THE WEEKEND READER: This submitted essay deals with something many of us may have gone through particularly during this past year. The author offers a reflection and how he managed to come out of the experience with a positive outlook.
By Mark Musni
Under the silent slumber of the city, I lay awake. Beneath me are the promises of a brighter future that went out of hand. The sound of the moving vehicles are very audible, perhaps too much for me to bear. The place where I lie is very cold, so cold. Cold as the hollow space that surrounds me.
Once again, I lay awake in the cold dark night, for what seemed to be a nightmare from my childhood. Yet, to my utmost horror, the same nightmare still lingers to this time. I have always wanted to escape this life, a life of sorrow, a life of beating, and a life of nothing but total emptiness that has always engulfed me. I never wanted this but it always enters my mind. I can’t help it. Maybe it’s my only option.
Maybe I should end the crackling of the ember that still remains, the ember they call hope. I won’t wait anymore, for it must be soon.
Childhood brings me back to my sad plight of escape. An escape from the world’s harsh reality in which no one could accept me even though I try my best. I loved everyone and everything deeply, even the pristine waters that turned to puddles of mud and even the blind man begging for money. I respected life’s way of living, yet I think that life itself is trying to reject me. I am a believer—a believer of everything, believing in everything without a doubt. No one could stain my faith on other people, but they are the ones that stain my very reason for living.
My dignity is being rubbed out by the persons around me, trying to cradle me to oblivion. I plead for help but they render me mute every time I do so. They hurt my very soul and make me cry from the inside, but they never seem to bother and even laugh at me mockingly. Every time they do, I wish I was deaf, but I was never one. They made me hear my desperate cries for escape. They threatened my very existence when I tried to pursue my supposedly quiet life. They always kept an eye out for me, thinking that I would not do as they say. I was tied to the contract that threatened the entirety of my being.
I shed tears for unknown reasons.
Time after time, when I am out of my parents’ eyes, they take me forcefully. I couldn’t do anything. They pointed dangerous things at me, and the things they say would easily cut the thread of my life. I was crying again but they didn’t bother. They talked in hushed voices—in my little mind, they were pirates trying to kidnap the princess. But this is not a typical fairy tale. This is reality.
They arrived at a house, now they were delirious, while I was on the verge of shouting for help, but I still couldn’t do anything. Again, I was stained by the very people that surrounded me.
I despised my childhood. I never wanted it. If I were given a choice, I would’ve wished I was never a child. I cried over my stained childhood, cried over my abused childhood, cried over everything. I never learned to forgive them, the people who threatened my very existence. They are the reason why I still suffer. They are the reason why people judged me harshly.
I want to end the tears flowing through my eyes every time I remember the disappointment. I want to be free from the bondage that makes me a prisoner to my fate.
But, do I really want to end all of it?
Seeing everyone around me right now, I think of their stories that are very similar to mine. Yes, they would cry once in a while but that never stopped them from believing in life. They never doubted their existence and they always said that God has plans for them. I had never realized that everything they said made the biggest sense. I have always gone against their optimism and just pursued my own sad plans to end it all. They, too, were once stripped of their dignity but they made it a point to still retrieve their pride. Now I envy them—I envy their optimism, their courage, their faith, and their hope.
I remember my parents. They never doubted me and helped me, instead. I should still be thankful.
Maybe, I would not end my life now. Maybe not now, not me.
Under the silent slumber of the city, I lay awake. Beneath me are the promises of a brighter future. The sound of the moving vehicles are very audible but now I could bear it. The place where I lie is now warm, like the love an infant receives from his mother.
Maybe the crackling of the ember that still remains to what I call hope should still continue to ignite a new passion. I can’t wait for the time to come for me to open a new chapter in life.
About the author: Fondly called Mumu by his close friends due to a severe over supply of Mark’s in his social circle, Mark Musni has a blog where he tends to write half-baked ideas or opinions. He is fond of the routine in his life, which he complains about on a regular basis over coffee and cigarettes. He likes photography and tends to play with filters in VSCO because he paid for it. He has recently tried film photography and now loves it. But he thinks it is expensive.
The Weekend Reader is a Sunday submission segment of Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Arts + Culture. Those who wish to submit their essays for the Weekend Reader may do so via email: [email protected]. As subject of the email, write WEEKEND READER followed by the title of your essay.
The opinions and views expressed in The Weekend Reader are of the respective authors and not of the Manila Bulletin.