217

by Violet

Perhaps I am still waiting for an apology. Maybe some unreasonable, idealistic side of me still yearns for closure, maybe we never really ‘get over it’, no matter what we tell ourselves. Maybe you’ll always feel that familiar ache in the pit of your stomach when our song comes on, no matter how much you want to forget me. Maybe every time I think I’ve really forgotten the sound of your voice, your laugh, your lecturing monotone when you’re reading me poetry, it all comes flooding back at the most inconvenient of times, and I’m forced to retrace your footsteps back to our beginnings. Do you remember it too?

I used to blame you for being older but none the wiser. But age turns out to be a tricky thing. As children we’re told to expect steady improvement, but as an adult you very quickly discover that growth no longer comes naturally. It’s actually disturbingly effortless to remain stagnant, and society will cater to all your childish wants as long as you cry loudly enough.

The older we get the more we’re forced to accept the flaws of our predecessors, as we uncover more unsavory truths about ourselves. How imperfect, how selfish, how cruel we can be. How our own illogical stubbornness drives us to fight relentlessly until there’s nothing left to win, but still we refuse to move on. You realise your parents had no clue what they were doing, just like you have no clue now, and you start to envy them for how far they’ve come, you start to fear how much progress you still have left. You’ll search everywhere for some kind of manual only to find that you’re alone in this, and everyone else is just as terrified. Some are better than you at pretending, and you resent them for this.

So you hunt for a connection, some spark, any sign that there’s some grander purpose to your existence other than the day to day tortures of small talk and paper shuffling, and the thousand other mundane tasks that make up your seemingly meaningless life, and you pray to whatever might listen just so you can stretch out some thin hope in order to not fall apart every morning. But that emptiness inside of you that you choose to sedate with religion or drugs or whatever else works, it never goes away. And God, it’s getting harder and harder to keep living.

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