I couldn’t be anything other than a romantic at heart — it’s my nature, it’s who I am. But this isn’t a typical story of traditional love. It isn’t a fairy tale. No happily ever after neatly tied up with a shiny bow. It’s a memoir of the reality left behind in the wake of grief — the desolation, the resurrection, and final culmination life offers to the fallen. This is a journey through love…the love of self, love of a friend, and sometimes love is ugly, messy —destructive. My name is Bastian Thames…and this is my story.
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When Sylvie died, it left a hole in my being that seemed prodigious. I adorn my face with the plastic appearance people anticipate from me, but internally, I weep. Continuing through the monotonous motion of my daily life, I increasingly find myself lost in what my friends—well, those who remain—refer to as a fictional world: novels, authors, artists, musicians, and the illusion of relationships on social media. The more time I spend on Facebook, the more entrenched I become in the fiction that exists on the screen. I believe these “friends” are truly concerned for me; they’re what relationships are in reality. Sadly, these seem to be the only things keeping me hanging on, but the thread threatens to break daily, frayed from top to bottom. The tightly woven fabric that was once my life has deteriorated beyond recognition. That’s the crux of my juxtaposition. My life had value, it had meaning. It was everything I had ever imagined it could be. But without Sylvie, black clouds roll through my mind, hindering my ability to think, eliminating productivity, and stifling my creativity. My art is as dead as I am. But online…online I can be anything I want to be, whatever version of myself I decide to show to the world. I don’t have to be the pathetic artist who lost his muse. I don’t have to be the sweet, sensitive man Sylvie loved. I don’t know whom I want to reinvent myself as, but the idea of being whatever still exists in my soul doesn’t appeal to me. My craft has become recreating my persona, anything to escape the pain, the desolation, and the solitude. Surely there’s art in recreating an identity. Most days, I find it difficult to even get out of bed. The colder it gets outside, the shorter the days are, the deeper I sink—sometimes only escaping the protection of my covers to take a piss or get something to eat or drink. Although frequently, I let those things go in favor of marinating in my misery. My laptop calls to me from my nightstand when the loneliness becomes too much to bear, the darkness too black to see through.
Stephie Walls Bio:
Stephie is a thirty-seven year old mother of one to the most adorable eight-year-old girl to ever walk. They live on the outskirts of Greenville, South Carolina where they house two cats (Annie and Gus) and a dog, Piper. She has a serious addiction to anything Coach and would live on Starbucks if she could get away with it. She’s slightly enamored with Charlie Hunnam and Sons of Anarchy and is a self-proclaimed foodie. An avid reader who averages around three hundred novels a year and wishes she had time to read more. She currently works full-time in the Greenville area and fill her "extra" time (haha) with reading anything she can get her hands on and writing contemporary romance novels with a hint of erotica. Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephiewalls2014 Twitter: @stephiewalls IG: @stephiewalls