Artwork by Mairéad Lees, ’21
By Katerina Thireos, ’23:
A Sliver of Light
Being in the dark is no easy thing. Nyctophobia is the extreme fear of night or darkness. Even in the brightest of days, it is still fearfully dark. I wake up at the crack of dawn when the sun begins to shine but it still has yet to rise. It eats me alive to walk around all day without a flashlight. What if I crash? What if I bump into the wall where everyone can see? I remind myself that it is still night and no one can see me even if I fall. At least that’s how it felt anyways.
I resented being in the dark. In the way, I resented getting out of bed each morning. They were both back-breaking tasks for me. I hate struggling to do the things that everyone around me could do so effortlessly. There were countless times I wanted to explain to those around me what it was like but who cares enough to listen? I didn’t want to be a burden to those surrounding me and truthfully, that’s all I was. As I enter my school and walk the halls, I can hear the laughter amongst students and their friends. It’s hard to see what they’re laughing at. I couldn’t help but ask myself if they were laughing at me. I’d feel ridiculous saying it out loud. The laughter and noise began to grow louder and louder. The walls began to narrow and I felt myself suffocating. My own throat was being strangled by the hyperventilated breaths. I wanted to scream but was silenced by my own head. Instead, I rushed into the bathroom but there was an extreme uproar of laughter, as if it was following me. I left and no matter what I did or where I l turned , nothing seemed to relax me, until I met your eyes.
Your big blue luminescent eyes stared into my soul and almost immediately I was released from the restraints that were once on my neck. You had asked me If I was ok. It was nothing too deep, just ok. I nodded but I was in awe of the peculiar sense of peace one could bring. People ask all the time if others are alright out of obligation and common courtesy but you… you seemed to wholeheartedly care. I didn’t know if it was true but my mind was at ease with just the words that came so smoothly from your lips. After some time I opened up to you and to the best of my ability, I explained to you my life through my eyes. For once, I didn’t feel like such a burden in someone’s life. You held me close and assured me I was normal, and I was normal to feel this way, something I longed to hear from just about anyone. I found my happiness, peace, and my home in you. It wasn’t my plan to latch onto you however I can’t say I’m surprised. Having you in my life was like coming up for a breath of fresh air in the water and being thrown a life saver. You were the person I needed, my flashlight in a dark tunnel.