Fiction, January Blogathon, Word Pad

Day 15 – Part 1: Asma

Asma woke up to a crying baby this morning. She was used to the crankiness by now. Naira was eight months old and all the sleepless nights were worth it thought Asma as she got up. Beside her, Farhan was snoring softly. She walked up to the bassinet by the window and picked up her precious little monkey who was now starting wail her head off. Asma took her to the living room and began nursing her child. 

Half hour later when the sun began to rise and her child now asleep in her arms, Asma decided she might as well begin her day. She cooked breakfast and lunch all in an hour. Her husband would be awake any minute now and he would be his restless self. She loved the man she married but the morning was not his finest hour.

With a big sigh she stirred the pot of dal. The kitchen smelled just like her mothers did in the mornings. It had been four years since the accident. Four years since her life had been turned upside down, four years since she lost everything. Four years, and the only thing that remained constant was her mothers dal.

She occasionally flashed back to her pre – Farhan period. She was younger and she was climbing the career ladder like no other. She had her parents by her side and she had Nabeel. Nabeel, that man who stole her heart. She had a perfect, story book life and one day everything came crashing down. The accident, her parents passed away and the she was passed on to her older brothers. They had their own lives and were uncomfortable with the “responsibility”. They didn’t listen to Asma about Nabeel and she was married within six months. She moved to a new city with her new husband and life as she knew it ended.

It took her a long time to get accommodated to this life and still she never felt comfortable in it. Farhan never noticed this. He was a good guy. She loved him adequately. They had a beautiful apartment and a sweet baby. Everything looked great on paper. She had already experienced passion and knew better than to expect that from this marriage. Farhan was always busy, working hard. No time for passion. Weekends were spent shopping, watching TV and playing with the baby. Life was monotonous and Asma was just playing along.

The crying baby jolted Asma to reality. As she ran to attend to her child the cooker whistle went off. So with a child attached to her hip and a ladle in her hand she resigned herself to face the fight with whatever was left within her.

Farhan didn’t say a word at breakfast. Surprise, surprise. Asma was so used to this by now that it didn’t bother her. He washed down his toast with some tea, gathered his things and was almost out the door when suddenly, he caught her eyes.

“Something is different in him today”, thought Asma.

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America, Black and White, Fiction, January Blogathon, random, Uncategorized, Untitled, Word Pad

Day 5

The sudden stop of the plane jolted her awake. She craned her neck to look out the plane window, past the man with the greasy hair. It was still early. She could see the golden rays of the sun inching slowly through the clouds. Clouds – fluffy – white- vanilla – ice cream – Ian’s – Asl— her mind immediately made the connection. She shook her head hoping that it would empty itself of the memories.

It was half an hour before she could collect her bags. The descent from the aircraft had been uneventful. After being away for so long she expected small things to give her that spark of excitement, but no. She saw a girl who had the word fear tattooed across her arm in Italian.

“Exactly what I needed”, she whispered under her breath.

Finally, she saw the polka dotted ribbon of her suitcase. She collected her things and pushed the trolley towards the exit. The butterflies were going crazy in her stomach, a mixture of excitement and fear, of the unknown.

“Just remember its not going to be the same, Hana. Remember you can change everything about you.”

With this chorus in her heart and a prayer on her mouth she stepped out on to the busy streets of New York. It was a mixture of people and taxi cabs. Everyone was heading somewhere. Everyone had a purpose. But she was stuck to the pavement. There it was, bang opposite the airport exit – Ian’s Ice Cream Parlor written in a cheery red color. The moment she saw that, all the memories came flooding back and it took all the strength she had to move forward.

“I can make it through one day without thinking about him.” T

his was just one of the many lies she told herself to get through the day.

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Fiction, Word Pad

Rain.

What is it about a hot shower that washes your tears away? The allure of a clean slate? Or the promise of sins soaped away? I feel every drop of water that splashed against my worn and calloused skin, my skin that has felt so much; my feet that took me places I’ve only dreamt of, my hands that have held on to anchors, my face where I’ve felt your kiss a thousand times and the scar that is still tender from yesterday.

I stand here beneath this rain and surrender myself in your hands. Oh if only the Gods could hear me now! Wash away my sins, I cry. Wash away every trace of him. I don’t want memories. Remove the stain of his presence from my skin. I scrub and scrub in the hope that I can peel a fresh layer of skin, pure and untouched. As the water falls on my face I feel it mingle with my tears and there is no difference. I cry like a thunderstorm.

I scratch the surface in the hopes of  tearing away every vestige. But how do I remove your presence from below, where most of the damage is done? No amount of tears will erase your remnants from my heart. The times I’ve wept for you, for me, for you to stop and for me to stop loving you. I knew you were destructive but I kept coming back. I knew you weren’t good for me, although you knew me like no ever had. How could I turn away from that? How could I turn away from knowing that you were my one shot at happiness?

But I had to. I now stand here helpless and weak doing the only thing I can do now, which is to erase you, for my heart, from my life and from my soul, the place where I thought you would always have a home.

I finally see the blood seep through the lines on my skin and I know that I have reached the edge. Beyond this, I can only hope but my poor heart listens to no reason.

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