mental health, Personal Development, PSYCHOLOGY, Sarcasm, Society, Write

Looking For The Shadow – A Short Story (Part I)

Trench coat, leather boots, a hat- Teresa wore her favourite outfit and her usual attitude. A red-wine lipstick shade, or as the fancy folks call it – burgundy may be! I don’t know, I focus on the colour, not the name. Just like, how Teresa loves fame and not the reason behind. Leaving at 10.00 a.m. sharp, everyday to visit her best friends in the park. Although, they never leave her side, but she still finds a positive vibe with them in the park. She walked all the way to the bridge that connects two sides of the city. She stops in the mid of the bridge and walks towards the edge. Holding the railing, she gazes into the water and looks at her shadow. She laughs and then frowns, yet the shadow remains intact. She dances and the shadow moves. So she says to herself, “There’s no change in life until there’s no effort”. She scoffs and starts to walk again. She sits on her usual bench in the park, waiting for her best friends, or moreover ignoring them!

They’re exhausting actually. They make her feel so bad about herself! She hates everything about her life when she’s with them! They’re so popular and because of that she’s famous too!!! But they’ve been friends for so long, that she can’t seem to break it off! They’re the only interesting thing in her life after all. So she doesn’t care why she’s famous, but she is and that’s what matters most. She’s been waiting for a while, where are they? She looks around her, people are hanging out, exercising, kids playing and the lake seems cleaner than yesterday. That’s nice. Suddenly, she starts crying. Tears roll down her eyes, yet her face remains expressionless. As the tear drops on her finger, she looks down and sees the droplet. She then touches her face and realises, it’s her own tears!

“Alright, you’re here now”, she taunts. “I was waiting when you’d show up. Took a long time today.” Nobody notices her talking to herself! She doesn’t care about that now. Her friend’s finally here.

“I was thinking about how nice it is that the lake is cleaner than yesterday. I wish you wouldn’t show up just then, I was having a moment there”! No answer! But, who’s she brewing for answers?

Eight months ago, Teresa went to the same bridge she was walking on today and jumped into the river. It was a suicide attempt, luckily she survived. But unluckily for her, she survived! She was all over the news the next day – The Girl Who ALMOST Died. She was kept in the hospital for a week and then was transferred to rehab. Two weeks into it, a psychologist came to see her. To council her or may be understand why she jumped off the bridge! The session was scheduled for 90 minutes, but went on for five hours!

“My name is Abdul Smith”, the psychologist introduced himself. “Abdul? & Smith? well, that’s quite unusual”, Teresa attempted to turn things on to him. “It’s not unusual. It’s suicidal“, Abdul attempted his dark humour! Teresa remained quiet. Smith realised, his dark humour is now failing him! He needs to up his game, if he wants this girl to get to talking.

“How are you feeling today?”, he tried to lighten the mood. “Fine.” That’s it? Fine? No, ‘Bad Joke’, ‘Not Funny’! This is my first day as a professional psychologist. She is my first patient and I am already in regret!!! My degree is a waste!

“Let’s get to the point okay. This is my first day as a psychologist and you’re my first patient, so I want this to workout. Whatever it takes”, Abdul confessed. “Easy Avenger! I thought that’s not how you people talk to the people who’re suicidal! Well, you’re not like the others I presume! Let’s get to the point indeed. Shoot your questions. I am not afraid of them or you or anyone else and I am certainly not ashamed of what I did!” Teresa is finally talking!

“Why did you do it?”, not wasting any more time on small talks Smith! “Why does anyone do it? I don’t want to live in this shitty world.” Teresa answered. “Why? Did someone wronged you in anyway?”, Abdul digs more.

“Everyone has wronged everyone. I am not the only one!”, Teresa argued.

“Tell me what you’re thinking and why did you jumped off that bridge. I don’t like to waste time on single sentences.” Desperate times, desperate measures! Smith knows by now, Teresa will only tell him the truth if he’ll talk to her in her own attitude. So be it. She’ll talk, it’ll work.

“Sad, but your time is up. See you back soon?! goodbye.” Teresa leaves for her room. Smith is impressed, how some people with mental health issues are so acceptable of their condition & can still maintain chivalry. Fine. Tomorrow.

“How are you feeling today Smith?” Teresa seems in a good mood to toy around. “No small talk. Remember”? Abdul is not getting smitten today! “Wow! That’s hot!” Teresa would do anything to stall talking.

“Why did you jump off the bridge?” Not wasting time today!

*10 minutes silence*

“Tell me! I may be able to change your mind about it!” Playing doctor-doctor but like a friend.

“I told you, I don’t want to live in this shitty world. A world where humans think themselves as God, where poor are treated as animals & animals are treated as nothing! I hate everyone. They’re selfish and inhumane. All they want to do is to fill their pockets. The crimes they commit are justified with money and with that power they exploit other people.” Teresa said.

“Is that all?” Smith asked.

“What do you mean IS THAT ALL? What is wrong with you? How can you take this so lightly? Rapes, Riots, Robbery, Lynching, Violence, Exploitation, Corruption and what not! And you don’t think that’s enough?” Teresa questioned.

“I am asking, if there’s any personal reason for what you’d done, you sound like a failed activist and not my patient.” Brutally honest doctor, for the brutal thinker sitting with him!

“These are my personal issues. My friend was raped by a guy who got away with the allegations because he had money. His family bribed the authorities incharge and they put charges against my friend, for fraud & defamation. My friend lost her job, her career is finished. Because the company didn’t want someone of her reputation to be working with the PRESTIGIOUS scoundrels!” Teresa confessed.

“Sounds like you felt very deeply for your FRIEND!” Abdul is questioning on her truth!

“I know it sounds like it all happened with me and I am covering up the shame by the name of a friend, but I own everything I do. I’d never run away if it had happened with me.” Teresa cleared out the allegations.

“But why kill YOURSELF?” Doctor is now officially confused!

“I am sick of it. There’s nothing good in this world. All I see is crime and fraud. People dying and people killing. I have a good family and a fulfilling job, but I am not happy with how things are in this world!” Teresa clearing the confusion.

“I am glad you’re not a public speaker, because you can be influential but for all the wrong reasons! You’re the most negative person I’ve ever met! BUT, you’re not wrong!” Abdul is quite agreeing with someone who attempted suicide for no personal reasons at all!

Teresa smiled. For the first time in a long while! Smith smiled surprisingly, seeing Teresa smile assured him, he’s on the right track. All I have to do is, give her a different approach about life and make her see the good in the world. Just like in the movies.

6 thoughts on “Looking For The Shadow – A Short Story (Part I)”

  1. The story is a good attempt at bringing up all the wrong happenings in the world, and to a certain extent it is right, but just like the theory that whatever we focus on expands , the negetive circumstances seem to have taken complete control of the protagonist’s mind, i will be waiting for a sequel maybe because the story really has a lot of potential

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1. “Everyone has wronged everyone”
    2. “I am asking, if there’s any personal reason for what you’d done”
    I like the story the way it has conveyed deep realities of wrong happenings through conversations like everyone wrongs everyone but no one realises it until it is on them personally.

    Liked by 1 person

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