Category Archives: Uncategorized

1. Writing

As a way to encourage my writing, I had the idea to write about my first times. Hopefully, it’ll be a weekly challenge, and anyone can join in.

Writing

Vivid imagination was a gift of mine, very easy to fall into when time allowed. I’m able to get lost in my mind for days; my mood easily affected by the lives that lived in my mind. This is a story of a little girl’s first attempt to write, a story of passion screwed over due to fears.

Years ago, as a child, a story screamed at me to be written, an urge that was not new to me but simply had lacked the self-deprecation that prevented me before from taking such a step. That day the urge was stronger than I have thought it would be, and I wanted to write. So I took out a favorite notebook of mine and wrote my story. I wrote in explicit detail as it would be seen by the eyes of a child. Filled with new burst of emotions, my tiny hands shook but continued scrawling over the papers. The character grew in shape and color with each sentence. I remember the need to show my work to my parents, the need for their pride and love and I remember having this deep belief that they would love my work and would encourage me to become a writer.

Deeming the piece ready, I reread my unfinished scrawny story in an attempt to fix any mistake. I left my room, allowing my feet to carry me to my mother. I don’t remember what she was doing at the time or which room she was in. I reached her and my mother being a supporter of arts, she had in her eyes pride, after all her young child was talented enough to write her own story,

A peak into my childish story, though, and confusion settled in. English not being her native language, she asked me ‘What is it you wrote?’

So I narrated the story to her, I told her of a girl who lived among us. A girl who was abused by her parents. A girl who constantly thought of death and escape. A girl who cried alone in her room, because she was in so much pain. A girl who was too young to think of life and its unfairness.

I remember her gradual shock that was quickly covered up with a strained smile, she forced a nod and fake pride spoke volumes. Not knowing that a child sees and senses just as much as the adult. I remember leaving her and heading to my room, feeling confused. My father arrived home from work, I had at the time thrown the story away. Shredded the paper into pieces, angry with myself for aspiring to be a writer, for getting my hopes high. The child choosing to blame herself for disappointing her mother and later father.

My father called for me later that day, asking to speak with me. I walked into the room they sat in, thinking I was in trouble. Both my parents had grave expressions, and the moment I stepped in I was bombarded with questions: Have we ever mistreated you? Have we ever abused you in anyway? We love you and we would never hurt you, why would you write a story such as this? Eventually, the questions turned into a lecture of sorts, on what true mistreatment is, on how I’m lucky to have parents like them, on how my cousins are not as lucky and as they spoke my guilt and self-hate grew. The child wanted to hide away from the world.

 

I remember my frustration, my anger for their inability to understand as I attempted to explain that it was just a story. One of the many stories I lived in my mind, that I’m aware I’m lucky. I remember the hurt, I remember not being heard, and I remember, in frustration, quieting down. It was not the first time they hadn’t listened to me; it wasn’t the first time they had assumed on my behalf. Silence was easier as I have learned at such a young age. Finished with their lecture, I was finally allowed to leave to my room. I walked in with an attitude of defeat, I took a final look at the garbage bin where my story laid there in shredded pieces. I remember the silent tears that I wiped away angrily. I remember making a decision that day: I’ll never write again.

I stopped writing ever since and it took me years to gather my courage to leave behind that childish decision. It wasn’t till I had another strong urge for a story to be written, the urge fought me till it became an action. I wrote then and I secretly enjoyed it. I never, though, shared my secret with anyone and every time I wrote a piece, I shredded the paper. It took me years to have the nerve and to break that promise. Looking back to what my parents did, I understand now it was fear. Fear that I was unhappy, fear that they did something wrong, and fear that they were bad parents, and so they mistook my story for a personal experience.

