“So, you’ll still do it? You think that’s the best course of action?”
“I don’t know if it’s the best course of action, but yeah, I’ll still do it.”
“You’re still going to do it even though this may not be for the best?”
“Look, I can’t see the future, but I’ll do it anyways. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that it’s there, and my future is within it.”
At that point, she lost all her words. His face is brimming with confidence, and she not only sees it, she can also feel it. The fiery spirit that he held within his spacious heart is not to be doubt. At a loss for words, she could only shake her head in disagreement and disbelief.
That was three months ago. Now, on a rainy Monday, she awoke from her slumber, feeling more lethargic than before her temporary death. Her eyes search for her phone and the numbers that are shown on it. It is a little bit past 11 in the morning, yet the sun hasn’t shown much. The clouds thunder on with heavy rain. Raindrops knock on her window. Sometimes the wind shakes it up like it was going to burst it open, but it never did. Like some half-hearted wimp, never having the courage to see things through, all talk and no action.
She then releases a sigh so heavy, her bed creaks at its release. In the comfort and warmth of layers of pillows, dresses, and her woolly blanket, she stretches her body and then let it ease. Then, another sigh before turning on to her stomach while pulling the blanket tighter around her body. She doesn’t want to leave the comfort and warmth of her bed. She knows that it is chilly out of her covers, especially on a day like this where the rain didn’t stop pouring all night and into the morning. Should she leave, the chills will attack her, and she for sure will feel the pain. She doesn’t want to feel the pain. Not today. Not anymore.
But life is like that. You can’t escape from what you want to escape from, and you can’t acquire what you want to acquire. Life is cruel. Life is meaningless. If I am living just to suffer, why live? Then again, she doesn’t want to die. She’s not prepared to leave it all behind, and that makes her all the more annoyed. She hates life, but she can’t let it go. And all the loath comes back to her in a cycle so evil, it breaks her down into values of meaningless all jumbled together.
“But you still have to go on living. That’s how you get stronger. You’ll face obstacle after obstacle. At first, you have to crawl over it in such a slow and heavy pace, you think you won’t make it. But then you get over it, and think to yourself ‘oh, I did it.’ Then you climb over another obstacle, then another, and another, until all the obstacles after that becomes a playground. Up to one point, you can just crash through it. That is when you’ll realize that all that’s holding you back is yourself.”
She shakes her head furiously at the instance of remembering those words of his. Easy for you to say, high achiever, she grunts in her heart. But then she stops. Her fluffy curly hair is in quite a mess. She hates her hair. She hates him for reminding her what a pathetic being she is. She hates how her hair reminds her of him, as he once said he liked her fluffy curly hair that she hates. She hates her hair for making him making such a remark. She hates herself for remembering all this. She hates herself for reasoning all this hatred with limited vocabulary and expression. She hates how she only knows hatred right now. She hates her hair for starting all this hatred not so early in the morning. She hates her hair.
But she can’t do anything about it all. She’s still in her bed, feeling up to the warmth of the layers of pillows and dresses and her woolly blanket, unable to get out of this sickly sweet warmth that glues her in place. She can’t do anything as long as she blames the bed, when in truth she herself doesn’t want to get out of that position. She knows the irony of it all, yet still can’t do anything about it. She hates herself for her incapability to solve such a fundamental problem. She hates how her hatred only made her remember him and his optimistic ways, his bright smile, his unwavering spirit, his gracious heart, his believe in his own self, his love for humanity, his ability to move on, his lack of arrogance, and his honesty without creed nor prejudice. She hates how she revered him as a being descended from the heavens above while he thinks himself as no more than any ordinary guy. Oh, the injustice of this all is killing her already half-dead self! Why is it that she thinks so much about him when he doesn’t think much of himself? She may have the answer, but she refuses to accept it.
