why people pretend like that. Why do they choose a fake fairytale-like love over a genuine relationship? I roll my eyes and sigh. People are hollow inside. Then I see this young woman. Something inside me breaks like a crystal vase crashing to the ground. My heart is mercilessly stabbed. She is carrying a lot of bags and the baby in her arms won't stop crying. She looks anxious, about to jump off a cliff. And yet I'd give anything to be in her shoes. The line starts moving and makes me come back to reality. Soon I reach my seat in the plane. I sigh. I need to stop thinking so much, I need to go on with my life. The world will keep rotating no matter what, I know. It has almost been a year since my invisible loss. And as a psychiatrist I should know better. But it's just too hard. That incident cut the peace out of us. It tore our souls. After two desperate and frustrating years, we finally got gifted with a new life. We were going to be parents, we couldn't believe it. We were ecstatic. But seven months later we lost it all. He was taken away from us. We couldn't even hold him in our arms. Twisted fate. All our hopes were buried with him. We let our tears flow in that damn white sanitized room, but the hole in our chests didn't disappear. I spent weeks grieving in his room. That's all I had left. Nothing helped. And the day we gave all his little socks and clothes away felt like death. Bitter agony. Everything went to hell. My husband started acting weird. Mute smiles. Black circles under his eyes. The light in him faded away. He started drinking a bit too much and getting late from work became the norm. I never distrusted him before, but I have to admit that I thought he was seeing someone else. Worst thing was that I didn't even care at that point. Depression was eating us alive. Later that year I got part of what makes us women removed. People tried to comfort us. But saying stuff like "you can always adopt" doesn't help at all. Fuck it. Couldn't they just leave us alone to mourn? Eating disorders followed. Sleep deprivation and somnambulism became my nightly routine. Migraines started to be an everyday thing. A halo of bitter disease. I needed help, I decided. So I went to therapy alone as he said it was just some stupid bullshit. We got lost in an ethyl cloud of alcohol and pills. Shallow words and empty memories. We drifted apart. The place we share didn't feel like a home anymore. Now it's just a dim and cold house. A meaningless place to hide. Today I'm going on a four days trip. Some business shit. I don't feel like going to this meeting, even though I always wanted to go to. It obviously isn't the prime time of my life. Three hour flight and I finally arrive at the hotel. I check-in and go to my room. I try to call him but no one picks up. I try again, but there's no sign of life at the other end of the phone. I don't have time for this now so I just send him a message. He'll see it later. I take a quick shower and put on some new clothes. I put my hair in a messy ponytail and go down to the hall. After several presentations the night finally comes. I feel numb, body and mind. I get to my room and look for my phone inside my purse. When I look at the screen I feel tension in my throat. He hasn't tried to contact me yet. Why the hell is he still with me if he doesn't even care whether I live or die? Annoyed and disappointed I throw the phone on the bed. I don't give a fuck anymore. I get into the bathroom and undress. I see the scar in my belly reflected on the mirror. Drained from strength. Flickering breath. I feel the urge to punch something, to cry and scream. Nothing happens. I'm dead inside. I let the bath water run. Steam starts flooding the room and embraces me warmly. When the tub is full I get in and sink in a bubble bath. Time for myself, this is exactly what I needed. I have been working like crazy this year. My mind goes blank and I lose track of time. I don't know how long I have been in the tub. The skin of my fingers is all wrinkled and my hair is frizzy. Enough is enough. I get out and wrap a towel around my body. I drain the tub and then go to the bedroom. I turn on the TV and change channels like a robot until I find some thriller movie on one of them. I don't really want to watch anything, I just need some background noise. Hate the silence and the loneliness it makes me feel. I sit on the bed and take my pills. They're my silent bliss. Then I start applying body milk on my legs, massaging them. Soon after I'm in some sort of trance. I cuddle in bed hugging my pillow. This is nice. I let myself go into a delicious and deep slumber... A black tidal snaps me out of my sleep. Eyes stitched shut. Lack of oxygen in my lungs. I can't move. I'm trapped. Fear paralyzes me. I choke within a reeling haze. Cold metal against my flesh. Suddenly a warm liquid starts rising inside the box. I try to concentrate, I need to escape this delusional universe. Iron smell. I'm drowning in a pond of blood. It reaches my mouth. Disgusting as it sounds. Then my nose. I can't breathe. I panic. A buzzing in my ears. An unbearable pressure in my chest. My body starts going into convulsions. I'm suffocating. Falling off the deep end. I'm gonna die here. Alone. I wake up agitated. Sweating. Voiceless. It was just a nightmare. The same fucking old nightmare. It's been a while since I last dreamed about this. Why now? I look around and sigh in relief. At least I didn't got up and started walking in my sleep tonight. What time is it? I glance at the clock on my phone, 3:33am. I growl in frustration. Then, I realize I got new message, it was sent a few minutes ago. It's his. I open it: I love you. I love you more than you'd ever imagine. And I always will. In this and whatever other life we get to spend together. You're my best friend, my love, my partner on the road, my inspiration. Don't forget that. Yours forever, T. I cry with a smile. My man has come back to me. We can finally start the healing process. We can finally work together to get our lives back. I break and let everything out. The heavy burden I was carrying slowly disappears. After pulling myself together I cover my head with the blanket. I curl up in the comfy bed. And without noticing I fall back into a sweet decadence. Silence. Warmth. Calm after a storm. I'm floating in the air. A glimpse of happiness in my heart. But suddenly everything turns into a black emptiness. I'm back into that horrible metal cube. Already swamped. "This is not real, I can't die here". I repeat this like a mantra. On and on. I start screaming. I kick and try to push the walls around me. Unexpectedly the box unlocks. "Why the hell didn't I try this before?" Whatever. I'm free to go. My instinct for survival takes control. I don't know where I'm going as I can't open my eyes. But my arms and legs start moving as if they had life of their own. They are leading me to the surface. To the much needed and longed fresh air. Through the skin of my eyelids I sense the warm light of the Sun. I'm close. I touch the surface with my fingers. Just a bit more... Oxygen finally floods me and burns under my skin. What a beautiful pain. I crawl to the shore and lay down on the floor. Breathing unevenly. My heart rate is frantic and my head is spinning around. I feel life abandoning my sore body. The world vanishes as I fall into an hibernal dream. ... All of a sudden my eyes are wide open. I'm bewildered. Cool breeze caresses my skin and shivers run down my spine. Instinctively, I wrap my arms around myself. All I can see is hundreds of trees surrounding me. I look to the right, left and behind me. Obscurity. Silence. How did I get here? I hear a hoot in the trees ahead. It's like a spirit summoned by the night. It fills my soul and makes me feel relief. I raise my head and all I can see is a dark sky sprayed by stars. I don't recognize this place, yet I feel safe. My eyes eventually adjust to the absence of light. My body starts moving aimlessly. I walk through the deep vast forest. Pacing deserted roads. The green color of the leaves is beautiful. The smell of grass and pine trees floods my nostrils and lets my mind travel to a parallel world. The music of the river guides me up the mountain. It feels so real, but I'm still dreaming, I know. I'm climbing rocks, but can't feel the rough texture of them in the palm of my hands. I'm walking barefoot, but can't feel the dry and spiky branches under my feet. The power of imagination widens the madness that renders blind deep within my mind. Wonderful. I must be close to the top. I can barely see any trees anymore. I don't stop. The white owl keeps ululating for me. Keeping the shadows away, like a guardian angel. He follows every step, protecting me. I'm finally here. At the edge of the cliff. No moon in the sky. The stars shining bright. Nothing disturbs the peace around. Under my feet there's just an endless dark void. But I'm not scared. Everything's perfect now. Magical. I take a deep breath. I whimper. Feels like the first time I've breathed in years. Blood running through my veins. A frail broken heart pounds hard in my chest again. I can feel everything. Like I've just risen from the dead. I look at the white owl behind me. It's resting on a rock. Its big round eyes encourage me. A fatal attractions unravels inside of me. Intense but clear emotions break through my soul. It whispers in my ear. I'm shaking, but I know what I have to do... There's no turning back. This is my chance. I jump. I spread my wings. A vapor trail wraps around me. Ice needles bite my skin as I chase the horizon. Can't escape from its irresistible grasp. I wish I could stop time. There's no sensation compared to this. And then something rips my wings. I bleed. It stings and hurts. Unbearable pain. I start falling down. I'm going to crash against the floor. Suddenly, everything fades away. He's with me, protecting me. He looks me in the eye and smiles. Silent and hopeful promises. I fall in love all over again. I have nothing to fear anymore. He'll be by my side forever more. I don't care if I'm bound to feel the flames and get rotten in hell until the end of all times- A ribbon of black followed by flashes of lights. People moving fast. I'm dazed. I can't speak. I can't understand what they're saying. "Fractured skull". "Suspected punctured lung". "Jumper". "Surgery". What the fuck are they talking about? The white ceiling above me gets my attention. This place is oddly familiar. I can't think straight. It feels like a truck ran over my head. My body is all numb, can't even raise my hand. A high-pitched beeping starts piercing my ears. Annoying. "Where is all this blood coming from? Fuck!- I'm losing her!". ... Suspended into nothingness. He takes my hand to walk me home. Darkness invades me. Eternal wonderland.
   

