Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Silent Witness

 Self-portrait.  Story inspired by The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins


This is the saddest case I’ve witnessed since being glued to the walls of this nursery room. You should see her: a pale cheek boned beauty, resembling Knox, the goddess of the night, trapped in the numbness of self-love starvation. 

Poor woman. Her despair pains my soul, but I’m so weak myself that I nearly can’t say anything. I see her curling up at the break of dawn, and fall into deep sleep while her onyx eyes remain wide open. She seems to be in trance with this wall to which I’m doomed to stay glued on. I too, can’t stop looking at her.


In all these years, I’ve seen too much misery and abandonment to be able to make a concise account. I honestly don’t know how I’ve been able to survive the grievances lingering in this room, but this time I’m certain that if I don’t save her, I’ll die with her. That is how much my tired heart wants to live.

I still remember how the playful sunlight would filter through my semi-transparent reddish petals as they swang fragilely with the imaginary wind. But those ghostly sorrows have gradually degraded my joyful wallpaper tints into horrid yellows and devastated poppy meadows. No wonder she believes that I’m monstrous.


I see her surrender to her husband’s patronising sweetness. I want to tell her that he’s evil, and in my effort, my patterns choke and make ugly faces. I think she noticed me. I can see her look away to the musty ceiling and tremble with childish apprehension, but I cannot reach her. She’s still too feeble to trust me. I have to wait.


Today was one of those days where the masquerade of her husband made me nauseous again. Just like my case, he wants her to disintegrate bit by bit, by making her believe that nobody, including herself, can save her. What a despicable man.

When he left the room, I saw her helplessly scribble on her secret notebook "he truly loves me". She was crying again.

I tried to scream by cracking loudly and harshly tearing my pieces off the wall so she would notice me. And dear heaven, this time she did.

She observed me with her studious, bone-shaped expression. Her dark hollow gaze carefully followed every convulsing pattern of mine. She stared at me perplexingly until I sank into her drowning eyes. I had to tell her my story. I had to save her.

Eyes tightly shut, I recalled when I was a firm wallpaper sheltering bright Amapolas, which spread under the sun like graceful frescoes over emerald valleys. I fiercely tried to regress to my robust forms and glowing tones while telling her that she was mesmerising, that she deserved better, that I loved her.

My tearful passionate efforts softened and moistened my dying paper. With fervent determination, I crawled and held onto the porous wall until my fading poppies slowly burst out giving birth to blossoming, full-bodied Amapola trees.

With diamond-like tears revealing her bewitching onyx eyes, she timidly smiled and delicately caressed my dancing colours, as I held her hands and invited her in.

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