[005] Seeking Solace

Image by wiccked on Flickr
Image by Melanie Cook (wiccked) on Flickr

Chapter 4: Solace-Taking

She had never expected it to spiral out of control this fast.

The plate flew over her head as she ducked. It smashed with a terrific sound against the wall behind her, accompanied by screams. She covered her head with her hands, thankful that her long sleeves protected her arms somewhat.

“How could you do that?” there was a terrific shout from her brother.

“We did nothing of the sort! It’s over between us!” she peeped over the kitchen counter to see her brother throwing another plate.

“How could you, Mit? How could you? You know how I feel about her!”

“Tim, calm down! It isn’t like that, I promised!” she saw Mit move forward to try to calm Tim down, but her brother picked up and threw an icebox instead.

She belatedly remembered that the ice box was filled with fish Mit and Tim had brought back from their fishing expedition yesterday, as the box flew over Mit’s head, bounced on the counter, and unloaded its content on her. She screamed in terror.

“Alice!” she heard her brother shout in terror, but it was Mit who came to her aid first.

“Alice, are you alright?” he asked her gently, removing some of the fish from her head. The look on terror on her face told him otherwise.

“I’m so sorry,” her brother came and knelt next to Alice, taking her hand.

Alice found her eyes welling with tears. They were both concerned over her, and they both looked absolutely miserable at her. She burst into tears and hugged them both. They tried to calm her down, forgetting their argument just now, but what neither of the boys realised was Alice cried to cover the guilt and darkness within her own heart.


Solace: comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness.

Seeking Solace: Looking for comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness.

I’m not one to usually ask for solace. I kind of pride myself on giving it to others. Seeking solace for myself isn’t something that I’m used to doing, with the occassional exception of screaming about clients (and there are more of those now than I thought before).

Solace’s something I find it easy to give to others. Essentially, for the person giving, it’s an investment of time, care and sometimes, physical hugs/presence. The thing about giving solace is that you need to remember you cannot do anything about the problems the other person has. You cannot fight their battles.

Learning to let go and letting people fight their own battles was always the hardest thing for me to do. I had a hero mentality; I would offer advice forcefully at times because I wanted to be proven right. I wanted to be the one whom others looked up to, wanted to be someone who was needed.

Which stems from my own childhood demons, but that’s a story for another day.

It took me some time and training to realise sometimes people didn’t want advice. They just wanted to be comforted. To know there’s someone who’s listening and supporting them.

Sometimes it’s just the knowledge that you’re not alone.

I’ve been seeking solace from friends recently. That incident left me far more scarred than I thought it would have, and even though I thought the scab was already dry, it turned out that it was still bleeding underneath. As someone says, it only has been four months, but seeing him on Sunday and talking frankly about what’s happened…

I could put on a strong face for him, an almost heartless one, I think, at times, but when I’m alone and the headset’s on and there’s just me and the screen…

Sometimes it isn’t really solace I seek, I think.

Maybe it’s redemption.

This entry was written for the 100 Themes Challenge. For the full list, click here.