It was your birthday today And I merely closed my eyes Everything I ought to say Dismissed with “nevermind” All the games we used to play Exchanged for worries and white lies And if we were friends again someday I don’t know what you’d find.
I’m so sorry… Of all the things I could have been, I became this. I could’ve been like my brother and reached out and made a life for myself where I could.
But instead I’m here. Still just sitting here. Waiting for something to befall me, be it destiny or accident.
Probably accident. Screech, crash, bang, and then I’m gone, in all likelihood. It would be just like me to not be paying any attention and accidentally step in front of a car. It wouldn’t be on purpose, of course. But it wouldn’t be exactly unwelcome.
I sometimes like to pretend that I can see the future. The prediction is always the same: I’m going to die alone. It’s not even a future anymore, it’s a fact. I’m going to die alone. So what’s it matter if it’s distant or soon?
I’ve lived nineteen years, going on twenty. So young, and often much younger than I should be. And yet those years, these days, they crawl by like an eternity, and they’ve never changed in form, not really. The world is still a distant thing, and I am still… what I am: The person who walks on the path before me. And it’s still a circular one.
My brother sees this. He sees us all going in circles, ducking our heads, diving into whatever we can to hide. He wants it to change. He wants it to change — but he doesn’t want to change it. None of us do. It would be like organizing a junkyard… while being attacked by a pack of wild dogs. Nobody wants to take that on. Especially when the thing we’re taking on, is the nothingness of never taking anything on. Someone has to start. But each of us vows, it won’t be us.
We had come there for a purpose.
I tried hard not to be nervous;
But when he saw me and half-started,
My heart beat out of my chest.
He approached and kissed my hand;
Not at all what I had planned.
He was the captain of the ship;
And I, supposed to be a simple guest.
A spy was meant to blend in;
But, my companions saw a win,
And their eager nods to our captain’s invitation
Saw us that night around his dining table.
He spoke nearly to no other
And I so wished to run for cover,
For he was charming, and sweet,
And to consider harm from me, he seemed unable.
His name, he said, was Nikolai;
No other name he’d let me call him by.
And a fond familiarity with post-it note poetry
Grew over the course of the next few days.
The poems were left to me anonymous
But, they were really no less obvious
And I couldn’t help but blush and smile
Every time another came my way.
My companions, for their part
Wanted me to use his heart
And gain what we had come to get:
An edge for those we served — his enemies.
But I found that I no longer could
And so I did what I then always would,
And ran from cause and captain both:
Losing all to a choice I would not seize.
Drawn from a dream I once had, involving an interstellar civil war, an infatuated Russian spaceship captain (who left me little love poems on post-it notes, it was kind of adorable), and a choice that I refused to make — that last seeming to be a recurring character flaw of mine.
Old friends and new
Too oft have I
Been the one untrue
And I wish I could make it
So that it wasn’t so
But in my life I’ve done it always
And I’ll do it again, I know.
Has never been my forte
I could blame my family,
Say they made me this way:
I could blame my genes,
Or the way I was brought up…
But I need to learn it doesn’t matter,
Because it’s me who messes up.
Mothers cannot always
Be there telling what to say;
And fathers cannot always
Protect you from the fray.
Brothers will not always
Be there to pick you up;
And sisters will not always
Be there when you’ve given up.
Ultimately, your actions
Fall on you and only you;
A terrifying thought to me,
But I’ll try to see it through.
Maybe one day, in the future,
I’ll look back and see
That my life changed for the better
When I took responsibility.
In the interest of communication, I will note that I’ve been a tad unwell these last few days… and unfortunately, have been using that as an excuse (to myself, as well as others) for letting pretty much everything slide.