Day 170 – Keep Your Eyes Wide Shut

Word count: 591

When the day comes that you realize that something has to change in your life, it is usually too late to change it. By then you will have been so immersed in denial or simple ignorance, that you will not have foreseen the consequences of your actions. You will believe everything to be content or at least controllably balanced. You will not be aware of the moment that it all went wrong.
Teresa had just figured out what she wanted to change.
It was the height of summer and she was sitting on the banks of the river Cam in Cambridge. Her ice cream was melting fast, but every morsel was delicious. She was by herself, simply contemplating the universe and how it all seemed connected somehow to everything else but her. For several years now she had felt complete separate from life. Studying Law at Cambridge University, she spent most of her waking hours in lectures, libraries and lazing in her room. There was no social life for her and for the most part it did not bother her. For instance, it did not bother her that she was sitting by herself with no friends to call, no boyfriend and a family quite a few hundred miles away. Teresa was not entirely bothered by much in her life. She had coasted through to university. High school had not been a challenged, first and second year courses at Cambridge were not a trial. In effect, Teresa was bored but she did not realize it. At least, not until that afternoon.

A tiny bird flew down and hopped around her. It was the friendliest bird she had seen. It seemed to want a bit of her ice cream, so she scooped a piece up in her finger and wiped it on a bit of grass. The bird smiled, as best as birds can do with beaks, and hopped into scoop up the delights of raspberry ripple. The tiny thing tilted its head towards her when it had finished: it wanted more. Teresa giggled to herself and offered the little bird some more. It gobbled it up and wanted even more. Soon her ice cream had melted away to just the cone and the bird was still hopping around in the hope of more.
“I’m sorry, I’ve got none left now – not even for me!” She felt sad for the little feathered fluffball.
The tiny bird desperately wanted more – it had loved the ice cream so much it seemed to crave it as if it were a drug. It flew up on to her cone and looked inside at the empty cavern where the ice cream used to be. It then returned a look to Teresa and seemed sad and angry towards her.
“I’m sorry, birdy,” Teresa apologized.
But the bird flew off suddenly; high up into the great big weeping willows on the other side. Teresa, in that moment, became very sad for a reason that for a few minutes she could not quite put her finger on. The only way she could describe the feeling to herself was like it was something she had lost or misplaced: like she was missing something but not quite sure what yet.
Finishing off her ice cream, she realized too late why it was that she felt bad. That little bird wanted more than anything in the world to have ice cream while Teresa had never felt so passionately about anything in her life. But at twenty years old, was it too late to change?

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~ by S.G. Mark on March 25, 2012.

2 Responses to “Day 170 – Keep Your Eyes Wide Shut”

  1. Importantly, she was paying attention. The actions of the little bird could’ve just been dismissed as something odd or out of the ordinary, but she found meaning in them.
    Nice.

  2. Loved the first Paragraph, and last line of story. Am mad on philosophy me.

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