My name is Kristin.
I enjoy writing.

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When I was young, my parents brought me to church. Every Sunday, my brother and I would reluctantly put on our dress clothes and climb into the backseat to go. I would hardly understand the service. I just knew that it lasted precisely sixty minutes and the pastor’s voice would sometimes be loud and sometimes it would be soft. Sometimes he would pause and the silence would be thick and heavy in the air. I knew that there would be singing and the songs were not fun to sing, but they were somehow important to sing even though I didn’t understand them. I knew that sometimes other people would sing and by the way that they sung, had practiced probably many hours. I knew that no one would clap for them no matter how beautiful their voice was. We would sit in silence and wait for the pastor to start speaking again without acknowledging the fact that this person’s heart was probably beating fast and their forehead moist with sweat from the adrenaline of singing in front of so many people.

When I was thirteen, I was put in a class called ‘confirmation,’ where I studied the bible every Wednesday after school. I was with other students close to entering high school, and at this point, we were expert learners. We would ask questions that didn’t make sense to the pastor. More often than not, we were told that the answer was ‘because he said so.’ You can imagine our reaction when things did not add up. A + B didn’t equal C. Everything we were being taught in school to make logical sense of things was thrown out the window and we were supposed to somehow just trust this man even though it didn’t make sense to. The most memorable part of this class was when we suggested we make church more fun, the pastor responded with ‘if you are having fun, you probably aren’t learning God’s word.’ I can recall the way he said it, the gesture of his hands which were nervous from being challenged and attempting to be assertive. I can recall the expressions on the faces of my fellow students as we looked at each other in disbelief. For the first ten years of our education, we were told precisely the opposite. The idea that learning was fun was engrained in our brains since pre-school. And now, this man we were supposed to trust because he said so was going against everything we knew. At what point were we supposed to abandon logic? We were being taught contradicting ideas, we were being told to believe two things at once. It was as if your parents told you to do two different things and you didn’t know which to obey.

Since I graduated from confirmation class after my brother, my parents abandoned going to church entirely. They claim that they are too busy, that they are too tired on Sundays even though they were not when my brother and I were younger. We were told that that’s just how things were, that we had to go every Sunday, and now that I am twenty years old, I know that it’s not at all how things are. Who and what am I supposed to believe when everyone contradicts everything else in the world?

The keys beneath her fingers were as light as air and the pressure she used in her fingers was almost unrecognizable to her. She needn’t think about how much to apply or where to place each one, she simply felt and her body responded. Playing the piano had always been second nature to her. It was as if music her piano produced was her first language, with Italian being second and English being third. However, music seemed to be the only language she was fluent in. She had trouble writing and speaking with words and much preferred to sound out her expressions. No one else understood this. 

The truth is in my eyes when I close the bedroom door at night, alone. Alone in this hollow house with nothing in it but a beating lonely heart. The only solace in the atmosphere exists because of the hollow house itself. It is said that the elderly are wise because of their abundance of time spent on earth, however, the same can be said for an aged house. Its walls have stood through a century. The truth of the past resides within its walls, hiding for no one to find. In many ways I am the same as the hollow house, for I am filled with wisdom but stripped of purpose. I am standing but I am dying. I am alone with solace not my own. 

Do not ask me if I have endured the depths of the deepest trench ever grasped by man, continuing until the ends of the earth where the waves of the deepest and purest blue turn into the darkest pigment of the imagination. Do not ask me if my heart has ever been swallowed by the darkest part of reality, where wicked ghosts of the murderous reside, keeping the souls of the damned company within their bonds of hell. Do not ask me, for you cannot withstand the truth of the answer.

One day someone will come to rescue you. They may appear in the midday sun, so apparent and clear that you will second guess the existence of any memory before them, or they may appear in the shadows of the evening, where the sun radiates its golden hour, illuminating everything in sight with an amarillo tint. Their movement through the darkness of the shadows will catch your eye, perhaps even startle you and send you backward, but their eyes will radiate the goodness of their soul and calm your racing heart. This someone will come when you are at your breaking point, where the floorboards under your bare feet cannot handle the weight of your loneliness and sorrow, where the sun shining in the window cannot bear to shine on the paleness of your heart and the dullness in your eyes. This point can be precarious, as it will seem to have come again and again, hitting you with such force that not a single atom in your body will believe that it is not the moment you need to be rescued. Know this: you will not recognize the point until it dissipates with the presence of your rescuer. 

I swallowed back the last of the pills I kept in an old coin purse I kept in my shoulder bag. Twenty four hours and I would lose the microscopic effect they had on the pain I carried day in and day out. This was physical pain, however, the least of my worries. The pain that truly haunted me was located in the center of my heart, as if I had been stabbed by a dagger by no one in particular, the weapon being twisted and buried deeper as the days passed.

There wasn’t much that could stop her. She was a girl born with little luck and little talent, though she had a skill in everything she had ever taken a special interest in. She had a certain way about her - either she was hopelessly passionate about one thing in particular, or it was as good as nonexistent to her. This fact made it difficult for her to achieve everything she set her mind on, as she wanted all the world would offer her and had too little time to acquire the skills to capture every desire. However, when she did, it was resounding feat in her eyes. There was something about challenging the obstacles that were set to stop her and overcoming them that made her feel as if she were on fire. A wildfire, so strong and powerful and unstoppable.

He stated that with the exception of his fiancé.

It was the whispering I noticed first. It was barely audible in the back of the room. At first I didn’t even hear it. Then, it’s begging persistance forced me to acknowledge the almost silent sound. I had been writing in my diary at my desk using the small, antique lamp my grandmother gave me to illuminate the pages. I glanced behind me when I couldn’t ignore it any longer. It stopped. I exhaled, letting the breath hang in the air as I gave the sound a moment to return. It did not. That is, until I started writing again. I whirled around when I heard it once more, and it, again, stopped with the presence of my sight.

After that, it did not return until that night as I was laying beneath my duvet. It haunted me the moment I closed my eyes. It repeated the same phrase over and over.

"Destroy yourself. Destroy yourself. Destroy yourself."

I am positively sure that the sun exists solely to stalk me.  Every morning, he’s greeted me with his impaling brightness, warning me of the prevailing light that will last for the next several hours. I had known him to perform this every day since the very first day I can remember, and I’m very well aware that he thinks he’s clever. He hides one day only to strike me the next. I’ve learned to deal with this, but the battle between me and the sun has been lasting for the last sixty seven years, and I am slowly losing. I’ve come to realize he will never stop murdering me.