The Line.

Have you ever been so lost in the sauce that you wouldn’t feel offended if oxford dictionary replaced the definition of stupid with your name? That was Akeela and it had been her for a while now – giving out passes, lowering standards, crossing boundaries, accepting disrespect, you name it. All because love was pure and purity could only exist in the presence of forgiveness right? In order to preserve this love she had grown so accustomed to she had to accept apologies she never received right? Wrong. But she did it anyway.

It was 2am on a Saturday night and she was doing what she did best – thinking or rather, fantasising about the love experience that enveloped her. Akeela’s flashbacks consisted of scenes from the past playing in slow motion. So it didn’t help that she envisioned kissing and body movements and interlocking eyes in the matrix. It almost always created an illusion of what wasn’t real and encouraged her to fall deeper into this spiralling hole called lust. 10 minutes into ‘fantasising and chill’, an idea came into her mind. What if she planned an evening for them both. She’s had him on her mind for months on end so it’s about time she acted on her thoughts, maybe add new memories to her current collection of cheeky smiles and inner jokes, intimate hugs or the lack thereof, the feeling of comfort when….

Snap out of it woman! You’re supposed to be planning date night not blushing over times passed.

Akeela was unsure of how to go about picking a location but where there’s a will, there’s a way and google was going to make a way so she typed in http://www.google.com *enter*. At this point she was one step closer but so many steps back. What do people search for in instances like this? ‘Best date night ideas’? ‘Romantic locations in London to keep the spark going’? ‘Keep your man mind blown with these date night themes’? The possibilities were endless but did not represent her…or them. Them? Who were they even? She knew who she was or at least what she wasn’t which was a romantic. Not in the literal sense anyway but, who were they collectively? At what point would there be a straightforward answer to that? This was just another unanswered question that would keep her up till 4am on a different night but tonight, she would block that out by planning the perfect rendezvous.

Whatever this was had to be considerate and personal and thoughtful and unique and something they both shared and special and…it was becoming clearer that she needed to settle on one word before she got carried away once again. The word was thoughtful because it embodied his existence in her life. It had to be thoughtful like he did for her recently. Like he’s always done for her.

Food was essential and so was water. Hence, a restaurant with intriguing cocktails because there’s water in cocktails and she’s always considered him to be intriguing. This trail of thoughts made no sense but rarely ever did Akeela’s train of thoughts sound logical to foreign ears. The important thing was its ability to arrive at a decision and the next decision to make was what sort of cuisine it should be. Cuban? Japanese? American? He liked to travel and she assumed he had never been. So an American style restaurant and bar but what type of music? Instantly, she was transported back in time to their first cinema date, the day she officially subscribed to living in lala land when it came to him. There was a constant reference to jazz music so, jazz music it is. She had a venue based on travel, music based on previous dates and nutritional essentials based on simple biology but she decided on this place mostly because it was called Nola…Darling’s first name. An inside joke which was never funny but represented a pivotal point in the relationship so far. It was perfect. It should have been perfect. She didn’t visit the restaurant twice that week in anticipation for tonight to not have this be perfect.

See you at 8 xx
*send*

*****

8pm and she’s sat in silence. Praying that her put together demeanour was enough to mask what the feelings that stirred up within her. Surely, a minor misunderstanding was not sufficient reason to disassociate from what she thought was a genuine connection. It could not have been. It should not have been but, it appeared to be as the minute hand fully encircled the face of the clock and no familiar face walked up to her.

Now an hour past 8 and there was nothing left to do but give up on hope like she did the first time round. She shouldn’t have made a second attempt, not so soon. Not while she was still healing. It was time to leave but she couldn’t move. Turns out hurt is crippling when it comes from an unexpected source. She wondered if she would be able to stand firm on feet that were now numb. And even if she’d managed to, how would she stroll out of this restaurant unnoticed? But what if she didn’t have to? What if he came? Should she forgive him? Is that even…

“Tonight we’re having an open mic session for aspiring vocalists and that includes people who sing in the shower”

It was the man who welcomed her into the restaurant with a smile that kept her hopes up. The crowd roared in laughter in response to him. She was grateful for that because it momentarily drowned the voices in her head. Karaoke nights always made Akeela feel good and maybe tonight, she could sing away her heartache. it worked for other artistes so it could work for her. Or maybe she was simply making a mistake walking towards the stage but it’s too late now, she’s already stood there in silence with the mic in one hand and her bleeding heart in the other.

