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Serenity

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Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

A loud sound woke him up, “A chair falling, maybe,” he thought. He could hear the sound of the living city coming from the window on the other side of the apartment. Next to him on the bed, was laying the girl he loved. She looked so peaceful while asleep. Her back to him, the side of her head resting on the pillow, her hazel-brown hair covering her face and shoulders, the rest was under the blanket, all the way down to her bare feet, they were sticking out. He felt a warm sense of peace moving around his body, tickling his heart. He didn’t want to get up, so he stayed and kept looking.
He recalled the day they first met, the second week of the first semester. They had both taken the same course, and just before the beginning of the class, their eyes had met, he couldn’t stop looking at her. Whenever she looked away, he’d lock his eyes onto her face, sometimes when he wasn’t looking at her, and just when he’d turn to do so, he’d find her looking back. He knew he was to fall for her the moment he saw her looking back. “And here we are,” he thought. He could hear the sound of her breath, her form slowly moving up and down, she was livelier than ever, and he couldn’t get enough of her.


It was time to get up, he slowly moved the blanket aside, and as quietly as possible, left the bed. He had something important to do, something he did every day. He went to his office and took out two pieces of paper and a charcoal pencil from his desk’s drawers. His mind was now focused on one thing only, drawing the girl he loved. For as long as he could remember, he was doing this, every morning, waking up earlier than her, sitting beside her bed and scribbling whatever he could of her form, for as long as time allowed him, and once it was over, he would put the drawing next to the others and start his day, and today was no different.

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He grabbed a chair, put it next to the bed and set on drawing her. He started with the outline, moving from where her head was to where her toes were sticking out of the blanket. Then he moved on to shading, the dark areas of the back of her head, the parts where the blanket was wrinkled and her body pulled together. How amazing she looked on the paper. It was the purest form of art that could be seen up close. To him, she was art, for in art, he saw a part of himself, and it stirred emotions in him he couldn’t simply describe. As his hands were moving up and down on the paper just so he can do her form justice in drawing, he recalled the day he saw her naked for the first time, the day they made love. The thought of how their bodies were united on the very bed she was now lying, made him realize no matter how long had passed or would pass, to him, she was the personification of love. He saw love as the force that made one give and not expect to take in return. He saw love as having a part of himself in a person he trusted, and to him, she was love.


But love, it comes with a price, and that’s suffering, loneliness, the pain of having to see her live a life you’re not a part of. He recalled the rainy days of their love, the days he didn’t like to recall, but they had come to him and he couldn’t stop. She was a person he once had to reach, and she didn’t care much of his feelings, she had other lovers she’d amuse herself with, while he was spending day and night in her thought, and whenever she’d fall out of those relationships, it was him she returned to. He was there when she was at her lowest, when she was used and thrown away by others. He was there for her, but every time, she’d choose others over him, and he would be left alone again. She was free both inside and out, he was trapped in his own head, she was confident, him scared of doing the simplest things. She even made the first move, while he was still busy daydreaming about calling her by her name. She was whatever he was not “yet, here we are,” he thought.


He looked at what he had scribbled, it was a beautiful piece, he was satisfied. He returned to his room and put that day’s drawing next to the others. They had reached thousands by now. He scattered them all on the ground. They all depicted the same scene, a girl on her side and her bare feet sticking out of the blanket. Some of them were darker, some had lines more jagged and uneven, some were photo-realistic, and some nothing but entangled lines that had been woven together, but they were all what he wanted, they had made the picture of his sleeping lover, his “still angel”. He never liked drawing much, he was more of a painter, but even the thought of painting her, would make him shiver. To paint her, would be to build a prison he couldn’t escape from. He could only paint what he wanted ingrained in eternity. And whatever he painted he would have to live in for all time. She was not a memory, she was alive and he wanted to live at the moment, to be with her and experience her company to the full…to live at the moment, to live at the moment…he felt a strange sensation, something that resembled a sort of pain one experiences only when faced with the most fearsome adversaries. He ran to the bedroom to find her sleeping as she was before, he didn’t want to disturb her, but he needed to see her awake again, the drawings, they couldn’t replace her anymore…he was forgetting…he was forgetting. The world went black, he fell.


