“You feel like dying?” Sarah’s angelic voice makes me regret my confession.

“I feel there’s a knot growing in my gut and I’m barely breathing. I’m tired of gasping for air.” I mean I cannot explain it any simpler. “I’m tired of the pain. This constant pain in my stomach.”

“The doctor said there’s nothing wrong with your stomach or physically for that matter. It’s all in your head.”

Those dreadful five words or is “it’s” considered as two words? I can never remember.

It’s all in your head, echoes in my head.

“Have you been doing the exercises?” I can’t tell if Sarah’s question is patronizing or concerning.

“No… Yes… Sometimes.”

“You have to move to get out of your head,” Sarah persists to lecture. “So, no, yes, sometimes, is not an answer.”

“Okay.” I agree because I don’t want to fight. After all, that’s easier. Listen and agree. Get lectured and agree. I mean I’ve been doing it all of my life; agreeing. Nodding and agreeing. “But, you don’t listen.” I blurt and for the first time, our eyes meet during the conversation. “You don’t hear me,” and I catch a glimmer of light, some understanding in Sarah’s eyes. She pulls the chair and takes a seat as if saying, I’m listening. So I begin, giving myself away. A transfer, free of charge. “I’m tired… My thoughts take their leap and run. Run as far away from me as possible. I’m not myself. I never have been. A vessel to feel other people’s emotions but my own. It’s easier to look at someone and identify what they feel and label it. I can’t share my own because it seems I don’t… I don’t own them.”

“So who does?” She asks captivated.

“Other people,” my words somewhat angry because isn’t it obvious? Has she not been listening? A vessel on a one-way street. A window peering out into a sidewalk full of mirrors. Like in Sarah’s eyes, my reflection and I can feel her heart melting. Confused but melting.

Lost for words but she surprises me at times. It takes a moment. It takes some math but she makes the effort. “You are my other people,” and her eyes smile as she finally speaks, and I smile because she got it. She sees it. She sees me and I wonder how long it would take her to find her reflection?

© Jacob Greb — 2020

return to Story Teller

To see oneself in other people.

6 thoughts on “Avalanche: Part 1

      1. felixtookflight says:

        She’s either simply looking at herself in the mirror or she’s trying (forcing) her companion in this conversation to find similarities between them. Basically saying, that at the core, we are pretty much the same.


      2. felixtookflight says:

        On a second read, the story also holds a bit mystical. As if the narrator has the ability to read people. To understand them more than they can understand themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. writeallwrong says:

    I like the twist at the end. Once you are able to be seen, heard, and understood, you can find out who you are and therefore see your reflection. In the process it’s hard to take real ownership of who you are. You may not like it. Pretending is an excuse and allows you to wear a costume. A costume that’s provided for you. That’s my basic takeaway.

    Liked by 1 person

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