Arts & Culture Fiction Highlights Mental Health Awareness Reads

You & I

I woke up one morning with the bright sunlight covering the bed almost like a golden blanket. The sound of birds chirping and the smell of palm trees were ever so exhilarating. I soaked up the warmth of the sun and etched the morning beauty in my old, rustic, yet extravagant diary. I took a deep breath and wore the morning slippers with golden sparkles, spoiled more than children born with silver spoons. Optimism ran through my blood like a rush of adrenaline. I had built reality as magical as sitting at the first-ever screening of Manchester by the Sea. Edward was right at the door, with his perfect smile, red lips and a convinced enigma that developed in his right eyebrow. I can vividly imagine the butterflies, the stutters and the intense passion I felt that moment. It was like no other. There was a glimmer, an inexperienced sparkle. I held the sky in the palm of my weak, feather-like hand, and felt my wings fly, reaching for every last piece of success. 

Realistically though, there was a line of dust that covered my bed. The sunlight was hurting my eyes in an agonizing manner. The pollen that flew in through the window worsened my allergies and a red colour developed on my nose as I sneezed endlessly. And there was Edward, the boy next door, the perfect boy with a perfect life. And there I was, far from perfect. My sister dwindled through the lobby, as she prepared a “quiche”. Right this minute, the pungent smell immediately reminded us that there would be no breakfast that day. As I woke up from my dream, I grew closer to the jagged truth of my life, one that was far from the optimistic sunlight. 

Though with optimism, I constructed a parallel, beautiful dream, reality only contained puddles of pessimistic sorrows. I carefully walked my walk, yet a slight obstruction appeared to be a big boulder in the climb of life. I finally mustered the courage to get up. I rushed to my job, scanning the rain lit street for taxicabs. Nothing, there was nothing. I nonchalantly stood there alone, drenched in the acidic smell of the Manchester Rain. The immortal air of darkness seemed almost impenetrable and I found myself unable to breathe. The shadows were hidden and the bright sunlight was nowhere to be seen. The comforts of home that I devoured for the entirety of my life seemed more bothersome than ever. The mirrors on the bus were muddier, dirtier and I stepped in the mud puddle as I got off. I waited and waited for the rain to stop but it poured harder than ever. There was a distinct line between the mirror and my face.  However, the closer I got to the real image, the less optimistic I got. The gloomy clouds that surrounded me like enlarged alveoli in a delicate lung. As I succumbed to the darkness that surrounded my life, the interplay between optimism and the truth of my life was almost non-existent. 

I was the center of introspection as I observed the man enter the bar, imagining his life story while waiting for the cab. He possessed a rare kind of serenity, the one that provided rhythm to the perturbed music of the birds. I was envious of the man. I could picture myself being in a bright spotlight, the glamour, the dress, and the exquisite makeup. As delicate and pulchritudinous as a ballerina. I felt a connection, we were colleagues. He was the unnamed colleague who had overcome the optimism and succumbed to the pessimism of the bitter reality. I felt the spotlight shining ever so bright, as I basked and danced in the light. I found an unprecedented comfort in the brutal nature of life and the struggle of finding optimism. The rain hugged me as my clothes stuck tightly to my skin in the cold, windy, night. Then, a sudden loud noise almost deafened me. It was the cab. I screamed, ‘AHHHHHH, STOPPP’. I hopped on and headed straight to my job where the angry faces of my bosses, the blinding glare of the secretary and the pile of work were beginning to feel old. As I buried myself in the work, I lost sense of time. I finally felt relaxed as I sat in the chair ever so comfortably. I had forgotten the daily troubles, the rent, the student loans, and a sick father to take care of. 

The clock struck 10 pm and suddenly, everything was mute. No one spoke my language, no one understood the cries in my unspoken words. I opened my eyes to a grief-stricken house, the one that exposed my vulnerabilities and obliterated me to the deepest corner of my heart. The drunk man simply laying helplessly, bleeding from the forehead. A fight with another stranger at the Dickens Pub was the routine now. I tucked him into bed, as I consoled my little sister who was trembling with fear. After I finished, I quickly draped the blanket over me gathering on to one side of the bed. After a solemn sleep, there was the sunlight again, shinning on all my vulnerabilities, on all things, exposing the smallest of a freckle on my pale skin.



Featured Image:

True optimism and the path to meaning. (2017, August 4). Psychology Today).


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