Autumn Leaves Fall
I have always hated the sound of rainfall on the roof. To me it sounds like people pounding above me, trying to get in. Pounding, Pounding, Pounding. It is raining now. As I stand on the bridge, looking down into the water below. And the droplets run off its side and fall. Down, down, down into the depths. And as the splashes of coldness hit my face and my arms go numb, I remember.
It was horrible weather for a funeral. The sky was blue and the sun was beating down on us in hot rays. Beating, beating, beating. Everyone was dressed in black and encircled around a hole in the ground, where my brother lay. Everyone said he was only sleeping, but I know. He is dead. I looked down into the hole and saw the coffin as dirt fell over it- trapping my brother forever. I felt everything, and nothing. We went home that day and sat in silence, save for the sobs that echoed in the empty house. And we remembered, until we forgot. And every stain from every tear that fell had faded and the untroubled dust was uprooted and floated in the air. But a searing pain had stuck itself in my soul like a knife, and unable to pull it out, or tolerate it's housing there I lived in agony.
I was alone. For even the house itself had forgotten his footsteps, and the walls had ceased to echo the sound of his voice. But I heard them, because I was empty myself and they echoed and bounced off the walls of my heart, and drove the knife ever deeper into my soul.
And as time passed, normalcy tried to take hold, and I walked again down the gray sidewalks as the autumn leaves fell about me. The wind must have been cold, because there was frost on the tips of the leaves, but I didn't feel it. I stepped onto the bus and knew that the other students were talking and laughing, but I didn't hear it. I was sealed off from the world, like my very skin had turned to steel.
I moved through the hallways like a ghost unseen and unseeing.
“Tries to be angry.”
“Get over it.”
The words repeated themselves around me. As if, once spoken they became a demon that hovered around my ears and whispered fowl things into the gathering darkness of my mind. Friends who gave comfort now looked on in concern and confusion. I had just stopped caring, stopped feeling.
I sat behind a desk and looked at the green board behind the wagging jaw. Endlessly moving up and down, up and down, as the rain began to pour outside.
It poured on the green grass by the gray stone.
There was a piece of paper in front of me, but I didn't know what to put in the blanks. I am a blank. A gray slate of stone, washed clean by the rain.
I did not move, as if I was out of time, out of reality, as the mouth picked up the paper in front of me -blank.
“You are doomed,” uttered the mouth.
I am doomed. The demons whispered in my ear.
Warm water poured over my hands and the shaped china they held. She stood to my left, and echoed.
“You know I have sacrificed my life for you,” -doomed-
“and you never help me. You just cut me up.” -blank-
“The other kids never would have gotten away with treating me like this”-disappointment” - “it's disrespectful, but I'm still here.”
The telephone rings. And she's gone. The water runs out of the faucet and over the china dish, as the tears fill me up inside. The china dish falls, and it shatters. It is broken. And the tears fall, splattering on the hard wood floor.
Failure. Blank. Disappointment. Doomed. Broken.
The rain beats down, and I feel everything. I feel the sting of the knife as it sinks deeper down, down, down into the depths. I feel beat of the hot hot sun on the blue day.
I feel the beat of the rain on the bridge as I look down into the water below, and the autumn leaves fall into the river floating far, far, far away forever. And as the icy water hits my face, and my arms go numb, I forget.