The word reverbs. Why did you say it? Where are you now? This is getting confusing. His story has triggered something inside you. The headaches are coming back. What is this feeling, this sensation? It has been a long time. Or has it. You are mumbling again. Your hands are trembling. You look up; there has to be a roof. Why is there no roof in this restaurant? This is odd, yet so familiar. Your hands are trembling. Your vision is getting blurred. Is it too blurred to even see him, sitting in front of you, smiling. He had just opened up his heart to you. Can a simple incident like this shape someone’s entire life?
“Focus.” you tell yourself.
He is still smiling. You think about the days long gone by. You try to remember school. You go backward from this moment. You were living a rockstar like life. You were world famous. You were rich, popular; you were everything people said about you when you were little. You were not normal. Not normal as the average human being. You lived an extraordinary, vibrant life. You were just going to leave for that big trip. Before that, you had gone to capture the northern lights in your camera. A month before, your article and photos were published in ‘Condé Nast‘ and the month before that in another such magazine. You had so many friends. You had everything in your life.
But if you had everything in your life, then why is it that you can not remember now how you started? Why can’t you remember anything after school got over? Your headache is strong this time. Befuddled, you lift your hands to put them over your eyes. Why are you wearing spectacles? You never wore spectacles in your life. He wears them. You are looking down all of a sudden. You look in front, he is not there anymore. The veins on the side of your forehead are throbbing. This is getting unbearable.
“I am the best! I am above everyone. I am perfection.” you whisper to yourself. You have always said this to yourself whenever you were in doubt. Whenever you were in a pinch, the magic words were always there to rescue you. But you never needed to be rescued in the first place! You are too strong, too confident, too bright.
Everything fades away in a blink of the eye. Your hands are trembling. The walls around are crumbling.
Where are you?
Who are you?
There is a strange warmth that seeps from your lower back, along your backbone, and makes the hair on your neck stand straight. You are more than disoriented.
“Where is he now?” you ask yourself. There is no he.
“Who are you then?” a voice asks you. You have no answer to the question. Maybe you do. Maybe the answer is too difficult for you to voice. Maybe the realization is a burden you do not want to carry. Maybe you just do not want to accept. Maybe the truth is something best left for another day.
You know it now. You had always known. Dreams are awful things. Delusions are the better option.
The restaurant, the lifestyle, the man sitting in front of you, the search for anything beyond normalcy, everything is getting blurred.
It is better to be partially blind than to be born with the ability to see everything.
You smile and fall down. You keep falling for a long time, then hit the ground. It doesn’t hurt because the fall, the ground, even you; nothing is real. Nothing ever was.
“Who are you?” the voice asks again.
“I am a wallflower.” you answer in a state of daze.
And then, you close your eyes, again.