Resisting The Abyss
He sat on the edge of the world.
The place where the earth just dropped down to oblivion and kept going, going, going.
The place that tempted you to lean over just a little and ... tumble down.
He leant his chin onto his palm and stared at the swirling fog. The thin strands of nothingness danced with each other, playing and climbing, it was almost as if he could hear the laughter.
He closed his eyes against the cry that assaulted his ears, because he knew that however much he wanted to believe, it wasn't real. It was a wisp of memory.
'come and play Latham' the voice called again 'come play'
He wrestled with the urge to reach down into the darkness and let the voice pull him under. He wanted to, god did he want to.
His sister's voice called again 'I love you Latham'
Tears pricked at the back of his eyes and he clenched his fist around the thin bracelet he held, his body tense.
'go away!' he screamed into the canyon, 'why won't you leave me alone?'
Latham surged to his feet and took two steps towards the canyon and raised his hand to throw the bracelet into the deep nothingness at his feet.
He stood in position for what seemed like forever. The wind tugged at his dark hair relentlessly until he sank back to the ground and hugged the bracelet to his chest, tears burning a track down his cheeks.
He couldn't find it in him to throw the bracelet down, couldn't yet let go of the last thing he had left of his baby sister.
He missed her. Missed the sound of her giggle, of her squealing when he lifted her up above his head and her gales of laughter when he spun her around.
Most of all he missed the feel of her tiny body curled up in his lap fast asleep at the end of a big-day.
After 2 days the emptiness hadn't left. It hadn't even eased in the least. It was still a painful throb beating a tattoo on his heart and soul, relentlessly tearing at his feelings.
He couldn't get the sound of her scream out of his head. Couldn't stop remembering the way that her beautiful laugh had turned into the blood curling sound of terror that haunted his dreams.
He hadn't expected to love her as much as he had, he'd been twelve when she'd been born and in the last 4 years, she had been the light of his life. Now that she was gone it was as if his life had no meaning, had nothing left. The pain tore at him again, as vindictive as ever, it grabbed a hold of his soul and just ripped at it.
If he had have played with her when she asked then she would have been alive. He should have put down his studying to play at least for a little while. A break wouldn't have hurt.
But no. He'd stayed and studied and told her he'd play later.
But there was no later.
He stared down at the bracelet in his hand. It was smaller than his palm, so small that he could curl his fingers around the bracelet and it would fit snugly in the warm cocoon of his hand.
He had so many emotions swirling around inside of him that he almost didn't recognise himself.
'Latham! Look at me Latham!'
The voice echoed in his head, bouncing around and colliding with everything else. It was obliterating all his thoughts, his ability to think rationally and function properly.
'Don't be sad Latham'
A low keening sound tore from his throat, 'I miss you baby' he whispered, hoarsely.
'you can't be sad Latham. I love you' the voice skimmed over his skin and he soaked it in.
'I should have been there for you, Keely'
'I'll always love you Latham'
Latham dropped his head into his hands and squeezed his eyes shut.
'Come play Latham?'
He inhaled sharply 'I can't play'
'come play Latham' the voice insisted.
'I can't Keely'
'Because you're gone Keely!' Latham yelled at the black.
It suddenly hit him. She was gone. She was gone and there was no way that he could bring her back.
He knew that he would have to live the rest of his life without her there, and he had no idea how to start.
But he knew that it had to start with forgiveness.
He had to forgive himself for not being there when his sister went to play.
He had to forgive himself for not being there to help her when that car swerved into their front yard.
And next was acceptance.
He had to accept that he couldn't have done anything.
He had to accept that she was gone.
And he had to let go.
Of all the fears and the guilt and the loneliness. He had to live his life, and the best way to do that was to let go of it all and just remember all the good times.