Our Theories of Wings

By Poisoned Twinkles

Chapter One: Tainted Wings

The world slowly revolves around you, and you can feel the blood pounding in your ears so lightly, as your heart beats in this certain rhythm.

Then you close your eyes as you brush your fingertips on the smooth, brass knob, relishing the coolness of your new day.

You open your eyes ever so slowly and twist the knob, just like a spinning wheel of thread, knitting together fine strands of a golden today.

You breathe, and open the door.

Then you see everything all at once. You have to take it in, bit by bit.

You walk down the lawn and you ride the bus. You can feel the rhythm of your heart go dum-dum as you add a slight poise to your stride.

You take in every single detail possible, from the slightly gray clouds, to the scent of morning mist. Even those new faces peering at you from the foggy windows.

You couldn't smile at them yet; you're too shy. You feel your very own cheeks blush a slight tinge of pink just at the mere sight of those unexcited faces. They're not the same as you, you who expects something different to happen. You want something different to happen, because that's what you're used to.

Then before you know it, the bus is moving and you're going towards your new horizon. Would people treat you differently now? Would they be nice unlike your old classmates? Would they mock you? Or would they care at all?

Those questions rush through your head, threatening your brain to go into this sort of panic-overdrive. But you just smile them away. You're used to those mad thoughts as well.

After all, it isn't so bad to hope for something good, right?

Something good should happen to you.

Because you're good, too.

But people don't think you're any good. They leave you in your misery. And then you have to learn to fend for your own. You have to learn how to trust yourself despite the insecurities.

You have to be positive even though you're always in the negative.

You can feel that you have to do good just because.

You replay those old memories in your head; you've done well.

But they haven't done you well. They didn't even try.

And now you stop yourself from feeling sad all over.

Again and again and again.

You sense the sun rising now, and you smile at it from your foggy window.

But you know you feel guilty for being weak again. You know you shouldn't let your memories of the past disrupt your present.

Then as your smile wears off, you close your eyes. As always.

You could feel the serenity in you. It's not the happy kind. It's the poignant kind. The kind where you feel the angst. The kind where you feel that wilting, black rose in your heart crumple to dust. The kind of lonely independence that you have suffered.

You notice, in your calm reverie, how you smile even when you're sad.

Is that some sort of defence mechanism? You start wondering.

You think to the point of mind exhaustion. A small phase of mind numbness.

Everything goes blank in your mind, although you could still see the rushing of the bus on wheels, all seen through your foggy-window-perspective.

Then your mind starts remembering your fake smiles.

Wait, you think. Fake smiles? That phrase is something entirely foreign to you.

Because now you know that you smile when you definitely don't feel like smiling.

Because you have been doing that without realizing why.

Is it because you've been trying to be happy all this time...

when it's crystal clear that you're sad?

People mock you, and you don't even know why.

Wait. You know why. It's because of your skin.

You had leprosy.

Yes, that's it.

You don't even know how you got cured. You just spent all that time in the leprosium. The nurses said you fell asleep once, and that peaceful sleep lasted for months.

Then you just woke up, to find your skin healed. No more leprosy.

But the scars are downright obvious. Everything looks palpable. It's as if your skin ate itself.

You don't smell bad anymore, though.

Now you wonder what happened to you during your long sleep that made you cured, although you are heavily scarred.

You're a warrior. People should praise you. You've undergone something horrible, something utterly morose, and you've come back, fresh but scarred. But people ignore the 'fresh' part. They think of you as only 'scarred'.

You try to think of your sadness as your happiness. Because you are a strong one. How many people do you know have enough dignity to think of their melancholy as their joy?

You don't know anyone.

And now you feel ashamed. Ashamed because you thought you were someone special to convert your glumness into bliss. People would just think of you as someone cocky. Or someone mad.

Who'd be happy because he's sad? Who'd be happy because no one likes him? Who'd be happy because he's not accepted with his condition? Who'd be happy because he has this unknown burden of pretending to be glad?

You formulate this theory all of a sudden.

You call it the 'Tainted Wings Theory'. You believe that people think everyone has these certain wings. The bright and pure ones are the most acceptable and most honoured in this world. But they think yours are the tainted, black ones. The ones which are tattered and dirty. The ones which don't deserve the prowess of flight.

And you realize that you believe them; you believe that theory. You can't fly.