Uncage the Night, Chapter III



The birds seemed to be out for the weekend too but the sun hadn’t given up on her; it was here shinning brighter than it had in a long time. Feeling rays of sunshine brushing her cheeks and scratching her fragile skin made Leslie feel alive and cheered her up.
Nature was the best medicine, she thought. If it wasn’t for the trees, the sun and the wind, she probably wouldn’t have made it out alive of her depression. When she walked out of that fucking rehab center her parents had signed her in after a whole year, she felt disoriented, the whole world felt foreign. It seemed her “cleansing” stay only made her condition worse, the derealization veil being even more tangible than ever. While she felt completely normal when the war was at its peak, she felt like a broken human โ€“ a vegetable โ€“ as her mother walked her to the car, gently patting her on the back; it made her feel sick to the guts. But as soon as she got back home, the love cocoon never felt more real nor warmer and to her greatest surprise, her parents succeeded in helping her get back what the institution broke in their attempted mending of a soul. They spent so much time with her: they went for a walk everyday โ€“ in the forest, on the beach, or just even downtown โ€“ and they picnicked often. Hell, her mother even learnt how to paint so she could share her daughter’s favorite activity. Dedicated parents, indeed. She felt alive, and loved. She surfaced thanks to all that and now she was fine, floating her days away on some old trunk with only her feet dipped in the dark waters of her mind.

“Nature is awesome.” she whispered on her way to the kitchen sink. Her right hand reached out for the first plate while the other one turned on the faucet, and then she recalled. The cold water caressed her skin and chills clustered around her spine like constellations. She closed her eyes. “Leslie get out of the way!!” she heard her mother yell. But she only managed to turn around to see her mother running towards her; she felt her ass hit the ground. “Yee haw!” her mother screamed as she jumped off the low cliff into the riverbank. A big splash followed her fearless act and then, Leslie heard her father burst out laughing. “Did you see that honey?” her mother yelled from the water. “That was majestic, darling!” her father said as he picked Leslie up. “How did you like it, Leslie? You saw what mommy did? She’s amazing, huh?”
“Mom is the best! She’s the prettiest too!” she cracked with a cute laugh exposing the gap between her bottom incisors.
“Alright. Your turn now. You ready?”
“Yes.” she said shyly.
“Don’t be scared, daddy’s got your back, baby!” His grip tightened around his five-year-old masterpiece’s body and he took a few steps away from the edge of the cliff. Both their hearts were pounding like crazy, and in harmony. “Ready?” he whispered excitedly. Leslie started the countdown “Three… Two… One…” She took a deep breath and then she yelled “Go!”. Her father’s grip grew even tighter as he ran to the edge of the cliff. His knees quickly bent and his feet pushed hard against the rock and as their bodies were propelled above the water, they screamed loud, so loud. She was only five years old; she was so small. Her mother was out of breath from laughing so hard. Everyone was happy; it felt so warm.
They sat on the grass and her mother dried her with a towel. “Alright, turn around now. Come on, turn around. Leslie? Leslie are you alright? Honey?” her mother sounded extremely worried. Her daddy came running “Sweetheart? Why are you crying? Leslie?”

“Fuck!” Her feet were soaked โ€“ as were her eyes. She had been spacing out again and made a mess. “Shit! There’s water everywhere! Get your head in the game Leslie, for fuck’s sake!” she scolded herself. She turned the garbage disposal on to unclog the sink and went on mopping the kitchen floor. She couldn’t believe she got that caught up in her daydream. It felt nice though, to see her family happy again, before she fucked everything up with her brain going all berserk on everyone. That was eleven years ago โ€“ already. “Oh, how I miss that.” she sighed.
She kept mopping and realized she was more tired than she ever was. Actually, it felt just like when she was depressed; she would sleep half of the time she spent at home, even at school sometimes. It felt like her mind was sucking the life out of her. But it was all over, right? So why was she still tired? It was spring break, she didn’t have to endure school pressure and her band was still going strong. She had no reasons to be depressed any more; she had totally recovered. โ€œIt’s all over. I’m fine. I just need a lot of rest, that’s completely normal because… because I need it! I’m young. I’m fine.โ€ Those words sounded like some sort of justification she felt obliged to speak up because deep inside she knew that something was wrong. She hoped that spoken words would fool herself into believing that she was indeed fine.

Was it because of her young age? Was it because of her bulletproof optimism? Or maybe because of the habit she had of drawing the shades of her mind when facing a potential threat? The reason why didn’t really mattered anyway, because she was blind at the end of the day. She wasn’t aware that depression never stops, that, no, you never get away from it. Once you’ve drenched your little toe in it, you’re stuck โ€“ it will never leave you; it’ll just sleep silently inside of you, awaiting to flood your soul any time and damage it at best. She didn’t notice that on her soul were many scars , which she earned in her battles, and that these scars were still wide open and oozed… She didn’t realize how fragile she was. She didn’t know fragile was exactly what they sought. She didn’t know it. She had no idea what the beacon her depression turned her into had attracted; she couldn’t know.

Thanks for your time!

Click here for Chapter IV


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