A Stroke of a Brush

Frivolous colors splashed on the canvas creating a massive explosion of emotions hidden but burning under my skin. The black hole within me decreases in size with each stroke of brush; breathing becomes easier with each expression of color or shape. Nothing is clear; no intention is applied on the oil painting just plain frustration and anger. Being engrossed in my painting silences the voices in my head; they become a mere buzz that is eventually reduced into eerie silence. I don’t know what scares me more, the voices or the silence. I can’t handle being alone and yet all I want is to be alone. I start breathing heavily as my strokes become more and more aggressive and anxiety creeps up to me. I work harder and my colors change from brighter to darker colors, and the hole in my heart grows steeper. My art is my voice but I speak a language no one understands so I’m still unheard. I scream my pain and frustration through the colors I have but I’m not allowed to be seen or heard. After all I am privileged, who am I to complain, who am I to break free of the chains surrounding me and who am I to even believe I’m chained at the first place. So I break free only through my canvases.

 

Simple Desires chapter 6

You know that moment before the impact, that split second between oblivion and the shattering truth, like that instant in some hospital corridor when the doctor is heading down to tell the anxiously waiting family that piece of news that will slowly unravel the fabric of their existence, these tightly woven memories and constants that will soon change after the doctor pulls at the binding threads.

I’ve always been intrigued and drawn to examine such moments or what I call the ‘’the seconds before the impact”

To this day I still remember my first “seconds before the impact “and unwittingly I thought it would be my last.

It was 2 a.m and Chris hadn’t returned from god knows where , I had completed the evening with my mum so she wouldn’t get too worried and had found out that Chris had rushed out claiming he had an urgent work matter to deal with.

Had he noticed me?

Did he hear me as I came down the stairs?

I kept thinking about that awful scratching sound and the blood…….

what was bone chilling is that Chris didn’t seem to care about the mess,  and part of me felt he sought relief in that mess he reveled in the savagery he was inflicting on his skin

Was his other arm like that?

I sat on my bed unable to sleep until I knew he was home safe, I’d tried calling him but his cell was closed.

At 3 am I heard stumbling behind the wall adjacent to mine, I quickly headed out to the hall unlocking Chris’s door –we had each other’s keys in case of emergency- as I rushed through his disheveled apartment I didn’t have a moment to notice the waning signs.

Chris was never messy, in fact he was agonizingly immaculate bordering on OCD

This wasn’t normal

Something was disturbingly wrong

I headed quietly towards his bedroom bracing myself of what I might see…

“Chris”

He was balled up in the corner next to his dresser, his head was bowed and I could see he was shaking

“Chris” I called again not knowing what to do or how to begin to gather those shattered pieces bundled together in the corner

“Chris, sweetie can you hear me?”

I approached him silently afraid to make a sudden move, he looked like a wounded animal, and then I heard that blood freezing scratching sound again.

“Oh god “I covered my mouth, tears welling in my eyes as he continued to scratch the already raw flesh of his forearm completely oblivious to my body crouching in front of him.

His sleeves were no longer  clean , but instead stained with his own blood , and I got a feeling that Chris had two self-harming states , the controlled one he had at my mother’s house and this frantic unstable one he was having here in the comfort of his own apartment

I called his name again but he didn’t answer. I forced his chin up to see his face but he was so stiff and wooden

I tried again trying to seek comfort in his warm green eyes, but they were closed in a grimace, brows knitted and his mouth was slightly opened his breathing shallow.

I could smell the alcohol in his breath.

Chris never drinks.

I buried my face near his neck whispering comforting words coaxing him out of whatever hell he’s been trapped in.

“Chris sweetie please , you’re hurting yourself , please Chris don’t do this honey , Chris listen to my voice” I kept pleading with him through my tears ,my body was so pressed to him that we might as well been one .

I slowly reached my hand to his frantic one, touching his bloody fingers “Chris you’re breaking my heart Chris please, I’m so sorry I didn’t know, please forgive me”

His sense of urgency slowed down and I took the opportunity to grab at his hands holding them tightly, he tried to struggle resisting my touch but I was so determined to snap him out of it.

I pressed my face harder to his neck “it’s ok, you’re ok Chris, I got you, its ok I’m here I got you, you can stop now “ I kept chanting the words over and over until I felt him relax into me , I hadn’t noticed then of course but later I realized that it was the first time Chris had let me be that near to him or touch him

When I felt him completely relax, his muscles unwinding. I slowly took him by the hand urging him up, thankfully he complied.

