Breaking Point

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

It was but a fleeting moment, far less actually, a ripple in the second that seemed to take on an entire life cycle before ending. I was certain though that the clock only ticked once, as far back into the caverns of my mind I could reach, I knew the time that had passed was perfectly insignificant and would have had no impact in any way.

I could have, not without admitting to the evident struggle, moved passed the minute moment of annoyance that was now a common occurrence in the life I’ve grown accustomed to.

But in the seconds that lapsed, I could not contain the pulsating time bomb that was stirring within.

The rage was palpable; I could cut through like velvet. Without falter I detonated the pressure that had ballooned in the hollow of my belly.

I could not retreat from what began to take place.

Like a glitch in time, I was ripped from my senses, whirling in a fuzzy cornucopia of sounds and sights. I felt disconnected. Hoping to latch onto something, anything to ground me, I’d lost myself.

The woman sitting on the edge of the bed seemingly spectral, was unrecognizable, as though I were standing one story above the flesh and blood that I so often glared at while standing in front of the mirror. This could not be the same woman.

The woman I know to live in the mirror was jovial, quick witted, and generous. She was patient, most of the time. She thrived on laughter and survived only from devoting her every ounce of being to the ones she loved.

This ghastly monster before me was surely a stranger.

I watched as from the darkened depths of her soulless corpse, she bellowed a gnarly spit ensuing slew of commands at the poor boy who sat unprotected, facing the beast. Her fury resonated within the confines that seemed to constrict with without slowing, compiling the pressure unto the sorry soul at the mercy of her backlash.

Her rage personified, it gazed at the boy with violent eyes demanding his surrender.

In the split second following the beastly attack, the boy shrieked, a bursting release of total fear. His eyes welled and he sobbed, for a moment not able to breathe, then catching his breath only to relive the trauma he faced from the monster before him. Sucking in air only through breaks in sobs that assumed the place of his breathing, he could not contain the fear that expelled itself from his chest.

I noticed a shift in the beast that now sunk limply, as though a thick poison snaked from her parted lips causing her shell to slowly collapse. Her mouth remained agape, her eyelids raising and displaying a terror I had yet to witness from such a hardened creature.

My view from the story above began to close in on the incident that unfolded before me. My eyes jolted like static coursing through my irises, sending volt after volt of electricity and ceasing my vision provisionally. My temples felt as though they were reaching for each other, limbs outstretched and desperately grasping to connect, squeezing the organ between it’s walls and releasing suddenly. It continued to pulse, and gradually subsided to a dull ache and numbing buzz that rang, not quite masked by the sound of the blood thumping in my veins.

Clarity hurried back, trying to halt the occurrence that unravelled seconds ago. Its weakened fingertips splayed and reaching for answers, attempting to make sense of the remaining fibres that sparked in the dense curtain of air enveloping the attacker and the attacked.

Sitting in front of the young boy now, I connected with the clear blue eyes still reddened and swollen with remnants of tears kissing his cheeks as they fell. As though it was the only comfort he was to receive, a consolation to the emotional beating he bore. I laid out my hand for him to grab, which he did not pursue, doubt flashing rapidly in his panicked face.

I forcibly scooped him up under his arms, resting my left hand on the small of his back while holding him tightly with my right, keeping him close. I kept my arms wrapped around him, pulling him in like he was to be ripped from my grip at any moment.

“I’m sorry”, I whispered so closely to his ear, hoping he could feel the remorse seething from my entirety.

The back of my palm wiped the tears that escaped me, filling my eyelids quicker than I could keep up. I wiped again. The skin above my puffy cheeks burned, my rough hands turning it raw with every swipe. I stood tensed, limbs beginning to ache from constant constriction, but if I moved I was afraid I would lose myself to the guilt that ate away at my marrow. Maybe I could squeeze enough love into him that he would forget what had just happened, or maybe is was just for my peace of mind.

The little boy calmed, but doubt cast a sheen over his tender eyes.

I padded over to his bed, not able to endure any longer the nauseating guilt corroding my insides. My eyes never left his as I set him down, like handling a flower plucked ages ago, with fear that any abrupt movement would lead to absolute ruin.

“I love you” I said, not with certainty, but with desperation. I was pleading for absolution.

I stayed stagnant for a bit, but knew it was my time to leave. The damage had been done, and no self convincing was to resolve the disgust I felt for myself. My feet led me away from the little boy’s heart that lay shattered in his bed that which should be encircling him in warmth, but surely must feel icy and desolate.

I trudged over to the bathroom sink, dabbing at the raw skin around my eyes and underside of my nose. It burned violently.

I stared into the mirror, not certain of what I was looking for, but I kept staring. All senses at this point had deadened, numbness swept through and flooded every crevice of my body and mind. I felt awful, but admittedly the lack of feeling anything was a pleasant relief. I savored it.

With one last glance at the dirty mirror, I flicked off the light switch and dragged my feet towards the bedroom, and the beast in the mirror followed.

Submitted: September 12, 2016

© Copyright 2021 cmich. All rights reserved.

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