MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “life stories”

Lotus date

© David Stewart

The lotus flower is unique in its beauty. People are often urged to be like it: to trust the light, grow through the dirt, and believe in new beginnings.

It may not last long in its bloom, but it offers a beautiful sight.

She couldn’t look at a lotus the same way after that night.

It was their first romantic outing in town. And everything seemed so princely. It was those feelings she could not forget, no matter if the details of the date eluded her thereafter.

It all seemed so ideal at first. So perfect.

But it doesn’t last.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

It’ll do so, unrestrained

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There was a young man who each day sat at his doorstep gazing at passers-by as if waiting for something, for someone. He would spend the whole day there, anticipating; his eagerness and enthusiasm dimming with the last of the sun’s light. But each morning, he would be there again, repeating the process.

An old woman who would make the passage by his house each day on her road to the market noticed the young man and this pattern of his. She observed the brightness in his eyes at the start of the day and how it was darkened as the day faded. She couldn’t help but wonder what he was looking for, what he was expecting.

But the more she observed each passing day, the more she understood.

So one day, she stopped in front of his doorstep and stood right in front of him hiding the sun from his eyes.

There is no use waiting here at the door of your house, staring at the dead streets ahead. If it’ll come, it will do so without you knowing from where or how. It will approach you suddenly; it will find  you even from behind, softly closing your eyes that are so tired of road-watching. And when you ask who it is, you’ll understand by that skip in your heartbeat. There is no use waiting. If it’ll come, it will do so. Even if everything is wide shut, you’ll see it right in front of you, and it will be the first to embrace you with open arms. It won’t matter if you’re ready or well prepared or not. It won’t change a thing if you run after it or crawl at its feet. If it’ll come, it will do so. Otherwise it will just pass you by”.

The old lady paused, inhaled a deep breath allowing her words to sink into the boy, then turned around and left.

He stood there for a moment, petrified. And then, went inside and shut the door.

If it’ll come, love will find its way.

Inspired by a poem by Kostas Ouranis

Words left unsaid

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He had walked out a month ago, but still had his keys. The keys to the home they built together, the one that would house their common dreams.

They hadn’t spoken since.

She didn’t know what he was doing, where he was, what he worked on, how he was feeling. She only had her viewpoint. And that was biased.

It was pitch black outside when she got up. Even the lights had all been turned off. It was the usual hour she felt forced out of bed, too tormented by nightmares to remain lying there trying to sleep.

She took a pen and paper, rarely nowadays abandoning her keyboard, and this meant it was too important to type. It had to be handwritten to reflect the emotion it contained.

At night, when I can’t sleep, I write to you. Letters, I’ll never send and you’ll probably never read. But it helps me calm down during the nights I’m tortured by the thoughts in my head. When the chaos inside me overwhelms and devours me. I write to tell you what you can’t seem to hear from me. I write in an effort to make you understand. To make you see that even a dragon hides a frightened mouse inside. That sometimes all you need is the reassurance and certainty of having someone next to you at all times, no matter what and above everything and everyone else. I thought that was you. Not to heal me. You wouldn’t do that. But to help me heal myself. Love won’t heal wounds. The feeling of safety and being loved no matter what, who and when, is what makes a person stronger. What helps them heal themselves.

You were supposed to stick around for the hard times too, not just the good ones.

We were supposed to grow stronger together, to grow with each other, helping one another to develop into the best person they can be. We were supposed to form a unit as one – a force to reckon with, a single corps against the world. We were supposed to be ‘us’. A power couple. We were supposed to be allies to one another. Not to demolish each other, ripping ourselves apart from the inside. We were supposed to close each other’s scars, not create new ones.

Yet despite everything – all the words said, all the actions done (or not) – I still wait for you. In the sounds of daily life, in the phone calls that ring, the doors that knock, I longingly hope it will be you. I see you in every single thing that reminds me of you. I still hope you’ll come into my darkness and turn on the light. The light that faded and is now lost. My light that I allowed to be extinguished.

