Written by Miriam Fernandez
Art by Kelly Lacy
At 11:59 p.m, I got on a train and left.
For the last seven months, the constant battle to keep up and be “perfect” has been weighing down on me like an endless burden. The past kept trapping me—day in and day out—and I could no longer control the demons that lived inside my chest. The fantasy of living a grand life had been the dream of an innocent child, a spring flower that blossomed only to find the rays of sunlight far too rough and piercing.
All I ever wanted was to be enough. Dancing ballet as soon as I was able to walk, learning to play guitar right after and the million other instruments that followed. I was proclaimed a ‘star’ at an early age—a brilliant mind in the midst of ordinary people. They wanted me to be better, smarter, and above all, extraordinary.
They sculpted me to appear perfect, not a single crack visible under the layers of a facade I maintained for years. I was the epitome of a broken heart trying to fix itself over and over, piece by piece. I was holding on by a mere thread, the same thread that could snap in an instant if I chose to let go. But I had no option.
This thread unraveled in numerous directions, tying me down in places I had no love for. Endless turns and folds—a mirage of being admirable when, deep down, I was nobody. Every night, I would turn to the moon and cry silently, knowing she would hear my tears flowing like a river down my body. Her incandescent glow was like an embrace, soft to the touch and warm to the spirit. The air was magical and yet, I was frozen to the core in this paralyzing room. Trapped, recklessly caged in this prison.
The air is cold on this train, my breath appearing in front of me. I’m seated next to the window and there’s no one next to me. My breath fogs up the glass and my finger trails down the window, carefully writing each letter before pausing.
G O O D B Y E
I know what they’ll think of me once they discover I’m gone. I know what they’ll say as soon as they find my closet empty, my buried dreams unearthed, and the room heartachingly empty. I know the absence of a farewell letter will terrify them.
They’ll begin by screaming, their rage limited as they find anything or anyone to blame for my disappearance. They’ll start tearing through the house, knocking down priceless porcelain, and slamming their fists into walls. They’ll turn against each other—two loveless souls pitted against one another from the start, battling to win the title of ‘less guilty’.
Remorse will be their next step. Their anger will soon start to fade and memories of guilt will build up in their conscience, wrecking their minds with the truth they didn’t see. Or better yet, the truth they didn’t want to see. They’ll settle down in one of the many fine leather couches they own, running their hands through their hair as they contemplate all they missed when living with me.
And of course, pain will be the final blow. Their sobs will echo loudly throughout the lavish abode, my ghost present as it hears their tears streaming and seeping into the floor. I know they’ll turn to the arms of sorrow once they’ve realized who they lost. Not a valuable asset, not an extravagant gift, but their only daughter.
For once, loneliness is the only thing that comforts me. I lay back in my seat, watching as the scenery starts to fade and the trees become a blur. The world is a mess, but at least I won’t be the one leading it.
At 11:59 p.m, I got on a train and never came back.