My Fantasy is Just a Mirror
It’s cold, Bismuth. Let’s go home.
From within an empty infinite division of space, its mind played like a broken record. The static from that record shook it to his very core, but still it lay, unmoving. It didn’t know if it wanted to move anymore, however, more than that, it didn’t know if it could.
Numb. Numbing. That numbing numbness that tore away at it and tickled the parts of it that wanted to feel. Staring into nothingness, it couldn’t be sure if it was standing or laying down. Its eyes stared, restless, towards an inescapable yet unapproachable vastness of black, feeling as though it had found itself situated in the eye of a storm - long past the event horizon of melancholic monochrome.
The ongoing storm, the one which it would curse its own name for, likely continued. But from within the confines of this void, it had convinced itself not to care anymore. Restlessly dry eyes open, it stared into the void. And in a harrowingly endearing way, it liked to think it stared back.
That void had replicated the serene sound of a calm wind. But from within that darkness, it was hard not to find that as the sole accompaniment chilling. The wind blew against its disconnected and disheartened face, but as the breeze took a heavier sensation, it started to sound less like the wind and more like a breath. A light breath whose nostalgic whisps brought the words, again, to the surface of its mind.
It’s cold, Bismuth. Let’s go home.
A few splitting, unsettling images rose to its mind. It fought against it but the overwhelming emotion that those images brought to it were cripplingly tempestuous. A field. Beaten, suppressed, and driven to darkness. The waving of grass. Beaten, suppressed, and replaced. A flowing sundress. Beaten, suppressed, and replaced.
These images kept violently flashing into its mind, frame by frame, until the matter of course led it to the face of whose visage it had been following, or rather, fought against following. Its mind was strikingly colorful and vivid at heart, and being confined into a void, a box where grey was mandated and enforced, it was only natural those colors had wished to break free.
It winced, forcing them back, however, it was a fruitless endeavor. The fruits instead burst at the seams like splatters of paint, and as the blowing lustrous spectrum of hair came into view, its mind could only say one thing upon realizing the true identity of the face it hoped to bury under its void…
It’s cold, Bismuth. Let’s go home.
The words shook, as all confidence they once had had shattered into a hopeless and frantic terror. Had it spoken those words? Or no… Had those been the only words it had ever spoken?
Facing this realization, the paints on cracked canvas splashed more, as her face came into view. She was beautiful. Descending down in two parallel spectrums of hues which mirrored each other brilliantly, her pigtails blew softly against the wind. Those colors morphed themselves from a cyan, to sapphire, to violet and orchid, before humbly fading into a bright pink and ending with gold.
These colors, which gradiented themselves on her own hair, beamed with every color in the rainbow. Nested above her vibrant curls, a white sunhat sat tenderly over her, which she held a delicate hand towards against the wind. Her other hand fell gently against the soft ivory sundress which found itself fluttering in every direction against that breeze. These colors appeared soft and loving, but seeing this scene in its mind in the form of over-saturated and highly-contrasted splotches of dripping paint was almost chilling.
Despite her colors, which now turned their luster from bright and exuberant to oversoaked and hostile, the rosy lips plastered kindly over her porcelain skin wore a genuine smile.
Shadows faded one by one as it felt the sadness and anxiety work its way up from its stomach. Her face exuded in the light which it itself sought to bask her in. From its stomach to its chest. Contrasting colors against colors, the hair lifted from her face. From its chest to its throat. And as her pastel skin soaked in this light gleefully, revealing to it almond shaped eyes… Up from its throat and-
The ejection was sudden and aggressive, but after the quick moment of rushing anxiety had come to pass, two cognized eyes stared through a faint dark room to the trash can below them. A hand brushed itself against damped lips after their sparge below, then settled itself against sheets, unfulfilled.
The illusion collapsed in on itself, revealing the dark room and the figure’s own actuality within it for what they were. This figure, which had hoped to distance itself from this place entirely, showed the expression of genuine discomfort and discontent at the collapse of its own void. This figure, peering its hollow eyes open slowly against the dark space, sighed to itself with a heavy breath. This figure, a disillusioned boy nineteen years of age, sat up against the force of his lethargy, and eyed the situation around him.
