What Matters

Dearest Delilah,

What sucks is that no matter how many other bigger, much more pressing matters I know I may have, you’re gonna be the only one who actually matters. I don’t care if it’s all the sick movies and songs that over signify how important love is, how important someone can be. But I feel how I feel, alright ? And I can’t do anything to change it.


I know what you’re thinking. I know exactly the face you’re making right now. “You have so many more real problems right now, Rick. You probably can’t even feed yourself for a week, you might be homeless if you don’t get a job soon. You’re not gonna be whining about some girl who didn’t like you back when you’re starving to death for God’s sake. It’s not the end of the world. Life goes on. You’ll move on. The world isn’t gonna stop for some girl. Get over it.”


But it has. All I want you to get that it has stopped for me, because you don’t yet get how someone can be my whole world. And yeah I know it’s all gonna get better one day and how I’m not even gonna think about you ever again, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have to think about you now. That doesn’t change the fact that I feel terribly shitty and this isn’t just some teenage bullshit drama that I have to get over. I’m having to live through this and right now, to me this is my whole world. And it is falling apart. I kid you not.


And I know people have been through worse. I know there are people dying right now, with cancer or getting raped or begging for their lives. I know I myself have worse to be worried about, but just like how you can’t control your feelings, I can’t control mine. I can’t control the fact that I’m more worried about not being able to see you tomorrow more than the fact that I might not have a roof over my head tonight. I know I shouldn’t feel this way and these are just feelings and they’ll go away and its making me so guilty that I should be thinking about my family and my own life over you but I can’t.


What sucks is that I fucking can’t.


And nobody will ever get that. And all people can say to me sounds like the same broken record over and over again. And just demeaning my feelings isn’t gonna help me or you for that matter. I’m allowed to feel the way I feel, and just because someone else or I, myself have even bigger problems to worry about, that doesn’t mean it’s not justified to feel the way I do.


All everyone is going to say is how I’ll forget about you and move on and it’ll all be okay.


And I know it will. Some day.


But right now, it isn’t okay. I’m not okay.


I just want you to appreciate that I’m not. And let me not be okay for once.


Yours forever,

Not forever, maybe just now, just for this moment ; but so completely yours in this moment that I cannot fathom how it’s even possible,




One Last Walk

It was winter when our paths first met. The fog aligned and settled itself around you; you in your beige sari, with a red shawl wrapped around your arms, blowing on the cup of tea in your hands. Even in 8 degrees Celsius you were looking so warm, so filled. Your eyes kept wandering to the little puppy playing around, and each time you put the strands of your hair, back in your bun, your cup would tremble in your left hand. I could see specks of paint on your fingers and a poster tube on your back. You were like the first dew drop falling on freshly cut grass, lone and grand.

It was raining when we first kissed. The drops were resting on your eye lashes, as they closed. I could taste the rain on your lips and it felt like ice cream in cold winter mornings. Nothing necessary, but completely exhilarating. I remember, how your bangles broke that day, and how it got stuck on my shirt, while you tried to lean away from me. We walked for a good four hours that day, the same path over and over again.

Sometimes I like to believe, that we all have different paths to take, each laid out in front of us in the shape of decisions we make. These paths lead us to many different places, and these paths separate us from many different experiences. We may be the ones choosing the path, but the destination is something nobody ever figures out. Sometimes these paths meet, collide and separate, and sometimes the collision results in an explosion, leaving all else in ruins.

Four years after, I’m back here, in ruins left behind. Only this time the sound of your nupur was missing. It felt deafening. I took my first step, on this path where I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve walked. But for the first time ever, you weren’t here.

It was summer when you died. I have failed to forget how you looked that day. We were driving to come to our path. To walk for hours again like we used to before. Your hair was open, and blowing in the wind. The smoke from your cigarette getting into your kohl lined eyes. Your smile had the softest shade of pink that day. The pink that got stained with my blood when the car crashed.

They say you’ll get over it. They say you’ll move on, to a different path, to a stronger path. But my path had stopped with you.

Sometimes, certain people pierce into your soul and never leave. They create this small little hole inside you and they reside there forever. Each time you’re with them, you’re gathering memories and storing them in the gentlest way you can, filling this hole. But once their presence leaves, this gaping hole inside, devours you from within. Destroying each fiber one by one. Stabbing you with each little moment, you had stored inside. But that is precisely why you must learn to let go.

