The opening of my new work-in-progress, Mourning. This character came to me two nights ago, as I was falling asleep, and she kept walking in my head all night long, until I could no longer bear it. She is demanding from me to put aside the two big writing projects I’m currently working on, and giving her my undivided attention. I have no choice but to write her story. This is her beginning, and this is what she has come to tell me:
The thing I have been carrying around with me like heavy rocks in my pockets, weighing me down, down, pulling me to the ground, is that short sentence, spoken by my father when I was seven years old: “Your mother didn’t love you enough to stay with us.” I still remember his sneer, something gleaming in his eyes like fireflies like wild. He had chosen to tell me these wounding words – words that would haunt me every waking moment of my life – not in the privacy of our upstairs home, but downstairs, in the presence of my grandmother, my older brother Hakeem, my cousin Nadeen, and two of my uncles. Oh the humiliation of it, Baba. How could you! I can forgive you for everything else in my life, but not those words, and not how you chose to throw them at me, instantly murdering my childhood.
I am wakened by the Muazzin’s call for the Fajr prayer. His voice interrupts that dream of my mother running, running away from me. I am forever imprisoned in the house, forever trying to open a door or a window, trying to scream after her not to leave me, how can she leave me, but no voice comes out, no door opened. She is a shadow shrinking in the distance, until she is gone. The same dream, over and over again. Three years of therapy to get rid of it, and it refuses to leave. Even now.
The house is silent and cold. Always cold here upstairs. Although I slept only three hours, my body is desperate for movement. We buried him yesterday.
(c) khulud khamis | November 2016.
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