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If I could set a price for the pain that fills me, what would it be?

This pain is more of an acquired taste than a horrendous compulsion.

Or have I given it the liberty to become a part of my being? Like the skin that stretches over muscles and bones, this pain extends from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

I never welcomed it. It never sought permission. Yet we live together in silence and a muddled understanding.

It’s like that resentful lover who promised nothing but took away everything. The hope, the joy, the promises of a better tomorrow. There is an unstated pact that is honored and neither I nor my pain know how to release each other.

Has it been too long now?

My pain has grown flowers and their scent permeates through the essence of my existence. Never mind the thorns, they keep me alive and kicking, pricking the patches of softness that somehow escaped the grimness.

I carry my home with me wherever I go. A tortoise would not call me its own, but I don’t know if I am meant to settle down and belong.

My pain can be dull, it can be brave, it could even prove a point to those who complain and say they suffer. It gave me a treasure not many would seek. This feeling that wraps me in layers of gray and squeezes my heart and brain.

I am so used to it. What would I do without it?

I’m not sure I could bear to be empty and naked.

Priceless! That’s the golden standard it maintains. Nothing comparable to it. Do you wish to share my pain?

I wouldn’t disclose it. You wouldn’t appreciate its rugged exterior and pungent stink.

It’s nestled deep inside me. Till the very end.

Who really knows…?

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63 Comments on “The Price of My Pain – Flash Fiction Story

  1. Pain somehow brings to the fore, emotions and thoughts, very unlike pleasure, which somehow seems so superficial and ephemeral; I loved reading how you wove together your words and thoughts in such an exquisite way!!

    • Thank you so much, Deepak. It’s ironic how pain teaches so much and lingers on to stay. While pleasure and joy are fleeting and hardly give us much but momentary pleasure. Though memories can be good and bad.
      I like how you brought out this wonderful perspective. 🙂

  2. Wow! What a powerful piece. The line about pain being an acquired taste reminded me of a Henry Rollins quote, “When life hands you a lemon, say, ‘Oh yeah, I like lemons! What else ya got?” I guess you can thrive on it after awhile. I really liked this line: “My pain has grown flowers and their scent permeates through the essence of my existence.” That’s just pure poetry that could only come from digging deep in your soul. I wish I could write a sentence so beautiful. I think it’s so weird how humans have such a short term memory of physical pain, but emotional pain stays to haunt us. Your writing did give me an idea for a dating app where you can feel other people’s pain. It could be called Forever Single.

    • Tony, you have a gift of being wise and witty with a perfect ratio of both. I think that quote is really powerful and says a lot about acceptance, coping, and resilience. Yeah life! What else ya got? Bring it on!
      And thanks for appreciating the beauty that is often hidden in pain and can only be appreciated when you’ve felt it again and again. Emotional pain comes with free crazy glue. Haha!
      That dating app needs to come out in more detail in one of your stories. I think Unthinkable Cramps may be ready for a new kid in town.
      Take care and Happy New Year! Have a good one. 🙂

      • Thank you for the compliment. That’s super kind of you. I just now saw this comment. And now I guess I have something to write about with this dating app.

  3. ‘I’m so used to it what would I do without it? ‘ Only someone who has known pain deeply, will know how true that is. Thanks Terveen, for putting into words what I’ve felt often.😊 And wishing you a very happy, pain free and joyous new year. There always hope!

    • Thank you so much, Diti. Certain words and feelings touch us deeply within. I wish you a wonderful year ahead and hope that it’s joyous and peaceful for you with lots of writing and beautiful moments. May there be no pain. 🙂

  4. a compelling read with some memorable comparisons esp the pain as a home, like the shell of a tortoise; of course, I’m left wondering the nature of the pain, but am reminded of my father’s dictum: ‘some people are only happy in their misery’

    • What your father said is so true, John. But sometimes accepting the pain and bearing it along with the other aspects of life is a difficult but brave choice. Thank you so much and have a wonderful year ahead. 🙂

  5. Yes, pain can be so debilitating. When I had my migraine headache, it’s like so overwhelming, but I look normal. And often when you look normal, you don’t get much sympathy. However this physical pain is nothing in comparison with mental agony, family acrimony, and other strife that often leave deep scars in us. Actually there was once when I was in such a mental state, I suddenly thought that the end of the world doesn’t seem so terrifying. Love your writing, always. So poetic and so flowing.

