When I was little, I made things rot. I grew up in a broken home. My father was a drunk and did nothing to help my poor mother out. Due to this I was often angry, and when I was, the plants around me would wilt and shed their petals. Branches would fall off their trees. Fruits would rot; I was a force of decay.
As I got older, my anger got stronger. I was subject to bullying, and it seemed that nothing was improving in my life. I soon discovered plants weren’t the only things that rotted in my midst. Animals started to drop dead, decomposing before they even hit the ground. I had always known that I had some sort of ability, but I never thought of actually using it to my advantage. I began to hold in my anger, burying it deep within. Everyone, my parents, teachers- even my therapist- thought I was improving. They told me how well I was coping. In reality, I was letting my anger build up, and using it against others to avenge myself. The more anger I had, the more I could destroy.
When Alex Richards pulled my hair, I made the flowers he gave to his date rot in his hands. Assuming he brought her discarded flowers, she left, fuming, leaving him dejected. When the wannabe class president grabbed me in the lunch line, I made his teeth rot out of his mouth during his speech. He never got the title. However, it was beginning to become obvious that I was the source. Resident bully Rachel Kritt sent her cronies out to follow me home one day. They beat me up until I couldn’t see out of my left eye. They kept my pride intact though- not that I had anything to lose. I scratched them up good, and made all their cuts gangrenous. As for Rachel, I gave her a stomach ulcer so nasty she missed school for two weeks. She wasn’t quite the same after that, and for the rest of the year, no one bothered me.
But I never thought of this as wrong. I never felt any guilt. I was angry, and in a way, this was therapeutic. It all came crashing down one summer day though. I was walking outside after another therapy appointment gone wrong, fuming. I couldn’t keep my anger under control. My therapist accused me of regressing, so I made his prized flowers wilt. I broke down, crying in rage, and ran into the forest to escape. I started running faster. My lungs burned, and as I ran, the plants underneath my feet began to die faster than ever before. I started to panic. I could no longer run from my problems, my anger. Once I reached a clearing, I stopped. I couldn’t hold it in anymore, and I screamed. I screamed on and on until my lungs ached and my throat was raw. Panting, I stopped.
The land around me stayed still, eerily quiet. And then with a rush of wind, everything around me died. The destruction swept through the forest, and I was its epicenter. That was the last thing I remember.
Three days later, I woke up in the hospital, my mother weeping at my side. She had ran into the woods looking for me after the wave. Luckily, by the time it reached the house, it had nearly died out, and only the grass had died. When she found me, I was near death, limp, lifeless. The doctors said I was suffering from multiple organ failure, and was running out of time. Running. Out. Of. Time. We cried in each other’s arms, my mother and I. And in my grief, in my regret of all I had done, I felt something change within me.
That night, I dreamt a lady in all white had visited me. Except she wasn’t human. Mosses and sprouts grew out of her arms, and she had no eyes. Instead, tree branches grew out of the hollows where they should have been. She leaned towards me, and whispered with a voice like ice:
“Put your heart back together.”
I woke up in a cold sweat.
The next morning, I felt better than I ever had before. I felt…warm. And I began to heal. In the remaining week I was in the hospital, my organs healed unexpectedly fast. Soon, I could breathe, eat, and walk on my own. The doctors deemed me a “medical miracle”. But I wasn’t. I knew what caused this.
When I got home, I walked to the edge of the forest, where trees stood grey and rotting, leafless. I bent down to the ground, breathing deeply, and touched the ground. I smiled. The dry, yellowed grass under my hand sprouted green again. I made my way through the woods, my smile growing bigger as I brought more and more to life. For the first time in years, I felt true happiness.
Yes, I put my heart back together. And the land I destroyed. And I will put this whole world back together if need be.