• Maya Lemaire

Short Story - A Self Isolation Diary entry

“I don’t want to die” I sob crumbling down into a heap. 

“Look at me” his voice says lifting my chin “We can’t control this world. We can only control how we react to it.” 

“Yes, I know that.” I say as tears fall down my face in rivers. “I just have all these emotions coursing through me and I don’t…” I hiccup on air “I just don’t know how to process them” I gulp down mucus as I wipe my nose on my sleeve, long past caring. 

“Come here” he says wrapping me in his arms “Why don’t you tell me about them.” He says as he gently strokes my hair. “Tell me about those feelings.”

I lean against his chest thankful for the support. “Part of me has closed off against what is happening.” I sob “I’ve always done that when things got hard, but this is affecting so many people, no matter how hard I try to push it away, push away the feelings of despair and fear they seep into me like some poisonous gas leaving me paralyzed.” I hiccup as tears flow quicker. “I don’t know how to help! I don’t even know how to push myself through this…I… I don’t know how to be strong when I want to crawl under a rock and hide until it’s all over.” his hands continue to stroke me in a calming rhythm. 

“Lately I get up and my days pass in a haze of inaction and numbness.” I confess as sobs rack my body. He pulls me closer in response, his strength and calm enveloping me. 

“Why do you need to be strong for everyone?” the voice asks softly as I break down even more. 

I close my eyes and let my thoughts and feelings flow out of me. “I always feel like it’s up to me to save the world. I feel like if I am not productive or helping others in need during this that I am a poor excuse for a human being. But I can barely process my own emotions most of the time, and right now it’s even harder than normal to just let myself feel. Feel anything really, good or bad”

“Who told you you needed to save the world?” He asks prompting me to continue.

“I did,” I say “I vowed from a young age I would be a shinning light in the lives of others who felt alone. I didn’t want anyone to feel as alone as I did during most of my life, but here I am, feeling more alone than ever.” 

“Hmmm. I don’t understand darling.” he says as he continues to stroke my hair. “isn’t that what being strong for yourself would do?” He asks “Wouldn’t filling yourself with strength and feeding your inner light in turn help others who are trying to find their own inner lights and strength? Why can’t that be how you help the world right now? Why does helping the world mean putting yourself last? Why does helping the world mean cutting yourself off from your feelings, your source of strength?” He looks down at me. 

“We all deserve to fully feel our human experience on this earth. The only way to truly live life is to feel it all, the good, the bad, the in between. You aren’t really living if you stop yourself from feeling darling, even if the things you are feeling really hurt, even if the things you are feeling are really scary, they need to be felt.”

My tears calm down a bit as I look into his endless eyes, eyes full of possibilities and endless beginnings. 

“But how do I start?” I ask him. 

“You start by letting yourself feel, you start by letting yourself be, you start by putting value in your desires and dreams. You start by putting a bit of faith on yourself, and the rest of your faith in the power of the world to right itself with time.”

The arms around me disappear but the feeling of support doesn’t. I look around to see him gone.

“Where did you go?” I ask as I wipe away the last of my tears. 

“I haven’t gone anywhere” the non-distinct voice answers “I am inside you, I am you, you needed something to lean on and I was here to help you process what you needed to feel.”

I look down to see my hands poised above the keyboard of my laptop as my surroundings surge back into focus. 

“Now you need to get up and share your stories.” I type, slowly coming back into the room. “Make up worlds which will be there for others to lean on. Make worlds which will help others escape and come to terms with their own emotions.” I stop for a moment before I type, “And if you ever need me… I’ll be waiting. In the space between blank pages and your inner light, you’ll find me.”

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