The clock ticked but time froze. The old rickety gramophone filled the air with songs of the past and memories of the present. Her ears let the words sink into her mind but her heart was filled with heart wrenching, melancholic chants and choruses, it blocked out her mind. For once, in a long time, her heart and brain coincided and her eyes filled with stories that seemed to replay in her mind’s eye as they dribbled down her cheek and fell into the dark abyss of her chest. They seemed to be absorbed by her chest, back into her heart like the cycle of her life; unseen, unnoticed by anyone and everyone.
Alone. She sat on her chair like a doll that had been left carelessly. Alone. That’s how it had always been. She would go out, socialize, smile and laugh, put up a full proof façade but it always comes to an end when she turns her back to head off home because really, alone is all she was. It was etched into her skin, poured into her blood to circulate through her arteries and veins. It was her and she was it. The fake smiles and laughs, the forged joy and other emotions she had become so professional at falsely exhibiting would always leave her as an empty shell at the end of the day. An empty shell waiting to be filled with the emotions of another day and drained once again at the end of the day.
She stared into the darkness of her room. The encroaching darkness of her world. Eventually, they said, it will all be okay eventually. She held on to that sentence like the last thread holding her journey together. She waited and waited and held on like it was supposed to hold her life together. When will my eventually come? She wondered as she dangled from the thread until it snapped from the strain of her heavy heart. As it snapped, the latch holding her together fell apart and she broke, like a porcelain doll pushed down from its shelf by a careless child.
She sat up and bowed her head forward to look at her feet. Her world was in pieces as she looked back. Happiness…had become a distant goal. She’d faked it so much she began believing it. She put on a show for the world to see and she became as absorbed in her performance as the audience. Her charade had finally come to an end and amongst the roses and daisies, amongst the applause, she watched the doll on stage and shook her head in disdain. She saw through her own self but it was too late. The curtains closed and the lights dimmed and the audience exited the hall. The doll clattered to the floor in a mangled mess, alone in the darkness, limbs astray as the strings slowly floated down to rest beside her.
Silence…never ending silence. No chatter, no laughter, no footsteps, no heartbeat, no music from the gramophone. Just silence.
A heartbroken wail.
Her eyes snapped around the room trying to discern the direction the sound emitted from.
A devastating set of sobs.
Her vision blurred and the alarms rang through her head as she realized these sounds were hers. Her hand flew to her chest as she clutched and scratched at her chest and struggled to breathe through the next set of sobs. Her liberation came in the form of yet another curdling wail as she collapsed off her seat in agony and poured out her heart. The tears that flowed felt more like the betrayed blood that flowed through her body. She choked on her misery and spat out her disgust. She was disgusted, disgusted with everything she had become. Her body instinctively curled up in itself; a defense mechanism and she continued to scream and cry out her anguish till her consciousness faded and her mind reset itself.
The birds sang as her bleary swollen eyes pulled themselves apart. She sat up in confusion from her position on the floor and the memory of the past night pooled into her mind. She got up, dusted herself off and revealed the new day to her dark room with a flick of her wrist against the long drapes of her curtains. She cleaned herself up and picked up her mask. Another day. Another performance. Time will go on. Maybe she was designed to be alone.