Nova does some deep soul searching. And I vent at 1:15 in the morning.

 

 

Feelings had always been a hard thing for Nova to express, although, most of the time, she didn't realize it. She had always felt very strongly about everything, putting passion into every decision, from choosing a boyfriend to choosing a fast food place to eat at. At a certain age, Nova had just been filled with a lust for life. The colors of the world were brighter and breathtaking, and the people she loved were something she couldn't live without. Recently, however, colors had begun to turn darker.

 

Bad things had begun to happen in Nova's family while she was in what could loosely be called a relationship. Living on her own with a job, a jobless master of card games, and a small apartment to take care of, it had been difficult to find time to become involved with her family's problems. In the summer, her grandfather had become extremely ill. She'd seen him in a hospital bed once, and hadn't slept well for weeks after. The yellow, withered old man in a far too large hospital gown had been treated as if he were dead already. Nova had sat beside him, awkwardly gripping his hand and struggling to listen to his words as her family spoke over him, drowning out his voice. The experience poked a hole in her painting of the world. She'd never seen people she knew dealing with grief. She didn't like what she saw, either. Her family, save for her quietly smiling grandmother, had already bypassed their grief and were already making plans for the future.

 

However, this is not about them, or even her grandfather. This is about what broke free afterwards.

 

At her grandfather's funeral, Nova felt a deep, crashing grief that she'd never felt before. She'd never had to come to terms with a death such as this before. A thought itched at her mind all day, from the time she left the coffin to the time she went home and realized that this child, this rude, self-righteous human being was the last person that her grandfather ever saw her with. She had wanted her grandfather to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. Now he never would. She prayed that he didn't believe she'd ever marry the person she lived with. Something snapped that night.

 

Months later, Nova was newly single, living back at home and newly grieving over the death of a cousin-her stand-in big brother if she ever needed one. Her mind had refused to grasp certain concepts, and reacted badly if she tried to come to terms with them. Visiting her cousin two months before his death, she'd put a name to some of the strange things that had been happening to her while she was on vacation. Many websites called it DPD, or Depersonalization Disorder. Subjects felt a sort of detachment from reality, and often said they felt as if they were dreaming while awake. Nova could relate, but on a much more disturbing level. Other imbalances in her mind had begun to work with the disorder, making her an unsteadily rocking ship that threatened to dump its passengers into the ocean at any moment. She avoided therapists in fear they'd react like her newly ex'ed boyfriend had: Oh whatever. If you're not “feeling good” go slap yourself or something. Nova had begun to tell him when she started to feel...wrong, and surreal. It was a difficult thing to explain, but when he'd reacted without feeling, she decided it was better left unexplained. A part of her mind forced her to tell people, because she knew what feelings followed the detachment. When Nova felt unreal, she wanted to give absolutely anything to feel real again, or to make the feelings stop. She didn't know how to explain this to others, thinking they'd assume she was after attention or sympathy. Those that she tried to explain it to didn't know how to react. She didn't mind. It was hard to make others understand what went on inside a dysfunctional brain.

 

With a cousin and grandfather dead, as well as her social skills being a bit rusty, Nova was having a rough few weeks. Then, a friend reappeared out of the blue. He was an old friend-one she hadn't spoken much to since high school. The pair of them had always had a strange sort of bond, and at first, she was uneasy about attempting to reconnect with him. When she saw he was struggling with a breakup, she jumped into action. Nova may have had problems of her own, but she found no greater joy than simply being there for those she cared about. Once the pair reconnected, Nova found herself newly confident and able to pose as the super cool, super hot college girl that's full of wit and wisdom.

 

However, it didn't take long for awkward high school Nova to reemerge.

 

The old friend had always had a strange effect on Nova. She spent a lot of time pondering just exactly how she felt about him. After a night of much talking and many mixed signals, she woke up, thanked him for breakfast, and went home to blog about it. In the end, she came up with a strange idea of something there probably wasn't a word for yet.

 

She loved him. She always had. But there was more to it than that. It was a feeling that she didn't quite understand. It was pure and warm and happy, and she didn't care one bit if the pair of them never dated. He was a part of her life that she had been missing for a long time, and seeing him vulnerable and sad as she had the night before had made her realize just how important he was to her. She would have done anything to see him smile, and she would have given him anything if only he'd asked. In an attempt to understand these feelings, Nova asked him what he felt one night. The results were less wonderful than she'd hoped.

 

He didn't want to ruin their friendship. Good! Reasonable! Perfectly understandable. But then, something she'd said made him snap. He ranted about his newly ex'ed girlfriend and she could practically hear the pain ringing through the text on her phone screen. In a wild panic, she desperately tried to erase what had been said. With an abrupt, dismissive, goodnight, he ended the conversation, leaving Nova to wonder exactly how badly she'd screwed up. The three monsters in her brain sat at their lovely glass table and smirked down at her. She clamped her hands over her ears, trying to ignore them. Immediately, Anxiety began to poke at her. Now you've done it. He's done speaking to you. You've ruined your friendship. Good job. What else could you be expected to do after how quickly you drove the last boy off? Everything is about you, isn't it? The boy is reeling over an awful relationshp and you can't wait to bring the dreaded idea up again. Nova bit her lip against tears that threatened. It couldn't be as bad as she imagined it. DPD reared his ugly head and shook it at her. What does it matter? You don't matter. None of this matters. You know where you go when you die? Nowhere. You know what exists outside of this plane of existence? Nothing. Nova creased her brow in confusion, failing to see exactly where DPD was going with his ideas, but feeling that crushing numbness all the same. Depression tapped her on the shoulder. Why do you bother with any of this anymore? I don't understand. There's no point in you being here, you know. All you do is drive people away and upset everyone. You're so selfish. Everything you do centers on you. You'd probably be doing them all a favor. Nova rubbed her temples, praying for the voices to leave and just let her be, but, their voices became so loud that she started to think.

 

Would it be better? Would things be better without me? Would he be happier? Would my friends be happier without me whining to them over every little thing? She sat quietly for a long time. She'd been doing this more and more lately. She'd sit in silence, hunched over with her fingers steepled in front of her lips, and she'd stare ahead, sometimes thinking, and sometimes not. There were times when she found it hard to come back. This time, a single word brought her back. No.

 

No, because she could never inflict that kind of pain on someone else. This boy was selfless enough and sweet enough that she knew she was being silly by even entertaining these thoughts. If something happened to her, it'd only worsen the pain he felt that night. He was the only boy to repeatedly scold her for apologizing. What? Why are you apologizing? Don't. I'm really glad I got to hang out with you. Don't apologize for something like that. And, in reference to the last boy she'd driven away, if someone can just ditch you like that, you're just hanging with the wrong crowds. I like hanging out with you. Don't apologize.

 

A little drop of warmth sat in her stomach, and Nova took a deep breath. She did make her mistakes, yes. Plenty of them. But, there were people, certain, very special people, that were willing to accept her regardless. Whether this boy needed a day or a week to gather himself again, she was relatively sure he'd speak to her again. She smiled suddenly, finding proof that he was sure to talk to her.

 

He'd poked her on facebook.


Submitted: November 20, 2013

© Copyright 2022 Nova Bell. All rights reserved.

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