Back to work
If a week could be a warm, fuzzy, blanket, it would be last week. Spending time with family, then a childhood friend- I was at home in the newest of places. London intimidated me at first, but I am a big city girl and I fell right into the rhythm of it. That’s not to say I didn’t embarrass myself on the tube (someone even laughed at me once. It was very unkind, but I was too occupied by my predicament to mind). It’s the knowledge that you’ll never see any of the witnesses again that gets you by. This is not a luxury I have in my University town. I’m back now- I returned on Thursday night. I spent the first two days holed up in my room, gathering myself. I don’t know if I have succeeded yet- London was surreal, the independence of travelling alone is surreal, long winter nights are surreal- I often wonder if I’m not caught in a fever dream.
I woke very late this morning, despite having gone to bed relatively early. Long winter nights, I tell you. I woke up nervous about something I can’t control- I won’t do this anxiety the dignity of writing about because, quite simply, there is nothing left to do. Instead, I’ll talk about things I CAN control that are making me very nervous- huge amounts of research to start wading through, and deadlines on the first day of term. So here I am, after a large tea and an ill-advised but scenic rainy walk, in the library. It is two in the afternoon, which means the sun sets soon. I realise that my bitterness about this may not come across from the written word, so I’ll just say it- I’m bitter. Four hours of a downcast sky is all I get before the sun leaves me to a night of work.
So it’s cold, literally and metaphorically. It’s colder now than it was in the warm fuzzy blanket that was last week, but I always say I prefer cold weather. Now, this is easy to misunderstand. I don’t like being cold. I just like warming up in cold weather- cosy layers, hot drinks, and all that. Hot weather is much harder to get away from. The metaphorical cold, now that I’m back at University, is coming from all the work that needs to get done over the next three weeks. So I’ll warm up, metaphorically and painstakingly, by doing the work. I’ll just comfort myself with thoughts of how I will feel when it’s done.
This One’s About Me
I’m on a train to London, and I’m having a great time. I don’t just mean on the train- I mean in general. I’m tasting every minute of my life right now and looking forward to the next. I’ve just finished the first term of my last year of under graduation. It’s been full of downs, as always, but it’s had some very, very, good ups. The last of my classes finished on Thursday, and I’d been invited to a lovely Christmas dinner after. I was the only vegetarian, so they made a plate of gnocchi just for me, on top of an absolute spread. I had some wine, some Malibu, and a lot of soda before I left with some friends well after midnight. Still, one of them complained that we were off too early- I told him that they didn’t need to leave ‘early’ with me, that I had a train to catch in the morning and a trip I hadn’t packed for at all. He assured me that they wanted to give me company on the way home, but not without a light guilt-trip. I was too excited to feel guilty, though. This trip has been a long time coming. It’s my third year in England, and I haven’t set foot in London outside Heathrow! It’s ridiculous, I know, but with my tendency to take far longer to dig my feet into the ground than anyone else, and then with the pandemic, it just didn’t happen. I waited for a reason to go, and this term I got it- Criminal Court. I could explain further, but I won’t because this is funnier.
I left on Friday and had a chaotic day of travelling. It took four trains to get to Lancaster, where I finally got to see my great-uncle and great-aunt. This, too, was a long time coming. They would visit us in India about once a year when I was younger, and each time my great-uncle would give me one pound for my impending visit to England. I was always very excited for their visits. Growing up, I instantly liked any relative that took more interest in me than asking the usual questions:
‘So what grade are you in now?’
‘How did you get to be so tall?’
And my favourite series,
‘I saw you when you were just a baby! Do you remember who I am? What’s my name?’
