Tick. Tick. Tick.
Filtering sun rays are making its way through the curtains. Peering on my side to the digital clock, I observe the time through groggy eyes.
Looks like another sleepless night. Yet I know once I’m up, mornings can be easy enough. Yes, the aspect of getting out of bed and going about my day is fairly overwhelming, however to be honest its far better than the evenings. As long as I wake up early enough.
My day-to-day routine has become so dull; I think to myself. I had so many dreams and aspirations; where did those go?
Time. I remind myself to be patient.
Yet my inner voice does little to appease this cloud of gloom hovering over me. How long has it been since I’ve been able to easily laugh and converse in a normal manner? Sitting on the edge of my bed, I roll back my shoulders as to not slouch. My Father’s voice is the conscience inside me; Don’t slump, he would say, You’re not a hermit. Walk with a purpose, be confident about yourself, and don’t let anyone lead your life and consequently the decisions you make. Well, unfortunately Papa, that is not an option for me. I’ve been reduced from enthusiastic mornings in which my motivation levels were at a peak, to dreary wake-up calls, lying in bed for more than several minutes just to stare at the ceiling, wondering if this day would hold out anything different for me.
Wondering if there would be some course of action.
It’s time to get ready.
Initially I used to have hope. Hope that the days would pass by and moments would be forgotten, which would allow me to settle back into old habits, wherein I could salvage the optimism I previously had to achieve my dreams.
Optimism isn’t even a word I apply anymore to my daily activities.
How can I?
As I walk out of my front door, I see once again that I don’t fit in – something that has been clearly evident every day for the past three years. Should I go back? The panic swells momentarily into my throat, and I force it back down. I can’t go back and retreat in defeat. I pause, waiting to see if anything will happen, but thankfully, this morning is a silent one.
I know I have a fair amount to accomplish, and currently that’s what important; the rest of my musings will have to remain for later. Another busy day just trying to study; after all, I did know that all of this would be challenging from the beginning.
My morning walk comes to an end.
The library block is welcoming in its atmosphere, the colours not so black and white like the rest of the world perceives situations to be. A short-lived warmth acts as a distraction as I make my way to the regular cubicle, and I nod my head in a greeting to my friends. It’s a grim situation, and they understand that this is a testing time for me as well as how difficult the whole process has been.
Yet I just never imagined that this endeavour of mine would be this testing.
It isn’t even the ‘studying’ aspect; I can manage that fine. But the external environment does not make it feasible. Who would’ve thought that something as trivial as this could rise into an overpowering wave of suffocation?
Musings continuously flutter in and out of my mind. Minutes of concentrating blankly at the screen and inwardly motivating me to keep at my work turns into hours, and before I know it, the library hours are over. It’s time to head home.
Before I get up, a wave of dizziness passes over me. Did I even eat today? My mind returns a blank answer.
I slip my backpack on my shoulder, and unknowingly gulp. Walking out is the challenging part; in the morning usually there are very few people, however now the library is full of individuals packing up and I can feel their eyes strangely scrutinising at my retreating movement.
At least its only stares.
Trudging back home, I try to build up some determination to make a difference. Is that even possible? In a community that is so large, how does one person make an impact? Given that every individual believes that it’s a societal norm to act a certain way means that it would be a daunting task to convince them to change. But I know it’s wrong; deep down, this feels so wrong.
Passing through the park, I stop walking and it takes me a moment to realise I’m staring at her.
It’s the first time I’ve seen this girl and a flicker of amusement fills me at her gestures and clear delight. This initial glimpse has caught me by complete surprise, and I can hear her radiant and glorious laughter, and I can’t help but look. Usually I wouldn’t – I don’t believe I’m entitled to – yet this time, I allow myself just one look. Curls dance in the air, and as she turns her head towards me, the wide unspoken wonder existent in her eyes expresses so much. So innocent, I think to myself. It comes as a realisation that the ability to be ignorant to the outside world is truly a blessing, and God knows I have very little idea of how to do able to do that.
Looking around, it comes to my understanding that the girl’s alone. She’s on the swing once again, her hair up in the air and the exuberance so clear. Swiftly jumping out of it, it astounds me to see she’s making her way over in a skip.
And then she takes out her hand.
I glance down at it and then back at her.
“Hi! My name’s Maya!”
I don’t even know how to smile or to take that hand.