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[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Yrsa][yrsa In a flurry of wind the snow already falling spun around in soft twirls, turning the peaceful scenery into something lively and joyous. Together with the soft music lulling from his headphones, the world seemed almost like a masterpiece, or a dream. As though any second he would open his eyes and stare at the creamy white ceiling inside his apartment, trying to cling to the memory of snow as it slipped through his fingers.
Lips moved around words without making a sound, head tilted backwards to catch a glimpse of the light grey sky, pretending there was a camera watching him as he became the star of a music video as he hesitantly reached his hand towards the sky. The snowflakes felt cold against his skin as they landed on his fingertips, and as though they were the rarest butterfly he slowly bent his fingers and brought his hand back towards his face. With a tilted head, his gaze fell on the now water drop, as he pretended to croon words of love to it with curled lips. A soft smiled played on his lips, before he closed his eyes and took a breath, breaking the fantasy he had let himself fall into.
When he opened his eyes, he was still outside in the snow. Standing in the middle of the hill separating his street from the highway. Grey eyes glanced around to see if anyone had seen him, but no one was around to mock him, as expected of a small town at five thirty in the morning. He continued down the hill, trying to make his feet move almost like a dance without too much movement, lips still curling around the hook of the song. At moments like this he didn't want to be anywhere else.
He loved winter. The snow always managing to make the world seem less cruel, always bringing beauty anywhere it went without trying at all. However snow was fragile; the warmth of a body enough to melt it into nothingness, the softest of touch enough to crush it into nothingness. A part of him related to the snow, to the beauty from afar that would break at even the slightest of physical contact. As though they were both made to be captured on photographs but never interacted with outside of those instances. Other times he wished he could be the snow, to melt into the very earth and reform into something unlike himself, or left the wind carry him to unknown places, just waiting for the warmth that would be his doom.
A sigh passed his lips, as the song came to a close, and he stepped from the soft blanket of snow onto the sludge of the pavement. While the flurry of snow still fell from the air, it suddenly held a tone of hopelessness rather than beauty, or perhaps that was just him.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Yrsa][yrsa The quiet city streets were warm with fallen autumn leaves, illuminated sparingly by the moon hidden behind soft clouds, providing a comforting crunch with every step taken down the lonely roads. Smoke escaped past chapped lips, and trailed up towards the sky to make clouds of their own, before dispersing into nothingness. A soft hum from music in headphones was carried along with the breeze, accompanied by a slight sniff, and the scuff of a sole against pavement. Leaves in the path of the shoe fluttered into the air for a slight second, before settling once again.
The person with the headphones paused and looked at the leaves where they now lay shuffled, eyes drifting towards the moon in the sky, as if only now realising the surrealism of the city at three o'clock. Hands drifted to the headphones, pulling them down to rest against collarbones, spilling music which filled the street with another kind of warmth.
The cigarette returned to chapped lips, but not a breath was taken.
Instead, the cigarette was dropped to the ground, and eyes fluttered shut.
The silence was then shattered by the sound of running feet, sneakers slapping harshly against the concrete, causing the autumn leaves to rise in a flurry and scatter into the streets. More of the street became visible, as the steps became louder and longer, breath speeding up and music following along in high pitched vocals.
A screamed passed those chapped lips, a confession, an aching plea.
A dog barked in the distance, alerted by all the noise.
Yet the feet did not stop until the street made way for the ocean, the loud splash of a body hitting the cold water the last sound before the streets were once again engulfed in silence. The only sign that anything had happened was found in the scattered leaves, and a still glowing cigarette three streets over.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Yrsa][yrsa Tired eyes met his in the mirror, before he let his gaze drop, unable to stand the feminine features looking back at him. The naturally arched eyebrows, prominent cheekbones, lush colourful lips, and pointy chin all clear signs that he was just kidding himself. All arguments for why he was clearly just a girl unable to accept herself as a lesbian, rather than the man he was. He closed his eyes, trying to will the tears away because boys didn't cry. Bitten nails digging into the palm of his hand, and toes curling so harshly the sole of his feet ached, in hoped of distracting himself.
It wasn't healthy, then again nothing he did these days was. He had long since accepted his fate, it was just a waiting game for when he'd finally cave and give up on his useless existence. There was no point in trying to accept himself since it would never be enough anyway, there was no point in changing himself either since he always picked feminine idols anyway, there was no point to anything he did because the bridge was already burned. The only way he could make it through life would be to accept what people told him: to just be a girl, to love his birth name, to wear dresses, and grow out his hair.
He had tried, by god how many times he had tried. Yet the longer time went by the worse it got: the lump in his throat making it impossible to breathe, the sound of his name feeling like fingers against his eyes, his mirror image distorting to the point where nothing but blood could sooth him. All of it was too exhausting.
A sigh escaped past his lips, as his eyes strayed back to the mirrored door on his bathroom cabinet. He had to meet those tired eyes if he wanted to reach the bottle he sought so badly, and they still looked nothing like his. The person in the mirror felt so much like a person on the streets that it made his stomach ache with stones, and his next breath came out shakier than he'd ever like to admit.
