So it appears i can’t just work on one novel at a time, so here’s the start to something new…
“I had come to another block in the long winding road of life, it stood before me as an eerie castle in ruins, housing the ghosts of the figures who had once called it home. Every past memory still evoked an urgent sense of fear, rising up with sharp claws and threatening to snatch away my ability to control even my own thoughts. People I thought I had moved on from, experiences I had hastily believed were finally forgotten and ancient, unfulfilled dreams that ought to have vanished, suddenly erupted in bitter fury. I was no longer the creator of my own life, I no longer had the power to move the pieces about the board at my will, there was something larger at play. There had to be.” The girl read her last journal entry aloud slowly, pausing every so often to question whether or not she might, in fact, be losing her mind.
“So what are you going to do?”
“I need to get away,” She replied softly, her unmoving gaze directed blankly at the Earl Grey tea bag that hung down the side of the paper cup. “I know it sounds dramatic, but this thing around me, it doesn’t seem to want to budge and I fear if I don’t figure out how to get around it, I’ll end up stuck. You know?”
“Not really,” she laughed, though her eyes narrowed as her voice softened. “Stuck where? You’ve got everything on track.”
“Not really, not on the inside. I don’t know how to explain it…I guess the way I see it is this, we all have this timeline of emotional maturity right? From being born to dying, going from a stage of complete dependence on someone, to independence and perhaps even back to the start. All our life we struggle with so many emotional milestones. Maybe in Kindergarten we learn that in order to make friends and be liked we need to be kind and share our toys. So we learn to emotionally adapt to the world around is. Fifteen years down the track we find ourselves in this crazy thing they write all those songs and stupid poems about; love. Then as soon as we get our heart broken we grow. We emotionally mature. They’re scattered all throughout life, and I’m scared if I don’t get around this now I’m going to get stuck on my timeline, that I’ll never progress. That I’ll never move along and experience everything else there is to learn. Do you understand?”
“Sort of, is running away really the best solution though?”
Kimberley drummed her polished French manicure against the wooden table top, a string of uncertainty lingered in the air as she wondered whether there was a degree of truth in her friend’s proposal. Perhaps there was, perhaps she was in the wrong, naively stumbling about trying to navigate life, but even that possibility made her sick. She couldn’t keep going on like this, she needed answers, and most of all she needed healing. “It’s not running away, it’s deferring the issue until I become more equipped to deal with it.”
“So, you’re going to bottle it and then run away?” A slight portion of sarcasm rolled from the edges of her rosy lips. Subtlety had never been Beth’s strongpoint, though it often drove her into trouble, over the years Kim had grown to appreciate this stubbornness.
“No,” She laughed. “Leaving is part of the process. I need to take some time to just think, you know? To examine where and why it all went wrong and to figure out what I need to do to move through everything. I refuse to be one of those people that stampedes through life constantly blaming anything that moves for their issues, accepting responsibility is part of growing up, it’s vital to being a normal, functioning human. And believe me, avoiding dysfunction is high on my priority list.”
“We all are though,” Beth shot back sharply.
“Dysfunctional. It’s inevitable. It’s like that saying, we all end up like our parents? We don’t get to choose our personality and we certainly shouldn’t bother wasting time feebly attempting to achieve some sort of normality-”
“I guess, but that’s not my point,” she interrupted.
“Well you just said you wanted to run away in order to figure out how to be a normal, functioning human.”
“But, yeah ok. You’re right. What I’m trying to say however,” a soft sigh followed by a smile, “is that I need this. I need time. And you’re just going to have to accept that, even if you don’t understand.”
“In saying that though it is my duty as your sober buddy to be like this. To pick you up and drag you along when you need it, and to question your every move. Not because I doubt you, but rather because good decisions are those that are thought about twice. I mean, what did Ben say about it?”’
“My point exactly.”
“All right then, well it’s oh so lovely to hear you feel that way, but you’re still not going to change my mind. I need this.”
“I know, I never said it was a bad idea.”
“For fucks sake,” Beth exclaimed, “Make up your mind.”
There’s something wonderful about that dynamic, the one you develop with someone you’ve been close with for so long. You can scream, you can argue, you can banter back and forth. You can make ridiculous jokes, or bring up memories from five years ago and it all seems to fit. It all seems to make you feel at home. Why? Because home isn’t an actual place, you can travel all over the world but as soon as you do, you realise something. You realise that more often than not, it’s not returning to the particular place you left that makes you feel settled again, it’s the people around you that capture the most undeniably precious moments of life.
© 2014 Celsie Richardson