Beautiful Moment

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I went out to get ice cubes today. Morrison’s is just round the corner from where I live and so I set off with a short list in my hand, and some change gathering sweat in the other.

It was a sunny day. I passed a lot of charity shops (thrift stores) on the way, and I paused as I always do to look at the selection of books they usually set on pretty tables outside. Lots of nice things, really. Only I am a bit poor this month, so I shook my head and walked on. An old lady started to smile at me.

I quickly looked away. Then in that split second I thought, why.

Why do I always look away when I catch people’s eyes? What if they fancied a smile and nothing more?

I smiled at her and the expression on her face appeared to be one of pleasant surprise.

So I decided to let go of this people avoiding shell and be a bit more friendly. I am new in this town afterall. Might as well make me some smiling buddies.

As I was walking towards the entrance to Morrison’s, an Indian lady walked out. Well, she looked Indian. For all I knew she could have been Sri-Lankan. She wore a bright pink and purple traditional Indian suit (or Sri-Lankan or Pakistani etc), and her hair was gloriously snowy white. He face was brown as a nut; the deep rich brown of being out in the sun and living and there were wrinkles on her face painted in the gesture of a smile.

I smiled at her because her face looked so inviting. It was a bogus smile at first. The tentative dipping of one’s toe in cold, unfamiliar waters. Then I saw her look at me, and her face lit up. As though she knew me. Her smile in return started off small, but as the seconds passed it spread all over her face like sunshine.

I was so taken aback that I reflected it with one of my own. I felt my mouth sliding upwards of its own free will. I felt it surge deep within me.

She was smiling at me like she knew me. Like she was my grandmother looking at me after years of being apart. Like our souls had met before and this was their glimpse of each other in physical form.

Then the moment passed and I was walking through the sliding doors of the supermarket. I couldn’t help but glimpse back at her as she trudged on with her shopping bags, without a backward glance. 

Perhaps I am exaggerating this moment, perhaps I am reading too much into it. Nevertheless, it is one which I will never forget! I shall make it my point to smile, really smile, at people more often. The aftermath of it is so rich and joyful.

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Crests and Troughs

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I don’t feel too good.

I spend too much time in the shower. I enjoy the torrid water beating against my body, I think it is hot but if it were to be cranked up a degree  I am afraid I would burn. I hold my finger poised over the power button on the electric shower and contemplate it for a good five minute before i press on it with a sluggish finger. Everything feels weakened. Even after I have slept.

I lay in bed yesterday for hours, and when I got up it was 4pm. I got in at 9:45am. I didn’t want to get dressed but I did because Damian did and I wanted to make an effort for him. He told me I seem like I am carrying a heavy burden and I smiled at him and whacked him lightly with a towel and told him not to be so silly.

I wish I could tell him. I wish I could tell somebody. That somedays all I think about in bed on my own with a growing feeling of fear and disgust is everything that happened for two years and ended a year ago. I am constantly reminded of it. Sometimes smells waft my way and I am jerked back into a time and a place and my throat constricts and the world shrinks and shrinks and shrinks and I want to escape but I can’t because the world is too small. There’s nowhere to go.

I was standing outside the flat yesterday, and it opens right out to the high street of the little town I now live in. I was leaning against the wall because Damian went in to get the car keys and while I was waiting the faint music from the pub down the road wafted my way. Rihanna. Singing something. I’d know that cow’s voice anywhere. He always had her blasting. He always spoke about how he would fuck her senseless if he got the chance. While I was sitting right next to him. When I complained he slapped my thigh. My thigh. My thigh. I don’t know how I could have let such a disgusting thing touch me. Why did I let him touch me. Why. Why. Why.

Or Rihanna blasting out in a rickety old car as it sped down a quiet, pitch black A road. Rihanna wailing about how she would drink to the frickin’ weekend. Him singing along. Me giving a fake, forced smile. Him telling me not to be such a moody cow. It was such an ugly song. Her moaning voice drags me back to bleak places.

I did not want to be there.

You know those times when your soul isn’t happy? When you have every reason to feel joy but you just don’t? When everything you thought would make you happy, help you escape, is in your grasp but you just want to go back? When you keep being told that you are free, you are better off, this is you being an adult, living your life… but your mind finds it increasingly difficult to relate those facts to the agony you are feeling. But I’m not really living it, am I? I am a frightened little rabbit doing your bidding because I am scared to death of you. That’s what the voices in my head were telling me.

I looked out into the darkness and blocked everything else out from my mind. I focused only on getting it over and done with and going back to the safe haven of my home again. Where nobody knew anything. Where I spent hours late at night glued a phone call I really didn’t want to partake in, tiredness cloaking me like a heavy, hot blanket. I glanced listlessly at all the work I didn’t do because I had to spend hours talking to a madman.

A madman. A mad man who rambled and shouted and raved and told me despicable things about my mother. I sat there in the dead of the night listening to somebody insult my mother and call her a fat cow and a selfish bitch. MY MOTHER who sacrificed everything for me, who still does, who spends all her time and energy thinking of me, doing things for me, planning for me, researching for me, and never spares not a second on herself. My mother. And I sat there listening to it. I took it in and I nodded and sighed and yawned and tried to make excuses but to no avail. Egotistical manipulators  don’t understand excuses. They think of nobody but themselves.

I thought that period of time would be erased from memory once I escaped it. I thought my dabblings with such a force would have no effect on me later because.. why would they? I am alright, aren’t I? I am fairly normal. Average. Happy-go-lucky. I have never suffered with any mental illness. I am fine.

A whole year ago yesterday and why is it still bothering me. Why am I still terrified? Why  does my heart beat with frantic panic every time an unknown number calls me? Why do I feel like I will never ever shake the disgusting, terrifying, menacing, monstrous feel of him off?

I want to step out of this heavy burdensome skin.

Sometimes I laugh so loudly at the things Damian says and after a while I am still laughing, but I am no longer in the moment. I have stepped away from it, and now my laughter is a deafening echo and my face is doing all the motions but I am really crying so heavily I have melted right into the ground.

So, I don’t feel too great. I have stomach aches in the evenings. My limbs fall heavy and I don’t seem to be able to breathe so well anymore. My chest feels too tight. I take off my bras and still, my deep breaths aren’t so satisfying.

It’s crests and troughs, though. I am so happy one moment in the park swinging on swings, sailing down slides, letting the wind whirl through my hair, opening my arms wide to embrace the forces of this beautiful nature. But the next moment I can hardly move for the pain inside. It just hurts. I cry for no reason. I cry when I tell Damian I love him. I cry when I hear my mother’s voice on the phone. I cry when I look at my hair in the mirror. How can somebody feel so happy, and yet so sad?

I just don’t understand it. Why do I feel so poorly, and yet so alive? How could I feel so nauseous and yet dig into meals like a ravenous pig? I want to look forward to things, get excited about things, sing and dance and laugh honestly again.

So I am just waiting for this trough to turn into a crest. Today was better than yesterday. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

 

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