That is exactly why; I’m here alone trying to walk off the edge. How can I possibly go on, when my path had ended before me.

One last walk wouldn’t hurt anyone right?


Birthday Party

As the dream faded, she chased it, forlorn. She tried to fall back asleep, twisting and turning in her bed. The cushion felt soft to her touch, the temperature was cold, and the blankets were just right. But she felt this weird state of frenzy. She had always been a very calm sleeper, but tonight she couldn’t stop fidgeting.


She had dreamed of him coming back to her, cradled in her mom’s arms. Like the very first time she saw her. It was a pleasant kind of nostalgia, but it was black and white and cold. For the first time in her life, this memory of hers, felt to her very foreign, as if it was never her memory to keep. Failing to fall back asleep, she woke up and made a cup of coffee, lights turned off, the entire house was pitch dark. She walked around the kitchen table, tracing the edge of it with her red nails. She remembered the time when his head could barely reach the table. How he almost hit his head, when he first stood up holding on to this very edge. She used to make coffee the same way, as his small eyes would peak at her, trying to jump and catch a glimpse of his waffles and chocolate syrup.


She turned the lights on in the doorway, as she walked with the mug in her hands sipping on her coffee. She lit her cigarette and paused past each picture on the wall. They were all him. The first baby cot, the first little birthday cake she made for him, his first walker, his first bike and finally his first girl friend. They weren’t exactly together anymore; she had apparently disliked his taste in slimes. But it was too  pretty a picture to take down. She was in a little pink dress, and he had his Dragon Ball Z T-shirt on. The next picture right next to his room was from the time they went to the beach. This memory was still very fresh. She had him in her arms, holding him up high, against the sunset. This was a year and a half ago and he was 6. She touched the dust on the frame with the hands of her sweater, as she thought how light he was back then. They all thought he wouldn’t grow. But he did.


She turned the knob on his door, and slowly opened the door to him. He was still the cutest little kid she had ever seen. He had very faint similarities to his dad, and he was rather identical to her, she always told herself even though no one would ever say he looked anything like her. She tip toed across his bed, and turned on the lamp and his face lit up. She looked at his lashes, so long and blonde; and his little baby cheeks, she kissed them. As she was leaning on him, she felt something drip on her toes. The blood from his body was leaking down to floor, crippling down the bed sheets. She can’t possibly get a stain on the floor, she thought. She would have to clean this mess up as soon as she could.


But her little boy looked so peaceful; she didn’t want to move him an inch. But her OCD was getting to her. She looked at him once more, before going over to the kitchen. This time she turned on the lights. She thought she should clean the knives first. As she turned the tap on, the water trickled down the dried blood on the knife. She would have to get her hands dirty it seemed. She sighed, as she took a dollop of dish washing liquid and started cleaning the blood off with a sponge. She took her time with it. The water falling down was ice cold, and her hands had gotten numb. The ashes from the cigarette on her lips were now dropping off into the sink.


When she was finally done, she took a mop to his room and turned the air conditioning on. She began by taking the blanket off as she regretted stabbing him through the blanket. It was such a waste to throw the beautiful blue color away. She stripped his clothes off, one by one, carefully folding them and keeping them in the laundry basket. Finally, she cleaned the wound in his gut and stopped the bleeding with a lot of gauze and bandage. Her hands were perfectly calm again, not like when she awoke. Then she picked him up, and sat him in the chair; the same chair where he first wrote his ABCs and on the same desk, where she had helped him carve her name.  She noticed that his medical reports had blood on them. She wiped them off, with her white sleeves, and put them away in the trash. He had been diagnosed with Medulloblastoma last year. Right in front of her eyes, he had changed from her little ball of sunshine to a ticking bomb. She couldn’t take it anymore, seeing him die little by little. So she took matters to her own hands.


She changed the bed sheets, and for the last time she put him to bed. She put out a fresh new blanket she had brought for him yesterday and kissed him on his soft blonde bangs and whispered “Happy Birthday, Love”.




