The Blue, the Black, and Things That Glow

Written by Sanina Nuh
Art by Masha Kasha

I am writing to you in hopes of putting the ghosts of my past to rest. I read through your writings, and my heart aches for you. You’re in so much pain right now, aren’t you?

I’m here to tell you something I wish I knew then—something you should know: this won’t last forever. One day, the waking life won’t be as sad. Even when sleep won’t come to take you away, you will no longer cry in bed, wishing the angels would come to pay a visit. The day will come when silence won’t be as loud, and chocolate will no longer taste like sin. My dear, I have lost myself many times—this much, I’m sure you know. Fifteen hurts, sixteen will be a wound, and it won’t get any better at seventeen. But eventually, the fog will lift and reveal the visage of what you once were. By the age of eighteen, memories of your pink dollhouse and the time you learned to write your own name will be much clearer than they ever were. You were just too busy trying to stay afloat to remember them before. But your words, they will always be tinged with blue—the color of the waves that will come and go even after all this.

Boys will still bore you, and you will still be cruel. It’s not your fault you don’t know how to love. After all, you have nothing to offer other than a gaping hole in place of a heart, a hole darker than black. Some friends will leave, and sometimes it will be your fault. You’re too callow, with insides too hollow. You will pretend not to care, but the what-ifs will haunt you. The falsity of this world will run through your veins like venom—one with no elixir.

Oh, and dreams—these god-awful honeyed dreams! You and I have always had a penchant for dreaming. Some days are so slow and gray—they leave you drowsy. You’d get so caught up in the clouds just to forget. By the time you’re nineteen, your once paint-stained fingers won’t reach out for the same middle sky. They might even grasp onto nothing but thin air—it’s what Neptune has written for us. We’re not destined for greatness; we won’t die leaving a trail of stars in our wake. But you will still look for things that glow. I don’t think you should ever stop looking. You will find traces of them in stories that never happened and beings you will never touch, but they won’t be the real thing. Even if it takes you another lifetime to find, please don’t ever stop looking, and I shall do the same. At times, you will feel like your heart might burst at the seams. I can only wish for the moon to take your hand and lead you home then.

The blue, the black, and things that glow—I like to think those are the things that make up who we are, the girl I am now and the girl you will be. You and I, we’re both a house of hidden things. Blue is the color of our front door and our floorboards are painted black. We will spend all our time chasing after some weightless thing, softer than dew. I’m sorry I have been a dumb witness to your ruin; I merely stood still with my arms clamped to my sides. Please know that it hurt me as much as it is hurting you now. And please hang on a little longer, for the light is just around the corner.