Café Temptation

I have always been tempted but never ventured further than the thought. It’s addictive, I tell myself. Once I have it, will I need it or simply move on? Will it be just one more experience crossed off the list on my path to adulthood, or a constant thought on my mind, hole in my wallet, or perhaps worst of all, a never ending addiction that controls my life?

I’ve never felt the need to give into this temptation, every offer I’ve received has always been met with a shrug and an easily spoken ‘no thanks’, but today…today I hesitated. Something stirred within me, a small, soft, faded voice sighed. I could barely hear it but it was powerful, breathy yeeessssss…
That one word lingered in the air, surrounding me and seeping deep into my mind. It was so alluring, so captivating. Maybe I could give in? Just once won’t hurt, right? No. Don’t. You know the strength and control temptation can force upon you. What am I thinking? Is it worth the risk, to give up my freedom and be condemned to wander forever within the realms of dependence and need?

Perhaps it was the voice silencing the negatives, perhaps it began to stir my reason, but my thoughts began to morph. But what if it is? What if it changes my life for the better? How can I know if I don’t try? It’s perfectly fine, I assured myself. Everyone around me is doing it so why shouldn’t I? It doesn’t seem to affect them too much; a brighter smile, an elevated mood, an energy kick, a warmth. They aren’t addicted, they are armoured with it. It’s harmless, I reasoned. What am I waiting for? It’s time.

My trembling hands began preparing my first fix. This doesn’t seem so hard. I’ve seen so many people do it, my hands were skilled, it came so naturally.  Within seconds I was staring at this long avoided temptation. It swirls and circles in my hands, black and deep, hypnotising me, beckoning me to the edge. It breathes its rich scent into my nose, whispering silently, arousing my senses. I hear the voice whispering within the blackness, yeeessssssss…I want it. I close my eyes and raise it to my parted lips. It flows slowly into my mouth and I feel the instant burn as it explores my tongue, passing over every curious tastebud. It tastes bitter and dark as I thought temptation would, yet it sweet and comforting. I swallow and let out warm breath of satisfaction as the heat spreads through my body, the black temptation beginning to subdue its new victim. With one dose I knew I wanted more, and without thought or hesitation I willingly opened the doors and welcomed the blackness to take control. My hands and mouth acted without my orders, allowing again and again the temptation to enter my body until it was completely within. I sat back in my chair. It’s over. I’m fine. That wasn’t as bad as I thought, I actually enjoyed it. I felt warm and satisfied. A few minutes past and I began to feel an overwhelming sensation, it surged from the depths of my chest. The black had given me a false sense of security and comfort while it searched for my heart. It chased my frightened heart around and around my chest. Its rhythm unusually fast sent my body into overdrive. My lungs needed more and more oxygen, I was drowning in air, panting and I couldn’t slow. The world seemed so fast, my eyes flicked and moved rapidly seeing everything and nothing. I couldn’t focus. I blinked hard and breathed deep but nothing could help. I just wanted to run as fast and as far as my legs could carry me. It’s the black. It’s the high that people achieve, that they longed for to survive every gruelling day. There was nothing I could do. The black had me in its claws and it wasn’t letting go until it had its turn living my life, controlling my body while I watched from somewhere within.

The black’s power lessened slowly and I felt my consciousness and control return, but before it was gone completely it had enough strength to use my ravaged body to summon another dose and forever mark me as a slave to its will. My shaking hands typed out a small message, ‘small cap, two sugars please’. And with send, I was hooked.

Anxiety – Your darkness

*Note: I do not have anxiety and do not know, nor understand completely how it feels or the actions and experiences that come with this disorder. I wrote this piece after witnessing and trying to calm my partner having a severe anxiety attack. I do not aim to express what anxiety feels like, but rather the outside, how the people without the disorder feel and try to understand when the people they love experience the worst.

