Updated: Apr 10, 2021
It was everywhere. The signals. The sirens. I saw the smoke, I did. But I chose to ignore it. There was blood. I knew it was mine, but I didn’t care. There were burning trees; shattered glass, I didn’t care. I could hear the whining of an ambulance in the distance. A voice screeching beyond what her lungs could withhold. It was an indefinite calamity. Water droplets covered my eyes, making me blind to see what surrounds me. Was that it? Was I blind all along? Or were my tears just a facade for what I knew was far worse than what I could explain? But what exactly would I explain if I could? Who would I explain it to?
As I believe, the closest to me drifted into the far ocean, like a fisherman rowing towards the Black Sea on Christmas Eve. But at some point, I know I must reckon that I am the fisherman, and I should face what’s to come ahead of me. A storm. A massive wave, perhaps.
As I stand there, in front of the burning house, I seem to cloud over all that has wounded me, and process the good days. Because right now, I can’t seem to differentiate heaven and hell. I start to question everything that happened between the last few months. If there really is a heaven, does God exist? I used to think so, when God sent down an angel.
‘I don’t know if I will ever feel the same way again. But I don’t know if I should.’
The song started after the voiceover on the radio. I could hear the music soak me up, as if I were a sponge, as it floated through the open car window. The lyrics weren’t my thoughts. But I imagined it were. I pictured myself standing at the cliff of a waterfall. While nature puts on a great show, with green trees surrounding the small hill, making a pathway for the organic breeze to swift through, I wonder. Today, I stand at the very edge of the cliff. For tomorrow is indefinite, will I be able to jump and find solid ground, or will I simply close my eyes and pretend to soar like a Peregrine Falcon, when I am, in reality, an Ostrich?
There’s a collection of mumbles that I can’t place in order. I feel as though this is an alternate universe, where instead of the growth of life, all I see is the opposite. Like a frozen corpse with only one sense, I shiver as the man in the yellow hat touches my arm. Goosebumps. Halloween. I remember when we ran through the garden, scaring little children, like a couple of scary Jack Skellingtons on a coincidental, spooky night. Nostalgia.
‘Are you okay?’
I kept hearing those words over and over, as if the phrase was on a rollercoaster which never ended. ‘I don’t know’, I wanted to say. ‘Not really’, I could have said. But I didn’t. I wanted to write a book about how I felt, but I couldn’t. No words came out. My lips parted for the first time in a while. I really don’t know how long. A minute? A year? I hadn’t a clue. I still don’t. But nothing came out. Only a crisp exhale of winter air, making a small cloud appear in front of me.
‘I’m not okay’, I wanted to yell. ‘I’m not okay’, I wanted to scream, just like the voice in the background. I’ve always wanted to read a story where the main character has different shades.
But if I knew that the wings were just a costume to hide the devil’s colours, would I have still experienced the same thrill? Would I have still given in to the wrong side? But that’s the problem, I didn’t think there were sides. I didn’t think at all.
As the red turns black, I realise. I realise that it was everywhere. The signals. The sirens. I saw the smoke. But I chose to ignore the fire. And for that, I must pay the price. Will I ever reconcile with who I was? No. I guess that’s the only question I can answer right now. Because I know for a fact, that no amount of distraction will bring me back to life, at least for a while. Because I really don’t know if I could be who I used to be before all of the love letters. Because in the process, I lost myself, forever.