Yet you never do.

That itself should be a sign. Just like all those things we didn’t do: the trips we never went on, the plans we never followed through. All signs. An answer to all the ‘whys’ that won’t let my mind rest.

Yet I still wait. Hoping even now for something to change. Because hope is all we have left.

In the morning, she booked a plane ticket and left. That same afternoon, he used his keys again.

The quiet friend

©MCD_Bruno

He sat there quietly. Always on the same spot on the couch where she paused for a rest from her tiring and incessant schedule.

She lightened up every time she saw him. And when they hugged, she would inhale deeply letting out a faint sigh with that exhale.

He had a way of easing the tension she inexplicably carried on her shoulders. She burdened herself with too much stress for her own good. Even he could see it.

But it was enough for him that he made her smile. And that, even if just for a little while, she would let her troubles slip away from her mind. For those few seconds she could empty her head. She found comfort in him and was grateful for his presence.

Even if he didn’t say much. Or anything at all for that matter.

It would be a little strange if he did.

After all, he was just a fluffy teddy bear.

But the person who gifted it to her knew he was much more.

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.

Provincial lights

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Two years had already passed since she decided to leave the city for a provincial town.

She still remembered how much time and anguish she had experienced; her mind a whirlwind of thoughts pecking her brain with all the things that could go right or wrong.

It was hard to change your entire life. To exit the safety of your comfort zone, of everything you are used to and feel comfortable with. But if you don’t, if you never take the leap, you’ll never know where life can take you.

She never regretted having found the courage to alter everything.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Cracks in the dark

©J Hardy Carroll

It was pitch-black when he found the unlocked door. He hurried in without considering anything. All he could think of was to escape the cold and rain.

He didn’t need much to survive anymore.

He had nothing else left to lose.

When he left his home on a dinghy-boat, he had witnessed his co-passengers, many of whom he knew an entire lifetime, drown. In seconds, they simply stopped existing.

The only thing he noticed in the room was a crack in the ceiling.

 It was only in the morning that he realised that was from where the light came in.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Cat on fire

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She sat on the balcony every morning among the plants breathing in the morning dew and fresh air. It felt nice being outdoors, even if this was on the third floor of a city-centre apartment. This was her ‘outside’.

The days passed calmly, as they do for an indoor cat.

But there was one day when something extraordinary happened.

Her housemates left early in the morning to “run errands”, as they told her. They reassured her they would be back soon as they had left their food baking in that square thing in the kitchen that heated up real fast and they called an ‘oven’.

It was hot that day. She realised it, as there was no fresh air, not even in the shade provided by the plants.

And all of a sudden, it happened.

Black smoke began filling up the house and causing an increasingly suffocating atmosphere.

She found it hard to breathe and snuck further behind the pots of the leafiest of plants. It didn’t work much, as the smoke intensified and there was a pungent smell that hurt her nostrils.

After a while, she heard commotion, but it wasn’t from inside the house. Her housemates had not yet returned.

And then, the sirens. Loud and shrieking, piercing her ears.

The door breaking open and five tall men, dressed heavily with helmets and bearing a long rubber hose that began to shoot out water. Voices shouting at all tones all at once, people moving in and out of the house, staring at her hiding behind the pots.

The smoke dispersed but the smell remained. She tried to go into the house to see who these people were and what happened, and that was when her housemates arrived and she could hear their voices break with agony.

One of them picked her up and clenched her in her arms. She said it was to reassure her that everything was all right and she was grateful nothing had happened to her. But the black cat knew that the hug served more as a comfort for her housemate, to loosen the tension and calm her nerves.

She had survived a fire.

To her housemates, she was the luckiest cat alive.

But to her, they were the lucky ones.

The depths of love

How do you know its real love? And that it’ll last?” Jennifer asked her godmother that question as she was putting on the veil of her wedding dress.