My Letter to Time

I’ll stop. Stop trying to find some glorified, theatrical way to talk about your significance in my life. Because you know nothing even comes close. There are so many things I could say, but none of that would come close to saying what you mean to me.

I’ll stop. Stop trying to fight you back with all I’ve got. Stop trying to resist you. Because when a storm comes, you must embrace it, and let it wreck you from within. But it’s hard. Hard to justify the things you do.  Hard to figure out the way you flow.

It is starting to feel real. It is starting to feel like all those movies I’ve watched. But then sometimes I feel like I’m asking for the pain, like I want to bleed. It’s weird how our perception of reality is different from what reality actually is. How sometimes it feels like “it shouldn’t feel like this”. Maybe it’s just me and I’ve turned to a stone. Maybe I’ve always been.

It is starting to feel like my soul’s dying. It’s crying for help inside, and it knows all too well what’s happening. My hopes shatter into pieces before I even realize I had them. Some days it feels meaningless. Some days the storm gets me drenched. And it rains and it rains and the sky is this shade of grey that stirs my heart.

Then I realize I am in love with being drenched. I am in love with the grey gloom. That there is a certain pleasure in the pain that we all dread. Maybe I’m unconsciously getting addicted to it. That’s when the guilt hits, when you realize you actually want everything you’re trying so hard to fight against. Then again, what do I know about pain?

I try to grasp you within the palms of my hands. But you so effortlessly slip away. I try to catch you before you come, but you so beautifully deceive me. I try to figure out how to spend each minute, but you just destroy the whole meaning of even having a plan. Sometimes I give up and stand in my path, awing at the beauty of your existence. Sometimes I catch up and wonder why I’m still not happy when I achieve you.

What are we all trying to do? What are we running from? More importantly what are we running towards? I try to comprehend every fiber of your being, but fail because sometimes you don’t even exist. I realize I can’t ever hold the water that spills from my glass and I’ve stopped trying.

But I refuse to let you lead the way; refuse to let go of having any sense of control, refuse to admit at the end we’re all at your mercy. I try to give you meaning, I try to give you purpose, to try and usher you to some barely visible path. But I’m feeling like everything is against me at this point. I try to give you dreams, to give you something to look forward to. Something to run for. But I’m at a standstill trying to figure out why everyone else is running. Without a purpose, it all slowly loses meaning.

I try to let other people in. I try to feel like a part of the mob; to try and understand your perception of people. As I sip the last drop of coffee she says to me “Well my mom always told me that life has the funniest ways of showing you what you should really be doing. It wouldn’t mean that you’ve failed or given up it would just simply mean it took you a wrong turn to find the right one. I guess you can always choose not to be miserable I personally think that yeah maybe that day will come when you wake up scared and not liking what you’re doing but that’ll probably be the start of something new if you let it.”

They all say it’ll work out. They all say I shouldn’t fight you. And even I know that you will flow and carve the path for me, without me even moving an inch. But the path being there doesn’t really mean anything if I don’t take it. I want to run for something at least once. Even if I fail and tumble down and hit my face, at least I’d have tried.

I have realized everyone has a different justification; everyone gets into the ring with different preparations. I think everybody gets these questions, but not everyone chooses to answer them. All these stories come together and weave a beautiful creation. Something only God and you can sit back to experience.

“I think my dream actually lies with people and the world and doing things.
But I believe I am not ahead of my time and kids of my age these days don’t know much about dreams.
I remain dissolved in “nows” with wild and broad consuming thoughts of “future and forever”.

I try and weave into my soul these little words that flow in the air. Even if the path I’m walking is for me to walk alone, I have brilliant paths beside my own. The things around me shape how I want to be. I think I’m getting there. Or maybe not. But that’s just a matter of perception in the end.

Wait patiently till you grow up. You are gonna get opportunities on a daily basis. You need to filter them out and no matter how annoyed or pissed or whatever you feel personally at that moment, find a way to power through it and do something. Doing makes the differences. Doing. And trust me for those who want it, God gives them enough chances. More than enough.

I think wanting to do something and getting to do it is in itself a rare privilege that a very few people get. Keeping your expectations even from yourself like an open canvas can sometimes give you a more beautiful picture than any other that exists for you.

