by Olivia Du Pont
“The first thing I remember was that everyone was yelling around me, my mother was crying, and the last thing I remember was seeing was a woman standing at the end of my bed. She looked at me for a moment, smiled, and then looked away. I then felt myself slip away. I woke up and felt like I was floating. There was nothing around me but yellow light, I looked around with curiosity rather than fear. I looked down at my hands but they looked different—my entire body illuminated the room. There were no thoughts that ran through my head, but instead there was a movie playing in my mind.”
“What did you see?”
“There was a little kid, and it took me a moment to realize that the little kid in the movie was me. I was three years old and I was lying in my newly bought “big kid” bed. There were fake glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling, but aside from that my room was dark. The door opened, and in walked a tall person who looked like my dad. It took me a moment to realize that the figure standing in my doorway was my sixteen-year-old brother. He walked into my room, sat down on my bed next to me, and touched me thinking I was sleeping. I moved, and he got scared—quickly leaving my room. This was the first time.
The next memory that played in my head was from when I was five years old. My brother was eighteen and he was babysitting me while my parents were out. He fed me dinner and then put me in the bath. I watched as he touched me for the second time as if I was sitting in a movie theater. Still, I felt nothing.
The next thing I remember seeing was something beautiful. I saw my father walk through the doors just getting home from work and greeting my mother with a kiss. I ran up to him yelling “Daddy!” jumping into his arms. I was eight. My brother was not home. This was a good memory.
I saw many other things in between. I saw myself as a ten-year-old, playing with my friends at school. I saw that one time when I was eleven and I called a girl in my class a bitch for the first time. I felt the pain as I watched her walk away to find somewhere to be alone and cry. I felt the guilt that came knowing that I hurt someone else.
The next thing I saw was a memory from when I was thirteen. It was my birthday and I had just celebrated with my friends. They had all gone and I was lying in my bed. It was the middle of the night, yet I was still up. My brother came in and seeing that I was awake sat on the end of my bed smiling and wishing me a happy birthday. He told me how happy he was to see me growing into such a beautiful young girl. He was twenty-six.”
“it’s okay Cora, keep going.”
“I remember seeing what happened next and this time I shied away. I couldn’t watch it, so I closed my eyes. I remember being in that place, surrounded by nothingness and watching something that couldn’t be real. ‘This isn’t real’ I thought. I was convinced that my mind was making this up. But I was not to be deceived—within fifteen minutes, my entire childhood was taken away. And then I saw every horrible night that came after that for the next three years.
The memories fast-forwarded to a time when I was twenty years old. I was a junior in college and I was a criminal justice major. I had a boyfriend who I had just started dating. I was happy—and I had completely forgotten about what had happened to me growing up. I saw a memory of my boyfriend and I going out to a nice restaurant—it was the first time a guy had taken me out for a nice dinner before. After dinner we went back to his room and watched a movie together. He was kissing me and I stopped him like I always do. I watched the fear in my eyes, and then I saw my face go blank. ‘Stop. Next time.’ I had said. I watched several more memories after that with my boyfriend where I said the same thing over and over again. And then I watched the memory from when I was twenty-one, as he was breaking up with me.
‘You are scared of me and I cannot figure out why.’ He said. ‘You make me feel like a monster, like I am doing something wrong.’
The memories fast-forwarded to my twenty-second birthday. I was at a bar with some friends, drunk and having a great time. I went back to my room and the alcohol was starting to rub off yet I still had the aftertaste in my mouth. I started to feel sick and the bad thoughts that always come when I am alone began to resurface. It was the weirdest thing—I could see myself thinking and I knew exactly how I was feeling in that moment. I was so upset that night but I couldn’t figure out why. Almost like when you feel in your gut that something bad is going to happen but can’t figure out what it is. I started crying and realized that I couldn’t do it anymore—I couldn’t live like this. There was nothing here for me, why would I want to stay in a world that has no room. So I didn’t. The next day I bought a gun and that night I shot myself in the chest. This was the last memory that I saw play in my head.
The movie in my head stopped and within a moment I started to disappear. Everything I was disappeared, but my mind was still there. I could no longer see anything, but I heard a lone voice coming from somewhere near me.
‘Who are you?’ I said fearfully.
‘You have to go back. There is not yet a place for you here.’
And with that, there was a shock, a boom, a shot of something beautiful, and then—life.”
About the Author:
Olivia Du Pont is a sophomore at the George Washington University majoring in Psychology with the eventual goal of becoming a Holistic Health Coach.