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There is no cause, there is no warning. It comes slowly, creeping from the corner of your eye. The darkness. At first, you brush it off, it’s just a shadow. There it is again. No. Leave. Your world somehow seems shaded, colder. It’s nothing. Blink. Again. It’s coming. It brushes your skin and sends a shiver down your side. It’s coming. Fear. Its stalking you, listening to your heart beat faster, hearing the sound of your breath louder, watching you flinch at the movement of a shadow. It’s coming. It laughs at you, sinister, cold, hungry for you. It’s coming. The sound takes over, fills your head, grasping to the fear inside and dragging it towards your heart. It’s coming. Brush…flinch…laugh. It’s surrounding you, circling you, waiting for a moment to strike. No. Stop. It’s coming. Anger. You lash out, swiping at anything, anyone in your path, hoping, praying, pleading, anything but this. It’s coming. Darkness. It’s coming. Fear. It’s coming. You scream.

It’s here.

You’re captured, it rips out your soul and drags it from this world into another, a world of black, a world of monsters. Dark, faceless, creatures that even your nightmares fear, surround you. Everywhere you look. You are out of reach from this world. Your body left behind, a vessel of pure emotion, a mirror image of the anguish of your soul. You’re screaming, crying, suffocating in front of my eyes and I cannot save you. I yell, I plead at you. Are you alright? What’s wrong? Stop doing that. Calm down. Stop. Stop. Stop. Please. What’s wrong? You don’t hear me. You aren’t listening. The darkness is all.

I cannot see the monsters only their effect on you. You claw at your skin, pull at your hair, scrunch your face up tight and lock your jaw. You cry, you scream, you push me away. Leave. Leave. Leave. Leave. Go. Go. Please just go. Go away. Leave. Please. I can’t. I can’t. Please. Leave. GO! I want to help you but you don’t see me worry, I care about you but you don’t think it’s why I stay. It’s not me you see. You see the monsters, the darkness. It is the reason you fight, the reason you claw, pull, scrunch and lock. I only see madness. They’re screaming at you, your worst fears, your insecurities, your failures, your problems. Over and over and over. Stupid. Worthless. Fat. Ugly. Pathetic. Useless. Annoying. Loser. Louder, closer…NO! I cannot hear, I cannot know, I cannot imagine, and I cannot understand. In this world, you’re irrational, unreasonable, doubting, believing monsters’ taunting, reciting, repeating and accepting. Why do you listen? Why do you believe the monsters? You are not these things; you are so much more. Please listen to me. Smart. Important. Beautiful. Kind. Strong. Special. Fun. Loving. Friend. I say, I write, I whisper, I scream, I know, I believe. None of these words get through to you. The darkness is all.

Come back to me. Please. I don’t understand. I don’t know how to help you. Please tell me what to do. No. Don’t. Stop. Go away. This is all you say. I want to help. Let me bring back the light. Let me fight with you. No. Don’t. Stop. Go away. This is all you say. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. What can I do? I don’t understand. Why won’t you let me in? You push me away again and again. Confusion. You’re out of reach. I don’t understand. Desperation. I push you, I hurt you. I don’t mean to but nothing else is working. Of course this doesn’t help, but I’m so lost. Frustration. I yell, I cry, I push. COME BACK TO ME! Nothing gets through to you. The darkness is all.

I leave…like you said. To me? To the darkness? I do not know. I’m so lost. I don’t understand. I never will. I’m sorry, though I’m not sure why, it just sounds right to say. I know it’s not my fault. I know. But I am not a part of that world, I have never been. I cannot help you. I am scared. I am worried. I love you. What if one day…you don’t return?

I don’t know how and I don’t know when but you come back. And it’s like it never happened. The darkness surrenders you to the light and your soul returns. Your eyes are brighter, your breathing returns to normal and you are calm. You don’t seem to know how terrible it is in that world. Don’t you see that you’re wounded? Don’t you see that I’m upset? You believe that the darkness won’t return. It will. I know. I’ve seen it. Again and again. It’s coming.

Missing

I don’t know who you are, but I know you.
I am always searching but I can never find you. Who are you? Where are you? Are you real or  just a dream, a fantasy, a memory?