Or maybe not. And there comes the matter of your acceptance”

I guess I have to accept you own me, and not the other way around. But you’re amazing all on your own and I’m gonna try my best to make a wreck of which I am happy of. I haven’t reached the answers yet. I haven’t started building my shelter from the storm. But I’ve decided I’m not going to. I have to face you alone and bare and I shall make an experience out of it. I’m not gonna keep running aimlessly, rather slow down and let everything in. Not everyone is meant for a well defined purpose, I’ll shape it into something much bigger than that. I have realized I am never gonna be content with my answers, because the day that happens I’ll stop running. And I’m not ready for that just yet.

It’s about giving back what you have given me. In my own small ways and helping the other souls running about like me. Give a little part of the storm to each one on my way and maybe even let someone else’s storm hit me in the face.

It’s not about the bigger picture. Rather the little rocks and hurdles I’ll pass and the small flowers I’ll plant in my path. To make someone else feel a little joy. To change things for the better, no matter how small they may be. It’s not about success or happiness. It is about the endless questions we try to answer.  It’s about how we all let you flow within ourselves.

I will slow down and let you intertwine with each strand of my soul.

I will stop trying to define you and give you constraints. Instead I will try to be at the center of the storm and let my hair loose because you are the most amazing thing man has ever known.

I will keep running, towards meaning, towards something greater than a dream, towards you.

A Story of Love and Grass

“Bhai koto nise ?”
I turned around at the rickshaw going past us. I’ve stopped counting how many times people have asked that. People in the cities are apparently very curious. It wasn’t like this where I lived. I would stand and walk and poop and do my daily activities and nobody would even bat an eye. But here, everywhere people are staring at me. Am I some celebrity now? Have they never seen a cow? I admit, I am rather easy on the eyes with my red leather and shiny eyes, but don’t they know it’s rude to stare?
I’ve been walking for a while now. Sure I may have gotten a little bulky the last few days, but that’s only because master was feeding me too much, now, I may be naive but I’m not stupid enough to turn down food.


Mokhless liked my curves. He thought they were sexy. I wasn’t like the typical blonde beauty; I was and still am a sassy red head. Mokhless was the hotshot. We grew up together since we were little calves. Bulbuli and the others had an eye on him, but we were meant to be. Inseparable till the end. I wonder what he’s doing now. My precious Moo. He is such a sweetheart.


“Ei Lalu, beshi genjam korish na, gate er bhitore dhuk !” the man shouted.


What the hell? Do I look like a Lalu to you? I am a pure Sokhina. I can’t believe you would give me such a generic name just because I’m red and pretty. Humans are such dumb creatures. No fashion sense, they wear weird stuff. And the females. Oh lord. Painting their eyes with black ink and wrapping weird things around their bodies. I really don’t get humans sometimes.


I entered through the gate and they gave me more food. Why is everyone so keen on making me fat? What’s the point if Mokhless isn’t even here to see me? As the night draws in, I sit down and wonder what waits. Mostly wonder what Mokhless is doing. I think this is what love feels like. We haven’t ever been apart before you see. But master told us he was making us big and fat to sell us to the city folks. Master was a good guy and I don’t mind walking a few miles, even though I don’t really get what the city folks would want with us. But if Mokhless was with me, I wouldn’t be this lonely.


I stare at the stars above, only failing and my vision being stopped by a ceiling. What kind of lives do these people live? Locked up in little boxes with not a hint of grass in sight. Sigh. I feel bad for them sometimes. Ever since we were young, we’ve heard stories of these boxes stacked side by side. We’ve grown up fantasizing one day coming to the cities and living a rich and happy life. Our lives were black and white. We wondered what color felt like. They said this is where the lucky ones end up. I’m one of them. I wonder what awaits me. Only the new sunrise will tell.


Maybe the grass is greener on the other side.



“You’re gonna end up as a prostitute. Mark my words.”

She could feel every inch of her being cringe as her father’s words entered her ears. They wouldn’t register. They refused to. Maybe if they did, she would break his neck. But she didn’t feel like it. She just kept opening and closing her eyelids against the surface of her copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Have you ever heard the sound of your lashes crashing against each word of a book? It feels hypnotic somehow. She used to spend hours doing it. But it didn’t feel the same when her eyes were wet.