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Comments

    Welcome, Luz. Kudos for writing in a 3rd language -- but no consideration in comments, at least from me. Note that I write and comment based on S.E. (Simplified English: Routh's term for the US and, strangely, Israeli bastardized version of our almost common language) and I am unfamiliar with some peculiarities and aberrations of P.E. (Primitive English, my label for the UK/CAN/AUS version). If I indicate as an error or less desirable choice in wording or punctuation that which is actually correct or preferred in P.E., then I stand corrected and you should ignore that comment unless you intend significant P.E. readership. Very well written. The short, incomplete sentences may be a bit over used, but overall quite effective.

    ... to facebook, instagram[,] or some other... {I prefer the "oxford comma" as do many editors.}
    But not before... them, of course. {Not a sentence: occasionally OK, but don't overuse.}
    ... what makes us women removed. {unclear to me}
    Three hour(s) flight and I finally... {usually "Three hour flight..."}
    ... thriller movie in one of them. {"on" one of them}
    ... needed and longed [for] fresh air.
    ... and let[s] my mind travel...
    ... truck run over my head. {"ran"}

    Damn, but you do have a sick, twisted mind. I expect great reads from you. This is a dark tale indeed, and the imagery, especially of the dream/nightmare scenes, is really captivating. Obviously, this is not autobiographical, unless you are into psychography, but you must have had some truly horrifying ones yourself. I especially liked the illogical (seeing the beautiful 'green' trees in the dark) and disjointed (the white owl, previously only heard, just appearing as if he's always been there) items such as do occur in dreams. At the end, I am uncertain if she actually jumped from the window of her room or if she remains in the nightmare. That didn't distract. (I lean toward the former.)
    Looking forward to more sick shit. Write on.