Nov 27, 2011


By Reja Younis

Q. Write a description of a sunset/sunrise from the perspective of a character who is happy.

Anticipation bubbles in my stomach, eager to feel the salt-water breeze that would soothe my jangled nerves. I am entirely consumed with excitement. My toes dig into the warm, sparkly golden sand. Each grain is beautiful, like precious gems adorning my feet. I slowly tread across the beach, watching others giddily scamper towards the water.

I lick my strawberry ice cream cone and notice a magnificent sunset occurring over the water, far off in the horizon. The ocean glimmers as still as a mirror, reflecting the sun’s rays. I race towards the shore and plop down with my feet dipped in the caressing, foamy waves. The water is crystal clear and the air as soft as milk.

Lilac and rosy picks tumble across the horizon and mesh together masterfully. I gaze at the cascade of colours highlighting the sky. The sun seems to smile as it descends lower into the water. I graciously smile back and bathe in its final moments of lingering light.

My heart feels jubilant and fuzzy. I want to sing, splash in the waves, climb on top of the setting sun and announce, “Saad has asked me to marry him today! And I said YES!” I chuckle softly at the visual I imagine and sigh peacefully.

I finish my ice cream cone and watch as deeper colours transcend the sky—bold shades of burgundy and violet. I feel passion surge through me and I hypnotically stare at the sky. An aura of security and tranquility washes over me with every wave that crashes ashore. I rhythmically swing back and forth to the gentle lullaby of the sea and take a deep breath.

“The best day of my life is about to end,” I think, as the sun winks one last time and plunges into the depth of the world—leaving us in the darkness. But even in the dark, my dreams soar and my hopes glow bright. With Saad by my side, my world will be illuminated forever. He is my sun that never sets.

Q. Write a description of a sunset/sunrise from the perspective of a character who is sad.

“No, please no. Don’t leave me in the darkness here alone,” I silently whispered to the sun that was setting and dissolving into the horizon. My heart was weighed down, buried under gravel and trampled. I gazed at the ocean waves as they mechanically washed ashore. It was a bitterly cold evening and the beach was deserted.

I clenched the coarse sand and it pricked me like a thousand tiny thorns, but I did not let go. I wanted to physically feel the pain that was withering me away. I slowly released the sand, relishing the agony and the blood droplets trickling down my palms.

My gaze shifted to the streaks of fiery orange and deep purple lining the sky. It reminded me of a portrait, painted for someone beautiful and loveable.

Tears flooded my eyes as I looked at the ocean through blurry vision. I dreamed of jumping into the water and forever becoming a part of the ocean blue. It looked inviting now, compelling almost… “No,” I said to myself and wrapped my arms around my legs, “No more suicide attempts.”

The sky was a deep red now, with tinges of violet as the sun was further down. I put my head back and let out a slow, agonizing moan. Deep red. I could feel my life flashing before my eyes. The deep red I wore on my wedding day, those red roses Saad bought for me on our first anniversary, his red, angry face when we would fight.

Sunlight reflected off of the water and made it glisten with a blinding glare. That’s what I was now, blind without Saad by my side. I realized then that our separation was inevitable, just like the sun that sets every evening, whether or not we want it to.

“I hate you!” I suddenly whispered ferociously as my voice returned with growing strength, “I hate you!”

I did not know then if it was Saad I was angry at or the departing sun, but my sorrow was controlling me. I picked up a few pebbles and hurled them towards the sun. They landed in the water and created a slight ripple. Soon I could not stop throwing stones.

Suddenly, I tripped and landed face-first into the water and tasted the salty sea, felt the stinging burn, and sensed myself and my tears get lost in the darkness of the icy waves. The sun had set.


Rahima said...

i love the contrast. Very well written :)

Farwa Haider said...

Haina! I wanted to do that but gave up. You did a great job of it though.

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