Note: All italicized words are not mine, they are lyrics from the song shown above.
She’s fallen too far, the girl that time forgot.
The first day After, she wakes up, and gets out of bed. She grabs her backpack, and opens the front door. She walks to school, lost in thought and ignoring the silence. She walks to her first class, and doesn’t look at anyone. No one looks at her either.
In one class, she sits in the back, and follows the instructions on the board. She starts her homework in class, and listens to music.
In another class, she sits in the back, and speaks to her classmates when she is told to. She finishes her work early, and reads a book.
At lunch she sits alone, and studies for her tests. She focuses on the material, and doesn’t speak. No one speaks to her either. And she doesn’t look up.
In yet another class, she sits in the back, and takes her test. She makes sure she has all of her materials. After finishing her test, she sits silently.
When school ends, she walks home. She doesn’t stop, and doesn’t look around. She walks inside, and puts down her backpack. She finishes her homework. She goes to bed. Her phone is silent and off.
She’s a whistle in the catacombs, a paradox.
The first day of the second week After, she wakes up and gets out of bed. She grabs her backpack, and pulls open the front door. She walks to school, lost in emotion and ignoring the sky. She walks to her first class, and looks at everyone. No one meets her eyes.
In one class, she sits in the back, and copies down the instructions on the board. She puts her headphones in, and tries to focus on her homework. It doesn’t work. She pulls out her headphones. But everyone’s conversation seems so meaningless that she puts them right back in.
In another class, she sits in the back and speaks quietly to her classmates when she is told to. She puts her headphones in, and tries to relax. It’s not enough, it’s too silent. Her music only reminds her of what she is missing.
At lunch she sits alone, and ignores her textbooks. Someone walks up to her, and suddenly her throat is getting tight and her eyes are burning. She grabs her backpack and doesn’t run away. Then the person walks closer, and she steps back. “I don’t need you to help me, I’m fine. Stop bothering me, I need to study. Leave me alone.”
In yet another class, she sits in the back, and listens to the whispers. She stares at the test she is given, and doesn’t know any answers. She wants to run and jump and do something. But she doesn’t. She doesn’t think about how this wouldn’t be true if it hadn’t happened. If it hadn’t happened she wouldn’t be so angry right now.
When school ends, she goes home. She turns away when a person walks by. She can’t stop herself from gazing into the shops. She looks into the windows, looking for something. But it’s just her. She opens the front door, and drops her backpack on the ground. She stares at her homework for a while. She does it only because she has nothing else to do. She hides her phone in her closet, and goes to bed.
Wasted moments, full of potential atonements
The first day of the the second month After, she wakes up and gets up. She searches her room for her phone, and then her phone for her messages. Then she remembers that she deleted them all a month ago. She puts it down on her desk. She grabs her backpack and pulls open the front door. She walks slowly to school, this time lost in longing. She walks to her first class, and observes everyone. No one notices, each person lost in a world of conversation she once had.
In one class she sits in the back, and writes down the instruction from the board. She glances at the wall, and disappears from her surroundings. Her homework lies on her desk, unmarked and forgotten.
In another class she sits in the back, she speaks to her classmates. She talks and talks and doesn’t stop, even when she can see the blank stares. She wonders what they would see if they listened. When she stops talking, it’s because the class is over.
At lunch she sits alone, and holds her textbooks. Thinking about her tests, she almost doesn’t care. She can’t focus anyway. Not like Before anyway.
In yet another class she goes through the motions, pulling out her materials. She finishes the test early, and just sits, lost in thought.
When school ends, she walks to the library. She sits on a bench and stares at the shelves. She closes her eyes, and can feel a presence next to her. Can feel the happiness and hear the laughter. And as the smile comes to her face, she knows she would do anything to not have to look at the empty air. She goes home, and opens the door. She drops her backpack, and does her homework. She goes to bed. Her phone still on her desk.
She’s fallen too far, with salt in her scars.