She wasn’t always like this. She was a joyful little girl with dreams of touching the sky and dancing beneath the clouds. She used to think her father was the most precious person in the whole wide world. Her mother having died during her birth, she was all alone. Her dad was the only friend she had.

As she reached 6, she saw her dad take her friends from the field to his bedroom room. He wouldn’t let her in. “it’s a game” he used to say. A game she was forbidden to play. She used to sit alone in the porch as the other girls stopped talking to her.

As she turned 13, she saw a new woman come into her life. A new mother. How anyone can have a new mother was beyond her. All her friends had just one mother. She would have two? She was overwhelmed with joy.

As she turned 15, she couldn’t sleep at night because of her new mother weeping next to her bed. She tried to ask her, but she figured she couldn’t help. She stopped dreaming of the sky. Her new mother was the one who got her into reading books. She gave her all her old books and she loved them. They helped her feel something, anything.

As she turned 18, her father burned her books; all of them except one. She had hidden her favorite one beneath her dress. She watched as their old house burned to a crisp, with her new mother and her precious books inside.

As she turned 20, her father tried to take her only book away from her. Hiding it beneath her skirt didn’t help anymore. He could reach everywhere now. And she wouldn’t feel anything. She knew somehow this would happen. That she was the next. She knew, the day she stopped dreaming of the sky.

As she turned 21, she was tired. Tired of never feeling anything. Tired of never doing anything. She refused to let him touch her anymore. So he cursed her again and again. She knew he wouldn’t stop at cursing. He’d go on doing whatever he wanted. That’s just how he’s always lived.

As she finished her book, for the last time, she scribbled down something on the cover. “I love you dad, I always have. If you want me to become a whore, then that’s what I’ll do”. She gently placed it beside his bed and sneaked out. As she walked towards the road, the fire she lit had spread and she could her father scream exactly like all the times her new mother had screamed.

She kept walking and walking wondering about what could unfold of her life. What else could she do? All that was left of her story now was a blank.




On Foreign Land

*Lyrics in Italics are from Blackbear’s Girls Like You  I completely twisted the meaning. No connection whatsoever to the song so feel free to ignore those parts .*

Give me your forever, or at least just for a while

I touched her fingertips. They were so soft, so foreign. Unlike anything I’ve ever touched before.

Give me never ending, or at least give me a mile

It felt like forever. I was in a trance. She moved in a way that bewildered. She was unlike anything I’ve seen before, yet somehow the only thing that was even remotely similar to me.

Give me happiness, or at least give me a smile

She smiled at me as she walked past and grabbed the fruit. Her slender hands gently wrapped around the crimson of the flesh as her nails dug into it. The juices oozed out as her tongue touched the inner soft white center, hair covering her porcelain cheeks.

I brushed my fingers through her hair as they clung to the sweat trickling down her forehead and she dove in for a bite. She was divine; the fruit fell from her hands as my teeth bit into her lips.

Give me forever for a while

The ground beneath us disappeared. Everything was turning into this horrid blue, swirling around us, as her lips snatched away from mine, and her gaze too afraid to lock into me. I looked at her as the blue engulfed her in a womb as she crouched against her knees, eyes steady now.

Deep and infinite.

Staring into me.

Yearning onto me.

Lust filled me up from inside. The bones in my body stiff, the fingers of my hands clenched as she disappeared.

It took me a while before I realized everything was turning hazy around me. Hazy and green. Hazy and yellow. Hazy and all these colors I had never seen before. This was fear. I didn’t care before, when she was with me. Now that she’s not I realized what I’ve done.

Swear to God I’m a sinner in a church, burnin’ up for you

What have I done?

I closed my eyes as I felt something inside me sink further and further and it was not the most pleasant of feelings.

With my eyes closed I could still taste the touch of her lips and the feel of her skin. But there was something inside me that was stronger. Remorse.
Swear to God she’s a blessing and a curse

What did she feel I wondered? I wanted to feel her still.

As I opened my eyes I was a new being. There were grains of wet dirt stuck to my feet and not another movement in sight.

I turned and turned, dumbfounded.




I looked around for her.

I looked around to fill this weird void inside me.

What is this place?

