Cry.Black.Tears

Silence

Posted on: October 24, 2012

I ran. Hard and fast. I just ran, wishing I could run faster than speed of sound so I won’t be able to hear their mocking laughter that followed incessantly. That obviously did not come true. Of course, I am scrawny for a boy, weak in character, and that naturally made me the butt of everyone’s joke, the person that everyone bullies. Their laughter followed me, no matter how fast I ran, echoing in my mind.

Panting, I slowed to a stop. It was an isolated place with empty shophouses and people barely walk past. I praised my legs, they always know where I wanted to go — a quiet place to forget my humiliation. I walked into the alley and sat down on a piece of cardboard. It was so quiet here, the buzzing of the streets was magically filtered away. Leaning against the wall and with the trees shielding my eyes from the sun, I almost believed I was the only one left in the world.

I enjoy listening to silence. Silence is accepting, like a huge heavy blanket it will wrap itself around you and embrace you. I do not like crowds and people. People talk too much, and the things they say are hurtful. Sometimes I feel like retaliating but I do not know what to retort, and I’m afraid that they will do worse things and say more hurtful things to me. So I keep quiet. Silence is my only weapon, the only thing I could use to defend myself.

Minutes past. Maybe hours, I do not know. Time does not exist in silence. I started playing with the random insects crawling past my feet. I will start by pulling off their legs then chopping their body into half. The creatures would tremble, writhe about, and attempt to drag their mutilated body back to, I presume, their hole (home). It must have been painful but there was no screaming, everything was like a silent movie. It was fascinating, watching them scuttling about in silence, communicating in silence, enduring pain in silence and dying in silence. How wonderful, and I thought why can’t people be like this too?

Then I heard footsteps and I got annoyed like how you would get annoyed when your little brother woke you up from a very nice dream. The pedestrian stared at me like I was some monstrosity. I ignored him. Breaking my bubble of my made-up world, I realised it’s time to go home. Something which I am not very fond of.

As expected, I heard the shouting even before I opened the door. Luckily our only neighbour is out of the country most of the time and or she would not be able to tolerate the shouting every night.

“What do you mean you’ll change? You said that months ago and yet, I saw the both of you, hugging!” Mum’s voice rose to a record high pitch as the sentence end.

“Darling, you are being unreasonable! It was a function and she was just holding on to my arm!” Dad’s exasperated voice was loud as he tried to reason with my near hysterical mum.

I wish I could shut my ears like I could shut my eyes and mouth. Similar conversations go on every night and I am sick of them. Their fights were not not so frequent a few months back but suddenly it was an everyday event like channel 8’s primetime drama. Except that this drama played on weekends too. I walked past the kitchen where they were fighting (they fought in the kitchen because it was the only room with windows that do not face any neighbor, the woes of living in a HDB), into my room and shut the door. I now regretted not soundproofing my room. Their voices were still audible, and I could catch words and phrases. I buried my head under the pillow, attempting to find some silence. I found none. If I had a choice, I would rather stay overnight in the alley than come back to this madhouse.

Next day arrived fast and furious and I wished I could have it fined for speeding. I dreaded going to school, especially after yesterday’s fiasco. I walked into the classroom and the talk ceased. With my head bowed, I walked to my seat, pretending nothing was wrong. Just when I thought the day would end with any nasty scenes, I found myself sprawled on the ground just when I was about to exit through the school gates. My arms and knees bled as they hit the rough pavement. Laughter sounded around me again.

“Get out of my sight, loser. Or do you want to crawl between my legs again?” jeered their leader.

I stood up and walked away without saying anything. The laughter got louder and I covered my ears and ran.

Back at the magical quiet alley, I panted with both hands against the wall. I looked down at the blood that dripped from my knee and down my legs. The red stood out against my pale skin. The wound ached dully. It hurts but I made no sound. Like how the insects suffered and hurt in silence. I felt powerful then upon this realisation, like I had achieved a wonderful feat. Yes, this is how people should be like, silent. Scream in silence, hurt in silence. Everything should be silent. I placed my fingers gently over the wound, caressing the broken skin. With a sudden move, I sank my fingers into the exposed flesh and drew more blood. God, it hurt so badly but I was proud of myself, I had managed to endure without making a sound. My blood dripped down and formed spots on the floor. Drip drip drip they went and I knew I had found it, I had found the way to live my life. I used to be so lost, trying to become one of rest, trying to be ‘normal’ the way others define it. I have no identity, no attachment, no goal, no life. But it’s all different now, I know what I want and how I want to lead my life. I would not try to blend in anymore.

I walked home immersed in my realisation, excitement boiling up within me. I must have looked like a mess, with blood on my uniform and gashing wounds on my limbs. Murmurings could be heard from the crowd but I ignored them. Soon, these murmurings would not trouble me anymore. Back at home, the quarreling continued, and I distinctly heard the words “divorce” and “custody”. I stopped for a moment but did not approach them in the end. Soon, these problems would not bother me anymore. In my room with the door shut, I sat on the bed, earwax digger in hand. My hand was extra sensitive today, the metal felt so cold it made my hand tremble.

This is the moment. The moment that would change everything. I raised my hand and positioned the rod in my left ear. At this moment, I felt like a fervent believer getting to meet God. With a deep breath, I pushed the rod in and pierced my eardrum. Pain seared through my head and I let out a gasp. My world was filled with pain and deafening silence. I dropped the rod, covered my left ear with my left hand and waited till the pain had subsided.

The rod was bloody and left stains on my mattress. My hands were bloody, and not just from any blood but from blood that bled from my eardrums. It was significant, like the blood a girl bleeds when her hymen was torn. I raised my hand to my nose and took a deep breath. Yes, I thought, as the metallic smell filled my nostrils, I had done it. Then I put my finger in my mouth and licked it clean.

The world was as I had imagined, so much quieter now. I could barely hear the quarreling in the kitchen. And mocking laughter would have a harder time to find their way into my mind. I smiled, pleased, and laid down on my mattress. I had done it, I had taken the first step. I believe this is the way human civilisation should be and I had done my part to make the current world one step closer to the ideal. I will continue tomorrow, I thought as my eyelids drooped. It was a long day and I was tired. I fell asleep with my face bloody and the blood-stained rod still on my bed.
______________

Inspired by the idea that my brother’s tuition teacher gave him for writing one word trigger essays for O’levels.

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