The first day of the third week of the third month After, she wakes up. She gets out of bed so fast the world spins and goes gray. She grabs her backpack, and opens the front door. And stares at the world, her breath catching in her throat. The world presses down on her shoulders, and she takes a small step, trying to stop her legs from trembling. She walks to her first class, and tries to breathe. Everyone looks around and sees things. But no one but her can see the gray edges of the blurring world cutting deep.
In one class the colors brighten as she copies down the black writing on the board, only to dull after. She puts in her headphones and tries to muffle the growing quiet in her mind, the vast emptiness.
In another class she sits in the back, and everyone talks to each other. She hears sound and she’s seeing color, but none of it makes sense. She’s drowning in the motion, and she doesn’t even care. After all, she’s not any more lost than she was a couple weeks ago.
At lunch she sits alone. She puts in her headphones, because they keep anyone from approaching her.
In yet another class she hides away in a corner desk. They don’t have a test, and she can’t help but do her homework, because she needs so badly to write on something. It seems even classes can’t keep her grounded.
When school ends, she starts to walk home. At the end of her street, she stares at her house. Then she sits down on the curb, hugging her knees. Her room is dark and quiet, and at least out here she can see the stars. She goes to bed eventually, but the little lights stay in her brain, holding it together.
An angel in disguise.
The first day of the last week of the fifth month After, she wakes up. She gets out of bed, and picks up her phone, staring at the small screen. She picks up her backpack, and stares at the small bracelet attached to its zipper. She opens the front door. She walks to school, staring at the sky, empty but for the sun. She walks to her first class, and breathes in deeply. And some people see her.
In one class they go outside and examine the sky and plants. They discuss philosophy and details she doesn’t remember. But she can feel the breeze and the sunlight and she puts her headphones away.
In another class she sits in the back. When they talk with classmates she listens and speaks, and she gets her work done. She sits for a while, before turning back to the person next to her. She asks the person a question, and they have a conversation.
At lunch, she sits alone. But she sets aside her textbooks and stares at the sky. She wishes that she could see stars, but it’s still afternoon. She knows that they’re there though.
In yet another class they have an essay. She writes about her thoughts. She writes about how circles are better than lines. Because while they are harder to travel along, they always connect in the end. And drawing a perfect circle makes you so much happier than drawing just a line. There was no learning curve.
When school ends, she walks to her street. This time, she stops at a nearby park. She lies on the grass, and stares at the sky again. It is evening now, but the stars still aren’t out. But there is a small light up there, one little airplane traveling through the clouds. She sighs, rolling over, ignoring the woodchips and grass that stick to her arms. She’s not really that ok. But she’s more ok than before. She still misses the Before. But now, thinking about it doesn’t make her feel like she’s falling. And she can live with that.
The last day Before, she wakes up with a smile, and gets out of bed. She grabs her backpack and opens the front door to a girl. The girl smiles back at her. They talk the whole way to school. They walk to their first class together. They don’t care if anyone is looking at them. But yet they never cared before, so it’s nothing new.
In one class, they sit in the front, and follow the instructions on the board. They work together on the assignment, and help each other with their homework. They chat to fill the silence, taking comfort from each other’s presence.
In another class she sits in the front, and talks to her classmates. She finishes her work early, and reads a book. She smiles when her phone buzzes, texts from the girl on the screen.
At lunch they sit together and review for their tests. They talk so much they forget to eat their lunch and in turn rush to eat them before their next class.
In yet another class, they have a test. They make sure that they both have all of their materials. They take the test, and sit quietly when they’re done. She smiles to herself, thinking about their conversation at lunch.
When school ends, they walk home. Along the way, they stop to look at the small restaurants and bakeries that line the street. When she gets home, she puts down her backpack and starts on her homework. Once she finishes, she pulls out her phone, and calls the girl. They talk meaninglessly, yet it means everything to them. Then she goes to bed.
The next morning, she gets another phone call. She doesn’t go to school that day. Because it’s the day it happened.
The girl is her best friend. The girl was her only friend.
She’s fallen too far, the girl that time forgot.