The Zebra's Stripes
In a city of over 10 million, on this night, she found herself alone. In mind, body, and soul. It had been some time since she last felt this way. She had fought against feeling this way for so long, denied its existence entirely and as a matter of fact, found distractions to disable them, however temporarily. But those feelings... they never really went away. They simply can't. They were and are the foundation of her being. She stared into the mirror at her own reflection for a few seconds at first, then those seconds turned into minutes, and the minutes into hours... Tears strew down her delicate face, moistening her wintry dry skin. Even as she experienced the briefest moments of clarity where she felt whole, the clear salty droplets continued to make its way to the edges of her heavily lined eyelids. She didn't bother blinking them away. She let them flow as freely as the Niger river. They blurred her vision, but it didn't matter. The emptiness that had always existed inside her was once more unveiling its ugly face... and she let it. There was no fighting back this time, not this night. She had not the strength to deceive herself this night. She let the holes of dissatisfaction, loneliness, hopelessness, helplessness, fear and despair burn through the veil that had once so well-disguised them... The veil that tricked her into believing she was really happy.
She once saw an animated film where a zebra was asked whether he was black with white stripes or white with black stripes... It really makes no difference in the end, for a zebra is both black and white. And that just is. on this night, she asked herself a similar question... was she happy with moments of sadness, or sad with moments of happiness? She thought this over and over, even though she knew in the end the answer would not matter. She, like everyone else in the world, was both happy and sad. Some things just are the way they are, because they are. And that will always be.