Photograph Credit: Patrick Gonzales
Loneliness has been chasing me for a while now. I’ve always tried to avoid it, but enough is enough. I finally decided to confront it. I looked for it for days, but I think it knew that I wasn’t afraid of it anymore, so it tried to hide from me to then taunt me when I least expect it.
After days of looking, I finally found it standing on a boat, floating on a foggy sea of grass. By this point my world had turned black and white, I wasn’t sure when it started loosing colour. Perhaps, unconsciously, long before I decided to confront Loneliness.
As I was approaching it, the fog grew colder and thicker, blanketing me. I pulled my scarf tighter, my gloved-fingers trembling- I was unsure whether the cold or Loneliness that caused this physical reaction. Regardless. I had to do this.
I called Loneliness by its name. It slowly turned towards me. Its pale face almost white like death. I heard that they were very close friends. I am not scared of you anymore, I told it. It snickered at me, I could almost taste the acid on its cold grin. The fog grew colder.
I am not scared of you anymore, I repeated.
It stared back at me. Cold, icy, blank, piercing stare. I repeated my statement, trying to crush any vestiges of doubt from my voice. I started to see cracks creeping up its face, black and hairline-thin at first. Loneliness hissed at me.
Go away, I said. I am not scared of you anymore.
The cracks started to appear more visible, and it’s skin peeled, like some cheap dry paint that had been abandoned for centuries. Loneliness was still smirking, and hissing. I felt the fog circling around us like hungry sharks, its teeth sharp and ready to devour. I stared at Loneliness right in its eyes. The fog floated away from me towards Loneliness. It became thicker and fiercer, its teeth more visible. It devoured Loneliness with a thunderous sound. From in between the transparencies of the fog, for a split second I can still see Loneliness smirking, and then it was gone.
When the fog lifted, the boat was all alone on the sea of grass, and Loneliness was nowhere to be found.