Here's To The Pain

Pain, or more specifically, grief, has five stages. They look different on all of us, but there are always five - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This story gives a small glimpse about how to deal with pain.

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6. Dealing With Pain

   I have never seen her that mad, he thinks. Neo walks absent-mindedly on the road which leads to Addison’s house. What have I done that she got so angry on me? I just told her my feelings. Well, a part of my feelings. Whatever it is, I am going to say sorry, I am going to mean it, and then everything will be as good as it was. Will it be?

   Neo rings the doorbell, and the door opens almost immediately, as if the one who opened the door was expecting someone. “Oh, it’s you,” says Addison. “Addison, I am really—“

   “Sorry. Yeah, I am, too. I shouldn’t have shouted on you before Neo, I had no right. Why don’t you come in?” she signals him to enter.

   “Addie! Aargh! Addie!” Addison runs towards her baby sister’s shrieks and finds her mother choking Lexie around the neck tightly with her hands.

   “Mom! Leave her! It’s your daughter your killing, leave her!” Addison tugs very, very hard at her mother, even slaps her till she is awake. Her mother lets go of her little daughter instantly and starts crying. “Mom,” says Addison. “I th-think I saw-saw Luke,” stutters Addison’s mother. “It’s okay, mom, just go back to sleep, it’s okay,” says Addison, consoling her mother till she is asleep in no time.

   “Lexie, sweetheart, are you alright?” speaks Addison. “Yeah, just need a glass of water,” says Lexie, sounding hoarse, her face sweating. “You sure?” says Addison. “Yeah,” answers Lexie, and takes off from the room to get a glass of water and a moment of peace.

   “What was that all about?” Neo questions Addison with wide open eyes, clearly shocked. “I’ll tell you,” says Addison, walking out of the room and politely signaling Neo to do the same. She closes the door on her way out and walks towards the dining table.

   “Have a seat,” she says. He pulls out a chair and looks up towards Addison, his expression filled with curiosity mixed with a tinge of pity. “Shoot it,” says Addison.

   “Why was your mother choking your sister?” asks Neo. “She has brain tumor,” says Addison. “Oh, sorry,” says Neo, feeling a bit guilty. “No, don’t be, there’s nothing you can do,” she says. “Maybe if I can help you with the financial—“ “No, there’s really nothing you can do now. The doctors have said the tumor is far too aggressive. We can only hope for a miracle, which does not come by very often in my life,” she says. “Who’s Luke?” asks Neo. “My dad,” replies Addison, feeling a painful sting in her heart. “He abandoned us a long time back, because…” Addison hesitates to speak.

   “It’s alright, I understand,” says Neo, throwing a cool glance at Addison. “So, my mom was having a nightmare, not unlike always, and she must have seen dad in it. She went out to kill him for giving her such a sufferable life, and instead choked Lexie, who was just sitting in front of her,” says Addison. “Oh man, you are one girl with a lot of pain,” says Neo pitifully. Addison shoots him a vague smile.

   “How do you deal with it, the pain?” asks Neo.

   “You know, it doesn't matter how tough you are, trauma always leaves a scar. It follows us home, it changes our lives, trauma messes everybody up, but maybe that's the point. Maybe going through all of that is what keeps us moving forward. It's what pushes us. Maybe we have to get a little messed up, before we can step up. And when you realize the amount of pain you’re dealing with, no one can ever, ever let you down. So don’t fear from pain, don’t run away from it. When it comes to you, absorb it, feel it. That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt,” says Addison. “Then there’s my sister. Just one look, one look at her beaming, happy face filled with a soft, innocent smile can make you jump off a cliff. It just satisfies all your deepest desires, makes you want nothing else in life but that one look,” says Addison, staring steadily at the table top, lost in her memories flickering with contentment.

   Neo takes a moment to absorb what all things he had just heard. Suddenly, the whole world makes sense to him. “I’ve gotta go!” says Neo, before he changes his mind.

   “Why, what happened?” asks Addison, interrupted. “You know, I just realized, if you can be satisfied in life even with so much amount of pain, what the heck have I been doing with myself?” cries out Neo, and leaves after throwing a smile full of gratefulness towards Addison.

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