Asha needed to explain to someone the art of making tea. It didn’t even require much expertise, she didn’t think, but the toilet water that she forcibly threw down her throat suggested that some people needed assistance with even the simplest things in life. No one should be offered such a horrible drink, especially not in a place like this where everything was already depressing.
Placing the empty cup back on its coaster, Asha sat back in the soft loveseat whose arms were weathered with age and constant rubbing of anxious hands.
At the sound of the voice, she answered because it had been a while since anyone addressed her by that name.
“Tell Tash I’m still waiting for her to get that law degree.”
Asha looked at her dad. At the smooth wrinkle less skin and the luscious hair only slightly sprinkled with gray, then at his auburn eyes that she used to peer into hoping to glean some of the knowledge they held, but that she now peered into only wishing that they recognized her. She nodded placing on a smile that she knew didn’t reach her moistened eyes.
Asha was the lawyer.
And she had been out of law school for five years.
I can’t write happy stories anymore.
Just recently, I’ve been thinking about my progress as a writer, looking back through all my older works and I’ve realized…there’s a stark difference between my mentality back then and my mentality now.
Flash fiction pieces and short stories written in high school all carry a certain element in them that many of works today lack. The voices of my characters have changed their tone and they’ve begun to sing a different song that my old characters can no longer resonate with. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the root of such differences but I can at least trace them back to one feeling. Hope.
My stories are always chock full of conflict. But in high school and my first year of college, they all ended with the idea that the character was going to succeed. They were going to finally get the girl or overcome that internal battle they’d been plagued with for years. Fast forward to today and the only thing you will be left with from reading my stories is dread. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like everybody dies at the end or the world collapses into the sun. It’s more like…a character reaches an obstacle that they can only surpass if an impossible miracle suddenly drops out of the sky.
Possible…but, not likely.
And though they be beautiful pieces of heart-wrenching content, I’d maybe not suggest it to someone looking for reasons to live.
But why the change? Where did the hope go? My guess is that it’s hard to write hope when everywhere you look, you see none. Every thought I seem to have these days is consumed with longing but no way to satisfy it. These past couple of years, I have dealt with so many challenges and it is easy to see those feelings reflected in my art. More and more I’m realizing how art actually works. How it comes from a place inside the soul that knows what you feel before the mind does. And I’m realizing more and more that art really is a reflection of a person’s heart if you know where to look.
At this time in my life, my heart seems to be looking for hope. And so too are my stories and characters. Someday we’ll both find it…hopefully.
Originally published on The Stonefence Review (stonefencereviewmag.com).
i wish i could talk to you.
i miss your hugs.
when it’s cold at night i miss your warmth.
when i’m sick i miss knowing that someone cares.
when i don’t feel like talking and have
all smiles on my face
i miss you seeing through my cracks and
knowing exactly what’s wrong
then knowing where to find the plaster.
I am lonely without you,
I am…confused without you,
I am terrified of moving on
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