- Adj. Apologetic

- Adj. Apologetic

A Chapter by chrysantheranium
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TW for slight mention of ab*se and s*lf harm (old mentions, but still). I am in a much better place mentally and emotionally now, it just felt nice to get it off my chest.

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Time passes by like a train just inches away from the hood of your car in the middle of rush hour. The flood gates bend a bit under the pressure of the sea - the metal sighs, bends its back, and holds its head to brace for impact - and in comes the ocean, splashing and screaming against the doors and windows of the town... A town that was watered well in the past half-year of sealife silence, but a town that was low in sodium, in need of a taste of something new, something that would give energy instead of take it back.
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It's four in the morning when the tide comes in. After a moment of lazy thought, you kick off your blanket, pull out your quill and ink, and you begin. I suppose it was bound to happen one of these days.
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Eureka.
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Let me tell you, friend, what love is not.
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I've been in the game for nineteen years and counting, a merciless game that gives you no extra lives and rarely offers medkits when you fall down the holes you didn't see directly in front of you. You break much more than your bones, but on top of that, sometimes you get a little too comfortable. A little too off-guard. Sometimes, on top of your broken limbs and broken head and broken path, someone decides you're weak enough to step on and then over, and they don't mind if it means breaking your heart.
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Sit down, yes. Take a seat. Many a person can tell you the tale of how they fell in love, a long and winded and beautiful masterpiece painted onto the archways of their mindscape's Heaven, their idea of a heartbeat's rebellion when the crowd calls out "Follow your mind," but not I. At least, not here, not in this book, not on this journey to the sea.
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For me, I'd like to keep my heart to myself. That's what I've learned to do, over years of falling down into the wrong pits of Hell.
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So let me tell you, instead, what love is not. I am just as qualified to teach that lesson as I am to express my gratitude for learning its polar opposite.
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Love is not to be taken lightly, but it should not be heavy. It's not something you have to carry, but something that should follow you, no matter how rough the terrain gets or how dark it is. It does not weigh you down, but instead should lift you up - even if it's not enough alone to get you over obstacles, it should be the feathers on your back, and Trust, should be the wax.
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Sometimes it beckons you to fly higher and higher. So high that you lose sight of the obstacles, forget there are any issues at all, and when you think you've won, when you think you've overcome them... Your wings melt. You fly too close to the sun. You fall, and you fall hard. It may take a while to mend those broken bones again.
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That is not love.
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Sometimes it drags you through the sticks and the mud when you beg it to, because otherwise you wouldn't be able to get yourself to do it on your own accord. You get used to being dragged so you rely on the hands to pull you instead of your perfectly-capable legs to walk you there. The hands get used to wearing crowns. You get used to not lifting a single hand up. One grain of sand of Change can imbalance the toxicity, and either you're in the wrong for not wanting to be dragged around anymore, or your weight becomes too cumbersome. You're left behind in the same mud and sticks, and when you finally stand up to reflect on it, you feel dirty. It cakes. You walk away, but you always have the stains.
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That is not love.
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Sometimes it's perfectly sweet and feels like Spring, and you walk hand in hand for a while, always helping the other over their obstacles and they with yours. But then your hands grow cold over time, or too warm too fast. Each day your grip grows lighter and lighter, the space between you longer and longer, the progress of each day's journey becomes shorter and shorter. Your heart still keeps your warm but you silently miss the kiss of Winter. Until, one day, you wake up, and you stop holding hands. You either smile at each other over the fence and cheer each other on from a distance, or your crouch and hide by the divider for the rest of the journey, growing bitter, hoping you'll never have to see their face through the peaks of the fences again.
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That is not love.
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Love, although conditional, is universal as well. There is no "right or wrong" in love. There is love, or the lack thereof - and the jewelry you pick up from your old boxes and miss the touch of, the colognes and perfumes you know the smell of, the empty jacket pockets and the old poems and notes and emails...
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That, my poor friend, is not love.
