The Burnt Out Flame

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about consequences. It captures the depressed minds of today's youth and puts a voice to what happens after the funeral.


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Submitted: July 10, 2012

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Submitted: July 10, 2012

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I remember the day, I remember it perfectly. It was so sunny and nice outside, a soft breeze blew across the powder blue sky. The sun kissed the pavement and shone down on my cheek. It was a great day for everyone, except me. I do not know why I was so upset, half the time it was for no reason, like I wouldn’t allow myself to be happy. I kept on trying to cause conflict, I was so stupid back then. I would pick fights with my mom and my sister. I would not allow myself to enjoy the things I enjoyed or just to enjoy anything at all. I was my worst enemy. I ruined my life, and I was stupid. 

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Someone was supposed to find me and maybe, just maybe people might care. They were supposed to see just how upset I really was. They were supposed to feel my pain and feel sorry for what they had done to me. They were supposed to care, to see that I was not just a drama queen and that I really did need their help. 

But no, that is not what happened. Nobody found me. Nobody knew why. I ruined their lives. I changed things so much. I didn’t realize what effect it would have on people. I didn’t know what it would do to my mother, my sister, my dad, my friends, even the people who barely knew me. It changed everything, and there is no going back.

The worst part is I have to see everything. I feel their pain. I see them cry out in agony and I scream back, but no one can hear me. I am gone, but I am not gone. I am all alone in a place much worse than where I was so unhappy before. I see my mother cry every night. I see my sister tear up every time she hears my name. I see my dad, always so strong, break out in sobs. I did this to them. I was selfish. I was not thinking straight and I created all this chaos from what I did. 

I wish I could just hold my sisters hand, tell her that everything is okay and that this isn’t her fault. But no, I can’t. All I can do is stand there and watch her scream out my name and sob until she has cried so much she can’t cry anymore. All I can do is watch! All I can do is hope that she will be okay. I watch my mom at night. She cries herself to sleep. She thinks it was her fault, that she was a bad mother. She will never know that it was her who helped me so much. She will never know how much I loved her and how much I regret doing what I did. She barely leaves the house. My dad, who I always thought was so strong, so powerful. He breaks down at anything that reminds him of me. He thinks that he was a bad father. He will never know the truth. He will never know how much I admired him and wanted to be like him. He will never know how much I loved him. No one will ever know how I truly felt. No one will ever know how I truly feel. 

I did this. I did this thinking that the people who made me so upset would see what they had done and feel sorry for it. I didn’t want them to feel this sorry though. I never meant for it to go this far. 

I went back to my old school today. I walked through the halls as I had done so many times before. It was noisy and crowded as students went to their lockers and got their books for class. People were gossiping about things that had happened over the weekend and who was seeing who. It seemed completely normal, but it wasn’t. Everyone had their own story about how they felt when it happened. Some people knew me well and some people had never even talked to me and only saw me in the halls. Everyone knew though and everyone was affected. People started thinking about everything they had ever said to me, regretting any negative thought they had had about me. They went trough their minds thinking about what they had said to me and wondering if it was part of what made me do what I did. I saw my old teachers. The ones who inspired me and the ones who just bored me. They all thought the same thing. Why didn’t she come talk to me? Why didn’t she say anything? Could I have stopped this? They all plagued themselves with guilt. I changed their lives too. 

As I was walking through the halls, I came across my old locker. It was empty, all my stuff had been cleared out, but it was still vacant. I looked as my friend, who I had known since I was two, prepared his books for the next class. He was quite, I was probably at the back of his mind. It had been a few months since the incident, but nobody was thoroughly over it. It was like a mist that followed you and every once in a while it would seep into your mind and you would think about it. I watched as he grabbed a notebook from the messy pile of books and papers at the bottom of his locker. I followed him as he went to class. He went and got a seat in the back of the classroom,the class I used to take with him. It seemed exactly the same, except for one empty seat. I watched as he took out his homework and tried to fill in the ones he didn’t finish. The teacher then walked in to the room and started the prayer. They prayed for the football team, the upcoming test, and for a young boy with cancer and finally they prayed for me. I didn’t deserve their prayers. I chose to do what I did. I chose to do something truly selfish to my friends and family. They did not deserve this. 

The class went on and I went on watching. It was nice, just sitting there, listening to the hum of the fan and the teacher’s deep voice trying to explain the material. I almost forgot about how different everything was. I almost forgot how much everything had changed. But those few moments of bliss did not last long. The bell rang and everyone in the class rushed out. I stayed sitting in my old seat. I just sat and looked around hoping that maybe just maybe my old teacher would see me or feel my presence. But no, nothing, no acknowledgment, no anything. It was the same as it always was and the same as it will ever be.

I sat there for awhile, just thinking, pretending like things were back to normal, but I couldn’t kid myself forever. So I got up and I left the classroom. I just started walking down the halls. I didn’t know where I was going, I just wanted to go somewhere. I wanted to escape, but I couldn’t. I can never escape. I will be stuck here for who knows how long, just watching, seeing everyone live their lives. As I am walking down the hall, I see my best friend. When it happened, she went numb. She would get drunk every night and just be numb. She couldn’t think about it. She couldn’t think that she might have been why I did it. That her actions led to me to do what I did. I follow her down the hallway. It is completely quiet except for the sound of her footsteps on the linoleum floor. I just watch her. I try to call her name, but nothing. I try again, this time touching her shoulder. She turns around. for a minute I am filled with hope. Can she see me? Does she know that I am here? Can she hear me? She looks over her shoulder, then she turns around. There is no one in the hall. She just stands there and stares for a moment. Then she shakes her head and starts walking. I scream her name, but nothing.  I scream louder, still nothing. I can feel the tears streaming down my face. I keep screaming until I can no longer see her down the hallway. As I drop down to the floor, I cannot help but feel devastated. This is nothing new, it has been like this for what seems like eternity now. But for some reason, I had hope that maybe I would be able to reach out to someone and maybe I could not be so alone. 

I curled up into a ball, and sobbed, just sobbed for what seemed like hours. Could she really see me? Did she know I was there? I can’t take it anymore! How could I have been so stupid and reckless! I want my mom, I want my dad, I want my family! I want to be held in my mom’s arms and I never want her to let go. I want to relive every moment I have ever had with my friends and family. I want to go back to all those times where I would fight with my sister about the most insignificant things, and I just want to tell her that I love and I always will. I want.... I want something..... I want something, anything, just not this. Not this solitude! Not this wretched viewing balcony to the lives of my loved ones! Anything, just anything.

 

I stood back up. I couldn’t stay like this forever. I have to accept what I did, face the consequences. I did this to myself, no one else did. So it is fitting that such a terrible act is met with such a terrible consequence. I thought that what I had been feeling was solitude: it wasn’t. What I am feeling now is solitude. Solitude in its purest form. No matter how hard I try no one can hear me, no one can feel me, no one can acknowledge me. I am now nothing. I blew out my own flame and here I am now just a burnt down candle.


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