There was a time when I pondered and my mind wandered, my soul only followed suit. My vision was clouded by a sleepy mist, making my senses oblivious to my surroundings. My train of thoughts slowly started, gradually increasing speed. Until it reached a temporary stop and it was called Pure Choices.
I thought the word ‘pure choices’ fitted.
The station provided me this:
We were nothing but soulful moulds, caged so pitifully in other’s perception about us. We were desperate existence who hungered to ‘belong’ in every other circle.
Our mind and heart worked so differently. They gave birth to new, pure ideas; they provided us choices and decisions. And often, I wondered, if there was any single person alive who lived through a pure idea, or a pure choice. I wondered if there was any strong person who could withstand all perceptions about him and dug the ground restlessly with only that pure idea in his hands.
An introduction to the station’s perception of a pure choice/idea:
A pure idea/choice was like a newborn baby; full of live and vigor, ever ready to explore the world beyond. And like a child, the idea was pure, sinless and hardly of demonic pleasures. Think rainbows and spring meadows. The deep blue sea and the cloud-decorated sky. That was what the pure idea contained, that was how it was born.
But a pure idea was also an ageless child. Which would never grow, never exposed to the dangers of the world. At the same time, it became vulnerable, it was like a shield that was never ready for battle.
What usually becomes of the pure idea:
Or, more kindly put, to ease the human’s heart. Improvised.
I sat on the wooden, crisp leather chair that filled the lonely body of the rocking train.
I daydreamed of meeting a person who possessed a pure idea in his hands and who was not afraid to protect it with his life, who would broaden his shoulders and take all the abuse of the world, who would deny his enemy and walk a lone path just to realize the idea.
I would tell him: I envied you. All my life I trained myself to care not for human’s perception of me, and yet I succumbed to it every time and allow myself to be molded further.
And unknowingly, he answered: That’s because you never have complete belief in yourself.
My train of thought halted to a stop.
I had reached my destination.
<Phish’s note> I was supposed to be doing assignments but uh…
I had always wanted someone like that of a main character in a comic. Someone whom I could rely on. Someone who could have the shoulders reserved specially for me, the ears just for my voice, the hands just for my hands and the voice just for my heart.
Such person does not exist for me, and now I realized, maybe I was born to be that person for somebody else.
I ironed my shoulders until they are broad enough to withhold everyone I love.
I trained myself to listen more than I spoke. I soon learnt, nobody really wanted to heed my voice. Everybody is eager to voice their opinions, their doubts, their worries and just generally, their whole life. They became so busy in doing so that my feelings were left aside, that my advice were not of importance. I lost my voice from not using it. Such irony. I guessed I forgot how to speak.
I did not blame them, however. I guessed that was what made them human, and that is what made me plastic. I played a role of a being with no past, present nor future in their eyes. They preferred it that way, they ‘loved’ the fact that I had no say and yet they would know I was listening intently.
I liked the idea of being a plastic. In my entire days of possible living, I figured that happiness was just a fleeting drug that eluded me from reality. Without my previous search for it, I could no longer feel any pain, sadness, grief, jealousy and loneliness. I liked being a mere empty container.
I liked it.
I would still serve my purpose of being a human’s punching bag, or to put it nicely, a human’s friend. Until one day when the world would finally swallow me up, until one day when my plastic container would rot and disintegrate.
The gun is in my hands, like a sin but my best shield.
It still does not strike me, how did it end up this way.
What did I do wrong in the past?
The darkness covers me like a blanket. I feel comfortable. I feel like I have done this forever.
But, my insides are twisted. It hurts like nausea, pains like a migraine.
I have to do it. I have to.
I think of my recently deceased grandmother, eaten by a wolf. By that wolf. The wolf that I had kept under my care since its very childhood. The wolf that disappears into the wild and never comes back, and when it did, it was to kill and devour my only family member.
And now, I will have to kill it. I will have to kill him.
Blake is what I named him. He was the sweetest little thing that any vain girl like me would have loved and kept.
I remembered he was injured in the snow, bloodied by nothing but human traps.
I remembered I walked towards him; I could hear him whimpering from afar.
I remembered he growled at me; but, his eyes betrayed his emotions.
He was afraid of what I might have done to him.
I let him bit me.