“The key to solving any problem in this world is acceptance. When we accept things as it is without prejudice, without forcing our own values on others, with toleration and respect for our differences, then only we can move on as a species. We don’t need any mob mentality nor are we in need of stand-offish individuality. We just need to accept. Only then can we move on to the next step, which is to value the beauty in our variety and cheer for our similarities. Then only can we be honest without being afraid of hurting each other, without using freedom of speech and words like ‘for the purpose of discussion’ as shields to our petty lies of wanting to belittle other’s faith and dogmas and beliefs. Then only can we solve the problem of mob and individual.”
Again, she shakes her head furiously. Her fluffy curly hair sway like a dangerous wave crashing on the rocks of a cliff in a storm. She doesn’t want to remember his words, because they all point out that she is the one at fault for her own pathetic state. She doesn’t even understand the latter half of those words he said. So what’s the point in reminiscing those words? She hates how she knows the reason behind her trip down memory lane, behind the trigger of remembering quote after quote of his that she heard from various occasions. She hates them all. She hates herself for hating it all. She hates him for making her hate herself. She hates how she once thought that he was just a pretentious dude trying to look cool for the sake of presence. She hates how she now knows that it is not an act, but is his true nature to act so. She hates it all. She hates it all. She hates-
Her phone which was on silent mode since last night suddenly vibrated. The screen lights up with the caller’s name. Her eyes widen for a second. Her breath got stuck at her throat. Her heart skips a beat at the sight of the name on the screen. It is her best friend calling. She hesitated for a moment, but finally gain the courage to answer the call.
“Hello Ann, how are you?” she heard her friend said in a gruff brittle voice. Not her usual voice, she thought.
“I think I’m the one who’s supposed to ask that to you,” she answered, trying hard to sound cynical.
Her friend laughs for a moment, but she can’t help to hear a sobbing sound reverberating in her laughter. Maybe it’s just her imagination, she tries to sooth herself.
“So, are you coming? To my brother’s funeral, I mean.”
She lies in silence at the mention of it. Tears swell up in her eyes. These siblings! They never beat around the bush, she thought to herself. A mix of emotions swell up in her heart, feelings of anger and sadness and a hint of relief and happiness all jumble up together forming a feeling too powerful, too moving for her to name. A feeling much bigger than herself, she can’t bear the weight of it. This is all born from the feelings of those siblings. She almost breaks down into tears, but reminds herself not to. If anyone has the right to cry, it is her friend, not her. She does not have the right to do so. She only has the right to comfort her friend, not the other way round. She musters all her remaining strength and finally answers her friend’s question in a wobbly voice which she knows for sure will be plain as day.
“Sure. I’ll be there. For you.”
Then an awkward silence lingers in the air for a while, before she heard her friend reply.
“Thank you, Ann.”
Then the line goes down. She lets go of her phone, throws the layers of pillows and dresses and her woolly blanket to the floor, and then turn on to her back. A sigh comes out from her throat, along with a few drops of tears which overcame the surface tension of the pool in her eyes. She laments her own uselessness, her cowardice, and her inability to be strong in times of need. This is all your fault, she bickers to herself while projecting him onto her mind’s screen. What future will you be in, if you are not a part of that future? In the end, you yourself can’t acquire what you want.
In the middle of her self-bickering, she hears his voice. Possibly it’s only in her head, and not real. At the end of it, she laughs her heart out. Tears roll down her cheeks. She laughed so hard, her scruffy fluffy curly hair wave at the motion of her jerking body. Then, as abrupt as it started, it subsided so anticlimactically. She then smiles to herself while shaking her head. Maybe she has lost it, she thought to herself. But being her, being the one who always question him, she tries to act her role for possibly one last time. She inhales deeply then exhale slowly with eyes closed. Then, she opens her eyes and sits upright on her bed, facing an imaginary him. A bittersweet smile lingers on her lips. She raises her hand towards the imaginary him, points her finger, and acts her part.
“So, are you happy?”
26th December 2015