I led him to his en suit bathroom and sat him at the edge of the tub, I grabbed the nearest towel and soaked it with water .all the time I made sure I was still holding his hand, I was so terrified to leave him alone for a minute fearing he would return to his self-harm.

I quickly reached for the antiseptic he had in his mirror cabinet, unsurprisingly I found a soothing balm that was also anti scarring.

I cleaned his wound , pressing gently at the raw skin , all that time Chris’s eyes were almost closed as if he was barely conscious to what was happening , I feared the antiseptic would sting but Chris hadn’t even flinched as if he was completely numb,. I applied the soothing balm and slowly wrapped his abused arm in gauze and cleaned the mess we made

My hands hesitated when it came to what I wanted to do next. I slowly reached his shirt unbuttoning it but Chris’s eyes suddenly shot wide in panic

What are you doing? His voice was terrified and shaky, his eyes glazed and unseeing

“Chris it’s ok sweetie, I’m just going to take off your shirt and get you a clean one “I said soothingly

Chris did not seem to comprehend my words his eyes were still wide, cold sweat erupted on his forehead

“Please don’t do this, please I won’t do anything please I’ll sit quietly I won’t fidget “Chris’s voice pleaded with me, his eyes filled with agony

My heart sank and shattered and bled

I realized Chris didn’t know it was me ……..Chris saw someone else in my place someone who had hurt him.

Someone who the mere action of moving caused him to terrify Chris to that extent.

“Chris baby it me, Ceels “I sobbed out

“Chris, its Cecilia you didn’t do anything wrong honey I just want you in a clean shirt “I ran my hands through his soft hair.

His mesmerizing green eyes focused on my face and a bewildered look replaced the terrifying one

“Ceels?”

“Yes it’s me Chris, I’m just going to remove this shirt ok “I kept my eye contact, as I slowly unbuttoned his bloody dress shirt.

Chris’s eyes stayed on me drinking me in as if he thought I wasn’t real, I slowly finished my task and tried to push the sleeves off his shoulders, but he stiffened

“Chris I’m just going to slip it off gently” I said soothingly, afraid he was confused again

But he wasn’t, I could see that at this moment he knew who I was but he was still afraid

I gently slid the sleeves off, shushing him and telling him he’s going to be fine, when my hands pushed at the sleeves removing them from his arms I gasped …….

I was wrong …..The moment I found him in his bedroom wasn’t my moment of impact…

This was.

 

The Struggle Within

The pain that followed the punch was unbelievable, it coursed through the child’s body as every part of him screamed for attention. The boy was hunched over gasping for breath. He shook but not in fear nor in anger but in misery. The being that hovered above him was just a shadow, a huge dark unclear silhouette, which just ignored the boy’s existence.

Determination set in the boy’s shoulders as he straightened and looked into the shadow’s unclear face, managing to fuel its anger again. It jerked and took a step back in confusion before it attacked again with a forceful slap across the boy’s face. Stoic, the boy said nothing as he fell to the ground. Silence descended within the abyss they are in, only the heavy angry breaths of the silhouette was audible.

It didn’t take long before the child became determined again, refusing to be ignored. The child stood but instead of a boy, it was a girl. She sniffled and wiped her tears off her black and blue face, her eyes filled with willpower as she stared into the silhouette’s face. It didn’t take long before it kicked the girl, and her body flew far away before it hit the ground. Her body fell lifeless and the shadow grew restless. It walked around mumbling, unable to fathom what was going on as she began to move and gain her strength again. As she stood her body changed and grew into that of a man.

The man stood and limped his way towards the shadow. When he was close enough he lifted his eyes and stared at its face. The silhouette was already prepared, and the moment the man looked at him, it punched him. The sound of a breaking rib echoed through the abyss, and so did the sound of a screaming man. Groaning, the man’s body began shifting into a more slender form.

A woman instead was holding her side, groaning in pain as she began to roll over to get on her feet. Barely able to stand up straight, the woman looked straight ahead at the shadow. She was prepared for what was to come. It didn’t take long before the silhouette slapped her and punched her till she fell to the ground. Motionless, the woman’s body curled and shifted into a shadow.

