A Happy Story

A Happy Story

By Mariana Arboleda

Warning: This is not a happy story.

One upon a time, there stood a small girl who dreamed about running across the blue, infinite sky. 

One day, her wings got broken, leaving her with a terrible scar that caused her to fall into a vast, deep ocean. She drowned, unable to swim or breathe. She drowned until she could no longer remember the fresh air that she once knew so much about. So eventually, time passed and so did the girls’ spark and flame. Without no notice, the coldness of such vast ocean and emptiness that came along was slowly destroying her all being. 

Most of importantly, she became one with the empty ocean.

Well, as she was hopelessly stuck drowning, there was still an unknown drive to keep swimming, maybe it was the pure hope of finding that sky she once flew across, or maybe the thought of reuniting with the fluffy clouds she once used to love so dearly, or maybe even the feeling of touching the stars once more. 

But this is not a happy story. 

Every time she tried to come to the surface, an unimaginable force pulled her to the bottom of the ocean, and every time she cried. She cried about her lost hope and faith, about her dreams that were once shattered and scattered away across the sand as useless shells. She cried and cried until no tears were no longer left except the dryness of her eyes. If this was a happy story, the girl could have gotten to the surface again, and returned to her normal, naive, happy life. 

But this is not a happy story.

Over time, she forgot about everything that once made her so splendid. At the same time, she forgot about the vast ocean as well. Except it wasn’t a vast ocean, but of course she didn’t realize this, at least not at first. She was so fixated on herself and her grief that she forgot how light looked like, the one that surrounded her all around. All the different type of fish swam around her, fish curious enough to be her friend. Octopuses, sharks, dolphins…. all sort of fish would get near her and wonder how someone so elegant was stuck in their vast ocean. 

Except it wasn’t a vast ocean for them. 

For them, the ocean was full of wildlife and hope, it was their sky and stars. It was the ocean that defined who they are, the same one that protected them and which they adored so much. One day, the girl’s cries and sobs were loud enough to be heard all across the ocean. As she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, fish all around her came to comfort her. But the girl was blind. She was blinded by grief and pain, so terrible that even some fish gave up and continued with their own happy lives. But some stuck with her, comforting her even as she didn’t notice, drying up her tears and providing her warmth and light as a sense to remind her of her past home. 

But once again this is not a happy story.

The girl didn’t miraculous recover from her pain and neither did she return to the surface. Because this is not a happy story, this is a story of endurance and pain. After going through so much pain, the little girl learned how to endure and live with it. She learned to move on from her past and appreciate what surrounded her, she realized that the cold of the ocean was actually its warmth wrapping her like a cozy blanket. She learns to love that vast ocean, and she learn to appreciate her pain. She became one with her pain and scars, just as she has become one with the supposed vast ocean. She loved herself with all her flaws and past. Maybe, just maybe, she thought, maybe I will be able to fly across the endless sky again, but for now, swimming across the endless ocean among the starfish is where I belong. 

Maybe this is a happy story. Or maybe not.