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5 AM City Lights

by Zeynep Kivanc 4 years ago in depression
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A Little Short Story Project

She belonged to the city. Her heart burned for the city lights and for her nothing was prettier than empty streets and cold wind and lights shining over her skin at 5 AM. Walking until her feet hurt, discovering new coffee shops and just sitting down at a bench and watching people get lost in their busy lives when she just let her mind wonder. Her world was a mess, so she lost herself in a wonderland of madness. Madness that was put together with skyscrapers, high heels and brief cases clinging and swinging as free spirits protested with their shirts off. She was a wanderer.

She had a heart of gold but possessed a spirit that was meant to be broken. But before anybody could reach down to her spirit they broke her skin. She waited and hoped her mom would come home somehow, or at least she would be alive. Her mom believed in the diamonds in the skies and renamed her god as Lucy. Her eyes looked empty as she put down her cigarette on her golden skin, watched it burn and scar as tears fall down her own daughters eyes. Leaving bruises and bleeding scratch marks over her arms, the woman who brought her to this misery told her she would be better off dead and left the scrappy place they called home to lift her spirits up with Lucy. When she was left alone inside of that broken home, she promised herself every single day that she would be strong. But she didn't know for how long. She often missed the little girl whose dreams had no barriers, who believed in a world where anything was possible with a heart that was full and unbroken. Over the years she has become so damaged and lost in pain she forgot all about that. She forgot what it was to be full of hope and feel love. So she became the wonderess, a soul searching for lights in the dark of the night and flirted with life to keep her afloat. She searched for a place she could go and there would be no more emptiness and pain burned into her skin.

That is why that one oddly warm winter night at 5 AM, with liquor burning down her throat and numbing the pain, she followed her friends' high pitched laughters into a place way down in Bed Stuy to find about a boy that lived behind the bricks. Wind brushing over her bare thighs, and her heart aching for any kind of affection she could get. So when she met the tall boy with an angel's face, with eyes as green as summertime water through burning into her desperate soul, she gave in. She didn't know his reputation. She didn't know that he would turn every single girl out like tricks. Once he held her fragile body and promised to kiss every single scar on her skin, she only wanted him to devour her soul. Devour her soul like she was his favorite desert. The sourness of being a lonely and broken eighteen-year-old made her wish to be craved for so long that she didn't hesitate for a second. She kept going down to that place in Bed Stuy after every cigarette burn, after every bruise and after every minute she was reminded that she was a waste. And she let him climb inside her body and held him captive in her kiss.

He became her escape and she forgot about the city lights. She stopped climbing to her rooftop and admiring all the different colors of lights and the sound of madness that eased he own demons. She became dependent. She let herself be a natural disaster. She became a hurricane with her cold heart and cold bones, and without realizing she was slowly wearing down her soul with those who she surrounded herself with. She forgot to look at the places where she would find hope and started holding onto a lie. The sad part was that since she had forgotten the sensation of love, she mistook hunger for it. She didn’t that there was a storm starting and that she was at the center of it where not even the brightest city lights could dare to reach.

She laid in bed thinking how her life turned out the way it did? How and why she decided to dye her hair blue, why she kept pushing away people who tried to help her, why she wanted to keep running away. She did want to feel love and passion. She wanted to belong somewhere. But almost everything that was swaying with the wind called time, she found her body forcefully being dragged away from the lights and sucked into the dark room behind bricks. She sacrificed herself and let her body be ruined. He made her feel so weak and vulnerable. He was getting tired of her neediness and tears that came every time she told him she loved him and he just chuckled and told her she was a fool. He was no longer her escape but her pain. He dragged her even further away from where she originally belonged. She no longer danced in the lost city and wandered in brightly colored neighborhoods. She no longer exhaled the intensity of life; instead she just accepted her insignificance and the fact that she was not worth saving as hands clasped around her neck not so gently. Now he started kissing his knuckles right before they touched her cheek instead of kissing her burns and bruises. He started yelling and calling her names and slowly wishing that she went away and never ever came back with her needy arms. He took all he desired and once nothing was satisfied him anymore, he just kept pushing her around like a doll made out of cotton.

She was slowly becoming nobody. She no longer felt like she belonged to her city. When she went out at 5 AM to freeze her tears, she realized that she no longer had a place to go. She no longer recognized the rush. The lights were all shining in different colors and the sound of heels were not as prominent. The one coffee shop she found and never could forget because of its green walls and 80s movies posters was shut down. And after she stained her face with mascara and smudged her red lips with some other guy she came home to her mother's lifeless body laying on her bed with her drawing and poems from many lives ago. She stood there enable to move any muscle in her body. She approached to her mother that was clinging on to a piece of paper that was stained of blood that dripped from her nose before she took her last breath. She poured it all out there that it was her fault that she started searching for diamonds in the first place, because her own daughter was not bright enough. Because her daughter was a disappointment and only reminded her of her lost love and betrayal done by the only one she loved. She was her biggest regret. She had a box full of hatred letters that she hid under her not-so-precious child's bed and read and wrote when Lucy told her to. Every single one ended wishing she never brought this child to earth so she would be happy. Her moms later made her realize that she was never meant to be here. She was never needed or wanted. She was just a reminder that even the brightest lights could go dim. So she floated mid air toward an endless silence that was full of answers.

She could’t stay strong for any longer. She struggled to stay afloat. She was exhausted. Maybe life wasn't for everyone. She was tired of staring at herself in the mirror with tears streaming own her face and begging to herself to just hold on and be stronger. She didn't have a mom that burned holes as hot as lava on her skin, or a boy with the darkest soul that was only by her side to touch her skin. She was left with scars that only reminded her the pain she could not move away from and the pain she could not stop feeling. Bruises around her neck that makeup couldn't cover anymore and time could not heal the memories.

The 5 AM city lights weren't as bright anymore. Her skin didn't shine the way it used to and the only glimpse of love she got was the scar the glass cut when he slammed her into the mirror and told her to stop being so desperate. If you asked anybody else, she made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. Some would say that she walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings. She could do anything if she wanted; she could even rattle the stars if she only dared. But she was hiding behind scars as a reminder of the sins she's never committed, thinking that she was the reason why everyone was so miserable. She understood her mother a little more. She was up at the skies looking down on her before she laid lifeless and her bed, and she was able to see everything as it was. Epiphany of real pain struck her head and made her dizzy. She saw the monster that was inside her through her diamond infused eyes. She slowly started believing and understand how she could make the light brighter. Only if she never stood at the rooftop, never committed herself to the city and never ever tried to depend on the lights to bring her spirits up.

So when she received a velvet box with a letter attached to it with a red ribbon she just wanted to end the pain for good. She read the letter until every single word was engraved on her mind almost as sharp as the razor she got in the velvet box. Worthless. Her mother’s last wish. For her to be in a place where she would be better off. So she stepped out to the rooftop and looked at the city one more time. Apologized to her lost wandering spirit and apologized for getting lost in illusions of happiness. Apologized to the lights for trying to feed from the hope that they rayed. She wanted to leave the world to the dreamers and to those who had hope. She checked her time. 5 AM. She looked up. The city lights. She let the light blind her once last time. Took the razor to her skin and slowly scarred her body one last time and engraved that she was sorry. She turned her back to the 5 AM city lights and let the wind that once swayed her hair sway her body to a place where she would feel no pain anymore.


About the author

Zeynep Kivanc

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