There were enormous skies and golden stars that shimmered through my eyes. I pressed one foot forward in front of me, and then the other as the dirt pierced in between the gaps of my toes.

I couldn’t figure out what was happening. This was nothing like our ship back on Andromeda. I’m assuming this isn’t even the same galaxy. The atmosphere smells different.

I sat down on a rock and tried to think my way through. Our ship is a strict one. We have things called rules, and ours has many different species residing in one. Usually species of a similar kind gather together, but then there are the “misfits”. Some of us don’t want to spend all our neuron impulses thinking about how to expand our base. There are types like us in all the galaxies and they are sent to our ship to live as we want. We are few but each different in our own ways. But unlike the other ships, some of us have something called will. Or at least that is what I’ve figured out. I don’t usually communicate with the other ones. Most aren’t interested and the smart ones control the ship. They’re the Head. You can’t talk with the Head.

The Head thinks “will” is just a random anomaly. Some neurotic mutation inside that makes our kind act different, “rebellious”. When we do, we’re sent off to different wanderers to test the waters. Wanderers aren’t like our ships. They don’t have controlled environments and behave entirely on their own. But we’re “expanding our horizons”. Someday this may be home.

Now, what the head doesn’t realize, or I think refuses to realize is that will exists. We behave abnormal because some of us can. Like I did. It was very unlike me. It wasn’t intentional but I wouldn’t say I didn’t want to do it. I had never felt anything like “lust” before.  She was the first one of my kind I had ever laid eyes on. In fact it was the first time I ever had such strong urge to do anything.

We don’t mate. We don’t need to. The number of our species is constant. I guess what I did was unnecessary. Unnecessary action goes against the rules. By deduction therefore, I must’ve been sent to a wanderer.

I have to survive on my own now. Not that I had help before, but back home we didn’t need to survive. We just did.

I don’t know if it’s the environment or if it’s part of the punishment, but I feel all sorts of new things.

But first I need to fill this void.

I got up and walked until I came across this fluid body on the ground. I know what it’s called but I can’t remember. Loss of memory is apparently part of the punishment.

Instinctively I lowered my head into the fluid body and let the fluid go in through my nostrils. I jerked up, gasping for air. No, that’s not right. I opened my mouth, and tried again. Yes, this time I felt the fluid penetrate through my pipes. It was rather sticky. I put my fingers through the fluid and saw something transparent wiggling in my hands. I wondered what it was. Curiosity feels new to me.

This void is swallowing me whole from inside out. I walked and walked until I came across things I could put in my mouth. My thinking capacity was slowly turning into spatial skills. I could feel it happen. It left a weird sensation through center of my eyes. Pain.

I also had this unnatural bulge appearing in my stomach. It was wiggling inside me like the transparent liquid from before.

I found something like I had bitten into before. But I couldn’t remember what it was called. It was similar but somehow different and it calmed the hole inside me. I was slowly becoming anxious and I walked around more and thought less and less.

I still wanted to see her.

As I could see myself less and less, and the something above me began to twinkle I felt this weird urge to lay myself down and I did. I was doing everything I felt like.

I completely forgot everything for a while.

When I was alive again there was something in my head; shining through. I looked up and I could see again.

I walked and walked and stopped only when the round thing on my body moved too much. It was becoming bigger.

All I did was walk till I couldn’t see and then for a while I would forget everything.

When I couldn’t walk anymore I just lied and stared at the things that twinkled up above.

I put my hand up against it and watched the sticks on it wiggle. I couldn’t remember what they were called.

Where was I? Why did it feel so different? Isn’t this home?

The thing inside me had grown out and was beginning to take shape. It was still with me, and I couldn’t move because of it. It moved in its own way. It tickled.

I opened my eyes when I felt something pulling me. It was her.

There were twinkles on her head and they looked at me as the curve on her turned up. I felt warm for a while. I felt like home.

She gently grabbed the thing and ripped it apart from me as if she knew exactly what to do.

I felt water drip from the holes in my head.

I kept looking at her. Unable to move. Unable to think.

She was nice. She was hazy.

She was the only one.

I felt a pang in my gut. For a moment everything came back and I realized I was dying. I felt one last feeling inside me spring to existence, as I looked at my offspring in her arms. I felt hope for our species and wished they would make this wanderer our home.

