She sank deeper into the plush leather sofa, allowing it’s hand to support her weight, take in all her burdens and offer them to the ether. She recounted the past couple of weeks and sank a little deeper.
Wandering through the nursing home, she peered to the left, noting the resident’s room. In an explosion of colour, she saw small faces, happy children in a frozen smile to last the ages. As she walked on, she noted the room to her right and saw a shrivelled shell of lady, surrounded by four family members, each of them, eyes resting lovingly on their beloved as she survived the days.
On she walked til she reached her grandfather’s room. She placed the fresh peonies in a vase beside his bed, pushing her lonesome Get Well card to the far end of the table. Doing so, she rearranged them so they could see the view from the barred, fourth floor window, perhaps lean a little to the peeking sunlight. Turning to her grandfather, she took his hand and locked eyes with him. Pushing a stray length of hair behind her ear, she learned forward and smiled a warm, yet toothy grin. From behind his thick rimmed lenses, a pair of glassy eyes looked beyond her and asked; “Who are you?”
Sitting in the senior common room, this girl sacrificed her study period; a mountain of work would have to wait, impatiently in her locker, while she attended to more important issues. She held the hand of her friend, occasionally rubbing it for emotional support. Her friend’s tears lined down her cheeks, making her foundation run, showing the world her true skin colour, freckles and all. As the girl comforted her friend, she nodded, listened and absorbed the woes of this girl, looking past her flaws to see the strength of the woman within. She offered advice and consoled this girl, so that this girl, who was a stranger to her own life, became known and felt loved.
She sat alone. And thought of her grandfather. And thought of the friend who was now fending for herself in the wide world beyond closed doors. Knowing that she was at breaking point, she found it hard to focus on her own things, hard to focus on the little areas of work that were not allowed to be compromised, but were. She offered a little prayer to the ether, addressing the Lord directly, for He was the only constant in this world of madness.
“…God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”
… hate being told to smile… weak… can’t even deal with my own problems… prefer to handle other peoples issues, I see a light at the end of the tunnel for theirs… hate having to put on a face to meet the faces you meet… they don’t even know I’m hurting… what if pain on the outside, other peoples’ pain, what if that if the only way to distract me?… weak…
“…Grant me the courage to change the things that I can…”
…I see a problem, I change it… help me to find a way to solve everybody’s problems…they might enlighten me as to how to solve mine… can’t believe I need distracting… it’s hard to function is I don’t have something to distract me…an unsolved problem eats at my soul…weak…
“…The wisdom to know the difference…”
…I need to unpack the backpack…look at my issues…if you can’t solve your own problems, how can you look at other people’s?…
A boy in her Religion class leaned back. “Psst, hey, what did you get for Question C?”
A haze of white noise crackled in the background, intensifying solidly. She sighed. She passed the paper, but her classmate grimaced. “This. Has. Nothing. It’s a blank piece of paper.”
She looked at the paper, then back at the boy, who moved his attentions to the next girl along. Silently, she deliberated about how she could do that. She’d just given him a blank piece of paper and the guy moved on. Easy as that. The white noise lifted and the world was clearer to her ears. She didn’t need to extend herself, put life on the life for others, she could merely say no.