Bringing you another episode of the four part series “Finding Redemption” by Inkheart.
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How I Became A Writer
I was sitting on a chair outside my house one day, just staring at the sky. It was so blue and so bright, I wish I could reach out for it. Tiny white clouds moved about so cheerily, reminding me of my own freedom hindered. I wanted desperately to float, and swim in blue seas of the sky. It was so enchanting, I sat there for so long, looking and imagining myself in the sky, surfing. Even when the mean boys who called me weirdo came out to play pretend soccer and then hit me with the ball every chance they got (which was a lot), I did not budge. I just sat put, daydreaming about surfing in the skies and going on picnic with my imaginary friends. I imagined what it would be like to tell my stories to the fluffy clouds, my voice echoing so loudly, everyone on earth would hear.
Then, bang, it hit me. No, it was not tornado or a special wind that caused an in-depth revelation or some vision triggered by the clear heavens. Neither was it the constant pain from the ball that they won’t stop throwing at me. It was a bird, flying in the sky, screaming on top of its tiny lungs for everyone in the neighborhood to hear who found it fit to use my forehead as its toilet. The bird was so far up in the sky and when I raised up my eyes to look at the bird that had managed to break my attention from the sky, it was a blur; almost as if it was a speck of dirt floating in mid sky. The bird was too far from me to pick out the colour of its feathers, I could not even recognise if it was a pigeon or a dove or an eagle yet from that distance, it had disrupted my daydream. I wiped my forehead clean but there was the stench that did not leave until I had washed myself thoroughly with soap. It was insignificant, come to think of it, but it gave me an idea that changed my world. I became aware of the power that laid in being invisible. True, I enjoyed telling my stories but I felt an urge within to make an impact in lives from afar.
The next day in school, as I watched my teachers scribble notes on the board and then students rush to copy them in their notes, I knew what I would do to affect lives from far and wide. When it was break time, I went to the board and began to write. What it was I scribbled on that board, I cannot remember but I remember the look of concentration and awe on my classmates faces. I remember smiling at the chalk in my hand. I was not ordinary anymore, I had just discovered the secrets of the old and the wise history changers; I became a writer.
How I Became A Character
I had always been a character, I just never thought of myself that way. I had often thought I was just a creator of characters, breathing into them and making them come alive but I thought wrong. Talking about becoming a character may have me telling my secrets and I know you already know that a writer never reveals his secret. All I know is when I read through my stories, I see myself, my attributes, my experience in some of the other characters. I find myself mingling and befriending them. Sometimes, I cater to them when they are sick, sad or traumatized. I am sometimes a mother, a father, a brother, a sister or even a spouse.
No matter how hard I tried to deny it, I became a part of my stories. I shared their pain and fed their love for the other or maybe they did mine. I nurse them and give them the life they deserved, it doesn’t matter if it is bad or good. My stories are me and I am my stories. When they need to be fought for, I fight for them. I take their pain as mine and when they are happy, I am too. The character is the important part of the story and I had always wanted to be important; to be loved and to love. Being a character gave me all that. So, I embraced my duties as a character; weaving in too deep with the other ones. We were inseparable, they were my best friends. Do I care when people say I keep to myself a lot? The answer is no. I enjoy my own company a lot; too much. When I walk down the street and I laugh at their jokes, people look at me like I am crazy. Explaining to people make me look even crazier.
Like a chocoholic that can’t do without the delicious ecstatic feeling of the candy bar melting on your tongue and finding its way down her belly, I became addicted; costing me real life friendships. Loner, hermit, weirdo were some of the name I have been called but nothing affected me. I lend my voice to my clan; it was not important to me they are virtual. The most important thing was I became part of history, I became a character.
How I became A Victim
How do I explain this without sounding really crazy? Or maybe I am crazy and just would not want to admit to it. Fact is, I don’t even know myself any longer. Whether this is the voice in my head telling its own story or it is my own story, I can barely tell the difference. Sometimes, I do certain things and have absolutely no memory of it afterwards. Some days back, I was talking to someone, it was more like I was arguing. I was sweating and my voice had gone croaky due to my parched throat. I stood up to get water from the dispenser in my always locked room and when I turned back, there was nobody again. I could have sworn someone was in the room with me, screaming along with me. And as I was looking about in my room for the person I was arguing with, I realised I actually could not remember what I was arguing about. It felt as if it never even happened at all. Maybe it was a figment of my thought but my parched and sore throat told me I had actually been screaming some moment ago.
I know you are already asking how possible that is. Fact is, I am confused myself. Sometimes when I talk, I often wonder if I was actually talking. Maybe I was just listening to the many voices in my head that sounded so much like mine. I wonder if my fears are real or I am just acting out one of my stories. I could love this minute and hate the next. I can be so alive and at the snap of a finger, I can be dead. It is scary as I my life take on a pattern not so clear to me anymore. Maybe I have given too much of myself to my virtual world that I have lost out on the real world, I can’t say, all I know is I don’t think I have a real life anymore.
How I became the victim to my not so real world, I can’t tell. I just woke up one day and could not differentiate the worlds anymore. I lived and ate like a zombie, controlled by things you have no idea are significant enough to cause you damage. The unreal has become real to me. I clutch my duvet at night, scared of an intruder that’s never going to come. I run from shadows, afraid it will harm me, not knowing the shadow is mine. I go about with pocket knives waiting for a serial killer to just bump into me. I anticipate playing detective even there is nothing to find out. Sometimes when I do certain things, I wonder what my motives are.
But being a victim opened my eyes to the truth, that I can’t run into myself hoping to find the help I need from another person or a higher being. In being the victim, I saw the pattern in the real world I ran from. The manipulation, the deprivation, the maltreatment, the controlling. Being a victim makes me want to tell a story I have vowed to keep to myself. Like I said earlier, I am a work in progress and my story may be confusing at the moment but understanding comes soon.