Give me forever, for a while

Give me forever, for a while




If you stay long enough with someone, no matter whom that is, you end up developing feelings for them. It’s like it is with furniture. You hardly ever acknowledge its existence, and you use it all the time but when it breaks you realize how much you actually liked it. But that’s not love, is it? It’s just getting used to someone. That should never be enough. But strangely a lot of people are content with it.

That’s how it was with Nina and I. I wasn’t all that fond of her when she moved in. I didn’t hate her. But I didn’t particularly like her either. She was just there. She existed and I had to live with that. Initially I hardly ever looked at her. But when I was home alone, we ended up having the deepest conversations. It was all very one sided, but she was all I had.

One night we were talking about our ambitions. Actually just my ambitions, because all we ever talked about revolved around me. I wanted to be a neurosurgeon, just like dad was. I wanted to become his apprentice if I may say, and help him. He was like a magician when he looked through the microscope into those cells he used to bring home. I loved that he treated me as his equal, and never just a child. I loved how hard he tried to make me feel useful.

However I hated that I was the reason he had to quit his research. I hated that I was the reason we went flat broke. He couldn’t handle raising his kid alone and doing his job at the hospital. He couldn’t just leave me in an empty room at 2 in the morning. The fact that we couldn’t afford a friendly neighborhood didn’t help either. So he bought home Nina. I only saw her picture at first, and she was beautiful. Dad said he looked like my mom, that she could just maybe even be my sister. She was 21 years old, and had thin faded blonde hair, and tan skin. I never could look into her eyes though, but dad said they were hazel.

As the days passed, Nina got smaller and smaller. One night, Dad had gone to buy a scalpel, as his old one wasn’t cutting it anymore. It was just Nina and I, sitting in the ice cold room. I had gotten used to the cold as well. I was fine wearing just a sweatshirt and denim. We got to talking again, as I sat on the floor crouched, drawing circles on my knees.

“I don’t think Dad can afford to pay for my med school, Nina. I wish he could. I wish he really could. But I thought maybe he could teach me. But he’s not the same anymore. He doesn’t smile at me like he used to now. He doesn’t look at me at all. He spends all his time with you.”

I sat still as the circles tickled my skin. I was thinking about getting a job to help dad out, when the phone rang. I went to pick it up, and there was a man with a husky voice on the other end who said Dad had just gotten hit with a car. He told me to tell him where I was, but I hung up.

I got up and turned all the other lights off, except the one over the metal table; over Nina. I could see Nina’s brain neatly placed beside the jar labeled “eyeballs”. I wondered why Dad bothered labeling them when it was pretty clear they were eyes suspended in some weird gel like fluid. You see, Nina was the corpse dad had brought home one night after they kicked him out of the research.  He worked extremely hard on her and made sure all of her was preserved. She was a homicide victim probably.

As I picked up the blunt scalpel, I felt this strange pull from my guts. I desperately wished that Nina was alive, and wished she would talk to me for once. I had gotten to so used to her, I never noticed that she didn’t care about me. She didn’t care that my dad had just died and that I needed some sort of love and support. She didn’t care how fucked up I was. No, she didn’t care at all.

I tried to slice through the pinkish gray muscle that lay cold between my fingers. This was as close as I would ever get to become a neurosurgeon, huh?

It hurt. But it also soothed my mind.

I wished Nina would love me back.




