Do you remember when the sun last kissed your cheeks?/Short Story

Hibernation. A biological process invented by nature to survive the cold days in winter. In Autumn the bear starts feeding away on anything he can find. Then he goes to sleep. A deep sleep until spring rolls around and a starved thin fragile bear emerges from the depth of his cave ready for the challenge’s life has in stall for him.

Sometimes I think I am that bear. Except that I never woke up from hibernation. Except that my battle doesn’t start in spring, but it has never stopped when I went to sleep. Except that my battle isn’t with the world outside, but inside within myself. A disease of the privileged I call it. I feel foolish to be thinking like this. The words don’t compare to the lives some people out there are living. It’s a curse, The mind. The glorious mind of ours with its many thoughts. Like poison they consume our hearts, body and soul. Like poison we’re slowly losing ourselves not in the world but in our own minds.

How can it be, we live such great privileged lives, know about it and still feel so miserable inside? How can one like oneself so little? Why must one be so consumed by their mind? It hurts. I feel it cramping my stomach sometimes or the stinging in my heart and the weight on my lungs when breathing. I just don’t understand. I love my life. I love the people in it, and I love the adventure, the memories of it all. I just can’t stand myself. And I can’t explain why. I am my own poison in a world of evil. 

I have wondered before, why nothing in life gets me down. I think the answer is simple. The outside forces are weak compared to the weapons I hold inside destroying in the deepest part of my core. It’s a phase though, right? That’s what they tell you. That’s what I tell myself, but I know it’s been too damn long to still be a damn phase. And there is no cure because I am my own cure. I am the only key to this whole equation. Only I can solve the puzzle. 

I’m terrified. What if I will never solve the equation, what if I can never finish the puzzle? What if this is all it will be? An unsolved solution to a never-ending battle. When I went to into hibernation all those years ago, who would’ve thought that waking up would be so hard? I am tired of it. I am tired of this battle, that is going on inside me. I am tired of being tired. I am tired of fighting. I feel like the bear coming out of hibernation, starved thin and fragile. But my battle hasn’t ended, and I cannot recover in spring yet because I am still stuck in that cold dark cave in winter. I want this all to end. I want to stop having to hold a guard against my own darn mind. I just want it to go away. I want to wake up.

‘When was the last time the sun kissed your cheeks?’, a familiar voice brought me back, as I was pulling at the daisies petals. Conrad, the neighbours boy, a noisy unimportant character in my life. He often watched me sit here in the sun pulling at petals caught up somewhere in my thoughts. He was older than me, but less mature in my eyes. Who could blame the kid, he didn’t need to be mature, for his parents were so rich the fella would never have to break a sweat in all his life. ‘It has been too long ago for me to remember’, I said. I didn’t need to look at him to see the crease build above his eyebrows. The boy was confused. To his right, as he had seen me just yesterday sitting here in the sun. He was not dumb though, as he knew there was a different meaning behind my answer. The crease intensified, as he so desperately tried to grasp for an answer in that innocent unspoilt brain of his. I did not explain myself, as he would never understand the difference of being here and being present. So I got up, smoothed out my dress and walked towards the veranda, leaving him standing there guessing away amongst a field of daisies on a sunny day in spring.