Drowning my Sins by Katelynn Andrews

My name is Chance, and I have a voice in my head. Ever since that day, there’s been a voice in my head. It hides in the depths of my mind, in the corners of my imagination. I hadn’t known what it was, but I knew exactly why it was there. Everybody has their fair share of rights,  but everybody has their fair share of wrongs, too. It’s just that I’ve yet to come to terms with one of my wrongs. Because of it, I’m in debt with my mind, the voice in my head. 

1996, my older sister, Lynn, and I were walking home from school over an old, rickety bridge. Once we’d crossed the bridge, Lynn went down to the river bed to pick a flower. There were more rocks than anything, but that didn’t stop her, or the flowers. When Lynn bent down, I ran behind, and pushed her into the water. We were both young, I didn’t realize at the time that neither of us knew how to swim. I screamed for our mother to come quick; she came running out of the screen door that was enclosed by old pieces of wood that Lynn, and I painted white. I tried jumping in the water to pull her out, when my mom abruptly grabbed me from behind and pulled me out, instead. By that time, Lynn was drifting down the river with the current. She would occasionally come up from the water as she flailed her arms in panic. Mom went swimming after her, but Lynn came above water for the last time, and then reached the rapids. She went under and didn’t come back up. I was only trying to pester her, it’s just how I played with my sister. I loved her chasing me around for her school work and thinking I was annoying. It got her out of her room to spend time with me. I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could, but now I can spend none. 

The voice once told me that if she were still alive to play with me, she’d be playing with                                                                                                                                                                                                              the devil. I’m eighteen now. I have remorse for my actions, I have for years. But that’s not enough. Remorse doesn’t bring her back, it doesn’t stop the hostility my mother has held between her, and I every day since. My mother goes to the bridge most evenings, and sits on the; rock bed. I hear her sob, and I hear her scream. But occasionally, I hear her silence; that’s when I know she’s in the most pain. When she’s at a loss of words as the sorrow, and anger act as bullies, internally beating her up. I sit in my room when she mourns by the river. I can’t try to comfort her from the pain I caused. Though, during the Winter, I go with her because I don’t want her to slip and fall on the ice. The bridge had become decrepit with the season changes, but the flowers still grew. The voice antagonized me. One day, I was fixated on the bridge, as I was taunted by my brain. I balanced on the remains of the bridge for a moment. The voice gave me an idea; I jumped. It was only a foot or two jump, but what’s at the bottom doesn’t change from any height. There was no splash like there’d be on a warm, Summer day when jumping into a pool. There were only sharp cracks, and slight crunches. The sound of breaking ice was similar to the one of breaking bones. Silence then struck in my head, not my surroundings. My mom was screaming, but the voice wasn’t. I felt nothing but relief. My hands, and feet were numb; but the voice was gone. I’d much rather feel relief than my fingers. In that moment, it all went black, and I’d found a place darker than my mind. 

I woke up blurry eyed, vision fading in, and out. I felt frail, and weary. It was peculiar that I still couldn’t move my hands. It seemed I couldn’t move my arms, either. Everything was white. No yellow, no blue. My vision was still unsure of itself, but it was sure when it saw my mother standing outside of a door, sobbing. Two men wearing white came up behind, and pulled her away. She extended her arm towards me through the air as she repeatedly yelled “I’m sorry.” I reached my arm out in return as a tear rolled down my cheek. To my left was a woman holding four pills. I was told they would make me feel better, and take the pain away. I took the pills and held them under my tongue as I waited for her to leave. I wasn’t expecting it, but she asked me to lift my tongue. I panicked and slid them into my cheek. I was in a restraining jacket, so, I took the pills. crushed them with my feet, and swept the dust into the corner when she left. The voice laughed, it mocked me. After sitting in a corner like a child in punishment, and staring at a wall as if it were my only friend for long enough, I began to get along with the voice. When I spoke to the wall, it would only answer on occasions. At least the voice initiated conversation.

 Lynns blood was on my hands, it wasn’t intentional, but it was my fault. The pathetic apologies I gave were like trying to clean a spill the size of an ocean with a singular sponge. I took the medicine I was given. I felt like I was hanging upside down, and everything had been irreversibly knocked into slow motion. The faces I’d occasionally see would move in  a swirling motion. I felt delusional, but I didn’t feel any pain. I remain in the corner to pay my debts, pay the consequence of the conscience. I have no chance. I am a prisoner of my own mind more so than I am these walls. Sometimes life puts obstacles in front of you that you can’t overcome. And it’s a tragedy, but not everything grows flowers. 

The voice wasn’t in my head. I realized my phone had become a vessel for her spirit. Alexa, and Siri had nothing on her. I tried to destroy it. Nothing worked. I eventually threw it in the river too, but that made it worse. 

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