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My Mother’s Uncle

My mother’s uncle was let out of jail today. Before I dive into my encounter with him, let me clarify that he was 100%, absolutely, completely, entirely and totally innocent. They knew it too, but they needed someone to blame, and they chose him. They had him in for two straight years for no crime whatsoever.

“He’s there? They let him out?!” My mum yelled in joy to my grandmother at the other end of the phone, as we sat in the living room.  “Yes, I’m coming right away!” She finished, before hanging up and rushing to her room. I ran after her and asked what was going on.

“My uncle. He’s finally free!” As I heard this, my heart leaped in happiness and I asked if I could go with her to greet him.

“Of course,” She said, “but hurry.”

So I did, I got ready quickly and we left. When we arrived at my grandmother’s place, my mum rushed inside the room her uncle was in, but me… I stopped. I don’t know why, but suddenly it struck me that the man in there doesn’t even know who I am, and it felt incredibly wrong to be one of the first to greet him.

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Uninspired

Inspiration is supposed to come at night. It just is! How could it not, when there is a full moon shining brightly outside your window, when there is a soft breeze pushing back loose strands of your hair playfully and pulling your lips upwards into a smile; when all you hear is the persistent buzzing of the light bulb and the steady ticking of the clock on the bedside table; when you’re sitting cross-legged on the bed, a notebook on your lap, a pencil in your hand, and the rest of the house is asleep. How could inspiration resist coming?

Slowly, an idea begins to form in your head, tickle your mind, and you rush to write it down, to decrypt the code that is your thoughts. But as your pencil scrawls on aimlessly and words start to appear, they somehow feel like a badly translated text. They make no sense and sound too lame, or too deep- depending on how you look at it, to be taken out of your head.

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The Silence of Walls

She lay on her bed. The same bed she once lay in all these years ago, when her height didn’t even cover half of it. She looked about the room. It was so pink, just as she’d wanted it to be. She’d loved it, once. She’d loved how her wardrobe held a world she’d created for her Barbie dolls, right at the bottom, underneath her hung-up clothes; a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom, even a bathroom. She’d managed to squeeze it all in the tiny space and live various different lives along with her Barbies. She still remembers every single one of their names, but she has no idea who’s playing with them now.

On her wooden desk there were scribbles of all colours, that her five year-old self scrawled, thinking she was drawing a masterpiece, and dreaming of being a great artist one day.  The shelves, instead of being covered with teddy bears and various other stuffed animals, were now packed with books she never thought she’d read. There were peeling stickers of flowers, hearts and stars covering the entire desk. It looked disgusting.

She heard whispers of phone calls she’d made when she was eight, with best friends she doesn’t know any more. She smelled the candles she’d once lit up, which ended up burning the carpet and it had to be changed and she’d been scolded. On the wall, her mother had hung up certificates she’d been awarded, but no longer knew what they stood for.

In every corner of the room, she can see herself: five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten years old, before she was whisked away from it all. Now she looks around, and she’s suffocated, the ghosts of her young self are dancing around her, haunting her, reminding her with a smirk of days she can no longer return to. The pinkness is consuming her and anger is eating her up. She sits up straight, gets off of the bed and walks towards the doodles on her door. She opens it and, silently, she leaves.

X and Y

Once upon a time, there were two best friends, one is called X and the other is called Y (very pretty names, I know). They met through another friend, which neither of them speaks to very much anymore. It’s as if God sent that friend to connect them, and shortly after, He made her leave.

They were complete opposites. Y was the perfect goody-goody-teacher’s-pet type, while the other was party-girl-I-don’t-care-how-much-I-get-in-an-exam type, but that never stopped them from being best friends.

The pair was never one to share necklaces or bracelets with ‘best’ on one and ‘friends’ on the other. They didn’t need jewellery to tell them they were best friends. The bond shined through their hearts. Well, that and they never managed to actually not lose/break the necklace/ring/watch.

They were only in grade six when they first met, and they laughed and giggled at “grown-up” stuff, shared innocent secrets and read each other’s diaries.

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An Empty Glass

There was once an empty glass. It was nothing special. It didn’t have colourful patterns on it or even a distinctive shape. It was just a plain old empty glass. Nobody cared much for plain, empty glasses, but this particular glass didn’t care.

It thought it was better than the rest of its fellow plain, empty glasses, even though they all shared the same dark, dusty cupboard. It thought it was better than to be used by humans, who never appreciated the beauty of pure glass, who would only make it dirty and have it scrubbed by uncomfortable materials. Oh, it tried giving them a chance, but they left it scarred, both literally and figuratively. It then thought it belonged right here in this cupboard instead, its sole purpose being to exist. It felt sorry for all the other glasses that were always waiting for, and anticipating, the day they are picked out of the dark cupboard and into the light. The glass had hid itself well, right at the back, where the chance of it being picked up was a very small one.

One day, though, it was picked. It didn’t understand why or how it was chosen out of all its other identical glasses, but it decided it wasn’t going to just sit there and take it. It would rather break.

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With Regards

Hello,

It’s been quite some time, and I miss you, but I don’t know what that means. I don’t know if I want you back, or if I simply realise how different it is without you. I can’t remember the day we said goodbye. Did we? Sometimes it feels like I woke up one morning to realise you’d left me to face this world without you. I think I know why you left. I’m sorry I betrayed you. I’m sorry I betrayed everything you stood for. You’d never forgive me, but I ought to apologise all the same.

But you know what, I think you owe me an apology too. Because deep down inside, you were always the same.  You just never admitted it, and hid behind all the good things in your life. Then you got scared of who you were turning into, and left. You left me and I had to cope with that somehow. You are partly at fault, too.

I think of you often. Of the innocent glow that used to occupy your eyes, of the pride you held and had every right to. I think of your little mistakes.

There are a lot of the likes of you, you know. But you’re the one I resent the most, because you’re the one who left me unnaturally. Had things not changed, you would have stayed with me. But things changed, and you left.

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My Brother

A few days ago, my brother came home. I hadn’t seen him for a few months, but he came, nineteen years old and with a slow-healing, torn knee ligament. He came home different, and not in a bad way. He came home, and it struck me that my brother, who used to play with me in a game of toy soldiers vs. Barbies, is now a man. A grown-up. An adult. Maybe it was the beard he had just started growing, maybe, somehow, it was the crutches; but I think it was mostly the way he kissed my mother’s head, my father’s hand and ruffled my two little brothers’ hair, before turning around to hug me as best he could.

During the past five months, he was living on his own in London, mostly fending for himself, because my parents wanted him to be “independent”; and I guess now he is. He always used to kiss my parents in affection and respect and he always used to ruffle my brothers’ hair playfully and that was definitely not the first time he hugged me. He’d done it all before, but this time, it felt like he truly appreciated it. Like he learnt some time during the five months away, that he needed us just as we needed him.

He changed. But in the core, where it really matters, he is still the same guy who pushes me off my bed, despite having his own, just to annoy me; he is still the same guy who I woke up at 3 a.m. one morning because I needed a shoulder to cry on and he was there for me; he is still the same guy who taught me things hundreds of years at school wouldn’t have taught me; he is still the same guy who would walk into my room (almost) every night to talk to me, to tell me about his day and hear about mine; and he is the same guy who stood up for me when the world was against me and when I didn’t deserve it.

He is my brother, and now he is a man, and I have missed him like hell.