Candy floss came first. I loved it! Don’t we all love candy floss?
It was very sweet, satisfying and everything I wanted. I couldn’t dream of anything better, so much so that, tasting it, I was in heaven. This divine taste came in a package labelled “……..”- Well, let’s just say, not a very colourful name. But, I am not a stickler about these things.
So what if the label was a bit shoddy, when the taste was beyond this world.
But as you can imagine, with time it began tasting bland, grew blander and blander till I got quite sick of its nothing-but-sweetness taste. I could balance this out with the skilfulness of a tight-rope walker, I thought, with some spicy snacks that’ll wash off the sickening sweetness.
But, then it stopped tasting sweet altogether and began tasting bitter by the day. It made me feel mad at myself for continuing to eat it. All it could give me in return, I knew, was a daily threat of diabetes and the ruination of my health.
So one day I got tired of all that bitterness, dropped it and ran away.
I won’t say that I didn’t stop quite a few times, didn’t look back, didn’t even retrace my steps, didn’t pick it up or didn’t give it one more taste. It was actually very slow and gradual- my final realization that candy floss made me feel sick.
The first taste I loved was bad for me.
But, I walked on, at least until I saw something that took my breath away… A four-door fridge! I don’t know about you, but I had never seen a four-door fridge before. So I looked at it from afar. I looked at it from various angles, and even squinted my eyes. I looked and looked so hard and from that distance, it looked so sophisticated, slick and smart. It almost looked as if the fridge itself was winking at me with its posh neon lights.
As you can imagine, I was smitten. I had found my new favourite thing!
After admiring it from far for a long time, I found it very tempting to get closer to that smooth exterior. So I inched closer and closer, in a way that I perceived as very graceful and sly until I was close enough to touch it. I was mesmerized by the glow of the fine steel look that blinded me in the distance, and my eyes took a while to adjust to the object at close range. Now that I looked hard at close-range, I saw that its smooth surface was scarred with scratches and lines, in a very ugly sort of way. They didn’t look like scars earned through battling for a noble cause.
But I was still convinced that it must be filled with all sort of goodies inside! So I took a deep breath and a risk. I slowly reached and opened its four great doors. And immediately wished I hadn’t. It was filled with dark mould and disgusting pungent smells. It was like staring down a hell-hole or seeing death itself. I had quite a shock, screamed and ran away, yet again.
By this time I was disheartened with favourite things; sweet tastes and great looks. But I walked on.
Lo and behold! Who comes now?
A great nobleman, a warrior, clad in full armour and chain-mail, wielding a great big silver sword adorned with symbolic carvings and riding confidently on a strong steed. I could only look up in awe.
“Now here is a sight for sore eyes”, my mind muttered.
He must be on his way to save his kingdom and help those desperate subjects of his, who are in dire need. My eyes welled up with tears of ecstasy as I’ve finally come across my most favourite thing so far. I can feel it! This is what I was always looking for… The very image of righteous magnanimity!
It took me great courage to finally put on my best smile and walk toward him and his fine stallion. He noticed me, and looked down.
Mind you, from the great height that he was at, he had to look way down at me.
But I didn’t mind him looking down on me, and was about to clear my throat to respectfully offer my greetings to His Noble Majesty, when a silvery voice made itself known. It came from behind him.
I peeped to see who that was.
There, seated behind him in perfect grace and poise, dressed from head to feet in glamorous jewels and fine clothes, glowing like the moon herself, was a Princess as beautiful as I ever saw. She condescended to ask me kindly, in her chiming voice, with a charming tilt of her dainty face, if I was lost.
I gave her the last abashed smile I could muster, and told her that I indeed, was lost.
But I turned down their offer to show me the way back to civilized society and lied down here on the warm grass. I stretched my arms and legs and stared at the powder blue sky, which was also stretching itself and staring back at me.
I watched a yellow butterfly land on a blade of grass beside me. I just felt, “I’ll be fine”.
That was it. I don’t think I’ll ever get up to go questing. If this is being lost, I am happy to be lost. Lost in my way, lost to the rest of the world.
Written by Samya Senaratne
Illustration by DRG