As her eye lids blinked up and down, she got glimpses of her dad. He was at the door. She couldn’t keep them open for more than a fraction of the second. They felt too heavy. The next time she opened them he was beside her. What happened? How’d he get here so fast? Had she just fallen asleep? Her eyelids felt heavier and heavier. She could feel the weight of her head, she was suddenly aware of her own presence. She could feel the blood rush through her veins; it felt like warm blankets in the winter and iced tea in the summer at the same instant. She noticed the beat of her heart slowing down. Thump-thump-thump. Thump. Thump.
It felt like morning, she could smell the mint of the toothpaste mixed with the fragrance of coffee from the kitchen. She opened her eyelids. They didn’t feel as heavy as before. She looked at her gray ceiling fan. Round and round it circled.
Whish. Whish.
She heard the sound of motor. Thk-thk-thk. She turned her head, and saw her laptop on her table. She turned to the left and saw her gray SpongeBob SquarePants bed sheet. There was a slight bump on it, like it had just been slept on. Wait, Spongebob isn’t gray. Her wall isn’t gray either. She stared back up and realized everything was gray : her fan, the walls, even the web of the spider at the upper right corner of her room; wait, that was supposed to be gray.
Now if no one was on her bed, then where was she? She tried to turn her head again. Nothing. Her muscles wouldn’t react. She remembered how she felt each and every muscle contract last night. What had happened? What is happening? Why can’t she move her head? Is this the sleep paralysis she had read about on Facebook?
She was eerily calm about this. She was pretty surprised herself. She had convinced herself it was sleep paralysis. But why was everything gray? She tried to think about it. Yes, she had always been a calm person. She took a little pride in it too.
Silence, she realized was something she was feeling now. The sound of the fan stopped and so did the chirping of the crows. But she could hear air. The sound of air moving and swirling and she remembered Brownian motion. She could feel all the other sounds dying, slowly, but fast enough to be noticeable. First the fan, it was still moving though, and then it was the crows. As the usual ones died out, the other ones heightened. She heard the sound of her lashes going up against the air and falling down again; the occasional sound of one of her strands of hair crashing against the other one; the sound of her muscles struggling to move. Ssshhh.
Silence was something she thought she knew well. It was her friend in times when life felt like death. She would spend hours on end reading or just thinking. Life to her felt meaningless, most times. No matter what she’d do, or could do, her existence didn’t really matter in the grand scale of things. What was the point then? Of her inhaling each breath, eating each bite and blinking each time? Maybe death had more purpose. Maybe, she would be of use after she died. Maybe her existence was only for her to eventually stop breathing. Aren’t all our existences the same though?
She could hear absolute silence. The sound finally died out. She never thought silence could be her worst enemy, it was defeating. No matter where she was, she had never actually experienced silence. There was always at the least, the sound of air to accompany her.
Now, her insides felt empty. She could see her surroundings but the silence was devouring her from within. She tried closing her eyelids again, in hope for a little peace. But as soon as she did, she saw something. Something inexplicable. It was like a jungle of blood and veins and just ugly black lines. She couldn’t depict what it was, but it scared her. It was horrific. The black lines moved, and curved and pierced as if through her pupils, while the blood boiled and blistered her lids.
When she opened her eyes, she saw her dad again, this time crying. She hadn’t ever seen him shed a single tear. Some dads are like that. Wait, he isn’t crying still. He’s stone, crouched over what seemed to her to be a black void. Light ceased to exist. Or maybe was being absorbed. She could just see black, a black she had never seen before. At least something wasn’t gray.
She looked at her father’s lashes, they were so beautifully curled. He was younger than any of the other dads at school; he was also one of the very few who were divorced. She saw him put his cell phone to his ears. Had he finally called mom? After 15 years? Would she come to him? Probably not; not after what he had done to her.
It’s strange how one person’s absolute worst sinner can be another person’s saint? She had just recently found out what he had done to her mom. But somehow, she could never imagine the same guy who tucked her in every night, (even though she insisted she was an adult and didn’t need tucking in) to be the menace who harassed mom. Maybe she was in denial.
Now however, who would comfort him? Who would he take out to eat when he would quit his job again? Who would be the only person he was actually nice to in the whole entire universe? Maybe her existence wasn’t all that meaningless after all. It might not have given her purpose, but for him she suddenly wanted to be that black void that he stared at with empty eyes. For him she wanted to live.
She closed her lids again, this time to be met with only gray. She didn’t feel like trying anymore, to figure out what was happening. That’s always the worst, the feeling of utter hopelessness. As she felt the dirt granules fall on her skin over the white cloth, the silence began to die out. When even the silence is gone, what else could be left?


What do you do when the very ground underneath you shakes? When even the weight of your lungs feels too heavy to bear? When you don’t want to breathe?

Elijah looked at the mud on his dark brown shoes. He remembered the time he first bought them.

“Dad! Dad! I like the black ones!!’
“That’s not black, it’s brown. This color is called brown”
“But it looks like black, Dad”
“Not everything that’s dark is black, Ray”
“Okay, but I want this one!”

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