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The darkness within

The veins of a leaf are clearly visible in sunlight.

“If you see me go into that state, please hold my hand. I’ll be fine then.”

A more self-aware statement had not been heard from D in a long time. All the anger, rage, mania, distilled into one tremendously tender realisation. It happened when he was alone.

‘It’ was a place where D may have felt so alone, so lonely, so dark, the voices in his head so loud, that they drowned out the present where he was present, even if only physically. A place where light or sight did not penetrate. A place where all external sound was but drowned by the constant noises that came from within. A place where smell or taste had no place for reality was that crowded. A place, where the only thing that got through, was a comforting touch he had known for almost 40 years.

He had come close to trusting N fully.

For D, trust was something not easily offered. Why? Few knew. N certainly did, if not fully then in parts at least. There were parts of the story that were very heavy to hear, let alone to hold and carry. D, though, was a weightlifter, carrying the different parts of him with wase, until they got difficult. At those points, came the heavy metal and the big hits.

The metal and them hits did not define him, though. What did, at least for those close to him, was that he never stopped fighting and rebelling against what he had been offered. Not for himself, nor for those he loved. A fighter meant strong will. Strong will meant belief in his own methods. These often spilled into stubborness.

So be it. That was D. Until he was not after two days in the hospital that changed the chemical composition in his brain and his trajectory.

The fighter went to hospital showing the first signs of acceptance. He had been found sprawled on a wet bathroom floor, unaware he had fallen. It was a miracle that nothing had broken. He had been helped into bed incoherent and disoriented.

Later that day after waking up and having some food a conversation had taken place.
“Are you open to going to hospital if this continues and or gets more serious?”
“If you think it will help, yes.”
“Okay, thank you.”

A startling conversation if there ever was one. For D hated doctors and hospitals. This was new.

The first signs of acceptance in this hospital vanished under the resuscitating effects of a saline injection.
“Why am i here?”
“You were disorientated, incoherent and barely able to stand.”
“What nonsense? I do not remember any such thing.”
“Yes. That’s exactly why we are here.”
“You’re lying. I’d remember it if it happened.”

“When do we go home?”
“After the tests are done.”
“What tests? I don’t need any tests.”

“Yes, you do sir. We need to check for a few things before we can let you go home.”
“Okay, fine. When can i go home?”
“Doctor will come and see you in the morning. He’ll be able to tell you that.”
“Okay, we’ll see tomorrow.”

Tomorrow saw a child emerge from within the fighter. As did the day after. And the day after. And even when he came home.

The fighter appeared on occasion.

At first, this was disorienting for everyone around. Who was this person anymore? What had happened to him?

Yet some parts were familiar even as others felt raw and new, still learning to come to terms with being under the rbight glare of the sun. Childhood was a painful process, among other things. A few days ago, birth had definitely been painful.

The child and the fighter were joined at the spine. They faced the world when they felt it appropriate. It felt similar ti watching a moth. When it rested on a surface, the moth’s skin was coloured a deep black with white dots. It was only when it flew that one could see the bright orange on its underside.

It all came together after a particularly brutal bout of rage. Or maybe, it was mania. The night turned to morning. Anger turned to exhaustion, shouted yielded to silence.

D and N sat close to each other in the morning light, a newspaper in front of each. Sunlight streamed in occasionally, when the clouds gave enough room for it to shine through.

“If you see me go into that state, please hold my hand. I’ll be fine then.”

The fighter was finally coming to terms with the child, or so it seemed. Or, maybe, the child felt it was time to come out for its own reasons. Unlike birth, the arrival of death may have given D the permission to let the child live a little.

Death still had a distance to cover. Until then he had a newspaper to read and a hand to hold.


Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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