We lads were allowed to stay awake and witness the birth of 2010. Trivial celebrations? Unimportant. I stole away to the solace of my room. Midnight chimed and I resolved to renew my mind. Never again would I foster such despicable weakness as... attachment.
I awakened with the sun and the absence of Lewis-- Lewis? Who, now? I set my half of our drawing ablaze, laughing and watching it burn until the caregivers rushed in screaming like madwomen. No longer a fool, I accepted my fate of liminal infinities alone.
I stayed in for days. Custodians suggested I join the lads out, said solar rays cured depression. I wasn't depressed. I was becoming stronger than ever before. Soon, I'd be back to driving them crazy. Shoulda let me be and enjoyed their peace while they had it.
'Come,' they said, poised in the tranquil garden reciting lessons, 'No one wants an ignorant lad.' Little did they know, I was the smartest kid in London. I wouldn't get adopted anyway... No matter. What good was wit when they couldn't even recognize the truth?
Abednego 'ran away' (allegedly), mum and dad are dead, Beatrice and Ferdinand left me here, now Lewis has been whisked off to who knows where. At the daily dawn, I burn my past to ash... so, why are the memories still crawling around the curly bends of my mind?
Lewis once said, 'Don't burn all the memories. Leave the good ones, at least.' What good ones? Each is connected to the other. Burn it all and move on. Even now, partaking in the memory of his words is most unsavory. All the more proof of how wrong the lad was.
Much excitement filled the house whenever interviews between children and potential parents were arranged. I would have stayed in my room but they'd never allow it. Instead, I simply did what I could to make sure none chose me... and what devious fun it was...
They guessed at my age when I first arrived but I didn't confirm a thing. Didn't give a name either cause I technically didn't have one. My birthday wouldn't come along for another few years, so no need mention that. Preposterous? Perspicacious, if you ask me.
The bell meant another 'important' announcement from Directress. All drifted mindlessly towards the origin of the sound as if under hypnosis, but I stayed right where I was. Nothing here interested me. Only 1,408 more days in this wretched place- if not less...
Past bonds... Only Abednego and Lewis were true. The few others? Fake or conditional. Amorous connections? Nonexistent. UNIMPORTANT. The lads sat talking of girls seen in television, books, mags- Two were 'lucky' to have met a real girl. I never got the appeal.
All the lads were infatuated with trying to get adopted. Putting on a well-behaved show, hoping to be picked, to be 'loved'- Pish posh. I saw some try, fail, succeed, go, come back again and still keep trying. I'm the one who doesn't know the meaning of 'love'?
I used to share Bible stories with Lewis before bed. He was ever so curious about it all. When I told of Job, he saw a glimmer of hope for us both. I doubted. If something's restored twofold, tenfold will be taken again- from me anyway. Lewis DID get adopted...
I'd read the estate's entire library. Wasn't long before I'd finished the orphanage's few novels, mags, and comics. If I read anything once, I remember it all down to the page number. The lads knew my nose in a book was only code for 'leave me the heck alone'.
Once, they gave a 'special treat' the lads had never tried: watermelon. I'd eaten nearly every food there is back at the mansion. Mum and dad saw fit I rise cultured. I learned of languages and countries afar but wasn't let half a metre into my own front yard.
Spring had come and gone. Summer was fading. The crickets launching serenades into the night became my only company besides the scattered thoughts and memories that simply wouldn't go away no matter how much time passed-- no matter how many things I burned.
Lying awake at midnight, I recalled Lewis searching for our lives in Bible stories. I knew that mine could not be found in any book. I was the hero of a new, tragic tale that had never been and would never be again- one that surely would not have a happy end.
I leapt up as the small pond came to mind. Lewis and I would sit upon its bridge drifting paper boats down the stream. They had no worries, attachments, or fears. All my life I'd tried to say the same, but care crept back into my heart whenever I shoved it out.
That morning was cool and crisp. The grass was browning, the daisies were wilting, the lads were frolicking about in scarves and jumpers... Autumn leaves were giving up hope, falling lifelessly into the neglected pond- providing me an open option to join them.
The pond continued its call to me like a siren song carried along by the whistling wind. I progressed forward with prayers in my head and oblivious feet. I'd practiced swimming since before I could even crawl back at the estate, but none of that mattered now.
They assumed I'd tripped and fallen. Breathing in, I gazed up at the arcaded bridge. Pain never did bother me. At the estate, fuss was made over my every injury. I'd only ever cried thrice-- not ONCE of physical ail. Now, I thought, my heart would hurt no more.
I revived to a trembling Ms. Gertrude, a kneeling Ms. Abigail, and several hushed lads. The next day introduced a therapist. As not to be a liar, I told him nothing at all. Instead, I asked God why He hadn't taken me. I felt Him reply, 'It's not yet your time'.
They drained the pond after that, providing a baseline for my renewed outlook on life. I went back to being indifferent. No cares, attachments, or weaknesses. No rain to quench the memories I burned. Life would inevitably move on. I would enjoy it at all costs.
Yet, every night, my mind was still in collaboration with the devil; plotting my own demise, bringing up the past, making me weak... None knew the battle that raged within me, but none needed to. I had to be strong and face this alone. I would always be alone.
Time passed. I grew older. People came and went but I didn't give a care about anyone or anything. I behaved as I pleased no matter how crazy they thought me to be. Following the arrows that fell into place, I began sailing through life like a paper boat again.
All was at peace-- save for my occasional shenanigans. No more duets with Lewis, but I didn't need Lewis. I was used to working my magic alone before him anyway, so I finally went back to being the crazy, esoteric lad the caregivers had grown to know and scorn.
Years went by too swiftly. The dread of change returned. I'd wanted to escape the estate... When it came time, I was afraid. I'd dreamt of fleeing the orphanage... Now, where should I go? Could life lead to the mountains? Would I become a vagrant on the street?
Surely, the day I set out on my own would either be the prelude to my new life or the beginning of the end. For, what is life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away- a beautiful cherry blossom that lasts only for a moment.
Through it all, there remained a beacon of hope. I blamed Lewis. Long ago, I'd stopped expecting better, but he never let anything break his spirit. I tried to forget the horror he'd faced- prayed by some miracle life was alright for him now. He was a good lad.
Departure day arrived. They released me one spring morning assuming I'd come of age- none ever learnt my real birthdate. Essentially told to head for the hills with a case of few rations, clothes, and pound, I was chilled to the marrow despite the sun's warmth.
The vast world knowledge I'd been issued buckled under the weight of firsthand experience. Countless people, voices, and goings-on about made it hard to breathe. In a dizzy haze, I shoved my case to an old man begging for pence and took off for Lambeth Bridge.
Climbing the ledge, I found myself staring down into the Thames. I inhaled deeply, shut my eyes, then opened them to the sky. Scarce sunbeams challenged the overcast, filtering through like fleeting starlight. 'What's next?!' I shouted at the top of my voice.
Proceed with caution. This article contains sensitive topics.
Anxiety Depression Dread Implied Abuse
- Suicide Attempts
Someone has burned his past to ash... Perhaps you can piece together the singed remnants? This collection of ponderings comes straight from the depths of his own raddled mind.prompt words are bolded and underlined. clicking a ~~~Number~~~ in the sidebar will take you to the corresponding quote right here on this page. clicking (Tweet) above that quote will take you directly to the post on Twitter. clicking here will take you to the beginning of the full Twitter thread.