The sky turned on the lights....

Last Updated 28 January 2010, 11:20 IST

Darkness began its surreptitious exit from the almost-morning sky, as the sky turned on the lights and slipped off the covers one by one, painting itself with multi-hued streaks.

She stared unseeingly at the glow in the dark stars that were stuck to the ceiling, whose faint outlines seemed to merge with the creamy white ceiling, giving the impression of bright green polka dots against a white background.
The events of the previous day seemed to have imprisoned her mind, try as she could to free herself from the shackles of those memories which had clasped themselves tightly around her, forcing her to think only of them.
So she lay in bed, unable to shake off those images that had etched themselves into her memory, allowing them to flood her mind.

The well rehearsed speech that she had prepared, the constant checking of the draft so as to not miss anything, the extra time she had taken to polish her usually dust-flecked shoes until they had shone, and the vibrant, gurgling stream of happiness that had gushed through her merrily, untouched by fear or nervousness, were memories that stood out vividly amongst other jumbled images.
She had been poised and self-assured until she was on stage, staring and being stared at by a multitude of bored and restless students.
And that was when the first trickle of nervousness began to seep into the stream that had until then filled her with reckless, undaunted fearlessness.
She tried not to show how nervous she was, and had smiled brightly; pretending to exude confidence .She began her speech.
It went on quite well until she could suddenly feel hundred of eyes and ears fixed on her.
She faltered.
That was enough to titillate the audience.
She suddenly didn’t know what to say .She repeated a line from her speech over and over, trying to think of what to say next, and the audience, who were by now jeering at her openly, began to repeat what she was saying in unison with her, not realizing that they were hurting her, making her wish that she could disappear.
She tried to speak, but no words would leave her mouth. She left the stage; her head throbbing with shame and the mocking sniggers and whispers of the audience playing themselves in loop.
he cried. People told her how sorry they were for her and that she mustn’t cry, because crying wouldn’t make things any better, but she knew that they did not understand. She despised herself for even wanting to give a speech, for being nervous when she wasn’t supposed to, for being so vulnerable to the sniggers of the audience, for crying in front of so many people
And there she was now, the tears of her mortification wetting her cheeks yet again as she lay in bed, staring at the morning sky from the window near her bed.
The sky was no longer streaked with crimson and purple. Wispy clouds floated nonchalantly in the crisp blue sky and the sun, partially obscured by a particularly large cloud nevertheless shone brightly and exuberantly, flooding the world with its radiance.
She spent a few moments thinking of how horrid and humiliated she felt.
The loud, unexpected honking of a car, probably a Ford, was what brought her back to Earth.
A few moments ago, darkness had covered the world, but had gradually given way to a new morning. The darkness had moved on to another part of the world, just like she would have to move on.
What had happened to her yesterday would forever remain a part of her, but they were a part of the past and couldn’t control her. She would just have to let go of those dreadful memories.
After a few more moments of rare introspection , she decided to let go of the past , to let go of those memories that she had until now been unable to shake off, and she got out of bed, ready to begin another new, eventful day.

Malvika Parthasarathy
Cluny Convent High School

(Published 28 January 2010, 11:20 IST)

Follow us on