Posted in Short stories

A Simple Life – part 1

You never know you actually have it in you, unless someone helps you figure it out. This is exactly what has happened to me. I will try to make this story as short as possible, because my life isn’t so interesting and it doesn’t need too many words.

I have reached the beautiful age of forty. My name is Alicia and I realized I have lived my life in the same routine for more than fifteen years. I have no kids, no husband and I somehow managed to lose most of my friends. My family isn’t close to me, because I’ve pushed them away. I’ve never had time for any of them and I skipped all the important moments, so they kept on “forgetting” to call me whenever something happened.

I can actually say I am a mess. I became a machine that works more than ten hours a day, trying to prove that my life is worth living. Running my own business made me think that I might actually start to feel more free and happy. But it didn’t. I am actually my own slave, because I am the first to arrive in the office and I am the last one to leave. My employees are treated as colleagues, so I do not get angry with them and I try to keep a very nice and calm atmosphere at the work place.

They go out frequently, they used to invite me along, but I kept on refusing so they stopped. They grew up as a strong team and I like that, but I am not part of it and I don’t think I’ll ever be.

I often hear them say ‘Maybe we should invite Alicia, maybe she will say yes this time.’ And then someone says ‘You know she won’t and she will just make that funny face saying she has other plans; don’t bother her.’

Sometimes comments like that do hurt, but I try to put them on a very high shelf in my mind and I never go back to them. Well, sometimes I do, just to prove to myself that I’ve chosen the right path and that I can live on my own, without anyone’s help or advice.

In my spare time I read books, trying to relate to some of the characters, picturing myself to be a courageous warrior or a fearless princess, but as I reach the end of the book, I realize that I will never be that, because all they fight for and all they believe in is love. They search for love in the entire story, sometimes in more than 500 pages, the main character searches for someone to spend his or her life with. It is ridiculous: a true love story that can change your life into a fairy tale, who believes in something like that? I surely don’t. I have had relationships, but as soon as I didn’t relate to the person standing next to me I stopped seeing them. I do not believe in compromise and I don’t really understand people that try to make a living with someone they don’t even respect. That’s how they start cheating and doing all sort of things they eventually end up regretting. It is a vicious circle so I try to stay out of it, because I don’t think there is a person out there that can “complete” me or make me feel like I’ve found my other half. Who made that up? You are born as a human being with two legs, two arms and everything you need in order to function perfectly on your own. If the world would have been designed in a different way, we would have had just one hand, one leg, maybe a heart, but no lungs, and someone else would have had them and they would have been the perfect match. That for me, is something extremely logic. But no one mentions that, because the media, all the other ways of advertising and all the news just show us that everything evolves and gravitates around this “love” notion.

Even the thought of having a child with someone makes me doubt all these feelings of affection. That poor child will have to “complete” someone in their future life and they will have to make up for all the wrongs their parents did. How sick is that?

Anyway, I know I have a lot of anger and frustration gathered in my system. It is just because I feel like I’m trapped in a world that clearly doesn’t belong to me anymore. I am just a small wheel, working for the better future of some people and for a good financial statement at the end of a fiscal year. This is somehow the short story of my miserable life.

Now, if I think about it, it all started in my childhood. My parents made me go to a school I didn’t really like. They believed that I can do better than they did and that I can become someone, maybe a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. Neither of that happened, because I’m a real estate agent, running a successful business. On the other hand, another influential figure in my life was my father’s mother. She was always there and she was a tyrant. I can’t forget one of my birthdays when she gave me a colouring book and some crayons. I believe I was four and I started using some of the colours and the sky ended up purple and the clouds were somehow a light red. Imagine the panic that was created in her mind. She had really strict rules about how everything should be and she didn’t accept any other way, she just had black and white for everything, no grey shades.

‘This child is a mess, how come she made the sky and clouds like that, using those colours? Will anyone take care of this infant and explain how things should be done? It is ridiculous, she is four now and she doesn’t know how to use proper shades?’