The silhouette in anger and confusion screamed, as it slowly dropped to its knees on the ground next to the unmoving shadow. It didn’t want to see them nor acknowledge them. It didn’t want to do this over and over again. They wouldn’t leave it alone in ignorance, because they wanted to be seen and accepted and that is the constant inner struggle that we have within our own abyss.

Week 21 – Cliché

Sometimes trying to figure things out can be exciting, while at other times it can be frustrating. It just happened to be one of those days – I couldn’t get my brain to work, no matter how much I urged it to.

I stared at the page for what seemed to be hours. I couldn’t see it, couldn’t feel it. It just wasn’t coming to me. Where had that thread gone? I was clouded by fog, dense, grey and suffocating fog. I needed a high powered fan to clear it all away.

A lack of clarity can be interesting at times, while more often than we’d like, it is utterly frustrating. Gah, I already thought of that! I needed that light, an Edison light bulb floating above my head. The switch! Where was the switch? It used to be so easy before – the juices were running and it was all flowing.

Once upon a time… nope not that.

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away… nope.

There was once a… a… A what? A boy, a girl, a cow?

It wasn’t working. Not even the clichés were helping. Maybe I could have written about a one legged pirate with an eye-patch and… and… a parrot? No something different, how about a monkey? Lame. I was running out of time. Cliché, cliché, CLI-CHE. Cliché, cliché, CLI-CHE! The conga line music clung to the walls of my brain.

I should have just shut it down. Seemed pointless, why was I even bothering with it all? I clearly didn’t have what it took to keep up. A false talent if I say so myself. I didn’t care anymore, I decided that I’d just spew whatever dregs that still hadn’t found.

I’ve been dry for too long. In order to create, my well needs to be refilled. Where’s that oasis?

