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From One Innocent To Another


Natasha Bayes

So I lay here, still, oh so still in my own delicate, frightening world. Nothing but a bed surrounding, to comfort me, to help me feel... safe? It is so uncomfortable, unstable, so uneasy, but I just lie here as I gather my thoughts. Nothing can enter my mind, all is unwelcome, all is shown the exit sign and all quickly escape in time.  All but the past which, after ten years, manages to haunt my fragile world. Drags me down, right down to the ground going beyond the soil which also lies still, and remains untouched. Though I lie still, I still lay touched. My innocence stolen, stolen by a man I grew to love, to respect, to trust. Luckily, that thief did not become my step father.

At the ground is where I may be, but must I be so alone, so isolated, so confused that it makes me unaware of how I should actually feel? Should I feel scared or unsafe? Or should I be relieved or content? No one can tell me how to be, how to feel, how to see the future, the past. I am too low, too far down, too alone; at this point, to me, no one else exists.

So I lie here crying, weeping, screaming at the top of my lungs, calling out in desperate need of some attention. For someone to call back to me, to understand the hurt, to know the truth, my truth, my life. My hands scrape down my face, scratching, tearing away at the flesh as I continue to scream with agony and hurt. I ponder in confusion, attempting to solve the unsolvable. So frustrated, I want to scrape on, until the blood drips and merges with the salty tears.

Still I am here, all alone with only the echoes of my cries and the drops of my tears and of course, my thoughts. No one to help me solve this equation, this unearthly pain. Seems to me as though the past is not all to blame, for it has been and gone. Yet it haunts me, haunts me because I actually allowed it, and the guilt is slowly taking over my cynical world.

Am I more terrified at the fact that it could happen again, or mortified at the fact that I may forget it ever happened? So she sits here next to me, side by side in our happy worlds, not crying, not weeping, not screaming at the top of our lungs. She is, or so I thought, unaware that I am still alone regardless of who may be around. She slowly opens her mouth and, lowering her voice, begins to speak. She mentions how alike we were, and how different we have become, for my past is not so personal. One other had, without question, stolen her innocence.

Suddenly the crying which bleeds inside of me came to a halt. My body and mind are focused as I gaze with fixed eyes on nothing and no one but her. The words are pouring out of her, pouring as though they cannot be stopped, as though a cut has gone far beyond the stop sign, splits open the vein and now, uncontrollable rivers flow. The words she spoke came from her broken heart and her crushed soul; she really is still haunted by the past. The past which she, unlike me, has learned to deal with.

Her nightmare, which she sees night after night, has again turned to real life. To her, this devastating nightmare turned real life encounter feels more and more natural. Like God has given His reasons and she has to accept what she has done, but unwillingly. To her it no longer hurts, it actually feels right which to her, shouldn't need to be stopped. Suddenly my life doesn't feel so fragile.

So here I walk, taking one step after another, my left hand lifting slightly as I flick my half smoked cigarette, and the other hand, holding my bag which feels as if one too many weights have been shoved inside. As I walk down the long, quiet street which seems somewhat larger than before, I feel the cold biting at my back, shooting down my spine. Forcing a shiver through my mouth, I exhale the smoke into the freezing air. So cold the air appears visible as the smoke begins to fade. The sun appears in between each house almost blinding me, and as I walk, disappears again only to reappear moments later, then hides again. My music booms through my ears as I listen to my walkman and watch the ice begin to melt and trickle down the brown shivery slates on the rooftops.

On comes one of my favourite songs and for some reason, it reminds me of her. In fact, she never really disappeared out of my mind, not even for a second. Since she told me, for certain reasons, this has started to become almost like an obsession. I keep running her words through my head, over and over and thinking, what should I do? What can I do? I feel as helpless as she does, almost. Walking towards my garden now, the gate opens and closes with the wind and releases a squeak as though it cries out with fear. I stop for a moment and observe the house. For once, it seems more safe, and yet I continue to walk down the street, further and further away from safety. Usually by the time I reach the bottom my insecurity hits.

I've reached the bottom; I feel secure.

So a week later, I wake up, my eyes red raw, tired from lack of sleep. Tired I may be, but relieved. She finally realised, finally admitted to herself that this life, this world that she lives, it just wasn't right. I finally persuaded her to tell, to confide in someone like she once did me, and she did just that. So I walk the streets, lie on my bed which now feels stable, enjoying life with not a tear shed from my eyes. No cries of pain forced out of my mouth, no weeping, no screaming. I feel, my work is done. I managed to overcome my fear of the past and the future by saving another. At the moment, she has not quite cured the pain, the unearthly pain, but has brought the inflicting of more pain to a halt. Now only a scab remains to pick at,  to remind. We helped each other in a crucial way, one innocent to another.

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