Now these are all well-intentioned, and I don’t fault them at all. I wouldn’t know what to say to a child either, and I too would resort to these classic one-liners; but from a child’s perspective, the relatives that really talk to you, let alone start a sweet tradition with you, are the best ones. It was delayed for the same reasons as London, but I finally got to see them here. My great-uncle- I’ll just say grandpa and grandma, because that’s what I call them in my language- my grandpa picked me up at the station, where I arrived in a cloud of guilt because I was two hours late. There had been disruptions, but my calls and messages hadn’t reached him, so he had arrived at the station early and had to wait. He was lovely about it. He didn’t seem to mind much, or he didn’t show it. We drove to their home in a village about twenty minutes away, where my grandma was waiting. I sat by the electric fire and warmed up with a cup of tea, and had the cosiest, laziest weekend with delicious South Indian meals. On Saturday, we read by the fire. On Sunday, we drove around Lancaster and by the coast, then we read by the fire. Dinners were eaten with dance and quiz shows, and episodes of ‘Would I Lie to You’. I was spoiled this weekend, truly.
Now it’s Monday. We woke up as early as four. I was very apologetic that I’d booked a ticket for a train so early, but it was the cheapest one and an Advance Single, so I couldn’t get another train later in the day with the same ticket. I was given a cup of coffee and put on the train in perfect time. My assigned seat was next to a man in an otherwise fairly empty coach. I still sat down where I was supposed to because I wasn't sure whether the other seats would be filled with each stop. Then this man said to me, very diplomatically, 'If you want to sit where you have more room, this train doesn't really fill up,' he pointed to indicators above the seats, 'you can see which ones are available, and you'll have more room with an empty seat beside you.' It's the most polite way I've ever been told to piss off. I'm glad he did it, though, because I didn't know if I could sit somewhere else. I laughed and thanked him, and now I'm in a window seat with a table. I love a good train journey, and this one is nearly four hours. It gives me time to read, and to write this. I should be working on one of the essays due on the first day of next term but… well…
The sun is still down at seven on this lovely winter morning. I love views of the English countryside on a train journey, so I’m looking forward to sunrise. In London, I’m staying with my best friend from back home. We’ve known eachother fourteen years, but these are the first three that have gone by without our being together. We’d see eachother every day at school, and then, we go off to university and suddenly we don’t see eachother at all, though we moved to the same country. Still, our friendship has remained the same, as any worthwhile one does, and I can’t wait to see her in a few hours.
Back to how I’m having a great time with life. It’s like I’ve climbed up the rungs of a very high ladder, balancing carefully, and now I’ve got this view of everything I have to be grateful for. I am, for the most part, happy. Sometimes, my balance on this rung falters and I’m reminded of how I need to hold on- it takes effort to be up here. Most of the time, though, I’m able to forget that. Romanticising absolutely everything helps. It’s an important part of my story, isn’t it, when I’m sad? I must experience it because it will make me better at a lot of things. When I’m happy, of course, the romanticisation gets far easier. Still, there’s always a little seed of worry that it will be over soon, one I have to push aside with great effort- I have to hold on to this rung of the ladder and regain balance; but what helps in any state of mind, as pretentious as it sounds, is reading, listening to music, doing artsy things and watching certain movies and shows. These things make you love yourself, and so you treat yourself better, I think.
Airports, Rain, Tomatoes, Flowers
A student takes a final look at her bare dorm room with a satisfied sigh. She steps out into the sunlight, lugging two large suitcases behind her, and bathes in its warmth until her taxi arrives. Throughout the trip to the airport, she engages in easy conversation with the driver, relishing her first face-to-face interaction with a stranger in a long time. She waits patiently to board her flight. With an unopened book on her lap, she simply watches and listens to the bustling crowd.
A mother paces impatiently among a sea of people at the gate marked ‘Arrivals’. Her eyes fill with tears when they land on her daughter’s face, weary with travel but with an expression of bottled excitement just like her own. They take hurried steps and engulf each other in a ferocious embrace. The trolley of luggage drifts, forgotten, along with ages of worry and longing for the security that being together would have brought. Keeping their arms glued around each other, they walk to the nearest airport cafe to share a cup of steaming filter coffee. The mother looks up at the sky and laughs. “It looks like rain,” she says.