Simple Desires Chapter 5

warning this chapter containes self harm and may cause triggers,if you are uncomfortable with the content please do not read.
“Hi Cecilia how are? “My mum greeted sweetly
“Hi mum “something was up, I could feel it
“So how is work? “The sweet tone continued
“Uhh good.”
“Have you met someone?”
Theeere it is
“No, mum still a spinster”
“ohh Cecelia I wish you would stop joking about this”
“Its fine mum I don’t mind my humor “
“You know that smart mouth of yours won’t get you a husband “my mum said making me feel we were in the 50’s
“Mum did you want anything, are you ok?”i asked cautiously
“Yes dear I’m fine, but I would really like it if you could join me for dinner “she said seriously
“But I was just there yesterday, is something wrong mum? Is…Is someone dying?
“No, Cecile you morbid goose no one is dying” my mum answered now annoyed
“I want you to meet someone “she returned back to her sweet voice
“Mum no…just no, your last fix up was a disaster!” I said exasperated
“Honestly Philips was completely fine” she huffed
“Mum he smelled his hands after scratching himself, who the hell does that!”
“Water under the bridge dear” my mum said dismissively “I want you to dress up cause I invited Tom for dinner he’s decent and he has his own hardware store in town , I have a feeling you will hit it off”
“With Tom the handy man “I said mockingly
“You know Cecilia I really don’t appreciate this tone and I’m quite upset that you take my effort for granted when all I’m doing is helping you have your happy ending!”
Aaaand cue the guilt trip
When is the dinner mum?
“Tonight at 8, you can even bring Chris, I know how much he helps you relax and it’s been a long time since he’s been over”
“Mum he was there last month “I deadpanned
“I know, hence long time”
“Mum are you also setting Chris up?” I asked mortified by the idea, I’ve seen it before it doesn’t end well “Cause I can tell you that is doomed to fail “
And apparently he’s already taken I thought bitterly
Stop it Cecilia! You had a fight, he has a secret someone and you should accept it and move on
“No, I know he has a special taste”
“Mum for the hundredth time, Chris is not gay”
“I know, he didn’t register on my gaydar “
“Mum!”
“Anyway invite him over with you and don’t be late “
And then she hung up
Ohh for the love of Google!
I headed back home around 5:30 after an exhausting day, I took a shower followed by a power nap, and started to get ready at 7:30
I wore that flowy forest green dress I adored, put on some light makeup that emphasized my light hazel eyes and headed out.
As I closed my door I slipped Chris a piece of paper under his door telling him about the invitation
I know I’m being childish by not texting him , and there’s a big chance he won’t see it or make it on time ,but I was so hurt by his outburst I didn’t care .
I don’t understand how he could be so closed off after years and years of friendship, I was his best friend for god’s sake!
I arrived 15 minutes early which meant I had to endure a reprimand/advice from mum about how I spend my money, take care of my skin and how I’m running out of baby popping time.
At 8 sharp the bell rang and surprisingly it was Chris, my mum had opened the door greeting Chris warmly without hugging him (she had learned that the hard way), I stayed in the kitchen pretending to prepare the food being the coward that I am I didn’t feel up to another yelling match, but I could easily hear my mum’s voice
“Oh Chris you look exhausted”
“Yeah, had a big case I’ve been working on “Chris answered quietly
“Oh and have you won?”
“Yes, actually the closing argument was today he answered his voice sounding off to me
My mum didn’t notice
“That’s wonderful dear, I hear you’re quiet the successful lawyer “
“Not particularly “Chris said in a miserable voice
Again my mum hadn’t noticed
What was going on, I thought he won why did he sound defeated?
“You’re such a humble and kind man Chris, it’s a shame you’re still single”
What was mum doing?
“I mean, any girl would love to have you as her husband “
Mum don’t go there
“I don’t think it’s in the cards for me Mrs. M” he answered sadly
“Oh don’t be silly dear, I’m sure the right girl is just waiting under your nose”
Oh…my…god
Shit shit shit
It was a setup, there was no Tom!
I had to intervene before my mum’s anvil sized hints would get blunter
I finally had the courage to step out
“Hi Chris “I greeted him as if we haven’t had the mother of all fights this morning
“There’s my girl, look at her Chris, isn’t she just lovely “my mum cooed sweetly
Chris had his piercing eyes on me and I rushed to interrupt whatever he was going to say, because honestly I wasn’t sure if his response would make me happy or hurt.
“Mum I thought Tom the handy man was coming “
“Oh bad news dear, he just texted saying he couldn’t make it “
Lies all lies
“That’s too bad” I said faking my disappointment
Chris’ eyes shot up at me
“Oh Chris, what will I ever do with Cecilia, she doesn’t seem to want to meet someone”mum said disapprovingly
“Hello I’m right here”
“Maybe she needs to work on her people skills “Chris offered
What the flying axe of Thor!
”My people skills are just fine Chris “I looked him straight in the eye
“Maybe more of your sense of boundaries then “he said coldly
“Well if I wasn’t dealing with a stubborn brick wall maybe I would back off “I raised my voice
“Well maybe that brick wall is comfortable being what it is, and doesn’t need you picking at it! “He raised back
“Ha! Oh I assure you that brick wall can shove as much bricks up it’s…”
“Cecilia!” my mum interrupted looking miffed
´I’ll go prepare the salad “I said before storming out
The dinner was as awkward as it could get, after we finished Chris excused himself to the bathroom
After 10 minutes I started to worry, so I went to find him in our guest bathroom, but it was empty
I climbed the stairs to look in my bedroom bathroom when I heard scratching
The door was slightly opened due to a problem with the latch, and apparently Chris hadn’t noticed
I slowly edge near the bathroom and peer through the crack.
And my heart broke…
I saw Chris leaning on the wall his back sweating through his shirt, the soft black hair at the back of his neck also damp.
He’s breathing irregularly like the air around him is toxic
His sleeves are rolled up
I can see the bruise clear as day, but what chills me to my bone is what I see him doing
He’s scratching himself, hungrily like there’s something eating at him from inside, his arm is starting to bleed but he doesn’t stop
He continues panting and scratching and it’s getting so bloody that it’s just awful to look at what he’s doing. His nails are bloody as well as his palms, but his sleeves remain rolled up neatly and clean
He knows what he’s doing
And then he slows down, and gradually his breath starts to even out.
I edge back as quietly as possible and climb down the stairs in a daze
Chris is hurting himself
Chris has done this before
How could I have not noticed?
I head out to backyard because I felt I would burst out and howl from the scene I just witnessed.
I don’t know how long I remained motionless tears threatening to burst at any moment
But I snapped back at the sound of a car driving out of our drive way
I don’t have to guess, I know its Chris.

