• arifalfaraz

From the London Sky

No colours.

No light.

No darkness.


But everything beyond that you could never imagine.

It was the twenty-eighth of May 2012, and cats and dogs fell so hard from the cloudy Avilés, as the city indeed not recalled.

My boyfriend— My ex-boyfriend, could not bear the breakup. Do you remember that movie with Jack Nicholson in a massive hotel at the end of the world, isolated in the snow with his family?


No axe, no kids and no snow, but everything else.

He did not mean it, but that flask of perfume did not just destroy the wall.

Of all the little pieces, my eyes got a few.

Let's skip the disgusting and painful part of the story.

All begins and ends with water.

I was a swimmer, a swimming teacher and a swimming pool lifeguard for over fifteen years.

I used to dream I could swim when I was a kid, and I did not stop crying for lessons until my aunt paid for them -my parents could not afford it.

I competed. I won all the prizes a professional swimmer can win. I made life around that, but every time I got close to the seashore, I froze. Every time I got close to the river shore, I froze. Every time I got close to any open water, I froze.

I felt confident and safe in a swimming pool. That was my place, my comfort zone, my home.

On that day, it was difficult to peel off my 90s baggy swim costume from my legs. Sweat ran all over my body as though I was made just of water, boiling water.

There I was, looking at the endless sea. My peers were jumping to the calm deep blue from a higher rock every time. I looked, I read, I drank my beer and theirs.

That confidence and safeness I felt in the pool, faded away as soon as I looked on the river depth. My friends got tired of insisting soon, but there was a guy who did not.

'Your friends don't deserve you'.

'Eeerg... I am just afraid of open water, and they have asked me thousands of times. I understand that they—’

'I wouldn't stop asking.'

I was not even twenty, ok? That made me feel cared about and neglected at the same time. But his eyes... and his warm body hugging me so hard that it seemed we were going to melt and become one person.

I did not jump.

He carried on asking me to do it during the whole summer. He took me to beautiful places, telling me how great I was, and how bad my friends (and family) were. I believed that.


I started seeing what he said. I started doing what he said. He stopped asking me to jump.

I did not see that until years after, remembering the past.

I never jumped, but little by little, my soul felt as though my feet had gotten stuck in the mud, in the deepest ocean. I could not come back to my friends and family after all the shit I gave to them.

I have learned that after the first month, you can tell whether a relationship has a future. When it does not, a strong force takes you like a wave, allowing you to breathe only every now and again. The rest of the time you are somewhere under the surface, carried by a current that changes its direction without prevision.

In one of those breathing moments, I found the courage to jump from the scariest cliff. He could not take it. He even blamed me for his need to fuck all those guys. It was my fault. I was disgusting, unworthy, nothing.

I ran away.


He followed me.

I slipped on the wet road.

He took me home with a broken leg.

I rang the ambulance while he begged on his knees.

I breathed. I said no. He threw all he found. At me.

He smashed his grandmother's perfume.

Its little crystal pieces flew in the air.

My eyes.

A few times in my life I have gotten to the same crossroads, where there are just two options: end your life or carry on.

London had always been in my mind.

My mind.





At first, the world was overwhelming. There was too much noise.

I was reborn. I had to build another human being from adulthood.

I could not see it, but I could feel it, I can feel it.


Mum still calls me every day after five years, to convince me to come back to the countryside where the trees and rocks would be my only obstacle.

During all this time living in the city of my dreams, I have learned to see.

No colours. No light. No darkness. Nothing.

But everything beyond that you could never imagine.

Today it is raining. And there is nothing I like more than jumping into those dirty puddles, leaving them empty to be refilled with clean and clear water

from the London sky.

#fromthelondonsky #mentalhealth #abuse #stopabuse #londonwritings

A conversation with a free world