Broken Clocks

An original short story that I wrote for school, but I thought I'd post it on Quibblo.

*Bolded quote based off of Perfect Timing by Michael Faudet.*

Chapter 1

Alone

by: Eunoia
Every since I was young, I was alone. There was no one to turn to, no one to lean on or rely on. I was an only child, and soon after my birth, death came upon my sick father like a soft whisper in the wind, gentle and slow and chilling all the same. My mother was overcome with grief, and she acted as if a part of her had died too. My mother never showed me any affection, for the doting fragment of her heart was long gone, shattered into countless pieces, and irreplaceable. There was a always a certain brokenness that gleamed in her eyes when I looked at her, and a selfish part of me wished that she weren’t so fragile and that she could be like all the other mothers who were happy and stable and caring. My mother was so far away, always distant and somewhere else.

In a way, her introversion influenced me as well. At school, I was quiet and didn't talk to the other children. I was a reasonably good student, quite studious, but mostly by the fact that I found much satisfaction in reading. No, I did not have friends or companions to keep me company. I had books, and back then, books were enough. I enjoyed every genre of stories, but the one that intrigued me the most were romance tales. They told stories of a feeling that I'd never experienced before. It was called “love”. I had a difficulty understanding what love was, and indignation poked at my heart whenever I thought about the fact that I'd never been able to feel it before.

Reading triggered a longing inside me, an ache in my heart that wouldn't stop hurting. So I'd stopped reading and burned all my books, overwhelmed by the sense of loneliness they would bring rather than pleasure or happiness. I did love books once, but love for a person was something entirely different, an entirely new notion. It was an unknown world I yearned to discover. It wasn't just romantic love that I found captivating, I wanted general love.

Now in the midst of my adulthood, I live alone in my own home. I take daily walks around our small town, and I've been realizing that love is everywhere. Whether I'd pass a young couple on the street or see a father and his son at the store. I feel more lonely than I'd ever thought one person could feel. There's a void in my heart, one that can only be filled with love.

The only reason why I hadn't yet let death seize my life is that I still woke up hopeful for love, somehow assured by the possibility that I would find love eventually, and that patience was my key to reaching it. I was desperate, and it was tearing me apart.

Several weeks ago, as I was taking a stroll through the local park, I spotted an old, elderly couple. How two people could love each other for such a long time, I didn't know. They were withered with age, but the evident love between them seemed young and unshaken. I watched them every day for a week before I decided to carry out an experiment. I introduced myself to them as someone who'd just moved to their town recently and invited them over for supper that evening.

That night I had drugged them, and when they both woke, I'd tortured the old woman, continually asking her how to feel love. Her husband's reaction was what puzzled me most. There was so much agony in his eyes, so much pleading for me to stop hurting his wife. The elderly man's love for his wife was mesmerizing. It was strong and helpless at the same time, both ardent and desperate.

All of a sudden I'd felt amazed, saddened,and angered. I wondered that if I were in the old woman's position, would my mother react in the same way the old man did? Would it hurt her to see me hurt? Would she find suffering in seeing me suffer? I knew the answer, deep in my heart, but another part of me was still holding on to the notion that it wasn't true.

And then I felt angry. It wasn't fair that everyone except me had someone who loved them. It wasn't fair that the thing I wanted most was the thing I couldn’t ever have. I'd then stopped torturing the old couple, realizing they couldn't help me, and killed them both. I disposed of their remains, but kept their skin. I wasn't sure why, but I had.

Much has changed since then, and I did end up finding a use for the couple's skin. I missed reading, but I knew it would only bring more anguish and dejection. And so I began writing. I wrote about how it felt to be truly alone, forever unable to grasp the concept of love.

Yes, there are people who do find love. There are those who have the privilege of taking love for granted, whom have families and friends and are constantly surrounded by outstretched and loving arms. But what happens to the rest of us? The ones who are left alone, unloved, untouched? I was a broken clock at the back of the shelf, counting down the time and yet forevermore stuck on the same hour. I used the old couple's skin as paper for the books that I wrote so that every single page held an ounce of the pain projected through the words I'd written.

All my life, I've never felt love. I realize now how broken I am as a person. Only love can mend such damage, but nobody, not even my mother, could love me. I don't wake up hopeful anymore, I wake up feeling indifferent. Empty. Which I've found to be far worse than hatred or jealousy or sadness. I'm nothing. I'm a shadow, waiting for the day that light turns to darkness and I can finally fade.

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