This is a short piece I wrote for one of my characters.
I am a child, a sister, an aunt and a girlfriend.
I wish I could say that there was more to me, but at the moment there isn’t; I’m a nobody.
I just exist.
I never thought that life would get me here. I was always an over achiever. Always the one that thought they would be something, be somebody. I was once voted the one most likely to go on to own her own business. But of course, there is no business. There is nothing. Nothing at all.
When I was at school people were jealous of me. They used to hate because I was the pretty one and the smart one. They couldn’t understand why I could have both things.
Girls would pull at my hair saying that it was weave. They couldn’t believe that an African could have such long hair. It wasn’t right. I was supposed to be like a bush baby with short picky hair.
Every day I would go home and cry to my mum that I wanted to cut it off. I remember one time, I took scissors to it and tried to cut a chunk off. My mum beat me so hard that I never did it again.
I went through torture. Friends dropped away like leaves on a tree. I always felt like less of a person and my confidence took a deep nose dive.
Then one day last year I was like fuck it. I took the kitchen scissors and hacked it all off. I felt so free as I saw the tendrils fall to the ground. I was the one in control and no one could tell me otherwise. I was not my hair.
Afterwards I looked in the bathroom mirror and took in what I had done. I cried for hours and hours. My beautiful long locks, my crown and glory had gone. The hair that my mum had woven many a story into was gone. I was an unknown stranger.
I lay on that bathroom floor for what felt like an eternity, believing that I would never get up again.
But I did, I picked myself up and went on living. I went straight to a hairdresser and shaved the rest of my hair off. I rocked this new identity with pride.
So, I know I can do it again. I know I can pick myself up. But how? How do I become a person again? I feel lower than low. Like I’m stuck at the bottom of a pit with no way out. No stairs or ridges that I can hold onto.
It’s been more than 2 years. I’m stuck in this slump, under this mountain of nothingness. Every day is the same. I get up, I brush my teeth, make myself breakfast, then I go back to bed and I lay down. I lay down for hours, watching mindless numbing shit on television. I want to live! I’m only 25! I should be having life experiences but instead I’m here.
When I left that office job, that was killing my soul I never thought that I would get to this place. I thought that nothing could be worse than what I was doing. Answering calls from mind numbing people, complaining about mind numbing things. Being dictated by a totalitarian management.
Days would roll into one and I became a mindless drone. The smile that radiated on my face, soon became a permanent frown. I stopped caring, and that reflected in how I spoke to people.
I stopped wearing makeup and my uniform consisted of long slouchy tops and leggings. I dreamed of escaping. Dreams of hot countries, blue seas and fun excursions plagued my head; until one day I found myself typing up my resignation letter. 30 days became, 20, then 12, then 3 and then it was my final day.
Though I had really hated it, at my leaving party I cried, I couldn’t hold back the emotions and the tears kept falling. I didn’t know if these were tears of joy of regret but all I knew was that I would never be going back to that hell.
I thought that I would be free, but anxiety crept into me and after a few days of not working I became scared of what would be next. I tried to quieten down these fears and booked a few trips away with the money that I had saved up. I explored Europe. Went to countries that my parents had never allowed me to go to in school.
But this would not silence these fears and as soon as I came back I got straight onto the job hunt. It has been 2 years and I’m still here. Waking up every morning. But am I really even awake?