One time, I was feeling pretty sad. I wrote a diary entry and it ended up being a story. That story ended up being the prologue to a book I am (hopefully, one day) going to write.
I hope you enjoy.
Hi! I've been working on the next few chapters to this story and there have been several edits to the prologue for reasons that I can't be bothered trying to explain.
Hopefully I'll manage to fix whatever else needs to be fixed so that I can start doing whatever it is that I plan to d
“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”
- John Green, Paper Towns
“Humans lack good mirrors. It is hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show how we feel...”
- John Green, Paper Towns
“It's not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the
living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?”
- John Green, Looking For Alaska
This is how Isola feels. Isola is a just-short-of-seventeen year old and she has begun to believe that her life is hopeless. Her loneliness drowns her, what used to be a dull ache now courses through her body like a river down a waterfall. The river of loneliness washes through her system every moment of every day, only slowing in the brief flashes of numbness or sleep. She is surrounded by a family that she loves and she is completely aware that there are probably things worth living for in her life, but the loneliness she feels is difficult to deal with. She is trapped in the labyrinth with no-one to save her and despair is chasing her.
Isola has begun to feel like a fly caught in a dead spider’s web. She is slowly starving, both physically and mentally. The ache is keeping her awake all night and tired all day. Just being aware is taking every ounce of her energy – every ounce of her motivation – draining her physical strength. Trying to feel anything but lonely is draining her emotions. She cannot feel joy or anger as she used to. She is slowly starving.
She has dreams. Fantastic dreams of being successful and happy, but she feels it is useless to dream when nothing ever goes the way she wants them to. Conversations that never happen and incomplete thoughts gone with every fleeting moment of hope that she feels.
She often wishes that she was a character in one of those silly teen-romance novels that she loves to read because everyone gets a happy ending. The good guys always win and the protagonists’ dreams always come true. Their friends are always the coolest and the end is always full of love and happiness that Isola can only imagine that she could feel.
Isola knows loneliness because she has never felt real love from anyone – not even her family. She knows loneliness because her friends always turn out to be not-so-cool. Isola is lonely because people always look at her through mirrors and windows. Just mirrors and windows.
People believe Isola to be content because they project how they feel and what they want her to feel. They look at her through a mirror of themselves. When they try to see through her eyes, they are only looking through a window: never seeing the full extent of how she truly feels. They seem to believe her to be more than a person. A superior being that can’t be hurt because she is so completely laid-back and untouched by cruelty. Someone that did not feel pain or sadness or loneliness like everyone else does. What an exceptionally cruel thing it is to believe that a person is more than they could ever be.
The truth in that is so over-whelming, because in actuality, we all do it. We all idealise people and believe them to be holy or infinite. We believe others to be perfect. And so those who are idealised? How lonely must they be? To be put on a pedestal 50 feet in the air with no way of getting down because they have no-one to tell that they just want to walk on solid ground. No-one to explain to that they just want to be with other people who know what it feels like to be lonely and sad and full of pain. To love and be loved, rather than to be idealised and to feel nothing but loneliness and pain.
What a horrific thing it must be. To literally be the only person in your world, not by choice, but by some tragic mistake made by others. To literally have no-one there to tell that you can’t feel anything but the awful ache of sadness and loneliness. A simple feeling that can ruin an entire person. A simple feeling that can wash out all other emotion. A simple feeling that is really not all that simple. A rather complex feeling that can be both present and absent at the same time.
Isola stares at the ceiling. It had become her nightly routine. Come in from doing nothing at school; flush her dinner down the toilet; read a book; brush her teeth; then go to bed to stare at her bedroom ceiling. She pretends to be asleep if anyone ever comes in. She rarely has to do that though. No-one really cares about what she does. No-one really cares about her. Why would they? She laughs humourlessly to herself.
It had been yet another one ofthose daysat school – where all of her teachers were on at her for not doing her homework again, even though she had told each of them numerous times that she didn’t ever plan on doing any of it. They were all on at her for failing tests and NABS and sub-tests and whatever else they felt the need to pester her about. Everyone knows that Isola is failing her classes, so she figures that her teachers should just leave her to do it in peace.
The thing is though; Isola knows that there are things to live for. Things that should be more important than how she feels. She knows that it is selfish to make wishes on eyelashes that fall out and for every single one of them a wish that she would not feel as lonely as she does. She knows that it is stupid to wish that she was dead rather than feel like she does. Isola knows. Isola just wishes.
As Isola continues to watch the ceiling, she tries to memorise how the shadows move and change shape as the hours tick by. She sighs. She knows that she is not going to sleep tonight. She once again wonders why she bothers trying, then instantly scolds herself. Some nights she manages to fall asleep for an hour and she is always grateful for it, even though she still feels like she is dead walking when she needs to get up. She sighs again.
Isola wishes that she was not lonely. She wishes this because she wants to make her life worth living. She wants to go to bed at 10pm and be able to sleep all night and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and alive.
She wishes that she could admit to feeling the way she does in a way that is not hidden away in a diary or on a blog or highlighted words in her favourite books or in a stupid story. Isola wants the courage to speak out and admit that there is something wrong. Before all of that, however, Isola realises that she needs to be able to admit how she feels to herself.
She wants to feel better so that she could try to help other people with their crushing loneliness. Isola wants to make other people realise that life is worth living because every life is precious. Every life, from the life of the smallest fly to the life of the largest whale. Every life is precious. So why couldn’t Isola believe that her own life is precious enough to keep living? So why couldn’t she believe that everything will get better?
Most of all, however, Isola wishes that she could get off the pedestal of idealism and join all the people on the ground. She does not want to be the only person in her world who knows how she truly feels.