Looking at you makes my hands hurt. Not for any want of touch, but because I can not paint. I can’t paint the way you look, or the way you used to look at me. I can’t paint how your face changes when you laugh, and I can’t write about it either. How could I possibly put it into words? So yeah, my hands ache when I look at you. Because they know that even if I give them a full life of making things, they’ll never quite get you right. They won’t come close. Never at all.
My whole body aches all of the time. Call it fatigue or strain or growing pains, I don’t know. I just know that it hurts, but that the ache mostly makes itself at home in my hands.
It’s hard not to crack my knuckles all of the time. I feel like my fingers ache with all the words I can’t won’t don’t write and all of the songs I don’t know how to play. Things I never built and things I should have broken.
Instead I’m just pressing buttons all the time, and my fingers are rotting and wasting away from misuse and I pick at them and pick pick pick and bite the skin from my fingertips and I paint them pretty colours but they’re still ugly and useless.
So I’ll try crack them back into place, but I fear that they’ll never move like I want them to, never make or touch like I want them to. That the rot will find its way to the rest of me, and I won’t be able to do anything at all.
Sirens. Screaming. The terrible chill down her spine.
And then the scoreboard lit up.
It was bright, she knew, but the light didn’t hurt her eyes. There was no pain anymore. Only the numbers in front of her. A lifetime of steps, blinks, heartbeats- even hiccups. Numbers so big it was difficult to comprehend. And so so many. A different number for every action. Statistics for things she didn’t remember and things she wanted to forget.
She could only remember a small fraction of the 840,960,000 times her heart had beat, but she could remember each of the 3 times her heart had broken. The smaller figures- heartbreaks, broken bones, moving home, almost dying- those had little arrows by the numbers. She clicked one experimentally.
A date. A time.
Tap to replay memory, it read.
She let out a breath, or did she? It was hard to tell anymore. There was only the numbers in front of her. The statistics of a life lived- however briefly. 20 years laid out neatly before her. The list stretched on. Everything she had experienced, every moment of happiness, fear, sadness, and rage- ready to replay at the touch of a finger.
Which one should she chose?