The first layer of the forest
is obscure and is damp,
as little sunlight manages
to make it to the ground.
The small living creatures,
that in the forest floor reside,
are oblivious to the world
that flourishes all around.
*One day in my life*
The alarm goes off and I'm up in a second.
I start my morning routine by pulling the curtains open and getting to my feet. I stretch my arms over my head for a moment, and then lie on the floor and do 10 push ups. Afterwards, I stretch my back and shoulders going into a child's pose.
Now that my brain's awake, I grab the clothes that are already prepared on top of the dresser, and head to the bathroom.
I check the time on my watch: 6:05 am.
I splash some cold water over my face and stare into the mirror for a moment. Bright green eyes stare back at me. My shoulder length lilac hair looks messy and curly, so I brush it gently for a few moments, and then tie it up in a little ponytail.
I brush my teeth and quickly put on a black pair of leggings, a simple sports bra and a loose tank top. Heading towards the room again, I grab the yoga-mat from under the bed and get ready for my morning session. My watch reads 6:15 am.
After 45 minutes of flow-yoga, I take an extra ten minutes to sit down cross legged and meditate to the sound of tibetian bowls. I breathe in through the nose, and out through the mouth, set my intentions for the day and express my gratitudes.
"I am grateful for my mother, that always puts my well being before anything else. I am grateful for having a roof over my head, a career path in front of me and for-"
I stop right on my tracks. No, I'm not grateful for Brad anymore, why does he keep poking in my head? I should stop thinking about him altogether, it's already been 6 months.
I need to get myself together.
Annoyed, I get up and turn the music off and head over to the bathroom once more. I take a quick shower, grab the second set of clothes sitting on top of my dresser, get changed, and head to the kitchen to enjoy some breakfast.
My phone pings and I see I have a few messages from last night, so I start looking through them while I munch on some organic cereal with almond milk. The phone marks 7:24 am
There's a message from Emma, which was sent at 2:20 am.
Em: Hey, I've been meaning to text you for such a long time! What have you been up to? We haven't talked in like... 2 days!!
The message ends with a heap of emojis of T-rexes. I laugh out loud at the long-lost inside joke, almost spitting out my cereal, and text my best friend back.
Sam: Hey! That's a terribly long time! I've missed you too! Just been buried under tons of papers I need to write for uni, and books, so many books to read! I have a lot of mid-term exams coming up in the next few days, but we need to catch up soon!
And just for good measure, I add a few T-rexes.
I know very well that she won't be up until at least midday, so I finish my breakfast, wash and dry the dishes and grab my bag to head over to university.
I'm in my third year already, studying for my master's in Biology at the University of Buenos Aires.
I walk out of the door at 7:40 am and tell myself it's going to be a good day. I have a 2 minutes walk to the bus stop, and then a long ride awaits me. I love the trip, which is almost 2 hours long between buses, trains and a subway, because it is the perfect excuse to indulge in some literature.
By 7:55 am I'm already on the bus, reading a book. My obsession with books didn't start until I was a little bit over 11 or 12 years old, when mum gifted me "Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone". Right there and then, as soon as I opened up the first page, the bookworm was born: a monster that grew inside of me and needs to be fed constantly. It's a hungry beast that possesses me whole, making me read book after book after book, and no matter how much I read, it never seems to be enough.
Today I'm reading The Little Prince again, a masterpiece that has so many beautiful quotes that fill my heart with joy and make me reflect about my own life all the time.
I'm a few minutes away from my connection with the subway, so I look up the window, to the city quickly rolling by. A big city is all I've ever known. I grew up here, out in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. And even if I'm often thinking about running out to the countryside and nature, a part of me is always scared of leaving the concrete jungle behind. After all, this is home. Even if sometimes I feel incredibly left out, even if I feel like I'm the only woman of colour in the whole city.
I get off the bus, and walk a block to the subway station, watching the Sun as I do. It's barely just rising over the houses and in between the buildings, and I can't help but feel a little bit like him, like the little prince sitting on his little planet and watching the sunset over and over again.
After all, the sunset is only the sunrise in reverse, right?
'And were you very, very sad on the day you watched forty-four sunsets?'
I don't know anymore. Am I?
"How was your day at uni, darling?" Mum asks as she's serving me dinner. It's a deliciously looking casserole, which is one of my favourites.
"It was good, just another day I guess," I say with a shrug.
"You don't sound too excited about it, hun." Mum's brows knit together in a worried look. She looks like the complete opposite of me; barely tanned skin, brown eyes, dark long and thin hair, a pointy nose and chubby complexion. At least in that we look alike, we're both a bit chubby, and we're also almost the same height.
"Oh, no, it's not that, mum!" I say. "I'm just a bit tired, that's all. There's a lot of exams these days. I actually have a zoology exam the day after tomorrow that I'm studying hard for, there's so many names and things to remember!"
I grab a spoonful of casserole and shove it in my mouth. I'm delighted by the flavours dancing in my palate, the meat almost melting in my tongue.
"Oh, mum, this is amazing!" I say with my mouth still half-full, unable to contain my happiness.
"Samantha, watch your manners! I've been telling you not to talk with your mouth full since you were a kid, and you're 20 already!" She says, raising her tone. "You're never going to find another boyfriend like this," she adds, and then she seems to bite her tongue, her head going down.
I swallow before looking up at her through my long lashes. I barely give a little nod and then put my head back down. I think mum knows she hit a nerve, because we finish our meals in a little awkward silence.
It hurts to hear it, to be reminded that I'm alone again. I had been so sure Brad was the one, we were together for four years and I grew so accustomed to his presence, that the emptiness still lingers around me like a ghost. I know better now, but I'm still slowly working on it: learning to understand how toxic our relationship actually was. But mum doesn't know about that, I can't talk to her about it. I always made excuses for him when we were together, and after I ended it, I just didn't know how to tell her. I don't want to ruin the image she has of him, I know mum really likes Brad. Everybody likes Brad.
But counselling has been really helpful in the last six months, and I'm slowly getting there. Even if I don't know where 'there' is. I have a long road ahead, I know that much.
I guess after all, I'm still coming to terms with everything that happened.
Note: Enjoyed this first chapter? Please leave me a comment and let me know!
I find the start to always be the hardest part to write! I've edited this a few times to make it a little bit more fast paced too!