Written by Cecilia Pang
“We will give you unconditional love, no matter how many times you push us away,” Jennifer ‘sighs’. Her hands linger on my sheets, and slowly with one last glance, she gives a disappointing nod. Not once does she look back, and when she finally closes that door, I have finally realized that even when doors of opportunity close, there are windows that I can leap out of. At the click, I begin to do something I have not done in a long time, to finally learn to let go all of the things I love. I cry.
April 15th, 2013
On the first page of my story, the future looked incredibly bright. My running times were improving rapidly and the marathon was giving me a firm grip on my life after my sister’s car accident. Running was not only a way for me to escape life but also to focus on nothing but breathing.
Boston Marathon 2:49pm
Island of dreams over the sea, once you reach over you will reach me. My body is jerked in all directions until finally it is vacuumed away to this island of dreams. A suffocating vortex, shrill cries of help, and spasms of pain erupt in my brain urging me to wake up. But sadly I cannot. The shimmering white mist rippling my body is now adding momentum by viciously pounding my legs. My throat is raw and now it’s oh so quiet. Splintered pieces of my vision are returned back to me, shattered into my pale face. All I see are writhing bodies that gasp their last breath, and blank stares burning through my vivid eyes. Blood is splattered like abstract shapes across the dirty streets and white shirts. Suffocation rigidly strikes me and I am left gasping to knock myself out of this nightmare.
A name is echoed again and again. Like a monotone trying to bore the life out of me. I force myself to lift up my heavy eyelids. The room starts to whir slowly and focus slightly. I frown and crane my neck to locate the source of the sound. Shoot! I must have slept past the alarm. I abruptly pull myself up, as a creeping pain rises all the way across my back.There’s a knock on the door, and several people walk in.
My family crowds around me. As I watch my parent’s grief stricken faces, the world comes tumbling down on me. I viciously rip the flimsy linen sheet, which quickly confirms my worst fears. My running dream has finally sunken to it’s bottomless pit. Where my right foot and lower leg are supposed to be is a humongous white bump. Is this an illusion? I swipe my hands across where my limbs are supposed to be, nothing. The event’s from the past day collapse back into my memory.
My mother’s wise eyes finally give up what they were trying to hold in for so long. Her eyes are rimmed with tears as she strokes away my tangled hair. She grabs my hand and holds it tight, like trying to pull me back into life. She hugs me one last time, her arms begging me to get better. Her eyes glitter with hope in me, and her dimples still show that she knows I will be able to chase my dream again.I watch my dad kneel down slowly to the ground, like a piece of paper being crushed down. His arms heave up and down, weighted down by my tragic accident toll on the family, quickly pecks a kiss on my forehead.I want to imagine that I can proudly announce that I am okay.But something gives up inside of me. My helpless heart drops deep into an abyss, bound to never return.
The pain that I feel, is nothing compared to the infinite pain wounding my heart. It seems like I’m plunging to the bottom but no matter how hard I try, I will never swim to the surface again. I am stunned, all the sweat, blood, tears, and time did not pay off. My soul aches with disappointment. What is the point of living, when the moment and the things you live for, give up on you? Then what are you supposed to do? How am I supposed to live my life without being to walk properly? How can I achieve my dream, without even being able to start it. I stare blankly at my shattered dream from a distance. I don’t have anything left anymore, the last sparks of hope have vanished. Faith is evanescent. Anger has replaced the passion in my soul.
I wheel my chair towards the bathroom, and slam the unhinging door. Clutching my running ribbons, I start pacing. My blood crashes uncontrollably inside my heart. There is a flame in me, an infinite amount of fiery exasperation. I am going insane. My nails dig deep into my flesh, as I bring myself to look at the crooked mirror in front of me. I scream and I shout, and let it all out. The broken toilets sigh, and flakes of beige wall paint float softly onto my glistening hair band. My flawless skin is now covered with sticky tears, my auburn hair has flown out of place from my thrashing, and my smooth lips are now bleeding heavily fromconstant chewing. I collapse to the sticky floor, and start to think. I ignore the pain, that has now erupted in both my legs which are missing pieces. I am a failure.
I begin to deteriorate and unable to come to my senses. I begin to push everyone away that tries to help me. All I do is engulf myself in self pity, and swim around in my tears.
A few month’s later
I’m dancing and leaping gently to land on the kind sand. The sun kissing my skin as I chase my sister to grab the camera from her. The way she captures moments are incredible.She made the ocean and the skies hers. Her pictures really can paint more than a thousand words. Life pours out of her pictures, bursting through the seams into our lives. She was the one who made me believe, opening my eyes to the things unseen. Her love is the flicker of hope in me that never runs out even when she did. This internal flame fuels me to run not only for me but for everyone else in this world that has suffered from other’s mistakes.
Glancing back at how I had a dream. I know how far that dream has flown away, but I have the courage to catch it again. Even though I have nothing left anymore to give up, I am standing up again. My weary steps may still falter when I walk, and even today I walk with fear in my heart. However, whenever I think of the future, that I might be able to run someday, I am fueled with an excitement. An excitement that I embrace, even though I still stagger and shake. I am taking one step at a time towards the dream, that I know I can achieve. The beat of hesitation deep inside my heart is the adrenaline that drags me forward. When other’s tell me it is impossible, I simply reply, “When life pushes you back down, you can choose whether or not to pull yourself back up, and keep on trying.”
The last hundred metres are closing in. Sweat beads at my forehead as I concentrate on the rhythm of music pumping through my head, and count the last thumps of my shoes hitting the pavement. Adrenaline rushes through my veins faster than ever as I am left pushing myself to the end. My sustained energy soon flutters away, my stray hairs sticking to my sweat washed skin. As I take a glance at the sky the golden horizon casts its glowing smile as I run with streams of magic swirling behind me. A light zephyr dances on my back, as my runners thud to the finish line.You would want to run forever. As I finally stop, I can literally not breathe. My shirt uncomfortably sticks to my skin, my ears pound with the beat of my heart, and I’m left to regain my breath. Suddenly, all I can feel is a wash of relief and a burst of my senses coming alive. I curl my toes against the soft covers of my bed, and slowly sink into my dreams of what the marathon will be like tomorrow.
“The finishing line is only the beginning of a whole new race.”