Part 1: In the Sanctuary

I’m writing a short story, so here’s the first few paragraphs.

(All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

Last night, I felt like I wanted to die. Today, I felt like I could conquer the world. There is no middle ground. There is no calm, only intense feelings that consume my every thought. But then, the thought of one person calms me, puts every severe thought of desolation into its rightful place. It is with the thought of him that brings balance to the raging beasts that attempt to stealthily obtain my sanity.

I could imagine him resting under a tree, possibly on top of a hill. You could hear the river flowing in a distance. He is peacefully reading a book, looking at his surroundings after every page, as if visualizing the words on the pages to the open space before him. He would alternate sitting on a picnic mat and pacing around the tree while reading. He’s spent a few hours underneath it, sunlight begins to shift and it now slowly peaks through the leaves, some pass through to reach the page of his book. It annoys him when light is unevenly cast upon a page. His eyes would have to adjust to the string of words that were with varying illumination. He decides to call it a day.

I could imagine him taking a hundred steps, a few of those with difficulty but mostly with a content heart that when he enters the house through the kitchen, there would be muffins waiting for him.

Banana muffins with dark chocolate chips coupled with a cup of herbal tea.

I could imagine myself sifting the flour, beating the eggs and butter, equally distributing the chocolate chips to every muffin, and eagerly watching the batter to rise inside the oven. The thought of him realizing the scent of the muffins as he enters the kitchen elates me. How wonderful it would have been to see him hungrily (yet patiently and happily) waiting for the muffins to be ready. I give him tea as he waited and asked about the book he was reading.

‘It is still the same book. I’ve been reading it every year on my birthday week.’

This moment would have satisfied me because years ago I gave it to him. I found it at a used bookstore. I remember how, although we were not yet close friends, I had to buy the book and kept it until his birthday to give it to him. I knew we were going to be good friends. I knew that one day he’d receive it on his birthday. I imagine that he would read it that same time every year.

He has been in this sanctuary for quite some time. Two years to be exact. The muffins are finally ready. I take it out of the oven and place it in the wire rack.

‘Its still too hot, I guess we’d have to wait a bit.’ I would’ve told him. He would’ve taken a sip of his tea and continued some reading.

I would’ve started cleaning the kitchen and continue to try to gain momentum of the conversation. But he would’ve answered in quick responses. I would’ve tried my best to keep the kitchen spotless; normally I’d just dump everything on the sink and wait for whomever to clean it. But I would’ve wanted to appease his pedantic personality, so I would’ve tried my best to make it spotless.

Once the muffins were ready, I cut it in half, placed one half on his plate and the other on mine with the muffin liner remaining on my plate. He picks up his half and eats it. One dark chocolate chip falls on the table. He picks it up and eats it anyway.

He doesn’t tell me that it’s good. He doesn’t react. He is frozen. It’s a scene that cannot continue because it is only up to there that my mind’s eye could envision.

How sad it is that this would never happen. For I only just recently learned how to bake. There is no muffin. There is no kitchen. There is no house. There is no book. There is no tree. The person is no longer a person; he is one with the universe. But it is in imagining this scene that brings balance to the raging beasts that attempt to stealthily obtain my sanity.

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