2010-07-08: Better Days



Date: July 10, 2010


Maybe we'll find better days…

"Better Days"

Sydney's Townhouse

And you ask me what I want this year

And I try to make this kind and clear

Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

Cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings

And designer love and empty things

Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

Home. But not at home.

Alive. But not living.

Breathing. But not inspired.

Wrapped in a white crocheted sweater, and a pair of flannel pyjama pants, Sydney’s blonde hair and dark eyes only make her look gaunt in this light— which really, isn’t very light at all. She rests on the cream coloured couch, a leather jacket underneath her head as a sort of pillow that she clings to like a child would a security blanket. In the flickers of shadows she curls herself off the couch very slowly, essentially rolling. Normal people are sleeping at this time of day— the wee hours of the morning are only for insomniacs’ antics. But there is no rest for the truly weary.

Everything here belongs to her. The couch. The coffee table. The end tables. They’re hers. But this townhouse doesn’t feel like it, even with her name on the land title. She never paid for it, and despite her objections, Eric had insisted her name belonged on it. Considering she’s owned it since December, she hasn’t lived in it much. A month tops, if that.

Quietly she shuffles to the right end table and extracts a book of matches from the drawer. Slowly, carefully, she lights several candles— two on each end table, and three on the coffee table. After doing which she sits on the couch again staring at one flicker in particular. The shapes the candles make on the otherwise dark room are almost eerie, but amongst the warm glow, Sydney finds a kind of comfort, allowing herself to lay back on the couch again, hugging the jacket to her chest.

So take these words

And sing out loud

Cause everyone is forgiven now

Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

Closing her eyes is a frightening thing. Her face has that tight bruised feel— as she lays her cheek against the microfiber of the couch, she winces. Just a little, just enough to remind herself she’s not right. That nothing is right with the world. But then the pain is more than physical. Finally, after several moments of a silent, internal struggle, she coaxes her eyelids closed. Yet moments later they twitch open and glance at the candlelight. She really should blow them out if she’s trying to sleep. But then does she want to? The idea of everything going up in flames is too alluring. Besides, it’s been days since she’s slept.

In fact, her body is at that physically ill point that essentially pulls her to it. With another small twitch her eyes shut involuntarily this time, trying to think of something beyond the now but the terror clamps her eyes shut now, old terror coming back. Yet her eyes won’t open.

With a few deep breaths, she pushes happier thoughts forward. Dreams. Hopes.

I need someplace simple where we could live

And something only you can give

And thats faith and trust and peace while we're alive

And the one poor child who saved this world

And there's 10 million more who probably could

If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

But these also melt into terror.

Just like those hopes and dreams had.

Her eyes twitch with the images that burn into her brain; realities from a life she’d left long behind, one that she didn’t think would catch up to her again. Not now. Not after everything else that has happened, especially around Christmas when her past, essentially, died.

But the images won’t dissipate. She can’t force her eyes open. Fatigue has taken over. Her whole body tenses in its restful state, hardly looking like a body at rest. Her knees, even in her sleep, are drawn into her chest, further coddling the jacket like a kind of security blanket.

So take these words

And sing out loud

Cause everyone is forgiven now

Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

The scream from outside is blood-curdling, not even the sleeping beauty could rest through it, it draws Sydney to a sitting position, a scream at the forefront of her own lips, stifled only by a dry and scratchy throat and the knowledge that something wrong could be transpiring outside. Quickly she rolls of the couch, pulling the too-large-for-her-jacket over her sweater, virtually running to the window and pulling the curtain aside to investigate. She may be terrified, and unable to intervene, but it can’t stop her from calling the cops.

In fact, she still has an obligation— a deep-set devotion to who she is to help the victim. Other than when she’s the victim.

I wish everyone was loved tonight

And somehow stop this endless fight

Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

What she sees only causes her eyes to widen. The woman outside is curled into a ball. There is no sign of danger. No sign of trouble. And the street is empty. Shivering, Sydney bites her bottom lip as a sick feeling develops in her stomach. The candlelight flickers madly, only further shadowing the bruises along her cheeks.

Leaning her forehead against the glass, she closes her eyes, longing for some normalcy again. Sometime. Anytime.


So take these words

And sing out loud

Cause everyone is forgiven now

Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

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