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A requiem for adamantine Mnemosyne - The aftermath

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Sunday, 15th December. 00:08.

Homecoming

Lambent moonlight flickered gently over the tiny puddles that were formed by minute pits in the slightly uneven cemented ground. Far away, a train siren sounded somewhere among thickly wooded dells, and the sound of distant parties; rowdy but jolly with all the cheer of Christmas, was just reaching my ears.

It made me remember, made me think back to a time, about two weeks ago, when I was still at that school. It felt like it was back in another lifetime. I was sitting in my dorm, at my desk, and concentrating on the whirring hum of a computer's fan - the music and laughter streaming through the window from outside meant I didn't want to put any mp3s on. What I was thinking about and feeling; I had experienced phenomena like this many times before. Again my dreams had twisted away, rolling into carbon smoke from an extinguished match. I knew that out there, just beyond my reach, were people having fun and enjoying themselves - people I see every day but who I will never know.

It seemed our house was the only one not allowed a proper Christmas party this year. And, cruel world that it is, it would only have been shared with Her house. But still, this wasn't what made me feel so upset and such an overwhelming sensation of loneliness. It wasn't only me that was missing out on a few glasses of cheap supermarket wine and a shifting of the feet to the latest Now That's What I Call Music! compilation album and hired disco lights. I felt lonely because, again, I was reminded how woefully I failed to fit in at this horrid place. How I had so few friends who I desperately clung on to with those chipped nails, and how I found it so difficult to be accepted through the strong bonds formed over the years. I want to meet new people, and vowed to really make an effort.

But I have been making effort all the time, and I still find it impossibly hard. There's no use blaming it on them, saying they have an élitist attitude and that they're all posh snobs. It's not them, it's me, and I can't change myself, so I don't know what to do. I'm not the most labile person ever, but I never even thought I'd be this bad. I didn't ever expect to reach the highest echelons of the social ladder (nor did I really want to), but believed I may get a grasp of the first rung. Even when I'm not feeling too depressed to acknowledge anyone else, I find it so hard to engage people in conversation and say the right thing in firmly established groups of friends.

Earlier that day, I had walked along the familiarly worn path, as always listening to the soundtrack of my life. I looked down to my feet and saw a thousand sweet red berries, saw petals aching with contrition. Once beautiful velvet hearts cast aside unwanted, shunted away. They were downtrodden and guttered, the berries saw their insides forced out and strewn across the side of the pavement: my glimpse of the dirty coal heart as the leaking scarlet blood turned black. The boots came down again to the music that follows my footsteps. It wasn't nearly as cold as it is now, yet I felt no chill about. I thought only about how everything felt so familiar yet so far away, and then I rose over the crest of the hill to greet the place I once knew.

And so, it was the weekend I'd gone back home. I was still there at the train station, checking my watch hands against the electronic display hung up by the track. I could hear the slow but steady ticking of my second hand, piecing thorough my thoughts as it gradually neared ten past twelve. They are sitting there talking to me and, in turn, listen to what I say. And I notice the whistle has now gotten louder.

Now I'm on the train and leaving them all over again.

Suddenly, blurred by soft drizzle, playful and hoydenish shrieks ring out down the empty platform. The sound waves whooped gracefully through the air, passing through thousands of minute ethereal raindrops and the flexible perspex scarred by adolescents' etchings I'm leaning my head against. I looked back, peering through the steamy, water-smeared glass, and watched the three beaming teenagers prance gaily along beside me. I looked back at the people I still knew after being away for so long and they looked back at me - still the only ones who even began to understand.

If someone ever leaves me, I'll tell them never to look back.

And so I was smiling to myself as they trailed off, beaten by the train's acceleration. I watched those three people gradually fade away into the damp evening mist, and I was gleeful and happy. All this, even though I could no longer see their outlines as they inevitably turned back and headed toward the ramshackle exit, my momentary rôle played out and forgotten. No; right then for that fleeting ephemeron, I was happy deep inside because, at that very time, I truly felt that I was loved for the first time in ages.

I was smiling because I knew people still cared.





And then the screen faded to black...

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