A black room. Four simple walls. No windows. No lights. Now waking up from a hollow, disconnected, dreamlike state, his head hurt, searing at either temple. Putting a hand to the left of which, his mind picked up where it left off before the void’s inevitable collapse. His inner voice showed a semblance of concern, having escaped from his own torpor.
I need fresh air…
A collage of thoughts seemed to follow in tandem, ranging from intrusive to ambiguously intrusive.
You have to remember. How can you keep going if you don’t? If you don’t remember, you’re making her hurt alone. If you don’t remember for her, who will? If you don’t remember…
His hand pulled at the prussian-blue hair at the back of his head, stretching his arm against the pull at his scalp. That sudden pull had cracked his neck, and feeling the rush of pliability it added to him, his mind awoke itself against the lethargy, and following blindly the first thought he had after kindling his consciousness, he rolled himself out of bed, catching himself on two socked feet.
He took a couple haphazard steps away from his bed, until his previously attentive mind collapsed into a blurry and dizzy haziness, and his body collapsed towards the wall.
He groaned against the sudden force, putting extra pressure against his slipping feet to support his falling body, as well as his falling mind.
Careful, Cobalt… Think, think, think, think… Don’t faint again. Don’t lose consciousness. Keep thinking, thinking, thinking…
The previously self-referred “it” Cobalt Aspire maintained control of his slipping feet, prostrating himself up against the wall, slowly, regaining his vision.
In terms of his ongoing war with hypotension, he got lucky enough to win this battle.
The room was dark and nearly soundless. He turned around to face a digital clock he kept facing the wall. 22:35. A walk this late would be pointless, but he pushed onwards. Shuffling his feet awkwardly to avoid stumbling again, he kicked a few pieces of trash before his hand reached out for the doorknob.
A deep breath. Shoving his racing mind as far down as he could, he tried to enjoy the split second of silence that granted him before he opened the door.
Maybe he was just being dramatic.
Maybe he was just forcing himself to give up hope.
Maybe it was the only way to feel genuine after what happened.
Or maybe Bismuth would laugh at him.
With that name escaping his thoughts, he winced. The lights on the floor were surprisingly bright, beaming parallel to the nearly endless claustrophobic unpigmented halls, which churlishly screamed at him the undeniable message that he wasn’t welcome within them. He brought a pale shaky hand in front of his eyes to shield them from both the lights and the message they spat out at him. His eyes were sunken in and drowsy, peering hopelessly into the one simple exercise he had tasked himself with. His mind had told him “I need fresh air…”, but he knew well that that was a wish wasted on these halls.
In other words, no matter where his autonomous feet took him, there was no where left to turn that would deliver to him that wish.
Blindly seeking the next best thing, his feet moved one after another, catching themselves on the metal flooring as he went. They drug and nearly clung to the floor in resistance. But still, he moved them.
It was impossible not to feel like herded cattle. The walls around him felt like a constant prison - one which inexorably confined him within them. Confinement. One foot pacing after the other, he slumped his beady eyes down within the cusp of his hands
So what now? Was he just herding himself? Without anyone else to make him feel like he was stuck in hell, was he now the one keeping himself contained?
All these constant questions made his head throb. This is why he’d rather be in the Void. The Void makes him forget all about the questions he doesn’t have answers to.
Now, absent of that comforting dark presence around his shoulders, he just felt defeated and pathetic. Walking these mundane hueless halls at 10:30 at night… Was this how he was supposed to overcome himself? Was this how he was supposed to feel okay again? A trivial nighttime stroll in the place that took everything from him? How was he ever supposed to-
S c r e e c h .
His foot dragged against the floor and stopped on a dime. Maybe it was his feet that processed it first, but as his eyes felt the weight of the image they held, they too stopped all contact with his brain.
He had no idea how to process it at first. The beating of his heart blew through his own ears, and every part of his shaking body had an entirely different reaction to that sensation…
Heating, trembling, fearing…
Those words could come the closest to describing his body’s detrimental reactions, which ignited all parts of himself into an otherworldly warmness - an unwelcomed flame.
But as his ears affirmed what his eyes had seen, what his feet had stopped for, and what his heart beated for, it all clicked into his mind.
Hearing those quiet subtle footsteps approach him from the other side, all he could think was…
The pain of seeing something you’ve lost. Hearing something you’ve lost. Feeling the weight of your own powerlessness face to face with what you’ve caused.
