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Splinters In Time

By Kayley Ulmer

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    By Sophia Vaughan
  
The future is stalking me. My love affair with the past sparked a new jealousy in it. The future’s shapes and features never quite fit together into a single figure, yet I still know it is headed full force for me. The looming presence of what's to come haunts the far crevices of my thoughts. Its hot breath recites my fears back to me, like a broken record of sorrow. The uncertainty of it all leaves me with an unsettling image of myself, years down the proverbial road, alone and wondering what went wrong. My potential future self lacks ambition, and she's missing the sole passion that once drove her to survive. She lives a life deprived of purpose, in a loveless home with a man who feels like a stranger and children who won't bother to appreciate her. The future is clever. It taunts me just enough to provoke fear, but leaves enough distance to maintain its air of mystery.

The past is slowly dying beneath me. It comes as days long past, my first love, the happy, sticky sweat of summer nights long gone. I love the past; it feels as comforting as warm sweaters on chilly autumn evenings and popsicles on sticky summer days. The past is my safety blanket; it keeps me from branching out and expanding. It knows this, too. The more times we make rendezvouses, the muddier the past becomes; it's becoming misshapen. Perhaps that's its task, to create a fading nostalgia that trumps all else.

The present escapes me. It's too quiet as it slips past me. Between my anxiety towards the future and my romance with the past, the present proves far too easy to ignore. It's not eager enough to snatch my attention for itself; perhaps it isn't trying. I’m not sure the present is as exciting as the days and memories I can no longer touch, anyways. I have no way of knowing. The present is a cunning little vice.

Time makes me chase it. Like some sort of a cat and mouse game, time distracts me with its multiple forms. It leaves me disoriented and grasping for all three at once. Somehow, time cheats me over and over again. It's laughing at me, now. I’m more of afraid of the prospect of losing time’s structure than I ever was of future’s anonymousness. Time sees my weakness before I can acknowledge the fault. Through it all, time always wins. The concept we created to make our lives orderly houses the very same idea that plucks away our sanity.
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