It’s true that in this life you can never do everything alone, even the heroes and achievers we watch and see, at some point they need someone else to assist them in some way. The question though is, how much help can you ask for before it becomes unacceptable? How much asking is too much?
My brother and his friend have this sort of mantra which goes like, ‘You can’t ask prezzo for a sleepover.’ I mean, however close you are to the president, it just wouldn’t be right whenever you are in town you call him for a place to sleep right? What then happens when you desperately need him to sponsor your new project or maybe need his support when you vie for some political seat after you’ve used all your infinite chances asking for petty things? So whenever they are stranded and are thinking of ways out, they’d remind themselves that they should only ask for help from someone when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Wise move should I say?
This got me thinking; this is something most of us do without actually thinking. You know like you could be having this friend who is always willing to help you with anything. So you just over-do it with the say, ‘we are friends right? They signed up for this.’ So you go all the way from sending them to buy you that dress you saw at the mall to requesting for airtime to asking for loans to requesting for endless favours. But what happens when you suddenly lose your money and have no fare to get you home? Or when you are terribly sick with no enough money for medication? By this time, your dear loyal friend is exhausted by your endless requests. Who then do you turn to? Let’s face it; there is only so much one can handle. They will tolerate you for as long as they can but some day they’ll just say it out loud, ‘I quit!’ And trust me, friends like these, you lose them and that’s it. No one likes being used let alone being OVER-USED.
It’s the same thing when you decide to ask for an advance at work but the advance is for you to buy some latest smartphone. Or when you use up all your off days for petty stuff like attending a birthday party. What then happens when you need a day to go for a mega interview?
Maybe we should really look at every chance we get to be golden. As golden as the three wishes of Aladdin. Maybe every time we want to ask for something from someone we should ask ourselves, ‘If I just had three chances to make a wish to this same person, would this still be important or necessary?’ If you check, the wise people, whenever someone tells them, ‘I owe you one’ they never quickly jump in to say, ‘Buy me pizza then’ or ‘Buy me this attire’ or ‘Take me to this place’. They say, ‘I’ll save that chance for a better day.’ Because yes, some chances and opportunities don’t come back twice.
By the way, i’m sure you’ve heard or even done this yourself. There may be a time where someone asked you for help and you quickly rush to assist them because, ‘He has never asked for a favour before. This seems to be something very important to him.’ Unlike someone who keeps running to you for everything, you wouldn’t take them THAT seriously would you?
So yes, don’t always let your friend be the one to pay for your dinner. Sometimes be the one to pay for theirs. Don’t always be quick to ask for favours at the slightest problem you face. Don’t take people for granted by how much help they offer you. Don’t use people however much they love you. Friendship, family or any other kind of bond, it has to be two-way. So help so that you can be helped too. But it should be within limits because yes, too much of anything is unhealthy and sometimes, annoying! Of course i’m not saying you shouldn’t ask for small favours, we all do that from time to time. The point is; just don’t make it a habit, extreme and overboard! Time for me and you to change…
She seemed to have grown accustomed to these moments now. To the voices that arose when she thought of blood and death, screaming to the silence that was forever broken in her mind. She remembered the first time it happened, being completely engulfed in the act rather than her rationality. The machete was sharp, sharper than most of the tools in her uncle’s shed. She admired how it fit in her palm perfectly, like the handle was specifically designed for her. The python seemed asleep, taking in some rest after swallowing an entire calf, all the way up to the horns. It barely moved when she inched closer to it, her heart pulsing with excitement. She had become a huntress, a sword of vengeance, a weapon meant to conquer other weapons, and she wielded herself to the sky, basking in all that was gore & glorious, taking down monsters in the swift of her judgment. Minutes after, the head of the serpent was gone. She sliced down the blade along the length of its body, trying to see if she could somehow save the calf, but was rather disappointed to find it dead.
She was 15 when she saw the bruises on her mother’s face, a bloom of purple and red around the bags of her eyes, as she spent countless nights watching stars pass by, the ones into the sky and the ones that lingered in front of her, dining with the ache in her head. She was never around home those days, spending most of the time at the refuge of her boarding school, where she wouldn’t know of the beatings she took from her father. She came home earlier than expected that day, her mother perched on the kitchen counter, nestling vodka in the fragile ends of her lips. Mrs. Diana Lall was beyond her tears…beyond the quake of her anger…beyond the broken and jagged ends of her self that was living in constant pain, both outside and inside. She couldn’t look at her daughter, couldn’t tell her what had happened. But there was no point in saying anything when the eyes could hear anything the body spoke.
It was no easy task with a human. The head is help by stronger neck muscles, and even in death, it fought as hard as it can to keep itself attached to the spine.
“I need a bigger weapon”
She realized, after spending hours trying to cut off her dead father’s head. The revolver she found in the glove compartment in his car was faster at killing than a machete, but it lacked the enthusiasm of killing altogether…of sating the dragons of her anger from tearing at the sanity of her mind…at the desire for vengeance that she lived for.