For he was weak. Weak to their words, weak to their demands, a fucking doormat as his therapist had said.
He pushed the mirrored door aside harsher than intended, and watched the shelves shake with the force of it. The orange bottles vibrating, threatening to fall, before stabilising again. It had become quite a collection, months of medication skipped just for this moment, just waiting on the shelf day after day. This wouldn't be the first --or even the twentieth-- time he reached for them this month, hands closing around the nearest one yet staying there, unsure. He knew this was what he wanted, these was nothing but death that could release him from this pain he was in.
Yet he had a glimmer of hope, a silly thought that maybe if he pushed through he could get enough money to leave this place. If he just worked harder and allowed them to hurt him for just a few more months, surely he could book a ticket and move far away. Surely if he got away he could change his name without them finding him, surely he could get a therapist, surely he could get hormones, surely he could be who he was.
Deep down he knew it was unrealistic. He wasn't stable enough to hold a job for more than a week with having to hear his birthname. He wasn't stable enough to giggle and speak in a high pitched tone for hours on end. He wasn't stable enough to not break out in a sunshine smile any time someone called him "boy".
So he pulled the first bottle out of the cabinet and popped the lid, watching the white pills fall into a heap in the centre of his shaking palm. With his free hand he pushed the handle for the tap upwards, letting the loud sound of water overpower the sound of his heart. Perhaps he should have prepared a bath, surely that would be more romantic. It was a sickening thought, but it was all he had. If he couldn't achieve anything in life at least he could have an aesthetic death–the ones you saw in painting and perfectly choreographed films. He shook his head and shoved the pills into his mouth, before ducking his hands under the tap to wash them down with water.
He would have time, they were only seven pills. He could draw up a bath while picking out his favourite pair of chinos, and that sweater that made him feel the most like a man. He could bring the other bottles with him to the tub, put them in a row by the wall, surrounded by candles. A part of him wondered if he should spend the last of his money on flowers, scatter petals on the floor and in the bath, make it surreal enough to take away the blow. To make it seem less like a sad boy killing himself in a tub and more like a photograph by a haunted artist trying to express their emotional turmoil.
A chuckle passed by his lips, twisted into a sob by the points of his teeth. Who was he fooling. Whoever found him would just see a silly girl who was too selfish to just let others decide what was supposed to make her happy, a selfish girl who only wanted to hurt her parents in a selfish act of defiance when all they did was love her right. It filled him with anger, and he took one of the bottles on the shelf to chuck at the wall, yearning for the satisfying sound of dozens of pills scattering on the bathroom floor.
Afterwards there was a false silence, the overpowering thudding of his heart blocking out the sound of the tap and the echo of the pills spinning on the floor. It felt like fingers pressing down on his throat just hard enough to stop his breathing. It made him stumble, fumbling for the cabinet and the other bottles. With them in hand he stumbled to the bathtub, still clad in his ugly red pyjama pants and the ugly mustard yellow shirt he had taken from his brother all those years ago. It didn't matter what he looked like, nothing he did would make him look like a boy anyway.
So he opened the next bottle and turned on the tap to the tub, washing them down with room temperature water. Then he opened the next, and the next, and the one after that. The water in the tub slowly rising and dampening his clothes. He didn't bother writing a note, as the only words in his heart were bitter 'this is your fault', 'i hope you're happy', and 'maybe in my next i won't have parents who tell me that all my feelings are hypochondria and that they know best as to what i actually want and need.'
Instead he simply closed his eyes and tried to find comfort in the water, hoping that rebirth was the truth and that he'd be happy in that life, despite the fact that he knew he would wake in a few hours cold and still alive. Because life was never fair, and no matter how many pills he swallowed they were never quite enough.]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Yrsa][yrsa The beat that by now had become almost second nature, was vibrating across the floorboards of his studio. His feet following it almost mechanically: a broad step to the left with the whole body, a sharp twist to the right, a foot crossed behind the other once, twice, shoulders bobbing with the tempo in tandem. He couldn't remember where the song ended , nor where it started, all of it an endless loop of noise that made no sense outside of the auditory cues.
Hours had passed since he entered the studio, and the sun had long disappeared past the horizon. Hours had passed since he checked his phone, and the near-constant vibrations had started to become parts of the song. Hours had passes since he had a drink of water, and the empty bottle stood abandoned next to his phone on the counter by the mixer.
He didn't want to think about it. About the look of worry on his flatmate's face, the empty love behind his mother's, or the overwhelming guilt they both induced. The guilt of wasting his time dancing without improving was hardly better, but at least it was productive unlike the hours wasted laying in bed staring at the wall. Even so his mind kept straying towards darker thoughts, of broken mirrors and torn skin, of self inflicted bruises and a strained throat from screaming. Yet he didn't make a sound beside panting, nor did he raise his fist to destroy his reflection, for there were people in the room beside him and they would surely worry if he made a single noise beside the thumping of his feet.
It wasn't always like this.
