Part 4: Despair
I sat there the entire night, cold but unwilling to move. I felt like I had witnessed her perfection unfiltered for a moment and moving would tarnish that moment, make it less than it was. A pounding headache set in after the first hour, but the bleeding stopped and my vision slowly became clear. I knew that I should get up, clean the drywall from my skin and try to get more rest. This time with no murderer in bed with me. However, knowing something stopped meaning that I should logically do it. I fell into a half stupor, playing any memory I could summon upon the screen of my mind.
The first date we went on, the way she laughed at me trying to be a gentleman and kissing her hand instead of her lips. How she looked at me as we laid on the hood of her car, staring at the stars. The way her eyes danced with laughter as I attempted to be funny, my failure funnier than my intent. Her exaggerated groans whenever I would make a pun joke. The way she smelled, the way she felt, our bodies interlocked in passion. I remember the tears of joy I cried on our wedding day, the way she radiated joy and contentment as she walked down the aisle. Laying in the hammock in the backyard of our own house, watching the leaves change colours. Walking hand in hand down the beach on our vacations, knowing that we were in a bubble of momentary perfection.
My vision blurred as I began to sob, hot salty tears falling from my eyes onto my arms as I hugged my knees to my chest. I’d never again be able to look into her sweet, gentle brown eyes. I’d never be able to kiss her goodbye in the morning as I left for my early morning shift. I’d never be able to see her look of amusement and disgust combined as I presented a new dish I had attempted to cook. Never be able to walk the block with her on cool nights, talking about our plans for the future. Her gentle mocking tone as she bugged me for my moments of air headedness.
The morning sun’s rays began to caress me and still I sat motionless. I was locked in reverie, never wanting to leave. I knew things weren’t perfect, but the imperfections made it all the more painful, knowing that we could never grow together again. That struck me the most, that blazingly painful moment. There would never be another moment where we learned something about each other, through the pain of a miscommunication or fight. A moment where we put things back together and realized we were better for it.
Numbness crawled in and the memories stopped. It will never be like that again, it’s small voice in my head whispered, so why spend time mourning it. Cut it off at the source and move on. Deaden yourself inside and grow what’s left. Numbness made sense honestly, cut off the part that caused the pain, leave that behind and try not to think about it. It would make me strong, allow me to rise easily on the stormy emotions I fought through, fly above the bad weather.
I gave in, feeling the Numbness spread throughout my body. Nothing mattered, so my feelings fled. Happiness was an issue, it was too linked to her and her smile. It ran, with the sorrow. Numbness feasted upon my memories, devouring them to stop their painful shards from piercing my heart. I watched the screen upon my mind fall blank, like the end of an old film.
Hours passed in Numbness, the sunshine outside slowly dimming as rain clouds came. How cliche, Numbness whispered, weather matching how you feel inside. Luckily you’ll be far from the pain, just sit here. Let the despair go and be empty. Soon I was nearly a hollow shell, the anger and denial running from the feasting Numbness, knowing they would be next. Despair alone stood against the beast, a lonely emotion wavering against an overwhelming assault.
Rain poured outside, as the branches from a nearby tree lashed against the bedroom window. The room grew dark, shadows stretching across the room. The diamond soul lighthouse inside grew dim, extinguished by my new lack of emotion. The only one I needed, Numbness. It sat upon the throne of my heart, looking upon its empty nation with contempt, having devoured it all, claiming it in the name of apathy.
With a thunderclap shaking the windows, I knew I had been reborn. Despair had been thrown down, Numbness completed the coup without a smile. There wasn’t any reason to feel anything, there really wasn’t a reason to continue on. I knew what Omega had been trying to teach me and I knew somewhere that she wouldn’t want me to stay here, but it didn’t matter. I sat in my wall indent, with blood still on my face, drywall in my hair, and I completed turning myself into a hollow vessel.
Hours passed, the rain continued to pour down. I heard Omega moving through the house, making food and probably drinking more. At one point, he popped his head in the room and offered me a hard boiled egg, but I didn’t respond to him at all, staring vacuously ahead. I had turned to cement, my joints stiffened by apathy.
Hello? A small still voice inside of me spoke, like the wavering flame reborn after a storm had crushed the fire. Can you hear me? I need you to listen. Carefully. I did nothing in response, wary of this challenger to Numbness. You deserve better than this, you deserve despair. Numbness stood from it’s throne, ready to face the fallen king.
The truth is that feeling like this is exactly what you need. You need to face the horrific truth that she’s not coming back, she isn’t here anymore. Removing any emotion from the equation leads to you hiding from reality. You need to face the storm, take it in and understand its nature. Despair prepared for the final showdown, to take on Numbness in its lair, a fight for my heart. I stood up, dusted myself off and walked out of my room. The house was dim, there were no lights on, and the weather had turned the world into a dark and dangerous place. I stepped outside, without shoes, into the rain.
Immediately I was soaked to the bone. Rain poured down in sheets, as heavily as if a bucket was being dumped upon my head. I could barely breathe. Lightning flirted across the sky, uncaring for the scene below. I walked slowly to the hammock, climbing into and reclining in the soggy fabric as I continued to struggle to grasp what was happening inside me.
“Why?!” I screamed at the skies. Thunder shook the air in response and the rain continued its assault on me. “You didn’t have to. I needed her! So much, I can’t even begin to explain how broken and destroyed my heart is.” The sky didn’t answer, but Despair did.
Of course you needed her. Of course it’s senseless. If there was logic to this world, the full sense of human emotions would be moot. Suffering completes us, makes us more than smiles, more than mere mammals. I’m not welcome, but I am needed. Experience this moment in the dark, completely alone, at your lowest point. Eventually, it will give you strength. Help you realize your ability to pick yourself up. Give your soul a depth of love and appreciation for all you currently have. Being numb will only lead to you hardening your heart and becoming a person who doesn’t appreciate the world and its splendor.
I closed my eyes, let myself be hounded by the relentless rain and Despair. Numbness left my body, and everything began to ache anew. None more than my heart, broken and bleeding within my chest. It beat alone, without the pulse of my love responding to its call any more. My tears joined the pool in the grass and mud, my sorrow joining the rivulets of water rejuvenating the earth. I fell asleep in the middle of the storm, Despair rocking me to sleep.