i’m not dead. i never was.

Natalie Maria Blardony York
2 min readOct 15, 2021


I think I died to her. And probably countless others I don’t even know. All because of the fire that’s been burning me alive since I had that first dream in fifth grade. If I close my eyes tight enough, I can still see her face. Almost twenty years later and her features are still clear.

But it’s this exact ability of mine, this unchangeable fact, that has killed me to them. All of them. I can’t force her face from my head. I don’t want to. Why would I push away something that holds so much light? She’d already crawled through layers of darkness to get to me, the least I can do is remember her fondly.

That’s what I think anyway. Probably not them. They’re probably cursing her very existence as they’re crying over the empty casket they’ve wheeled out for the ceremony. Mourning the memory of a young woman who never even was.

“That girl was never me,” they won’t open their ears long enough to listen, but I keep screaming anyway. “That girl was never me. She was never real.”

I guess that’s not the full truth though, is it? Because she was. Or I tried to make her real. I tried to exist with her, as her. Present her to the world, wear her mask for long enough in the hopes that it would soon become my own. So they would have seen her.

How can I now be mad that she’s no longer here for them to see?

But being mad and grieving her disappearance are two different things. I could deal with their anger. Fight the fire with my own. I’ve grown to love that fiery rage.

Grief, though, this grief of theirs. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it, where I’m supposed to put it all. These tears for a person still in front of them. How do I console the people who don’t even believe I’m still here?

I’m thinking about continuing this story. Let me know in the comments if you think that’s a horrible idea or not!