In rural South India, a farmer looks at the gathering grey clouds as he sends his gratitude to the Gods above. His wife comes outside and hands him a basket. He follows her through a freshly sown field of paddy to a plot of crops. Together, they begin gathering tomatoes. Children playing in the neighbouring field see the old couple at work and run to join them, making a game of the task- the one who picks the fewest tomatoes has to be the denner in the next game! Soon enough, they load their harvests into the farmer’s old truck. He waits at the wheel as his wife hands out apples to the children. It’s starting to drizzle. He sends another prayer to the Gods as she gets into the truck, and they drive to the market in the neighbouring city, looking forward to their first real stream of income in a long time.
A man strolls through the market, greeting people he recognises. He stops to buy tomatoes. His mind trails off as he waits for his purchase to be weighed, and he thinks morosely of Monday. He dreads returning to his dreary job and guiltily misses the opportunity to stay home all the time. From the corner of his eye, he catches a glimpse of a woman at the neighbouring flower stall inspecting a string of jasmines. He says her name. His heart swells when she turns to look at him with a smile. They talk and talk, his eyes never leaving hers. He drinks in everything about her, already excited about the next time they will run into each other. He swings his bag of vegetables as he strolls home, dread forgotten. He’s glad to be able to leave the house again.
A woman places a jasmine garland, fresh from the market, around the photograph of a wise-looking man. People trickle into the house one by one. The tone is hushed and respectful, but conversation flows unbridled. The grief she has contained for so long is softened by the chance to honour her late grandfather with a proper wake. Stories are exchanged, and memories of the beloved man enrich the air with unforgotten love.
There was pain and isolation, but not without love and strength. Now, households nurture closer bonds. Sons call their mothers more often. Embraces are tighter and greetings are livelier. Errands are completed with fewer grumbles. Goodbyes are said with more heart. Smiles are wide and no longer hidden by masks. Beauty is not completely lost. In some ways, it’s more obvious than before.
The boy watches the sun set, dreading the darkness that follows. He begins to glance periodically at the old clock on the wall, its hands edging towards the night so threateningly. He plays with his dinner, a catch in his throat, as his mother watches him in worry. She does not know why her son is paler and more withdrawn with each passing day. He hasn’t told her or his father. He wants to be brave, not the silly little coward his friends had made him out to be when he told them two days ago, when it began. Still, as bedtime prowls, his heart beats faster and his knees grow weaker.
That night, he feels heavy. He shivers under the sheets and watches the shadows of trees against the streetlights dance on his walls. He thinks he sees glowering eyes. He thinks he hears someone. He stays in bed until he feels suffocated, like he may die if he spends another moment in the room- if there is really a sixth sense, it is screaming now. He jumps out of bed and stumbles into the neighbouring room, into the arms of his sleeping parents. His father doesn’t stir, but his mother wakes when she feels her trembling son crawl into bed next to her. Tears well in her eyes and she hugs him close, wondering if he’s being bullied, and whether he needs to see a school counsellor or a therapist. There isn’t enough room on the bed, she waits until his breathing calms to a regular rhythm. When she feels sure he’s asleep, she slips out of the bed into his room.
She is pale the next morning, and quieter than usual. She isn’t sure why. The next night is the same. Her son crawls in. She tries to wake her husband up this time, to see if he will move instead, but he grunts and rolls over. The following morning, they watch her clutch her steaming coffee mug until it turns cold. She stays at the dining table for the better part of the day. Meanwhile, her son hasn’t told her what bothers him, and she toys with the idea of therapy and dealing with bullies, an unconnected yet unsettling feeling lingering in the back of her mind. Two pairs of eyes shoot worried glances at the clock when the sun sets that evening. When her son crawls into their bed once more, she decides to sleep on the couch downstairs. She can’t say why, the instinct doesn’t reveal a reason she understands. When the sun rises, her husband walks downstairs to find her on the couch and asks her why. She shrugs. She isn’t as pale as she was the previous morning, though she’s stiff from an uncomfortable night of sleep.
