I HEAR noises–words that I can’t decipher. Laughter and cries fill the empty space I am in. I can’t quite comprehend it, but it seems like something great is happening. And then, abruptly, dead air, complete silence. But I feel like someone is calling, shouting. Suddenly, I wake up. I’m in a forest.
The sun’s luminous rays light up the surroundings–long delicate branches swaying, alpine trees with evergreen crystal-like leaves slowly settling on the ground, as the wind gusts across the magnificence. Words and various languages can’t quite describe the beauty I see.
I stroll around with the music of the breeze and the crackling leaves. A superior voice guides me. The voice has long decided everything for me: where to go, what to do, how to act, what to wear. It had always been this way, until I realized I was doing the same things over and over again. I lost my inner voice–my opinions, my beliefs, my choices.
I am vexed. I hate myself for taking this long to realize that I have fallen into dogma, living a life in accordance with another’s judgment. I want to escape this mundane routine, this illusion, this nightmare.
I decide to rebel. I cover my ears every time the voice speaks. All of a sudden, the bright light is shaded by deep clouds: the scenic forest turns into a creepy castle of woods, the trees growing darker, their branches flailing because of the relentless wind, the brown broken leaves scattering like dust. Then all is darkness.
I run and run, shouting at the top of my lungs, looking for something, for someone. But only I can hear my shrieks of terror. I move fast, with no direction–until I stumble upon the twisting roots of the broad trees.
I look around but I see nothing. I am in the middle of nowhere. My heart is thumping so roughly, as though it wants to break my ribcage and rip my skin apart. My ears are bleeding because of the rowdy screams of silence; the blood coursing through my veins and the pounding of my heart are the only sounds I hear. I’m losing my mind. I don’t know what to do. I’m confused and afraid. For years I’ve been devoid of brightness and light; I’m living in darkness. I’m lost.
The mysterious voice–the one causing me distress and confusion–is still discoursing on its plans and hopes for me. But unapologetically, I am unmoved.
Sometimes when I sit back and drift into deep contemplation, I reflect on the dilemma I face and how eerie and risky has been my decision to create conflict with myself and defy everyone around me. Yet I’m still in awe of the fact that in all my years of existence, this is the first time that I’m standing up for something I believe in. A part of me says that what I’m doing is right, and I should be proud. I don’t know, but the best part of me just doesn’t care. Fate decides everything. Where I am right now is destiny. There is no turning back.
I’m lost–lost in the forest, lost in my thoughts.
Ludivie Faith Q. Dagmil, 17, is in her first year in digital filmmaking at De La Salle College of Saint Benilde.
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