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The Rose and the Sword

This was a short work that I did for a class last semester. It's far from perfect, but I enjoyed the class quite a bit and figured I'd post some things that I did and see what y'alls thoughts are. I plan on taking some inspiration from this piece and turning it into a song. 

Quote:“This is bullshit” -- he exclaims.
“You’re not thinking straight. You’ve got three semesters left, you’ve already changed your major twice, and you’re not--”
“Not what?”
“Don’t interrupt me.”
“Yes, but I’m not going to waste one more semester on the wrong major, not following my own heart.”

It’s late in the fall and the leaves have all changed colors. A little darker in the afternoon and the sun is getting ready to set, I turn around to the same architectural masterpiece that I had seen every day since I began this job. The walls were covered with windows as high as the ceilings themselves, and could see the sidewalks, the streetlights, and the campus right outside of the lounge. I’m here three or four days out of the week, making the same coffees and the same lattes every time. The job itself is mundane enough.

        “Honey… I don’t… I don’t know why you would feel this way. But you need to talk to me. You can’t let all of this stress get to you.” she responds.
        “You wouldn’t know stress if it fell from the sky with the passion of a thousand suns.”
“And you know what, stars will still fall from the skies, and you still have to catch them. This is your future here! ”
“That’s all my father had ever told me. And you’re here to burn that bush into the ground like everyone else.”
“This isn’t about your father! You are the first person in your family to ever set foot on a college campus. You are doing things nobody in your family ever did before you. You need to be so much easier on yourself. ”
“Yes but uh--” ...
“Um what? That you still feel your father is writing your life story for you? You are your own person, capable of chasing your own dreams. You have to light that flame for yourself and keep it lit. You are the only one who can do that for yourself. ”

        She pulls out her phone. Half eaten sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A and a mess of notes were scattered across the table. The art still hung from the ceilings, and the skies get a little darker as they became shaded in red.

        “You know what, let me look at these notes.” she says.
        “They’re right here. Still nothing.”
        “That’s fine, I understand. But we’ll get through this…”

I glanced over and saw six or seven different textbooks, a few loose assignments scattered across the table, and a mosaic of notes that seemed to correspond to more than a couple different classes. The table was undeniably an incoherent mess. He stood up, grabbed the nearest dry-erase board, recalled information from the latest exam and became visibly agitated.

        “I can’t do this, Sky. It’s all bullshit. It’d be easier to memorize Pi to the 1,000th decimal than to read one more page out of... -- ”

        She grabs his jacket aggressively in an attempt to grab his attention.

        “Listen to me. We can get through this. I’ve been with you since the beginning and I’ve always believed in you. But I need you to believe in yourself. Changing your major for the third time is not going to make the schoolwork any easier on you, and it will only set you further behind.”

I looked back towards the study hall, the skies now becoming dark, the halls becoming quieter and more clear, and the street lights illuminating the walkways for another evening. Inadvertently, they say if you’re ever unfortunate to get caught up in a rip current, that you’re best bet is to stay calm and to fight your instincts to swim against the current. Their conversations seemed much like this. His frustration was consuming him against a wall that would never change.

“Well I’m glad you believe in me. Nobody else did.” He responds.
“Not true. You’re just young and you are figuring yourself out.“

        She turns around slowly, and pauses to glance at two pictures that she had kept in her wallet. Then turns back, and says,  

        “See here. This rose. It represents what’s beautiful in life. It represents your dreams and your emotions. It represents your passion and your soul, and life itself. But the sword represents your doubts and your fears. It represents the things in your life that destroy you rather than build you up …”   

        She pauses. He nods his head. Suddenly you can hear the wind beating against the lounge walls and the weather seems to shift rapidly. A drizzle turns into a pour, and then into hail as the whether vehemently shifts the mood for everyone in the room. “It’s an odd time of the year for hail,” I thought to myself, but I suppose you never know what each day brings, and I head back towards my empty register. I realize that as my shift comes to a close, I’ll likely be stranded here for a least a few minutes longer.

        “That was unexpected” he murmurs.
        She merely nodded her head.
As the rain got louder, I could no longer hear their conversations.

And shortly thereafter, six o’clock arrived. My shift came to a close, the rain slowed to a drizzle, and I left shortly thereafter.
My slow walk towards my uninspiring vehicle left me with time to contemplate. I suppose the sword represents sabotaging the positivity in your own life. But what was the meaning of the rose? Is it better to look at the world through rose colored eyes, seeing the positivity in every situation, or with the pessimistic lens that prepares you for the inevitable in life, for the worst in any moment, or for the storms that will arise without warning?

The only real question in my mind was a matter of which lens I should view the world through. And as I caught myself being skeptical, I realized that in my heart was a little of both.

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