Had she changed so much? How had she changed so much, so soon? Why had this sudden unwelcome change visited her perfect life and turned her world upside down, in an instant? Why had she changed more than others, more than her friends? Why had she changed so rapidly, with such intensity, to such a great degree that it was, at once, difficult to say she was the same one who lived three years back? No one liked this change in her. Why, then, had she not been able to drive this change away? Had she grown to like it? No, of course not. Had she gotten used to it? Perhaps. But this change wasn’t good. It was bad, very bad. All bad things go away. Why hadn’t this change left too? Aren’t three years a little too long for a bad thing to stay? To her, they had been an eternity. An upheaval. An entirely different world. Will this change stay long, longer still? How long will it stay? Had it to suck more meaning, usefulness out of her already limp life? When will it go, desert her? When will the old-worldly tranquility fill her life again? Why isn’t anything making the change go? Will it go back as suddenly as it arrived, or will she be back in a slow rhythm, as if recovering from a terrible disease? How will it mark its end? Will it ever end? Or, she thought, had it become the new constant in her life now?
This change was suffocating her, killing her spirit to live, marring her wishes to wish and dreams to dream more. It had built a wall around her, through with no emotion of self-righteousness, no lucky stroke of inspiration and no firm thought of determination could seep in. She plunged into the confusing whirlpool of her mixed-up thoughts. How had this change happened? Had she facilitated this change? Had she helped raise that seemingly unbreakable wall of ever undesirable complacency, those stagnating thoughts of prolonged inactivity? Has it all happened by chance, just like that? Or was she destined for this confused existence? Was she, or was she not? Why had she been blessed with those wonderful early years of life? She had been brilliant. A brilliant student, brilliant daughter, brilliant sister, brilliant friend. Why these stokes of incomparable brilliance? Were they only to become a happy memory in these dark, uneventful times? Is this undesirable change really her destiny? No, it could not be…no. She clutched at this thought with the desperation of a drowning man. No, all those years could not just be a memory, they had meant something…
She longed to live those years of never-ending happiness again. So deep, so intense, a longing. Why then, was it not making her drive away this change? Perhaps, her longing was not strong enough. But why wasn’t it strong enough? How could she make it strong enough? By being honest? By being truthful? By being determined? She breathed out a tired, exhausted sigh. Honesty…truthfulness…determination, she repeated in her mind. Several times, in a sort of dreary litany. Honesty…truthfulness…determination. Where could she find them? Within her, of course. But were they still there, within her heart? In a lonesome corner, perhaps. Was she sure they were still there? If they were, why hadn’t they shown themselves? Had they left? She trembled. Apparently, yes. Why had they left? Where had they gone to? What had caused them to part with her? She pondered for a moment. The change? Did they fear the change? Did she fear change herself? What was it that she feared about that undesirable change? Did she fear fighting the change? Why? What more could the change do to her? It had already done so much harm, made her so much miserable. What more could it do? Could it do more? A chill ran down her spine, her thoughts became desperate. Was there no way of making this change go? Could she ever make it go? What if she stopped fearing it? What if she decided to fight? Would she? Could she?
Her eyes widened. She stared back at her own reflection in disbelief.
She could have sworn she saw it, a little twinkle in her eye.
For the first time in three years, she felt purposefully excited, aroused.
She felt something stir inside her.
A change, perhaps.
By Esha Sood