A story of 862 words written for the Writer's Cramp prompt, 10/5/19.
| With Scissors, Needle And Thread
The temptation is to give up, to give in. What is the point in fighting my way back up if I'm only going to end up becoming that bit more broken?
Somehow, I keep functioning, doing what is required. But I'm not engaged in anything. My feelings are put on hold; I will not make any emotional commitment.
"Come on, Cassie!" Fiona, my best friend since the very first day I started school, is determined to hassle me into feeling again.
I don't want to, don't trust myself to speak. I give a shake of my head and turn away. I don't want to see the condemnation in her eyes.
"Listen, I want my best friend back!" She grips my shoulders hard enough to turn me towards her. "This is not you! This is like being best friends with a zombie; and not the kind of cool sort either!"
I look away from her. Why can't she understand that I've had enough of the hurt and the damage. Too much trust has been destroyed.
"I get that you've been hurt again... badly. But you've got to fight back, pull yourself together." Her eyes bore in to me. "If you don't, he'll have won."
I won't react, won't let her see that she has hit me hard with those words. I'll deaden myself, numb myself to all thoughts and feelings. I will not cry again.
"Think about it, okay. I'll be back later and I expect you to be ready to come out into the world again."
I open my mouth to tell her not to bother, but she's gone, not given me a chance to refuse. I can still object, state my refusal; but the only one to hear would be myself in the empty room.
I wish Fiona had left me alone, for she has sparked a feeling of self-preservation. I don't want to listen to that inner voice, urging me to go back in, to make the repairs, but it's worse than Fiona. Nag, nag, nag! And that voice which had started as a whisper is getting louder by the second.
I'm going to have to make that internal journey once again.
I lie down on my bed and shut my eyes, picturing a microscopic version of myself. This tiny 'me' is armed with scissors, with needle and thread for I know exactly what has to be done.
Traveling through capillaries, I am heading for those deeper veins of the pulmonary sort. They will carry me straight to my heart, and once there I'll start to sew the fabric back together again.
It's a bit ragged, my heart, for this is not the first time that it has been torn apart. I survey the tear, assessing whether it can even be mended. There are patches so thin that stitches will just lead to another tear straight away. There's going to have to be some clever seam-work, and the needle will not be able to stay on a straight course, but maybe...
It takes me a while, and it looks rather tatty. Does it matter? At least the stitches look like they will hold for a while. Of course, the need for folding in seams has reduced my heart's capacity, but it is still beating.
Time to move on through the systemic veins. I snip the thread, cast one last look over my handiwork, then continue on-wards to what is going to be an even more tricky task. I'm heading towards my brain, the hippocampus to be precise, where I will be carrying out extensive surgery.
Memories, feelings, emotions swirl around me. I'm going to have to proceed with extreme caution as I snip out and remove parts, resewing quickly. This is a painful process because if I am going to locate the bad bits I'm going to have to feel them again first. I'd managed to shut whole portions of my mind down; now I can feel the tears coursing down the face of my full-grown self.
Concentrate! A wrong snip and I will lose myself entirely.
Isn't that just what I had wanted? I could do it right now and I'd never have to feel a thing. It is thoughts of Fiona that still my hand. She'd be left feeling it had been her fault, while he would not care in the slightest.
I pause for a moment to let the shaking of my hands subside, then I continue to carefully snip and rejoin. As I work it becomes easier, for with each cut less of the bad memories remain. The good ones have to go too, at least the ones that he played a part in. I want him wiped clear from my thoughts.
Finally, satisfied that I have done all that I can, I gather up my tools and allow myself to be exhaled. Back to full size, I sleep.
When Fiona returns she smiles. "I knew you could do it, Cassie. Come on, let's go. Let him see that you don't care."
Who is she talking about? I think of asking but decide against it. Sometimes it is best to let sleeping dogs lie.