“And if you expect an introduction to this story, don’t. I’ve stopped introducing myself to people, because unlike before now they ask me questions I have no answers to. Life was all fairy tales and rainbows until reality walked in the open door and being among the uninvited, was also unexpected.
A year ago from now, I used to be a musician and Richard was my best friend, we both got along very well, except our views which clashed quite often, and if you’re wondering, they still do. “
“That’s all I have to say.”
The pen clicks, light flickers, and what smells like a hospital is a much cozier room with flowers , most probably daisies put into a beautiful vase near the window on a small table, the view is quite dull outside the full wall-sized window ; it had been boring for Lucy, this city, it’s people, the sky, rain, spring, summers and anything else, nothing could amuse her. But it wasn’t always like this and these minor changes in behavior needed its justification, be it to a psychiatrist.
“So you’re saying reality kicks in and then your life turns upside down, does that have anything to do with Richard? “
All she can focus on is how the psychiatrist says Richard, like it’s her friend, like all this is a setup, but unfortunately it was, a paid one.
“Richard has nothing to do with this, just like me he has his own story, I bet you do too”
“Of course I do” the psychiatrist replies in the sweetest of voice.
“Then why is it that I am answerable and you’re not”
“You can ask me anything you want as well”
Lucy feels a tone shift in her voice or maybe the psychiatrist didn’t have so much patience to deal with her.
“Okay so we have a deal, I’ll tell you what’s bothering me, and you have to tell me your story, ” Lucy says.
“Deal” the psychiatrist replies
“Okay, here’s how it goes…” she sighs and then there’s a slight pause
“I was into music ever since 2nd grade, it was like an inborn passion that runs through my veins, it gave me power and was like a reason that kept me alive, I didn’t know it was so important to me until my last year in college...”
Lucy coughs and tightens her grip on the arm of the wheelchair.
“I wanted to join Australia’s best music school, I wanted to be a guitarist, but unfortunately and unwillingly I became a part of an accident that transformed my life into the worst, I had suffered several spinal cord and brain injuries that have made me wheelchair bound, as you can see my right arm doesn’t work as well and this miserable state of mine has led me to an even worse state, I’m here saying all this out loud, to a stranger”
The psychiatrist knew she had to work hard to get Lucy to speak more, but she found it better to let her say as much as she wants.She simply nods her head, tries to focus on what Lucy has to say. Lucy adjusts the wheelchair with her left hand and pulls it closer to the table in between her and the psychiatrist.
“I guess it hurts the most when you don’t expect a certain thing to happen and it does.
My friend Sarah made it to The Elder Conservatorium of Music, we both used to keep talking about how we would spend our days there playing our favorite instruments, but fate wasn’t merciful to me, and so here I am, and there she is”
The psychiatrist still chooses silence over words, and maybe that was what Lucy wanted the most, to be heard by a complete stranger that will not bother speaking to anyone else about how Lucy was feeling.
“No words can describe what I felt that day, when I see all those people that were not even slightly as talented as I was, I question my fate. But it’s pointless because God doesn’t bother to answer or maybe even listen to what I have to say” Lucy says.
The psychiatrist finally decides to speak, those words that needed to be said, that needed to be heard.
“Life can be cruel sometimes, and I know this is not going to be easy, but you have to move on, you can still live your life to the fullest,” she says. Her accent is soothing, the kind you can tell is an Asian.
“What to do about guilt? about shame? about all those places my heart yearns to go once again, what to do about all those people that were once my friends and now they’re not because they achieved what I couldn’t, I will not say I’m jealous, I’m not, I just don’t want to see what I could have become in them ” Lucy speaks in a complaining tone, she had put the psychiatrist in a position where she had to give all the answers to her questions .
The psychiatrist puts down her pen and takes off her lab coat, comes closer to Lucy and says,
” You can achieve better things, don’t let guilt and shame overpower your potentials, do you understand? ”
“I can’t face myself anymore, I’ve failed and I can’t live with that !” Lucy says.
“Lucy, a human beings heart is the most powerful creation, it can live longer than anything else, it’s the mind that keeps looking in one direction, okay you’ve failed but know this, you must have failed a 100 times, there are people that don’t even try, they have to live with regrets and their past keeps walking along with them like a shadow, never leaving their side.”
Lucy looks out the window once again, the sky is blue and the birds are chirping, singing a song of love and joy, but what was her life all about anyways, aimlessly searching for something in herself that she had lost, and sooner or later one day she would have to sleep an eternal sleep, Lucy could not tell if that state of motionlessness which she once feared would be worse, or this.
“May I ask what your name is?” Lucy questions.
“Oh, my name is Priti” the psychiatrist replies
“So Priti, what is your story? “
“Actually, we’re not quite done with yours, but okay if you ask”
She sits back in her chair and looks towards her table.
“I always wanted to be an artist, and my parents knew that, but according to my family profession I had to choose medicine as my career, I know a lot of people would want to be where I am right now, but that’s not where I wanted to be”
Priti looks into Lucy’s eyes, they shared a common pain in a very uncommon way and maybe after one year Lucy felt like she was being understood, she then realized people who share similar pains tend to bond much better than anyone else.
“So you see Lucy, the people you call the winners might be the biggest losers to themselves because they could never stand up for their dreams they could never fight for what was rightfully theirs, at least you did that Lucy, at least you tried.”
Lucy feels her throat tighten and the words seem to break as they leave her mouth, she had been a failure to the world, but not to herself and now she knew that the guilt of burying away one’s dream was greater than the pain of living with it.
“Promise me, Lucy, you will live your days with no regrets, that you will talk to your friends and parents, that you will understand that you were the strongest of them all, that even if life has brought you to your knees, you still chose to live. ” Priti says.
Lucy can feel the warmth of her tear falling down her cheek, her tongue had become heavy, but her heart lighter than ever and with the tears trickling down her cheeks and Priti rubbing off hers with a tissue, she gathers the words and says,
“I Promise ”