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Parenthesis

A short story

Credit: Andra Velișcu

There comes a time in your life when you should ask yourself or others do it for you: “What do I wish for? What have I done until now? Good things, bad things? What do I regret? What I wish would have happened, and what I wish would have not happened?” I am 20-years-old now — is it too early to ask myself this? Is it too late? Am I too late? I have been asking myself this for quite some time, and I think I finally have an answer to it. Sort of.

I wish for peace. I wish to be kinder to myself. I wish to be gentler. I wish I would stop torturing myself, and I wish my brain would stop overanalyzing every aspect of each movement, action, shade, smile, half-laugh, half-cry. I wish my chest would not hurt the way it does now, so often, so much. I wish sadness would be a third relative that only visits around Christmas.

I wish I would be so different, yet I am happy where I am now. I am happy of who I have become. I know myself, I know my strong points, my weaknesses, I know what I can and cannot do. I know I have failed, I know I will fail. I know how much I have suffered, and I know I will suffer again. I recount the times I felt that was it, that was the time my heart would fail me. It took me long enough, too long actually, to de-puzzle the veins and bits of it, and even now, some pieces are misplaced. But here’s the thing: it’s my heart. It still is. I picked it up, because I could not afford to have only my brain to guide me. I need my heart so I can make bad decisions, so I can suffer, so I can grow. So I can feel. And I feel everything.

I feel the color of the wind and the smell of frustration — I give names to feelings I never knew existed. I name them, and I keep them with me. I pack them up in my bag and carry them around, while I am traveling. I always grow fond of things, of people. And I let them hurt me. And I regret being like this for a second, but then I don’t. Because had I not been like this, I could not have experienced everything I have. I could not understand the way I do. I could not see more than a hundred meters ahead.

Pain, suffering, sadness, these are not things to be romanticized. There is no glory in them. There is no reason to boast over them. There is no reason to discuss which one of them is worse and measure the evil it produced. But those who are in pain, those who carry their sadness around, those who suffer, they can choose to deal with it and keep silent, or they can choose to try to tackle it. To talk about it in the way they know — in the way they can. In the way they allow themselves to do it.

There is no right way to do this, no right way to experience pain or sorrow. Sorrow is sorrow. I chose to talk about it. I chose to talk about myself and my sorrows, and it is not an easy thing to do, because at first you get scared, then you get angry for getting scared, then you get insecure — what if you cannot convey what you are feeling? What if they don’t understand? What if your pain means nothing? But it does, darling, whoever you are, wherever you are, I am telling you this: your pain is not up for weighing and measuring. It does not need to fit a box in order for people to believe it is real. I promise you. I choose to talk about the things that hurt me, about the things that keep me up at night. I am still learning how to do it; the road ahead of me is daunting, but I do not want to stop. I don’t think I can, actually. I feel like this is what I need to be doing. What I can do.

Someone once told me, ‘’You are quite smart for a girl from where you come.’’ I confess I got angry. I confess now, I am at peace, because I know that my worth is not decided by them. I confess, I still think of it sometimes, in those dark hours of the soul, where it is dancing in-between squares of night marble alongside the shadows that accompany me, but it doesn’t hurt as it used to. It is not weighing me down. Not anymore. It is like a corpse.

A dear friend of mine told me once that she has always felt this huge weight on her shoulders. Ever since she was a little girl, she felt someone was following her, someone who needed to be cleaned up and dressed, someone who needed to be fed. A corpse who kept whispering filthy words into her ears; she listened to them, she contemplated whether to go with the corpse, because it felt so familiar, so warm in a way she could not explain to anyone, herself included. She had no sense of belonging, perhaps except to that corpse. The corpse was hers, and she felt the need to belong.

She was only a child. She asked herself what to do — why does she have to carry it around? She had to write a letter to it, but what could she say? How to say it? She felt as if the corpse was crawling on her skin. I told her, ask the corpse why does it keep following you, what does it want? Is it lonely? Is it attached to you in some way? Why does it require clothing and washing up? What for, what for? Is there something to be done, so it can be at peace, so it can live on its own?

She told me she would write; she took her pen, it was shaking, she was shaking. The letter turned into a confession, it revealed all the despair gathered in the heart of a young girl who never knew what it meant to have someone with you all the time, except for that wretched corpse. She ended up apologizing and asking for forgiveness. I don’t know if it ever left her, she never brought it up again — I hope it did.

In a twisted way, it was a part of her, of how she was, of her thoughts. I hope she sleeps better now. I hope she knows the river is nowhere near the end. She told me she is still kissing the rain every single night; maybe she misses it and its cold touch. Maybe she misses her mum’s hands. Maybe she misses someone she knew long ago. Maybe she is just lonely, and the rain keeps her company when her horses are sleeping. Maybe she recites poems to the smallest of the raindrops, and they understand her better than anyone else. And maybe that’s why I know all this, not because she ever told me, but because the rain did.

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Written by Andra Velișcu

20 years-old. Passionate about music& literature. In love with the sea. I write as I go, about people, for people, in the name of the things I believe in.

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