The irritated father, sympathetic of his wife, has stern words with his son. He forbids him from disturbing his mother henceforth. The parents are undisturbed for a longer while that night, but that ends when the boy nudges his father awake, tears streaming down his cheeks. His father sighs in lethargic defeat and trudges to sleep in his son’s room that night. The mother and son don’t notice a change in him the next morning. He’s only a little more tired than usual. He silences some inexplicable nagging in the back of his mind with ease. He grumbles on the way to his son’s room when he’s disturbed yet again that night, and the night after that. After a lengthy discussion with his wife, they decide to explore options for therapy. He decides to exchange rooms with the boy until he’s better again. On the fourth night, he chuckles and wonders out loud why he seems to be the only one who can manage to catch a good night’s sleep in his son’s little room. His face falls when he hears a reply in a grating whisper. “You’re my favourite.”
I made a friend by the campfire one night. I found him on the ground, flickering to his little heart’s content. I named him Phil, short for Phillight. I thought it was fitting. I looked closer, wondering why he hadn’t flown away when the fire was started. He was lying on his back helplessly, trapped by his own anatomy. I had to help him lest he be trampled carelessly.
I picked up a stick nearby and prodded gently until I had flipped him over. I watched with bated breath as he lay still. To my delight, the next second, he began to flap his wings. I had saved Phil’s life! Little did I know, in the unfortunate events that were to follow, he would fly in a drunken stupor directly into the crackling fire. The little firefly had taken his title too seriously.
Those few moments of my life were as theatrical and devastating as they were fleeting, but there was a lesson in the experience. Phillight taught me that destiny is, in fact, inescapable. He showed me that the timidest of lights can shine beside the brightest of flames.
Anxiety hit as soon as the alarm rang, and the bruise it left smarted. I was scrambling within, afraid. I looked outside the window to see the sun peeking through, still young and shy. I knew exactly what I had to do. Fire surged through my veins everytime I thought about it and I felt some part of myself, small and buried deep within, pleading that I do not to go through with my decision. The voice felt like a parasite, trying to convince me that leaving this life behind was a terrible idea. Every other fibre of my being, however, urged me to go forward with what I had planned. So, you see, I simply had to do it.
I would have to do this right. God forbid, if I wasn’t successful... no. I wouldn’t consider that possibility. I sat upright on my bed, staring at the nascent sun, I didn’t want to wait for very long with the idea brewing in my head for fear that it would manifest itself in a way I wouldn’t want it to. I resolved that the same night would be the best time to do it. I would have the day to make preparations. Every decision I made henceforth would have weight. I took a deep breath, picked up my phone and called the office. “Yes, please tell Mr. Smith that I won’t be coming in today. I’ve fallen ill,” I whispered into the handset. I had to call in sick, or I’d have angry calls through out the day. No time for that. Normally, I would have to try and make my voice as hoarse as I could, but I didn’t need to act this time. My nerves were squeezing my words into croaks. The truth was that, were I to succeed, I wouldn’t go to work tomorrow either. I didn’t tell them that, hanging up as quickly as I could. With every passing moment, a new unwelcome surge of adrenaline pushed its way into my bloodstream and clouded my thoughts so I stood up and began to pace, thinking of my next step.
I would have to make sure that I’d be alone in the house until I was done. That meant calling my girlfriend, now. It also meant I was about to sprint through a minefield. With this massive secret pushing its boundaries in my brain, she would know immediately that I was hiding something, shrewdly catching on to the slightest lapse in my composure, even over the phone. “This is necessary,” I said to myself. “I can’t risk her walking in on me, it would ruin everything. I already know I have to do this right.” My determination fortified, I dialled her number. “Hello?” She sounded sleepy. I had forgotten. Her shift at the bar started and ended late on thursdays, if she decided to come over, it wouldn’t be before nine. This call was unnecessary. It was also making me unwind. The second I heard her soft voice, I wanted to tell her everything. I felt a pang- her life would change after tonight. I wanted to scream, cry and strangely, laugh, from the bubbling anxiety. Yet she was the person who could not, under any circumstances, know because she was the only one who had any control over me now. Once more, I hung up as quickly as I could, muttering an apology for waking her up and claiming that the call was a misdial. Before I touched the red button, I whispered a meek “I love you.” I had to force it out holding back tears, not because I didn’t mean it, but because saying it meant too much that day.