“There’s an axe at the back…”
Her mother called out from behind, watching in mute silence as her daughter exacted 3 years of pain on her husband. They had planned it out carefully, at least they thought they needed to. But he came home drunk, staggering all over the house while he broke everything he touched. He was in his violent phase, throwing dinner plates at the mother of his child while he branding her all sorts of names. He didn’t hear her daughter come from behind him, couldn’t do anything when the chair hit him from behind, bringing him back from his drunken stupor and into the world of pain he had created. The white of his eyes shone in the dark, fear crushing his pupil down into a small speck.
“NO! Please…don’t do this! I’m sorry!”
The gun weighed heavy on Mrs. Lall’s hand. A little heavier than how she thought it would. But it was no matter, this was a night she wouldn’t look at stars, but send them into the heart of the beast swiveling on the bedroom floor. The gunshot was loud, sparks coming out of the barrel like miniature stars of fury, sending to darkness the ghost that haunted her living life. They cut out his head 15 minutes later, the first 12 wasted on the futility of using a kitchen knife. The remaining limbs of his body followed suit 5 minutes later, and by the hour, they had gathered his pieces together in a trash bag and gave him a solemn 5 minute funeral over more vodka and cigarettes.
Her mother called at her, relief shrouding the exhaustion in her voice.
“Anything for you mum.”
She met Luna during her college tenure. She was preparing herself for going into the police academy, and having a friend at the time felt like a good release from the hard training and studying she had to endure everyday.
“I feel like I’m in a boarding student during the day and a military student at night.”
She told her one day through pillows soaked with sleep and thoughtless dreams.
“Why do you want to be a cop?”
She asked then, curious about her choices. She remembered the snake in her Uncle’s farm…the beast of a father in her mother’s home…
“I like the idea of being a defender of the innocent. To exact the hand of righteousness on crime. To be the gavel of justice itself, or the blade of Karma, that sounds like something I’d like to have on my resume.”
“Whoa! That’s deep. I was expecting something like your dad being a cop too but that will do”
She laughed then, so simple…so innocent…she was a butterfly, and daylight blinded her from the bat that reigned over skies she has never flown in. She found herself laughing with her…at her…at the ignorance that was so majestically her bliss…she laughed, at the simplicity of the innocent.
“Well, that’s a story for another day…”
She watched her that day, broken…a scattered reflection from the million glass pieces of her mirror eyes as she liquid orbs fell through the blush on her cheeks, tearing the scent of joy she had been wearing for months on the lining of her sky-blue eyes, drowning her world in silver.
“I found Sin with Kat some 3 weeks ago. They seemed to be arguing, so naturally I asked why they were on each other’s neck at the eve of my wedding…
I found out they were having an affair for 3 straight months, and she wanted to confront me saying she wasn’t going to let me have him by myself. What kind of sister says that?! And during all that, he says nothing! He doesn’t even look at me! I couldn’t believe it, so I walked out.
Yesterday I get a message from Kat saying he’s decided to move in with him, and that he’s making plans to marry her now…”
“Hey don’t think on it too much. Look, if you want you can come live with me, stay away from everything else and just focus on your healing. I want to be of help to you…
“Hey! Hey Luna! Are you listening to me? … Lu I know what he did to you was wrong, but you have to let me in, I want to help you. You have to let him go. I have to see you letting him go.”
The room was silent, dark under the gaze of moonless eyes. It was no hard task getting into the house. Everything was intact. Pictures and figurines stood next to graying walls, unable to shut their eyes close from the intent that snaked into the tranquil of their world. She found her bedroom, the door refusing to stay closed to her deathly presence…
She took out the syringe in her pocket, put its needle lips on her skin as poison left its mouth and into her bloodstream. She roused from the deep pools of her slumber, her eyes meeting the mask she wore. She saw her scramble to her feet, trying to push her attacker away, but the drug was already settling into the nest of her mind, pulling away the roots of her consciousness.
Another man walked into the room then, hands clenched to a kitchen knife. She pulled out her gun then, the muzzle tip attached to a silencer that muffled the noise with every squeeze of her trigger. She made her way to the man, taking the knife he dropped and plunging it into his gut…his chest…his neck…going deeper as her rage took the better of her. She stopped when his head rolled to the ground, the body as lifeless as coffin nails.
“You should have stayed asleep, not walk into a girl’s room in the middle of the night. I guess chivalry really is dead”
Things started to go wrong when she received a call from Chief Inspector Said.
“Detective. Hope I didn’t bother you today. I could use your help in something.”
She had been feinting sickness to plot her next move with Sin.
“No problem at all Chief. What can I do for you?”
“New information just came up from the forensics…”
“…We found fingerprints in the crime scene. We can officially declare the deaths as a homicide, and right now our lead suspect is your friend Luna Valentine. I’m bringing this to your attention because I know she’s your friend, but I have to take her in nonetheless.”
She saw her sprint off into the rain, her talk with Sin evidently having gone down the drain.
“No problem detective. I’ve just seen her leave, you’ll find her on her walking down my street alone.”
