A Light of Being

When the clock strikes half past seven, she would sit on the pale green chair in the balcony, usually bringing a drink with her. Her drink would always have ice on it, even full of them, I noticed. But tonight, she had brought a hot drink as she carried two books along with her drink, a novel and what seemed to be a journal.

As she sat there, she took out a pen from her left pocket and stroked a page of her book with it. ‘she’s annotating, I’ve never seen her do that, she was always so careful with her books,’ I wondered. While in the middle of writing another word, she took a glance at me before sipping the hot beverage.

Me and her, we’ve known each other for years. I still remember the night I became quite a significant thing to her. She found me hanging around. In the past, she had, many times, noticed me, but it wasn’t till then she had spend more time paying attention and taking deeper interest of me. We stared eye-to-eye. She sat on the edge of her bed, full of tranquility yet overflown by chaos, and just stared at me for a minute or two (or was it five?). Not long after, she fell into the world of dreams.

Since then, she had always noticed whenever I was around. Sometimes she’d try to talk to me, telling me about how she had thought of a breakthrough or how upset she had been during the day, or how she had wanted to know how it would have felt if she had rebelled her way to do the things she was never allowed to, or how unreal she had been feeling at the time as if she was playing a role in a fantasy world. I could always hear her voice clearly, but it seemed that she couldn’t mine. Every time I responded, she would continue with her talking.

I fixed my gaze on one of the books she brought, the journal. The journal had a black cover and the pages seemed to be torn out a lot. As I was busy making my observation, she looked at me and smiled. And tonight, she looked happy. No! She was not bursting with laughter nor grinning her teeth! Happy was not the right word. She looked content. As if she had reached every dream of hers and all she needed to do next is enjoy her life without worry.

“Hey! I’m glad I catch you tonight,” she said, not saying a word, though I can see it through her eyes, beaming with excitement.

‘me too.’

“You look breathtaking, a little more striking than usual, I’d say. And oh, so much brighter.”

‘well, thank you. that was nice of you to say. but this light isn’t mine. you know that,’ I wanted to say.

Her nose then dove back into the book. Her eyes scanned the pages, reading every letter it had and scribbled carefully on it once in a while. I wondered, what was she writing?

They sat on the front seats of the car, facing each other.

“How do you see me?” she asked, as a casual question, though the thought of it had lit her curiosity for a minute.

“I see you as this bright, bright light, full of dreams, ideas, and ambitions. So full that sometimes it’s like you were driven by fire!” he said, almost with passion but ended with a rather unassured tone of silence after he finished his sentence.

“but…?”

He let go a deep sigh, “You seem to always be behind someone, lurking in the shadow. It doesn’t matter how bright you are when there is someone in front of you, their shadows will always get in a way of your light and you know that. But you keep standing there, and willingly too, as if that is what you wanted, for your light to not be seen.”

She fixed her sitting position, now facing the windshield, and turned her gaze onto a stillness of nothing. ‘the thing is, there is no light. I have no light. I don’t know where my light is. I don’t know whose light it is you see in me, but it isn’t mine. It does not feel like it belongs to me,’ she wanted to say, but instead she just smiled.

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