La Rochelle Yearbook 2022

Budding authors

question asked and our answers twisted into lies to which the only solution is pills given forcefully. In years to come, you will find our brown leather trunks stored in the dusty, rat-infested attic. We do not need them once we have entered the clutches of the mental institute, for seldom do we bid our prison goodbye. Eventually, the letters from loved ones stop coming, the influx of gifts dry up, and finally, we too are forgotten. What use have they for us? We are sick and unable to contribute to society. The periods of sanity become fewer and fewer, until it becomes impossible for us to untangle reality from that which we believe. Then, they grow tired of our existence and pack us off on a train to a facility for outcasts. Our child-like minds, our unstable moods, our delusions, and aggression bind us more tightly than any straight jacket could. We chain ourselves; we do not need them to do it. The wailing and screaming of the deranged, like war sirens beckoning us underground to escape the overhead danger, would distress any who care to hear. Is there ever to be an understanding? Will your society ever show us empathy? Will you ever stop taking advantage of our vulnerability? Will I ever hold my children in my arms again, or have they too been turned against me? The fear in their eyes as they watched them drag me away, kicking and screaming, haunts me in every waking moment. I press my fingers against the glass of the window thick with dust. The bitter tears of the heavens cascade downwards, dimpling the sandy grounds “God, You promised…” I whisper, as the rainbow appears, “but here I am, drowning, and even You have forgotten us.” I s a b e l l a C o l a t r u g l i o ( G r a d e 12 ) H OWE V E R L O N G T H E N I G H T , D AWN W I L L B R E A K ( A N A F R I C A N P RO V E R B ) When the world was created, it was birthed in a realmmade up of light and dark. It is the day and night that has hold on to us all. We dread the dark, for it poses challenges, mystery, uncertainty, and danger that looms over us like an ever present cold shadow, yet however frightened we might be, we are always able to brave the dark and reach out to the light once more. That is our nature, for such is nature. Long ago, in times which we all seem to have forgotten, fear and terror were the normal – our normal. A word spoken out of place, a tight fist raised in the air for the fight for rights and an embracing of our differences was seen as the same as having a death wish. Even so, our ancestors persevered through blood, sweat, tears, loss/ grief, turmoil and prevalent doom for the hope that they had in tomorrow, a brighter tomorrow, a softer tomorrow, a tomorrow that would greet them with a friendly smile. Today we find ourselves disputing over trivial matters in the face of disease and death. We have come to focus solely on the dark night – we have created a seemingly inescapable eclipse for ourselves, for our lives and for our today. When we are present under this dark eclipse, we cannot see nor communicate with one another. We shoot aimlessly at the deer and end up killing our brother. We run with no end in sight, to the end of oblivion.

I, too, am guilty of this. I, too, have fallen under the gaze of this eclipse. It is terrifying, yet strangely enough, it is easier. When I feel like throwing in the towel, like taking the final bow at curtain call, it feels easier. When I hold within my hand my own broken heart with the taste of dry and salty tears … it feels easier. Although it is easier, I will never gaze back at the dark sky ever again, for I know far better now. Do you want to know what the brilliant thing about tomorrow is? Tomorrow is not today, nor will it ever be. Tomorrow constantly welcomes change, warmth, and growth, but most importantly, it welcomes hope. This hope is the essence of our humanity, for if we can hope, we can live to see another tomorrow. This I definitely know now: however long the night, dawn will break. J o r d a n An d e r s o n ( G r a d e 12 ) T O S E E I N C O L O U R Looking back, I am not entirely sure why I remember the scene so vividly. It was filled with so much … nothingness, but perhaps that it why I can recall it at a whim. The contrast between then and now … sorry, I am getting ahead of myself. It was cold, frigid, really – the type of cold that makes your bones ache in the worst way – and it was wet too. I remember the sky sobbing sheets of rain. In the centre of that sad scene, was me. I was walking down a traditionally beautiful street – I say traditionally, because I suppose I disagreed with the assessment at the time. It was that odd hour between twilight and full dark, the one for which there is no name, and the bleak sky filled me with a feeling I can only describe as dread. I remember thinking that I should at least attempt to take in Paris’s tourist-worthy scenery, so I did. I could probably paint the exact scene for you if you asked. Everything was … well, grey. Yes, the ‘City of Lights’ was grey. It is strange for me too, to think back on how I saw everything. I looked around, and everything seemed painted in a million shades of grey, which sounds beautiful, but I promise, it is quite dreary. I am sure my brain registered the colours, tucked them away in some file that remains inaccessible to me – ‘that building is peach, the Eiffel Tower is glowing,’ – but all I saw was grey. All I knew was grey. If depression were a colour, it would surely be boringly, monotonously grey. “You’re quiet today.” My fianc é’s gentle reproach pulls me out of my stupor, and I glance up at the kindest human being I will ever know. We are walking down that same dreary street, except it is not dreary. The building next to me is the most vibrant shade of peach I have ever seen, and the sky is impossibly beautiful as it fades from twilight to dusk. The smell of the pouring rain cleanses me from the inside out, even as my bones ache from the cold – but it is a good ache; the type of ache that reminds you that you were once warm, and that you will be warm again soon. I smile up at the man walking next to me, as I hug my bright red sweater more closely (as a rule, I only wear comically bright clothing nowadays). He smiles back, and his brown eyes tell me that he is confused, but that he simply wants me to be happy. What he does not know, is that I am the happiest I have ever been. I suppose everybody has that one thing. A pet, a book, a hobby. For me, all it took was one person to teach me how to see in colour again. Z o ë V a s s i l a t o s ( G r a d e 12 )


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