A/N: Hows about a bit of file clearing, hmz? I can't remember when I wrote this exactly, maybe sometime around December... February... I haven't the foggiest. It was meant to be a bit of a prologue to a multi-chap fic, but the possibility of that ever happening are slim to none now. My inspiration went on Jenny Craig, I'm afraid.

But maybe at least one person can appreciate this rubbish heap. :P I'm tired, my head's itchy, I'm disoriented, and I want Brainy out of my brain. And a hamburger. *Slams head on desk* I really want a hamburger. xD

Well, go ahead and get the reading over with, stranger/friend/WHO THE HELL ARE YOU AND HOW DID YOU FIND ME. Singr out.

Disclaimer: I. OWN. THE. NOTHING. *Cries in corner*


Breathless


Often, in the midst of frigid air and the dark cover of night, I lay in bed pondering what has become of my life. Many men have said it is not wise to dwell on the past, though that is where all wisdom lies. One cannot truly move on to the future if he does not fully comprehend his past. But I'm making excuses. I like to think my midnight thought trains may run for a sound, incisive reason, even though they usually ride on unconcerned with my opinion either way.

My life has been so full of loneliness. I'd always liked to think I'd overrode the inane, pointless feeling in my youth, that I was fully independent in my life to the point I needed no one, though I so lustfully eyed the outside world. I did not override anything. It is impossible to abrogate the basic human need for social interaction. It is an invincible foe that no man can vanquish or replace, even with the mightiest of swords or most considerable of jewels. I was simply repressing the longing, distracting myself from it by busying myself with idle worship. It wasn't until I finally found myself a true companion I realized just how starved I was for love.

I find it interesting how one can spend their entire life stuck in the motions they convinced themselves they were content in. I was that person for years. It's frighteningly easy to manipulate oneself into thinking what it wants to think. Or rather, needs to think to survive. The brain is hardwired to bandage over rough spots and bad memories so the body may continue to function, but it can never truly destroy the information. It's the mere equivalent of throwing a blanket over a mess and convincing yourself the house is clean. It's why one can spend forever being in love with someone and not realize it until years later. It's scary to think sometimes indifference is a mere cover for all the love in the world, but it happens sometimes. I've seen it. Why, I'm sad to say I've even lived it.

Sometimes you have to be thrown out of your comfort zone to truly find yourself and who you are. You have to fully embrace life to figure out where you belong in the midst of all the chaos. It's one of the reasons the school system is full of so many diverse topics to shove down the throats of the underage populace. You never know what you're going to take a shine to later in life. I've found that time and time again as I move forward. As a child, I never would have imagined myself here, in this bed, with these people in my life in the particular spots they now fill. Why, as a mere nine-year-old, I was certain of what I wanted. And it was only one thing. One girl.

I focused solely on her—her hair, her face, her eyes, her walk, her voice—for much longer than my pride cares to admit. Even to this day if I said I didn't love her anymore, I would be lying. When love is true, it never goes away. But the difference between now and then is that the fiery desire that left me quite literally breathless is gone. I no longer dream of her, or stare, or feel my heart race. Now my love is much more quiet and peaceful, dulled with the years and utterly transparent against the love of the woman that now holds my heart.

But nonetheless, it is there; archaic and hollowed, left forgotten in the most ragged and dark corridors of my heart. And it will continue to stay forgotten so that I may maintain my friendship with said girl—nay, woman now. And one that even in my brightest and most hopeful of states I always knew would never be mine.

I accepted that fact many years ago, perhaps even on the day I fell, but even with such knowledge accepted and known in my mind, it was still hard on me when the day came to let go. For the heart and mind don't run together, unfortunately, though the heart has the ability to fog and play with the mind when in states of random euphoria. It's like a natural drug, dangerous and potent, and not at all safe or a good idea to get deeply involved with more often than not. The fall is often not worth the high. But nonetheless, it seems brain and heart are in a constant race to the finish line with each other. The one in front leads you, which is why I have always tried to keep them bound to a constant tie again and again. Though I was in love, I tried to not let it overwhelm my mind, nor my mind to override my heart's true desires. I like to think that it worked swimmingly, but all variables placed in the equation, even I know that is nothing but a pretty lie.

When the day came for me to finally have to move on, it proved more difficult than I imagined it would be. Though I'd always known and thought I'd been prepared to move on, the thought of how precisely I would do so had never crossed my mind. I suppose I'd repressed such ideas in favor of a blanker path, because somewhere deep in my soul I'd known it would be a truly bleak and desperate time in my life.

Which it had been. Once I swept my room of any and all reminders of my then-love, I was startled to find just how empty my room had become. It was like looking into a mirror reflecting back the accomplishments of my entire life. And it was bare. I'd literally known nothing my entire life but her. I'd dedicated my entire childhood to a romance I'd known since day one would end in nothing but tragedy and ruptured vital organs. To this day I don't know what I was thinking. I'd let love blind me to the rest of the world, and for a growing young boy, that was not at all healthy.

Perhaps no matter the age it's foolish.

It was then I realized I had absolutely no idea who I was. I mean, I knew my preferences on trivial matters such as television, books, music, and breakfast cereals, but as for me, what really defined me… I hadn't the slightest. What was I when you took away my love? When looking at myself in the mirror all I could see was an absurdly awkward boy with a slight hunch and twist in his shoulders, skin so pale it was nearly translucent and only the plainest of platinum hair to match, gray, desolate eyes vainly hidden behind flimsy plates of glass, and thin, chapped lips in a constant rut of breathing in and out, in and out…

Thinking back on what I'd heard my classmates say, I was typically stereotyped as a dork, nerd, or geek. So I was a geek? Was that what defined me? I'd never much cared for the label, or any label at all really, but standing there before that mirror on that day, I soaked it in hungrily. Anything that gave me even the slightest hint of individuality. Of direction.

It was no wonder people were so surprised when I finally started to speak full sentences. With how I'd run my life for those first nine years, I couldn't blame them for being shocked to find out I had a fully functioning brain capable of unfaltering thought processes. It's an ironic thought, considering my name, but I digress. I'd always thought I was perfectly capable of sharing conversations with people if the urge ever struck me, but I found myself rather reluctant to change. No matter how empty I'd suddenly found my life to be.

I suppose underneath my brave face and innumerable rolls of gauze, I was simply scared. Funny, I'd thought I'd overrode that too. I suppose as long as I live and breathe in this seemingly endless dance we call humanity, I will feel pain, fear, and loneliness, whether I like it or not. Otherwise, I would be a dead, unappreciative and dispassionate man.

Still as I lay quietly in my bed at the humble age of twenty-six, I have questions that regularly race through my mind. I imagine they will never stop. They will ceaselessly run in an eventually monotonous pattern until I have the impossible answers I so desire. No, I will continue to lay here, breathless in my bed in the wee hours of the night, pondering how I could have gone from such a quiet, lonely, wheezing boy to the man I am today.

Though through all the insanity and lonesomeness and confusion, I can't say I regret anything that happened, for if it all hadn't taken place, I wouldn't be here now. Not to say I'd be dead, no, but I would be… very different. Certainly not who I am now thinking these particular things. One wrong move, and I could have very easily landed myself in a mental institution. I wasn't far off the mark.

So to say I'm grateful for pain is a bit odd perhaps, but… I am.

Very much so.