The Weight Of Belonging: A Short Story

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Life can have its way with people - some are strong enough to carry the burden, while others stumble under the weight. What is this “weight” I reference? The weight of belonging, of fitting in with society, of appealing to others’ sense of who you are, of not loving yourself, of hating your own existence. This was him. This was what drove him. When we first met, I felt my skin come alive; my heart raced, my head spun, every nerve in my body tingled. I laughed like I had never laughed before. I smiled until my face hurt. Then, he disappeared. The boy I knew, the boy I was once in love with - he was consumed by the weight of this world. He did things he knew he should not do. He pushed his body to its limits. He strove to belong. This once lively, energetic, ocean-eyed boy turned into a shadow. His hair once pillow-soft became coated in gloom and grease. His skin faded to grey, his teeth yellowed, his mind rotted, yet the world solemnly stood by. Every day,…show more content…
His skin lost all natural pigment, his pupils remained dilated, his gait became unfamiliar. I began to hate myself then, hate who I was for not being able to save the one I loved. I became sick, an empty husk guided by a single purpose. Him. At the time, I had no one, no friends, not even my family. I pushed everyone and everything away to focus on him. I needed to take care of him. I told myself this over and over. Eventually, I broke. Everything I had been hiding, everything I had been suppressing, I finally let it out. I decided this disease I had let control us both would do so no longer. I spoke out. I told my family as well as his. His family rescued him, they helped him in a way I never could. He hated me then, he could barely stand to look at me. I ruined it, whatever “it” was that appealed to him about his life. I lost him, a sacrifice I would make again and again... a decision I will remember for the rest of my life, but never

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