“What would you be singing for us tonight flower?” The host asked.

“Play me any dvsn song, surprise me and we’ll see if I know the lyrics” she said.

“That’s the sort of confidence that gets you top paying jobs, flower. Don’t ever lose it”, he replied and the crowd roared in heart felt laughs once again while she wondered what confidence he thought she had.

For Akeela, dvsn brought back memories which reminded her of the beginning of her healing journey, a time where she felt safe, at peace and almost in love with the arms that cuddled her back to life. So ofcourse every single lyric of every single song was engraved in her heart. There was no need to be specific as being specific almost always brought disappointment. The instrumentals came bursting through speakers scattered round NOLA and a surge of emotions instantly spread through her body like wild fire. It was ‘The Line’, her favourite song, where she wanted to revert back to. But, where exactly did she draw this line?

————————here, in the middle of nowhere————————

“We’ve crossed the line tonight, tonight”

She had set out boundaries verbally and directly. Convincing herself that everything was black and white but, that only works on paper. In reality, there’s a whole spectrum of colour, an infinite amount of interpretations. There are endless possibilities and each one arises once a boundary has been crossed. What does all this bullshit even mean?

“Tell me, cause”

*breathes*

“Tell me cause I need to know if it’s really gonna be you
Who’ll be around and stay around”

Don’t you dare let your voice crack in front of this sea of strangers. She knew these were just lyrics…lyrics which cut deep. They always do but the focus needed to be on her performance. This was almost impossible as her brain was was fixated on the phrase “I ain’t going nowhere”…surely he must not have meant it or there wouldn’t be a fist in her belly right now.

“‘Cause I wanna know
I wanna know who to trust if it isn’t you”

For every song that Akeela loved, there was a line that spoke to her and this was it. It screamed fear – fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of being wrong once again. She knew where her trust lied but what if she was wrong again? The thought of this brought back episodes of panic attacks she used to have in the past. It first started in February and he managed to calm her down..one of the many reasons she found comfort in his presence. But they’re back again, she trusts him so how dare he not be here to calm her down? How dare he be the reason for her current episodes? ‘God I want to know who to trust if it isn’t him’ she thought to herself now on the verge of tears.

“It takes time to put your guard down”

Maybe because your guards shouldn’t be down in the first place? All she could think about was images of her heart locked away behind a cell for one reason or the other but the key to her self imposed bondage only existed because he drew it in. Art is literally freedom.

“I wanna know, I wanna know, I wanna know
That nobody, no face could take you away”

She heard stories and saw things that couldn’t stop her from choking on these words. These weren’t the type of memories she wanted playing in slow motion. Not today, not in front of strangers, not while there was a flood of liquified emotions hiding behind her eyes.

“If it feels right Say yeahhhh”

So she said ‘yeahhhhhh’ and ‘hey yeah yeah’ and ‘yeahhhh’ and ‘hoo hoo hoooo’. Because it felt right even when it was wrong. Even after he was long gone. It felt right in her guts.

But at the end of the day
“we crossed the line”
And that’s all that seemed to matter.

A.

Stop Calling Me.

‘A!A!’
One of the numerous deranged voices in my head calls out to me. Unwilling to listen, determined to ignore, I strolled calmly down the crooked path I found myself in. It was my first month in this city and I loved the warm sun smiling down upon me; the calm but noticeable breeze in my hair; the sound of hummingbirds singing in accord..a tune I had heard in the past perhaps.  Relocating to Sinhatol was probably the wisest choice I might have ever made. A new job, new environment, new apartment which I shared with my boyfriend and…

‘A!A!’
A multitude of voices in my head called out to me in unison. 

He was being dodgy and I new it. From the newly found insecurities to the late night texts to missing chats and the occasional mention of my name for no apparent reason. I wonder if they ever…

******

At the bottom of the rocky path was a small secluded park which looked very well maintained. With just about a handful of people, it was masked with silence. Humans walked passed with their tongues in their bellies and their eyes heavy. There was something peculiar about this vicinity and so I ventured in.