“Alright, thanks. I appreciate it. Also, there’s something else that you need to know. Lab results came back and it turns out Katherine Valentine was carrying a child during her time of death.”
She didn’t know that. She wasn’t told anything about a child. An innocent life, washed off by the sins of her mother.
“Yeah. She was just one month old though. Didn’t she tell you guys?”
A month old.
“No, I wasn’t aware.”
Anger wound a noose around her voice.
“That’s weird. We found message threads between her and her sister. I’ll talk it over with her, I’m already on the way there.”
She has never taken an innocent life before… She felt tainted, blemished by the fault. She was in her assigned duty car, driving up to the street she knew Luna would be following after days of watching her take walks around the suburb. She left her car a block away, walking down the length of the remaining distance to where she could see the chief’s car, blade in one hand, gun in the other…
…The Chief didn’t have time to shoot, her blade keen to meet its intended mark, leaving him sprawled on the floor, shock engulfing his sanity in the short burst of seconds…
…Luna met her full blown punch, driving her into the ground faster than she could react …
…Three more stabs at the detective…
She brought out the chloroform-soaked the handkerchief & put it on Luna’s nose as she was about to scream, trying to get her unconscious as fast as she could and carry her to her car. She was out within 15 seconds…
Sin came running from the corner she had emerged from, her surprise slowing her reaction. He was sprinting away when she pulled out her gun and squeezed the trigger, the first bullet hitting the wall, the other whizzing into invisibility as it sailed into thin air.
She reached for the Chief’s radio com
*Officer down. I repeat, officer down. Chief Inspector Said has been stabbed. Suspect currently running down Second Street into Shire Park. Suspect is armed and dangerous. Shoot on sight.”
She found him running into the main road, a pack of police behind his trail firing shots at him. He was looking to take out a motorcyclist and run away on the bike.
“Not a chance!”
Ramming him was a clean kill. He was dying before he even hit the ground. She stopped the car between her & the coming officers, temporarily blinding their line of sight. She tucked her mask deeper into her jacket and pulled out the blade that tore through the Chief’s torso, placing it in his hand before the officers got to her.
“Nice work detective Lall.”
An officer said as he came in panting, gun out of his holster and aimed at the corpse in front of her.
“Call it in”
The dead lay still,
Dislodged from the moving habits
Of the living
By the scythe of death,
As silence followed the absence of their souls
Into veils of the nether-realm,
Where stars are
Of a phantom dark.
They slept on the fields of eternity,
In blade-less grass beds
That never felt
The coldness of the sun…
The dark of the moon…
The storms after summer…
Or the decaying warmth before winter…
The dead remained motionless
As they collapsed from
Time-held shells of their mortal coil
Into an ending of
Bones & dust,
Becoming unnamed figures
Of the non-living
Where they put their crosses,
As nails let coffins
Keep the living away.
She looked on at their becoming,
And like the silence
She saw them off without words,
For they were ill-fated bearers
Of her secrets,
To take it with them
To the hell
Where her demons lay.
Sirens wailed into the heavy air as police cars whizzed past him, splashing dead rain onto the walls of curiosity in his mind. Anxiety was as thick as the sky, while the wind plucked leaves from where uneasy butterflies hung on branches, fleeing from the chaos of the world. He could feel his own pulse throb through the linings of his shirt, pleading with him to stop running & keep his feet on the ground. His lungs burned from perspiration, chasing the very air that rushed past his face. He was on a full sprint, looking for turns, alleyways & basements that would throw away the policemen on his tail, but it seemed as if there was no way to shake them off.
He stood in the light drizzle, taking in the intoxication of jasmine scents left behind by the empty air where Luna once stood, flirting with the nasal trance as he fought off the urge to run after her, to go down on his knees and beg her for forgiveness. He lost himself in the slow of time, between the seconds that he stole to either decide or let go, but when the pendulum swung once again, he found himself tailing the phantoms in the musk of her perfume.
He dashed into a new corner now, where the road narrowed into a bridge. A river roared beneath the walkway, splashing on its stone-soaked banks like a water dragon as it struggled to bring down the wooden aperture to the floors of dead rock beneath it. He looked back & saw five more police officers had joined the chase now, making the corner he just came from and taken aback by the fury of the river.
“No time to think now…”
He made his way up the archway, his footsteps heavy on the aging foothold. The river seemed to grow bigger once he made it through the first few feet across, tumbling every now and then over water from both the ocean skies above & the river dragon below, having to do all he can to keep himself from spraining his legs. A quick glance back and the officers had made it to the footwalk as well, guns drawn from their holsters and aimed at him…
“FREEZE! DON’T MOVE!”
It seemed like it was mere seconds ago that he traced the path she had taken, snaking through empty roads of the leafy neighborhood and abandoned play fields, her hair falling off from the shelter beneath the white maven she wore. She rounded into a distant corner just as a police car was steered next to her, but he was still too far off and blinded by the corner walls of the building.
