“Open mine, open mine!” I yelled cheekily to the birthday girl.
“No I’ll open whatever one I want,” she said while picking mine up by mistake. “A packet of balloons… Thanks Lillian,” she said, as if she was disappointed with my gift.
She finished opening all the other girls’ gifts and her parents blew up a balloon for everyone. Something was different about these balloons but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. One part of my mind made me believe that they changed our thoughts, yet, I do have an amazing creativity as I imagine the impossible.
“Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday dear Magenta,
happy birthday to you.
Hip-hip, hurray! Hip-hip, hurray! Hip-hip, hurray! ” We all sang to her kindly.
She started to blow out her 2 candles on her cake. We could all suddenly feel the gentle wind gain speed and force. Magenta started to make her wish. The balloons had begun to dance in the wind moving all over the place. It was as if the balloons were puppies hearing the word walk.
The balloons started to glow. The colours were beautiful and bright. They looked like a bunch of pretty flowers dancing in the air. The parents didn’t see it this way, as they had a different type of mind to us kids. They became extremely concerned. Magenta finished her wish and the wind immediately stopped. It felt like it was the longest 5 seconds of my life.
The party was over. Everyone was still holding on to their balloons, including all the parents. We all said our goodbyes and thankyous and left. I got home and went into my room. I stared out of the window and turned back around expecting to see mum and dad, but they weren’t there.
“They are probably outside,” I said to myself, hoping I was right. I turned back around and looked out the window again. The wall was pink and the window pane was white. It reminded me of a cupcake that needed some sprinkles to make it look pretty.
Suddenly, I saw 2 balloons float into the air. One was orange and the other was yellow. They looked exactly the same as the ones my parents had. They just kept floating up and up moving faster by the second.
They started to glow just like they did at the party. All the people on the street were looking up wondering what was going to happen next. Each person had their own personalities and at this moment it was truly obvious what each person was like, as they showed it in their body language. To me this was weird as no one usually acts like that, we normally hide our personalities inside.
It felt like the balloons controlled everyone, telling them what to do and when, yet I didn’t get affected. I just realized that I still had my own balloon. I looked up at it and saw it glow fiercely and vibrantly.
Mum and dad still hadn’t come inside. This worried me because I’ve never been home alone. I’ve never felt like the world was going crazy. Is the world actually going crazy or is it just me? “It’s me, I’m going mad!” I yelled in stress. I cried and soon there was a puddle of tears around me. I just couldn’t handle this. I didn’t even know what ‘this’ was.
I covered my eyes with my hands and cried into them. “I’m only a little girl,” I whispered, feeling depressed, sad, tired and worried. What am I feeling? Am I even feeling anything?
I started to giggle. Something was tickling my eyes. I remove my hands to realize that I was still holding on to the balloon. These balloons got me into this mess, and they’re going to get me out of it. I looked around and panicked. The whole room was black and white. I looked outside, I looked around the rest of the house and everything was black and white. I’m so scared I don’t understand how this is possible. Everything looks evil and dark.
I stare at the balloon with a grumpy face as it’s the only thing in colour. It’s shining bright, brighter than the sun. The sun wasn’t even shining anymore. It was just black.
I made the sad, puppy eyed face at the balloon like I would at my parents when I wanted something. Instead of lollies I wanted my parents back and for everything to be normal. This is probably my imagination or just a dream, but I never fell asleep and why would I imagine something as terrible and scary as this.
Writing started to appear on the balloon. It read, “You can’t stay young forever.” I suddenly felt older but still as sad as a little kid. I ran into the bathroom and looked in the mirror.
“I can’t believe it! This isn’t my home, take me home,” I scream in terror. I wasn’t me anymore, I was an older girl. I looked like I was 35. I brushed my hand through my hair, I looked so terrible, not one part of me looked like me. My face was full of tears, my hair was all everywhere and my life was all messed up.
I cried into the mirror until I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to find a place to just let everything out. I ran outside and sat on the road. This is what I always did when I was a kid and I was sad. Well, I still am, I’m just lost in an older body.
I kept rocking myself back and forwards back and forwards telling myself that everything would be alright, but I knew everything was wrong, everything was different and there was nothing I could do to fix it.
I stared into the darkness of the black and white and saw nothing but failure. Not even a little sparkle of success. I suddenly stopped rocking myself and slowly let go of the balloon. As it slowly slipped out of my hands my life turned into slow motion. A second felt like 5 seconds. As the balloon disappeared up in the sky I started to disappear. Slowly and slowly faded into the darkness of this messed up world until I was gone. I was free from my prison in my body yet I was nothing. I wasn’t anywhere.
The balloon that I feared and that I thought had ruined my life was the only thing keeping me alive, the only thing keeping everyone at the party alive.
In the sky stood a bunch of bright balloons, floating together as if they were the souls of innocent people.
Aisha Samat 2013
The Release of Our Souls