Seeking Illumination

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Meeting with an old friend called depression, Anna struggles to fight against the darkness which ties her down. Set in the heart of London, in a closed shop window sits a fleeting black dress, which calls to Annas soul, clinging to her heartfelt desires. This short story aims to pull the reader into the minds and hearts of women who struggle against feelings of low self-esteem associated with eating disorders.
Do we underestimate ourselves?

Submitted: July 19, 2012

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Submitted: July 19, 2012

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I felt expelled and exiled. I had lived like this for years, abhorred by society, lacking hope and direction and longing for the sense of comfort that Liam used to bring. I lived alone. Darkness followed me wherever I went. I avoided all forms of light. Even the sun detested my very existence. It lived away from me, always inches within my grasp.

It was a dull Saturday morning. In the early hours of the day, shadows would make their home upon high-rise buildings and the sun sat in hiding. Feelings of low self-worth clung to the damp air, whispering words of coldness in my ears. An incessant pang of emptiness filled me with the same remorse I had always endured. Drearily walking down streets usually hustling with life, pollution filled my adolescent lungs and an ever-present urge began to crawl its way deeper into the crevice of my jumbled mind. I was in disarray, my location wasn’t remote, yet I felt solitary in every sense of the word.

I passed closed shop windows; Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci and Sass and Bide, with a glowing envy for those women who could afford such needless, yet alluring items. The models heads seemed to look my direction, their frail frames intensified my covet thoughts. They were devoid of eye-sockets, but they still seemed to leer at me. My heart recoiled as I scrutinised the tiny model in the poster opposite the door. The dress she wore was fleeting black, long and dainty and it stared at me with a seductive grin.  As I looked away, those same perpetual feelings of self-loathing returned.

Reluctantly, I returned home, crossing the street with an impulsive stride. My determination was immovable.  An ambivalent feeling was sparked within me; I yearned for completion, much more than any material desire. Walking briskly, I shivered in the cold air while my thin orange scarf blew in the howling wind. My toes were icy poles within their cheap, miserable sockets and my hands felt worst of all.

I withdrew my keys from within my colossal, brand-less handbag. As I fumbled nervously at the door, an endless chain of thoughts re-entered my head.  I violently shook them off. My apartment was eerily quiet; everything was dim besides the window panes, which glistened in the growing light from the sun.  A beam placed itself upon my desk, a strip of light seemingly alien to the rest of the room. I sat there in the darkness as it softly called my name. My bed gleamed at me and I wanted desperately to fall on it, and sink like a sinking ship into its depths.

Photographs sat in corners, speaking words of fear and desperation and reminding me that the past can never be replayed. Oppressive memories of childhood would re-surface with a mere glance. Vivid memories which had greatly inflicted my heart and left me abandoned in a place which I only entered for necessity. I walked to the kitchen, hunger pains intensifying my desire to search for some food. Opening the cupboards and the fridge, I stared inwards at the barren white gleam from within. The emptiness reflected my soul, but the white light shuddered at me. I closed the door, switched on the kettle and waited.

The sound of boiling water increasingly tormented me. It screamed words of disfavour at me and echoed my sentiments. As it was reaching its final pitch, the sun had been inching closer. The kettle bounced the light my way and I shuddered terribly at its aura. I caught sight of my reflection in the kettle. Realisation struck me. I had grown pale and lifeless. I had once been an illuminated figure of beauty, but that had abandoned me when my soul did. It was my fault, I thought. I had chosen this life.

Vacant from all things radiant, I had lived in such utter distaste for the world. The world didn’t abhor me, I abhorred it. If only I could touch the sun again, I thought. I was sure that I could. A year of absence had rendered it impossible to believe, but I knew that I should. I thought about its warmth. My skin felt cold, scarred and bruised. My eyes were sunken. Staring directly at myself in the kettle, I felt a level of audacity wash over me. Did I dare to leave the safety of the darkness?

I had always worshipped the sun. Amen-Ra, the celestial God, he couldn’t watch over me in the darkness. He couldn’t judge my movements or my mistakes when all was dark. I was afraid of it guiding me into an afterlife of grief; for all that I had done on earth. I was guilty, a creature of misdeed. Maybe the sun would forgive me? After all, it did seek me. I had held onto a rail, but for what?

I let go of the bar that had stopped me in my place. A path was there for me, hope sat inches from me, as it had always done. I tiptoed forward and as the light touched my face, tears welled up from the crevices within me. Light burst from the windows as I opened up the blinds. An incredible illuminated glow polished every inch of my tiled floors. My insides screeched, my heart pounded within my chest, the darkness spilled out of me and feelings of tenderness began to sink into my skin. My whole body felt warmth it hadn’t felt in what seemed like centuries.


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