The world was mad at me, or so I had thought. My selfish mindset taught me the world had been waiting for generations upon generations to release its rage upon me. I became blind to the idea that I, of all people, was filled with ego. Through the moments I noticed this within me I felt as if I was allowed to feel this way, more than anyone. The universe knew every particle of my being, the good and the bad, and knew how to play my strings perfectly to slowly kill my thoughts. I was a robot. I self-destructed more than anyone and denied that it was me doing it. I procrastinated until I couldn't anymore, I grabbed things no thirteen-year-old should grab. Imagine what you will. I wanted boys to seek me, to pursue me. I still do. I crave the idea of having the slightest bit of attention and I break when someone does not laugh at my joke. I would break when things did not go my way and when there was no reason to break at all. The world was no longer the world I was in but much more of a living hell. I was burnt to crisp and would drive myself insane. I was broken and torn to pieces and I blamed no one but the universe. It hated me, it had to. My father would say things without thinking and it drove me to insanity. My mother was at work too much. I questioned my life too often. I could not imagine a future. I liked falling asleep but I could never do it right. Nightmares were less scary than the world I was living in. Happiness made me feel inferior, normal. I accepted the universe's destiny for me. I had it the worst. One day, another day, and another had passed. The sun began to shine and the moon would glow. My dog would lick my face and this time I did not push him away. My brother said hi to me first when he came home. I went to therapy. I described my life “as an elevator, rather than hills. When I get hurt I start at a floor and get shot down”. She understood me. I would go to the mall and play truth or dare. I spent cold autumn nights going to football games and Starbucks and to the new taco place in town. I found new music and I went to concerts. I began to give more hugs, take more pictures. I licked the snow, I made hot chocolate, and burnt my tongue way too often. I wore Christmas pajamas. I wore dresses to school. I wore whatever I wanted to wear. I held babies and played with kids. I smiled at strangers; Sometimes I would beat my anxiety and talk to them. Once I met a girl in the clearance section in Old Navy, she wants to go to space one day. Traveling made me smile, made me feel small. I was no longer the center of the universe, but an ant in the distance. Rollercoasters were never scary, but thrilling. I enjoyed the pit you get in your stomach once you fall from the peak of the ride, almost relieved. I noticed the feeling you get when you shave your legs and go under the sheets. The feeling of wearing clothes that were fresh out of the drier was a whole new world. I went to lakes and ran barefoot in the grass, the blades were soft and muddy feet were the least of my worries. I kept pennies I found on the ground. I woke up on time on weekdays and slept in late on Saturdays. I went to church often. I would notice the feeling of not being able to breathe from laughing too hard. The glisten in your eyes when you are so happy you could cry. I made new friends and rekindled hope with the old ones. I started putting my pieces together. I picked up my own broom. For months this period went on and I felt as if I had it the worst at one point; the ignorance I painted over my eyes blinded me. Months became the last few seconds of my innocence. I heard the door shut and my eyes opened to the ear-piercing sound of my brother wailing. I questioned him, “What happened?”, the question echoes in my mind to this day. Life as I had known it had ended, slowly but all at once. The climax of the fight scene, right when the last thing you would have expected was for the protagonist to get knocked down yet again. But that's when I realized- I wasn't the protagonist- or the antagonist. I was someone different in everyone's stories. But all stories come to an end. Esther's story ended, but she was still a light in mine. She was the sun that began to shine and the moons glow and the flickering of the morning stars. I suddenly realized that at thirteen, I thought it could not have been worse. I became a much quieter version of myself and fell back into pitiful habits I thought I had once lost. I hated myself for it. I was no longer scared of the future but stuck in the present. The sun no longer woke me up in the mornings, the moon was small looking and frail. The night sky seemed empty and the world was massive. Life was no longer living, but struggling to be alive. Feelings were no longer felt, but hoped for. Hope was fragile and small but still flickered in dark rooms. I no longer licked the snow, or wore Christmas pajamas. But: One day, another day, and another had passed. *in loving honor of Esther Morgan
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