Category Linkin Park
Upon A Silent Shore
Voices In The Storm
Angst: n, an acute but unspecific feeling of anxiety; usually reserved for philosophical anxiety about the world or about personal freedom.
It’s always been the sound of the storm that awakens these feelings within me. For as long as I can remember, the crashing force of nature has left me weak and shaken, and I cannot remember why, no matter how I wrack my mind to think. I lie in my bed and curl myself into a foetal position, driving the blackest thoughts from my mind with an iron rule, and I ignore the tears that spill from my eyes.
Some nights, he lies beside me, and he wraps his arms around me, trying to comfort me. My mind craves his warmth and I want nothing more than to turn into his arms and bury my face against his chest, but instead I pull away from him, rough tears streaming from my eyes. I don’t know what it is about the wind and the rain, the flashes of lightening as they flicker at my window for brief seconds, but they never fail to reduce me to this. They never fail to reawaken in me my earliest memories and my first pain.
Other nights, he just can’t be with me. He says I am too much for him. He strokes my cheek and looks into my haunted eyes, and whispers that he loves me but that I am ripping him in two. I can only let him go, knowing that he will return. And, on those nights, the fear and the loneliness are the worst. I know I have only myself to blame, but I cannot stop.
On those loneliest of nights, I lie awake in the dark and trace the silver lines on my forearms. My fingers run over the scars on my legs where I once carved words to describe what I am. Outcast, alone, freak, crazy. In the silence of the night, I cradle myself in my arms and weep bitter tears for what I have become and wish for a time when I fit in, blocking from myself the knowledge that I never have and that I never will.
And tonight… Tonight the sound of the rain hammering on my window pane drags me from my bed and down to the kitchen. I sit silently at the table, examining my rough knuckles, bitter reminder of my suffering, and I swipe angrily at the tears which drive him away from me. Just as they have driven everybody before him as well.
Pulling my hands from my face, I examine my tears that glitter on my finger tips. He tells me my tears are good for me, that at least I understand my pain. I don’t believe him. I’d rather feel the way I did, and keep it all inside.
A sob breaks from me that I can’t control and I feel that familiar throb throughout my body. I tangle my fingers in my hair, remembering a time when I cared about my appearance. Not anymore, however. Once again, I fall back into silent despair, tugging viciously tangled, matted brown dreads, wanting nothing more than to rip them from my scalp.
The gentle buzz of the phone. He changed it from its old, strident call because I didn’t like it. Right now, however, even the subdued trill is too much. I bury my face in my arm and ignore it, only to hear his voice, concerned for me. As he should be, leaving me alone tonight. Of all the nights in the month, today stings.
Today was our anniversary. Today we have been together for two years. Tonight my past came crashing back full force and the rain broke with my heart. And he just walked out of the door.
“Chester?” His voice is soft as a breeze and it tickles my ears. I turn my gaze in its general direction, fixing my near blind eyes on the flashing red light that signals it is recording. “Baby, if you’re there, pick up the phone.”
He knows me too well, he knows I won’t be in bed, he knows I am sitting here, sobbing a damp circle on my arm. He knows my present, but I have never told him my past. He has never asked and he doesn’t want that burden, no matter what he says. My insecurity is driving a wedge between us, I knew it would happen. Two years ago, when he took my pale face between his hands and pressed his soft lips to mine, two years ago when I last felt absolute peace and blissful ecstasy, I knew that this would come. Because it ruins everything, eventually.
“Okay, don’t answer. But listen, I’m on my way home, I’ll be a few minutes, an hour at most. I had a few things to do, baby, but all I want it to be there…”
I stop listening and turn my eyes back into the crook of my arm. I count the minutes. One hour passes and slowly gives way to two, three, and four. Four hours and I press play on the tape, sinking against the wall, huddling in the corner, waiting for his warmth and the passing of the storm.
