It’s Christmas eve, the city is waiting for the Big Ben to hit midnight but you are acknowledging it in the best way possible, isn’t it ??
Saturday night, every inch of London wrapped in snow and your curtain half lowered dropping the room into darkness but lifted just enough to let you catch a glimpse of the snowfall every now and then. Everything in place, Christmas tree standing tall, decorated and beautiful, gifts scattered next to it, fireplace well lit, log twitching and burning, trying it’s best to provide you with warmth and comfort in the otherwise cold world, simultaneously throwing light onto your face illuminating all the sides of you, even the ones you keep well hidden. And then there you are watching his favorite show F.R.I.E.N.D.S, celebrating it with 6 people you both admired, sitting on the couch like a lazy kitten, all cozied up in the blanket and mum’s hand knit sweater (which looks good on you btw *wink*), sipping hot chocolate, resting your feet on the center table, which I don’t think is such a good idea cause if mum sees that then even Jesus Christ won’t be able to save you from her wrath. *Devil’s Laugh* But who cares… eh ?? Until she is not around of course.
Even now you have that diary and your favorite pen seated on your lap. Why ??
Suddenly you burst into laughter, was it Chandler or Joey or your own PJ that cracks you up but no one else seems to get it. Which one was it this time, I wonder.
I am watching you, I have always been. I hope you know. I know you do.
Elena carelessly glanced at her watch, 11:11 PM; she smirked, why do I keep seeing this every other day, maybe universe really wants me to make a wish, she chuckled thinking.
She closed her eyes and made a wish finally, silently.
After spending another hour with Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey, she was called back to her real world by her cell phone. It was her parents on the other end. Wishing each other “Merry Christmas” and confirmation as of the time they shall be arriving tomorrow was the best thing she has heard in recent past, she couldn’t help but smile through the misty eyes even long after the call was disconnected.
In an instant, she got up keeping her diary on the table, stretched her arms and decided to call it a day. But before doing so she got this inexplicable urge to look outside for a while. Walking towards the window in a strut manner but with very calculated steps, she somehow managed to keep herself focused.
With Ian gone, she has lost her presence of mind lately.
Tenebrosity of midnight is beautiful. Howling of the wind piercing the silence every once in a while, falling of snowflakes and me to witness all of this is phenomenal, she admitted to her acute consciousness. It’s not been long since I moved to this part of the city, outskirts so to call, still, it feels like I have been living here for ages, the sense of belonging is unquestionable and I would want to keep it that way, she thought.
But her mind started to wander again, Ian…
How happy he was that evening, all dressed up brimming with love, she was lost in his hypnotizing eyes and him in her unearthly innocense. His deep brooding voice had a hint of excitement today, he couldn’t contain the idea of telling her, how he has taken care of every bit of his plan to take her to see the Northern Lights, which she wanted to, ever since she had an idea that something so mystical exists. He had something else in mind too, he was going to propose the moon of his life, under that sky, where stars look down in witness to light up and bind their alliance forever.
He actually blushed thinking of this and watching him was pure bliss. No wonder he brought her to his favorite place and chose dusk to tell her this, to cheer her up, as he knew sunsets make her sad.
How long have they known each other by then, 10 years or so if she remembered correctly?
It would have been more than perfect if they have been together today…
A sudden cloud of sadness popped up and started to fog her senses, she felt queasy. After a moment of despair, she lifted the window pane up. The wind outside changed its course to touch her, drawing sharp invisible curves on her face, playing hide and seek with her long locks, making her shiver in calmness. It flew in further, flickering the fire, disturbing the decoration and ruffling the pages of her diary as if it was to read as many pages as possible before Elena notices and decides to put the window pane down to shield her secrets from flying away from her. But she was too engrossed in her thoughts to bother about any of this, anymore.
Why, why was I so lost in the moment, WHY!!!!! Couldn’t I just be a bit more careful, god damn, she cursed herself under her breath.
She remembered walking on the pavement, holding the bunch of roses in one hand and his in the other, as they ditched the cab and decided to stroll around back home. They were happy and it was perfect, yes perfect is the word. He teased her by placing a peck on her rose-tinted cheek and blushing even more, she tossed on her heel to hit him with the rose bunch he bought. In that unfortunate fraction of a second, she lost her balance and next thing she heard was a sharp blow of the horn, chaos and his voice; Elenaaaaa… are you… and his voice trailed off, he was still holding her, but the grip loosened every passing second.
No… No… No, Ian…PLEASE NOOOO… Nooooo… No.
Time is an illusion, you think you have forever. There was so much more to this and everything else, so much to say, so much to do and how many moments to share, she has lost count of those dreams now. Everything came crashing down, to a halt and only God knows what ended even before it could begin…
Moments passed like ages, unlike joy with all the radiance around, sorrow is lonely. Elena stood still, staring into the blackness, she was freezing but was too numb to realize that.