I can just hear her angry voice and I can even see her wrinkled forehead and her almost red eyes gazing at me. I was so afraid of her. From that moment on I always doubted myself and I never surpassed that. Her powerful voice has made me rethink every decision I ever made and I tried to be a better person and try to work as hard as I could because I believed that even from her grave she could come and tell me I’m not doing things right. I could picture her lips frowning while she would start speaking to me. I can truly say that fear has led me to do a lot of the things that I’ve done in my life. I am not comfortable admitting this, but it is about time I face my demons.

The part of my life I want to share is the moment I realized I was going on the wrong track. Normally a person won’t describe a dull boring day at the office, or the road to the office, unless something would happen. Something that would interrupt the usual routine and bring a bit of drama to the day, like a car accident, or a strike, or something major that would stop everyone from what they were previously doing. This wouldn’t just stop everything, but it would make everyone re-think their priorities, it is like a small shaking moment that is meant to change you in the blink of an eye.

This is exactly what has happened to me and this is how I got to the point of starting to write this diary about my life changing event.

After the entire trauma I had and all the fear and disappointment that occurred in my life, I was ready to face any kind of reaction or behaviour, from every single person surrounding me.

I can’t say I had enough of happy times, because by the time I realized I had them they were long gone. Along with this, I can’t say I had enough of bitter times because I didn’t quite learn my lesson from them and I kept on repeating the same mistakes all over again. Crazy how life can measure things and make you try and reorganize everything.

Now, a normal day for me would start like this: five past seven in the morning. I turn off the alarm and I feel my numb body trying to start living again. The smell of fresh linen still comforts my nostrils, the softness of my pillow keeps my head protected from all the stress that is about to come and everything just welcomes me back to the land where everything is possible. My brain has travelled around the world, has visited places no one has ever seen and all this has happened here, in my own safe zone, in my nest.

I barely make it out of bed, as I finally decide to take a shower and get ready for work. I just wish I could linger in bed for a little longer, just so I can get my strength back and start fresh. I just wish I was ten years old again; everything was way much easier then. As I look in the mirror I see all the small lines outlining my once very young and wild green eyes. My lips seem to have lost their will to smile and charm everyone; even my hair seems to have lost its shine.

And believe me; this happens every day, 6 days a week. Sunday is a dead day for me, because I always feel lost and without any control. So I try to keep things simple. I watch a movie at home, order some pizza and just lay low.

My kitchen waits for the smell of coffee to invade it, so I turn on the kettle to boil some water while I shower in a hurry. The sounds coming from the real world make me realize that out there everyone has already started their routine, so I better shape up and join otherwise things will happen without me. The shower wakes me up completely and with my towel wrapped around my body I go and get my drug ready. Coffee has been my ally since I first discovered caffeine, when I was extremely young. It has never let me down and I know it never will, it is simply the best partner to start a great day with.

I seriously don’t know what I would do without coffee. As I sit at the table and go through all my work e-mails I decide I need to change something. I seriously need to get out of the monster that keeps me locked and I should try and do more for me.

‘I will take the bus today!’ I suddenly hear myself saying. So I get dressed, put on some make-up and get ready to embrace the world with new powers.

I haven’t used public transportation for quite some time, so I check the internet to see which route would take me to work and how long will it take to do that. I am quite proud of myself and I go out with a very positive attitude, an attitude I haven’t had in many years.

Walking on the streets at such early hours brings back memories from childhood, from the moments I went to school. Everyone is rushing to get to their own prison, where they would gladly spend eight or more hours working. It is a bit weird to hear all the noises coming from the cars in traffic, but it is also strange that there aren’t so many, as during the rush hour. It is like there are less people going to work than there are during lunch time or at 5 o’clock when everyone is going home.

A lot of thoughts come to my mind and I think about travelling somewhere or going to see something I haven’t seen before. The bus arrives and I pay the fare and get on board. It is pretty crowded and I couldn’t find a seat so I just stand near the door and examine every person.

If you think about it, everyone has a story to tell. Each person on this planet is different and has something to teach us, or show us. The only thing that keeps us apart is the fact that we actually do not communicate much with each other.

 

To be continued, soon!

 

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