Enlightened

Aurea had not eaten in days, or showered. She preferred sitting on her bed switching her night lamp on and off. Company was needed; she was as lonely as the streets of Segovia during “siesta” time. But when she thought about talking to people she felt it was much too tedious, much too tiresome. While sitting many things came to her mind. Such as what to do now that she had sold every single one of her belongings besides her bed, night lamp, and the clothes she was wearing. Nothing felt specifically necessary, yet she still sort of missed everything. She thought about the long time it took for her things to be sold, and how nobody really wanted them; how in this materialistic world, objects that were as good as new, were completely useless, and specially how something that, at one point, held a lot of meaning for a person could be given away, with no special universe force trying to stop them. And so, being such a meaningless thing, a person with no real idea of the memories and stories the certain objects they were buying, or taking could be taken without any kind of special procedure.

Aurea kept thinking, “sold”, but in truth most of her things were just given away. Then she also wondered about the only object in her house that truly mattered to her, and secretly regretted losing; her beautiful antique foot lamp. She had gotten it as a present when she was nearly twelve years old. It is quite rare to give a kid such an expensive and delicate present, however it is also strange for a nearly-twelve-year-old child to be obsessed with such expensive and delicate objects. That lamp was her favorite present “in the whole wide world”. Her dad gave it to her, and said it was as “fragile and rare as his little princess”. She put it right next to her bed; its long tube holding the lamp was carved and had strange designs, and bits of golden strikes, which her dad explained were bits of gold. Of course the latter was just a lie attempting to make the lamp more unique and special for his misunderstood daughter. The lampshade itself was simple and made of transparent glass. This is strange for a lamp as, since the name explains, lampshades are supposed to actually make shade. This lamp could light up the entire room, in such way the real lights of the room were not needed. Aurea grew to love this lamp as much as she loved her family, and it gave her the reassurance any twelve-year-old girl, and eventually any woman, could need. Aurea rubbed the base of the lamp with her left foot every night before she slept. And when her parents fought, she would hold on to its long worn-out tube as if her life depended on it until the yelling and the sobbing sounds stopped.

Aurea owned many lamps from many places and many different kinds, and she was aware that all of them were just objects, except for this one lamp. To her, it was more important than any sentient being. Even when her lamp obsession died off, and it did when she was about 17, she still held on to this lamp. When her parents marriage did not work out, and when her dad was taken to jail for breaking her mother’s leg (and heart) she still conserved the lamp. And every time she lit it she would et all the reassurance she needed to push through again. Nothing ever affected her as long as she could switch on her beautiful and rare foot lamp with fake bits of gold.

However, now she was left with only a tiny common night lamp, she could not remember the last time she felt safe or the last time she did not feel lonely.

Aurea turned off her night lamp one last time, and peacefully died alone in the shadow of night, still wondering where her rare lamp had ended up, and if it would receive the care it deserved; if it would be as valued as it should be by its next owner.

 

By Grushenka Monsalve

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