At one point dancing had been a light in the darkness, something that made his cheeks hurt from smiling and limbs ache from flailing enthusiastically. Back then he hadn't cared about being good, he just wanted to have fun and be able to become one with the music he enjoyed above everything else. Yet now it was nothing but a self destructive distraction, something to make him feel worse about his love and his body, specifically there to swallow up the guilt he felt everywhere else. He couldn't remember if he had ruined it for himself with expectations and perfectionism, or if it had been the tooting voice of his mother as she told him to stop being silly, or even the downcast look of the friend that told him 'you're so good you make me feel bad about dancing'.
It wasn't anything new that he made his friends feel bad, either. He was thin enough to make his friends tell him they needed to diet to look more like him, loud enough to make them feel bad about their timidness, boastful enough that they hid their talents. Though none of that hurt as much as how he always ended up dragging them down into his pit of depression by speaking of it too often. His entire existence had become filled with complaints, aggression, and tears. He had become desperate for his friend's affection, for their reassurance, and attention. Yet any kindness filled him with guilt, making him comparing himself to the dogs he hated for their clinginess.
Many years ago, he had cut of friends at the first sign of clinginess. Had spit and sneered at 'i love you's, made faces at the tears in their eyes before rolling his eyes and turning his back on them. Yet now he had become just that; holding back from saying 'i need you so much it hurts' with tears in his eyes.
His foot didn't step as much to the left as it needed to go, and for a moment everything felt still. As though the floor were to open up beneath him at any movement, he started into the mirror at his own reflection, as if begging it for help. Of course, he did not fall through the floor. The music continued on, different now without the accompany of his feet. He could still hear his heart and his breath, both almost overpowering the music, yet not loud enough to disguise the fact that his phone had stopped vibrating. His flatmate finally giving up on trying to reach him, on telling him to please come home, to take a break, to drink water.
Tears were travelling down his cheek, and he took a shaky breath before shaking his shoulders. He lifted his leg and shook that too, then the other, before rolling his shoulders and getting back to the starting pose to wait. Suddenly it was obvious where in the song it was, and he waited the half a minute it took for it to start from the beginning, before restarting.
A broad step to the right with his full body, left foot forward, right crossing behind it. The stars where bright in the sky, and the last train slowed down at the nearest station, doors opening with a loud gust of wind. A half turn lead by the left foot, torso leaning to the left with crossed arms, right foot rotating to centre, followed by the torso leaning to the right. Passengers from the train huddled into the bus that would take them to the city centre, heads leaning against the window to try and catch a small glimpse of sleep before walking home. A kick forward, shoulders bobbing to the beat, quick crossed steps to the side. In a flat twelve minutes away, teeth bit into a swollen lip, thumb hovering over a dimmed phone screen that turned black before the skin could touch the illuminated name. A broad step to the left with the whole body, a sharp twist to the right, a foot crossed behind the other once, twice, shoulders bobbing with the tempo in tandem.
He couldn't remember where the song ended, nor where it started, all of it an endless loop of noise that made no sense outside of the auditory cues. He didn't want to think about it.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Yrsa][yrsa He knew it was a terrible habit to have, but the thought of it did nothing but bring a huffed laugh past his lips, followed by puffed smoke. The cigarette was once again brought up to his lips, and he took another deep inhale, feeling the smoke curl around his teeth and down his throat, mixing with the air. His tired gaze drifting up towards the grey clouds, watching as they slowly rolled across a greyer sky, before he closed his eyes to just listen to the bustle of the streets bellow. To the clicking of heels, the whisper of chitchat, and the occasional car.
A part of him wondered if it mattered whether it was ten or twenty, if three packets would kill him faster, or if he'd just have to wait like everyone else. Another part of him wondered what the ember would feel like against his skin, how much it'd hurt if he pressed it against the inside of his wrist until it went out. He opened his eyes to dispel the thought, blowing the smoke out of his lungs and watching it disperse into the sky above.
Days like these weren't unusual, where he'd spend hours out on the balcony looking at the sky in melancholy, going through cigarettes until his vision would swim. Some days he eventually fell asleep out on that balcony, other times he'd sit on the railing waiting for the courage to let go, but more often than not he was huddled in the corner before eventually going inside again.
The depression had been a permanent presence in his life for so long now, that he rarely saw the fault in his habits anymore, only aware by the looks of his friends that what he was doing was wrong. Yet here, alone on the balcony, he could hardly care for their thoughts. This was his own little bubble away from the world, where he was free to taste his emotions without anyone worrying about the outcome.
He took the last breath of the cigarette held in his hand, before reaching into the inner pocket of his jacket with his free hand to grab the packet. With a slight fumble to his by now numb finger, he managed to get a fresh one out of the packet, exhaling the smoke too early in frustration. He pressed the new cigarette against his lips, and used the butt of the other to light it with five quick drags. Once he was sure that it was lit, the useless butt was flicked over the railing and onto the streets.
A part of him couldn't help but follow it with his eyes longingly, wishing he could toss himself as easily at he had it, but knowing it would never be so easy. He closed his eyes again, curling up closer to the wall to preserve some warmth, and took the first drag of what would be his eleventh cigarette out on that balcony that day. [right Today was nothing unusual.]
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