    • “And often when you look normal, you don’t get much sympathy.”
      This is so true, Haoyan. Being strong and resilient can at times be a curse. Though we are strong for ourselves, others don’t realize this and often burden us further with their own fears and problems. A real emotional and mental overload. When pushed to the edge a person’s thinking can become very daring and all fear of death and destruction simply dissipates. Continue to write and express. It’s the best treatment and cure for many stresses. Thank you so, so much. Take care. 🙂

  6. Some beautiful writing, Terveen. What a powerful, yet delicate and intimate impression you write about here, of one aspect of the human condition. Yeah…really good stuff 👍🏼 👌🏼

    • Thanks so much, Jay. Pain can take a lot from a person, leaving behind some really hard lessons. It’s the learning that adds beauty to this troublesome state. 🙂

  7. Your way with words, the topics you select, your creativity, and your writing all combine into a wondrous experience for the reader. Today, you have given us a tour of pain; and, if the reader paid attention, they may have glimpsed themselves in your words, like I did, for you write about a condition we all have. That of being a human being and bearing the pain of life, which we sometimes hold onto, and sometimes hold on so dearly it becomes a way of life. An exceptional write, Terveen. I loved it. ☺️

    • Thanks so much, Jeff. I know that you write of pain often and in such an appealing and beautiful manner. You have to know pain to actually be able to express it an intimate manner. Let’s open our hearts to love and be brave enough to bear the pain. It is a part of life and offers many valuable lessons. I wish you well always. Have a blessed year filled with creative passion. 🙂

      • You’re welcome, Terveen. Always. I completely agree. With an open heart centered in love, everything is bearable. Thank you for the well wishes. Many blessings to you, my dear friend. ☺️

  8. Ah, the infinite, insurmountable, and incurable presence of pain and the struggle to find a compromise to accept and live with it no matter how dull or sharp it presents itself, because it may allow one a brief respite but it never truly goes away. It’s the wound that will not heal and the scar that will not fade.

    Nicely done.

    • Thank you so much, Rhyan. Means a lot coming from you. Cheers to pain and the wounds that never go away. Hearts crushed, minds scattered, yet here we are today. Well done, my friend.
      PS- Even stones can shatter. haha! Take care.

  9. Such a great post! We all have to carry some form of pain with us through our lives; we can’t just easily leave it behind somewhere, but live with it. It becomes part of us and you described that really nicely 🙂

    • Thanks so much. I’m so glad that you liked it. Pain has some tranquil quality to it. Take care and have a great year ahead. Good luck with your studies. 🙂

  10. How clearly you have expressed it, Terveen. Pain can be hidden over layers and layers of superfluous happiness. Loved the article. Spoke volumes to me.

  11. Inevitable pain! There is no any other way to live than to embrace! After all, it’s part and parcel of being- unavoidable. For all who know this pain, this piece of writing is priceless.
    That’s a great piece, Terveen! There is no better way to handle pain than to accept and learn to live with it. Until one day it vanishes into thin air, hopefully.

    • Thanks so much, Florence. That’s a strong and beautiful way to say it. Embrace pain, give it its space, and it will hopefully take its leave one day. I appreciate the practicality and wisdom in your words. 🙂

  12. I think that Winston in 1984 said that no person could ever ask for more pain? Something along those lines.

    I think on occasion of people who say they enjoy physical pain, even derive pleasure from it. It blows my mind. Is it the endorphin rush they seek??

    • That is a strange assertion. I know some do derive pleasure from being miserable. It’s like a sad addiction. The chemicals of the brain often override logic.

  13. How ironic for me to read this right now! I have been on the phone all morning with a pain clinic that does this procedure on my cervical area. I live with chronic pain from a horrible water skiing accident. This piece really resonated with me Terveen. Beautifully written and the comparative phrasing are so interesting. Bless your heart I certainly hope you don’t really suffer with chronic pain. It is a strange bedfellow indeed. This piece can mean different things to the reader as well. You always keep your reader on their toes. Just such a beautiful piece. Blessings, Joni

    • I’m really sorry to hear this, Joni. I hope you are able to cope and can take something to reduce the discomfort. I know how bad physical pain can be. I’ve been through a few rough patches, but I’m alright now. Mental anguish can be even more agonizing especially since it doesn’t show and it can’t really be measured. I sincerely appreciate your kind and beautiful words. They are always so straightforward and honest. I pray that God blesses you with lots of strength and determination. Take care and keep writing beautiful poetry. 🙂

      • I am so glad to hear you are better. This is a very old injury. I use heat, cold, massage and an acupuncture pillow. I don’t take anything but over the counter anti inflammatory meds. Mental anguish is often immeasurably I think. It is hard to know what kind of long term damage can be caused by something that doesn’t leave visible signs. Thank you for your kind words Terveen, I am such a blessed individual. Sending you great big hugs. 🤗🤗❤️

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