This short story is to be read out loud
She sat in the same room, sat in the same chair, with fabric black like when you close your eyes at night. Fabric thick, luxurious to the touch, similar to how it might feel when stroking the fur of a puma for the first time.
Exciting but definitely frightening. Though now she had more in common with the puma than she'd care to admit. Both endangered both in prisoned in a makeshift reality, one in environments of tall trees with big leaves, the other behind thick black velvet curtains. World's within worlds.
This darkroom within luxurious settings was her world.
Genesis talked of a master programmer who with infinite wisdom created all the things we perceive. Shooting stars against a backdrop of dark matter. Earth on its axis, that with one full spin can showcase the light from the day and the darkness of night. All done within the space of 24 hours.
The marvel of what can happen in 24 hours was lost on her. She was operating on 72 hours, all of it spent awake though sitting still, all of it spent within her own world.
They say the third eye points out to give a richer perspective, though hers was pointed within. And the only perspective she got from it, was that she'd never be good enough.
Never be good enough to be a wife, never good enough to be a mother not even good enough to be a daughter.
She'd spent the last 72 hours trying to find a reason to exist, praying that God with his eternal plan for all things, had too a plan for her. That he'd placed hidden inside her, a gift for mankind proving that she was worthwhile. Her inner mind searched, she found no internal gifts.
The darting light flickering from chandeliers swaying in low light gave no hints. The flickering stopped, the shadow disappeared. Looked like even they too had given up on her.
A single tear dropped from eyes directed at the floor, a single tear was now absorbed by the thick velvet fabric of the chair.
If a stranger had been in the room, they wouldn't even realise a tear had even been shed. In this world of life, she felt like she too was absorbed into a vast expanse of black nothingness. Her feelings were nothing, her presence was irrelevant.
The room was silent, the outside world blocked out. Funny how time goes slow when you're sad to the soul. Funnier still how time seems to stop still with every negative thought of self. Like time itself wants you to savour each negative moment of self like a never-ending story.
From a world still connected to the outside, an alien probed. Her iPhone 11 picked up the signal. Momentarily she was startled from dark thoughts, momentarily she was startled from her dark existence. Curious about what this alien probe from outside had to offer, she picked up the receiver, with fingers pale and slim, though fluidly she entered a password of 664389, connecting her back to an old world. On the home screen was a WhatsApp text. A picture that showed a beautiful woman, that in times of better mental health she referred to as her mother. She opened the text and read the words with the mouth of her mind. The words simply read 'You make me smile.' Simple but effective. Like how a rainbow after a storm brings comfort to a child's mind. She read it again, but this time out loud "You make me smile."
The room was still dark, enveloped in gloom but for the first time in 72 hours, she could finally see a hint of light.
Photo by Taylor Young on Unsplash
About The Writer
In my day to day work, I've spent close to 10 years working with some of London's most extreme young offenders. Working with them tirelessly in trying to create real opportunities for them, while trying to bring stability to the chaos that can be their world at times. I don't even call this work, as this is something I love doing, and thankfully my passion for it has helped many of these young people into much brighter circumstances.
If you'd like for me to give a talk to your class in regards to the issues that surround these young people or require consultancy for dealing with these young people then please feel free to get in contact.
Publications In Media
Made In Shoreditch Magazine 2018
Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019
Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019
UCL University Of London - Institute Of Education February 2019
Course entitled Criminal Journeys: The Individual and the Environment run by Prof Jane Hurry and Dr David Maguire. I Gave an in depth talk to students on the issues surrounding young people involved in crime.
The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Black History Month events - spoke on my organisation and how we help troubled young people reach there full potential please click here
No Knives Better Lives
Knife crime meeting held by Redbridge Youth Councillor Hannah Chowdhry please click here to view
Youth Violence Conference
Sat on a panel for City Gate's serious youth violence summit please click here
The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea- Unison Fundraiser for Black History Month
Recited one of my short stories as part of the event please click here to view
In partnership with Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture event, won a grant out of 160 applicants to put on an artistic event called Red Light Busking click here
My creative blog on fatherhood www.daddieslovetheirdaughters.com