Her godmother smiled at her and wrapped her arms around her. “I asked that very question too on my wedding day”.

There is no single answer. It depends on the things you are willing to do for the person you love. Acts that go beyond yourself. That demonstrate you value something more than your own person”.

Jennifer looked at her godmother, her thoughts wandering.

I’ll tell you a story,” her godmother began.

There was an emerging photographer who was out on a photoshoot session one day. A beautiful young girl walked through his set at the very moment he clicked and captured her on film. He couldn’t get her image out of his mind. He was fixated on her gaze as she wondered off in a hurry. It penetrated him and remained with him so strongly he desperately needed to see her again. He searched and found her later that week in the hair salon where she worked. He conveniently forgot his cap there, so she in turn found his studio in order to return it to him. He asked her to pose for him for a few shots. She didn’t know it at the time, but he published her photos in a well-known magazine that brought him further recognition for his work.

Their encounter was brief but it changed their lives forever.

She was happy by his side. He made her laugh and she loved him for it.

She loved playing in front of his camera. And he always managed to capture the perfect pose, enclosing her beauty and charm in a single shot.

But one day, when she went into the dark room to get some film which he needed, a bottle of developing agent fell onto her head and into her eyes. She was rushed to the hospital.

He ran by her side, sweating with agony at the thought of losing her. At the thought that something might happen to her.

The doctors said her pupils were destroyed irreparably and the only way to see again was if she got an eye transplant.

Would you give up your eyes for someone else? Would you forsake ever seeing anything ever again, simply so the person you love can spend their life viewing the world? Could you feel a love so strong and profound that you would voluntarily hand over one of your main senses to someone else?

He never even thought about it. To him there was no need to discuss it either. It was a conscious decision it took just seconds to make.

In the operation room, he was lying next to her, holding her hand. His eyes wide open, his last memory was flashing before him. It was his last adrenaline-rush ride at full throttle on his cherished motorcycle before he handed over its keys to a random caretaker. He was giving up one love to save another. Tears were streaming down his face. The doctor told him to take his time. He needed to stop crying for the operation to continue.

He said he was OK. He turned around to look at her one last time. To capture her figure, her lines, her face, so that he could remember her forever. Just before the anesthetic kicked in, his gaze turned towards her, imprinting in his mind her image to last an eternity.

She woke up and saw light. After days in the darkness, the glimmers of sunrays hurt her eyes. But she could make out the people standing in front of her. Family and friends who came to wish her well.

He wasn’t among them.

She thought he had abandoned her.

She didn’t know that he had condemned himself to darkness in order to give her light.

She wasn’t aware that he loved her so much, he gave up his eyes for her. That it mattered more to him to make her happy even if it meant losing something he valued.

Can you imagine a love so great and perfect that it would mean more to you to see your partner happy regardless of if it destroyed you? That would make the other’s happiness your priority? That would erase every trace of egoism from your actions?

What if there was one person like that for each of us? And we spend our whole lives searching for them? Someone who would love us so deeply they would literally give up a part of them for our own wellbeing? Selflessly and unconditionally”.

Jennifer was fighting back the tears. She was deeply moved by her godmother’s story, which was interrupted by the sound of her godfather’s white cane sounding at the door.

She had been told he was left blind after an accident.

Only now did she realise he wasn’t the one who had suffered the accident. Her godmother was.

He gave up her eyes for her. And in doing so gave her the world.

Train to change

©Sandra Crook

The train had just pulled into the station and she could already feel the change.

Her tears had now dried up and she was ready – determined really – to start anew. Here, in this picturesque town in the middle of nowhere, she could be whomever she wanted. No-one knew her here. She could begin her life over.

She stepped out of the wagon and took in a deep breath of fresh air.

She didn’t notice him standing at the door of the station.

But to him she was a flash of light, that sign that life was about to get exciting.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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