Posted in Stories and Poems

Night

I watch as the light leaves the sky. The clouds that were tinted with an orange and pink glow not moments ago become dull and bleak, hanging in the air, looking sad, as if the light has taken away the joy with which they had cherished the beauty of the day. And as I look up at them, it is almost as if I am looking at melancholy hanging above my head, hardly visible, but there. As the orange glow fades, so does the strength to enjoy what we have now. It’s almost as if the light has taken away the warmth from the world, drenching me in coldness, gripping my heart like steel. A hollow emptiness washes over me as I realise what I hadn’t valued when I should’ve. The darkness reminds me just how much it meant to see the world radiant and colourful. Now, it’s almost as if the power to live has been sucked from the world, leaving it cold and dreary.

As night washes over the world, so does the end of a glorious day. It’s the same day really, yet so different. So cold! As the night wears on, fear settles over me. Fear of the dark, fear of being alone, fear of the unknown. Slowly, the wind whistles and howls, chilling my bones. The night is beautiful in a cruel way. It is a reminder that all good things come to an end. A reminder that nothing is permanent, that no matter what, at some point, you will be standing in front of your fear, facing it. Fight or flight? The choice is yours.

The world is devoid of color now. And the darkness that falls on it is mysterious. It’s strange when at the beginning of the day, I feel like a whole day lies ahead, that there is so much time and yet when I look back on it now, it’s almost as if there is no time in the world. They say ghosts don’t exist. Why then, is that simple figure, casting an eerie shadow on the ground? Ghosts don’t exist, right? What then, is the meaning of this uncanny fear that always seems to come over me as the world goes dark? A fear of spectral looking silhouettes of good men. And if ghosts don’t exist, why then, does the wind wail and the birds fly home? Due to fear? Of what? Why do we sleep at night and not in the day? And why do we not go out alone in the dark? There’s also a reason why people believe ghosts and spirits appear in the night. If not, why then are we are afraid of the dark of the night and yet we are not afraid of being alone in a dark room during the day?

It’s creepy how the roads in front of my home that I love to stroll on can appear so dangerous beneath the night sky. It’s unnerving that the cool breeze that always takes away my heat during the day can suddenly make me shiver. It’s strange how the change from day to night can take away my carelessness and confidence and replace it with a lack of knowledge and expose all my fears in front of me, blotting my vision, making my brain receive negative thoughts. It’s scary the way night can expose all the brutality of the world.

But then, very slowly yet steadily, appears a hope in the gloom. A new light, different from the sun, yet powerful can be seen making its way into the night and I can feel my fears slightly loosen their grip on me. The clouds glisten and the blackness becomes less severe as the moon appears in the dark night, bringing with it a lovely feeling of hope that all is not yet lost. All is never lost! There is always that one ray of sunshine that can be found in any dark time. Slowly, tiny specks of light brighten the sky further as one, two, five and then an endless number of stars appear in my visibility lines. The clouds seem to change shape constantly as if their happiness at a new light is making them bubble with excitement, filling them with bliss and making them feel alive again.

As I watch, the street lamps sputter to life and the feeling of darkness seems to fade. Almost as if sensing my pleasure, it stops! It doesn’t leave, it goes far away yet it lingers, almost as if to let us know that in all the joy in the world, there is one tiny space in which something dark is enclosed. It’s not really gone, it stays there, waiting to be exposed and acknowledged so that it can engulf you. In all the light, there is still a hole,a tiny one, yet it is there, and its mere presence brings terror. In all the light, there is still some dark.

Yet there is hope and promise of the day ahead, that if it is dark today, it will be light tomorrow. And that’s the hope I hold on to. That’s the hope that fills me with a thought: It will all end soon. A new day will arrive just as it always does and the world will be filled with joy again. And for once, I do not fear the cold. I open my arms, inviting it, breathing in the cold, night air. The cold presses into me until it doesn’t feel like cold anymore. It feels like a part of me now! Something I have to accept rather than deny. And since I know it will all end soon, I allow the cold to affect me as much as it can until it affects me no more. Until the weight of my fears lifts itself a little from my shoulders and I feel free of a heavy burden, a burden which I knew I had carried all along but never really cared to get rid of.

They are not gone forever, my fears. Tonight I feel calm, but there is no promise of tomorrow. Nothing is permanent, no change, no happiness. My fears are still there, embedded deep inside my heart, and they will remain there for some time. For now, I live in this moment.

Until today, I had been running away from my fear, trying to deny reality itself. But now, as I stood in front of it, allowing it to greet me, fear had lost its severity until it hardly remained a fear. It had been buried in my heart and it would affect me if it comes loose, but I won’t allow it to spoil my mood today. Today, I had greeted night with open arms, like a friend. My heart leapt at the thought of the next day as I finally decided to accept night the way it was. This isn’t the end of the day, neither is it the end of the night. It’s not even the end of my fears yet it isn’t the end of me. This isn’t the end of anything. After all, the end never comes at the end of the day.

~Nehal


Pictures taken from Google.

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