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2021: A Rough Start

2021: A Rough Start
Sadeen Ahmad

Every day, I got up with a smile. But now, that smile is turned upside down. I stare outside the window: wondering, yet yearning to run free once this is over. The seasons fade in and out like soft lullabies, their transitions are slow, but never faltering. From blooming flowers, to the hot, aromatic air, then to the crisp, fresh autumn breeze full to the brim with ever-changing colours and finally to the hot chocolate and bitter wind that is silenced with the crackling of a hot fire. I have lived through those, but wish to embrace and fulfil them with liberty. The liberty to foster plants, soak in the sun and dip into a pool, crunch leaves and throw them gleefully into the air and eat a turkey with the ones I love the most.

Yet right now, my eyes sting and my head drums at a million times an hour, whilst reluctantly looking at a screen and forcing a smile when scolded, only to be seen paying attention. Every drop of free time that I get, I collapse onto my bed and close my eyes just remembering that in another minute is maths. My most dreaded subject and dreaded teacher. At the end of a school day, when my mother asks how the day went after her continual meetings, I say that I’m fine. But deep within is a monster running wild inside of me. It’s drained, fed up and restricted to let loose and enjoy life as we were always told to do.

I run at a chance to sleep because then is the only moment that I can be with myself. Not with any screens, questions, maths and siblings. You may expect me to drop to sleep, but I stay awake and cry till I cannot cry anymore. I want to be engulfed in my tears and bawl loudly; but those around me shouldn’t hear me. I stay up late and curse my life – and maths. Cry like I haven’t cried before. Because the next morning will be the exact same.

This, this life is heart-breaking for me. It was only then my mother opened the door. She saw my tear-stricken face and said she heard everything I whispered to myself. She said sorry an infinite number of times. It was only then I cried tears of joy: knowing that someone knew, knew all the pain inside of me, eased the weight burdened on my shoulders.

The next day I smiled. And I can promise you, that smile wasn’t turned upside down again.