The Stories We Tell / 001

Abhi Nayar
2 min readSep 1, 2019

He leaned back against the table, absentmindedly twirling his pen, blank notebook page in front of him.

He had painstakingly scheduled time on his calendar to “reflect”. Whatever that meant. Introspection, reflection, and their many synonyms all seemed like words people would not stop hurling around. And yet there existed such little advice on how to actually accomplish these things — to even ask seemed ridiculous.

How could someone else possibly tell you how to think about… you?

And yet, here he was, mid afternoon on a Saturday, trying desperately to find the words that would help him gain a better insight into his life. It sure as shit didn’t help that he hadn’t handwritten anything longer than 3 sentences in months.

The table began complaining about his weight so he got up, stretching — and heard an angry buzzing behind his ear. Never a fan of insects, he whipped around, adrenaline pumping.

There, a few inches behind his head, was a very angry bee. Except, it wasn’t angry at him (thank goodness). No, this bee was stuck behind a window, desperately smashing its head into the plexiglass trying to get out.

He took a step back and watched quietly as the beautiful, shimmering gold insect smashed over and over into the pane, only resting for a few brief seconds when exhaustion set in.

Then, moments later, back up, and straight ahead into the wall.

He wondered what he could do to help the poor thing when he realized, much to his amazement, that the window right next to the bee was wide open. Fresh, pure sunlight shone through, dust particles suspended in its beams.

Still the bee continued, pounding into the closed window frame. Never once stopping to acknowledge freedom waiting just inches away.

“There is always a window” — an uninvited thought announced itself in his brain.

Hmm… interesting. He grabbed his pen, sat back down and began writing. Waxing eloquent about how all of us tend to live like the bee. Looking straight ahead, focused on the very next thing, pushing our way forward and relentlessly breaking ourselves down in pursuit of freedom. When in reality freedom is mere inches away and we simply have to step back to look.

He closed his prose with thoughts on how we were all doomed to die never having found our freedom, burning ourselves out against the windowpane of life.


As he shook his head wondering how he went down that rabbit hole, he noticed the bee was gone. It had found its way out.

He smiled and opened his notebook back up. Wielding his pen like a medieval sword, he slashed out the last two lines.

“Perhaps we can all be free, after all. We just need to look.”