The queer sound of log cracking and fire dying across the room, reached her ears finally, without troubling to look around she slid the pane down and saw her reflection in the dim light, a young lady, hazel of eye, brown of mane, fair complected in her late twenties standing in a state of mess, with sad eyes staring straight back at her as if she could see through and read her mind and just then in that precise moment, she smiled.
Elena was taken aback! Her stomach twisted to turn into a knot, she could bet her life, that girl smiled. Eerie silence. Fire subsided.
She stumbled, turned back and walked aimlessly, the only direction in mind: Away.
After few dragged steps, which felt like climbing a steep wall, she rushed towards her room with all her might and bolted the door, double checked.
You are just losing your mind, this is ridiculous! Get some sleep, you have been thinking way too much lately, she scorned, shouting at herself.
She gathered her scattered pieces together and put it to sleep. Falling asleep was rather easy tonight, no one in her head was talking, surprisingly, though.
Elena awoke with a start, with a terrible shriek escaping her lip that got lost in the sinister silence of that night. She started to lose track of time, sense of her surrounding and consciousness of her mind, body, and soul. What’s happening again, she tried to make sense. Her eyes burdened, head thumping, throat dried… scratchy and in that split moment of stillness, she heard her own heartbeat aching, realizing how silence is consuming her inside out. She didn’t want to close her eyes, afraid to blink, sweating profusely, her throat hurt even worse now, she stretched her hand for help, nobody around, silence. She wanted to scream in despair, but only her uneven breathing filled the space between her and the uncertainty, echoing in her ears like a storm. She was in immense pain, every bit of her existence hurt. She couldn’t move, paralyzed for that instant.
That mesmerisingly beautiful snowfall turned into a blizzard by now and night didn’t seem very calm.
Time kept ticking. Every single memory that she clenched so close to her heart and some which were long forgotten, started to play like a motion picture in front of her. It was hypnotizing. Between her and another world was an edge and it was fascinating, tempting her to take a leap of death. She shut her eyes, so this is how dying hours of a life feels like… huh?? Am I ready… She questioned herself.
But before she could draw a conclusion, everything went in tranquility, including her. It was all gone, nothing hurt, nothing troubled any more, at last, finally she ‘felt’… nothing.
She grew weightless as if her soul was floating in the thin air above her.
Where is she ?? Is she dead already… ascending from ground zero to plain infinity?
Elena!… she clearly heard someone calling her name, sand slipped faster in the hour-glass, this time.
Pitch-Black, Dread silence.
Pitch-Black, Dread silence!
For a moment she thought it’s him, but how can she be this lucky, Elena shook the thought, lump in her throat grew, tears rolled down her temple, dissolving in the pillow. She opened her eyes, blurred vision still made sure that nobody was around. Mechanically, she got out of the bed and lit a candle, as the blizzard had its consequences.
She put on her favorite song and sat facing the mirror.
Slowly music started to play in the backdrop:
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything…
She got carried away, humming along. Ian was etched in her soul…
Elena… she heard it again, a soft voice but crisp clear, much like hers, was approaching. Turning to her right, she saw a shadow gliding towards her, she wasn’t afraid. Elena has lost the fear of death since the day she lost Ian. Shadow descended closer.
To her dismay, it had a face much congruent to hers. She wasn’t alarmed, Elena somehow knew this would happen someday.
No, it wasn’t her twin, she was her shadow self…
Elena wanted to say hello, but words refused to fall out. Hello! The shadow reverted anyway.
They exchanged a deep meaningful glance and smiled simultaneously.
So you think you are dead and I am your ghost ??
I know you can’t speak, as I am your voice and here I am, speaking to you, look what a beautiful ruin you have become, but it’s obvious you are not dead and I am not what you think I am.
And what is a ghost anyway, nothing but what we create for ourselves, everyone has a past, what goes around, ghosts around. It’s just a shadow that defines our sunny days. So nope, I am not a ghost, I am your soul and you are my home Elena, I reside in you. You are that pair of dauntless eyes that reflect my deepest desires, without me you are nothing but a mannequin.
[Song continued: What have I become, My sweetest friend… ]
Now that you know who I am and since we are sharing the same space, I know you might want to pester me with some questions, but it’s a relief that you can’t speak right now, Shadow smiled teasingly.
Don’t you for once think that I don’t know what you want to ask, you think I don’t know myself… ??
Let’s start, Shall we ?? First things first, You must be wondering what am I doing here ?? Elena nodded.
Remember that wish you made at 11:11 ??
I know you wished to see Ian one more time, one last time… So here I am.
Elena’s perplexed expression made her explain further…
Well, Ian is gone, it’s me who is keeping him alive in your memories… am I not ??
It’s me who makes you keep remembering everything and it’s me who can erase the entire existence of anything, It’s up to me, it’s up to us.
But I will give this to you… I know you don’t know, how to live otherwise.
I know you as I know myself… we have had an infinite number of conversations till date and when I say, I know ‘us’ to bits, take my word for that. I have been there for you, for a very long time now, since the day we gained consciousness maybe. I have been there watching you, walking with you, stumbling, falling, shakily getting back on feet and daring to walk on, again.
