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Drowning in Flames
Drowning in Flames

Drowning in Flames


Isn’t it beautiful? The russet leaves are soaring down, laying in piles beneath my feet. They are littered across the city streets, the fiery-red glows so brightly against the ebony black tar. The woody scent of the oak trees is so strong, and the desperate branches are reaching out to touch the azure sky. It’s tinged with the subtlest claret red, barely hidden by the wisps of ivory clouds scattered amongst it, not quite concealing its beauty. The wind was dancing, playing in the bushes and the trees. The air was light and the day felt infinite.

How long would this feeling last?

If the anguish inside could dissipate for more than just a fleeting moment maybe the days would be more beautiful, or at least bearable. If the pain would stop. Just little while longer.

Each foot moving one in front of the other, slowly. A sluggish stride accompanied by the flaccid movement of my arms hanging dead by my side. The other people saunter past, unphased by this broken man. The people around me are so full of love, so full of life. A man floats past with a young boy gleefully sitting upon the mountain of a man. His bluebell eyes were shimmering with joy that mirrored his father’s identically, a spitting image. I envied them. I loathed them.

The bitterness. The anger. It burned inside, like a scorching fire scolding within. I seethed. I boiled. I hated.

Until I didn’t.

I mourned. I saw nothing. I felt nothing. The faces blurred and the voices faded. Alone.

The pain began to suffocate me. A blanket of torment and solitude. Alone.

* * *

The pain. Like darkness swallowing my heart, gnawing at my soul. The burning was the most overwhelming thing, my brain on fire. But I sat there, paralysed.

His frail body laid so still on the ivory, paper-like sheets of the dull room pathetically decorated with washed-out animal stickers. A steady beep, the pungent scent of sanitiser, his lifeless face devoid of all hope and light. I barely recognised him.

He once smiled at me full of life, until he didn’t. He laughed so loud it would echo through our home, until it didn’t. He held my hand so tight, until he didn’t.

His little body finally let go, a final breath released that kept going on forever. The beeping of the monitor behind me faded into nothing and the world around me went quiet. The people’s voices blurred together, their faces merely smudges on a broken canvass.

He was here. Now he isn’t.

I sat there holding his limp hand. I didn't scream, didn't move a single muscle. My body went cold and my heart shattered but I stayed silent. I stayed with him. I stayed until his body went stiff, until his eyes rolled back and went glassy and distant. I caressed his once baby smooth skin that had now gone cold and clammy. I held his small head close to mine. I stayed, until I couldn’t. I gently let go of his clammy hand and put his favourite ben ten toy within his lifeless fingers so he wouldn't be alone.

Then I left.


* * *

"I’m sorry for your loss"

"We’re here for you"

"You’re not alone"


I am alone.

Death. Mourning. Funeral. Wake. Nothing. Alone. Nothing. Alone.

The empty sympathies were infuriating. Why are you apologising? Go away.

These people were crying. Why? He was mine. Not yours. Go away.

They were here, until they weren’t.

They’re gone now. That’s what I wanted, right?


I sat there on the floor of the cold, empty apartment cradling a small plastic dinosaur to my chest. its eyes were coloured in red with pen and the bright green had long since faded to a dark army green. I tried to throw this old thing away so many times, each time it ended up back in his bed, a few times he didn't bother cleaning the gunk from the bin off of it. My eyes drift over to our T.V, underneath sits a game controller. I can hear his little tantrums as a child wanting to win, I can hear his victory song when he finally beat me for the first time. The first of many. But not enough.

The tears no longer fall, my heart clenches within my chest but the pain has subsided to numbness. The aching remaians but my body no longer responds to the commands of my brain. Time is no longer linear, it travels every which way but I sit there. Forever alone.

I sit here alone gathering dust, I spectate the outside world from the immobile perspective of a hollow shell. Our game goes unplayed, his toys wait eagerly for his return. As do I.

I sit alone without my boy, my gaming buddy, my best friend, my son.

I am alone.

* * *

Winter is here now. The clouds swirling in angry, threatening sullen swarms of darkness hanging ominously over us all. Heavy. Suffocating. A constant leaden sky sits drearily above like it was painted with coal. Everything is so dark.

Yet the world keeps spinning. The kids keep laughing. The parents keep smiling. The people keep moving forward.

Surrounded by people living their life with no regard for the people around them.

They smile. Laugh. Live.

They mock me. They hurt me. Why?

Where was a place for the broken man with the burning heart? The man devoid of purpose.

Where am I to go without him, when he was everything? Where do you go when there is nothing left?

He was here, then he wasn’t.

But it is that pain keeps him alive. He will burn inside my heart forever. Until I see his gummy smile again, hear his laugh. I’ll wait here. Alone.

Not forever. Only until the flame dies out.

Until I see you again.


Author Notes: I miss him so much. This is very loosely but also specifically related to him.
You deserved the world my friend.
To the boy with the doodle pad and the perfect underlines. I know your family misses you, we all do.

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22 Mar, 2019
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