She seemed so close, but Cobalt knew…
He knew above all else in this world…
That it was far, far too late to go back.
She was already too far, to where no matter how fast he ran, his words would never reach her again.
Those sentiments he wished to share echoed tormentingly through his clouded mind, having no where else to go.
Even his own feet could no longer support his body, and as that all slipped away from him, so did he, barely catching himself against the wall.
Was that all it was?
This felt like more than that.
It hurt so much more.
As if the scene plaguing him had been selected personally.
And feeling that torment, his thoughts had no where left to go.
Even his feet trembled under the weight of those thoughts.
All the doubt… All the hatred…
Slowly, yet racing, sporadic, and almost deranged, the words repeated.
Why… Why… Why…?!
The world was spiraling away from him now. However, passing right before the slipping boy, the girl felt nothing.
No smile, nor frown.
No look of tension in her eyes nor brows…
Nothing which could possibly mirror the strained and extremely painful expression Cobalt wore.
Everything was seeming so far away from him now.
Why… Why… Whywhywhywhy-?!
Was this the Void he loved so much?
No… This overwhelming pain shared no love for him.
After all the propping himself up he had done. After all the confidence he had falsely tried to instill in himself just to do a simple chore like this. After all of that preparation and hope… He completely failed to even utter a coherent thought.
He was a failure, in absolutely every single way…
Sound disappeared for him like he was trapped underwater.
His ears couldn’t even hear the sound of his own racing heartbeat anymore.
His face felt beads of sweat run down it.
His eyes trembled in their place, coming in and out of focus involuntarily.
His shaking hand tried its best to contain the anxiety swelling up in his face, but it couldn’t conceal it from her.
From her eyes, which distanced themselves from him. Her eyes which saw right past him as if he wasn’t even there. Those eyes… Once more beautiful than even her hair. Once more beautiful than the entire world. Once sparkling with every single color imaginable, reflecting his own dumb smile into them like a mirror. He had seen himself in those eyes. But more than that - he had seen his entire world within them…
And those eyes… Now dripping like a wet canvas sullied in grey. Two opaque marbles whose cloudy expressions reflected their own despair. Did those eyes wish to be kept alive? Or did those eyes not have a choice anymore? Those eyes…
* * * * * * * *
Her hair shined in every single color of the rainbow. It was remarkable - truly. In seeing these locks in his past, spiraling from blue to violet to pink to gold in a beautiful display of twisting pigtails which fell past her shoulders, it was the purest showcase imaginable of beauty and innocence. He could still remember them blowing in the wind. He could still remember the field. Her beautiful white dress. The cloudless sky. Her smile.
Catching his own, she smiled to him, putting a hand against her summer hat to keep it from blowing away. She beamed before tilting her head towards him, moving her lips.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t understand her. Her lips moved, but what they said was…
He felt the stings of reality lash out at him, digging into his back and beckoning him to return. Return to the world whose doomed path was caused by none other than himself. But he fought against it.
Fought against the world that he was born into.
Fought against assimilation and subjugation.
Fought against his past, present, and future.
Fought against the memories he never got to have.
And against the memories he’ll never get to have after what he’s done.
I know you feel it too, Bismuth.
This world… This awful, awful world that kept us caged in like rats.
I know you want to break free.
I know you want to love this world.
I know you don’t want to fight this war.
And I know you never want to be alone again…
I know all of that… But why…
Lets… Run away together… Okay?
* * * * * * * *
The stings of an inescapable truth had brought him to his knees. He couldn’t let her see him cry, and he had almost failed at that, too…
If those eyes had noticed him… Those eyes which saw past him as if his distanced and shaky silhouette just simply faded into the black and white canvas behind him… If they had seen his own eyes now…
Was all he could think.
Those wet terrified eyes which streamed themselves with tears had just as much coherence to the ones which had walked right past him.
He didn’t know what to think. He didn’t know what to hate. He didn’t know what to fear. He didn’t know who to blame.
And as he writhed on the floor of that sullied and filthy place which he despised…
Wishing for nothing, nothing else in the entire world, than to be able to leave…
Those walls and floors watched him, as they spun around themselves in a non-euclidean hellscape of overwhelming emotions and hatred…
As he wished, with everything he had, to be anywhere - Anywhere else… Anywhere else… Anywhere else...
He realized the answer to his questions.
That would be me.