I look around, I see nobody. I shout out loud, I say to myself: Everything is okay. Yet, somewhere I know it isn’t. It isn’t okay, it isn’t okay when eerie notes strike you in the heart, when music teleports you into another dimension deep inside you.

I open my eyes, expecting the normal world around me, but no, pitch darkness everywhere. I cannot see the end of the room, all hell breaks loose. A new voice breaks out of nowhere, I shudder. I turn around to see my reflection on an old mirror. You ask about the mirror’s existence in that room? Yes, it was totally oblivious to me. The only worry is that my reflection is not only a reflection, it speaks.

She: Welcome to this world.

Me: (A gulp down my throat) Wait, why are you speaking to me? How is this possible? What the hell is even happening?

She: (An evil laugh echoes all around) When the unseen is seen, this happens. When the untold is told, this happens.

The smirk on her face kept saying that this isn’t leading me anywhere.

Light rays start shining from every direction. I am blinded. Dumbfounded, I crawl about, mindlessly shielding myself from it, yet it’s of no use. She snaps her fingers, and the light is gone. Back to darkness again.

I fall onto my knees, I breakdown, I beg for release.

She: You still didn’t get it, did you? I am the one you were hiding within you, the one you never wanted to lose to. The one whom you despised being with, the one who crawls into your dreams in the darkest of hours. The one whose existence you have denied all the while. I am your deepest fears, I appear before you in the coldest of hours.

Me: (voice quivers) You? It’s you again! Why do you come to me in these innumerable forms and torture my life out of reality? Fear is irrational. Fear is not going to fuel me up in those difficult times. Fear is not going to give me a vision to my dreams.

Fear will destroy my optimism. Fear will kill the strength in me, the strength to go on and on. Fear will make me take a step backward, when the rest have aced their race towards success. Fear will make me doubt myself, kill my potentials. I have told you a million times, will tell a million times more, I will keep telling you that you cannot deviate my path away from truth, the truth is that you do not exist!

She: Oh, you poor soul? You really do not like defeat, don’t you? You have told yourself this a million times already. But, think about it. Is there a single time all this crap was ever true?

Remember the time your friend betrayed you, stabbed you in the back for a reason still unknown? Remember the time you couldn’t face the stage?

Remember those unexplainable insecurities you face everyday?

Remember the countless times you cried alone, all alone, thinking that nobody understands you?

Remember the time your family declared that you weren’t good enough?

Remember all those internal struggles within you? Trying to choose from the good and bad?

Remember the time you lost the force in you? You have lost the driving force to success, the very reason for your capabilities and strength. Oh yes, you have lost him now.

What will ever become of you?

Come, embrace my world, let me win for once and I will conquer the strength in you. Just once would be more than enough, ’cause then it’s a chain reaction, you can never be the same ‘you’ again.

Accept that there’s no hope, you woman! All these fancy words, ‘Strength’, ‘Faith’, ‘Love’, ‘Care’, they mean nothing. Let me conquer you for once, you will thrive in my world.

Me: (in a dazed voice) I think she is right, I think there is no meaning to these words. I think that battle must come to an end now.

Her smirk widens. She is on a winning streak.

I almost give up. I bend over, I am about to surrender, but an image flickers in my heart.

An image of me walking around holding the little finger of my father.

An image of me trying to speak my first words.

An image of me trying to learn how to use a spoon.

My first horrible painting, my first disappointment.

My first time falling off that cycle. My first time at acing that test.

My first time trying to act dead, relieved when mother was worried about me, I was convinced that she cared for me.

My first time writing my heart out, saying, “Nobody Cares”.

I made it through all of this. I made it through, and I’m all well and good.

I ask myself, one more time. It’s going to be all over, just one more time.

Put up a straight face, go ahead, face her.

The existence of the rock nearby is also unknown, but it’s right there, within my reach.

I slash the mirror, left and right. I kill my fears, but I know it’s only temporary.

I break away from the hellhole. I wake up. I open my eyes.

There is temporary peace, but a battle is still raging deep within.

On the surface I might have convinced myself to walk that extra mile.

The battle is to be won, won with love.

– Tarunya Rao

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