MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “March, 2016”

Contractual Obligations

http://worldartsme.com/images/people-signing-papers-clipart-1.jpgWhen the first beam of morning light hit his face, Oliver sprung out of bed. He was excited. Today was his interview. He had been searching for a job for months now and could not even remember how many CVs he had sent out, let alone to whom. Just a few days ago, he had finally received a positive response after so many courteously phrased rejections.

So, he put on his smart-yet-not-too-casual clothes and set off for what he believed was a great opportunity. If he landed this job, it would be a stepping stone to advance into something greater. At least that is how he perceived it in his mind, given all he had read about the said company. Even if it did not work out, however, he still thought it would be a good chance to learn from it and become better, even if it was just at the interview part.

But Oliver could never have imagined what followed.

The minute he walked into the office, the secretary did not even raise her eyes to meet his. She looked at him almost demeaningly and simply grunted when she was to accompany him in to the office of the company’s CEOs.

In turn, these two men stared at him, as if trying to sting his entire body with invisible beams of fire launched from their eyes. Oliver already felt the sweat beginning to form. He sat down timidly without saying a word.

Then the CEOs did something that seemed entirely out of their nature; it was too obvious to miss: they smiled.

It is easy to detect a fake smile, especially when it is so forced upon a person you can see them cringe.

Oliver kept a blank expression. He thought it would be best.

He was asked to briefly introduce himself, which he did. And then he had to listen for 40 minutes, while both CEOs outlined the contractual obligations he would be committed to once he entered the specific company.

Not once was he asked why he wanted to work there. He had prepared an answer for that, as it was a common interview question.

Nor was he ever told what the company could offer him.

Instead, he was bombarded with a list of obligations he would consent to, not least being punctual and succumbing to anything his superiors would ask him to do. Worst of all, he was to provide a monthly subscription to the company for the space he occupied there. In plain: he would pay them to work for them.

Asked if he was clear with the terms, Oliver nodded vacantly. He was then handed an 18-page contract, titled “agreement”, which he was to sign and return by the next morning.

What he did not comprehend, was that he was never expected to read it. Because that would be considered “paranoid”. That was what the CEOs described it as in the reply email they sent him when he kindly declined their offer. Because to them, the simple fact that he attended their meeting was a verbal commitment that he was on board with everything they threw his way.

Oliver knew differently, however. This is not what companies were expected to do. And contracts existed for a reason. To be read and understood before being signed.  If these people were so afraid of revealing the exact terms outlined in a so-called agreement, then something was wrong with it. And if they felt so insanely insecure about everything they said and did, that they desperately needed to conceal it all, then there was definitely something that was not right.

Oliver realized that in time to get away. And he was glad he did. Because sometimes, the greatest lessons you learn are from the places you least expect it. They are concealed behind facades that tempt you otherwise.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Conceal

Thoughts in secret

http://40.media.tumblr.com/adefb125c4005b411df7ab37f64e9aba/tumblr_nyva16N6861s1vn29o1_500.jpgThere are things you realise as time passes. As you mature, as you enrich your experiences, as you widen your perspectives. You acknowledge that the world is not (always) the wonderland you want it to be, nor is it as idyllic and welcoming as you once thought it was. In fact, everything is a bit more complicated than you want to believe.

Human relationships are the most difficult of all. Because as you grow older – in both years and knowledge – you become more selective. In the people you keep around you, in what you want to share with them, in what and who you feel is worth your time. You also grow tired of pretending to be nice all the time and want some time to unravel yourself, carefree from the fear of people judging, misunderstanding or criticizing you.

As your time in this crazy world expands, you also witness how peculiar human beings are. How they can so easily speak a thousand words and make airborne plans that can just as easily evaporate and disappear. How you can meet and become friends with people at the flick of a finger, but as quickly as that you can become shadows of acquaintances. Friendships form and break in abundance in a person’s lifetime, but you will soon realise who it is you truly want on your side. It is those people you seek when you’re having fun to share in your happiness, and the same ones you search for when you want a company in your silence. It is the people who understand you without words. With a simple look in your eyes, a nod, and a hug. Because sometimes that is all you really need. Someone to show you unconditional love and support. To remind you that people aren’t really made to be alone all the time.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Sentimental

That thing you really need

http://www.womeninthebible.net/hands.jpg

It’s the thing you read in books
The storyline you see in movies
The lyrics you hear in songs.

