I wake up startled at the sound of a car honking. It is 2am. I turn the lights on and look around. I am home, inside the mosquito net, staring at the pink stained walls. The bed feels too hard on my back. I cannot tell how long I’ve been here, maybe a few days or maybe I never left. Above my head still sits the golden clock that ticks louder than its size. The night is still once again, but I hear sounds – the occasional whining of a dog, the night watchman’s stick banging the iron gates, and of course the incessant ticking of a clock. The light from the street lamp bleeds in through the faded curtains. The curtains that once ornamented the room now hangs like a sore sight, weighed down by the burden of all my secrets, my youth, continuing to hide the shadows.
Shadows are still trapped in that room, within the folds of the curtains, on each shelf of the study table still lined with little trinkets that were birthday gifts from dearest friends. I could not have left. Moments ago I locked myself in the darkness of that room to study for my upcoming test. With only a desk lamp on, I sat at my desk, looking out the window staring at the moon thinking there is someone out there gazing at the same moon maybe at a different time with different thoughts. The moon connected us all.
Here I cannot help but think of these lines from a Nicholas Sparks novel, “And then I feel as if I’m witnessing a miracle, as ever so slowly she raises her face towards the moon. I watch her drink in the sight, sensing the flood of memories she’s unleashed and wanting nothing more than to let her know I’m here. But instead I stay where I am and stare up at the moon as well. And for the briefest instant, it almost feels like we’re together again.”
You have always known my love for the moon. That just might be the reason you woke me tonight, to remind me I am missed, to invite me back. I see a shadow pacing the room. I can hear the endless banter. I can feel the fluffy dreams flowing, laughter ringing, tears pouring, the maddening urge to get out, be free. The shadow that lurks here tonight looks vaguely familiar. It tries to gesture towards the window and as I approach it, I see the moon, from the very same spot, and the realization dawns on me. I was free indeed, to live, to love, to dream. I saw the moon, but I failed to see the stars.
And I laugh. For now I live, but it wears me out. I love, but it hurts. I dream, only with my eyes closed.
I close my eyes. The shadow seems to disappear. The mattress no longer feels hard. I hear the clock ticking. I smile. It was all a dream. I have a test tomorrow and I tell myself the moon can no longer distract me. Dreams start to lose their way within the rustle of papers as I prepare myself for life.