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Self Exile

by Euphoria8


My time in Jeddah emptied itself before I knew it.

In a way, it was over a long time ago, ever since I left it two years back. But I held on to my hometown unceasingly, revisiting it once every year, always reminiscing on the memories.

But as I tugged the suitcase over the pristine epoxy floor, plane names flashing on Flight Information display systems installed all around the brightly-lit airport like accusations of my self-exile, it really started to sink in. My chest tightened at the smell of burnt jet fuel, the sounds of chattering families, and clattering trolleys echoing in my ears. So there I was, guilt choking me as I thought of having to say goodbye all over again.

A hand landed tenderly on my shoulder. I swung around to meet the sad smile on her illuminated face.

“I guess this is it,” She lowered her eyes. “See you again next year.”

I sucked my cheeks in, eyes burning like they were hit by eucalyptus oil.

A thousand images flit through my mind; chasing each other through playrooms and corridors, playing dollhouses like we were drunkards, fighting and scraping each other’s arms out of anger with tears in our eyes and making up again with jokes and games nobody else knew.

We played like the kids we were but we also fought like lovers, consoled each other like soulmates, teased each other like siblings, and fought for each other like heroes.

We were everything.

I saw the water swelling at the edge of her eyelids as she looked ahead lost in thought, clearly experiencing similar flashbacks.

I remembered that the time I left the year before, she had cried her soul out while I had patted her back with a beam, sorrowful but confident that I’d return.

But right then, when she was holding up better than me, I couldn’t feel the same confidence, couldn’t feel anything but agony-filled emptiness.

So I let myself break.

The next thing I saw was her shaking smile attempting to cheer me up, what I felt was her dad’s chest against my forehead. Voices around me told me I’d come back, that I’d see them again, but the scent of the duty-free store perfumes was a reminder that I was still leaving at that very moment. All I wanted to hear were my wails and feel was my squeezing heartache.

Perhaps I was more emotional than usual that day. Perhaps I was more weighed down for betraying my homeland again. Perhaps I loved them more than before because I knew what life was without them. Perhaps it was everything overwhelming my emotions and my senses.

But looking back now, I like to think that somehow, deep down, I knew I would never go back after all. 

Author's Note: 

Jeddah is a city in Saudi Arabia, for anyone wondering.

This is a real life event from my life.


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User avatar
8 Reviews


Points: 38
Reviews: 8

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Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:38 pm
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Wallflower23 wrote a review...



Wow. Just wow. I really felt this piece. I am also constantly leaving home to fly off somewhere else so I understand some of this pain. I also live fearing the time where I know I will not return for. a long time, if at all.

I really loved the line "eyes burning like they were hit by eucalyptus oil." That's just a really beautiful metaphor. It really engages the senses so I applaud it.

I also really loved how you described the relationship between you and 'her.' This part "We played like the kids we were but we also fought like lovers, consoled each other like soulmates, teased each other like siblings, and fought for each other like heroes." I just found the use of describing the actions of all these different kinds of relationships in one really lovely. It really informs the audience of how significant this relationship was because this ONE person was clearly so much to you.

One thing that I may edit was this line "I saw the water swelling under her eyelids." The use of the word 'under' doesn't feel right to me. May I suggest changing it to suggest that the water is swelling at the EDGE of her eyelids. That for me better conjures the image of tears forming on bottom the waterline of the eyelid.

Anyway lovely piece and a melancholic end.
Thanks for sharing!




Euphoria8 says...


I'm glad this piece spoke to you as well as it does to me! And I truly hope you get to visit your home for as much time as you want, having to leave is truly heartbreaking :'(

It's great to know you noticed the metaphor! As someone who's never seen it anywhere I wanted to add it so the good reaction to it is a relief!

"Her" is a friend I've had since childhood who's always been here for me and I wanted to express that in the best way possible :) I'm glad to know you enjoyed and recognized its significance!

It's edited in! Thank you very much for pointing that out!
Thank you so much for the review and kind words <3



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92 Reviews


Points: 7164
Reviews: 92

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Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:17 am
ChrisDixon wrote a review...



Hello~
I'm here for a quick review. I saw that you've published two writings just after you joined here! That's an amazing thing, I never have done that before. Congrats on your first review star!

Sorry for being a tad blunt, I'm not very good with that. I love how you write this, I just love how you write it down and till you end it with truthful words. I really enjoy reading this and I simply think it's a wonderful start you made up for this story. I don't know how much of this is true but it's a sad story. Thank you for sharing this event with YWS.