I occupied an old, worn out bench right in front of the waterfall and mini pond. The fountain was beautiful, fresh water flowed through the rear end of a well designed mermaid and spurted out in a seemingly amusing manner through the lips of the ornament. From it’s lips, through the air and splat! Into the mini pond which housed an array of colourfully patterned fishes. They ever so often slid past each other almost as if implying sexual association just like Chigozie and his multiple side bitches. Never in my life could I ever had thought that my own lover would treat me in such…

‘A!A!’
They were calling out louder and more determined and I was slowly losing the urge to ignore them. I wanted to think about it. Wanted to analyze the situation. Be the defendant, judge and jury at the same time.

I loved deeply, fell hopelessly, trusted wholeheartedly and got hurt in the worst possible manner. ‘The heart of man is wicked’ my mum always said. I left my life for this? My job, friends, social life, ex? My ex was the most a…

‘A!A!’
They’re calling out to me again. I don’t know what to think about and what to forget. What to condemn and what to overlook. My head is heavy but not as heavy as my eyelids which are now pouring out their saltiness in order to relieve me of the betrayal that I feel.

My wisest choice ever was ironically the daftest one as well.

‘A!A!’
– Stop calling me!

A.

The Cancer Germ.

Hi,

My name is Ada. Well, my name was Ada up until strange family members began clustering round my tiny white bed. In the past year, I’ve heard people call me all sorts of names. ‘Adaugo’ ‘Adaobi’ ‘Adamma’ ‘Adanna’ ‘Adaaku’ and many more names that I’m not familiar with but I answer because it might be rude to ignore.

I guess I should tell you more about why I am on a tiny white bed or why I have family surrounding me. So here it goes…

In the beginning I only had slight headaches. The type my friends and I get when we play out in the garden for too long. Then my bones started to hurt. I thought this meant I was secretly turning into a superhero so, I kept my little secret. It wasn’t until I couldn’t get out of bed that mother rushed me to the doctors and ever since then, things got worse. I’ve had nose bleeds and heartaches. I always thought only boys could break your heart but I guess I was wrong. I’ve heard the television lies anyway so, I’m not surprised.

Month after month, I kept getting worse and nobody could do anything but hope. I hoped too that one day, I would stop hurting. Soon, I started changing. My eyes were yellowing and my skin got paler. My chubby cheeks went so thin; I could see my skull. We learnt about skulls in science class so I would know. I was skinny…’lepashandi’ as we usually called it. My cousins would always say I looked like Agbani and once I got better, I would win Miss World. Being a beauty queen was one of my dreams. After that, I would also want to be a lawyer like my mummy and an economist like my daddy when I grow up. I want to have three jobs so that I could be rich and smart.

While the number of family members who visited decreased, mother stayed by my side all day, everyday. She mostly cried which hurt me but I had to be strong because I was the Ada. The first daughter of my family, our family. I know mummy might be ten hundred thousand years older than me but she was not the first daughter so, she never grew strength like I did and I don’t blame her. I will never blame her which is why I have to stay strong for us.

I always wondered why mummy never left because back at home, she would not go near daddy when he had germs. She said germs were contagious – a word I forgot to look up in the dictionary. She also said she didn’t like going close to germs. I have always known her to run away from germs only, I have the germ too and mine is deadly.  I know this because Jeremy, my doctor said so and I was scared of giving it to mummy. Jeremy also says it’s hard to explain germs to 9 year olds but he named my germ ‘Cancer’. What an odd name. I mean, I’d have preferred Emeka or Uchenna…maybe Uchendu. Those were the names of all the naughty boys in my class and mother always said bad behaved children had germs so I had to stay away from them if I didn’t want to be naughty too. I guess I got a different type of germ because I am far from being a naughty child.

Being on this white bed has come with constant weeping, prayers and forced smiles. I slept through most of it so, it was all just background noise to me. Noise I wish they would have stopped but, I understand. I also went through complicated procedures (a new word I leant and would use in my next English essay). I wish I could have told you about my experience but, it was all a blur to me because my brain was too focused on the pain to make memories.

It wasn’t until time stood still and my pain was no longer constant that I knew things were different. I had left my tiny hospital bed.