Are you here? I feel your eyes burn hot on my skin under your gaze, warming my blood and blushing my cheeks. I look for those eyes, but I cannot find them. I see his, I see hers, I see everyone’s around me, but not yours. Are your eyes blue? No, hazel? Are they brown? No? Maybe green? It is something I should know but I am blind to you. I can feel you stare with longing, eyes wide and fixated, glistening with tears on the verge of escaping your lashes and drowning your cheeks. They beg me, plead me to recognise you, remember you, see you…but I cannot.

Are you close? I hear your heart beat, a small murmur. It is always present, always on my mind, a soundtrack to my day. Low, deep, heavy, yet somehow, hollow. I know that song. It calls to me, it mimics my own. A heart that is lacking, incomplete, always searching to fill the emptiness but never finding the perfect piece. Who are you who dares to sing my song? Show yourself and we will play a duet, I sing the melody and you harmonise. That’s how my song should be played. Please? Hello? I know you hear me, answer me.

Are you there? I feel the breath on my neck, warm and sweet, enchanting my senses and shading my world in a rosy pink haze. My mind clouds and I cannot focus. I’m lost in a fog, calling out an unknown name, waiting for an answer, a sound, a glimpse of you, anything. I long for you, but I cannot find you. The fog lifts and the moment passes by, like it does every time. Why didn’t you come to me?

I will never meet you, this I know, but I will never stop searching. My heart’s call is too strong to ignore. I long for you and you for me. We silently live, aware but apart, two pieces of one that will forever be incomplete.

I don’t know who you are, but I know you are missing.

via Daily Prompt: Missing

Mouse Trap

When I was young, a little mouse told me stories of beautiful young princesses who were swept off their feet by handsome, strong princes and carried away into their happily ever after. The women were perfect, pure and never dated more than one man before finding love and happiness. The men were romantic, brave, good looking and kind gentlemen. They were the perfect couple with the perfect story. It was only predictable that I would long to be a princess from these stories; I wanted the magic, the love, the fairy tale. It was clear to me that this path was what I needed to follow in life to be happy. Everything turned out perfect for these beautiful girls so this must be right, right? This was how every single story went when I played with my pretty plastic dolls. My favourite doll (that I gave my own name) would meet and become head over heels in love with a wonderful, handsome man (the only male doll I had) that would quickly become her husband after a beautiful big white wedding. Not long after that they’d have precious well-behaved children who never fought with each other and seemed to stay the same age forever. Of course they’d have careers that they loved straight out of school, no experience needed. They’d all live in a small but warm house with a big backyard for the one or two dogs they would get for the kids. They’d holiday in beautiful foreign countries and see the world. And then when the kids grew up and they retired, they would live happily together enjoying each others company. The perfect future. The fairy tale. Everything I thought I needed in life to be happy.

As I grew up and put away my dolls, the little mouse still sat on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, reminding me of the “true” path to happiness. At thirteen, I was already on my way with a handsome, loving and strong boy, my prince. I always thought to myself how lucky I was to have him, especially when I looked around and saw his competition. All the other boys did not share my fantasy nor had directions to the path I wished to follow. They were told a different fairy tale, one with busty half-clothed women falling to their knees in awe of the perfect muscly male presence, the women willing to do anything to satisfy his desires. It was like being surrounded by hungry dogs, drooling from the mouth, eyes wide as they begged for the piece of meat on offer to them. But not my man, he was the rose among the pricks, the prince I was looking for. We had found each other and I had one foot off the ground ready to be swept away to my happily ever after.

We walked hand-in-hand for many years down the path, never wavering from it. With every step our love only grew stronger. At 21, much older than the princesses in the little mouse’s stories, the prince suddenly stopped and stepped in front of me. He looked me deep in my eyes and time could have stopped in that moment. It was just me and him, a two words that lingered in the air…“marry me?” This was the moment I (and the little mouse) had been waiting for since I was a little girl. I was finally going to be the princess that I longed to be, finally going to be swept off my feet and finally have the perfect fairy tale ending. The little mouse jumped up and down on my shoulder in excitement. I was so happy, I cried.

