There was ink on her fingers from the fountain pen she was holding, scribbling onto the crumpled piece of paper she’d placed on her lap.
I was looking directly at her from the other side of the empty train station we were sharing for the evening, but she did not seem to notice my presence.
The bright, cold lights from the lamps around the platform made her eyes hurt terribly, and the cold air seeped through her bones and made her skin crawl. Nevertheless, it seemed almost impossible to distract her attention from whatever it was she was nervously writing.
Her long, honey-colored hair flowed slightly in the wind, and as my gaze was hypnotized by the way it moved in a sort of a wave-like manner, I did not even notice the night train slowly approaching on the rails. It stopped next to the platform, creating a barrier between the two of us that only I seemed to notice.
As it left, I watched on the other side of where I was standing, as the girl got up, pulling her bag closer onto her shoulder, crumpled up the piece of paper yet again and left it on the bench without even blinking, as if nothing had ever happened. Getting up, I managed to get onto the opposite platform. Now it was just me and the repetitive, echoing sound of my footsteps all alone in the dark, noir movie-like setting.
I was able to get my hands on the mysterious note. What follows is a word-by-word reconstruction of what I read that night.
As I’m sitting here tonight, I’m haunted by the same question as always: “Why?” People always seem to ask that. So I’m asking them back. Why do you ask why? Why do we question everything?
When given this.. this… whatever it is, thing that we call ‘life,’ we don’t seem to care about what we’ve just been handed. We dissect it. We rip it apart. And then we’re left to point our fingers at this ‘flaw’ that we ourselves created.
Everyone seems to have this idea of what the perfect, incredible life is like, and if they don’t match up to that high standard, it’s considered nothing but pointless. I was there, but not for the reason some people are – I was there, because everyone else was, and their sadness clung to me like leeches. We look for disappointment with a magnifying glass and when it’s not there, we create it, just so that we can destroy ourselves further. I don’t get that. It seems to me as if the more we have, the more we start to lose. We’re surrounded by technology and innovative designs that are supposed to simplify our lives and make them better, but all they do is make things worse. We assume that nowadays, because we’re so ‘advanced,’ and we have these pathetically-high standards, we have to enjoy more impressive things, and we have to achieve more impressive things. It seems as if the ‘little things’ are gone. But not for me.
So, this note I’m leaving you – or better said, leaving the world – is my take on things. An inspirational quote, if you will.
Screw everything. high standards, expectations. Little things that we do not plan are what life’s all about. Things like getting in bed with freshly washed sheets after a long day or waking up very early but choosing to watch the sunrise instead of going back to bed. Things like screaming the lyrics to old music at the top of your lungs, as you’re driving fast down an empty road. Watching home videos and laughing at yourself for being the weirdest baby. Taking warm baths to relax and thinking about how your week went. Ordering pizza, because you’re too lazy to cook anything. Binge-watching old TV shows and movies alone or with somebody else and laughing at the fact that you remember most of the lines. Hearing a new song you immediately fall in love with and wanting to sing along to it but not knowing the lyrics. Changing from your clothes to pajamas after a long day. Dancing around your room until you’re so tired you just fall onto the bed and call it a night. Hugging a cup of hot chocolate when it’s freezing outside. Watching the people you care about smile. Having to walk during cold weather and having nothing but the music flowing through your headphones to keep you warm. Meeting up with someone but having nowhere to go, so you have to improvise. Walking around at home with your new shoes, because you’re literally obsessed with them. Reaching a climax in a book that’s so captivating and painful that you hold your breath. Running home, so you can have Wi-Fi to message your best friend. Talking to someone who makes you happy but not hearing a word they’re saying, because you’re too busy admiring every single feature of theirs — from their eyelashes and eyes to the tip of their nose that has turned red from the cold. Hugging someone for 10 minutes straight and taking in their smell so that when they’re gone, you still have a trace of them in your pocket. Pulling out your laptop at 2 a.m., because you just had an amazing idea that you need to write about.
I could go on forever, because, after all, everything in life should and can make you happy. You – whoever finds this; a stranger, a friend, someone I will meet in the future or me – should understand that everyones’ life is a masterpiece. It’s so unique and amazing and disappointing and fun and crazy and unexpected that I struggle to find a word to describe it, because something like this shouldn’t be under-appreciated.
We try to define and find explanations for everything, but life itself cannot be described fully, because no one knows what it is. It’s different from one person to the next, and it’s always one step ahead of all of us. We get the chance to experience something new that no one has ever felt or lived before, while also making a huge impact on others, who will also soon get their chance at doing the same.
So my question to you, dear reader, is one that I don’t want answers to, because if you do answer it, it means you didn’t understand anything that I have been trying to say.
My question to you is: Why refuse life?”
Her words and my cold breath cutting through the air were the only things that followed me, as I left the train station behind. It was 00:00.