MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “disappear”

The vicious circles we feed

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There is a place in the heart of the city where people go to disappear. It’s a place you often pass by on your daily route to work, shopping or whatever else you choose to spend you time, money and energy on. But you don’t realise they are there. You pretend not to see them. Not to know that these neighbourhoods are different.

We fear different. We oppose and react to whatever we don’t understand.

We don’t even try to change things. We simply acknowledge that they are not how they should.

And so, we continue our lives, and more people simply disappear out of theirs.

Because it is not easy to actually live. To have a life that fulfils you and completes you. People are used to existing. And documenting their existence to prove to others that they are doing things worthwhile. In reality, trying to convince themselves that they matter.

We close our eyes to those who need help. Because we don’t want to assume the responsibility of change.

And then we protest that nothing ever changes or improves. Like a vicious circle we ourselves feed.

How to disappear

Boat+and+Aegean SeaWhen she walked past, heads turned and whispers began to be heard louder than buzzing bees. Rebecca was the kind of woman who could not pass by unnoticed. It wasn’t just her beauty and decisive step that caused people to stop and stare. It was the fact that she was famous. And celebrities had that effect, no matter how much they sometimes wished they didn’t.

Rebecca had risen to fame quite suddenly. A quite afternoon reading session at a small town bistrot led to her being noticed by a hotshot producer who was out searching for his new (unknown) muse. She was offered a hefty remuneration and was promised “an experience of a lifetime”. Rebecca was the type of person who grabbed life by the horns and enjoyed every moment of it. So she decided to try it out. What did she have to lose anyway? Little could she expect then, that what she was giving up was life as she knew it.

The film was a huge success and Rebecca became a star overnight. She could no longer go anywhere alone as she could not fight back the stream of paparazzi following her every step. She was given a strict set of guidelines of what she could and could not do, what she should say, even what to wear and where to go. Soon, Rebecca grew tired of this new lifestyle. She wanted her independent existence back and was determined to get her way this time.

During her few days of forcefully obtained summer vacations, Rebecca managed to secure an hour for scuba diving off the coast of the little island where she was staying. She had everything prepared days before. Her oxygen was enough to last a couple of hours. She had stuffed some money inside her diving suit and had already planned the route she would follow so as to “drift away”. And thankfully it all went smoothly. Rebecca went scuba diving on a windy day when the underlying currents were too strong for an inexperienced diver to deal with. She was carried away and her body was never found. Her mysterious disappearance dominated the press for a couple of weeks, but, like so many other cases, was soon forgotten.

That was exactly what Rebecca wanted. To escape from the media spotlight.

She changed her name and thus identity and continued to live a “normal” life somewhere else. Somewhere where people recognized her need for privacy and respected it.

Because sometimes all it takes to truly disappear is the will to actually do so.

The day the lights suddenly went out

Rainy daysIt happened on an October morning. It was strange because October was always the month that made her more melancholic. It may have been the eventual setting-in of autumn with the cold and rain becoming the daily weather trend, but it may also have been that another end of year was rapidly approaching and it made her contemplate on everything happening in her life as she became another year older.

Anyhow, it happened that morning. The sun was shining brightly outside, despite the fact that it was raining heavily all night. She couldn’t have seen it coming. She had felt weak for days but blamed it on the psychological impact of the particular month, the full moon, the zodiac signs, anything other than what it really was: fatigue. She was clearly overworked and underfed. But she just didn’t stop. She didn’t know how, and didn’t really want to. Because if you stop, you need to face reality. And that was just something she didn’t want to do.

She had asked her mother that morning to draw the curtains because the sunlight was burning her face. Her mother did so, unwillingly, as she really needed this Vitamin D so freely offered that day.

She didn’t have the energy to get up, not even sit in bed. She didn’t have an appetite either. All she wanted to do was remain curled up under the covers. Couldn’t she just vanish?

But alas, nature called. And she was forced to get up. But that was when it happened. All she remembers was washing her face in the bathroom and enjoying the coolness of the water on her scorching forehead. But then everything went black. And she remembers nothing.

Fainting, also known as “passing out” – medical term: syncope – happens when you lose consciousness for a short time because your brain is not getting enough oxygen. It is usually brief, lasting from a few seconds, to a few minutes. Yet, she couldn’t tell how long she was out. It is as if she simply disappeared for those moments. Just as she had wanted to.

All she remembers is feeling lightheaded and a bit dizzy before everything “blacked out”. There was nothing more. She didn’t know where she was or if she was somewhere at all. All she knows is that for those brief moments she was calm, carefree, and invisible.

She opened her eyes to her mother gently slapping her cheeks. She looked up and saw her mother as pale as a ghost – not that she had ever seen a ghost, but she was white as a sheet. And that scared her. She mumbled that she was fine. But she could not imagine being on the other end. Of having to pick up the person who fainted, of not really knowing what to do, of trying to bring them back. It took a few minutes before she could sit up and return to normal, as much as possible that is. But the incident was one she would never forget. Even if there really was nothing to remember.

That night she had soup, slid under the blanket and fell asleep to the rain growing louder outside. She loved being in bed when it was raining. It made her feel safe, because no matter the hailstorm that was going on out there, she was untouchable under the covers.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

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