The Release

I lay there in the hospital bed, staring at the rays of sunlight coming through the great arched window. The room was threadbare, apart from the bed, the bedside table and the wooden chair next to it. The walls were made of old sandstone, like those ancient castles. Where the hell am I? It’s early morning. You could tell, because the sunlight was pleasant, not harsh as it usually is during the later part of the day. Odd though, the air smelt like old books and musty carpet.
I take a deep breath, trying to take it all in, still trying to figure out where I was. I feel fine, aside from the chest pains from the situation I find myself in. My mind though, feels calm. Yes, this pain is necessary, a sacrifice for a greater good and a testament to masochism.

Get a grip Monkey, I tell myself. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five….I close my eyes, and calm myself. In my hands I see a cup of hot chocolate. Boy, does it smell good! On my bedside table I create a rose. These two things always cheer my heart up when it feels like it has been turned to stone. Hot chocolate to warm my insides and a rose to invigorate the mind. I imagine sipping the hot chocolate and I can feel my salivary glands responding to the imagery. I let out a deep sigh as I find myself more relaxed than before.

A soft knocking on the door interrupted my day dreaming. “Come in!” I called out.
The door opened, and there, standing in the door way. A tall slender man enters holding those soulful blue eyes that I used to stare at, to find the vast expanse of the ocean contained within them. The source looks at me.

“Oh hi, Little Rabbit! Come on in!”

I smile at him. My heart felt a little jumpy. Little Rabbit sits down in the chair next to me. Unlike with my other friends, we always found hugging awkward.

“How are you?” he asked softly. I replied almost like nothing had happened.

“Yeah, pretty good. What have you been up to since I last saw you?”

Ok…this line was a total waste. He was there when I collapsed, which was the last time I had my eyes open. I hated making casual chat with him. It was always awkward because it felt like we dodged around what we really wanted to say to each other. I could feel the skin on my arms crawl and my chest started to hurt again as I remembered why I was in the hospital in the first place. And I knew what this visit might be about. Confession.

“Nothing much, went to Firefly’s place for dinner…then went home, studied.”

A sharp pain ripped through my chest, throbbing wildly as my fears manifested as pain in my body. Firefly was my best friend, but the two of them had been flirting with each other a lot…but this wasn’t the point of the visit. Still, a touchy subject with me.

“Oh ok, how is he?’ I asked.

“Good, he said he’d come over and visit you when he finished class.”

My hand was twitching under the bed sheet.

“So what happened yesterday?” he asked.

I let out a big sigh, looked away as I tried to decide whether to tell him everything or not. Funny, I kept everything from him so it wouldn’t be awkward. And here we are. Me lying in a hospital from a nervous breakdown because of the games we played in order to keep the peace.

Most merciful God, I confess I have sinned against thee…

“It finally got to me Rabbit. Everything. I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean for it to be this way”

in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

I told him of my secret drug addiction and how it resulted in my descent into a paranoid mess. Which, in order for me to deal with the world, I played head games with people, which then resulted in me becoming more paranoid. I told him how it affected my emotions and how I tried to get it out of my system. The last three months of my life and the lead up to me being in this hospital all came out.
His facial expression went from anxious to concerned. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

We have not loved thee with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves…

“I didn’t want you to see me like this.” I said.
“What? Hospitalised?”
I smiled at the irony. “I didn’t want you to see me sick and hurting. I didn’t want you to see me all crazy and messed up.” And yet, here he is, looking at me sick, hurting and hospitalised.
“I didn’t want you to think less of me; I didn’t want it to be weird between us.”
He looked confused, but I think he knew.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
I let out a sigh, closed my eyes. There was no way I could look at him and say what I was about to.
“I still have feelings for you, Rabbit”
I looked away. I had to. There, my great secret out. I took in a deep breath and swallowed.
“When we ended things months ago, you said you weren’t ready for anything serious. And I was ok with that. I mean, what was I going to do? Argue? My heart thought differently, but I didn’t want my feelings to hold you back. And I didn’t want it to be weird between us. Like, I don’t expect anything from you or anything, but that’s why I kept it from you. So you wouldn’t think that I was still chasing after you.”
Rabbit went quiet, as he took it all in.
I smiled, all teary eyed. “It’s ok; you don’t have to say anything.”

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

“I tried my best to set you free of me, against the wishes of my heart, but I guess it backfired. I’m sorry.’”
Little Rabbit looked at me. “I guess I was a bit vague when we ended things. When we did, i moved on. I’m sorry, that you didn’t…all these months later.”
Silence. I felt like an idiot after he said that. How could i not have seen that? And here I was, trapped in my own illusions and misconceptions about what the future meant for us. I loved him so damn much that i couldn’t get my head around the idea that he might not feel the same way back.
“It’s okay, I understand. You can go if you like, we can always talk another time, when I’m outta this place.”
He silently got up, putting a “Get Well Soon” card on the bedside table and left.

For the pursuit of Truth, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in the will of the Universe, and walk in Your ways, to the glory of thy Name.

I lay down on my pillow, crying. I felt lighter. Free, even. I didn’t know what was going to happen now…but I felt that it would be ok, regardless. The sandstone walls changed shape around me. The room got larger and the walls finally turned white. The bed I thought I was in, turned to a chair and I finally could see the desk in front of me. I was in the State Library day dreaming again. I closed by study books and got up. Now I know what I had to do. Well, at least to stop my heart/mind from hospitalising itself.

Amen/The End

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