Above all, trust yourself.
Defeated. I sat on the cold ground in the dark, feeling nothing but the wisp of air blowing through the tunnel, it distinctly sounded like a fiddle playing. I wasn’t scared at all, just fatigued like I was throwing punches at something that wasn’t feasible. I must have folded my fists and coaxed myself with “just do it” a thousand times, but each time I end up uniting my buttcheeks to the dirt beneath me. I even dozed off and at some point and created several hypothetical scenarios of the many ways this could go and when I woke up, I allowed myself to linger on the thought of fighting till my hands were in shackles and my eyes, gouged out.
Slowly, I rose to my quivering feet and each step became a little easier. A winged buddy sidled next to me and split into a handful, and then some. Honestly, I was glad to have any manner of companionship and from intuition, I knew they were happy to see me too.
This time, I wasn’t looking at the walls, my focus was straight ahead as I marched on. After a while, I noticed that my butterflies weren’t flying ahead as they usually were. Perhaps something was blocking me but I had no way of confirming this, I couldn’t see that far. The winged creatures stayed close to my peripheral vision.
I was perplexed, something was out there as sure as I could instantly feel the doubt overwhelming me and soon I could make out a silhouette, not a tall one. I got nearer. It was in black overalls, it’s back towards me, it assumed a bent posture as if the world was weighing down on it—– or kyphoscoliosis. I stopped behind it.
uhmm” I muttered, quite unsure, “
can I pass? what are you doing here?”
I hear a soft moan, I knew then that it was female.
“do you want to pass?
“So why don’t you?”
“Because… ” I quickly retracted my reply. Something told me she already why. She turned, her chest towards me now.
“Because you fear being followed in the dark”.
“Who are you?”, Her face was like a shadow. I couldn’t make out anything but her brows and eyes.
“We used to be best friends,” she sighed ” but you abandoned me, like you do with everyone”
“I still keep in touch”.
“right, keep telling yourself that,” she chided, “you’re here because you unlocked a memory, you let your mind wander too far.. and now you can’t get back.”
Her tone became aggressive, her eyes glowered.
“You think life is just gonna give you stuff because you say pretty please? you’re nothing.”
“that’s not true”
“You think that by completing this grandiose quest of yours, you’re worth something,” her voice waned to a whisper, “well I’m telling you, you’re always going to be the empty person on those walls”.
No no no no, my mind was shattering.
She let out a derisive laugh, “you know most people whose mind wander off like yours have two things to ground them. An inflated self-esteem and a support system. You have neither, Idara, you’re pathetic”. Her laugh grew more hysterical.
“NO!,” I finally heard my enraged-self say, “I know exactly who you are and while I may not have friends, I trust myself no matter what you or anyone thinks”.
Those words seem to act like twenty upper-cuts to her torso because I could immediately see her weaken and fall. I, on the other hand, have never been more assured of my senses.
“You hear me? I trust myself”.
She let out a deafening shrill and exploded into several pieces before my eyes, leaving behind ashy feathers. I allowed myself a moment to process what just transpired before hobbling on, careful not to step on the “evil” feathers. I started wondering if there would be more tests as I could only deal with so much but right about then, I saw it. Light. Real actual light, not the illumination from the butterflies, I was ecstatic.
I ran the last few meters. I felt great, like a detox after a bad hangover, like purity and golden sunshine rolled into one. The butterflies were disappearing and this time, for good reason. The air felt great compared to the muffling metallic scent, although, I don’t know how long I was in there……”Hey,”
It was him.
I’ve been searching all night for you, where have you been?”
I glared behind to find everything but a tunnel.
“Needed a walk to clear my head”.
“I was worried, found your phone and house keys. Some folks say it fell out your pocket and they were trying to return it to you but you were…… nevermind, how are you?
“A bit tired”.
“C’mon, I’ll take you home, catch some snooze before day-break”.
I took his extended arm and he cradled me like a toddler but I wiggled my way to his back because piggy-backs are better. We walked off into the distance, out of the park, speaking audibly.
“You know I didn’t mean to upset you when I said I trusted you”
“I know Viktor.”
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