Paradox lay on my bed. A girl who was simultaneously strong and fragile.
The girl turned and gazed into the parallel eyes in the mirror. Those eyes, like birch leaves, acted as a reminder that it was me, Freya Chambers, lying on that bed, and not some genetic copy of myself. During that long day, it seemed that two Freyas had been present.
The first had been the Freya that had walked through the halls of Whitman’s Academy of Art, and had paused to hear the news I had already absorbed reverberate through me again. As one of my classmates wept loudly for a death few mourned, I had consoled them, kept them warm in my slender arms and smiled warmly. I knew that the girl I comforted had not shared a bond as strong as mine with Kelsey Kay Vanderson; it could not rival the friendship Kelsey had shared with Odette, Liv or Tony; her tears fell for the life that was lost rather than for my dear friend who had found life too painful to cling to; she let go. That same Freya had met with her three closest friends in the now claustrophobic corridors and smiled with them, knowing that they all felt the same agony. Those hours spent within the academy complex dragged on slowly. I felt my brush against the canvas as various shades of blue and grey came into view and found a form. Tears found their way into the brushwork, sorrow met with apathy upon the blank sheet of society – life went on, somehow slower, yet still moving against the steady ebb and flow of emotions which rushed through me. The world, in its slowness, was cold and dark – I strove to be a light, a ray of hope, a friend to which others could turn.
Yet, I was now the other Freya –the one who allowed her emotions to reach her face, felt tears rolling down her cheek. This Freya, although enduring great pain and suffering, was the more selfish of the two. She cared more for herself. A searching question filled my head.
Which Freya is me?
I lay inside my mind, examining my memories of Kelsey Kay Vanderson. Some of them were painful, while others allowed a smile, however faint, however brief, to reach my face, before vanishing with the realisation of her permanent absence. I fondly remembered the contours of her face and the emotion in her eyes. A soothing warmth emanated from those eyes while she breathed. Now I knew that they were closed, and cold. Surrounding that kind face had been blonde hair, pushed back – this only succeeded in drawing yet more warmth from her face. It was then that I realised why there were two Freyas. The selfish Freya was closer to myself. The kind, warm Freya was born when Kelsey died, born to take up the flickering torch of goodness that Kelsey had held tightly throughout her short life. However painful it may have been, I wanted more than anything to be that Freya, to be both Freya and Kelsey. By bringing the warmth that Kelsey had shown to others, I hoped to keep the memory of her burning, shining, for all to see and remember the girl who had been lost to the darkness. A smile crossed my lips as I allowed the new Freya to fill the void within the old. My purpose became clear.
Kelsey. Sweet Kelsey. You will never fade.