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1,800 Seconds

1,800 Seconds
Sadeen Ahmad

The clouds look heavy. Their faces look ashen. Their tears look bottled up into a grey marshmallow of false emotions. Just exactly like me.
I don’t know what I did. Did I cross the line? But: there is no line. We’re friends, not only that but we’re best friends. I was only gone for half of an hour. I was only gone for 1,800 seconds. I was only gone for less than a twentieth of a day. Just like the clouds were gone for half of an hour, but came trudging back with their broken souls. But if you think about it, wouldn’t those 1,800 seconds be enough for them to talk about my soul? They were friends before I left, but became strangers when I came back.
They talked about me while I was gone: their eyes tell the story their lips can’t. Their fluttering eyelids and reddening cheeks and fiddling fingers show it all. It’s called the art of secrecy. The sky above imitates my friends. The birds fluttering away and the colours of the clouds turning into darker greys and little droplets of rain falling from above. It’s called the art of emotions.
I ask what happened, I ask if I did something wrong. Their lips don’t move, but I can smell the tension in the air. Just like I can smell the rain coming quicker and quicker and quicker. But their voices crack in sync with the lightning above and they walk off together, hand-in-hand, huddling together like particles in chemistry. Blindly leaving me out. Me. The English, the writer, the words to their Chemistry. Our chemistry.
People say there’ll be a rainbow after the storm. But the storm just turns the rainbow and the colours upside down. Just like my stomach as its lurches as my gut tells me they were my friends. Were my chemistry. My gut keeps saying were. The past tense. The tense thrown in the back. The less-used tense. My negative thoughts taste bitter in my mouth. Are my friends merely the past tense to my English, my writing, my words? The three of them are chemistry together, but there’s only past tense in chemistry. It’s only English. It’s only me. Were those 1800 seconds enough to change them?
The thunder screams higher. My emotions drive higher. Nature’s screaming with the silent screams of my soul. The clouds break loose their bottled tears and broken souls and so do I. I scream and break down onto the concrete floor. My tears and hysterical pain scream another level of hurt. The rain encapsulates my feelings and joins in what I’m suffering. The tears of the clouds hit my tongue and I can almost taste the pain like I can feel it through my cold and sodden clothes.
And now, it just hurts because I realise, I’m not as important to my friends as I thought I was.
Now I’m hurt. And the sky’s hurt.
And my friends are saying goodbye to me.