Let's dive and see the corals of the suggestion!

My chest tightened at the smell of burnt jet fuel, the sounds of chattering families and clattering trolleys echoing in my ears. So there I was, guilt choking me as I thought of having to say goodbye all over again.


You need a comma after "families" and before "clattering".
So, " My chest tightened at the smell of burnt jet fuel, the sounds of chattering families, and clattering trolleys echoing in my ears. "

We played like the kids we were but we also fought like lovers, consoled each other like soulmates, teased each other like siblings and fought for each other like heroes.
We were everything.


I suggest you use a comma after "siblings".

I had a similar experience with you and I simply just cry over it sometimes because I miss my friends and most of all the love I felt there. My heart longs to go there but I know I not longer belong there even if I go back. No one will love me again just like that time. Anyways, I love reading this and I really want to read some of your other writings! It's well written and in my opinion the best forum for it.


I would love to get the link of the writing when you publish something, is that asking too much?

Always smile!
Keep up the wonderful stories!

Yours,
ChrisDixon




Euphoria8 says...


Hiiii thank you so very much for the review and the congratulatory message! Your kind words really made my day so I bet I'll always be smiling :) I'll be implementing your suggestions right after this reply, I appreciate the corrections with my whole heart!

I'm so sorry you had to go through something like this too! I agree, it's hard not to cry and feel horrible all over again when thinking about events like this. I miss all the friends I left there behind too, especially since the person I wrote about here is the only person I'm still in contact with after it so I get the part about never experiencing that same love again :( Nonetheless, I hope it gets better and easier for you soon, you seem a really great person <3

Well, I just published a new piece here, it's similarly sad and dramatic :'( and as for published, I finished a novel and published it on Amazon last year but it's not the best, my skills have definitely improved since then XD I'm not sure if it'll be available in your country but I'll link it here just in case!

https://www.amazon.in/REALM-RORA-Secret ... ionpcom-21

https://notionpress.com/read/the-realm-of-rora

I've sent two links and I'm not sure if they'll work here so do let me know if they don't and I'll try to find another way to get them to you.

Thanks! Good luck on your crime novel as well! I hope it comes out excellently <3



Euphoria8 says...


Hiiii thank you so very much for the review and the congratulatory message! Your kind words really made my day so I bet I'll always be smiling :) I'll be implementing your suggestions right after this reply, I appreciate the corrections with my whole heart!

I'm so sorry you had to go through something like this too! I agree, it's hard not to cry and feel horrible all over again when thinking about events like this. I miss all the friends I left there behind too, especially since the person I wrote about here is the only person I'm still in contact with after it so I get the part about never experiencing that same love again :( Nonetheless, I hope it gets better and easier for you soon, you seem a really great person <3

Well, I just published a new piece here, it's similarly sad and dramatic :'( and as for published, I finished a novel and published it on Amazon last year but it's not the best, my skills have definitely improved since then XD I'm not sure if it'll be available in your country but I'll link it here just in case!

https://www.amazon.in/REALM-RORA-Secret ... ionpcom-21

https://notionpress.com/read/the-realm-of-rora

I've sent two links and I'm not sure if they'll work here so do let me know if they don't and I'll try to find another way to get them to you.

Thanks! Good luck on your crime novel as well! I hope it comes out excellently <3



Euphoria8 says...


Hiiii thank you so very much for the review and the congratulatory message! Your kind words really made my day so I bet I'll always be smiling :) I'll be implementing your suggestions right after this reply, I appreciate the corrections with my whole heart!

I'm so sorry you had to go through something like this too! I agree, it's hard not to cry and feel horrible all over again when thinking about events like this. I miss all the friends I left there behind too, especially since the person I wrote about here is the only person I'm still in contact with after it so I get the part about never experiencing that same love again :( Nonetheless, I hope it gets better and easier for you soon, you seem a really great person <3

Well, I just published a new piece here, it's similarly sad and dramatic :'( and as for published, I finished a novel and published it on Amazon last year but it's not the best, my skills have definitely improved since then XD I'm not sure if it'll be available in your country but I'll link it here just in case!

https://www.amazon.in/REALM-RORA-Secret ... ionpcom-21

https://notionpress.com/read/the-realm-of-rora

I've sent two links and I'm not sure if they'll work here so do let me know if they don't and I'll try to find another way to get them to you.

Thanks! Good luck on your crime novel as well! I hope it comes out excellently <3




We're all stories in the end.
— 11th Doctor