IT COULD'VE BEEN WORSE

21:19








She felt horribly insecure. These periods of insecurity were visiting her more than any other period in her life that she could recall. It was unfortunate, because when she believed in her dreams she did with all her soul, and although she constantly told herself not to reference that hurt in the past, its vestiges still clung to her. She didn’t know how to get rid of it. At times she felt loved and cared for; she felt special that someone had chosen to love her regardless of herself. But then, more often than not, she felt like she was thrown in the middle of a baseball field, surrounded by people who laughed and taunted her. Sometimes she didn’t mind them, because they didn’t understand. But most times she saw them, heard them, their words piercing in their truth. The shame she felt could not be weighed. The humiliation weighed her body and chained it to the floor for weeks.

Whenever she looked at her life, she laughed bitterly. It wasn’t a bad life; but it had been an incredibly uneventful life. There wasn’t anything extraordinary; no great interruption of the miraculous. Year after year, she had believed the popular phrase that “This is my year!” She prayed and fasted, fasted and prayed, and the year ended without significant change. At least, not the change that she imagined for herself.  And this had gone on for the past 25 years of her life. Now she was almost 50, sitting in the little, overprized apartment in a building that was on the heel of breaking apart. Perhaps one of these days it would collapse and take her with it. But as lucky as she was, she’d survive and live another fifty years, miserable but still thankful that she survived.

But this insecurity today was stark.  This feeling of having accomplished so little in her life. The humiliation of it all. It became unbearable at times. Sometimes, she would remain in her apartment for weeks, not talking to anyone, barely eating, uninspired, so disgusted with herself and the trajectory which her life had taken. Somehow though, she would get the strength to go outside for the day, get some fresh air, and the darkness would dissipate from her mind for that moment. At those times, she would remind herself to count her blessings; that she had a roof over her head, had food in her fridge; she was still active in her community with the outreach work that she was part of. Although none of it had been what she wanted, at least she had something. It was better than some of these men, women, young boys and girls, who were homeless, no hope, and drugs and prostitution was all they knew. She, comparatively, was at the top of the food chain. And she had to be thankful. She had never known that street life. She had to be thankful. She had never been homeless. She had to be thankful. She had grown up in, and had a relatively good family. She had to be thankful. Although her dreams did not come to pass, she had to be thankful. Although she did not go where she thought she would, travel the way she would, and have the life she thought she would, she had to be thankful. Because it could have been worse.

Sigh. It could have been worse. Getting up, she walks to the window, and looks outside. She reminds herself to let go; that such thoughts will only overwhelm and disappoint, and open a scab that was better off as it was. A reminder. A reminder of everything that she could have had, but was never destined to be hers.

It was snowing outside. That light, fluffy snow that fell ever so slowly. The pavement had mastered patience. It waited, one flake at a time, until asphalt was blanketed in white. It was Sunday today. She had to go to church. Well, I suppose there wasn’t an obligation, but it is something that had come to be part of her life for many years now. Church had been a salve, a healer of the giant scab that nestled on her heart. But now, it was punishment; a reminder that not everyone who knocked got through. At least, that’s how she saw it. She couldn’t recall the last time she had really heard the preacher speak. She didn’t know what songs were sung. No; she did, but she sang automaton. She went through the routine Amens! and glories! She gave her tithe, prayed with her brothers and sisters! Believed that God turned people’s lives around. She believed for others, but never for herself. Not anymore. God had abandoned her. Although many would argue that she had abandoned him. Whatever the case, it was a relationship that she no longer made effort to revive. She was tired now. There was no more reason to ask. It had been like being in a relationship with a man who constantly made promises, but upon coming up short would blame her for the reason they didn’t happen. She was tired of that. Evidently she was never going to get anything right.

But she still went to church. Although recently she had contemplated not attending anymore. She went through the motions when she was there, so what was the point? She didn’t have the passion anymore.


Getting her black coat, a beautiful, fitted coat she had found at a bargain shop, and knee-length boots, she went outside. The second that she was out, she knew that she wasn’t going to church anymore.  Instead of walking toward her car, she walked to the sidewalk, and walked farther away from the old, crumbling building. She kept walking, not seeing the school playground where a couple was playing with their child; missing the woman who was outside with her dog and daughter putting up Christmas lights; unaware of the 2 kids in snowsuits making snow angels. She missed it all, because she no longer cared for such things. She kept walking. The snow kept falling. And the crumbling building was left far behind, to collapse on its own or to remain standing. She didn’t care. She just kept walking.


-Chenai

You Might Also Like

1 comments

  1. OMG!!! WOOOOOW! This is soooo beautiful ❤. Yoooo. You need to have this page off private pleeeeaaas! Chenai you're a story teller!! You need to get this published! I'm in love😍.

    ReplyDelete