The street began to revive as the sun journeyed across the sky. By the time I had collected my thoughts, it glared through the glass arrogantly. The life on the street, with people going about their business, some smiling and the the rest hurrying, unsettled me somehow. I thought about everything else I would have to do. I stepped near the door to scan the appartment. It was a mess; I would have to tidy it up. I cleaned for the first time in forever, my stomach lurching every few minutes. Then I decided that I would need to hear my mother’s voice before I went through with it tonight. I’d need a reason, she wouldn’t believe me if I said I called without one. Why didn’t I call her more often? Perhaps I could ask for a recipe; I missed her cooking, after all.
Dodging every question thrown my way with adeptness developed in my school days, I procured the recipe for my favourite dish, and began to cook it. I thought of my girlfriend. This was her favourite too. Emotion grasped at my throat as she crossed my mind, so I pushed her to the back of my head. Three gruelling hours later, I set the the table. I glanced at the box that stood next to the dish; its contents would be my tool tonight. I was more aware than I had ever been of the wall clock’s malicious ticking. I blamed it for bringing the deadline nearer to me, my subconscious mind ringing all sorts of alarms and my heart beating far too fast. I felt as though the day had passed in a second. All this fear, and I hadn’t changed my mind. I told myself that this meant something.
It was time. I picked up the box and opened it, staring at what would change everything. I jumped at the sudden clamour of keys at the door. It swung open and my girlfriend entered to the sight of me on one knee, holding up a ring, its diamond glinting in the subtle candlelight and asking the question before I could.
Nothing to Say
Shackles of their own,
The most frustrating ones of all,
I need this but I’m bound to stone,
Futility claiming my calls.
I long to be free,
Yet ahead I see no light,
I know something will come to me,
I'll strive for patience until I write.
Pen to paper, anticipation,
Still nothing comes to mind,
I let ink trail in desperation,
Will writing about the block help leave it behind?
My therapist called it an issue. I called it a necessity. Trust was dangerous, and I wouldn’t be foolish enough to let it blind me. After all, I was still reeling from having been wounded once before. I was miserable. The task that I had set for myself, that of unwavering vigilance, was exhausting. My therapist insisted that I was lonely, which apparently was no way to be. She maintained that I should make new friends and allow the past to heal itself with time. So I made an effort, but only to put her mind at ease. My guard would stay up, I wouldn’t let anybody freshen my pain.
The new friends seemed decent enough. Patrick was outspoken and Vanessa was always excited about something. It was difficult at first, having to hide my worries and distrust beneath a smiling facade to match their constant bubbly optimism. Still, such was their sunny outlook on everything around them, their light eventually filtered through my darkness. If the demons were still in there, they were doing a better job at hiding themselves. Each day grew better than the last, and I started looking forward to school just so I could see my friends. I became engrossed in schoolwork for the first time in a long time, and broke through the slump in my grades. I could see that my parents were happy with my academic progress, and that meant almost everything to me. The guard stayed up, but I lowered the walls a little. “It’s different this time,” I often told myself, “they won’t leave you, or let anyone convince them to leave you.” I didn’t want to feel miserable ever again, and was starting to believe that I wouldn’t.
“What are your ideas for the English assignment?” Vanessa asked as the bell rang one afternoon, “Creativity isn’t my strong suit.” Patrick shook his head. “I’ve got something of an idea, but it hasn’t fully formed yet. If it doesn’t, my creativity will shine through in coming up with an excuse tomorrow.” The two of them turned to me expectantly. I always planned ahead, so they knew that I had probably conceived the entirety of my essay already. I smiled and said nothing. Vanessa huffed as Patrick complained, “You never tell us anything!”
