Nothingness | Teen Ink


September 1, 2013
By Malibu_Barbie10 GOLD, Richardson, Texas
Malibu_Barbie10 GOLD, Richardson, Texas
10 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
“The thought that I might kill myself formed in my mind coolly as a tree or a flower.”

It was humid outside, and I remember how it felt, the air so thick and damp that the weight of it bore me down. I remember the smell in the air, wilting leaves and charred wood entangled together on a foundation of earthy mulch. I recall all of this so well, as if that day was the present one, because it marked the moment when world was turned upside down.

I’ve always been a dreamer. I used to read when I was little for hours at a time. All of the other kids at school would talk and laugh together, and I would read. I liked it better that way. Reading is a reclusive activity for me. I can isolate myself from this entire plane of existence and see into another one; whichever one I choose. And I suppose I read so much that I began to live on that other plane of existence when I wasn’t reading, too. I would daydream and fantasize and I realized that I would always be wistful about life- no matter what I had.

And so I filled this void with dreams, because I realized that the achievements of life did not satisfy the missing parts. No matter what I had: popularity, good grades, other girls’ boyfriends… Everything always seemed that at first, it would save me from the void, but once met, each goal fell lifeless to the ground, unimportant and unwanted. Otherworldly things, happy things, things that don’t have any place in the realism and harshness of this world. Those were the things that consumed my attention. My head was in the clouds, but I wished that I could crawl up there forever and never come back down.
And then one day, a boy from my school died. It was horrible and shocking and absolutely unbelievable, but I was certainly awoken from my daydreams; I learned how fleeting this life really is. I had been close friends with this boy, you see, from the moment that I, several years ago, moved to this town. I had at one time spent most of my days with him. We had the same group of friends, and we began to spend lots of time together, even without the others. I had held this boy’s hand, and kissed this boy, and smiled and laughed and fought with this boy. And then, just like that, his golf cart crashed and he was dead. Dead as though he had never been alive at all.

Our town has lots of golf courses. That’s a big thing around here, and coming from Chicago, it was shocking to discover that they actually drive them on the roads. Not the highways or anything like that, mind you, but they’re supposedly street legal when registered and driven in areas with a 35 mph or below speed limit. That entails the residential streets, all the roads by our schools and houses and country clubs. They allow the carts. I can’t even count the number of times I used to ride on them with my friends, laughing and gossiping and snapping photos. My dad used to scream at me when I would come home late at night, telling me how dangerous it was, and how easy it would be for a car to hit the cart, especially when it was dark. I brushed him off every time. I mean, my friends were so popular and glamorous and fun. Since the moment I moved here I trusted their ways of life; was this any different?

And then one day my friend was driving his golf cart down a road near the front of the neighborhood. That’s the road with the swerving pathways and inclines and brick mailboxes at the curb. And I know it was wrong of him and the others, but they were looking for a thrill, and they wanted to race. So they went down the road as fast as they could.

After I found out, I pictured myself on the back of that very cart, pulling into driveways, honking at turns, laughing and playing, like I had so many times before. And then I picture screaming. Yelling in pain; yelling for help. Screeching as the impact throws you to the ground and your limbs are crushed underneath the weight of metal and brick. Oil from the tank leaking out onto the ground, pooling underneath the bodies, the odor like morbid incense. Calling perhaps for some salvation that your know, as the blood mats your hair and sharp edge of bone sticks out from my torn hip. Mangled sinew stretching, exposed muscle glistening. Crying and gasping for breath, dust filling your lungs and specks of dirt landing in your eyes. Arms flailing, speech stuttering, knees bending, pain. Sharp pain, slicing, dicing, shooting across the surface of your skin and rushing through the blood that gushes out. Warmth all around you; lying in a heap of mangled bodies and not knowing whom underneath you was dead, and who was still alive.

I wonder sometimes when they knew. At what point did they realize they had lost control, and what was he thinking of when that time came? He was driving, you know, and he had to have known first. He had to have seen the mailbox sooner than the others, and even if only for a second before them, known that he couldn’t get out of the way in time, and that they were all going to crash. Was he worried, or was he frozen with terror? Was he thinking about his family, and if he would ever see them again? Did their eyes go wide as saucers when they braced themselves for the blow?

The story on the news showed a flash of the scene, and there was a pair of thick black glasses lying broken on the road. I could feel bile rising in my throat. They were his, and they were just lying there, discarded, as I imagine he must have been hours before, bloody and broken. Even when, weeks later, after they unblocked the road and allowed access to the area, the cement sidewalks were stained across with splotches of dark pink food coloring. Not food coloring, I knew. Blood. Thick, rich, red blood with vessels and atoms and microscopic parts that had pumped through the veins of a boy that, not long before, had been alive.

How long did he lie there before he died? Lying next to his friends, realizing that it was too late: by the time the helicopter got there, he would be dead. The autopsy was inconclusive. Was it on-impact, or did he have time to reflect on the incident, regret it, fear it and cry? They never got the blood out of the cement. They tried, I suppose, but no matter how hard anyone scrubbed, faded pink was the lightest it would ever turn. They had to re-cement that sidewalk. And when it was unveiled, people drove by as though nothing had happened at all. As though he had never even been alive.

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