He was there again, in that day, the day it all ended…he was sitting right in front of her, looking at her eyebrows as she was uttering her prepared lines, it didn’t take any longer than a few minutes, he was silent, he couldn’t hear, he couldn’t talk, what could he say? I love you? what would that change? “I wish you the best of luck, please don’t be mad at me,” she said. He couldn’t talk, but he looked, he looked as much as he could, her face, her form as she was walking away, her back, her hazel-brown hair, he looked at her one last time, how amazing she looked, only if he could…paint her, only if he could paint her… but it wasn’t her fault, she wasn’t the problem, “It’s the Entity,” he thought. All his life he wasn’t enough, everyone who came into his life would end up leaving him one way or another, those who were supposed to love him, care about him, those whom he’d trusted, those whom he loved, it was all because of the Entity. It was a force he had recognized ever since his childhood, it had its fangs sunk in his back making him look and act in certain ways that made everyone he cared about get away from him, and now the Entity had won its game, it had managed to frighten away the only person he truly loved. His battle with the Entity had been going on ever since his childhood, the days he was bullied because of his differences, the days he couldn’t utter a word without looking insecure, he was fighting the Entity the day he chose art, he chose it as a way to reach a state he could be proud of, to forget about his fears, his mistakes, his insecurities. He was fighting the Entity the day he smoked for the first time, the day he drank wine, the day he experienced sex, and the day he fell in love. Even her, she was a way to fight off the Entity too, to prove himself, to reach serenity, but he had failed again, and this time he couldn’t take it anymore, he had to make her stay, he had to keep her, he couldn’t forget her, he wouldn’t survive, he had to paint…he painted.

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His eyes opened, he was lying on the floor of his bedroom. He jumped up trying to reach her, to wake her up, but there was nothing there, nothing. His room was as dark as it could get, the lights wouldn’t turn on, it was cold, so cold he could feel the pain in his bones, and it made him shiver. He ran to his office, opened his desk, and brought out all the drawings, laid them on the ground trying to find the one that resembled her the most, one that made him feel calm again, but they weren’t enough, he needed her, he needed her more than anything in the world. “The painting!” He had painted her she couldn’t be gone, he had painted her, he was frantically looking for it, where had he hid it, it must have been in somewhere he could lock so that if his senses came back he wouldn’t be able to find it, he kept looking everywhere in his room, the only door locked was the door of his closet, “It must be here,” he yelled, and started banging on it, first his fists, then his head, he kept banging and banging until pieces of wood started flying all around him, his face had become red with blood, he had broken the door. He looked around the closet, and found it right in the corner, the painting was there…he had painted her…

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The lines were jagged, the colors dull and unsaturated, he could barely figure out her form, but the scene was the same, the same bed, she was on her side, her back to him, her bare feet out of the blanket, he couldn’t believe how much he had descended, he had failed again…the Entity had won, but he was calm, he could hear the sound of the city outside, she was now somewhere out there among the others, among the people who weren’t like him, the people who could provide her with the things she needed, the things he couldn’t give her, it wasn’t her fault, it was him. To him, she was art, to him, she was freedom, to him, she was love, but to her, he was nothing, just another “face” to have around while feeling low and bored. To her, he was none, and the Entity had won its game, but there was one thing he could do to stop this suffering once and for all, there was something he could do to prove to the Entity that if he failed, he could learn to fail no more, there would be no more chances, no more painful thoughts, no more tears, there was one way he could prove himself, the only way to serenity, he chose to reach it. He grabbed the chair by his bed, put it right below the fan, took his belt and tied it to the fan, stood on the chair, wrapped the belt around his neck and waited, in front of him was the window to the world outside, and he could hear it, the sound of her laughter, her voice, she was there, but not with him, she was living her life happily, not even thinking about him, it wasn’t her fault, it was him…he kicked the chair…


A loud sound woke him up, “A chair falling, maybe,” he thought, he looked to his right and found her lying asleep, her back to him, he bare feet sticking out of the blanket, her hazel-brown hair, how amazing she looked, he loved her…he loved her, he rose and took his tools, grabbed the chair and set on drawing her, how amazing she looked…she was art…she was freedom…she was love…

Credit : Barbod

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