“Must be something to do with the investigation, looks like the Chief’s ride…”
He slowed down his pace then, his instincts telling him she would definitely tell the cops he’s been lurking and he didn’t feel like spending the night at the cell…
He almost laughed at the remark, seeing how he ended up with an option he literally wanted to run away from since the beginning.
“Stop and get killed by law enforcers or run and manage to escape them and find a way to think everything over…”
He sprinted onward, the other side of the bridge opened out from the short horizon the arch of the bridge had made.
“I can do this”
He panted heavier now, his breathes coming shorter to him. He could feel his asthma fighting through the wall of sheer will he had built up to keep himself from collapsing.
He felt like he had left behind a lifetime of memories now. The spontaneous burst of each moment escaping through his line of sight…the sudden scream…the sound of two bodies scuffling…his realization of the wrongness of the situation…the sound of a man yelping in pain…the sound of his footsteps as he ran to where Luna had disappeared into…the sound of the first gunshot…him making it to the corner…the sound of the second gunshot…him seeing a masked figure over Luna…the surprise that held him to place as he realized what he just stepped into…the rush of bullets past his face as the figure rounded toward him and fired a couple more shots…fear pulling him into a sprint back around the corner again as he dashed to hide his open back from the gun of the attacker…
He got to the end of the bridge in time and made for the forest that opened up into an eerie dark. It was harder here to maintain a sprint when the ground rose and fell without his notice. Barks of trees sheltered him from his pursuers’ guns as they fired at him incessantly. His chest however, was burning holes through his torso, and he couldn’t even maintain his speed when he wanted to run faster. In the silence of the trees he could make out their footsteps as they rushed behind him, the thought of losing his life the only reason his legs needed to keep moving forward.
The police cars were suddenly behind him, not to protect him, but to run him over.
“What the hell…”
“Don’t let that murderer get away. We’ve been given orders to shoot on sight”
He had barely made it over a nearby fence when he heard the police guards shouting.
“They think I killed…?”
He had made his way through the flood of wood and branches into open space, the road ahead still busy with cars as they dashed back and forth into and out of the neighborhood. He could feel his asthma rising, drowning him in the heaviness of his own chest as his heart raced to keep blood flowing and his legs running…
“Just a little further…”
He made the steps up to the road when one of the officers fired a shot on his right leg.
He stopped then, falling down to the tarmac. He turned to see them coming closer as they made their way past the clearing into the open field. With a monumental effort he stood up then, seeing a motorcyclist come up his way.
“Now or never…”
Before he could do anything he felt his whole body get rammed by what felt like a hundred iron bulls, as he suddenly plunged upwards into the soar sky, then down again on rough tarmac…
He turned to see what happened, finding a black figure come out of another police car…
Images growing more blurry…
Liquid in his mouth…blood?
The black figure squatted beside him
“I got him guys, over here!”
He raised his eyes, saw a mask being tucked into a jacket…
His life flashed before his eyes…Spilling milk on his mum’s carpet…doing drugs in his teens…dropping out of school…the first big money he ever made…his first kiss…
The first time he fell in love…
He felt himself ooze away from the world, away from all the chaos that erupted around him, into tranquil nirvana. It was funny how everything that felt so important seconds ago, seemed like trivial issues now.
The dimming finally steered him into a full dark…
Light became shadow…
And he could do nothing as the release came to him as swift as the last words of the living met his ears…
“Nice work detective Lall.”
“It’s been uumm…it’s been a while since I talked to anyone…even a longer while since everyone disappeared…The last person I remember talking to was uuh, was a traveler. He was part of a small group I stumbled upon. He had to leave. The others followed soon after. Something about surviving this wave. Kinda like what am trying to do right now, with all this, in all this. And frankly I don’t know if am doing a good enough job, you know… It’s been so long ever since; I’ve lost track of time. It’s been so long I think I might be losing it, I mean, what’s real, anymore? I can barely tell what’s right from wrong, whether to feel or numb…I don’t know when I am myself anymore, like falling in and out of consciousness but with life, and what happens in it. Everything’s a blur now. Time is but a word, a reason, an excuse for me to say day, night, because none of them make sense to me now; a mere black or white as life passes by, numb, soundless. And every day I watch myself slowly fade, some part of me, of who I am, disintegrating like the floating dust as it mingles with the air, dispersing, disappearing, leaving me emptier with every dawn of day. Maybe it wants to help. Maybe it has hope of bringing them back. Maybe, just maybe, this part of me believes…Maybe. I do not know, of it, of me, I do not know.
We used to be so close my friends and I, hanging out, having fun, forgetting the world in those moments as we made our own, and just for those split precious moments, we lived in it…I remember we used to have these inside jokes that whenever we were in class, or a room and we would hear them, we’d look for each other among the crowds and just giggle or laugh when our eyes met, and we would savor that moment because it was just us who knew what they meant, in our little small world…It was perfect, until that day when the advert aired.