The warm feeling of my blood oozing out; it is still fresh in my memory. I remembered how the red stood out so much from my pale skin. His fangs sunk so deep in my hand.
He released me soon enough. And I did the same to him.
We went home, hurt but happy.
My grandmother got the shock of her life. In her eyes was a girl in a red hood – my favourite outfit – completely blood-stained and lied crouching in her delicate arms, was the furry wolf cub with that beautiful gray fur, stained also in red.
I got my nickname Red then.
Like Red Riding Hood.
But I am nothing like her.
The howl of the wolf is the signal.
I stepped out in my boots, crunching the snow below. It is our anniversary of our meeting, and so it happens, it will be the death anniversary of one of us as well.
I can see his shadows as he flits across me.
I feel the shiver down my neck and I turn.
Expectedly, he is there. He charges right at me, eyes to eyes, claws against gun, and fangs against licking lips.
He stops for a fraction of second and I see it. He knows me. He recognizes me. He remembers.
I fire at him.
Right at his left foreleg.
He is left immobile.
I walk over to him. Yes, he does remember me but yet he growls and threatens to tear my legs off.
I hesitate no longer. Blake was dead to me a long time ago. He was dead to me when he disappeared into that black forest.
I shoot again, this time at his head.
I can feel the blood splatter across my face.
Before I know what I am doing, I drop the gun, kneeling beside the wolf that was once Blake. I stroke his furs for the last time and I retreat into the hut.
The tears never stop falling.
There is a whimper in the air.
A girl in a red hood stood just outside of the wooden hut she now lives alone.
A wolf cub was just a few feet away from her, sniffing and nudging the wolf that was once Blake. It cried when Blake move no longer.
She stood in the shadows now, her expressions unreadable.
She came back, this time with that gun.
Her eyes were as cold as the snow.
Its eyes were as wet as the ice.
She shot it.
Two graves stood side by side. Once in a while the villagers would see a figure in red, smarted with a flowing golden hair and she would do nothing but stroke the grave stones delicately with her white fingers. And she would cry. She would sit and cry the whole night and then disappeared once again.
<Phish’s note> I was supposed to sleep but this story enters my head. Mainly because I asked myself, “What if the wolf once belongs to the Little Red Riding Hood?” And this is the result.
Every night after my errands, I sat on the bricked pavement; waiting for the bus that takes its time. I sat here every night on the same spot underneath the yellowing metal bridge and in the middle of a sea of my similar beings. Every night, I sat here observing nothing but the sins of man unfold before my very eyes.
Usually I sat only and did nothing.It was not likely to change tonight.
This time, I spotted a beggar with a crutch and a plastic, transparent cup walking towards a couple. The lady startled and hugged her man tight to her; her body language spelt the word ‘disgusted’.
My eyes flashed away the moment the beggar walked away from them.
When I looked up again, he was in front of me, shaking the transparent cup in his hand. He was motioning to me to help donate. I took out my wallet and gave him all my spare change. He nodded in appreciation and walked off to find more ‘customers’.
I watched as every one of them rejected him. One woman flinched away from him again. Several men shook their hand or their head. The others just walked away from him, acting as if the bus they had been waiting for had arrived. Only two decided to give him money.
My eyes began to tear. I knew all these people who stood with me have money more than me. They had designer bags, designer clothes, and designer whatever. Yet still, a few change was hard to spare to a lone beggar, who God knows how long had he walked in that broken leg of his to get enough to feed his empty stomach.
I gave him a blessing from God. That was all I could manage.
The beggar had long gone from my cone of vision.
The only thing I had regretted not giving him was a drink from my water bottle.
I was just randomly drawing when I got lost into one of my schooling memories. It was examination time; I was lucky enough to sit with my best friend. We called it ‘destined for each other’. Or maybe I just thought that up.
There were two girls whom we did not like and they sat in front of us. Destined for each other? Not likely.
One of the girls who was in front of me has this really long hair. When she sat on the chair, her hair was down till her rear end. Seriously.
I was a downright brat, even then. I think I was 16? I probably should be more matured back then. But, I wasn’t. *shrugs*
So, to amuse my friend because I love her so much, I decided to kick the girl’s hair with my really obnoxious shoes. I don’t fancy cleanliness. I’m a downright slob. Flaws of an artist? Maybe.
