The Walk, Kayla Rollins

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“I want to go home,” I yelled at Ms. Johnson. I burst into tears when she screamed back, “You don’t have a home! That’s why you’re here! I can see why your parents didn’t want you!” It got quiet. Library quiet. Immediately a river of past thought, depression, and unworthiness streamed down my face. I ran into my room and took out my box from the dusty old closet. “So they didn’t want me huh?” I ripped the bandana cloth off of it as I began to take out what I keep inside. I have three blades, a small pack of tissues, and a tube of Neosporin. “Well to hell with them!” I take out my blade, and I slice it upward on my arm. Ms. Johnson runs in, “What the hell did you do!?” I grinned with a smile on my face showing a defeated battle. My demons won today. I was done. Done with everything. Ms. Johnson was right.  I had no one. I don’t know why my parents left me.  All my life, I told myself they had a good reason for leaving me here.  But I’m through believing. It’s over…. It all went dark.

I open my eyes, and the sky is blue. The air feels warm. It’s just right. I’m laying on my back on what feels like grain, something harder than sand. I grab a handful and run it through my fingers. Lying there, I wondered if I could move my legs. I can. I wiggle them and get up feeling strong. I look around, and all I see is nature — trees, birds, and bees. It feels so surreal. This is not how the real world is. The real world is cold, polluted.

“Where am I?” I start to walk across the sand and I turn around to see an ocean that wasn’t there before. Before my eyes, the sand turns to grass and I can feel coming up between my toes, so I looked around for my shoes.

“You are in a place that you chose to be in, but you have time to go back to your normal life.” a voice says. I spin around so fast that I almost get whiplash. I see no one.

“Who said that?”

“You don’t have to scream. I’m right here in front of you.” the voice says again. Then she appears.

It was a lady taller than me. She had the skin of melanin and the hair of a goddess. It was curly and big. She wore a gold dress that went past her feet although she could walk. Her lips were sparkling. She looked at me and talked as if she knew me my whole life. After getting over how beautiful she was, I spoke.

“Who are you? Where am I?” She came closer.

“I’m Disappointed In You Beauty. You know you chose to be here? You took that blade and let your demons win. You –” I cut her off. “What are you talking about?”

She said, “I’m sorry. I should let you know who I am even though I’ve been with you all of your life. My name is Aphrodite.” My eyes widened. “You mean the greek goddess Aphrodite? How did you get to me?” She looked at me. “Let me finish.” She spoke with confidence. Independence. Respect yet command. She opened her mouth. “I was cursed when I was little by my father’s worst enemy. The spell castes upon me said that I must change someone’s life for the good or mine would never be. It was a hard decision because as a teenager I was very stuck up. So now I’m here because I decided that I was going to pick someone to help a child who needed help from a young age. I picked you when you were a baby. You were heavily surrounded by demons and bad things. Even as stuck up as I was, I felt sympathy and I couldn’t let them take you. And sometimes you make it harder on yourself.” Everything overwhelmed me.

“Well I’m sorry lady or goddess or angel or whatever you are.” I paused and looked at her. “But I don’t want to be anyone’s charity case. Thanks.” I walk away not knowing where to go, but just wanting to get away.

“Do you know what happened to you?”

I stopped in my tracks and face her. “No. I actually don’t –”

She looks at me. “You tried to take your life.”

“Tried? Why aren’t I dead?”

“Because they are trying to save you.” She waves her hand and there is a projection of present time.

I see my body on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on my face. I have white towels wrapped around my wrist but I can see blood coming through. The doctors are dressed in all white and they have on masks. “She’s bleeding out!” one of the doctors yells. I look at my face. I see tears rolling my face. The same tears rolling down my face right now. The vision disappears.

“I can save you. You just have to want to save yourself.”  She placed her hand on my shoulder. I thought back through everything that happened in my life. And it dawned on me.

“I wanted to be dead.”

Aphrodite looked at me.

“But it wasn’t a good choice.”  

I could feel my blood boil. My eyes turned hot. Tears started to come out of my eyes.

“What did I have to live for anyways! My parents left me on the doorstep of someone they didn’t know when I was six months old! I have been passed around and around in different homes all my life and the feeling of rejection is so normal to me…” I pause and drop to my knees. “So normal, that I have began to reject myself…”

The ground changed again. It’s a field of flowers now.

“Why does the ground keep changing?” I can feel Aphrodite’s hand on my shoulder again.

“It changes with your feelings. You love flowers, so when you’re angry this place we’re in makes the things you love appear. You were scared and confused so to soothe you this place gave you an ocean and soft sand. It was grass because for a moment because you felt calm. Which is weird because that’s when you saw me.”

She sits beside me. “If you were to choose to save yourself your future would be so bright. You have an awesome future. The darkness took over your life because they didn’t want to see you shine and be happy. You have so much to look forward to. And you don’t even know.” I looked at her and looked back at the ocean that was now there. She could tell I was scared so she asked me: “What are you so afraid of?” I sit there. Asking myself why am i so scared, when I already knew. I get up and walk towards the ocean.

Why is it that I didn’t want to fight anymore? Should I stay? Here? Where there are no problems? Or go back?

“It’s time. Step to towards the ocean, or the step towards the grass. The ocean is living. The grass is staying here. Make your choice. I’ll see you wherever you go.”

Then she disappears. I sit there for what it feels like forever. Then I made my choice. I start to walk.

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