Crack in the Ceiling

Written by: Iliena Bosu
Maximum number of words per chapter: 500
Minimum number of words per chapter: 450

Before I begin the story, there’re two things you should know about me. First, I’m an ardent tea drinker – without milk and unsweetened; second, I’m not the ‘heroine’ of ‘my story’; I never was. But, call it a coincidence if you must, I’m glad two things happened that day. First, I was craving a hot cup of coffee (as a change from tea) and second, a dear friend of mine forwarded this Eleanor Roosevelt quote to me:

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we can’t.”

Usually, I don’t bother to read forwarded texts, especially if they’re preachy, out of context quotes by famous people. However, this time, I kept it. Was it a coincidence too or was I too unconcerned about it, I can’t put a finger on it.

It wasn’t going to be an ordinary day; I had an inkling that it was going to be the most memorable day of my life. I remember it was a Thursday morning, my favourite day of the week. In spite of the slight chilliness of November, it was a sunny day. The day couldn’t have been more perfect.

The night before, I couldn’t sleep properly. Anxiety and excitement kept me up; for some reason, I was feeling quite ill at ease, as if it was the last time I’d be sleeping on this bed. I listened to music for a while, engaged in a long pretend conversation between my fiancé and me, fantasising a life of marital bliss. I was still up at the break of dawn, still unable to sleep. Finally, I switched on the lights and sat reclined on my bed. I noticed the things in my room, which I had been consciously ignoring until now. The curved crack across the ceiling, for instance, had magically appeared one day and I couldn’t be less bothered. Though not a gaping one, the crack seemed to smile at me. Similarly, the iron mouldings on the windows, the dents on my steel almirah, the chairs, laden with unwashed laundry, pushed into a corner of my room, they all stared at me, awkwardly introducing themselves one by one. I couldn't help but think, what if this was going to be my last day in my room? What if I never came back to my cracked ceiling, my things or to my bed?

I’m a habitual late riser. But, if it was going to be my last day here, I might as well start my day early. Being unfamiliar with the early hour, I was not sure how I wanted to spend the extra time I had with me. Everything was silhouetted against the navy-blue sky. Venus shone bright and prominent as the birds went about their daily business. As the sky gradually changed colour, I saw my milk man Shiva cycling down to my house with his milk crate tied to the carrier behind him.

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Comments

I absolutely love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote. Fear can sometimes have a terrifying demeanor but when we face it down it really is a terrible coward. What an interesting starter. She says she's not the heroine of her story but she really is. Just by the way she describes the start of her day she has inserted herself into the story. It is a neat and clever starter, like smoking mirrors.
Thank you Ms. Dewing. :)