Simple and Clean
“I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.”
-Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)
“I’ve been feeling... some strange things lately... like... is any of it... true? Or all lies?”
I sit on a slanted palm tree at the miniature plateau.
Aquamarine eyes gaze upon vast ocean and broad sky and warm sunlight, all natural elements of this tropical and peaceful atmosphere. The island winds brush my shoulder-length silver hair on proud and relaxed shoulders.
Days continue to pass, as does the nights without change. Constancy agonizes me, and now my dreams are beginning to merge with reality - to the point I’m convinced I live in a world of both.
Deep breath; I push my weight against the trunk and jump off. Once sneakers land on flat ground, sand cushions my feet. Tidal waves flow back and forth, cold water soaking my baggy blue pants. My eyes never waver from this incredible, tedious sight - endless ocean, blinding sunlight, and soon I feel something, someone, call out to me far greater than this. I turn around to see a spiky-haired boy standing at the edge of the seashore.
Sora. My best friend.
Fondness sweeps over me in an instant and I fail to notice the alarm, which flashes in his sky-blue eyes.
The tide picks up from the shoreline, retreating behind me with ominous speed. I sense the tsunami looming over me, threatening to crash down - emotions, memories, all back into the ocean reservoir. I feel calm, because somehow it doesn’t scare me. A dream has no reason to scare me.
I hold my hand out to Sora. Without hesitation he dashes into the water and strives to reach me in time to save me. Slow motion commences. I watch and wait with rapt anticipation, kept in suspense as though I were watching a movie.
The scene reverts, the colors relapse - as if someone pressed on rewind.
Sora charges at me again, a key-like sword in hand. I don’t recognize the weapon he holds. I don't even recognize myself. I feel different, stronger, dangerous. Dark energy courses in my body, my heart, my very soul. Evil and malicious intent controls my face to smile.
Such power. I almost couldn’t breathe.
The entire scene replays, restoring our original conflict.
Sora reaches me at long last; simultaneous collision, and merciless ocean engulfs us within overwhelming depths. I witness the both of us drifting apart, opposite currents rushing to carry Sora further away. Sudden separation dazes him until Sora notices the distance between us increasing.
This obstacle doesn’t daunt me. No way will a stupid dream defeat our friendship. I extend my gloved hand again. Sora lunges forward when perceiving my confidence and swings his skinny arms to fight against the force of the currents. Face focused, his limbs strain to swim, our fingers mere centimeters apart. Water swishes and sways without warning, suffocating me, whisking Sora away.
Before I thought I breathed my last and I’d drown, before I could no longer see Sora, water implodes, becoming a violent whirlpool.
Flying forth from all directions, liquid droplets solidify into indigo boulders, wedged together to form the walls surrounding me. I inhale fresh, precious oxygen and sigh in relief. Now I stand inside a small cave, our secret place where chalk drawings Sora, Kairi, and I drew as kids mark every inch of stone. Each picture tells a different story about the future, of imaginary animals and childish monsters. In front of me rests a mysterious, oval door. No doorknob, all wood - impossible to open. It has been sealed since before my childhood. Never a day goes by I don't desired to see the other side.
There a girl bred from pure darkness stands, another friend I've known my whole life. Koi.
Brunette, dark-skinned, she has black eyes that stare unflinching into my own. Long hair tied in a high ponytail, bangs shadow her forehead and frame a face so delicate, yet mature. She wears all black; a two-quarter sleeve zipped up, which exposes her collarbone and stomach, trousers streaked in twin white, and ankle-length boots. Her pupiless eyes fascinate me more than anything else about her. Maybe if I look in far enough for a certain amount of time, I may spot the faintest of a flicker, maybe even the slightest glow. None.
Ink blackness oozes from behind the door’s cracks, slinking on the ground like snakes. She doesn’t appear afraid of the imminent threat, does not budge an inch, and her passivity convinces me to do nothing. I watch as the dark tendrils weave through solid matter, smothering the whole cave, shrouding our feet. I think about moving, maybe running, until all of a sudden I lose the energy. No, not the energy; I lost the will, the want, to move. Wrapping around our legs, rooting us in place, I feel I just missed my only chance of escape, because I failed to try.
I struggle too late, and by the time I accept the futility of my efforts, I can longer see my chest, let alone her. What’s happening? How come everything I know and love has been disappearing before my very eyes?
The cave, the drawings, the door, Sora, Koi... They are all gone. I am all alone...
The ground abandons me, too, for nothing supports me in standing anymore. I free-fall into the shelter of darkness’s embrace. It soothes me with invisible fingers, coaxing my eyelids shut, using aesthetic coldness to cajole me in some sort of comatose protection.
Fending off my inner demons and numbing all sense of feeling in my heart -
What’s happening to me?