Being Alive

 The westward sun crawls toward your unveiled window and in an instant you are blinded by its dazzling light. You feel its warmth on your cheek and neck. There is no one outside and not a sound to be heard, save that of your breath. In this moment, the world is only you, the air and the Sun. The clock ticks, a car passes by and the moment is over. You had felt as though you were the only one in the world to experience this and it leaves you feeling bittersweet. Little do you realise that the girl living in the apartment upstairs felt the same strange twist of emotions as you; only four minutes earlier. You settle down into your window-side chair with a book in hand, hoping to read as long as the sky permits. A glance at the clock – it is 7 PM. You expect a call from your parents who are almost 5000 miles away and you anticipate it but also slightly dread the fact that you’re going to have to put your book down. The phone rings. Your father’s smile and your mother’s cheery albeit sleepy voice instantly washes away your reluctance as you cherish the 30 minutes you get with them. They’ve had busy days, even in the confines of home. You listen eagerly and begin to recall the adventure you had trying to recreate a dish from home in your small and largely unequipped kitchen. They laugh with you at your pathetic attempt, but you notice a hint of sympathy. It’s 12 AM back at home, so you tell your parents to leave the call and get some sleep. You feel rejuvenated, but it’s quickly followed by an emptiness. You were supposed to go home in 2 months, but you realise now that it’s merely a distant fantasy. Your friends always told you off for not wanting to go out with them, and you always brushed it off saying that you’d go another day. They never took it personally, knowing fully well that you don’t like feeling like a fish out of water. They still love you despite your flaws, and you miss them dearly. You feel like the only person in the world. The clock strikes eight. Windows are opened as people come out of their solitary shells and clap and hoot for the life-saving heroes. You join them and as you clap and cheer together in unison, you realise that you are not alone. You are never alone. We are 7.8 billion hearts beating in-sync to create the complex rhythm of the world we move and live in, and even if you hide behind a thousand walls, that will never change. The air you inhale and the breath you exhale will travel all across the world, touching everyone in it’s wake. We share this small world of ours in common with every living being, where even the tiniest of actions impact everyone in ways we can never comprehend. This is the strange beauty of being alive.

by Sukriti

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