Journey to the Summit

That red lightning chased me into other dreams. In one, I was on a plane with my lost love. The plane for whatever reason was starting to fall. I was now outside the plane, on the wing. I was supposed to save it, I could see her terrified through the window. Red lightning crackled all around me, until we crashed into nothingness. It was my fault.

If you’ve ever felt the pain of love, if you’ve ever felt like your floating through space, suffocating, waiting to finally touch ground and start running, or if you’ve ever wondered if there’s anything more to life than the status quo, you’ll understand what I’m about to tell you.

I started my journey last year. After I left university after two weeks and lost my true love (or who I thought was so) in the later part of 2019, I fell into a deep depression. I fell asleep. I remained asleep for months, walking like a zombie within society, a blind, invisible zombie.

I started having these really weird dreams, almost nightmares. For anyone else, they would scream themselves awake, for me, it was an escape. In these dreams, I was spiderman. I had a whole costume, web shooters, everything. It didn’t matter though, I wasn’t a hero. In those dreams, this dark cloud came down upon the earth, full of red lightning, and I was supposed to stop it. It tore apart the earth, suffocating civilians, striking the innocent. By the end of it, all I could see was destruction. Crumbled cities and skyscrapers. Dust everywhere, scattered remnants of society. It was my fault.

That red lightning chased me into other dreams. In one, I was on a plane with my lost love. The plane for whatever reason was starting to fall. I was now outside the plane, on the wing. I was supposed to save it, I could see her terrified through the window. Red lightning crackled all around me, until we crashed into nothingness. It was my fault.

In another, I was being chased by a tornado full of that same red lightning. It tore apart everything behind me, and the more I ran, the more it destroyed everything. Death was my fault. I was an agent of chaos. It chased me across the bridge as I searched for her, but it destroyed that bridge, taking me and everyone else sheltered there down into the abyss. It was my fault.

For months I dreamed. Everyone said I needed to wake up. I thought I was wide awake, but really, I was standing there in my theater, broom and dustpan in hand, dreaming. Along with these terrifying dreams, I had other aspirations.

I wanted to be a hero, so I could save instead of destroy. I would stand in front of the theater auditorium when it was empty, and envision people sitting there, or standing, applauding and cheering for my performance. I wanted people to be there. I needed people to understand my pain. To value me.

After a couple months, in March of 2020, I turned 18. I had an opportunity to move away from Kentucky where it’s boring and reminders of pain. I had the opportunity to move back to my birthplace, Phoenix, to live with my aunt and cousins. It was an escape, my ticket to freedom, so I took it. I took flight.

When I arrived in Phoenix on March 17th, 2020, 5 days before my 18th birthday, I was greeted with palm trees and sunshine, mountains surrounding me wherever I looked. That was also the day I met someone new.

Me and my cousins were playing monopoly, and I was winning. I was wearing my blue denim jacket, black Jordan t-shirt and joggers, with our white chihuahua right next to me. That’s when she walked in. I didn’t like her like that at first, I actually didn’t fall for her for months after that, but this was my first time meeting her. She was beautiful.

Over the next few months, I had a blast here in Phoenix. We were all going to parties together, to the theme park, restaurants, hiking trips in the desert, etc. I felt like I was on the summit of life. I had found it. This was where I belonged. These were my people. Through this time, me and her became really close. For her birthday, we all went to her house and gave her gifts we picked out. I don’t even remember what I gave her, I just know I was worried she wouldn’t like it. She liked it, that was that.

Fast forward to a week before Halloween. I was still getting over my first love, but I was sure I really liked this girl at this point. She was caring and attentive, but also tough and assertive. She was social, and hardworking, and she loved motorcycles and leather jackets. She was amazing. That night, we all went to Dave & Buster’s. I know, just an arcade and some other things, but it was great. We all had fun, she even won a orange and blue basketball from one of the machines (on her first try by the way). Me and her did a scary arcade simulation thing together, and I hate jumpscares, but I wanted to do it with her. I wanted to do everything with her. Later on, when we got home, we kissed for the first time. We kissed for what seemed like hour. What felt like an hour could have lasted forever.

I don’t know why, but I hid myself from her after that kiss. Maybe it’s because of my first love, maybe I was still dealing with that, or maybe I was still dealing with the death of my father, but I didn’t talk to her for a month or two. Not that I ignored her, I just distanced myself. That one or two months were important however, I did get over my first love, and my dad, well… I don’t know. The point is, I was hurting, and I didn’t want her to hurt with me.

After those two months, the day before Christmas Eve, I finally confessed to her. I told her how I felt. She rejected me. Even after all of that time spent, those emotions invested into someone I genuinely cared for, It met its end. I met my end. I literally fainted in front of her as she said those words. I never got to tell her “I love you”. Not that it mattered. It was only someone I knew since my first day here. Someone I still care for. I think to that cinderella moment we shared on Halloween. She was wearing a steampunk dress, I was wearing a $900 Spiderman outfit. It was a full moon, and we were in the rich neighborhood getting ready to get some full sized candy bars (which we did). Her shoe slipper thing came untied, so I knelt down and tied it for her, tucking the ends of the shoe laces into her shoes so she wouldn’t trip. She laughed as it tickled her. She really did look beautiful. It reminds me of the day after I told her how I felt.

We all went up into the mountains around 10 to 11 at night. It was pitch black everywhere else, but from that dark summit we could see the entirety of Phoenix. The lights were gorgeous. She stood on a ledge overlooking the city, with a full moon framing her beautiful hair and face. It’s always a full moon. It follows me. Even when she’s not there, the moon is when I think of her. Look enough about love. It doesn’t always work out.

I felt empty for months after being rejected. I didn’t know what my purpose for being here was. We still texted, but only occasionally. And while we may be having better conversations now, she made a decision and I have to honor it. Only time will tell how she actually feels, if she does at all. Alright, really, let’s move on from love.

For those months I tried to find things to prove I was on the right track in life. The truth is, I was just floating here for no reason. I may have been flying, but flying is pretty tiring. I’ve finally landed, just for a bit, to take some steps. I’ve re-enrolled into school, this time for entrepreneurship. It’s exciting, I’m actually going somewhere now instead of standing or flying in place. I’m working on getting my license, and I’m saving up for a car. Plus, I’m finally back in martial arts. I may have to start back at white belt after almost having earned my black belt at my old dojang, but that alright. Extra practice.

I think pain is what motivates me. Not that I’m some kind of masochist, but I don’t like pain just like any other person. So I do what I can to endure it and move on. I’m making things better. Who knows, maybe that trip to spain next year will come sooner. Or my trip to Costa Rica and Japan. Especially New York.

That’s my story up until now. Maybe I’ll write a sequel soon, who knows. But I want to hear everyones stories too. I want you to write a blog post about your story, and comment a link to your blog if you can in my comment section. I’ll read all of them, and maybe even subscribe. Love can hurt, but it can also be beautiful. I hope things get better between me and her, but most of all, I hope to inspire people. I hope I inspired you.

Author: Daman Cusick

There's a lot more to me than just one sentence. If you want to know more about who I am, visit the about page on the website.

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