Story: Tears in tunes

Ah, the time of the year for holidays!
When there’s so much cheer and joy, and the familiar tunes of The First Noel ring.
Somewhere in the world, snow is falling.
Families rejoice at reunion. Lovers share kisses. Children play.

Yet walking amidst the happy faces, one man felt different.
His hands clutched deep within his pockets – not from the biting Winter cold; but from the furnace of pain tearing up his chest.
His legs walked determinately, so different from the weakness within his heart.
How the lyrics sounded uplifting, but his soul felt so beaten, they felt like stale water in a well.

No one could see the streaks on his face, because he had grown to cry in style.
Too many years of practice, with emotions walled behind a mask of coping.
But honestly, even if he sat down bawling on the ground – who would’ve given a damn?
Too festive; too much happiness – and he was out of place.

It wasn’t hatred – some say he didn’t know how to love.
It wasn’t vengeance – some say he didn’t know how to forgive.
It wasn’t unwillingness – some say he didn’t know how to think.
It was because he had tried so hard that he couldn’t try anymore.

Harsh words linger each day, because no one would give him time to speak his mind.
“Why are you hurting?” No. No one bothered to ask why.
“What did you want that you couldn’t have?” No. No one is going to ask.
“What can we do to help you get there?” Oh my god! No. No one’s going to bring problems upon themselves.
No. He didn’t have a problem. It must be because he IS the problem. Nothing’s going to save his soul. “That’s just him,” they’ll say.

So, while It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas echoes down the boulevard, and where these scenes of warmth and love roll out in front of him, his heart felt colder than ever before. Brittle, to say the least.
So crisp and frail that you couldn’t even tell it was a living, beating human organ.
So much that maybe he wished to break it into the the powdered snow, so that he could give up trying.

No, he was not going to have the warmth of a family; or the embrace in a lover’s arms by the fireplace.  He knew not how to stop the tears from falling. Year after year, that was all that could happen, because nothing – nothing could heal him. He had to let the tears fall for so long, until they could wash away the searing pain and let him forget more than he remembered. Crying was the smartest thing he could do, apart from killing himself – because really, nobody’s going to pick up a body at Christmas and deal with it. No, it was too negative. No-one could save him –  because all that would happen is someone would brush him off and tell him that he could not overcome his own sadness for other people’s happiness. Selfish as he may seem – what about them? Would THEY give up their moments of joy for his misery?

Oh the abundance of blessings this Christmas!

Would there be one – just one blessing for him – when the world would stop preaching, and start listening to his tears in the tunes?

Something wrong

There’s something wrong, but I don’t know what to do.

I contemplate on things that have passed; those that puts stones on the shoulders, and those that bring the rare smile on my face.  I think about the smallest of things and the most profound of matters in life.

What befuddles me is how they are one and the same thing – they’re minute yet major; they weigh down the heart yet lifts the edges of my mouth.

These things in life have such a strange effect – they create ripples – even waves – that crash at us. We sometimes rejoice in the refreshing coolness of the water; other times, we double over upon the impact of painful reality.

There’s something wrong, and I don’t know what to do.

that’s called “heartbroken”

“My breaths are short and raspy,” she whimpered, “it’s like I’m unable to lift my lungs with the air that enters. Well, I don’t even think there’s any air getting in there.”

She paused for a moment, before taking in a deep breath of air – one which she felt nothing of – and continued, “I’ve lost all interest in anything. Those days where the cafes looked cozy and the restaurants seemed grand? I don’t think I fancy those anymore.”

After pacing up and down the same path more than twice, she starts again. “I can’t seem to think right, and I can’t let these tears stop. I don’t really know why, but I feel so down, down, down and down. I can’t even get my feet to listen to me!” she cried.

She looked up at the sun that seeped through the branches. Her knees gave way. Her tears fell on the roots that peeked just above ground.

The trees whispered in the wind, “heartbroken”.

When Merry isn’t merry and Happy isn’t happy

Merry isn’t merry when it’s Christmas.
Merry lost her loved ones – at least those that mattered – and had no one left to speak to when she was down; when she was proud; when she was in pain.
Merry could not understand why everyone was celebrating, when there was little but sadness that enveloped each living hour of her life.
Merry thought what it meant to be living in Hell, and while she tried hard to get there every holiday, she soon realised that she had been walking right through it all these while.

