It had been an odd, tiring day. I was at a friend’s house studying for hours; I hadn’t spoken more than two words to my best friend all day. So when I came back home, the first thing I did was text her.
She seemed dull, snappier than usual and responded in monosyllables.
She finally told me what was bothering her; it wasn’t very different from other days, and I wished I could be there for her, help her and make her feel better. She said something about wanting to be happy, of wanting a normal life with zero darkness. She said she never felt so helpless.
“So the craziest thing happened today”, I started off. She thought I was trying to distract her, so she let me continue.
I started my ramble.
“So I was coming home at around 6:15, via the promenade, of course. It’s lesser traffic and shorter, right? I was listening to Coming up Roses while I tried to fix my hair, when my hair tie flew right out of the rickshaw. This would usually annoy me, because I’m so finicky about my hair, plus it was so windy!”
She tried to show interest in my somewhat pointless dialogue. I continued.
“I was almost in a frenzy with everything all over the place, when the sunlight hit my eyes. It hurt at first, but then I slowly opened my eyes and took it all in. I could smell the sea, the warmth of the sun was amazing, I was listening to the perfect song…it was perfect. I took my phone out to take a picture of the sunset and the palm trees and all, but when I looked at all of it through the lens, I didn’t take the picture..”
“I just didn’t take it, I couldn’t. Instead, I closed my eyes and just sat there, my hair all over my face. It was very romantic, minus the ‘hot dude with great taste in music’ part, obviously”
I knew she’d laugh at that.
“I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to go home, and just sit there in that moving rickshaw and soak it all in.”
“What happened after that?” she asked.
“Well, the rickshaw turned left to enter my lane, which was completely dark with very dimly lit street lights. There was a chill in the air, and just within a second, the warmth and sunlight was gone. This was the most metaphoric sunset of my life.”
I don’t know if she ever understood what I was trying to say to her, but sunsets never meant that much to me before that day.
That moment made me realise something horrific, yet beautiful.
Sunsets are the most beautiful part of the day, but they mark the arrival of night.
The darkest of times can be brought in by the most beautiful ones.
It’s the same with sunrise, it marks the end of darkness and brings light. It’s a terrible circle, but it’s true. This is what our lives have been like and this is how they will always be.
By Senain Sawant.
Artwork by Alexandra Kern.