If not for the faded print of her name on the cup, you wouldn’t have remembered she was here at all.
Tonight, I sit on the cold bathroom floor. I reek of menthol ash and sweet liquor, dizzied by the warmth of my skin. I am sweating raindrops that slide past the middle of my neck, to the skin of my breasts, stopping right above my thighs.
“You sound happy,” the voice from the receiver groggily mumbled.
I thought I laughed an utmost genuine laugh. I always do. But the smile receded from my mouth, leaving traces of bitterness that I wiped away with my tongue.
Am I not? I am. Right now, leaning on marble tiles that only send shivers down my spine.
But tomorrow, will I be?
For the past few months, there was a void in my soul, a blunt emptiness that only sadness would fill. A well that carried the echoes of my wails and my cries. A magnanimity of woes, of severe despair. These were the only moments in my life wherein I felt the gravity of lonesomeness, of nights that would cloud my being with such a heavy rain and I would just drown. Drown. Drown…
I lost my faith. In people, in the world, in God Himself. The happiness I was able to mold from the tiniest of corners, always evident in the creases of my eyes, was snatched together with all hope of regaining my own emotional stability. I was a wreck. I was staring straight into a hole that I believe was created by the soldiers of my sadness, but also a hole that I, myself, stretched. I used to cover those holes. Now, all I did was fall into them.
One night, I sat in the darkness. On that night, my soul was pulled from within, and my eyes looked like tunnels I couldn’t reach no matter how fast I tried to run. I clawed at my skull, begging to be released. I shut my eyes. I screamed. My eyes flew open, and I ran to the window and jammed the locks. I was ready to jump. I felt it, the taste of freedom, the smell of the possibility of happiness once again. “To a better morning, I shall wake…” But I stopped.
I stepped back. I clutched at my shirt. The numbness overwhelmed me to the core that I fell back onto the hard wood. The pain I felt in my buttocks was overpowered by the lightness in my chest. Breathe in, breathe out. I am okay. For tonight, I am okay.
But I decided I will do something about what I lost. I came back to Him, apologizing repeatedly, telling Him how much I missed Him, of how I was sorry I am a coward, for finding it difficult to keep breathing. I caressed my wrists. I bought new locks for my window. I called my closest friends, finding a day each for them. I smiled with sincerity.
Today, I remembered what it was like to be happy. Although croaky, my laughs consumed my lungs, my eyes shut and wrinkled in delight. I was in the company of people who reminded me what it was like to have the joy plastered across your face not because it was an obligation, but because it was an emotion truly felt. To all who were present today, thank you. I missed this.
I missed me.
I’ll get there. I will stumble every now and then, but I’ll get there.
I’ll make sure I do.
Nobody will like what it is that I hide.
With each word,
she struck me with a force so horrendous
and I bled
profusely, gasping for the air
that was locked out of my lungs.
I fall down
on my knees
at me like a whip
on my back, a steady
She grabs me
by the crimson mat
on the back of my
and leaves me
dizzied by furor.
clack and crack
towards the door,
the line that separates this shore of life from
the ocean to oblivion. My shadow dances
by the water, waving, inviting me in.
I brace myself for the jump, but I
see that, all the while, she was
choking, jerking, drowned by
the current─she vanishes.
The world behind me
awaits, and ever