Raisa Faria Hia:
I can feel it coming, coming slowly, yet inescapably. The darkness surrounds me. The darkness of loneliness. There has been a time when I was not so alone. There was a time when people had cared what happened to me. Yet now, I feel nothing, nothing but emptiness.
‘Why?’ I had asked Darkness once, when he had visited me. He had not answered.
So I had asked time and time again, the one word repeated to him every time Darkness visited.
One day, after I had long since given up any hope for an answer, I asked again; ‘Why?’
This time, though, Darkness replied. ‘No one cares for you anymore,’ he taunted. ‘Darkness shall be your life long companion, since all else has abandoned you.’
After a few days, Happiness, the little sliver I still had left, went away.
As Happiness left, I called to her, ‘Why? Why are you leaving me?’
She replied, without turning towards me, ‘You had had a chance, little one, yet all has abandoned you. I cannot bear to suffer for your misgivings. I must leave, I fear.’ And with that, she left me, taking with her the little amount of happiness I had left.
The next day, Affection left. I had asked her the same thing I had with Happiness, yet she replied much the same; ‘I must go. I must find my place. My place is not with you, little one.’ Then she left, much like Happiness, without a backward glance.
Then Love left the next day.
‘Not you!’ I screamed at Love. ‘Please, please don’t leave me too! I can’t bear it. Please!’ And I started weeping.
‘My apologies, little one. But I must leave. The dark is no place for love. Since the ones you have loved had abandoned you, only a sliver of love had been left in your soul. I am sorry.’ And with that, he left, like Happiness and Affection before him.
Fear was next.
‘You must leave, am I right?’ I asked Fear without any introduction.
Fear nodded, as I had known he would.
‘I must, little one. I am sorry, yet I must leave. My apologies.’ And with that, he, too, left.
Loneliness came to me the next day.
‘Loneliness,’ I asked him. ‘Tell me, why are you all leaving me?’
Loneliness could not answer.
‘I am sorry, little one, but you must never know the answer. I must leave now.’ Then he did what none before him had done; just before he left, he came back to me, took my hands in his and squeezed them in comfort. Then he left.
The next day Pain approached me.
‘I know,’ he said. ‘I know, little one, how it must hurt, yet now, even I must leave.’
‘Do you,’ I asked him bleakly. ‘Do you know how it feels to be abandoned? How it hurts, even when Pain leaves?’
‘I do, my littlest one,’ he said, his tone sad. ‘I know how pain is.’ With that, he left.
I do not remember weeping, yet I must have, judging from the wetness of my cheeks the next day, as Hope came to me.
‘No,’ I whispered as a horrible pain enveloped me. ‘No, no, no, no! Not Hope. Please, don’t leave me, Hope. Not you.’
But I knew the time had come for even Hope to leave.
‘I must, little one. I must.’ Her voice told me of her determination to make me understand. ‘No one can stay here, not even Hope. I must leave. But I want you to understand, my little one, why. Nothing and no one can survive here.’
‘But Darkness does!’
‘Yes,’ Hope agreed. ‘Darkness can. But little one, that is the problem. Only Darkness can reside here. Goodbye.’
And with a small hug to me, she was gone.
That was when Darkness came. ‘I am sorry, little one,’ he said, with great sadness in his eyes. ‘I am sorry it has to be this way. But you must understand, I cannot allow them to stay with you. Do not worry, though. I will keep you company.’
And, just by looking into his dark brown eyes, I knew that he told the truth.
I must now, for all eternity, stay with Darkness as his only companion. I might not escape from him, yet I do not feel trapped. I do believe Darkness had never had someone to care for him. And that is what I live for, from now on. I live to care for Darkness.
The writer is a Year 7 student at Canberra High School, Australia.