He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
1 April 2022
They call my room a mess; I prefer to call it beautiful chaos. Semantics they say. But that’s not true. They don’t believe in the perfection of scattered papers on the floor, jumbled pens on the table, books stacked on top of each other, or the vinyl on the wall hanging randomly. This is familiar, whether it’s the smell of scented candles enveloping the room, the post-its stuck on the wall or even the small teddy bear on my bed. This is comforting. I revel in it, trying to absorb all of it. For the last time. God knows when will I be able to step foot in this room again, this house again, or see these pastel walls again! Would I ever get this sense of belongingness again? The question haunts me, following me everywhere like a shadow.
I am moving out for college. And then my parents will sell this place. Everything is changing. It’s sad to think about it that way, but I know it would never be the same again no matter how hard I try. Things are changing and just thinking about my future gives me a 2-hour silent panic.
So, I have decided to focus on what lies ahead, one step at a time. The most beautiful thing is a fresh start. I chant it like a mantra in my head. I am excited to move out anyway. Things will be good. How couldn’t they?
6 May 2022
My room is a mess. I hate it, with a fiery passion of a thousand suns. Why are these notes always scattered, why are there so many books, and most of all, why does my room always smell like there’s a garden in here? No matter how hard I try to rearrange things the way I want, eventually, they fall back to this dumping pattern. It’s like they are deliberately trying to make me mad.
I don’t like it here. I don’t like this new city. I don’t like to see strangers on every corner I turn. I don’t like this unfamiliar environment. Period. The college is good and I made some friends. I pay attention in the classes and participate in other activities. I act all jovial and goofy, I travel to places and do everything a stressing college student ought to do. But then I come to my room. And it hits me.
I could go back, but my parents put so much effort into sending me to this college. I can’t bear the shame of their disappointment on top of everything. When I am alone, my whole persona changes. The room feels suffocating, the walls cave in on me and it feels like every single thing here is mocking me. I try not to focus on the dark long corridors, the empty room, the distant noise of car horns, and the deafening silence. How long can one hide behind the veil of ignorance? These thoughts begin to close in on me. The silence finally shouts. And that echo rings in my mind, reverberating throughout my bones.
20 August 2022
The darkness is closing in on me. The walls are pushing against my lungs, making it difficult to breathe. My hands go clammy, and my vision gets blurred. My breaths come out in rapid successions. It’s a hassle to get out of bed every morning, push myself to do the bare minimum, and stay afloat as each day goes by.
My social battery ran out about two months ago. I am snappy, irritated, and mostly broody. And I can’t even pretend that I am happy anymore.
3 November 2023
I don’t go out much now. Just once in a while, to show my face and to let people know that I am indeed alive. Then I come back to the room. It’s peaceful in here. It’s true when they say loneliness can be addicting. This new me is so much more different. My 12-year-old self would have been scared.
I am sitting on the couch, eating my dinner; not really watching the television. I laugh at the bleak, happy-go-lucky characters but it’s only just good background noise. I once would have vibed with these fictional people. Now, I can’t even remember the last time I looked at people and didn’t think god, I hate people. I have accepted the person that I have become and I am comfortable in this skin. No curtain of doubts, no pretense of hesitation.
It’s been a year and a half. The abyss that I have fallen into has embraced me with open arms. The dark has finally stared back. And it feels like a second home. Its eyes follow me everywhere and it’s reassuring. Maybe these eyes laugh at me, at my fear, and at my feebleness behind my back, or maybe they finally see the hollow within me and it appeals to them. Nonetheless, I have found refuge.
This darkness is a beautiful thing; the whisper of a kiss, the caress of a shadow.
This Night Owl Original has been authored by Maahi Sharma. She is a sarcastic bookworm who spent the past 18 years of her life narrowly avoiding talking to people. She is a Gryffindor at heart but with latent Slytherin tendencies. She loves binging old SRK movies, and responds mostly to "Your Majesty".