Lack of Patriotisim

I have expressed my dislike to my country more than once, and it took me a while to realize why. The answer was very simple: it no longer feels like home. How can it be home when all I feel is unsafe? How can it be home when I’m scared from a simple task as walking down the streets? How can it be safe when everyone treats each other horribly? How can I feel safe when lack of decency is the norm? How can I feel safe when my country’s police and government is so corrupted that there is no justice? Yet, part of me still loves it, but sometimes it’s difficult to do so. Maybe I should start acting and treating others the way I wish to be treated. Maybe I can help change things to the better, and maybe not. I should still try.

Masks

Every society forces people to live according to the norms and rules that they deem is appropriate, forcing people with different ideas and thoughts to wear masks. Unfortunately, no matter how much you deny this, but you do care about what people say or think about you. You are always worried that you are being judged, till you reach a point were you don’t care anymore. You reach a point were you grab every mask that you’ve worn and tear it apart, and you reach a point were you are done being fake and untrue to the most important person in the world and that is yourself.

Most of the time you don’t realize you are wearing a mask, you actually believe this is you. You believe that these are your idea, your thoughts and your personality, so you don’t bother with questioning yourself. Everything you are, is what society, parents, friends, neighbors and acquaintances told you to be. You’ve been shaped the way they desired and according to their own beliefs – which does not necessarily have to be bad, but doubt will either change you and make you stronger or just make you stronger because you found that you are already on the right path.

I understand the fear of taking the step of doubt, it’s earth shattering; it’s like walking through a storm as you search for your home. It is a necessary evil though because the result is exquisite, because you are finally free of the chains everyone has been forcing upon you and the chains you have forced upon yourself. You are free to be who you are, and you realize that you no longer care about being judged.

Potential encounters

I was so engrossed in my book, that I didn’t notice that my laughs turned from muffled to full blown chuckles.

The book was a delight like a well roasted coffee mug in the early morning, or an exquisite piece of dark chocolate,I loved and enjoyed it too much that I didn’t want it to end I kept savouring every line, rereading the lines, as I paused to catch my breath at a particularly breathtaking part, I looked up to find a pair of intense honey brown eyes looking at my direction, ‘I must have looked ridiculous’ I thought laughing out loud in the quiet hush of the early morning at my favourite cafe, but the eyes weren’t judgemental they were soft and understanding, ‘A fellow book-worm ‘ I thought .

I nodded returning the soft smile directed at me ,and went back to my book sensing those honey eyes returning to the laptop in front of them as well ,we returned to our tasks both of us taking comfort in our silent companionship ,smiling at an inside joke we never revealed.

Mortality

She was old. Too old. Her beauty lost among wrinkles. Her body crouched low as if broken from years of work and loneliness, she sat on the couch believing she was home, yet when she saw the strangers who claim they were her family, she knew she wasn’t. She knew her memory was getting worse, so she no longer threw fits.

She was coddled like a child, spoken to like one and spoon-fed by one of her children. She knew she was cared for and safe but she still hated every single moment. She hated being a burden and hated that she needed a babysitter.

She looked around the room and saw no one nearby, and then she begged and pleaded with her creator to die. She cried and begged and pleaded for him to save her from this life, for she found no purpose, her body was weak and she cried out with every move. Her memory was not as it used to be, and so was her sight. She only desired death but the reaper never came to claim her soul.

She thought no one could hear her anguish, but everyone did. Her children cried next to her, incapable of helping her find peace. They wanted nothing but to help the mother who sacrificed everything for their happiness. Strange is this world, you are born into it needing help till you find your independence then that is taken away by age and you are back to being a baby that needs help.