Morning breaks fresh and crisp, a cold wind whispering its secrets at the windows and I rub my eyes. It’s been precisely six hours and seventeen minutes since he called. I sniffle and notice the blood on my palms and beneath my nails. I choke on a sob as the phone rings, wishing for it to be him with another empty apology, but it isn’t. I catch sight of myself in a mirror and hurl an ornament at it, listening to the resounding tinkle as it smashes, grim satisfaction writhing inside of me as my reflection dies. Maybe, I muse, maybe one day that will be me, lying smashed as my psyche is torn open.
The phone again, the insistent pulse penetrating my reverie.
It’s not him I bite back a sob and whisper a greeting into the cold, hard mouth piece.
“Chester, it’s about Mike…”
Oh, God, what’s happened to him?
“He was on his way home to you last night… In all that rain. He’d been here with me, he wanted to surprise you. He wanted you to marry him, proper ceremony, the works. God, he was so excited, he didn’t realise the time. He looked at the clock and saw it was gone one. All that rain, the lightening. I begged him not to go, Chester, but he said you’d be afraid, said that of all the nights to be away you, your anniversary was not one of them. Hallowe’en, I said, I told him it was bad luck. He was minutes from you, minutes, but something ran him off the road…”
And the sob I was holding in breaks free, my body crashing forward, my glasses breaking. I clutch the phone to my ear, waiting on the words I dread.
“He tried to regain control, but the car slid out if it, he was fighting a losing battle there in the mud. You guys are a way out of town up there, your own archipelago if you must. No one saw a thing, but the outcome is the same. Someone was coming down from their home, your neighbour, if you can call ten miles neighbours. His car was pretty much wrapped around the tree…” A pause as the speaker catches his breath, and I can hear his pain although I bet it doesn’t come close to how I feel. If I was dying before, I am dead now. I clutch the phone, knowing the next part like a familiar drill. “Mike’s dead, Chester. I have your ring, if you want it.”
But I can’t answer. I can’t bring myself to respond. I simply cradle the receiver and curl into a ball on the floor, wracked with guilt and shame. He’s another thing on a long and growing list. Everything I love snatched from me. I would have been with him forever as he’d planned, but now his need to be with me had stolen him from the world.
I don’t want to see them but they keep invading my space, bringing gifts and food. I junk all of it. I don’t want sympathy. I want Mike back again. I want to have been less selfish. I want for him to have not needed to come home. I want for it to be last week, last month, last year. I want for him to wrap his arms around me and cradle me against him as he whispers gentle comforts into my ear.
I swipe bitterly at fresh tears. What good are my tears now that he is gone? I want to follow him. I can’t be here alone anymore. It hurts too much. My cure is locked in my bedside drawer, disguised as boiler gin and prescription painkillers, anti-depressants I swore to him I took daily. He sighed and nodded sadly as I deteriorated, my weight dropping rapidly, body gaunt. But he couldn’t help me, because I couldn’t tell him what was wrong.
I glide apathetically from room to room. Everywhere I look, I see him. I curl in his chair, seeking the scent of him, feeling the shape of his body. I lay his side of the bed, just because it is his. For two weeks, I don’t wash. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just completely forget, I’m so absorbed in my misery and despair.
I feel strong arms hauling me from frigid water and I moan unintelligibly, struggling feebly against this person, shaking my head. A thumb and forefinger squeeze my jaw, and I whimper, opening my eyes. For a moment, those staring back at me look familiar, but I realise quickly they are not Mike’s. I beat a hand futilely against him, but he just holds me as my tears flow, flow like the blood that tints the water he just hauled me from. He doesn’t flinch but stares at me calmly, smoothing my matted hair, eyes locking with mine as he smiles.
“Talk to me, Chester,” he says in that voice, and that voice causes fresh tears. That voice told me Mike had died trying to reach me. I try to push away from him, and he lets me go, but I stumble and fall, the fresh lines on my arms weeping red tears on the cold floor. He stands back and sighs, and I can’t look at him.
Author's Note: I have another few chapters of this written so far, so be a dear and feed my ego. No doubt I will put the other chapters up slowly anyways, but reviews are always nice. Although she's read it already on my journal, I will note here, for the record, that this was written on Raine's request for Chester angst. Hope you all enjoy...