***

I know I said my name is Ada but that really isn’t my name anymore. This may sound strange but my name changed the day I slept and woke up here. Here in heaven, the grown ups call me Marvelous and it has a nice ring to it. I’ve always wanted a longer name, always wanted an English name too.

It’s beautiful here and Elohim says I can stay forever which is perfect seeing as my little germ is completely gone. How do I know this? Well, I can sing and dance and pray out loud without pain. Nobody here has germs so I’m not scared of catching bad behaviour from naughty children. Mother must be so proud.

Sometimes I miss my mummy but I can always look down on her and tell her how much I love her. Sometimes she looks back at me and smiles like she sees me. I miss her very much but Elohim says she’ll be joining us soon and I can’t wait because I can’t bear to see mother suffer alone without her Ada.

Love,
A
xx

I Told My Therapist About You. 

Hi,

My name is A. I could write out a long list of what A stands for to me but maybe I’d save that for another day. Today’s not about who I am or who I want to be, it’s about what goes on in my head. My trail of thoughts and how I went about trying to ‘fix’ this. It’s about my therapist.

For a long time I’ve had thoughts floating about my mind. Images constantly popping up in my head. I’ve had scenarios constantly playing on repeat. I’ve had emptiness. So many feelings closely related to bitterness and it was beginning to overwhelm me. So I decided to ring up a therapist I found in the yellow pages. It seemed smart, more like sensible. I mean, what could go wrong? I wasn’t much of a talker. Neither was I particularly good at expressing my feelings but I knew I had a flare for the dramatic so this proved interesting. Or so I thought.

It was 12pm already and I had only just crawled out of bed. As late as I was I knew I had to shower and make myself seem well put together. It’s a lot less boring if I walked in looking as untidy as my thoughts. I mean, I was paying for this session so I might as well make her work her brain a bit. Her? Who was she? Miss Stephen. I knew she had to be single. I mean, who wants to be married to a mind reader anyway?

After about half an hour I had successfully rushed through my morning ritual and set off for my 1pm appointment. It wasn’t until I walked through the long steel cages they called a gate and the extremely creepy front door that I began to question my decisions. I considered turning around but it was too late. My name had been called already.

*Miss Emily Peterson to room E13*

I almost cracked a smile seeing as my name started with an E and the next letter ‘m’ was indeed the 13th letter of the alphabet. Was this intentional or maybe just a coincidence? Stay focused Emily, this is how they get you thinking and next thing you’d go crazy.

I followed the grey signs plastered along the white walls until I found the door. For a moment there, I thought I was walking through a mental institution. After knocking, I was called in and that’s when the real terror began.

After what seemed like an excuse of an introduction, she’s telling me to sit and talk but, I can’t be calm. I can’t sit down. I can’t speak out but I can’t hold back. Say something you coward.

‘For a while I’ve been…’

For a while I’ve been what? Was I Lonely? Sad? Happy? Beyond glad? I’m pretty sure I practised my opening speech. I knew each word and each phrase. Each silent moment, when to emphasise on short dramatic delays. I knew what to say so why have my words now decided to fail me?!

All this while she stared at me like she too knew what I wanted to say. Like I was transparent and my mind was laid apart to be read. But not once did she make a sound or change her facial expression.

‘For a while I’ve been having thoughts…’

“See a therapist” they said. “You’ll feel better” they said. “You won’t know how to construct sentences which specifically convey your emotions at the time” they didn’t say. I shouldn’t have come here. There was no point. This place belonged to mad people..people who had no control over their thoughts. I on the other hand was sane. I had just been having thoughts and I mean, we all have thoughts. It’s what makes us human..what keeps us going. At the end of the day, the human brain would always be…

‘Would you like to describe your thoughts to me Miss Peterson?’

‘My thoughts? Umm..they’re…’

I keep trailing off and this must be annoying but Miss Stephen didn’t seem to mind. She was almost smiling depending on the angle you decided to look from. I wish I could leave, run away, disappear. How do I explain the voices in my head and images at the back of my mind? Common Emily, it’s not that hard to speak, you paid for this.

