Endlessly Numbered

She fell asleep among the stars. There was a certain lightness to her bones, an easy wind in her hair. A ruby smile, etched on her face, glowing with roots of eternity.

She woke up on Earth. A stone on her chest, an ache in her heart. Her head throbbed from flashes of her greige life, lines of sleepless nights drawn under her eyes.

There were good days. Days, on which she would like her coffee sweet, on which, with her lips pursed, she would exchange her black t-shirt for her mother’s marigold dress. Life offered her a rose, and she made every petal radiate in her presence.

But not unlike every other ignorant child, she too took her own sweet time to understand– for every rose that blooms bright, there are ten thorns, each waiting to pierce you.

She’d had the satisfaction of being stabbed by every single one of them.

It takes more than faded curtains or jaded stories, to steal the smile of someone as wild as her. And yet, here she was, a walking tale of weighed shoulders, a city of smothered dreams and blotched bucket lists, the light snuffed out of her eyes.

She had finally learnt the price it takes to feel so empty, so empty that she couldn’t even feel anymore. The feeling of the lonely breeze running up her skin, creating a dampness in her sleeves.

As the smoke would escape her teeth and mingle with the foggy evening, her mind would run through endless possibilities, irrelevant fantasies.

She would remember the sun, once a frequent friend, and how it must now miss her squinting eyes.

Is this all I get?

Her mind would drift up, towards the freckled city night, and think of the boy with the dotted cheeks at the local inn. Her heart would skip a beat, and with an exhale of her lungs, she would pray that his words would kill her before her packet does.

It was so hard to believe, that life can throw so much at you, in so many ways. It can rid you of a purpose to hang on to, snatch away the little things that made you feel.

It can give you innumerable reasons to stay up all night, unforgettable demons that refuse to leave.

It was impossible to be blissful, she knew that. But to be blissfully ignorant, was the only choice she was left with.

To escape.

To forget, with each drag that hit the ceiling.

Because cigarettes are just medicine for broken souls, and she was prescribed for a lifetime.

***

+Manushrie Verma+

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