Deanna fears her sadness might be taking her over.
The sun penetrates my thighs, soaking deep within and relieving me of the horrid winter in New York. I took a plunge, with money I had saved for my friend’s gift and took a vacation. Selfish, some may say and I wouldn't care, because there is a deep pain in my chest reaching for my heart and pressing against my lungs. It is so cliché in this life, when depression is romanticized, but I still acknowledge the unique sadness that I mask behind open mouth laughs and desk slamming jokes.
When I met him, I was astonished; surprised that he chose me out of the throng of caramels and full chests. He called me ‘beautiful,’ a word I heard from many, but it slipped from their loose lips and fell on the cold, Gray concrete with a heavy thud. He said it, carefully pronouncing the letters and with a tone so foreign that I stared at his hazel eyes, looking deeply for a hint of deception, but they were like clear water, the type you had to travel far to find. He stayed around, peppered me with unusual compliments (gave himself some too), and then left me on the black couch one night with a blanket drawn over my entire body and a rose at my feet.
"Deanna," the note said, with the ‘a’ gone way too far. “I have to go back to my wife, because she said the bed is cold without me.” I didn't cry at first, but somehow the lie of a relationship we had did not faze me. “Sorry, Khalil.” I laughed at the word sorry. I should have known it wouldn't last when he called himself superman when we lay underneath the navy blue sheets with his face pressed close to mine and eyes closed tight. I stayed in the dark for awhile with the scent of his body and ego all around me. His voice permeated constantly throughout my house and stayed within the walls, I called my work, told them I was sick. I didn't lie because then began the disease of unusual melancholy.
I tried to erase him with liquid in dark bottles, ones that burned and lingered in the body. My friends encouraged the eventful nights and chugging, and I gladly held back my head and consumed the remedy. I would wake up on Sunday mornings, a day set for breakfast on the balcony, watching the cars race along the New York streets, a moment for light sweaters in the cool spring and colourful nail polish. But I was bending over the toilet emptying myself of retail, short lived happiness, leaving my stomach and heart empty, with vomit in my hair.
I started walking through the streets with my head down and my hair blowing about my face. I embraced the onset of fall and felt a strange desire to layer even more. I grabbed my coats with glee and wound scarves around my face. I watched as others embraced, tickled and snuggled against each other in the cold. I stared at faces plastered with smiles and wondered if they had any sadness, even a little bit.
I told my friend I wanted to die, she laughed. “Deanna, you are sure crazy, you light up my days.” Her compliment wasn't what I needed and I sat gazing at her blowing cigarette smoke in the cold air and watched it wrap around her, and the lipstick stain on the lung destroyer.
“Nash, you shouldn't smoke, it doesn't suit you.” she glared at me and then laughed, a cackle like a wild animal.
“You are so sad.”
“I know,” and the conversation ended there. I ignored her calls and battled with losing her. I gave her up, but felt deep pain and anxiety when she stopped calling. I wanted her to reach out for me, to crave my attention and company, but every call was an intern who did not know how to use the photocopying machine.
I started spending time with my sister. We sat in cafes and hugged the warm mugs, relieving our hands of the bitter outdoors. I stared at her high cheeks and small eyes, her glowing skin that wasn't given to her by water. My hands reached up and touched my blemished plain face. She smiled at me, in a sort of pitiful way. “Your skin is clearing up.” I gave a small grin and bent my head, staring at the brown liquid in the cup.
“I met a guy,” she whispered, although no one was close to us. I glanced up and propped myself up on my elbows. She started talking, her eyes getting bigger and her nostrils flared. I watched the movement of her lips and the words tumbling out on the table, but I didn't hear a word she said. Most guys would stare as she walked with confidence and I dragged behind with my head down. Some stopped her while I awkwardly stood behind, and they would politely smile at me.
“That’s your sister!?” some said in the most outrageous manner, and I stared gravely as they marvelled in her beauty and at me in an enigmatic way, trying to make the connection that we were somehow related.
I studied myself in the mirror and questioned my face, eyes and smiled. Sometimes I felt good, but nobody seemed to appreciate it. I bathed myself in sorrow and pushed through the snowy days. The misery continued to creep and take over and I feared it would take me. I booked the ticket, and hoped for the best, for healing and freedom, but mostly relief from mental fatigue.
I watch girls pass in bathing suits, toned and bold. The guys made howling calls and grinned with each other. But they all passed without even glancing at the lone figure on the lounge chair and I still felt lost and misplaced in world of sun and incredible warmth.
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