Johanna

When he told you he loved you, you stopped.
Your heart, when it should have been beating for joy, took a momentary pause.
Your breath, when it should have been rapid, stayed in your chest for a moment.
Your brain, when it should have been a 24/7 functioning organ, ceased all its operations.
All for those three monosyllabic words: “I love you.”

It shouldn’t been like this,
Your response shouldn’t have been this much
But for someone who has spent her life picking up
The shards of broken glass she once called her soul
And using it to build a wall of protection
Against all the emotions that ripped through her life
All those years ago,
Those three little words are the beginning of the crack
In the protective barrier sheltering you.

As he whispered sweet nothings in your ear
Each word rolling off his tongue smoothly
You have to pull away and remind yourself
Of all the sleepless nights you spent
Crying on your bed
Trying to drown your cries
On your pillows as your body wracked with each sob you heave
Remind yourself of the times
You stood in the rain
Wishing each drop to cleanse away the pain
Praying for the sky to open up a little more
Just a little more
As though you wanted to have someone to feel
Just how miserable you are
Remind yourself of all the times
You stayed under water for a little too long
Hoping the waters will fill your lungs
Begging for anything, anything to fill up the empty spaces inside you.

You have been a hollow shell for so long and
It just feels so good to be able to feel again
It has been so long since someone noticed
The curve of your smile as you read something in the book you’re holding
Too long since someone sat by you as you hid in your favourite corner
Too long since someone cared enough to switch on the lights
In the otherwise candle-lit room that is your life.

So you hold on to him
Let him inside your life
Let him shake and break the foundations of the wall you built
Let him pick up the broken pieces of your soul
Let the emotions flow back again
Let him fill all the empty spaces inside of you
You believed in his love
Revelled in the attention in his gaze
Let his lips kiss away the poison in your mouth.

You drowned in the ocean of his promises
Made him your safety net
You didn’t even notice the knife
He had pulled out, trying to cut the rope
That binds him to you
Didn’t even notice that when he turned on the lights
He stepped on your candle and stamped its flames out
Didn’t even notice that when he picked up your broken pieces
He didn’t put it back together – he simply laid it all on your feet
Didn’t even notice that his entrance in your life
Meant the exit of everything else you have known
The exit of every warning
The exit of every logical, rational thought
The exit of every memory of how you
Used to beg for them to stay
The exit of every “Don’t go” “Don’t leave” “I’m scared” you have learned to hold back and swallow
All that was left was him and you
And how when he kissed away the poison in your mouth
You had your eyes closed tight
You didn’t even notice when he spat it back in.

And now all that is left of him
Is an empty monosyllabic word: SEEN
In the chatbox where it all started
And now the only evidences left that there was him and you
Are the fresh wounds your nails
Had dug deep into your skin as you tried to rip every
Piece that reminded you of him
Too bad – every part of your body screams his name.

He’s nowhere to be found
The saviour you thought he was is gone
All that is left is you and you
As you picked up the broken pieces again – at least he has the grace to pile it in one place
And you start rebuilding again
This time, not a wall outside
But a temple inside of you
You no longer will drown
Because you will learn to ride the waves
And float on the tides
You no longer will long for his lips to take the poison away
Because that poison is you
A part of your being, and you will use it as your weapon
You no longer will need to have someone
To fill your empty spaces; you will do it yourself
And you no longer will want to have someone
Switch on the lights
You will blow out the candle yourself
Because you, you have the vastness of the galaxies and stars
Not in the sky
But in your eyes.

She Thought

 

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who thought that the world is a beautiful place.

 

She thought that it was made up of pretty, little things. Wherever she’d look, she’d see pretty flowers, smell the red and pink roses, and feel the cold breeze caressing her face. She’d hear the humming of the birds and close her eyes and revel in their sweet, sweet symphony.

 

She’d walked barefooted upon the soft grass, her pristine white dress billowing about as the wind gently blew. Her golden hair tangled upon itself, and she has to sweep it away from her face with a tinkling laugh. She’s happy, she’s comfortable, and the world is a beautiful place.

 

She lived in her own bubble of comfort, enjoying her pretty life. Her eyes are closed, smiling sweetly, arms wrapped around her feathery pillow, sighing contentedly.

 

The world is a beautiful place.

 

Or so she thought.

 

When the girl awoke, her dress was white no more. It was stained with mud and blood. The crown of roses she’d set upon her head has become thorns, cutting her, piercing her pretty skin. She can no longer hear the symphony of the singing birds for the air is filled with the wails of the damned.

 

She hugged herself as she tried to fight the angry lashes of the winds. The grass, before so soft, are now sharp under her feet, and the girl who once thought that the world is a beautiful place, sank down on her knees, tears streaming in her face.

 

She thought wrong.

Rapture

 

cacophony of sirens

clashing of the sounds

the waves are rushing in

drowning the damned

 

smell of gasoline

the rain droplets of blood

bits of flesh and bones

where do you hide?

