Prologue

You settle in on your side of the bed and your side of life. Living life a book by the night, seeking solace in the idea of knowledge that you will never get to use. Then again in the morning, you gulp down the work with your coffee. Sissiphian lifestyle isn’t a burden anymore because you’ve come to terms with your limits and you have this smile on your face, never needing to aim any higher, because what has getting higher done to anyone other than scattered minds and clouded thoughts. Life won’t get better after a PhD, you can’t outrun your existence. Living for tomorrow and then the day after, thinking of what better coffees you can have and what book you can order next? Worrying about things that are out of your control is overrated. “Potential” is a trap word meant to trap in the belief that having better titles means that you can change; There is no change coming, just incremental improvements in life that makes you feel like you’ve progressed.

Chapter 1.

Names hardly matter and names specially don’t matter to someone who’s trying to run away from their past. Humans however, seem not to comprehend a lot without names, so for the sake of convenience, the story I’m telling you today is of Alice. Alice, someone who’s been running for so long, from her parents and her past that she can barely try to remember her past without flinching. Alice, a girl who kept following everything she can that kept her falling deeper and deeper into the RabbitHole that she is in now. I wish I could save her, I wish I could stretch my arms to pull her out of this misery. I can’t though, the nature of my work forbids me from interaction with humans no matter how compelling it is. Furthermore, I wonder how things would have turned it someone just asked her what was wrong, if someone tried helping her, maybe it could have prevented her end.

Her apartment smelled like mint, from the air diffuser she had gotten from the local medical. Her face glowing from the light from her laptop, and her tears had nowhere to go other than the keyboard. Not only that, but her hands frozen on the keys, as she types her message, a message she knows will never be received. A message which she will never get a reply to. She kept wishing, like every impulsive things she’s done in her life, she could have sent the message when he was alive. She could have told him what she thought when he was wrapped around in her arms and she kissed him on his forehead to tell him that she cares, she could have told him that one more thing.

The Loneliest souls never find solace in their tears, the pent-up emotions have no place to go, they just keep digging in and crushing you. She remembers when she got here, the first day of summer, and after the long day of unpacking she ordered a pizza. She can still, after all these years, taste the cheese, taste the burnt crust. She was so delighted pairing pizza with wine, slightly buzzed and unbelievably happy. She was finally out of there, she was finally away and had made a way for herself. She looked around, her place, her place where she could be anyone she wanted to. For years to come after that, she would wonder when was the last time she was truly happy, and keep going back to this day. Kept thinking about the burnt pizza and the aftertaste of wine on her tongue. Why did things have to go bad? Why couldn’t she just have happiness? She knew the reason of course, she had been a terrible person and a terrible friend and fate comes back to knock on the door to give everything back. You can’t be truly happy if the happiness comes at the cost of others, or at least that’s what she believed.

Glaring sun. Cracklings of my cigarettes. Seventeenth floor and me looking at the world. A cup of tea in my hand. Stains of tea spills on my shirt. A puff of the cigarettes. Lungs filled with relief. Dying slowly never felt so enticing. She typed as the tears kept flowing.

Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is a thing with feathers”

Hope is everything I’ve got to escape this wild mess, hope is the only thing I have that keeps pushing me forward, trying to live another day.

Choosing happiness at the moment opened up a pandoras box of demons for me, but how could I have stayed when I could see the city burning? But how could I have not looked because it was my city that was burning? Now I have turned into a pillar of salt. The volcano dust has settled down, and I am just a stone frozen in time, frozen in my misery. Not sure if I am telling the story of Sodom or Pompeii or my treachery.

She finishes her unsent messages, closes her laptop, takes in a deep breath and prepares herself for what she is about to do. Her fingers tremor around the window as climbs the windowcil. She lights up one last cigarette, and looks up to the sky. Wonders how things could have been if she had made better choices, wonders who she could have been.

meow

Her train of thoughts is interrupted by a little cat meowing. The meow sounds just like her cats who had died three months ago and perplexed she looks down. The chirpy, broken meow, which was so distinctive to her cat, she couldn’t just let go of that and starts scanning the streets.

meow

The meow was closer, definitely not from the streets. Then she remembers how her cat used to sprint and climb on trees, reach high branch following a bird and get stuck. She looked at the trees on her right and there it was, a little tiny ginger cat, scared and begging for help. She goes down with her old cat carrier and a wodden stick.

“What a dumb fool!” She says to the cat, knowing that it won’t understand, but it was a dumb cat afterall. She ties the roap around the carrier’s handle and fastens it along the stick, she was used to doing this by now. She takes the stick closer to the cat, and the cat immediately climbs on top of the carrier.

“You were supposed to go inside the carrier, not on top of it you fool” she says but somehow manages to lower it so the cat could swiftly jump down. The cat comes closer to her and starts rubbing itself on her legs. She couldn’t stop herself, she said she wouldn’t get another cat, but looking at this tiny chirpy thing, her heart melts. She picks him up in her arms and whispers, “How would you like to be called Pascal?” The cat purrs and she takes that as a yes.