I wasn’t interested at first. It was like one of those promos you’d see on billboards and newspapers when going back home or surfing the analogue way (1). Promos like those never stuck around for long. They’d usually be replaced by some other advert for towels and children all in one picture, probably for a super market promo. But this one, this one never left. Its image grew on us as time went by. We’d even joke around with its catch phrase. ‘Let’s Change together’, it said. Within no time it was everywhere. Kids, teenagers, adults, everyone wanted one. It became the new toy, the new Black, the smart choice….They said it had the ability to transform the world…yeah, for once the adverts actually were true to their word. But no one knew how much…
We all had heard about how my neighbor’s aunt used this technology to do incredible things, how she’d make an interaction in a split second that normally would take days or even weeks to make. It was unbelievable. It was amazing. It was impossible, she said. And now it was our turn to rock the new Black. With a few mummers, requests and a lot of aunties, we finally got ours. Everyone was excited for the other. We had all these new techs in our hands, I mean, we were living the dream. The cool kids, you now. It was awesome; the attention, the wonder in others, the super workload lifting, we could use it to do almost everything, all we had to do was a few taps and swipes of the finger and, voila…we were transforming the world,our world…Then it all begun….
I couldn’t figure why I felt lost, at first. Why my life felt like an act, a pretense, a routine; planned and laid out for me to follow. I couldn’t understand what was it I liked in humor, in heart, in taste, in others. I couldn’t remember what deserved to be felt, be understood, what was okay or absurd, what needed my attention and what could wait. I had no idea of how to feel anymore, how to judge, when to judge, who to judge, should I be judged? I could feel myself scare. I could feel the confusion, the anger, the rage, the breath living my lungs without flowing back in. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t understand. My friends seemed fine. They were fine. Why wasn’t I? What was happening to me? Why am I feeling all this…this darkness…this rage? Why was I in so much pain? Bleeding….weeping….
Then I saw.
Everyone was leaving. Up and leaving. Leaving everything behind. Leaving their families behind. Just like that. They told me to come with them. They told me People were coming. They told me the smart people, the uh, the scientists had abandoned them. They told me Humans were dying. Dying a cold death in Life. Dying to be reborn into People, into a specie of no depth, of no emotion, no lives; into a specie of pretense, of confusion, of rage; into a specie of loneliness…and their Humanity, their Humanity dies with them. They told me to run, for the technology the scientists granted upon us has unleashed a pandemic so deadly it corrupted their Norm, our Norm, and we Humans are paying for it, paying for it with our lives, our selves, our souls…we Humans are paying for it with our essence…with our Humanity…and being turned into monsters, into slaves of a corrupted Norm, a whole book of it as we slowly, but surely, sell our souls to it so my boy, Run! Run and save yourself! Because we all know, there is nothing anyone of us, can do for the other. Run!
You can imagine how shocked I was. I didn’t believe them because no, my friends were alright. No, my friends seemed fine so it can’t be true…I screamed in their faces, begged for their attention, tried for their care; but they were gone. It was too late for them…I was too late for them…and now,I was alone…now I am alone…And you know what is the most painful thing of all? Watching them fade away whilst their eyes cry for help, until they don’t.
One might think this place am in is a ghost town. Well it’s not. It’s full of People who follow what they are told to be right, believe what they are told to be true. It is filled with People who laugh by cue, live by routine; a planned schedule of day and night. This place is filled with People who call life by what they are given and like in it what they are told is likeable, hate what they are told to, no choices, no questions. This is indeed a ghost town; one bereaved of Humans, and filled with People. This is why I am here right now, talking to this screen. Hoping. Hoping that this will reach someone; reach anyone…Hoping that maybe they aren’t too far gone…Hoping that their eyes open their minds and free their bodies…hoping….hoping….
And now, here I am. Alone. Fading away, like them. Sometimes I wish I had their fate. Not ideal really, I know, but still free from all this, the pain, the sorrow, the helplessness…the loneliness…I don’t think I’ll last for long after this anyways, because, without any other Human around, I’m slowly giving up hope…giving in to the silence. There was a time I used to believe in friendship, in the unbreakable bond; in people…Before all this, I used to believe in Love.
After a tale like that, you’d want to hitch a home and get married ASAP. I know I did. So calm your nerves and take a few, breathe, you’re going to need it.
One word, Society.
This, simply put, is a realm where people and humans cross each other’s paths. This realm has some rules, which are said to have been conjured from the invisible Book of Norm. They are responsible for guarding and guiding these creatures with their powers of Thought Action to protect these paths and their takers. But something’s gone terribly wrong…And no one is aware of this to know it…
With the introduction of technology in to this realm, the creatures started showing rapid interaction progressions. What they could do in a weeks’ time, they did in an hour. It was amazing. It was impossible. But something happened after a while of this exposure. The creatures, the humans, they started evolving. As more records of interaction were continuously broken, more and more humans started to evolve gradually turning in to a new unknown species…turning into People.
