by Kayra Dayi
As soon as her noisy alarm started screaming, Alara stared at her dull, gray wall in dread. It was always the same. Eat. Study. Sleep. Repeat. It wasn’t that Alara hated her life; she just found it boring. She found no pleasure in things she did anymore.
“I guess I’ll get up now,” Alara groaned to herself in frustration as she finally rolled out of bed. She quickly got dressed in her wrinkled uniform and left the house in the hopes of getting to school early.
Alara went through the path she always took in the mornings, a road near a flower field filled with the most basic flowers.
Finally, once Alara got to school, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Just another quiet morning day at school. Again. However, as she was walking to her classroom, something caught her eye. At the end of the wide, seemingly infinite hall stood a room filled with paintings. “Well, that’s stupid,” Alara mumbled to herself. “Who would want to spend their life painting while there are so many other things to do?”
“I do,” replied a boy with frizzy hair poking out from his sides. He wore a bright orange sweater way too large for his lanky frame and wore a slightly sour expression on his face.
“Oh sorry, I didn’t see you standing there,” Alara muttered, embarrassed that someone heard her.
“Well, now you do and what’s so bad about painting anyway?” asked the boy.
“It’s not that it’s bad, it is just boring. You do the same thing every single day,” Alara explained.
“Well, maybe you should give it a try,” Orange Sweater Boy suggested. Alara thought about it for exactly a minute.
“Thanks, but I think I will pass on that,” she replied right as the bell rang. Great. She was late. Again.
Throughout the rest of the day, Alara couldn’t seem to concentrate on any of her classes. After school, she decided, she would find the boy and give him a piece of her mind for getting such a stupid idea stuck in her head.
Once school was over, Alara sprung out of her last class and went to the place where she had initially met the boy with the frizzy hair. She grumbled in disappointment. Where was he? “I guess I’ll go to the room,” she said.
Even in her wildest dreams she never would have imagined what it would be like to step into a world filled with color. Just one foot into the room and her eyes were already full.
Out of the thousands of paintings in the room, a particular one caught Alara’s eye. She quietly made her way towards it, as she might scare it away.
Titled “ Flower Field,” was a painting filled with a picture of vibrant flowers and the serene sky. She made out some of the flowers to be daisies, lilies, roses and dandelions.
It did not take Alara that long to realize that this very same setting was the one she passed by every morning. “Wow,” she sighed happily to herself.
“I know, right?” a familiar voice piped up. As she turned around, she recognized the same boy from the morning working.
“Now do you wanna give it a try? I have just the right canvas for you. Name’s Ali by the way,” Ali said.
“Actually, yes,” Alara said, still in a dazed look from seeing all the art around her.
Ali handed out a canvas and a few paints along with some paint brushes. Alara squirted some red paint out on her painting palette and dipped her brush in. Alara felt her hand shake as she held up the brush. She didn’t want to mess up. It had to be perfect.
“Stop stressing about it,” Ali said. “You just need to go with the flow.” Alara felt her heartbeat pick up slightly as his words registered. She never knew a life where she had permission to do whatever she wanted.
She did one stroke. Then another one. And then another. With each passing stroke, her negative thoughts cleared and she felt a smile grow on her face.
That day, as Alara went home after her painting session with Ali, she started noticing the true beauty of the world around her. Her eyes had always been open, but, now, she could finally see.
Kayra Dayi (grade 10)
My name is Kayra Su Dayi, and I am a sophomore. When I am not in school, I like to watch Turkish dramas, hangout with my friends, attend art festivals, read any genre of books with a great plot line, and draw/paint while listening to my playlists. When in school, you can see me carrying my next art project for class, at a sports game covering a story, or interviewing people.
what inspired you to write this piece?
The experiences I have been through as a female with immigrant parents. I like to write or draw whatever I am feeling, especially if I want to look back and remember how a certain moment felt.
What motivated you to write this piece?
I have always been involved in art ever since I was a little kid, but when I first entered high school I felt like I didn’t have as much time for art anymore and I dropped it. However, art never left me and was there for me when I felt lost. When I started drawing and painting again, I realized how much art meant to me and wanted to write a piece dedicated to how art makes me feel.
what message do you hope to convey to the reader through your piece?
I hope to convey the message that even if you feel lost or feel like there is nothing you want to do, there will always be the “thing” that will make you get up everyday from your bed in excitement, set goals, and show dedication towards.