I’m sitting on the wooden benches, in Astoria Blvd, waiting for the Manhattan-bound N train. It’s so cold outside that vapor comes out of my mouth every time I take a breath. The tips of my fingers are frozen, and I blow into them every five minutes to keep them warm.
It’s snowing and raining at the same time. My shoes are wet, and I can feel my cold socks cling to my skin, but I can’t feel my toes. The coldness rattles up to my ankles and it’s slowly clawing up to my calf.
For a moment I stare at the rusty, old tracks and there’s a voice in the back of my head, telling me to jump on them as soon as the train comes, but the voice fades away beneath the stress of tomorrow.
I try to focus on the long walk home. It’s getting dark and because of the slippery roads, the buses will take forever. I’ll get home faster if I jog. I don’t have an umbrella, maybe I can buy one on the way, but I don’t have cash; I forgot my wallet at home. The thought makes me curse myself, and the harsh voice in my head scolds me for being careless.
I lean back and divert my attention to the Tri-borough bridge. The cars passing beneath the train station, with their colorful red and white lights, vanish in the fog and reappear close to the blue bridge; but all I can see are blurry outlines and flickering lights.
The day didn’t go well; not like the other days are any different. But today it felt like someone was suffocating me. Like someone had lowered the pressure of the oxygen in the air. Like something heavy was sitting on my chest. Nothing went well. I failed two of my classes, and I won’t be graduating on time. The thought doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is having to explain all this to my dad. What will I tell him? His hopes are bounded to me and my siblings, and my failing is like stabbing him in the chest. Things at home aren’t well either. My parents have issues of their own. It’s like I’m forced into these two wars and ironically, I’m losing both of them. I’m at that point, where everything feels like a burden. No matter how much effort I put into something, I always fail, and I’m tired of failing. I’m tired of trying. Tired of just existing.
I’m in pain, and it’s the type of pain that can’t be explained. That can’t be put into words; no matter what language I use.
The train comes after half an hour, and the walk home isn’t as long as I imagine it to be. Maybe because I run half the way, splashing water all over my clothes.
At home, no one asks me any questions, and I am grateful. Everyone is too occupied with their own issues, that my little problem seems like a minor inconvenience. My blotchy cheeks and stuffy nose are the result of the rain- that’s what everyone thinks, and I don’t correct them. I could easily break down but besides “get over it”, “have faith,” or “I’ve been through worse,” I won’t get any other form of comfort.
I change my clothes and go straight to bed. I have an English paper and a lab report due, but I don’t care. Nothing seems important. My mind is messed up, and I’ll probably break down crying. I just want to sleep. But as soon as I close my eyes, tears as big as raindrops cascade down my cheeks. Searing pain is ripping through my chest and it hurts so bad that I can’t put it into words. I’m wheezing, and I can’t seem to breathe. I want to yank my heart out of my chest and squeeze it until it explodes. A throbbing headache spills through my skull, and I find myself questioning God.
But as soon as I close my eyes. Hands as soft as feathers touch my forehead, and I feel an odd, unexplainable warmth spread through my body. Like someone has wrapped me around in a nice tepid blanket. Like all the negative thoughts in my mind are caged behind bars of tranquility.
“It’ll all be okay,” a voice as warm as the sun whispers into my earlobe and I can feel the warmth of someone’s breath. The voice reverberates in my mind, and I find myself repeating those same words.
For a moment there’s comfort. A one I’ve never felt before, but as soon as I open my eyes there’s no one around me, but I feel like I’m being watched. Like someone, invisible is hovering over my head. I’m too tired to think. Too tired to comprehend.
I close my eyes, and I feel someone massaging my scalp. Someone is sitting next to me on the bed and is whispering “everything is going to be okay.” And for some odd reason, I believe that voice. I feel an odd ecstasy take a hold of my body, easing every cell rushing through my veins. It doesn’t take long for me to fall into a deep, dreamless slumber.
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