I have been there with you in your uncontrolled laughter, your stupid giggles… snorting and irritating, in those rose-tinted blushes on your cheeks, your tears which were well kept hidden from the world, pouring late at night or when no one was around except me to hold you up. I have burned in your fiery rage and drowned in the love you contain. I have been there in everything you craved and every promise you made. I have screamed in your silence and stayed silent in your words.
Recall the nights, when I read bedtime stories to you, I fought those devils underneath your bed and tried to make you sleep by killing demons inside your head.
I wrote and read your scribbles, saw what you drew, heard you singing and I grooved with you.
I played your favorite sport, holding that racket running across the court, why did you bury that dream and decided to just live in the fort, how could I not know.
I have been there in your every decision and every regret that followed, guilt that ate you and the pain that you swallowed. I saw you commit mistakes and helped you turn it into a blunder, what the hell in the world was I thinking sometimes I wonder. I am sorry, I really am.
When I overheard him uttering sweet nothings, I knew you are gonna put on yourself a label, wish you listened to me for once and not always be this vulnerable.
Oh, didn’t I stop you from falling in love and then romanticizing a heartbreak, you were not wrong all along, still I warned you from the first take.
I watched you pray fervently for him, I knew you believed in magic, I witnessed almighty cast a spell around but that ended up tragic.
Not your fault, it was meant to be.
I saw you looking for mum & dad every time, every day and I know what they mean to you even if you don’t say. If not for anything else, conquer your fears for them, time will slip like the sand and soon nothing of this would remain the same.
You see, how I have been there for you in every bit of your existence. So trust me, all of us carry our unique baggage of thrones and flowers, so do you and it’s okay. Calm down, it’s been ages and it’s not the time to regret. You think you can’t survive, but here you are living, breathing, existing…
And believe it or not, it’s been more than a year now, Ian is dead Elena… let him go!
Elena flinched, but couldn’t speak, tear rolled down her pale cheeks and she could only feel the burn.
I am not asking you to forget a person or a thing, if you can’t get something out of your head then maybe they are supposed to be there, but don’t cling to its physical existence, don’t let it inflict the pain. Ian is gone and no matter how much you ache, he is not coming back, you are allowed to revisit memories but don’t stay there for too long.
[ Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt… ]
I detest conversation in the past tense but there is no pretty way to make you understand this. Time is an illusion, Elena. Death is certain, time is not. He had to go… this way or the other, unfortunate but truth, it’s not your fault, stop running in a circle, sometimes the universe is having a good laugh at the plans we author ourselves, stop punishing yourself for what’s already written in the destiny.
Let it go… cause if you don’t you will witness a slow death creeping towards you every day, few inches at a time.
Elena was charmed and mesmerized by the danger and darkness of emotional tides.
[ Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here… ]
Remember my lady, “Acceptance and Denial” are the two sides of the same coin, one needs to keep flipping it time to time, but you haven’t from a very long span, I think it’s high time you change the course.
Anyway, at the end of the day, you will have to be your own savior, cause at 03:00 AM, you will be surrounded by your ‘so called inner demons’, your own thoughts that will rot your roots and the world would never know what you are up against, because the truth is, there is no angel or demon residing in any of us or out there, there is no black and white, just the shade of grey that makes us human. Accept it, gracefully.
I watched us grow up every day and I will watch us grow old, our secret is buried deep, our story shall remain untold. You made it through everything, I am proud of what you have become, it’s new to you, give it some time let it sink in but stay afloat. Remember the things that once mattered to you and is going to matter even after years, do whatever it takes and earn it, become a name an identity you are destined to be, you know Ian would have wanted you to.
Don’t let the hurricane ruffle your feathers, your wings are meant for soaring heights and I am the wind beneath your wings. Fly.
For someone who’s been in dark for so long, I know stars are such a blessing, so hold on to it, keep the count and please show some gratitude. Everything is going to make sense, I promise.
She gave Elena time to grasp the reality, as it comes. It took long heavy breaths and good odd minutes for Elena to finally reflect upon what has happened.
Elena this hasn’t happened before and I know you are marveling at how serendipity sometimes lets go of its randomness and works a little stronger for you when it’s love you’re fighting for… Well, you got to admit, miracles do happen. And if you are thinking whether you will ever get to talk to me again, well we are going to continue our never ending story throughout our life, from this day to our last day. Don’t ever forget, I am watching you, I have always been. I hope you know, I know you do.
Life goes on… because last time I checked, broken hearts were mended with time. So accept it and move on, I say.
And you know Ian would never rest in peace, watching you suffer. With this, off she disappeared like a puff of smoke.
Elena came back to her senses… she turned around and looked at her in the mirror, they exchanged a deep meaningful glance and smiled simultaneously.
The night was calm now, blizzard subsided inside her and around. Stars started to fade, dawn drew the first ray of silver lining… A new beginning was unfolding in a galaxy far, far away…
Music floated in the silence:
If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way…
Lines of her favorite song reached her heart, finally and in her ideal world, she felt his arms around her, one last time.