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She isn’t here anymore

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Sunday. 4: 30 p.m.

I was at the woods. Lost in thoughts. Left to myself. The vast greenery, the chirping of the birds and the silence engulfed me in a satisfaction that was unknown yet relaxing and calming. I sat on the grass, feeling the cool air beneath, feeling every detail of it around me as if they were the only companions left in the world for me. I plunged into this endless verdure trying hard to forget the world beyond the gates of the woods. My heart danced along, flew higher and higher with the little birds, gurgled down and far with the blue waters and stayed calm and prosperous like the fresh grass. Why but  I lost myself every time I visited these woods; my heart lost itself among the tall trees and the grass growing low and green.

It was yesterday or was it just yesterday that I ran home from among a crowd of buzzing people, an environment that judged me, rejected the person that I was and demanded me to be different and behave like the “All”. Was it just yesterday or was it every day that I did flee away from people. I never knew why but deep, deep down in me I knew I fled every day. But yesterday was different.

Was it wrong that I was different, that I like being in the corner, that I was lost and that I wasn’t like the others? I never know but my existence was challenged and they asked me to change; they asked me to laugh more often, jump up and down, buzz around, buckle up, put on fake smiles, hide the tears and act strong. I was pushed hard back and forth in the society. They expected me to change.

Wasn’t there one kind soul who would want to accept me as Me and not as someone else? I pushed forward each day, trying hard to smile, giggle and act like an extrovert, all to be accepted. Dazed, confused and lost I put on a different version of myself to finally focus all eyes on me, for all the spotlights, for all the attention.

Devastated. Pained. In dolour. I cried each day, very often sinking down in grief and melting away with the scorching heat of the garish sun. I knew myself no more; I put on a face that I failed to recognize anymore. I was a girl who dwelt in the bodies of those who demanded the change, a new Me, I hardly even recognized.

Days into nights and nights into days, my mind suddenly turned into a battlefield. It was a war that I knew not when it erupted, why and how. And every time I closed my eyes I saw myself battling with myself. How strange! The image flashed before my eyes over and over, promising each day elevated chaos and desolation. The tension strained down on me, weighing down on me, my legs giving me away.

The battle grew horrendous with each passing minute, filling the grounds of my mind with more blood and dolour, more hopelessness. Over the years I knew I was a product of extreme pressure, the out-turn of disgusting chaos that yielded out from the attitudes and minds of hundreds and hundreds of chaotic people who managed to weigh me down with the definitions of acceptance. I was cast down, trampled and lost. I was in the middle of nowhere, in the body of a person I did not know any more.

She wasn’t the girl who talked to the little creatures of the earth; she didn’t look at the skies and the stars and lose herself; she never strolled in the woods, feeling the air, the grass and the water. This girl was different. I did not meet her anymore. I went far and wide, into the woods, deep into the wilds, behind every tall tree, by the river banks and up beyond the skies but she seemed to have gone far away into an unknown land.

And each day I waited for one person to come along,

To help me fight and find the lost girl.

Sonia Sali (INDIA)

Sonia Sali is a freelancer who writes for newspapers and magazines. She is an avid reader and a poet who relishes the sights and sounds of nature and life and that comes to reflect in her writings.

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