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We liked this week's published piece for its writing style. It was well written and the story was interesting. Next week we have 'The Land of the Glass Flowers' as our topic. All submissions need to be sent in to ds.risingstars@gmail.com by Sunday noon. Word limit: 350-500 words. Good luck.

The Water's Edge

By Samiha Matin

My therapist scrutinised me as she sat on her mahogany desk, littered with papers. It was my first day. I glanced around the room; it was quite dreary and contained expensive-looking furniture. Great, a professional, I thought sardonically. I sank into one of the chairs in front of her desk, composed, looking everywhere but at her.

Actually I shouldn't even call her my therapist since I had no intention of spending any time having a tête-à-tête with her and wallowing in self-pity. But after my last and seemingly desperate attempt at committing suicide by jumping in front of a cab and then getting stopped by the police, I was dragged against my will to her office. After the police came to the realisation that I wasn't a nutcase of course, which by the way involved hours of speculation about sending me to a mental hospital. Taking a deep breath I started my story in short clipped phrases, about the usual crap, that my “parents were getting divorced”. A downright lie, but it worked every time. After several minutes of silence while I fidgeted uncontrollably, she remarked in an icy tone that I was pathetic.

I was shocked. True, I had been called far worse terms, but somehow these words managed to catch on my nerves. She was calling me pathetic? If only she knew what I felt and had been feeling for so long. The perpetual never-ending nothingness which seemed to paint my life; the desperate loneliness and alienation and the feeling of everything being so lousy and hypocritical. The heartaches, the tears, and the complete breakdowns in front of peers with judging eyes. The urge to find a place in this world, living up to people's expectations and exceeding beyond that, but somehow never reaching it. How I had read countless books and delved myself into fantasy, and only realising bitterly that they weren't ever coming true. My ceaseless wandering in this dreary cramped city with towering buildings and people with masked expressions. And my heartfelt longing to be in a place where nature has blossomed to perfection.

I bit my lip. I could see myself standing at the edge of the water, whilst the river thundered in front of it. I longed to escape it for once, but I couldn't. My feet were unmoving. My therapist, after some time when I made no reply, burrowed her nose into a book, apparently forgetting my presence. Sighing I got up and spun around, whilst she softly, but in the same disparaging tone, said, 'You just don't know how to feel.'

Hearing this I suddenly let out a hysterical shriek of laughter and tears flew out of my eyes. I could feel the river surrounding me in its cool fingers, washing away my despair and taking me very slowly in its currents. I felt ecstatic; I had crossed the water's edge!

'Next time,' I heard her muttering distinctly, 'Twenty years of experience…'

I scowled, but half-heartedly.



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