With a renewed sense of love, a bright sparkling diamond on my left hand and a future in our sights, we continued down the path to my happily ever after and yet every now and then I saw this path diverge and my curiosity grew. Why would the right path diverge? At first, I looked to the little mouse and he shook his head, nothing off the main path was able to bring me the happiness this one would. I listened. But with each glimpse of this divergence, it seemed to pull me closer. The little mouse was getting restless with my curiosity and began screaming, I was scared and unsure, then all of a sudden my prince took my hand and stepped off the path with me and to my surprise, my fear disappeared and my eyes widened. The little mouse began to have a tantrum, stomping his feet and crying that we had left the path when we were so close to our happily ever after, but this felt right, something I needed to do…so I duct-taped the little mouse’s big mouth shut.

All of a sudden the world looked different; there were so many more colours, smells, sounds, feelings and I wanted to experience it all. This new world called to me, like sirens, drawing me closer and closer to temptation, a story that the little mouse never warned me about and no longer could. The prince and I walked together down the path meeting many different creatures on our way that each unlocked a new door in this foreign world. Alas, temptation is not always pure, some creatures that we met were not good experiences, but ones we learnt from. There was a tiny fairy that hovered annoyingly around the prince, a nymph that disappeared in the daylight, a goblin that masked who he truly was until he got what he wanted, a squib that lied about his magical ability and a dwarf that stalked the princess. But prince and I were never disheartened, we stayed together and helped each other down the path in hopes that this world would yield something good.

That’s when we met our mermaid. She was beautiful, tanned with long, dark hair that covered her smooth bare chest, her eyes were warm and mysterious and her laugh was like a song. There was something about her that enchanted me. She made me feel curious, confident, excited, adventurous, beautiful…everything the prince made me feel. I didn’t think it possible to find another that made me feel this way. I was scared and confused but my prince knew something I didn’t. He brought my hand to his lips and kissed it, holding it tight then letting go and I dove into the sea with her. It was a rush, so different, yet so exciting. The second I went under the surface, it felt like a home I had been longing for but never knew. This was what was missing from my fairy tale…I need her. She taught me about her world, we played, we laughed, we kissed, we snuggled, we loved. I was part of her world and she was part of mine. I could breathe and swim with ease, it was only when we kissed that my breath was taken away. We spent every day together, frolicking in the waves and on the sand. When I returned to land, I missed her terribly and couldn’t wait to return, and one day while looking into her deep warm brown eyes, I realised…I love her…but I still had my prince…and just like that my heart belonged to two.

How was this possible? The little mouse told me over and over how to achieve my fairy tale and yet having he and her makes me feel more myself, happier than I ever was before. My prince and my mermaid get along and know I need them both in my life. They love and accept me for who I was, who I am and who I’m going to be. They have together swept me off my feet so much so that I feel like I can fly. They are both my happily ever afters.

I had been caught in the little mouse’s trap. I was so transfixed and hypnotised by his stories that I never considered there was more than one path to my fairy tale. I was young and naïve to have listened for so long. Happiness and love are not things that are predestined but something you find along your journey, and I am so glad that I went down the diverged path and found these treasures. Who cares that it’s not a classic fairy tale, it’s mine and I couldn’t ask for a better plot.

Once upon a time…

As a hopelessly nostalgic girl, I believe stories are one of the greatest parts of life. We do “it” for the story,the memories that stay with us and shape who we are. Everyone and everything has a story to tell, its own unique life, with heroes, villains, love, tragedy, miracles, hardships, adventure, friendship, triumph, lessons and, one always hopes, a happy ending.

I wanted to start this blog to tell my story, not every single word but small chapters that will explain to the world who I am, how I came to be and who I hope to become. I hope that my story helps others understand their own and I hope that through the telling of my story I can open your eyes to new adventures and characters that change your outlook on life and those around you.

So as all stories do, I’ll begin with,

once upon a time…