“Think about it one last time, Nobu- san.”, said a solemn Satsuki. He had lost count of how many times his trainer had repeated this sentence. But he smiled every time. Even right then, standing on the 100m track beside young and competitive runners, this man with a rare heart condition, smiled.
Nobu knew that his own body was his nemesis, but his willpower was amaranthine. This track, the anticipating crowd and that finish line were all he knew, all he had. Let it take the last beat of his vulnerable heart, he had to get to the other end.
As the shot fired, his legs did what they had been trained to do for 29 years but he broke a sweat too early. “A little further!”, he screamed inward, to his soul.
His mouth felt dry, his lungs were empty but he could see it- the finish line, so close. Darkness creeped in from the corners of his vision. Did he make it?
When his senses opened a week later, he heard the beeping sound of machines trying to keep him alive. But what mattered was the sight of the medal sitting on the side table. A final smile found a way to his lips.
“Worth it.”- he repeated to himself till he reached equanimity.
You are thinking about being someone else now. As your long fingers tap restlessly on the keyboard and your eyes dry on the computer screen, I am the part of a million thoughts you keep pushing away as hard as you can but never far enough. You say that there is no point in thinking about me, right? You think it’s too late. Is it really? I thought I was talking to the girl who believed nothing was impossible if she put her mind to it. Well, I guess I’m not talking to her then. Sorry, wrong person.
But if you are that girl, do you remember me? I’m not the astronaut you wanted to be when your Dad introduced you to the Moon and its mysteries. I’m not the archeologist you wanted to be when you stumbled across the knowledge of dinosaurs’ extinction. Neither am I the dream that rose in your soft heart when you saw people in pain and wanted to relief them. Nor am I the pilot who would fly across the globe to see her grandparents. I’m none of those fudge sundaes with whipped cream and cherries on top. I’m plain. I’m boring. However, I existed firmly in your heart as well as your mind.
I am what you wanted to be when you opened a book and marveled at those simple words put together that created exotic stories. When you wrote your first lines. When they praised you for it. It meant so much to you. Oh what joy it used to give you! Yet, it did not take you more than a few discouraging words to put it down and place a brick on it. You thought I was a mere delusion. That I was another one of those childhood fantasies. You lie to yourself dear. Tremendously. Then lie again by saying that you are being honest. Fear planted its seeds in you and now the roots have grown deep. You feared not being good enough to pursue me. You feared being mocked. You feared that there were barriers when the only one stopping you was you.
So, now you shut me out even though in the core of your heart I radiate beneath all the lies. I am what you used to want. Now you want to be another one of those mass of people you used to call ‘grey’. Doing what they should do and not what they wanted to. And you had promised yourself that you would never let that happen. But what does it matter to you anymore? You’re going to sleep peacefully on that broken dream though you always brag to yourself that you never break promises. Such a pity.
You have piled up so much denial and lies on top of me that I can hardly make my presence known to you. If you deny me again I’m going to be left in this pit forever, forgotten. So tell me now,just one more time, do you remember me?