She lies to herself, she knows. It was originally a defense mechanism, something to help her cope, but somewhere along the way it slipped into the routine of habit. It’s an insidious kind of habit too, one that spreads and worsens over time, and Autumn knows she should stop. She tells herself these half-truths, makes up little stories to make her life look a bit rosier and herself more confident. And she forgets that it is not real. Sometimes though, when sleep is elusive and he is left alone with her thoughts, Autumn remembers. She remembers that she isn’t who she tells herself he is, that some of her thoughts are fake, that she shouldn’t always believe herself. She is reminded that there is a darker side to her, a part of her being that lies beneath the coverings of flowery untruths, a side she conveniently forgets about.
But with these reminders comes fear. The kind that is cold and settles uneasily at the pit of her stomach. It is a fear that stems from the knowledge that if she removed these drapes that are woven in lies, if she peeled off these layers of illusions, Autumn doesn’t know why she would find. She wouldn’t be able to recognize herself, she thinks, and the thought makes her bones feel heavy and cold. But how will I learn to love myself, she all but screams, if I do not know who I am? Autumn is shivering now, under the heavy covers in her bed, and she hates that she is frightened, but continues to tremble I’m spite of it. Who is the real Autumn, she wonders, beneath the layers I self-told lies? Who is she really? Has she ever truly seen herself, she asks, under the harsher light of reality? What does she believe, on her own and with conviction, and not because she wants to believe it? How would she act, if she weren’t acting the way she thought she should, for others? She doesn’t know, she doesn’t know, shedoesn’tknow.
She tries to breathe deeply, and her shaking subsides to slight tremors. She’ll find out, she tells herself four exhales later. She’ll put away the warm light of illusion, she’ll begin to scrape away the layers. It’ll hurt, she knows, but all worthwhile things usually do. And this is something she has to do, sooner eater than later, this is a road she needs to journey down. She needs to learn herself, accept her existence with all it’s flaws and complications, for how else will she find peace, a contentment that brings restful nights? She sighs, and turns over in bed. She’s tired now, sleep has finally come to claim her, but as her eyes close and her breathing evens out, it is not an easy one.