Emptiness, that’s all I’ve ever known. Loneliness is always lurking beside me, and even though I know the sun is up and shining, I still feel shivers all over my body. Afraid, alone, no place to belong. I used to think that is all I’ll ever feel, but then, someone stretches out a hand. It was so warm and kind, it chased all my fears away.
I can always leave the world behind as long as his hand is knotted to mine. Fireworks of flowers blossoming here and there, the ethereal azure sky reflecting on the pellucid waters.
People outside, wearing smiles and laughter, helping one another, and reaching for glory together. The sweet taste of the green freshness of the air as it passes by my skin.
And when the amiable full moon greets us as the cheerful sun waves goodbye, we are welcomed by a canopy of dazzling stars throughout the vastness of space. This place seems as if every wish can come true, yeah, I really love where he lives.
Everything is perfect. Everything is fine just the way it is.
Then why? Tell me why? Why is it falling apart? And him, the one who makes me hold on, is pushing me away? No, please don’t do this. Tell me it’s just my imagination.
I’ve never seen that look in his eyes before.
“what? I don’t understand.” I whispered.
With a gentle voice, he said
“This is the life you have been creating. This world is your imagination.”
“No, your lying. that’s not true.”
I fell on my knees, my vision getting blurry, I can feel cold drops of water raining down on my face. But when I look up, it wasn’t raining.
I wailed in disbelief, but deep inside me, I already knew. Shutting my eyes off from what I am always seeing, is it so wrong to stay? I want to stay, in this dream, like this for eternity. As I was crying, I felt a familiar warm hand gently patting my shoulders.
“You’re not real? This warm hand, the sky, everything in it, it’s all not real?
“It can be.” He replied with such an innocent smile. There were no lies hidden in his eyes. But that didn’t help me feel better at all.
“Then, how? If you’re so sure, tell me, how can I make it real? There’s just no way something as peaceful as this can exist back there!”
I shoved his hand away. I can’t control myself. At the top of my lungs, I shouted.
“I don’t wanna go back! I’m tired, so tired of seeing the same four gray corners every single day! Hearing empty promises, repeatedly singing songs that everything’s gonna be all right, even though the hymns of woes grow louder each day. You should know that! You of all people should know that!”
My voice is so hoarse from all my cries as I shout the imprisoned voice in my heart.
“If I wake up, I am but an empty shell whose sole companion is loneliness. As those new white sheets are being replaced beside me almost every day, so does my hope continues to dwindle! Please, I’m not ready.”
“No one is ever truly ready, not even me. But still, life is full of miracles waiting for you to discover.” He replied with a gentle smile on his face.
As he wiped the tears from my eyes, he confidently said
“You were meant to see it all. How can you make it real? Never close your eyes. Take your chance, seek your strength. I know if it’s you, you can find a way to reach the odds, and most important of all, believe, even embers still glow.”
The sky is cracking, and our surroundings start to blacken, this void is slowly consuming me, but he held my hand and continue to say:
“Those knights in white coats even if one by one they fall, those who are singing of hope and woes, and those who are suffering quietly, are all fighting not just to survive, but to live. Everyone is hoping, believing that soon, this battle will be won. You should too. Your dreams will eventually become a reality.”
As he said those kind words, he hugged me real tight with arms trembling as if saying don’t go. Even though my tears won’t stop falling and the world around us is fading, I feel at peace.
“Now, open your eyes, see and feel the world once more for me.”
With those words alone, I gained courage. As I was standing on the edge, he suddenly grabbed my hand, and a tear fell down his eye. “Don’t forget me,” he said with a sorrowful and hopeful tone.
“How can I? I know we will see each other again!”
We both chuckled as he starts to slip away.
I am now back in the real world. Nothing has changed. I am still lying down on my bed, unable to breathe without some help from a machine. Doctors and nurses, doing their daily errands wearing masks and exhaustion on their faces.
I can still hear the cries of families and friends as another one has passed on. People are praying and encouraging others. This battle is far from over, the future left unseen. With new hope and strength, gripping a picture at my hand, I won’t look away anymore and, I will embrace my reality. As I look ahead towards my dream.
Everyone is fighting and believing in a miracle, I will, too. I am ready. Are You?