Voices by Lavanya Jindal

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.

Mel urged her mind to quiet down.

But the nightmares had only begun… A constant cycle of beating herself over every small detail.

What if she hadn’t said what she did? Would it have been better to let it keep gnawing at her in the inside? Did she make a complete fool of herself? But you see that worry wasn’t even real, because no matter what she did – following her heart or her mind, her mind would always end up convincing her that she had set up a new benchmark for stupid each time. Had they seen her for the wreck she knew she was? Would they laugh and disappear like they all did?


Karl. That’s the name he was born with, wasn’t it?

Humor. Came to him easier than most people.

Mostly people laughed along. No one unveiled the mask. But that’s the thing with masks – if you keep them around long enough – you may forget who you really are.

Deep down, he knew that it wasn’t so hard to see through him but if no one had so far, who’s to say anyone would? This thought soon turned off any inkling he had to discard the variety of masks that hung in his room.


Skip. Yes, that’s my name. Yes, the irony can’t be avoided.

I have very clear opinions. Am I able to express them? No. What’s it like – not being able to say what’s on your mind when the words are at the tip of your tongue? Frustrating. My image as a sissy has already been branded. Am I at a loss of words when opportunity comes knocking? Yes.

Have I given up on myself? Sadly, yes.


Life is full of highs and lows. Do I always gravitate back to the lows? Mostly. Can I help it? No. It’s like a magnet, it keeps pulling me towards it. The days I’m not sad? The world seems different. Abnormal. Something I’m not used to. Change? I don’t like it.

The sadness – its familiar and I can find it in almost everything. The way the rain ends – when the raindrops hit the ground, the way people gracefully slip out the revolving door, that is my life…I don’t mind it. It understands me. “Daze? She’s depressed, they all say.” No one has ever tried to listen, really listen. So, as the days pass, my mind helps me find more reasons to stay the same and once again, I succumb to it.

Yes, I secretly crave attention. Not the pitying look that I get from all my friends. Attention of someone who wants to listen and hug me so tight that I don’t feel broken anymore.


Red. I see red almost every alternate hour.

Waiting for that twist in a person’s sentences which would send my defenses on a frenzy. Waiting…for that turn in their sentences that would provoke me.

“Storm.” The fact that they all had a mental caution sign next to my name didn’t really surprise me.

The truth?...I don’t believe in the concept of ‘good people.’ The stabs in my back make me sure of one thing. They all have a hidden agenda and that agenda? It surely isn’t in my best interest.

Solution?…There can be many answers to this question.

But for me? Uno. Walk alone.

If no one comes close, they won’t reach the wall. And if they do? They can’t climb it.

Breaking it? Haha, no. Impossible.

Lonely? Sure, 2-3 days. The world seems empty and cold.

So what? I’ll put on a comforter and turn up the heat and sarcasm.

Okay okay. Yes, a part of me always feels cold.

But I’ll always pick the cold over the pain, in a heartbeat.


What if…?

The gears in my brain go on ticking. On and on. The 99 scenarios of how things won’t go my way seem to always out rule the one scenario that does.

So I’ll do what I do best. Assume the worst. Always.

What if I don’t get a good grade on that project I worked extremely hard on ? Prepare my mindset for the same.

What if the person whom I trust betrays me ? Don’t let them in. Let everything eat me on the inside but trust? Foreign concept.

What if I can’t handle problems on my own and have a breakdown? Cry in a dark corner, obscure from people’s view.

‘Drew’. ‘Pessimist’. Not really.

In my defense, if I already know the worst scenario. It can’t deter me. If I already expect the worst from people then they won’t affect me anymore if they turn out to be double-faced.

Making yourself strong as steel might not be possible. But I sure as hell am going to try coming as close to it as possible.


Voices. Chaos. Some said. Some unsaid. Some heard. Some unheard. Some audible. Some inaudible. Some lost on the way to their destination. All wanting to be heard.

If you hear them, they sound like a cacophony but if you listen closely – a symphony. Each picking off where the last one left off. Sure, there are pauses. But answer me this – which song doesn’t have pauses? Maybe for a dramatic effect. Maybe to gather your feelings.

Call it what you may – but the pauses demand attention as well.


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