I hesitated a bit before explaining how hard it was to speak to people I barely knew. Because I once spoke to the people I did know and they turned their backs on me. I shouldn’t have that repeatedly done over and over again. I couldn’t let go but I wanted to be free and it hurt. I couldn’t trust anyone but I needed to trust her and it was hard.

The woman in front of me waited patiently for my ramblings to come to halt. She handed me tissues and a glass of water for when I needed to cool off some of the steam resulting from inner pain. It was after this she said to me ‘Miss Peterson, you are messed up. You could sit across me and give excuses as to why you can’t talk about your hurt. You could also decide not to utilise the time you willingly paid for to spend with me but you cannot deny the fact that you are messed up. Speaking to me might not fix you up but carrying such a heavy baggage is definitely going to break you into so many pieces, it’ll be impossible to reassemble you”. Not once have I ever had anyone look at me straight in the eye and speak to me with so much sincerity. I can’t believe I thought a little make up and a semi formal outfit would stop a trained expert from reading me. So I started to speak

“For a long time I’ve had thoughts floating about my mind. Images constantly popping up in my head. I’ve had scenarios constantly playing on repeat. I’ve had emptiness. So many feelings closely related to bitterness and it’s beginning to overwhelm me”

And speak..

And speak..

 

And I told her

About the myriad of emotions

The unforeseen complications

I spoke about the thoughts in my head

A burden I could no longer bear

The images plastered at the back of my mind

Scenes from the past constantly on rewind

From the memories I had failed to

suppress

To how I overstepped boundaries in order to temporarily play someone else’s empress.

 

I spoke about the fingers trapped within my tangled curls

The hands wrapped around my waist

The times I wanted to curl up in a ball and hurl

And let’s not forget the sweet poisonous fumes I was more than eager to taste.

 

I told her about the reason behind this salty liquid which oozes out of my eyes at night

My fears, my worries, the multiple reasons why I write

From each sober thought to every drunken whisper

The times where my heart felt so ice cold, my physical form would involuntarily shiver.

 

I spoke about forbidden conversations

The list of rules and a line up of each and every runaway destination

About sweet nothings and unfeasible proposals

The point where I thought it was high time I got rid of my morals.

 

I told her about emotions running deeper

How I often stare and let my mind wander

From what if’s to suppose it was

It’s gone a bit overboard, I can’t continue, not without cause

The times where I let my imaginations run a bit further.

 

I spoke about carelessness, remorse and denial

But more so the new definition I had given to the word betrayal

About nostalgia, possession and self deceit

But for some reason not once did I speak about regret.

 

I told her about the smile across my face that only I could understand

The glances across the room

I swear I kept repeating that this whole thing was unplanned

About every situation, every unwise invitation

From one scenario to the next. This is all one big compilation.

 

I spoke to her about letting go

Because in the midst of all this, my highs never seem to outweigh my lows

About faded feelings. It’s not me it’s you

Unrequited love…there isn’t just one to consider, there’s two.

 

I told her about trust and affection and friendship

About why I liked the word situationship

About every sultry word than tasted sweeter by the second

Every turn, every cut and every hurdle

Every omg I miss you, could you please swing by my place tomorrow

From when the passion burned hot  with a blue flame

To when the lights went out and I was forced to wallow there in my shame.

 

I spoke about continuity and how it sounded foreign

Because my angels and demons would constantly quarrel

About right and wrong, black and white

The difference between good and bad

I spoke about everything about nothing

But most importantly, what moving on meant to me

 

Today, I told my therapist about you.

 

Love,

A

X

Leave Him For Me. Please?

Dear Stranger,

You may not know me and my name is probably a combination of alphabets which you do not care to know but, I strongly believe in introductions so here you go. People on here call me A so, I guess you could refer to me as the first letter of the alphabet. I’ve just recently discovered Sam Smith and I like to blame him for this letter that you’re about to receive. So that’s two things you know about me..nice to meet you too.

It’s hard to put pen on paper and carve out my deepest thoughts while at the same time, trying to suppress my regret. It’s also hard to beg for something that doesn’t belong to me but, you’re a woman like me. Surely you must be able to relate on a certain level with me. Now that’s three things you know about me; I’m A. A woman. A lover of Sam Smith. Guess who else I’m in love with that you might know?

