When I was with people, their voices drowned out mine. Their words held more impact than anything I can muster. Sometimes the voices whispered words in my ear, soft and tender but malicious and cruel. Other times, they screamed in my face with downright disgust; ugly voices articulating spiteful lyrics to the song of my life. Even when they did not speak, I could see vindictive words lurk at the corner of their smiles. They stared at me through the hollow eyes that never noticed me. When I was with people, I felt like nothing more than a whisper drowned out by shrieks.
It started when I came of age. The ritualistic rite of passage that signified the end of childhood was alien to me. I couldn’t find it in me to paint myself in different shades every day. The concept of cosmetics disagreed with my temperament. Eventually, I felt uncomfortable wearing my own skin. I avoided people the best I could; their voices which started out different only ended up becoming one loud, obnoxious voice of hatred. The corners in classes, deserted alleys and abandoned structures became inviting; and like a moth drawn to flame, I staggered into the morbid arms of silence. I hoped for detachment from the voices that judged me.
But it was in the silence that the voices were lurid. They echoed in the quiet like the sounds of spring, ever so bright and potent, ever so inevitable. They whispered tales of criticism in my ears, until I could no longer stand looking myself in the eye. They described what little worth I had, stripping me a little more of what was left of my dignity. With each word, they added insult to injury, weighing down on my shoulders till I could carry myself no more. Then came the softest of voices, the cruelest in its gentility. Its whisper so soft, I almost thought I imagined it. But there it was, my little hope for salvation amongst self-thought chaos, whispering a way out.
It took pity on me, this soft voice that seemed to empathize. It saw right through me; the harmless scorns I imagined as vile detestation. It saw how little I thought of myself, and it fed my insecurities. In the midst of confusion and misunderstanding, it took my hand and led me into a world of comfortable lies; where I saw myself in the light it provided me. In the whirlpool of voices that called for my demise, the best I could do was follow that one tender little voice urging me to let go of my suffering; and I did. I followed the voice into an oblivion I could never reverse; and as every other voice faded away into gentle sighs, that voice continued whispering.