 

screams rent the air

hands over ears

you can’t block the cries

scarlet clouds

 

it has come

for the righteous

the sinners

the death of chance

Rue

What would your life be today if you only did what you didn’t?
Has it ever crossed your mind that you could be happier than you already are?
If you only…
Took that single step?
Looked back before running away?
Given than chance?
What if that single choice could take away all that pain and regret?
If ever you’re given the chance to go back in time to change the past, will you take it?
Will you exchange your experiences and lessons learned for that single thing every soul, including yours, is searching for – happiness?
But what if your happiness would mean someone else’s sorrow?
Will you be truly happy then, knowing that while you smile, someone will cry?
You are aware that for every action you make, every step you take, will affect the lives of all the people around you, right?
Knowing so then, will you still change the course of your life for your fulfillment, at the expense of the happiness of everyone else around you?
Will you be selfless, giving way for their sake, sacrificing your personal contentment, letting go of the promise of hope?
Or will you be selfish, putting them aside, fulfilling your heart’s desire, grasping what you regretfully let go of a long time ago?
What if everything hung at the blink of an eye, in that split second you’re given to decide?
What would your choice be?

Jump!

“Maybe tonight you’re scared of falling, and maybe there’s somebody here or somewhere else you’re thinking about, worrying over, fretting over, trying to figure out if you want to fall, or how and when you’re gonna land, and I gotta tell you friends that to stop thinking about the landing, because it’s all about falling.” 

                      —   Tiny Cooper
Have you ever wondered why we live our life the way we do? Why do we do the things we do? Has it ever crossed your mind to ask, “Why am I living like this?”? Do we live the way we do because we have no other choice but to do it? Do we live it like this to seek greater glory? Or maybe to fulfill the “mission” supposedly given to us? Or do we live our life the way we do because we are afraid to take that leap over the edge?
Tiny Cooper’s quote of brilliance hits dead-on the dilemma of living our life. Almost all of us stay within the circle of safety, braving life with hesitancy and doubts, all because we are afraid to get hurt. Because we are afraid to be called failures. Because we are too afraid to be laughed at.
This just proves that we humans are too stubborn to learn what life keeps on telling us: at some point or another, we are bound to fail, but it should never be an excuse to stop. Because, at some point or another, we are also bound to succeed. Life is a balance – successes and failures, happy and sad, black and white, yin and yang. But between the two extremes lies the medium that leads us the way: the journey.
As the famous cliché goes, “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey”, the journey – the “falling” of Tiny’s quote – is what life is ultimately about. It is not really the glory of success or the pain of failure that consumes us – it is the journey we have taken on the way to the extreme. Life, as tragic as it may seem, is almost always a series of constant failure. It is as if it is programmed to give us humans failures upon failures upon failures, giving success a “one shot only opportunity” quality. This is where “falling” comes in. We fall and fall and fall to land painfully on hard ground, just so that we can jump and then fall all over again.
It’s a cycle really. You jump, you fall, you land, you stand back up and then jump again, repeating the whole process, until finally, you seize that one-shot-only success. Until you’ve done the whole harsh thing, you could not say that you’ve lived life to the fullest. Living life to the fullest means jumping, falling, just to land to jump all over again. It’s about taking risks and facing challenges head on. It’s about facing your fears, braving life with a certainty that you will eventually achieve what you are trying to achieve.

 

So live your life – jump over the edge of fear, land, and then jump again. Because that is life: landing from a bad fall only to jump and fall again. It’s picking the pieces of your broken self and starting all over again. It is about never stopping and making excuses. Because as you fall, as you live, you realize: life isn’t just actually about falling; it’s about embracing it, so that it becomes about the floating.

Beyond the Glory

“Hey, congratulations!”

“Whoa! You’re so amazing!”

“I want to be just like you…”
I’ve been hearing this all day long. Wherever I go, people would stop to shake my hand or clap my back. And all day long, I have been smiling and thanking them. Putting on my biggest smile, booming out my loudest laugh. Pretending that I’m okay.
I want to be happy. I’m supposed to be happy. But why can’t I feel the joy of success? I have met the people’s expectations. I have made them proud. So why am I unhappy? Why can’t I be happy for myself?
Is it because, in the first place, I did not choose the path I am now traveling on? Maybe that’s the reason. Because I have been so caught up in obeying and yielding to other people’s demands and expectations, I have set aside what I had really wanted. In order to make them “proud”, I threw my dream away…
How can people just let go of the future they are hoping to have? How can you just let something like your dreams slip out of your hold? How can humans just give up what they’ve worked on so hard, for the sake of other people’s opinion? How can we just chase other people’s dreams, while our own gets left behind in a wispy strand of memory, trailing in our wake, taunting, haunting?
No one expects to hear this kind of stuff. Well… the people you least expect to be unsatisfied, more often than not, turns out to be the people with the biggest regrets. You might think we’re happy because of everything that we have achieved. You might think that we’re satisfied, that we have nothing more to ask for. You’re wrong.
I wish I could go back in time and did all that I should’ve done. I wish I made my own decision. I wish I was stronger. I wish I had a louder voice. To speak out. To be heard. I wish I had the courage.

 

For now, all I can do is go on this path. I know I am not alone. There are a lot of people out there, feeling the way I am feeling, suffering the same way that I am. I hope no one gets lost the way we did. And as I continue my journey in this travel-worn path, I am hoping and praying that someday, I’ll find the courage and the strength to seize freedom, spread my wings and chase my dreams.