The next morning, I arrived at school with a self-satisfied grin plastered on my face. I was proud of what I had come up with. I had stayed up all night, sifted through a heap of books and websites, and crafted each word with care. This essay would give me my first A grade and with it, my parents’ pride. Patrick and Vanessa arrived as I stashed my bag away. Neither of them seemed particularly thrilled about the day ahead. Vanessa admitted that she had forced out a short essay an hour before she had to leave for school, having spent the previous night on a television marathon. Patrick had succumbed to indolence, but he was working very hard this morning to come up with an excuse that hadn’t been exhausted already.
We parted and trudged to the first lesson, and the next, and the next, until it was finally lunchtime, the precursor to English. That’s when I opened my bag, and that’s when my heart stopped. I sifted through my belongings frantically, but I couldn’t find the paper. My mind ran a mile a minute and what had happened became very clear. The demons that had been hiding until then began to laugh at me. “Alright. Which one of you took it?”
Patrick looked up in feigned surprise, his mouth full of a bite of his sandwich. “What are you on about?” Vanessa asked. The false obliviousness pushed me over the edge and old, buried feelings rushed up to the surface. “I shouldn’t have to suffer for your laziness!” I said, failing completely to supress my volume. People were starting to look. “I wrote that paper, I put effort into it and you both know that this is my last chance to push my B to an A. How could you do this? Give it back.” Vanessa still looked puzzled but Patrick spoke up. “We don’t know what you’re talking about-” I interrupted him with an obnoxious snort.“Of course you do. Neither of you had any good ideas, and one of you, if not both, decided to take mine. Just give it back!” I was sure that all eyes were on us, but I didn’t care. All three of us stood up.
“How could you accuse us of this?” Vanessa did a good job of looking hurt. Patrick looked angry- he was good too. “You never tell us anything. Not a thing. I didn’t give it much thought before, but I know now that you don’t trust us at all. What kind of a friend are you?” I saw red. “Don’t worry, we don’t have to be friends at all!” I exclaimed, gathering my things and hurrying out of the lunch hall with tears prickling my eyes. I was angry at Vanessa and Patrick, at my therapist for telling me to make friends, and at myself for complying.
In the washroom, I tried to compose myself. My attempt to recover my work had been futile, but I would try again. In front of the teacher. The one who took it would try to submit it, after all. I wiped my tears. How easily they had betrayed my trust and sent my spiralling back to the horrid place I thought I had left in the past. The paranoia was back, I hated everybody, I was alone once more, and it hurt; I wouldn’t let myself reveal that. I washed my face and rummaged through the bottom of the bag for eyeliner. My fingers chanced upon what felt like a piece of paper. I tugged at it.
My essay. It had been crumpled beneath the books that I had stuffed carelessly into the bag before lunch. My idiocy dawned upon me as my heart sank in a tidal wave of instant remorse. Just like that, I was miserable and lonely once more, happiness lost to my own fault this time. I looked up at the mirror. The reflection stared back at me resentfully. It parted its lips and mouthed a single word. “Traitor.”
Eyes in the Darkness
There’s something about darkness that is incredibly alluring. It could be the mystery, or
perhaps the silence that often pairs itself with it. Most people are afraid of darkness, of
the unknown. I, however, find it comforting. For me, a haven lies in darkness, freedom from knowing what’s around me. Ignorance is, indeed, bliss. So, on that stormy night, when the power had gone out and darkness engulfed our house, I lay in bed, enjoying the tranquility the lack of light allowed me.
The mellifluous patter of rain on the half-opened window kept me calm, and I inhaled the earthy aroma that lingers in the air when it rains. My sister soon crept up the stairs clutching a candlestick, its flame lighting up the room with an eerie glow. Her eyes were wide with fear, her countenance set with an expression of anxiety. She hated storms just as I hated her inclination to light all the candles in the house when the power went out.
