Myths And Fables This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 12, 2012
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When I was little, unhappiness only existed in a myth, perhaps a fable.

Unhappiness was a world that existed elsewhere, a world that was nowhere near me. It could not touch me, I could not feel it. Let's just keep it at that. I knew of happiness like the back of my bony hand, like a catchy song that looped over and over in my head, like singing in the pouring rain or dancing under the laughing stars. I knew happiness existed because I felt it from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes, I knew it was real because I could grasp it. I knew it was real because it held me back in a sunny, ethereal embrace. I felt it in my bones, in my soul, in my heart. Happiness hid in simplistic days, and I relished every moment of it.

Happiness blended in with the blinding white snow under the street headlights, citrus halos tainting purity under the unforgiving murky muddy skies. I felt it crunching under my snow boots, a satisfying sound I savored with every step I took, but could never explain why. I tasted the intricate and complex snowflakes on the tip of my tongue, attempting to memorize its symmetry and individualistic flare. (Someone once told me no two snowflakes ever had the same design on it and it made me feel small) Happiness blended in with the long, sunny days and short, mystical nights, I used to sip sunshine from a golden chalice as I ran down the concrete pavements of the sidewalk. Mornings were filled with drops of effervescent light that dripped from the sun, its rays licking my newly tanned skin. I remember green, leafy gardens and parks and ducks and shimmery blue-green water and the smell of sunscreen. Nights were filled with the luminescent poetry of the moon, and I did not sleep with the sun for I wanted to memorize the stanzas and lines it sang into the chilly air. Happiness blended in with trips to the library, best-kept secrets, sleepovers, best friends, hikes in the woods, summer rain, snow days, butterflies, Spring breezes, crunching of Autumn leaves, scraped up knees, radios, popsicles, car rides, and sleepless nights. Unhappiness could not touch me because I was invincible.

I too, knew of happiness long ago, despite the fact that I may seem a bit cynical and perhaps a little bit broken. A few months ago my mother told me I was not the same person I was back then. You used to be happy and patient and kind, what happened? That broke me a little bit in the inside, but I remained silent, for I did not know what to say in response. I did not want change. Sometimes I do miss the old me, and sometimes I would ponder on where exactly she decided to go after all these years.

Happiness is fleeting to me now, sometimes even unattainable.

When I was young, I went to a festival with my mother and little sister. They gave out free, shiny balloons that were suspended in the air with a piece of flimsy, too-long-for-its-own-good ribbon. Mother told me to hold onto my balloon tightly because I would not get it back once I release my grip. I looked around me and the other kids were releasing their balloons into the vivid blue sky, setting them free as they lilted and danced with the wind. They craned their necks to look at their balloons' journey, shielding their eyes from the afternoon sun. I let my balloon go too, and I regretted it almost immediately as it made its getaway. It sailed with the clouds, past my head, past the treetops, past the buildings. Free. Liberated. I felt wrong and empty shortly after that. Happiness is like that, happiness is fleeting. It can vanish in a blink of an eye, a slip of a hand, an accidental exhale from clumsy lips, and poof, g o n e .

Imagine being thrust into a world that you did not even belong in, a world you thought only existed in a myth, perhaps a fable.

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stupendousman said...
Sept. 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm
I really like this story; i can really relate to it. i love the detail in the 2nd paragraph. :) 
AnnaX This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm
Hi, thank you so very much! You are far too kind. :')
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