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 no. 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.