“Can I stay with you until the storm passes?” she whispered, her voice cracking, betraying
her attempt to hide the fact that she was holding back tears. “Oh, alright,” I agreed
reluctantly, after a moment of hesitation. Setting the candle down on the table, she crawled under the sheets, next to me. “You’re always so brave. I wish I could be more like you.” She soliloquized. I smiled, watching the invasive flame of the candle dance. “You’re only young. Someday, nothing will scare you, just as nothing scares me. You’ll find it liberating when the day comes,” I told her. Then the light changed.
The subtle yellow that lit the room was overridden by a flash of white, and when the light disappeared, so had the flame, surrendering to the strength of the wind blowing in through the window. “It’s alright, it’s only lightning,” I assured my sister, as I reached out to close the window. Another bolt of lightning streaked across the sky, and in that moment, I saw something that set my nerves ablaze, something I could barely believe I had just seen. Glowing in the corner of the room that was claimed by the shadows cast by trees was a luminescent pair of eyes. I stifled a scream. The incandescent eyes
disappeared along with the momentary flash of light, yet I knew there was something in
that corner that shouldn’t have been. I clung to my sister’s arm, pure consternation taking
over me. “D-did you see that?” I stuttered. “See what?” she asked, and although I could not see her, I knew that her face was etched with an expression of fear as well. “The
eyes!” I exclaimed, my voice hoarse, “The glowing eyes in the corner!”
My sister began to quiver. I wanted to get up and relight the candle, but my fear had frozen me in place. As thunder rumbled, breaking through the pleasant sound of rain, I jumped. The darkness was no longer a haven. It was a cage. I could not see what had caused fear to grip my heart, yet I knew it lurked in the shadows. Neither my sister nor I said a word. We just clung onto each other, dreading whatever was to come. The light changed again, and with the temporary brightness came the refreshed alarm from seeing those eyes. They stared unwaveringly at the two of us. I no longer perceived the patter of rain against the glass as gentle. It was cacophony. I screwed my eyes shut. I had no desire to see the nefarious creature in the corner, were lightning to strike again. The darkness now held nothing but danger, yet I preferred it over knowing what this danger embodied.
Time crawled on, and after what seemed like hours, my sister spoke. “Open your eyes. The power is back on.” Her fear had fled with the darkness, which was unsurprising. After all, she had not seen the monster’s glowing orbs with her own eyes. Every fibre of my being urged me not to comply, but slowly allowed my eyelids to flutter apart. I glanced quickly at the corner where this monster, this beast with the glowing eyes skulked. Crouched in the corner, its yellow eyes glared at me. Under the
bright light that now lit the room, I saw what had caused me to be so mind numbingly
afraid. The creature mewed as I stared at it accusingly. It was the neighbourhood cat.
I was walking in the park yesterday when it started to drizzle. I thought of you. The day before that, I passed by a flower shop that seemed to have run out, but for a few roses. I thought of you. Last week, I welcomed autumn when a golden leaf drifted down and landed in my hair. I thought of you. Last month, when the nights were warm, I stood out on the balcony for the breeze. I thought of you.
I think I’m becoming rather stupid, because there is no room in my head for anything or anyone but you. I write to you in desperation to cover the distance between us, for each day without you is a day lost. I can barely believe that I am writing this at all, I cannot recognise myself- yet I mean this in the best way, because I am writing it to you.
I dream of you when I am awake just as much as when I am asleep. I think of the pink stains on my skin that your painted lips leave, I think of the soul in your eyes when they pierce into mine, and I think of your voice when you sing into the night. There is a rush in my veins every time I see a woman with dark hair, because have neither the control nor the capacity to stop myself from daring to hope that it’s you. Then she turns around. How I wish it could be you. I want to speak to you about every little thing that happens every single day. When I’m angry or upset, I long to hear your calming words. When I’m happy, I long to share it with you. But I know. For now, I must settle for dreaming of you.