So, I keep walking towards the seemingly unreachable light

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Charlie Molitor

The view of the royal blue night sky from a street close to my house.

For far too long, I have been left alone in the dark.

I have made a home in the cavern with too much space for just one girl, with the only light too far off into the distance. It is a small light, but it is there.

I’ve been chasing this light for some time now. I’ve been running every which way. I turn left, I turn right, I make full circles over and over, but the light never moves. It never gets closer.

My lack of light leaves me drained. My eyes shake back and forth every early morning; I can barely keep my heavy lids from closing and blocking my blurry vision. My insides shiver in a way that feels like a sputtering engine; they are doing too much, they just need a little break.

I dread the mornings. I dread how I feel. Tears trace my cheekbones and jawline the night before when I think about my shaky eyes and my sputtering engine in the hours to come.

I am tired.

I am tired of chasing the light that everyone else has seemed to find. Everyone is bathing in the soft bliss that the light provides while I am left behind, shivering in the damp cold of my cavern filled completely with nothingness. 

I am tired of my music. I am tired of my food. I am tired of my clothes. I feel like I am living the same day over and over again, except each time with a slightly different outcome. I keep looking for an outlet, for a way to get to this light, but there isn’t one.

I’m going to continue an endless cycle of the same day over and over again for years. I’m going to keep waking up at six in the morning feeling nothing but the irrefutable disbelief that I didn’t just live this moment the day prior. I’ll never get rid of the pit in my stomach that only feels slightly better when I wrap my arms around myself. 

So, I keep walking, a boat  against the current.”

People keep telling me to loosen my arms, to not always have them so tight around me, but then I feel vulnerable to the prospect of shattering like glass in front of their eyes.

It’s infuriating that I cannot find this light. People keep asking if there is anything they can do to help, but I just say no, because I cannot explain to them that I cannot reach a metaphorical light in my metaphorical cavern.

So, I keep walking. I continue to find a way towards the light. There has to be a way towards the light. I need there to be a way towards the light.

I am getting excited over the little things now. I am finally caught up in a good book that I cannot seem to put down. There’s going to be city water in my part of the neighborhood next summer. I am starting to find more opportunities to make plans with my friends after months of always being busy. My sixteenth birthday is a mere two months away. In just 53 days, I have the freedom to explore my little world—maybe that will bring me closer to the light. 

For far too long, I have been left alone in the dark. I am tired of looking for something beyond my reach. I am tired of repeating an endless cycle until I can reach the light and break it. I just want to give up and curl into a ball in a corner deep inside my metaphorical cavern.

But that is not the type of person I am.

So, I keep walking, a boat against the current, because being the optimist I am, I know that no story of mine will have an unhappy ending.