It’s what you keep waiting for,
Hoping it will happen to you,
Anticipating, but trying not to expect it.

It’s what you tell yourself you can live without,
That you can survive on your own,
That it’s not something you need.

But when it arrives, it changes you.
You wonder how you managed to live short of it,
And you remember nothing before it.

The love of a friend is priceless.
Because if fills your heart and soul
With what you long for the most:
Companionship and support.
Knowing someone will always be there no matter what.
Without judgement.
Without criticism.
Only love.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Friend

The book on the shelf

http://onlinesalesstepbystep.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/book-on-a-shelf.jpgIt stood there longing to be read. But instead its pages crinkled with time as they gathered dust. If it was ever opened now, the reader would be able to see the passing of time imprinted on the yellowing of the paper. Yet it remained on the shelf, unopened, unread.

Potential readers passed by its location daily. Their eyes always passed over it but none focused on it for more than a second. And that was never enough to grab their attention.

Books on either side of it were removed and returned frequently, but that persisted always firmly in place.

The book had now aged. But its content was always timely. If only someone chose to pick it up and open it, they would experience the wisdom in its pages diffuse into their mind. A closed book is hardly of any use. Just like a parachute, it works better when opened. When read. When understood. When applied.

You never know the inspiration and the knowledge you may find, unless you actually fall upon it, by choice or by chance.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Shelf

A missing drop

http://twentyorsomething.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/dropintheocean.jpgNathaniel woke up in anguish. There was so much to do and so little time. What if he didn’t complete everything today? What if something went wrong? What if…. There was so much negativity in his thoughts that it was as if he had failed in his mission already. He worried too much and exhausted his energy trembling over things that could be unsuccessful, rather than focusing on what he could do to accomplish what he had set his mind upon.

Natalia was also like that. Every time she met someone new, be it as a friend, an acquaintance or a love interest, she would agonise over things that could break the relationship apart. As such, she could never really enjoy the time she spent with these people. And she never managed to build upon her human relations.

It is natural for people to worry. We do it all the time. Parents worry about their children constantly, no matter how old they may be. Couples are concerned about each other when either is not well. Friends support each other through the hard times too.

We worry about things we can’t control, and those we can. And it is really useless to go about telling people not to worry because unless that person decides by themselves to change their perspective, there is not much you can do about it.

We worry because it is a way of showing we care. That we are not insensitive to other people, to the world in general. We may worry too much at times, about things that don’t matter. And we will always find other people who have far greater troubles and worries than ours. But all we can really do is remind ourselves that among the 7 billion people on this planet, we are but a small drop in a vast ocean, but, like Mother Theresa had said, “that ocean would be less because of that missing drop”. Wouldn’t you prefer a calm sea, rather than a turbulent one?

So, whatever the situation, we need to believe and hope that everything will be OK in the end. We simply need to work towards achieving the positive, rather than realizing the negative that we’ve created in our head.

Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it never gets you anywhere”.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Drop

The key to all things

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Bua9j4ycOFU/SGTp34vMiLI/AAAAAAAAAZc/x4I1WwCDTF8/s400/laughing.gifYou’ve probably heard that it takes far more muscles to frown than to smile, right? But have you ever considered how wonderfully uplifting it is to laugh and transmit a positive feeling rather than a sad one?

When you smile, your eyes shine, your skin glows and you communicate an optimism that is so lacking in the complex lives we lead. In fact, we are the ones who make everything complicated. In essence, all we really need is to fill our hearts with joy through simple things: being with friends, having fun, and feeling loved.

It doesn’t really take a lot to make someone smile. An elegant humor, a joke well told, an atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable and secure.

Victor Hugo had said that “laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face”, while Mark Twain added “the human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter”. Maybe we should use it more. Because laughter is indeed the best kind of therapy, and at least when the wrinkles set in, you’ll know they’re all in the right place, for the right reasons, having enjoyed every minute of your life to the fullest.

So, smile and laugh and give your soul some fireworks!

