Status: Complete(:

Death is Black and White


Four Months Later.

This is something I wanted to do alone- something I needed to do alone. But one look at all the stuff on my bed is all it took to push me over the edge and into another freak-out. So I called Sam and Josh, told them to come over now, and calmly added the date, time, and details of today’s panic attack in my Panic Log, or, as my therapist calls it, the PL. I imagine my face is still red and my eyes glassy from sobbing and screaming uncontrollably into my pillow, but there’s no way I’m checking in the mirror anyway.

It would be pointless; I’m totally colorblind now.

Even now, shadows are strangers, and mirrors hold more than our reflections. I know Lotty isn’t watching me anymore, but I still keep a sheet over my mirror while I sleep. I can’t do my hair or brush my teeth without feeling like there’s someone staring at me from the other side of the mirror, their own personal window. Sometimes I feel like whatever’s on the other side will crawl out and put their cold hands over my heart again. Needless to say, getting ready in the morning isn’t as easy as it used to be. I have two separate therapists: one knows everything, and I haven’t told the other one. I probably won’t; as far as she knows, I’m just messed up.

The doorbell rings and I run to get it. As soon as I open the door, Sam hugs me (she does that a lot now) and yells, “You ready to burn this bitch?”

After about a month of awkward “Poor Lydia who almost died and now has freaky panic attacks, woe is her, blah, blah” silences and careful looks, we made a pact to literally act like nothing’s wrong. I know that it’s usually a bad idea to avoid the problem, but when your friends treat you like you have glass bones and could break at any moment, it really sucks the fun out of a party.

Sam runs to my bedroom to get the stuff and I hang back with Josh, holding his hand.

“Hey,” he says and kisses me on the cheek.

“Hi,” I reply and kiss him back. “You ready to burn some shit?”

“I was born ready,” he answers enthusiastically, following me to the back yard.

It turns out the voices were wrong. Josh didn’t hang out with me out of pity, he didn’t think I was crazy, and he wasn’t just humoring me by holding my hand and being really sweet. He just liked my smile. Sam told me that Josh wanted to ask me out a long time ago, but things got weird and he didn’t want to make things more complicated. But the day after I got home from the hospital in March, he took me on a more normal date. My mom said I absolutely could not go, so, naturally, I snuck out and we went to the Waffle House. It was brilliant.

I arrange the logs around the fire pit and Sam comes out with a bottle of lighter fluid and the stack of papers from on my bed. “Where did you get that lighter fluid?” I ask her.

She smiles deviously. “From my own personal stash…”

“Sam,” I say, shaking my head. “I have lighter fluid here, you know.”

She twists the cap and starts pouring the fire juice onto the logs. “No way, babycakes. I’m using my own for this job. It’s a special occasion.”

I roll my eyes and we each light a match.

“Let’s go to town!” I yell and we throw the matches into the fire pit all at once.

Sam starts dancing when it instantly goes up in flames, then she starts passing out papers.

“You okay?” Josh asks, squeezing my hand when I look down at the ripped-out sketchbook page.

“Yeah,” I reassure him, grasping it tightly. “It’s just that this was the first one I drew.”

The paper is flimsy from all the times that I’ve folded and unfolded it, admiring how well I’d sketched the nine-year-old demon with a bloody black dress. It makes me angry just to look at it, how at one point I was almost obsessed with the portrait. Lotty had tricked me into thinking that she was an innocent murder-victim who wanted company. I was so excited to figure out what her story was, and in the end it bit me in the ass.

I ball up the paper. “The little bitch,” I mutter and throw it into the flames.

After that we pass around more sketches until they’re all completely reduced to ashes in the fire, and Sam does the honors of cremating the Ouija board. I throw in the note Lotty stole as the sun starts to set.

As much as I’d love to erase the past six months from my memory, my eyes won’t let me. My complete colorblindness is a constant reminder of what happened to me, my family, and my friends. The White Lady was right- the doctors think I’m a miracle. They couldn’t find a single scar on me and by the time they got a chance to do the routine tests, the White Lady had already healed me completely. Then, of course, she was expelled from my body and into nonexistence. But still, only a handful of people know what really happened to me, and the doctors are left to ponder the girl who died and mysteriously came back. They didn’t let me out of the hospital for a month and even now they call me back every month to see if I’m stable. They think I have heart problems or brain damage; they used some big words that I didn’t care about at the time and still don’t because I know the truth. Yet they cannot for the life of them figure out why I’m colorblind.

There’s no way I’d tell them that I’ve seen death, and it’s all black and white there. They’d lock me up for sure.

I stare at the black smoke rising up from the flames, and it looks almost like the smoke itself is darkening the sky, not the sunset.

“It’s finally over,” Sam says, poking the fire.

I lean back on the grass and close my eyes.

“Yes, but it’ll never be gone.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Thank you so so so much Got_My_Help xxx and MistressOfInsanity for staying the whole way through and commenting and helping me and being so fucking awesome all the time :)

This took me one year, six weeks, and three days to finish this :( and if you'rve gotten this far I love you!

I'm feeling incredibly nostalgic. And incredibly sad.