Author: rmjourdan PM
Can you really hurt someone you love? If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Words: 1,110 - Favs: 1 - Published: 05-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3026446
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm drowning here.
In this self-imagined ocean of fictional problems that I created in my subconscious.
You don't realize it, but that's okay. You don't have to. I couldn't bear the thought of giving you the responsibility of keeping my head above water too. There are so many other people that need your saving so much more than I do.
Plus, I like it this way. It's almost peaceful. The brief bursts of panic that I get are outweighed by the thick serenity that keeps me from fully understanding the mess that I've gotten myself into. I know that I could get myself out if I wanted too – move my legs and feet in synchronous motions and burst through the surface of the water, gulp down lungful after lungful of life-saving air.
But I don't particularly want to.
There have been a few others who've tried to save me, but they've never been as successful as you are. Even with everything that you have to deal with, you try to keep me afloat. Why? I'm perfectly content with the way things are now. So why don't you just leave me, and take care of the others? You can't possibly save us all and make it out okay.
Self-sacrifice isn't really your thing. I know you well enough to know that. Don't I?
Maybe you were right. Remember, when you said that I don't really know you at all. I like to think that I do, because you tell me things. But I'm not the only one you talk to, am I? You talk to others, and they probably don't know you.
I want to be special.
But I'm not so selfish that I would tell you to let them go, let the others drown so that you and I can make it back to the safe place. I'm okay, I know how to swim. But they're too young to understand what's going on, and that if they don't keep moving, constantly treading water, they'll slip below the surface and never rise again.
How did this happen to you? I want so badly to understand. I want so badly for you to confide in me, to tell me why you're burdened with this horrible task. It isn't fair. It hurts me that you're hurting, but you won't let me help you.
How is it that you think you're okay by yourself? Nobody is better off alone. Don't you know that? If you let me in, just a little bit closer, I can lift some of that weight off of your shoulders. And maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to swim to shore too. You and I can take them, and they can make it back with us. And they'll be okay, because they're very well adapted to life on land. They can make it good for themselves.
But you won't let me.
I know why, too. At least, I think I do. Is it because you're afraid that if you let me support you, for even just a moment, I'll make both of us drown? I'm sure that's entirely possible. I'm not nearly as strong as you are, and I can't support you the way you support me. The way you support them. But I can try. That counts for something, doesn't it?
You can't say no because of what might happen.
I might also be able to keep you above just long enough for you to regain your strength. I might be able to give you one or two of those life-saving breaths of air, so that you can push forward and do what you need to do.
I know that the storm is scary right now. It makes the water dark and violent, and you can't see the stars for the clouds. The moon, that beautiful orb of light that makes the night inviting instead of scary, has disappeared behind sheets of rain so thick you couldn't see your hand in front of you.
But it will get better. I know you know that, but you don't seem to understand it as well as I do. You say that I need to grow up so that I can understand you better, but you lack perspective. You don't know that the sun will undoubtedly rise on a new day, like it has for years and years and years. The clouds will disappear, and an endless blue sky reflected by clear water will stretch out before you.
You can do anything, I know you can.
Because if you can swim so powerfully in waters like these, just imagine how far you would get in a calm sea.
But I'm not as strong as you are.
And for you to get where you need to go, you're going to have to leave me behind.
I know that's something that neither of us want to acknowledge, and so before the sun rises, I'll remove any choice for you. Because it's not fair of me to hold you back. I know you don't think that's what I'm doing, but it's true. If you have to keep leaving them to come save me, one of them might drown.
And you couldn't handle that.
And then you wouldn't be able to swim far, far away.
So please, just give me this.
Let me slip below the surface to a place where even you won't be able to bring me up again. I know you'll feel sad at first, and so will I. But then you'll remember that you have to save them. And it won't be so hard anymore. They'll be okay because instead of three you'll only have two.
Can you at least promise me that you'll remember?
Even though it was short, it meant a lot. It meant more than anything's ever meant to me. It changed who I am, at the very core of my being. You did that. You helped me realize that sometimes it's okay to drown.
We're just going to different places, that's all. You'll feel better soon. I promise.
Because unlike me, you can swim.
So, so far away.
A/N: This story was originally entitled "Alone," but I figured this title was more appropriate. Enjoy!