By Babatomiwa Seriki
My heart is a stage, bountiful enough to create a spectacle. The world awaits a thrill, “Give them their desire…” A voice speaks from within but I stand on the stage in my ripped costume, subdued by my fear of denial, consumed by doubt. How do I please them? How do I grant their desires? Here I am, standing motionless, deprived of reasoning; my sight overpowered by the bright stage light and my heart pounds with fear. I look down to see my feet drown in slime of the hopeless ground I stand on.
I look beyond the crowd and struggling at the entrance is my bravery, begging to pull through the enormous audience. Its glow rapidly fading into the dark, it loses its breath and life gradually crawls out of it. It screams to be saved but the uproar hinders its loud cry. The slime thickens as my feet struggle to move, my hands held aback in shackles, I force to break loose but the chains tighten. I can’t move, I can’t scream, in my mouth is hope squeezed in deep, holding back my words.Bravery lost its glow amidst the thick crowd, lying helpless on the ground as it gets trampled. I can’t save it because I’m overpowered by a force I know not of. Who do I call to; family cheer amidst the audience, friends stand apart wearing cloaks of expectation and lover controls the stage light. No one wills to save me, no one dares get beyond my fright sitting chiefly in the front row, and in his hand is a shard with a blunt edge ready to strike anyone who tries to free me of my agony. He wears a spiteful grin rolled up to his skull; he seems to be enjoying this while I bleed on the inside.The voice speaks again, lacking distinctness, hardly perceptible and striking my senses feebly. I can’t make do of what it says; the faint sound can’t seem to reach me. Might it be a call to freedom or the cry of a banshee that torments my nightmare? I’m yet again unsaved, drowning in my own sweat. I supplicate to a higher power and he reveals, “I created the stage and put you in front of the large crowd. Your bondage is of your own doing, a reflection of your fear. You alone can break forth from the shackles. I’m willing to save you but you must force a step out of the hold…”My head is buried deep in pain. I can feel the stage collapse under my weight. Torment brings my knees to the ground in front of the audience. Light fades and the clamour stops but how can I be saved when my fear of the light takes the most of me.This depicts my state of mind some years back.This is an illustration of expectations from the world around me and my fear of taking a bold step to showcase my talent. I couldn’t reach out to my confidence and no one would bring that out except me. I let the fear of denial overpower me but I eventually stepped out of the cage.There’s no right time to reveal what you are good at. Break free of the chains, let the world criticize, let them ridicule, that’s what they are there for. If you fail at it, at least you know you gave it a try. It might get to a point in your life when you look back the years and regret a decision you didn’t make. Don’t be that guy, make a move!