I Saw My Soul Today (Fiction)

by Anita Menon

Today God showed me what my soul looked like. It was shabby, improvised and lacked every essence of what a soul should be like. This morning, as I walked past the car park of my office building, I saw a pigeon; ratty looking, hobbling on single leg, with flecks of fur instead of the mop of majestic feathers. I knew instantly that it was my soul. But if you were to ask me, how I knew, I do not have any logic, reason or justification for that. I just knew, the moment I saw this frail, ugly creature, hobbling on its way towards me, away from his companions who were fairer, stronger and more radiant.

I turned back to look at it once again and I knew the time had come to do something about my soul that was wasting away. The creature that resembled my soul, looked at me apathetically and then turned around to walk away realizing it had done its duty. The knowledge that my soul was hurting and is plagued by this cureless epidemic made me feel weak and nauseous. I looked for some support to stand as my calves felt weakened and my demeanor faded. I walked slowly with my laptop bag, my purse in my hands towards the elevator. I pressed the button to call the elevator to take me to my destination. The doors of the elevator opened and I saw a shadow of a person I knew once staring back at me from the mirror. What went wrong? Where was it that I lost my light in the middle of this thing called life? What did I not have in life? So many people who love me and show so much concern and yet my soul despairs like this? It was so wrong to feel this way and to be this way. I hobbled out of the elevator just as my soul-pigeon had, making me feel inadequate and lusterless. I punched in to enter my side of the office still feeling like my center wasn’t in place. My soul had scattered as if it was blown apart and its smithereens lay all over. Where do I even begin collecting these bits and pieces to make them whole again?

I slumped down into my seat and heaved a huge sigh of relief as the weight of the laptop bag and my purse were off me and on my desk. My spine was curve like a defeated person even before the day’s race began. My fingers trembled as I opened my laptop to see what the day had in store for me. My insides churned as if I had ingested some acid for breakfast and in my heart I knew any moment all the contents in my guts would spill out on the desk in front of me. I got up promptly, straightening my shirt, taking deep breaths and drawing energy from a place where none existed. My soul, my tainted soul smiled weakly, as if taunting that it took so long for me to realize how feeble it had become after all these years of no restraint, no focus and my inane ability to keep losing my center. I pleaded to it. Be patient. Now that I know how weak you are, I want to do something about it. Don’t abandon me please. I know I have corrupted you, and diminished your purity and reduced you into a pitiable creature that has no hope left anymore. I have hurt you by mindlessly going about life and taking decisions without consulting you even once. For long I even forgot, I had you inside me dimming every day until God felt the need to show me how tired you were of me. Let me start to pick up these tiny pieces, shiny shards even if they prick my fingers and I bleed. Even if I bleed till there isn’t a single drop of blood left, I won’t stop trying to put you back together. Now that I know what I have done to you, let me have this opportunity to make atonement for my misgivings and this only chance that God has offered me to save you. To save me. Again, you say it is a selfish endeavour but then I argue that I live only once. Everybody deserves a second chance. But I gave you so many, you retort back with eyes blazing with agony and anger like the devil’s own. I also saw that you were charred and were turning into ash with each passing second. Let me start patching you up. Don’t waste away yet. I am here now that I know that you are too. We can do this together.

Here I found piece, and another and there another one too. Everything will be alright. But how do I fix you. I don’t know which piece goes where. I see the pieces themselves still had some sheen, and I felt a flutter of happiness. I am going to make this alright and I run around, busying myself with picking up the pieces of my broken soul. Times-a-wasting, my soul announced. It is too late. There is no hope. Leave it. Let fate decide what it wants to do. Just flow like you have always done, without caring, without a thought. You want to be a free bird but even freedom comes at a cost. In this quest for eternal freedom, you have done irreparable damage to your soul. Theres no healing that can happen now. All the ash will turn to dust and the wind will carry it to places far and wide.

I turned around and sat in the darkest corner of my heart and my head between my knees, not looking up. My eyes filled with tears to see my soul wasting away. Why didn’t I take notice before?

When the last bits remained, my soul whispered, let this be a lesson to you and many others who squeezed their soul of all its light.

I wish and I prayed for that one last chance to make things right but the light dimmed and I was plunged into a never-ending darkness for days to come.