The Object

Wooden boxThe voice echoed in the room magnifying the emptiness of the space. He could hear the metal in his boots dominating the wooden floor. It made him feel so small, lost in that vast space.

He was captivated by a person whose face he could not see. All he saw was two round black circles where his eyes would be. He knew it was a man because his robust figure betrayed his gender and the sound of his voice was deeper and coarser than any he had ever heard.

The footsteps and the slamming of an apparently very heavy door betrayed that his captivator had left.

Silence fell over the room. Together with the darkness that already lay there, the atmosphere was creepy to say the least.

He could feel his feet chained to the ground and his hands were loosely tied, enough to make things difficult for him.

His eyes begun to become accustomed to the darkness and he saw that the knot that had him bound down could be easily untied with a few tugging moves. But not having your feet free to move around made escaping a bit more tricky.

He looked around, trying to remain ahead of the panic that was rapidly overwhelming him.

There was an object right in front of him. It was within an arm’s reach. A black rectangular box.

He got up and stretched as far as he could, grabbing it tight.

There were markings on it. Faded letters. If you stared hard enough and looked back, they together formed the word “key”.

He had to get the box opened immediately before that voice returned. He banged it with the chains on his legs. But it was useless. A code was required to break open the lock. He looked around. On each of the four walls in the room was a number counting down from “5”. He tried “5,4,3,2”, but the lock did not open. It resisted any other such combination too. He then began randomly placing numbers in the lock, hoping something would click.

It did when the code formed “1,1,1,1”.

Was it that easy?

The box had a key inside. Which opened the chains on his legs. And then the door.

It was too easy.

It was.

Because when he opened the door the voice returned, louder than ever sprouting from a black mask and holding a chainsaw in front of his black eyeholes.

That’s when everything completely blacked out.

And that is when he finally awoke from the coma he was in for three weeks.

He remembered nothing.

Apart from the box with the key.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Object

Forced smiles, fake laughs

http://www.veneto-explorer.com/images/350xNxeyeswildresized.jpg.pagespeed.ic.KnvlBU8W0z.jpgDo you remember what the last thing you read today was? Or what you were most recently discussing? Do you even recall what the last song you were listening to was?

We are constantly bombarded with so much information, we don’t have time to process it all. We pass our days skimming through texts and articles and by the end, we’ve already forgotten what we were reading about.

The same goes for the discussions we have. We often nod, as if we are paying attention to what our interlocutor is going on about, or as if we even remember what we were even talking about to begin with. Our topics of conversation become superficial and insubstantial. They are interesting enough to keep our attention for a few seconds, and then that distraction kicks in again.

We lose interest too soon. Isn’t that a sign of a society in disintegration? Of a life that becomes so superfluous that it keeps requiring things to keep its adrenaline high?

Do you even remember the last time you really enjoyed something? The last time you literally laughed with your heart? When you got lost in the moment you were living, forgetting about everything else?

We live at a time when we are surrounded by forced smiles and fake laughs. We have become so accustomed of hitting the “like” button online, that this has become a measure of our popularity, as if this is the only thing that matters for our existence.

We live our lives behind a mask, or maybe behind an abundance of them. To the extent that we sometimes don’t remember what it was like to be without one. What it is like to be genuine, carefree, and real.

It’s easy to put on a mask. Taking it off is the hard part.

In a rush

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ea/64/d7/ea64d7f39d107412505e68fefe97325f.jpgThere are some days when you can’t do everything you plan in the morning. When you begin by snoozing your alarm clock five times in order to steal “just a few more minutes of sleep”, but then jump out of bed startled that it is already so late and you’re still in bed. Then by the time you get into your energy mode, you realise it’s already noon (see what happens when you get up late?).

Noon rapidly turns into early afternoon and by now you are starting to cross off a thing or two from your “to do” list, but have already added a couple on the bottom, so that really cancels everything out. But at least you’ve done something you planned to do.

And then all of a sudden it’s evening already and the day is almost over. You are rushing to get things done, pausing for a time check every now and then, as you are literally racing against the clock.

A day has 24 hours. How can that not be enough?

So there are days when you are simply forced to postpone certain things for later. But that sometimes is OK. Because it builds up the anticipation. It keeps you busy. And motivated. Because we all need something to look forward to, don’t we?

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