To a depressed person, happiness is like a treasure. It’s something that they constantly scour their souls for, even if their efforts are futile. It’s something that they’re afraid to lose, and avoid thinking of the prospect of losing.
It’s like a gigantic pearl they roll in between their fingertips, laid back in bed, watching the sun rays bounce off the smooth surface, simply sitting and admiring it for eternity. It’s something that they can’t take their eyes off, no matter how long they’ve been staring. And when that pearl carelessly slips from their fingers and rolls under the bed, they’ll spend hours clawing through the dust and dirt, bruising elbows and knees, desperately trying to find that small light in the darkness.
It’s that one song they can’t stop listening to, hitting the replay button over and over again. It’s that one book that they can never put down. It’s that one photo they will spend years smiling at, always finding different reasons to smile. Perhaps it was the thrill of the Ferris Wheel. Perhaps they remember the taste of that lilac cotton candy, and how troublesome yet amusing it was to have sticky sugar all down their arms. Perhaps they’ve suddenly noticed a girl pulling faces in the background. It’s that one moment they wish to relive and never get bored of. That one memory that constantly plays in the back of their mind like a film reel. That one movie they’d watch ten times and never get bored of.
It’s that one keepsake they refuse to let go of. That twenty-year old teddy bear that they’ll hang onto, no matter how tattered or crusty with grime. That ring that’s too small to wear and tarnished all over, yet safely stowed away in its very own velvet pouch. That three-hundred-year-old violin that they’ll never play but keep in its case, stroking its strings, admiring the grains of wood, dusting ’till the varnish gleams.
It’s that one person they will never stop talking to. Where the conversations never grow old. Where endless amounts of stories unfold, and they seem to never know everything about each other. Where they both can read the other’s mind, finishing off their sentences. No matter what they do, they’ll always be a smile at the end of the day, flushed cheeks and a racing heart.
It’s that one thing they refuse to give up. Where the stubborn child inside of them hangs on so tight their knuckles turn bone white. The one thing that sets off tantrums when missing. The one thing that breaks out a sweat on their forehead. The one thing so precious that sometimes it feels like a part of themselves is gone.
But it’s also something they’re afraid of, because these moments are too fleeting. They’re scared to leave, scared to realise that soon, everything will disappear and they’ll be right back at the start. They dread the moment they return to those familiar four walls, smell that same musty smell, feel the same cold ground beneath their toes. They dread the moment their head hits the pillow, and all they can do is cry. They dread being unable to sleep, having those same memories repeating through their mind as relentlessly as a tide.
And all they can do is anticipate the next fleeting moment, hoping that it will be better than the one before. Hoping that they can experience it in its purity. Hoping that they can fall asleep dreaming happy dreams, and wake up to a better day.
Artwork by 허씨초코 (Grafolio)