Happy isn’t happy as the year comes to a close.
He hasn’t achieved anything for the past 360 days.
What’s with the overly-positive tunes in the malls; and cheery greetings that everyone is throwing in at the end of a conversation?
He didn’t know that all problems would dissipate at the end of the year and disappear in the air.
He hadn’t found a solution to his job or relationship – nothing had gone right so far.

So while all those loving couples and perfect families went through the last days of a year, nobody remembered those who struggled to find joy in this fantastical world of festivities.

Effortless

It seemed easy – “just be yourself”. Oh, those hated words.

How he hated it that the “himself” others saw, simply wasn’t real.
He had bent his back to make things happen. He had gone the extra mile – and another extra mile – to get what he wanted (and failed). He had been someone he hadn’t been, just to get what he wished he could. Wished. It remained a wish.

Funny how some people get what they didn’t even want, effortlessly.
Yet those who yearn, and make a concerted effort, never get there.

“and I don’t want to change your life…”

He heard the song on radio, repeating lines he no longer knew if they were true.

He hadn’t realised how much his life had changed since he had met her.
It had only been three months since their last meeting, but each day that went by without her presence felt worse.

He didn’t want to change her life; he couldn’t, anyway.
The knowledge pained him – wanting so badly to, yet knowing he shouldn’t, couldn’t, and wouldn’t.

It wasn’t as if she would agree to it; she had too much to lose.
It wasn’t as if she would, anyway; because she would never know.
No, he didn’t want to change her life, but he missed every moment he once had with her.
He didn’t deserve her time. He wasn’t entitled to see her smile. He had no right to hold her. Because someone else did.

“And I don’t want to change your life…” the song played on.
Didn’t he? How imprudent of him to have gotten into this state. Pathetic, to say the least.

He knew he couldn’t change her life; he could only walk away and slip away into the darkness…

Story: Learned Behaviour

She knew better this time.

Even as she felt the knots scrunching up in her tummy, and the creepy-crawly sensations that slid around within her chest, she merely let out a soft sigh.

Her fingers itched to call him, but it was less than two months since they last spoke.

No matter how much it took for her to suppress the urge, she was certain it would get easier. Watching the clock tick made it better, she persuaded herself. As long as day turned to night, she was certain she could let the feelings pass too. Perhaps it would be better not to make any rash moves, she reminded herself. She did not need another rejected call to ascertain that he cared less for her that he claimed he did. It wasn’t the first time she had to endure such emotions, and it surely wasn’t the last.

But she would learn, she reassured herself.
It had taken years, but she was positive that she could learn not to think of him.

Story: Pen your thoughts

Writing about it did him more harm than good. It didn’t make him any more certain about the situation. It didn’t help him forget her. But strangely enough, it didn’t help him to feel better about them either.

He tried to describe as vividly as he could, the day he had met her. He wrote fervently about the light that lit her silhouette, her eyes that glittered with the sheer hint of light that night. Then he typed fastidiously in an attempt to document every word and touch they had exchanged over time.

As he tried to weave their tale into a coherent story, he realised that there was hardly a story. No, there wasnt. There were countless expressions of affection from him to her. There were endless nights that he longed for her that it hurt his body and soul. There were infinite moments of closeness that he once held on dearly to. But to say they had an experience to retell or a relationship to cherish made almost a mockery to the true definitions of the words.

Perhaps putting these down in tangible words could help, he thought.

He kept up with writing, scribbling, typing, and back to thinking again. But slowly, as more days passed, less made sense. Feelings began to fade, and his resolute was evidently shaken. He could hold on the the last threads of memories, but the emotions were drained.

Did you still like her? They asked. This time, he wasn’t sure anymore.

Story: No-nonsense

He wasn’t upset.
He wasn’t tired or stressed.
He definitely wasn’t angry.

He was just being himself.
“Serious as hell,” someone whispered, in sync with the rustling of paperwork that piled on his desk.
“Moody bugger,” another said, as he frowned at the 600 e-mails he had to clear.
“Authoritarian!” a murmur was heard just as he backed his chair away and hurried to the next meeting room.

No, he wasn’t upset – not technically. He wasn’t tired or stressed – not really. And he definitely wasn’t angry.

He just want to get the work done and move on with life, preferably without the fools that lingered in his presence, trying with their limited capacity to speculate his emotions.

Story: Middle of a box

Sitting in the middle of a box, she was unsure of where to lean. The left was filled with thorns. The right was laced with poison. The front was tattered and slippery. The back? Don’t even think about it; that was where she fell through and landed in this square of unknowns.

Now what couls she do, except to continue sitting smack in the middle of the box?