It was not long before this new species of humans started reporting cases of memory loss, depleted senses, irregular tendencies and even personality erosion and finally, they stop reporting…just, Silence. When they were followed up, they just sat there, staring, with no expression on their faces, no emotion, their eyes empty with clouds of sadness…they had lost who they were…they were simply, gone…
The other Humans quickly started taking action to this new phenomenon. Research was launched to analyze this evolution, quarantines put up, drills taught to subdue this new infection. Panic, there was panic, worry, anxiety, depression…everything was going haywire because no matter what they did, it never stopped…just kept spreading, like light moving through the medium-less space, evolving the humans, one by one, into nothingness…into people.
The whole human species was now heading to its doom. Some decided to abandon ship and live in desert islands. Some just waited for the day they would turn into one of them, helplessly, as they watch their evolved versions walk around aimlessly, bumping into anyone and everyone they met within this realm, tangling their paths with theirs, spreading the contraction… Wait, their paths, that’s it! Alas, for they were looking in the wrong direction the whole time.
They finally figured out that what was spreading the contraction wasn’t the people, but their paths. Somehow this exposure to technology found a way to corrupt the rules in the invisible Book of Norm. And with a corrupt guiding and guarding system of interaction, the Thought Action powers of the rules corrupted every other interaction and thus, the contraction spread onto the humans, uninterrupted, without them even knowing.
They had done it. They had finally figured out what was happening. They had finally found out what was wrong. Everything will be okay, we made it, we’ll be fine, we can put an end to this.
Those were the last words they said. Nothing was ever heard from them thereafter. And now, no one knows where they went, where they are. The humans disappeared. They were gone.
The news spread of their success and the new species, People, they reacted. They were furious. Their faces were transformed into anger. Their mouths spoke words not heard of. Their bodies tensed in protection, in defense, guarding their attachment…they were now monsters. But their eyes, their eyes never changed… Empty. Sad. Almost as if they cried for help. Yes, they cried for help. They had no control of who they were anymore. They were helpless….Who is going to save them?
Where is everyone?
Is there anyone out there?
Am all alone…
Can you help me?
Stop staring and say something!
Am all alone…
One word, Society.
This, simply put, is a realm where people and humans cross each other’s paths. This realm has some rules, which are said to have been conjured from the invisible Book of Norm. They are responsible for guarding and guiding these creatures with their powers of Thought Action to protect these paths and their takers. But something’s gone terribly wrong…And no one is aware of this to know it…
All I could think of when I heard the word was frankly something out of the Notebook, The fault in our stars or more relatable, the Vow. But what I didn’t consider was that Love doesn’t end there; with two partners and a life ahead of them; but also extends to partners we hold close to our hearts, those who we loosen up around and get awkward and downright mandazi (1) with them, those whom our love touch to care for and stand by, preferable over all others… you guessed it, Friends.
I’ve had my fair share of stories and experiences from others to amp the notion of ‘there is no such thing as “best friends”’ so for now am going to go with it. So that squad you’re willing to spend your quality time with, there is a connection that keeps you together and makes you prefer their company over anyone else’s. This connection exists regardless of there being any partner(s) involved or not; it’s a natural thing. There’s a clear line between a friend and an intimate munchkin pumpkin honey sweetie teddy bear cutie pie; you get my point. So you know who to go to when a little drama crosses your way. But you know, the thing about friendships, whether besties or accomplices, there is always the alpha of the group. The one whose needs comes first and whose likes are cherished to overrule that of the other(s). If you’ve never heard of this then ask yourself one question, would you go through all the trouble your friend(s) has gone through, favors done for you all to put a smile on their face?
If you don’t feel any entitlement to do all of them because hey, it was from their own free will, right? Yeah, know that you are the Alpha of that squad. If you’d do it all over again cause, come on, this is my squad you’re talking about here, well, am letting you know that your friend(s)’ amusement supercharges you to bend backwards and do things not less than amazing to achieve it. Let me rephrase, you’ll always be second priority. I know, unbelievable. But come to think about it….not really. I mean, do you even remember what you’d like to eat when you are in a restaurant, or is it cause your friend(s) also liked it at one point?
Please, don’t let me speak for you. Though am sure you know who you are between the two by now. As long as your friend(s) help(s) you forget about your struggles and keep(s) you smiling, it’s all good…right? #Food_for_thought
Hey, it’s okay. It’s simply how us humans were made. It’s totally normal for us to “serve” anyone we deem more awesome than ourselves, basic human psychology. No sweat. Except, the Prophet aleyhi swalaatu wa salaam replied as such when he was asked who his best friend is, and he said, ‘Aisha’ (ra), who was her wife, and after being asked who followed, he added, ‘ Her father’, who was Abubakar (ra), referring him also from his wife. Now this is no special answer in the norm. But what’s fascinating about this reply is that Abubakar (ra), was the man who he travelled with after leaving his home town to another one, where they faced unlimited dangers and he even got stung by a scorpion for him. He was the man that accepted his message without a single ounce of hesitation when everyone around him scorned it. He was the man that believed the Prophet’s journey to the heavens and back in one night with no need of any proof. Scratch that, Abubakar (ra) was a very good friend of the prophet aleyhi salaam even before he became a prophet, and let’s not get into the number of battles he fought beside the prophet, upon him be peace. So what’s up? I mean, Bro, after all that?
