They tell me I’m crazy
But you told me
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She’s lost time, so much of it already that she’s not even sure she can turn around and go back the way she came. Caroline stands in the midst of her own mess, the complicated mistakes of the past that haunt her doggedly every day. She can feel the erratic beat of her heart; can almost hear the thrumming of the blood pulsing through her veins, as she struggles to wake up from this nightmare. Her voice is muffled, cut off by strangulation, and she can feel her whole body fighting to survive.
Sins that lay tangled in the shadows grip her tightly and threaten to pull her back towards the darkness, as she’s searching out that last glimmer of light she could have sworn was there. It’s hard, being pulled down by the undertow, and never really knowing how to reach up out of the rubble and live to feel the sunshine on her face another day, to breathe in the heady earth scents, and know that she’s lucky – so very lucky – to be alive and in one piece. Or is she?
The tattered bits of the fragile sacred happiness she tries to glue back together become infected by the screaming voices she hears in her head, echoes through her hollow attempts at sorting the mess. She keeps searching for it, trying to desperately uncover that which was stolen from her, but in her futile attempts she finds herself still falling, falling, sinking deeper, never reaching the surface long enough to breathe before she’s pulled back under and it’s tumbling, coming crashing down around her.
Sage took over long ago and pushed her back into her tiny shell, deeply embedded in the cobwebs of her vividly mangled psyche. She endures most of the pain and agony of carrying the weight of so much anger around. The scars are thick and layered, ranging from emotional to physical, and she breathes strangled air and swallows bits of broken promises that settle in the pit of her stomach and scatter across the floors of her bruised heart.
Sage tells Caroline that she should be so lucky that she doesn’t have to endure what she deals with on a daily basis, doesn’t have to withstand the humiliation of being beaten down, ripped apart, and verbally assaulted every day. She must struggle to endure the pain for her, because Caroline is far too fragile to deal with any of the remnants of it. She would break and cease to exist.
She’s already catatonic, not normal, came back all wrong and so very scattered amongst the mess in her head. The ghost inside the fire doesn’t die, it can never die, as long as Sage survives and keeps Caroline safe, the ghost will never be gone – she will never be far from where she is now. The voice she hears is beautiful, a glorious symphony of Angel’s singing.
Maybe Caroline is the ghost and Sage is the fractured one, she’s just as damaged. She promised her that day in the courtyard that she would always be there for her, that she would never let anything happen to her, and then promises burned to hot ashes, and she grew cold over the years and life itself began to take on no meaning. The mess inside her head grew heavier as the days went on and the nights became nothing but shadows illuminated by small sparks of light that she tried so desperately to hold onto, but was unsuccessful in every way failing in every attempt to keep the sins that threatened to spill over and burn away.
Every day has become hell for her, just getting through one and moving onto the next, and she’s grown so small that she refuses to talk on some days until one day, she just stopped talking at all, and sat there in silence mourning the loss of her head and the heart that followed afterwards.
She listens to the whispers around her wondering if, “she’s mentally cracked.” She feels gone, obliterated, blown away by the sands of time. Caroline has become trapped between the veil of light and darkness, ever still dancing on the periphery in between the balance of love and fear. It’s hollow; the emptiness that accompanies this strange feeling, this odd absurdity that Sage could save Caroline by promising things that were never going to live to see the light of day and could only be uncovered in darkness alone.
She couldn’t save herself and when it counted, when it really mattered, she couldn’t save Caroline either as crimson stained the courtyard and the rain had pelted down overhead ripping wildly and tearing across the tattered sky, drowning Sage in her own rotten despair as she furiously tried to blot it away, to bring the light back before fade to black, and keep the darkness at bay.
This life had been hers and now she lay hopelessly lost on the cold hard ground, pawing around and trying in vain to salvage any shred of goodness that she had found. It’s her lies, her secrets, and her alone that had caused this. It was her fear that gunned them both down and stopped them in the midst of this chaotic fight for something that neither one of them was ever really ready for.
Winter’s chill set in and had all but torn away every bit of the warmth that Sage had sought comfort in, what little bit of happiness that she had found and cherished and held onto as if her very life depended on it. Caroline was the air that she breathed every morning she awoke and the last face that she wanted to see when she closed her eyes to the world.
When she closes her eyes, she pictures a still window frame and a bright courtyard shining brilliantly in the lazy summer sun. She can feel the warmth of the sun’s radiance skittering, almost dancing across Caroline’s skin as she recalls the beauty in the smile of her eyes, the way her bare feet skips across the pavement to the song in her head oblivious to the heat and the rest of her surroundings. There is only light and laughter and hope and sun kissed bare shoulders and the two of them.
For just a short while, that window is open and she can feel the breeze stirring the billowing curtains about, stirring the soft waves of Caroline’s hair where lazy curls lay against her shoulders, an upturned face with eyes downcast and a smile meant only for Sage.
Fear bears down, forces the window closed, as it creeps into the inky crevices of her heart leaving her reckless and abandoned, filled with nothing but sorrow.
Why did she come here, when she knew there was nothing left for her?
It’s as if she’s constantly punishing herself, for the things that she cannot change and avoiding the things that she can. In the shallow pockets of her heart, she feels numbness where life once flourished. The stirring echoes of abandoned whispers, prayers that would get them out of this mess, prayers that would save them – save her – save whatever it was that was dying.
Shameful pride had kept her away, where she had been needed the most. It was almost as if the dagger had pierced her own skin, dragging the blade across it, and spilled all of her insides out onto the cold hard pavement. She had been a damn fool to think anything could have been different, that they could have been different. Different was never a good thing, she should have known better than this. Going against the grain, staunchly daring to be the polar opposite of what she normally was and tempting the hand of fate, is what had thrown her headlong into this tailspin of disparaging downfall.
In the darkness she feels too much, too fast. She can feel it rushing over her, sinking through her skin, pouring out of the cracks in her heart, pushing through her rib cage until the bones snap and splinter. She’s fighting to love, fighting against the voices and the whispers in the darkness, the mess inside her guilt spun mind.
It’s too close, she let it get too close and now she doesn’t know what to do with it.
Anger. Lust. Fear. Bitterness. Hate. Happiness. Tiredness. Hope. Love. Silence. Faith.
They’re all screaming and she can’t stop it, can’t keep it from pouring out of her, pushing to the surface and spewing all of its rotten contents out onto the floor beneath her. Bits strewn about here and there, faces and names, angry red marks that bleed through skin to paper and paper to white walls, and everything is so stark white and clinical that it’s blinding and they’re all shoving in on her, and she can’t breathe can’t stop to think through the lies in her head.
Except, they’re not all lies, and this is the happiest she’s ever been – the closest. Sage knows this is the undoing of her, that Caroline’s coming apart as she crumples beneath the weight of caring this much, of feeling this euphoria that’s pulling her apart, stretching her to the brink of insanity. She’s not right she knows she’s never been right. There’s always been a special sort of quality about her, something so powerful and strong that sets her apart from the rest.
Love is just too much for her to handle. That rush of undeniable euphoric happiness, thrumming through her veins, the beating of her heart pulsing loudly in her ears, the feeling of nothing but sublime energy crackling all around her snapping her synapses in half, and carving its words all over her heart. The cracks are getting bigger now the light is flooding out, while the darkness finds itself seeping in deeper and deeper.
“I love you,” is the breath of a fragile whisper fallen from her lips.
“But, I’ve chosen darkness,” cracks the heavy silence in the hollow corridors and echoes deafeningly on the wind.