Say That You'll Stay for One More Year...

...And leave the rest behind

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A Prayer Unheard: Gene & Phineas

Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I guess we never believed enough

You insist that I tag along with you, wherever you go. Even if I refuse. Although I do not refuse for the sake of refusing, perhaps it is just to see if you really want me to follow. If you honestly want me around. But when would you stop being so guileless; so untainted? To ask you that would be to put your own youth at risk. To put that world that you took me into and blast it into smithereens; useless and barren. Like the shadows of my own dark and tormented mind.

I catch myself holding in my breath whenever you speak to me. It is almost like some sort of habit that I have developed around you and only you, for maybe I anticipate something…anything that would mean not hiding anymore.

To go after what I truly do desire.
What it may be specifically, I do not know. I guess I am as innocent as you are in that sense. But that is where our similarities end. For you and I are brought from different planets; cut from different pieces of cloth. And yet, we conjoin at a place where I sense it may be the most sensitive and the least enduring; the most unstable. The least everlasting. Whether I had liked to admit it in the past, you and I are conjoined at the soul, as odd-sounding that may be to us.

People stab each other in the back; friends in the front.

That wretched line.
I hear my pulse race through my ears like muffled drumbeats; the tempo matching that of gunshots being fired. Never could I do something as unthinkable as that! Nothing as barbaric and animalistic as that! To backstab… would completely taint what you had given me. It would expose the lie that had been growing ruthlessly in the decrepit eaves of my soul.

Being torn in half…being pitted against yourself….sometimes I wonder if you would know what that is like. What if the truth that you were exposed to hurt you so much, you might never be able to walk again?

You would be a cripple. Almost like a leper.


My nauseating and see-sawing thoughts are interrupted. As I turn to look at you from my cot, I see you, your head poking out from underneath the covers and your golden flack of brown hair being bathed in the moonlight. Your eyes twinkle endlessly and are awash in wonder.

“You alright there? Haven’t you slept…? We’re going swimming tomorrow buddy, and we’re not going to miss it, even if you wake up late!”

You grin at me, flashing dimples that I had never noticed before. I lie and say that I had just been thinking of something, and you go your own way, believing every little thing I say. Your faith in me makes me feel disgusted with myself.

*The clock strikes 12 in the morning and the bell in the cupola rings; resonating clearly like death knells*

I hear a rustling of bed sheets and I prop myself up on my elbows and look up in your direction. Your whole entire body is bathed in a grey and dismal light that had crept its way from the window, while you sit there on the side of your bed. You appear to be praying.

A faint and gentle whisper settles across the room, and it is realized that it had been your voice the entire time:

“….and answer my prayers, that my pal may not be a lie…but even something better than the truth…”

What could be better than the truth? What in hell could be better than the truth?

“….and most of all, keep me safe in all that I do and partake in….keep me safe wherever I go….”

I cannot sleep now. I feel my hands begin to tremble.

“….whatever I do, and whomever I am with…..keep me safe. At school…in the classroom…out on the fields….”

Inaudible and useless words fall from my cracked and barren lips like a jumbled mess of religious jargon, until I cannot extinguish my own whispers from Finny’s any longer.

My words fall clumsily onto the floor, where they lay, shattered and misunderstood.

“….and Father, guard me and keep me close, especially by the river and the tree--”

My eyes snap open, and I cannot breathe any longer. I let out a muffled and uncontrollable coughing fit, which somewhat startles Phineas. He continues on praying for a bit, but then leaves the room swiftly.

As I sit up in my own bed, feeling my throat in the darkness, Phineas returns with a glass of  water.

“Drink up carefully pal; you don’t want to choke on your words tomorrow at this rate,” Phineas softly laughed as he watched me gulp down the refreshingly bland glass of tap water from the bathroom sink.

His eyes gaze kindly at me, with a hint of genuine concern at my momentary ailment. He warmly pats me on my shoulder and walks back over to his cot.

“Don’t you die on me now, Gene; sometimes I think it’s only you and I that understand each other in this world of sorts--” Finny lightheartedly remarked.

I say something to Finny, followed by a “good night,” but as soon as I hear his breathing even out and lighten, I shut my eyes. I begin my own desperate and rushed attempt at a prayer:

Grant me the strength to do what is right; let me cause no harm. Please.



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