I hope you haven’t yet disregarded my letter due to my ongoing introduction because I’m about to tell a tale. The story of this woman that you only know three things about.

A few years back, I was young, naive, adventurous and I had a burning passion for love within me. That’s 7 things now, we’re really getting to know each other. My burning passion led me from one incompetent man to another. Each time, burning with a smaller flame with every disappointing end to all my associations. This went on for years and years. It left me feeling less than good enough, below average. ‘There’s nothing wrong with you, you are beautiful’ they said like it was a chorus they all practised to sing to me each time I got my heart broken. I was starting to wish I was ugly. Then I began to think that was the reason but what sort of world would deprive the less attractive from the simple things of life such as love? It didn’t make sense. Maybe I was created to be with a woman. Maybe I was created to be a reverend sister. Perhaps love wasn’t one of the basic pleasures I was meant to bask in during my lifetime.

At this point, I can’t assume you understand how I felt. I look at you and see something that I will never be. That thing that my past mistakes would have loved you for. So, I feel the need to explain further. It is awful, discouraging and miserable to put yourself out there and not get noticed by one single decent person with good intentions. To stand on a stage and not get one moment of glory. It’s like spending months planning an event, weeks bringing your ideas to live, days sending out invites, hours cooking sufficient amounts of food only to have no one show up. I was battling with depression and a really low flame. I became someone else. Someone even more unattractive than the person I was before.

Still with me? I hope so. A while after I gave up on myself and while at my lowest point ever, I met someone.

“I don’t have much to give, but I don’t care for gold
What use is money, when you need someone to hold?”

He wasn’t my boyfriend but I wouldn’t particularly call him a friend either. Our relationship, although unexplainable and undefinable, made perfect sense to me. It reminded me of the sea and surrounding cliffs. It was the way they mostly only had contact in two extreme situations. Either the waters were constantly clashing against the cliffs or they were being drawn far away from it. Despite the wicked lashes being enforced of the cliff, it still stayed close to the sea and no matter how far away the tides carried the ocean, the waters always found itself back to said cliff. Most people would call it a love-hate relationship but, I don’t believe in hate; just different shades of love.

Our relationship was imperfectly perfect but unacceptable due to reasons I cannot voice out. It was like I was being revived. I went from depressed to overwhelmed in a flash. I lost count of the months, weeks, days and hours that we spent together. It was all an adventure; one which fuelled my almost burned out flame. He didn’t just call me beautiful, he made me believe it for once. With each encounter, each conversation. Each runaway adventure and each unexpected emotional breakdown, I fell a little deeper, a little bit more attached. This wasn’t my intention, wasn’t my plan and it couldn’t occur, not in this manner. So I began to pull away. I always thought I’ll return to my initial standing point regardless of how often I pulled away but this was wrong. Even segments of a cliff get eroded away by the unstable contact between it and the sea. Gradually over time, the distance between them will continue to increase just like the distance between us did eventually. It was always easier to blame it on our circumstance.

“Can’t keep this beating heart at bay”

Imperfectly perfect; Perfectly imperfect. With tears in my eyes and a bunch of jumbled up words in my head, I can’t find the right words to describe this man of mine or how he made me feel. I wish I could.

“You’ll never know the endless nights, the rhyming of the rain
Or how it feels to fall behind and watch you call his name”

As you might have feared, this cliff of mine happens to be close to you. A lot closer that I had hoped. You would think five years is enough time to move on but time is just an imaginary means which humans try to define moments with. What am I trying to say? Five years is just the moment between my happiest point and now. Five years is all the time I’m willing to spend loving someone from afar. With your wedding coming up, I couldn’t possibly show up at the back of the church with the same false ‘I’m fine with this’ smile I’ve had plastered on my face all these years. I couldn’t watch a priest bless your union because we still had a connection. It’s a bit impromptu and a lot to ask from an excited bride to be but, I’d love to reclaim the thing you borrowed from me years ago; the person you now refer to as your lover. I fear that’s the only way I’d ever retrace my direction in life or rediscover that beautiful person he once made me believe I was.