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And it's okay if you once said it was. It's okay if you told yourself, told the other, told others. It's okay if you didn't know any better, because that's exactly what happened. You didn't know any better. I promise, you didn't know any better.
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You didn't know she'd keep a leash on you and scream at you to leave, then tug the line when you finally decided to bolt.
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You didn't know she'd hang you with the tip-tied ropes of your relationships and blame you for the blood dripping from your own neck.
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You didn't know she'd send you letters telling you she missed you, only to tell you to "let it go" when you questioned the pretty words.
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You didn't know you you didn't love her.
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You didn't know she was using you.
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You didn't know how to leave, because goddammit even now she won't let you.
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Three, four years? Is that what it is? It's been nearly half a decade and she acts like the scars are fresh cuts. She hides in the shadows, keeps a tab on what you look like, who you're friends with, how you've grown. The fact you don't talk about her anymore but you can't get the abuse she put you through out of your mind no matter what the f**k you do.
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What can I do?
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You've admitted to your mistakes, and she blew them up to be bigger and bolder. You tried to point out hers and she sucked them in, like a belly in a warped mirror. You tried to hold her close and give her too many second chances, and she pushed you away, called you an idiot, told you you were selfish for feeling and should leave. You grew bitter, you grew distant and cold, and you finally, finally left.
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Tell me, b***h. If you wanted me to leave, then why won't you leave me the f**k alone?
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I still remember your birthday. May 30th, the last day of the rainy days of spring. But you never did like birthday parties. No, you didn't. But every year you complained how lonely you were, how much you missed your friends. And I remember you sitting underneath your pink-feathered tiara at the one party you threw, staring at the red velvet cake in front of you (your favorite), your eyes tearing up, your hands shaking, everyone around you singing happy birthday and blowing whistles, and you said, "It was too much."
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Too much.
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You don't know the beginning of "too much."
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But it's okay. Where you are, it always rains, and even though you may follow me to my f*****g grave, even though I can't get a single good night's worth of sleep until I know you've naturally met your end, I choose to keep walking. I choose to keep walking. Because it's not your choice to make.
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Because I'm not yours, and whatever the f**k we had, It. Wasn't. Love.
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It's okay. We didn't know any better. I said it, you said it back. I said it and you never said a word. I left and you held every single "I love you" over my head as if I even knew the beginning of what it meant.
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But it's okay. Because I may not be able to truly comprehend what love is thanks to you, but thanks to the fact that I left you, you'll never truly comprehend what it means to have a single day of sunshine.
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Keep raining on my parade - I don't mind dancing in the storms anymore. It's not as scary as you used to make it out to be, with your head under your blanket and your headphones on full volume.
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Keep following me. Keep hiding in my shadow. Keep taking note of how I've grown and the fact I'm finally starting to learn what love can be. Keep watching me grow up and learn to be happy, despite the past, despite the "us" that we pretended we once was.
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Keep doing it, because I know it's the closest you'll ever get to being happy yourself.
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I don't pity you.
I just don't love you.
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Because that, El, is not what love f*****g is.
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It's five in the morning when you pull back ashore, your back whipped from the winding wind of the sea's broadest storms, your hair a tangled mess, your eyes heavy once more with the sights you can't shake from the back of your head.
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Your bones may have stayed broken from that crash three years ago, but you keep walking. You keep treading with two left feet against the wet sands of the ocean, you keep pulling your ship back and forth, between all the buildings and cafes and garden shops, between the threads of the year you turned that Dreadful 16.
