Ode to 15


(Image Credit: Lizzie Lohrer)

Danielle Murray, Writer

It’s a miracle you turned out okay. You dug yourself so deep, the fever of the core was melting your skin, stripping you down to your bones. You never even realized it. You turned into something so self-destructive that the pain didn’t seem so fatal. Lie after lie, ignoring the signs, you always said that you were alright. All you did was deny, refusing the right to be helped and loved. If only you knew that the world isn’t so cold, if you just trust in the loss of control. If only you’d just let go of the pyrite you found and stop worshiping the ways of your past. Your future is much brighter than the glisten of nostalgia. The past was never your friend. I wish you realized that sooner.

It started so slow, didn’t it? When it first truly began it didn’t seem like a beginning at all. How would you have known? It started in the form of eye strain, but then eye strain turned into headaches, and headaches morphed into migraines. Spending so many nights alone- imprisoned in the darkest corners of the room- was never good for you. The muffled laughter always haunted you. Always chained to the bedside, always sitting on the outside, where you always thought you belonged.

Your mind was your enemy, a hidden identity, detaining you from the rest. Your thoughts always whispered, carefully slithered unto your ears and wrapped around your brain, suffocating your thoughts like prey. They think I’m annoying. I shouldn’t have said that. Why didn’t I say that? They don’t like me. Why would they ever like me? They pity me. They hate me. Why would they talk to me? Why would they want to know me? They would never associate with me. Why aren’t I like them? I wish I was like them. If I was like them, things would be better. It’s hopeless. I’m hopeless. I’d be better off wordless. I’m worthless. Your mind was never good for you, but when you’re 15, you don’t think twice, do you?

Discontent with your present and blind to the future, you turned to the past. The glow around the memories, the innocence of naivety, the bliss of promises; everything you lacked, and everything you kept trapped was your savior to adapt. The cool autumn breeze and the stars crossing seas, giggling summer nights and flickering fairy lights, waking winter wonder and autumn’s running hunters, all visited you in your dreams; nightmares disguised as daydreams. No matter how immense the bliss, nostalgia left out for too long oxidizes into rusted resentment. Peaceful memories become idyllic fantasies. Idyllic fantasies age into bitter expectations. A denied right and deprived present. An enchanted kid molded into a cynical teen, aided by false visions sugar-coated in time. What happened to that sweet little angel your parents adored? You figured she died a long time ago. We both know she never existed. When you’re 15, the truth is never easily found.  

Slowly but surely, irrationality turned into irritability and irritability into nobility. A resentment, entitlement, and pity engulfed you from night to night. With your world melting through the cracks in your hands, something flickered to life deep inside you. A desire so bright, it blinded. A need so strong, it was suffocating. Placing a crown on your head, you inaugurated yourself into office and dismantled the embassies, declared yourself queen, and became a machine. A lust for control, no matter how high the toll. One mistake was deserving of death row. No risk was one worth taking. A reign so silent, masked to the public, you were impossible to stop. You never took no for an answer, did you? Never let them touch your throne, even when you knew it was wrong. Soon the night became unbearable with the stars lost in spite, your moon stripped of all light, and your north star erased from sight. Your advisors were long gone, exiled to the darkest corners of your mind. All that was left was you and your crown, you and your ghost town. When you’re 15, the morning seems like a lifetime away.

Soon enough, your reign became hard to contain. Your heart unable to stay in your chest, your mind unable to rest, your soul becoming an unwelcome guest. People started to notice. Your eyes unable to focus, your breath shallow and sharp, your presence losing its spark. You hated every second of it. The attention was so unwanted, all your secrets might be taunted, so you ordered a retreat and refused to meet them in the middle. They gave you some pills, something to help rebuild, but we both know we lost that skill. You stayed in your crown, unwilling to put down the walls that protected you dearly. You stayed all alone, stripped to the bone, too scared of the unknown. When you’re 15, you think you deserve it.