“Set my midnight sorrow free”

However if you’d much rather keep him to yourself, I’ll respect your decision to hold on to an amazing blessing. I was so used to being treated like a woman bought into slavery, I was unaware of how to accept being treated like a queen. I completely understand the confusion that I may have caused. I also understand that sometimes, I “will stumble upon someone who will start a fire in me that cannot die” but more often than none, I wouldn’t get the opportunity to spend the rest of my life with them. Please do take perfect care of my ‘burning fire’

“Just leave your  my lover, leave him for me”

Love,
A
X

They Don’t Understand.

The walls are echoing and everybody’s asking. What do you see in him? Why would you stoop so low? But they don’t understand. They fail to reason. Fail to think. Fail to ridicule such mystery that the world has presented before us. They don’t know that beneath our elastic germ ridden skin, tough contracting muscles and through calcium filled bones as strong as concrete lies something that science cannot explain. Something that psychologists may refer to as ‘the subconscious’. Something that Christians call ‘the soul’. Beneath the physical form and all of what society considers attractive lies something greater. They don’t understand. From the beginning of the world, my world, I was pushed into thinking that people were created to be judged by others based on their outer appearance. The way they talked, walked, dressed. Everything else was more than unnecessary. Character was not taken into consideration. I was pushed to be a part of the society and that’s what I grew up to become. One of them. But they don’t understand that the meanest demons are transported to earth and covered up with muscles so firm, a face so well structured, lips as soft as petals, eyes so evil yet, unbelievably attractive. They don’t understand. In the past I’ve been hurt and tormented and betrayed by the physically beautiful but spiritually repugnant beings. Everyone yearns for a flamboyant partner just so the world can see. So they can show off. But life isn’t so and they don’t understand.

They don’t understand that beyond what they consider ugly lies a beautiful soul waiting its equal to nurture it, protect it, encourage it to shine so bright. It’s something so fragile. Something that needs attention but, they don’t understand. What do you see in him? You’re too pretty for such. Pretty? What exactly is pretty? I live in a world where the meanings of words are dynamic depending on the context, the situation, the user. So please remind me once more what it means to be ’too pretty’ for someone. Because I believe in beauty and I’m not talking about the simple artistic display which we all refer to as faces in this day. I’m not talking about the way said person walks or runs or flies. I’m talking about character; the only real way to differentiate between the mindless zombies that roam the earth(humans). I’m talking about tone; the amplitude which he chooses to speak in and the softness of his carefully selected words. I’m talking about compassion; sympathizing with others and making sure everyone else is comfortable. I’m talking about aura; the way he moves, his well calculated steps all in attempt to avoid bumping into people. I’m talking about the curve on ones’ lips; I believe the English word is ‘smile’. Somehow, the spirit has deciphered a way to communicate with the outside world without having to speak; the warmth that radiates from just one smile; the good intentions, the will to make others happy. I’m talking about the simple things but, they don’t understand because all the attention is fixated on ones’ outward appearance.

I’ve found beauty in the midst of all the ugliness but, they refuse to understand. Can you not see that beauty only evades the real beast in people? ‘The beautiful beast in me’ a confused girl once said. I failed to comprehend at the time but, now I do. Regardless of how one may look, I’m ready to give it a chance. I’m ready to discover the beauty that lies within this abandoned old book. What happened to ‘Never judge a book by its cover’? What happened to ‘dare to be different’? What happened to humanity? What happened to us? What happened to ‘Vanity upon vanities, all is vanity’? I’m beginning to quote bible verses and they don’t understand why because they’ve become duplicates of the society that I fear. The society that I am constantly fleeing from. The society which sets rules and standards that even its members cannot achieve. They have become a part of the society that will never understand.

They don’t understand why I hold hands with social rejects or choose to converse with facially impaired people. They don’t understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but character stands as a universal indicator. They don’t understand that our physical form will eventually fade and then, we’ll have nothing to display except our humanity. I’m sat in my own little corner being bombarded with questions. Tormented by the choices I’ve made. Judged based on my decision to look beyond the physical. I’m beginning to question myself too. ‘He’s nothing but different’ different different different different . What do you see in him? What do I see in him? Don’t you mean what do I see ON him? His nose? lips? eyes? teeth? Is he attractive? Then everywhere goes silent. The silence darkens my vision and my line of thoughts. For some reason, I love him. They don’t understand this phenomenon and neither do I.

Love,

A

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