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Dream 61 on the old film reel - you shared a dream with your first-ever friend. A friend that you had fallen through with, then met at the Target's Starbucks a year ago, caught up with. A friend that you laughed with and talked with, even said, "I don't even remember what we fought about in sixth grade." Back in elementary school you remember spending weeks learning your first practices in divination, trying to match each other's dreams and link them, attempting to press yourself into the astral plane. And then one day at school, you ran to each other, your handwritten novels in hand, smiles on your faces, excited because you finally got it to work. You shared a dream together, a vivid dream. And you recalled every step that happened and wrote it down in the book of Clouds, the skeleton of the sky that you look upon today every time your body sets sail, every time you feel the ocean break down the barriers and call your name into the pits of Ingo.
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You have your best friend from behind the cafe's counter to thank for the beginning of everything. You have her to thank for the fact that 16 is just 61 backwards, not a number on a bus, not a year spent under the gaze of a lava lamp, not a scratch cut deep into your arms and a scar stained pink against porcelain skin years later.
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Yes, 16 is just a number.
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You look back on the rumbling waters of the endless horizon, the towering waves and the growling sky and the rolls of electric spiderwebs dancing across the sea's surface. You feel the wind pick up, cold to the touch, and it caresses your skin, pushes your tangled hair past your face and gives you a perfect frame of the storms you've endured, the many things you've survived.
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You look to the point of the sea where three years ago you tied an anchor to your teeth, you claimed your neutral view on love was simply because you couldn't make a choice between Love and Friends/Family, but now you know you sank because you didn't know how to swim. You sank because you shouldn't have to give up one island to have the other. You sank because, if you were to have a ship, if you were to brave the storms ahead, you could have both.
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And this is the same point in the sea where you first took your makeshift ship to almost a year ago now, when the waters came flooding back. The day you looked up from a Cinco de Mayo poster on the ground and locked eyes with an epiphany. The day you dove into the water, and you drowned. The day you killed your old creative headspace in order to pick up the heavy anchored load from three years ago and drag him back onto the ship, knock the water from his lungs, remind him that for once he's allowed to be alive, allowed to breathe.
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It was the day you took yourself by the face, took yourself by the frame of the obsidian mirror, and you told yourself, "Man up." You told yourself to run and not to be afraid to look back, but if you do look back, to laugh in the face of the looming darkness, to enjoy the chase. Because then, you knew it'd never catch you. Never again.
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The sky behind you rumbles with an everlasting sigh, always lingering, but never coming closer. For once, you don't have to drag her into a castle and tell her it's okay to use you as a stepping stool. For once, you don't hear her father's voice in the thunder or your own father's pounding fist in the sound of heavy rain. For once you're not looking forward to when it passes just to see a glimpse of a rainbow - for now, and from now on, you look forward because everything behind you stays the same.
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It gets boring, you know? Looking at the same scars, same storms, same memories. It's never going to be any different, but what's ahead of you? It may not reach out to you but you have the arms to reach yourself, and what's ahead of you, that's always a mystery. And as a newly-born captain, killed and rebirthed at sea, not once, but twice, I find that to be enticing.
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You turn your head past the storm, not ignoring the damage it's done before, but simply turning your head from it. You look to the sunset that stays a sunrise in the beautiful town of Sixteen Twilights, and you watch as the beautiful crystals of a sun shower rain down onto the cafe, where all of your neighbors and family are sleeping and sipping on mugs of warm cocoa. You'll never forget the man that was once anchored to the bottom of the sea, but you will always grow more and more from the seed he once was in the pit of your stomach. You will always look at your reflection and notice little things, tiny changes, that make you just a little happier than before. You will, bit by bit, learn the lesson she taught you was a waste of time to learn.
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And you smile.
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You smile because, that, my friend, is love.


© 2020 chrysantheranium


Author's Note

chrysantheranium
Ignore basic grammatical errors, as there are some rules that, as a writer, I don't care to abide by. I feel restricted when following these rules, and since I have such a hard time getting my thoughts across, I'd rather break a few rules than be grammatically "perfect."

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Added on April 15, 2020
Last Updated on April 15, 2020
Tags: experimental, books, novels, will, testament, avant garde, spiritual, enlightening, thought provoking, thought, philosophy, memoir, personal, emotional, emotions, non fiction, human, poetry


Author

chrysantheranium
chrysantheranium

Santa Monica, CA



About
"Answer." || | Nineteen-year-old male with an anchor tied to his teeth. I'm not very careful with my words, as I was never taught to be, but I promise to try and keep you afloat to the best of my abil.. more..

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