I was sad. When I woke in the morning I felt dull. Everything around me was the colour of a concrete slab. I looked forward to nothing. My alarm would buzz violently on my bedside table, a shrill urgency alerting the room that the day had begun. I slap it off. Make breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair. Always in that order. I march to the grocery store. I meet a friend for coffee. I nod and laugh and comment in jolly sunny notes; ‘that’s wonderful news!’, ‘I’m so happy for you’, ‘you look great’, ‘I love your new hair’. I do everything I am supposed to do.
They told me to maintain good friendships, keep a routine, get outside, find purpose, exercise. I go through the motions, checking each one off like it is a shopping list. I’m always exhausted after interacting with a friend. My mind yearns to be in silence, to have space to churn. I meander to a nearby field and see a daffodil perked upright out of the boggy brown dirt with its yolky centre and custard frame. I feel it looking at me mockingly.
“What’re you looking at?” I whisper to it, crouching down and ripping it from the Earth.
It’s sickly sulphur makes my stomach clench. Bile seeps up my throat. I look around and the rest of my world is still a sea of grey. The field looks like a murky ocean in the night time. It’s brooding and dark and sends angry waves of hills that disrupt the still surface. Everything seems restless and strange poisonous creatures lurk beneath my feet, although I cannot see them I know they are there.
I look back at the daffodil. It appears immune to my grey world surrounding it and continues glowing an ethereal yellow. It laughs at me.
“I am everything you are not!” I imagine it saying.
I glare right at its orange centre.
“I hate you” I say as I toss it at my feet and walk away.