What is up, is that even though their friendship was strong, Abubakar (ra) only met with him when they met, you know, see you when you see me. But his wife Aisha (ra), oh she met with him all the other times; not it be at his highest or lowest, happiest or saddest, be or not be. I mean she was inside his life just as deeply as he was in hers. See, the thing about marriage is that it takes you from the comforts of your house and privacy and puts you smack in the middle of someone else’s. Your personal space is not personal anymore, your schedule isn’t yours anymore, you have to worry about more than just you; cause you were just fine with how you were….In totality, you give up your previous life for this strange new one, with someone strange, all cooped up in a strange new space…Duude…But with time, with time a friendship brews. You start knowing each other, understanding, adapting, enduring…the displeasure, dislikes, repulsion of your opposite views slowly disintegrates as you battle life on each other’s side, standing by one another and being there for each other…It’s you Vs. the world, and alas, a bond more rigid than Love itself and its totality… a bond forged from the roots of Endurance, the stem of Friendship and the branches of Love… a bond soo unique the most richest of languages gave it its own name, Al Mawaddah(2), unbreakable…Subhanallah, praise be to the Most High.
Now you understand the Prophet aleyhi salaam’s answer, upon him be peace…Now you understand why he chose his wife over his life-long friend…Now you understand why she was his best friend…
This is the true meaning of friendship. Knowing each other to the core and having to deal, even if you don’t want to. And for this reason, is why, in this world of now, any other friendship will never be as equal sided, just like how 1400 years ago, a friendship that meant dying for one another could not match that of a wife, and her husband.
That bond, that is why I believed in love. I cannot still comprehend the intensity of the connection.
So, why halter in its belief now? I mean, what happened?
Stay tuned for Part 2 to find out…
1. Used to mean crazy stuff
2. Affection, love, friendliness
3. (ra) : May Allah be pleased with him/her
One of the craziest thing in 21st Century are the friend zone memes. They are hilarious, heart-felt by many people and just one other way to make the sad situation of rejection sound funny. Well the memes afterwards escalated. It came to bro zone/sis zone (which is considered worse than friend zone) life zone, neighbour zone, mzee wa mtaa zone (the guy who is always approached by his female friend to solve her couple problems), father zone etc etc. You know at one moment we all did that ‘moment of silence’ thingy for all the bros in the friend zone…and behind most of the ‘hahaha’ and ‘HA HA HA’ in the comment section of friend zone memes there is a lot of pain hidden.
So recently there has been too much excitement on the net of the newly found logo for friend zone (which is the most common zone. I guess the root zone?). And it’s so hilarious how people actually believe that such logos are necessary?
As much as I find the memes to be hilarious, I don’t believe in the literal existence of these zones. I don’t believe in a corner where a nice guy is shoved in simply because he is too much a friend. Let’s be realistic, open minded and honest here. We all have what we look for in a partner or what makes a potential spouse. So…
No such thing as friend zone because I believe in personal preferences, choices, fate, priorities and decisions and not the life zones we justify with. You could be yearning for a partner with sparkling beauty yet she could be searching for a man with brains like Einstein? You could be after a man with an ambition while he is after a woman with twice his ambition? You could be after a lady with principles yet she is after a man with religion? Someone is checking his bank balance and someone else is after his humility. It all depends on personal emotions and interests, otherwise, everyone out there can be a potential partner. It’s nothing to do with anyone being in any zone. It’s all a matter of if someone has an interest in you or not. It is all a matter of compatibility and bonding on another level. It is about having someone to spend your entire life with. And sometimes, that lady or guy in the friend zone or bro zone or whatever wouldn’t be the best choice. IT IS THAT SIMPLE.
You could be the sweetest peach as they say, the nicest guy but maybe you just don’t have the one thing she has prioritized in a partner. There is no way around it. And most of the times people only try to be nice and not hurt anyone’s ego by telling them ‘You are my good friend’ or whatever people say. They just don’t want you to feel like something is wrong with you or you are not worth them; it’s all about what their choices are and sometimes it is as much difficult for them too to make such decisions.
It is okay to console yourself with the memes, to embrace your pain and to laugh about it because you are not alone. But no it’s not okay to use it as a justification of why someone was rejected. See that guy who made it out of the bro zone? The silly girl finally realized his worth and perhaps understood that what is missing in him; he’s got something better. Not just because he squeezed himself out of the tight corner called bro zone. It is because she has now made her choice and made him a priority.
One other thing that people never consider is that however CLOSE you are to another person, when it comes to the real deal of making someone your life time partner, things change. High-peaked emotions are included here. The way a guy is with his girl best friend is not exactly the same way he would be if the same girl became his partner. This is because we now have expectations, deeper attachment, love associated with every action. So yeah it IS different…and sometimes, people are better off as they are, where they are; in those hypothetical zones.
