Chapter 47 | The Pen

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Elena's P.O.V.

Only three things are certain in life: birth, death, and change.

You begin your life with birth - it's the first thing we experience when we enter the world. As you gain years, you realize one of the two things:

You're either happy to be here. Or you mourn your birth.

Death, on the other hand, is a curse that we all carry. For most people, it's a great affliction and a time of darkness. But for others, it's a blessing; an escape.

Change, however, is one of the few transitions that can be a good and a bad thing. It can twist a person in an uncharacteristic way. Convert one to the better. Or bend everything to the brick of brokenness.

I don't know anymore. I really don't. For some reason, hate has become overwhelming for the past days. To begin with, shock and denial were the first things I felt. After a while, the lethargy moved in, and soon enough, one of the most damaging feelings grew.


But then her funeral neared, and suddenly I lost the red color. Compassion replaced my rage and hatred, and humanity was summoned to comfort Mr. and Mrs. Phillips. They were absolutely heartbroken; torn in thousands of pieces.

Grief weighs differently for each and every person, dragging people down in different angles and depths. But the color stays the same for everyone.

No matter how many solaces I gave and received. No matter how involved I was in planning the farewell. No matter how many times Carl tried to get me out.

I didn't attend the funeral.

The hand of a stranger is heavy. It's an ill omen of reality.

The Phillips' family understood my absence. Perhaps they thought I would just break down and never recover from it. Or maybe they fathomed my detachment to the world.

To speak the truth, I'm just a coward. I'm a goddamn coward.

That's why I'm hiding behind work and the extension of my abilities and knowledge. At some juncture, a turning point appeared in this nightmare. Since school was starting again, I decided to prepare myself and study, study, study.

It was the only thing I could do in this mess. The only thing I managed to do properly.

"Elena, have you eaten anything?" Carl asked from the door, his eyes touching my back with worry.

"I'm not hungry."

"That's not what I asked," his voice was filtered with concern and had a heavy undertone. "Elena?" He spoke, "Elena, please stop."

"What?" My short response was sharp and had a hint of annoyance. Although he wished for my attention, I could not lend him some as I was too busy to solve math equations that were on a university level. "I'm busy, can't you see?"

"You're drowning yourself in school work - and the school hasn't even started yet!" He was frustrated, I could hear. Although I didn't see his face, I knew where the blade of concern would leave traces on his skin. "This isn't healthy, Elena. We're all worried about you. I know how difficult it must be, but-"

"Carl." My voice did not rise in a shout nor drop in a whisper. It was straightforward; monotonous and tired. "Could you please just leave me alone? I don't want to do this. . . I really don't."

A silence entered the air, and just as I thought that he would say something, he left. The door closed softly and isolated me once more, but I could still hear his heavy sigh from the other side.

"What am I supposed to do?" I heard Carl mumble, listening to his fading steps.

What am I supposed to do?

Suddenly, I dropped the pen in my hand, watching it fall to the floor and roll next to my foot. I looked at it in silence, trying to fathom its fall.

For some reason, I couldn't find it in me to pick it up. It wasn't far away, it was right in front of me, it was easy to just pick it up.

But I couldn't.

"Goddammit." I put my head in my hands, trying to block out the world and that stupid pen.

Everything is just so hopeless. I'm fighting a losing battle. I'm swimming in fire and breathing water. Is this what dying feels like?

What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to go on?

Right there and then, I wanted to cry, and scream, and punch, and run, and hug, and everything. Yet, I wanted nothing of it. I yearned for it as much as it disgusted me.


Why did it happen?

Why did it happen?

I did the only thing that I knew I could do. I pulled out a new pen and went back to work.

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