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Tranquillity in Melancholy

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Image courtesy of: Cheri Lucas Rowlands – The Daily Post

The temptation to let himself sink into the cold abyss of the waters below grew stronger the longer he bobbed over the swaying waves. It wasn’t that he didn’t value his life, rather, it was the idea of living with the hollow chasm in his chest that pulled him down, a chasm that painted his world in shades of melancholy and depression. The problem was in the fact that he could pinpoint  exactly where the feeling was coming from and although he tried to fill the emptiness with all kinds of activity, they all proved to be nothing more than distractions, distractions that couldn’t prevent the bursts of anger and sadness consuming his heart in the dark of night, when the bare pale ceiling hung above him like a weight, ready to crush his weakened soul. But lying there in the water, staring up at the blue emptiness above him…he could endure it all a bit more. The day ahead seemed to be looming over him, an avalanche of unwelcome emotion ready to bury him in the frigid darkness that defined his heart. Already he could hear the animated chatter and fits of laughter that continuously reminded him that he just didn’t fit in. Nails into the coffin for what he lacked was the ubiquitous emotion known as love. Not that he hated the emotion, nor the approaching event – rather it was the memory of the golden tresses that his fingers once slipped through that he always associated with the event; the soft thin lips, pink, pouting as they approached his own, eyes fluttering closed and that single skipped beat that suffused his chest with a deep warmth – a feeling inexplicable. So what then did he make of that cursed day? A memorial to a love lost, to the joy he can never reclaim? Or does it become a quest initiating epoch in search of requited love. He wasn’t sure but then again, in the warmth of the day and coolness of the waters and with the world around him awash in tranquillity, it was easy to just be.

Contemplative. That was what he was. A moment did not pass when he did not suffer the pang of regret nor the elation of delight as he contemplated his past. A particular moment had been surfacing during the course of his aimless drift along the waters, a conversation that had occurred beside him though he was not part of it. What he remembered most about that moment was that the golden tresses that he had so lovingly caressed, where now lying upon his chest and he could hear the steady breathing that emanated from slightly parted lips. His fingers had slipped through the silken hairs, and a mutter had escaped the parted lips, incoherent until he’d whispered against the soft ears,

“What?”

“I… can not…. love you.” the lips repeated, barely above a whisper but loud enough to dig daggers into his beating heart.

“You can not…love me?”

“Mhm…I cannot.” the tresses had swung slightly with the imperceptible shake of head.

“Why not?” he’d asked but the voice was silent, asleep.

Melancholic. That’s how he’d felt, the next morning as light filtered into the room in which they had fallen asleep, watching as fingers wiped fatigue from sleepy eyes before the grey orbs fell upon his own with inexpressive emptiness, as though his existence had no meaning. Echoes of an unspoken conversation swept through the chasm that once held his heart but he feigned a smile.

“Morning” He’d said.

“Good morning!” A reply and smile returned to him.

“Did you sleep well?”

“You make a great pillow so yes.”

“Are you calling me fat?” A playful slap across his arm and sweet laughter filled his ears, but they could not dampen the rising flood swelling up within him. Nonetheless he let it pass, he let the tranquillity wash over his emotions as he extended a hand out.

“We’ll get fat together with some breakfast.” He’d said playfully, hoping to illicit a different emotion within himself. As the hand clasped around his, he found that he couldn’t, and never would. Not while his heart was in chaos.

__________

In response to the daily writing challenge:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/prompt-sleep/

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About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African published author. He has short stories appearing in both international and local anthologies, and has published his first book, Beneath the Wax, which opens his three-part novella series "Wax". He is an avid reader, blogger and writer.

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