If you want to deal with this kind of rejection then you have to believe in the choices others make even if they are not the best for you. You have to believe in fate; in accepting that not everything is going to go as you wish. That sometimes the person you see the best for you is actually not the best? That maybe that person is just not ready for such commitment or they already have a lot on their plate and cannot be emotionally available? That everything happens for are a reason. That perhaps God is saving you a whole lot of pain that would come from being with that person. Well it is difficult no doubt but if you want to get over this, you better find a better reason to justify your rejection rather than the zones. Because all these zones? They don’t exist…
I remember when I was thirteen years old, my closest friend decided to replace me as her best friend with another girl. I was apparently so hurt at that and wrote her a two paged letter filled with so much bitterness and was listing down all the sacrifices I did for her sake and the way she didn’t appreciate. As i was writing the letter, my mother appeared and saw it. she read it through and gasped with astonishment, ‘you carry all this load in your heart?!’ and i cant forget how much she scolded me for concentrating on friendship that much instead of my studies as i was a candidate by then. All in all, my point is not at how my mother scolded me or what happened after that. Many years later now, I look back at that situation and wish that the only betrayal that could ever exist was like that one whereby an innocent thirteen year old is filled with bitterness because her best friend replaced her.
As someone once said, ‘every man faces seven enemies in his lifetime; sickness, hunger, betrayal, envy, greed, old age and finally death.
As I grew up, I realized how naïve I was and that the world is actually like a battle field. so many wolves ready to attack you just the moment you trip. The saddest thing about betrayal though is that it never comes from your enemies, it comes from the people you loved the most.
As John Le Carre said ‘love is whatever you can still betray. Betrayal can only happen if you love.’ No one could ever dispute this fact that betrayal only happens when you love, because you trusted in the first place. Of course you wouldn’t trust your enemy right? therefore, betrayal never happens with your enemies, it only happens with your loved ones.
We live in a world where you can’t really trust anyone completely. It takes years to build trust and yet, just a few seconds to break it. We live in a world whereby you can’t even trust to leave your wife alone for some few hours, in the fear that another man, probably could be even your neighbour, takes over your place just the moment you leave.
Betrayal has led to so much pain. They say time heals all wounds but they forget that the scar will forever be there. People may forgive but will never forget the deep pain they felt and of course, nothing will ever be the same again.
Sometimes, a mother betrays her child. One would wonder how? but haven’t we seen all those many children appearing on our televisions, with deep cuts, burns, mutilated body parts just because of a small mistake they did? Yes, she betrayed her child. He trusted her, he knew she would never want any harm for him, he knew she would protect her and what did she do instead? she was the one holding the knife, the one holding the flame ready to burn, the one holding a panga ready to chop…the one who put the poison in his food. Yes, that is betrayal. When a father rapes his own daughter and maybe, she even gets pregnant and the girl lives the rest of her life being haunted. Life will never be the same again for her.
Betrayal is when we all put our trust and hope in that leader. As we die with hunger and thirst, we still had the energy to stand up and have faith that change will come with this leader. It is that kind of hope that never dies and we all vote for him, thinking we would never be hungry and thirsty again. But alas! greed is all he ever had.
Betrayal is when you love someone so deeply and just suddenly, they shatter all your dreams into small irreplaceable pieces of glass. Even picking up the pieces will cut you once again so you let them right there with the undying hope that they would realize what damage they caused and maybe…just maybe come back.
Betrayal doesn’t only break your heart, but also darkens your soul. You will never forget the pain and many have changed due to that kind of pain.
Trust is like a mirror, once broken, you may try to repair it but no matter what you will always still see the cracks. So be very careful on whom you trust and value the people who trust you and keep up to their expectations. Don’t disappoint them for giving you the most valuable thing they can ever offer; TRUST!
You are not a fool that you trusted, that you loved, that you had faith…they are the fools for lying to someone who trusted them. So forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you!
My life has always been like a small cubicle office with different frequent visits from different people. My mum always saw me having new visitors at home or laughing on a phone call from someone new and she’d always ask ‘who is it this time? A friend from school?’ And my answer was mostly a no because I rarely had friends but I had a friend of my friend, the neighbour to my friend, the classmate of my friend, the cousin to my friend, my sister’s friend etc etc
My mum came to barely remember any names or even faces because people quickly came into my small cubicle and as quickly, exited it. A name would be familiar for some days and just as sudden as the name appeared into my life, it faded away as soon as one had had their loved ones back, had new friends, had had enough of my entertainment..had stopped feeling lonely..had gotten enough strength to stand on their feet once again. And another would appear. So she’d ask ‘where do you come up with new friends out of nowhere, just all of a sudden? ‘
‘Destiny…’ I’d mumble.
I got used to the idea that everything is temporary. I am temporary; I was meant to be temporary..and I’d always wondered when I’d meet my permanent people?
Nonetheless I’ve learnt to enjoy these short visits to my small cubicle; the little laughters, the little secrets, the little jokes, the thrilling stories, shared experiences..I had served my purpose in their lives by giving them what they needed and they had served in mine; by giving me the little joy that I’ll always cherish. It’s called compromise.