The Well

Once I hit my brother and a pain filled my throat,

Bursting from inside my chest, from a hole.

He ran to tell my parents and silence filled the yard.

I stood there knowing there was no escape.

The welling inside a child when he knows he’s to blame.

The dread of the validation of his shame.

The welling dread of a dwelling head.

Who was I when I decided to be me instead?

Stinging past sings tempting paths,

In a time between sin and wrath.

I remember the garden breeze,

Whispering, “Where are you?”

Through the trees.

Shadows and Shame

The excitements builds rapidly in the invisible space between my lungs and my throat. It’s so powerful that my fingers start to tremble and I’m forced to close my eyes tight. Please, please let this feeling pass!

I have friends who struggle with real addictions. I watch them relapse into substances and thank God I’m not addicted to those. I alway try and give advise and act lovingly towards them, but who am I kidding? How am I any better? I’m worse.

There’s a shadow in my past that follows me. I didn’t know it was there until this moment. It’s impossible to see a shadow in the darkness, but when the light starts to seep into your life, there it is. Following you… Reminding you.

The moment passes. I can breath again…

I go to the local Woolworths for some sort of escape into normalcy. Movement is healthy. Doing something normal is healthy.

The lights of the supermarket seem unnaturally white, but it’s good to see other people shopping. I imagine that this is all they have to do, that their lives are so simple, that they have nothing going on under the surface.

If only I was just there to shop.

No, I was there to escape my shadow.

I fill my basket with one packet of M&Ms, a block of dairy milk chocolate, cookies (reduced to $2), meat pies on special and a 2L bottle of milk. I feel like a woman who’s just gone through a break-up. Actually, I don’t know how they feel, but certainly in movies this is what they do.

I get home and put on the TV. Family Guy isn’t my favourite, but tonight it’s hilarious. I dip my cookies in a warm cup of tea. I’m ok. I’ve beaten it.

I’m ready for bed, but the feeling comes again.

Just do it. Get it over with.

It’s 11:11 and my shadow leads me out the door.

I walk past the stairway. A flush comes over me and I keep walking. Head down, hoodie over my face. It’s a cold night… I look normal.

“Please God, let me bump into someone.”

I walk past a pub that taking the chairs inside. Nobody recognises me as I keep walking into the night. But, there is nothing ahead. I turn around and go back, passing by the Pub again.

“Someone call me. Text me. Something. Save me!”

My heart beats faster and faster as the decision comes closer and closer. My shadow has me by the hand and won’t let me go.

My whole body is shivering.

I pass the stairs again. This time I take a quick glance upward. The pink walls remind me of the smell. The smell of essential oils and fabric softener.

The smell of excitement and shame.

I stand on the edge of the street. It’s freezing. I could just go home.

No.

Let’s get it over with.

I’m not at a bad point in my life. I thought the darkness was a phase, a black hole in my past that I’d overcome. But no, I was wrong. I’m haunted. I’m drawn into darkness. My shadow will lead me. My sin leads me… And I follow.

Lord, forgive me.

I walk up the stairs.

Written by Randall Evans

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