My best friend was thrilled, of course. She kept suppressing her laughter so I thought she might be thrilled. The more she suppressed, the more I kicked.
I think I almost got caught. That was when I stopped after two or three last kicks. I never do really learn.
We started creating stories about that two girls we did not like then. You did think we would concentrate on our exams instead. But no, we drew and showed each other pictures then. And exactly, we drew on the back of our examination papers. Ha-ha jeez, thinking about this; makes me realized I grew so much from then.
I’m not bragging but I can tell you now I will never have the guts to pull off such a thing anymore. I will never have the guts and the same carefree attitude, or the same despicable mindset I used to have.
It may sound silly but this is exactly how I had met her.
I was a beggar on the street. No, really I was. I know it does not seem likely especially when I’m dressed like this. Not that I fancy dressing up like this. I just have a dinner I have to catch later.
Moving on, I was on the street for as long as I could remember. I was hungry, as long as I could remember. I think I was delusional because I thought I saw a wingless angel sitting on the bench, holding nothing but cream rock; wearing nothing but a white curtain.
This is it, was what ran through my head. This is probably my gateway away from my miserable life. It will be over!
I walked closer then. Or did I crawl instead? I could not remember.
Needless did I know, she was just a human girl and her curtain was her canvas, blank and untouched by the hairs of brushes. The cream rock was a bun.
I can honestly tell you I was more interested in the bun. Or my stomach anyways.
I was on my knees. I begged her for the food.
She looked at me. She looked at the bread.
I thought she was going to shun me like everybody else did, I really thought she would.
Who would have known? Who would have known the bread was then given to me?
I think she smiled but all I had seen was the bread. Thinking about this, I do feel a little guilty. Here was someone kind enough to hand me food, and all I could think about was how the bread would taste in my mouth.
But I did think of thanking her, I really did. I turned my head towards her and my eyes were caught by the fact that her hands were rubbing her tummy, and she looked a little glum.
Oh my God, I thought. Is she hungry as well?
I did not give a second thought. I knew what it was like to be so hungry, trust me I do.I split the bun and gave her the other half with my dirty hands.
Thankfully, she accepted. She only showed me her hands which were full of paint when she saw the guilt on my face.
It was like love at first sight.
And I don’t mean the bun.
A year later, I was a working man.
She had an art studio and she trained me to be an artist ever since.
Ever since that bun incident.
I remember when she clearly told me about her dream. Her dream to fill a whole canvas with naught but all kinds of flowers and all the flowers in the world. I did not think she was crazy. I thought it was so her.
But she never managed.
Two years later, her body became paralyzed.
Six months after, she died.
She was diagnosed with an unknown disease that attacks the nervous system rapidly. I was not paying attention to the doctor when the report was given. I could only think of her smile. Just her smile.
Now, I am here.
I never told you earlier but the dinner is to celebrate my most precious art piece.
Exactly, the flowers.
I managed to achieve it and I hope she is proud of it as I am.
The art is called Iris; named after her.
<Phish’s note> Feels like writing something different today. Thought of this story when I was thinking of pantomime ideas for Animation class in the bus. I had always love the name Iris. Whenever I had a rough story in my head, the main female character would always be called Iris XD
while everyone around you becomes broken inside, how selfish
can you both be? To think of nothing but your ego that must be saved. What
about us? Our hearts are mended from the past scars merely with cellophane tape, and stapler bullets.
The hearts are fragile, they break so easily. Yet you harden yours and hammer it straight on ours.
Are we so unimportant? Are we just bystanders? Are we just strangers?
He will try to stop you but your anger will only be fueled. How can you expect him to be on your side, when all he wants to do is to make the whole situation better?
They will stay silent for they are naught but young. Young and yet, exposed to this inhuman pain, caused by nothing but your own self-conceited being. How could they even react when you are older and you bring such lousy examples into their life? How could they?
She will bite her fingers. She will bite on air. She will get self-conscious. She will leave the place. She will cry to herself. She will pray. She will walk where the wind blows for then she will forget. She will have enough. She will climb. She will jump.
Then how would you feel?
It will not mean anything for it is too late. It will not mean anything because their feelings did not mean anything to you before.
Self-centered you, how much blood must you stained before you can realized that the world does not revolve around you?