Tag

Pain

Browsing

Photo Courtesy: www.pixabay.com

Sometimes people wrong us in such despicable ways. Sometimes we are the ones who wrong people. Sometimes we are oppressed, we are discriminated and mistreated. Sometimes we are the ones carrying the baggage of harming others. Sometimes we lose everything at once, sometimes it is so hard, it is difficult to move on. Sometimes is sometimes our always; each one of us desperately trying to understand why things go the way they do. How villains are still walking free while some really good souls are the ones to be diagnosed with cancer. How very evil, ungrateful, arrogant people could be the ones enjoying luxurious lives while a very hardworking person suddenly loses his hand which he desperately needs for his manual labour. It doesn’t make sense! It never does! How is it a very poor child loses their mother who was the only family they knew while an already rich boy wins a car he doesn’t even need…How is it that one prays for a child for ten years yet when they finally get one, the wife dies at delivery??…and sometimes we just want to ask God, ‘Why though?’


KE Gif Ge 468X60

Only God knows…
Sometimes we realize how lucky we are for not getting what we cried for and sometimes we never get the answers. And sometimes it is as it is. We can never know. Difficult things happen. We lose and sometimes we gain. Sometimes people hurt us, they betray us, they take our differences to another level it shouldn’t ever reach, they forget all the good and tough situations you went through together. Sometimes they realize they wronged us and apologize and sometimes they die believing what they did was right. That is the human being. He is insan. He forgets and he errs.

But we should always believe that there is a bigger picture. That as much as we don’t understand what is going on in our lives or why it is going the way it is, we should have undoubted faith that God knows what’s best for us. And this is actual test of faith; believing when it is hardest to do so.

We have proof in the qur’an that there’s always something more to our painful and even happy stories. There is always something extra that our eyes will not simply see and our minds won’t easily fathom.

In Surat Kahf, in the story of Nabii Musa aleyhi salaam when he was told to search for a servant of Allah who had more knowledge than him, we get to learn something very valuable. During their journey; Nabii Musa and his teacher, Al Khidhr, three occasions happen which agitated Nabii Musa aleyhi Salam:

71. So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing “Imra” (a Munkar – evil, bad, dreadful thing).”

72. He (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?”

73. [Musa (Moses)] said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).”

74. Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa (Moses) said: “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing “Nukra” (a great Munkar – prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!”

75. (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?”

76. [Musa (Moses)] said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.”

77. Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. [Musa (Moses)] said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!”

78. (Khidr) said: “This is the parting between me and you, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience.

79. “As for the ship, it belonged to Masakin (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

80. “And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

81. “So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.

82. “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.”


KE Gif Ge 468X60

If we were to witness these same occasions ourselves, wouldn’t we just react according to what is visible to the eye, as Nabii Musa did? If your boat was the one destroyed or your boy killed, how long would it take any of us to actually think that perhaps there is something greater, something bigger beyond what the mind comprehends? Were we the ones to be denied food, would we even want to smile at those people let alone build a random wall somewhere? If you just lost all your property in a fire and someone told you, ‘Perhaps it is kheir’ you would perhaps glare at them like they are the ones who set your property on fire. When misfortunes befall us we cry ‘Why God?’ yet we don’t know how much good Allah is doing to us by that same terrible incident. We tend to only look at what is in front of us. But Allah is the Most Merciful and there are a lot of instances where we should thank Allah for despite how ugly the situation is. And indeed, this story is the perfect proof that we don’t know everything. That however powerful, mighty, rich or knowledgeable we are, there are just some things we would never be able to explain or understand. That as much as we make plans, Allah has already written in detail how our lives are going to be. That we should always ask God to direct us to only what is kheir for us.

We may not have the answers but we need to trust Allah’s wisdom and choices for us. May Allah grant us the patience and guide us always. Ameen.

We plan and Allah plans, and He is the Best of planners.

P.S Humble Reminder: Do read surat Kahf if you haven’t. It still is Friday 🙂


“Do the  people  think  that  they  will  be  left  to  say:  We  believe,   and they will not be tried?  But We have  certainly  tried those  before  them, and  Allah  will  surely  make  evident   those  who  are  truthful,   and  He will  surely  make  evident   the  liars.”  (Qur’an, Surah Al-Ankabut, 29: 2-3)

Photo Courtesy: www.pixabay.com

The kind of lives we lead nowadays is quite sickening, disgusting and most of all, heartbreaking. Indeed this world is full of trials. All universal religions believe that we are here to be tested and on a mission to prove our faith. That aside, there are many many disappointing situations that could be avoided entirely if only we are mature enough. If only we are thoughtful, empathetic, patient and truthful to ourselves and others.

And honestly, I don’t get it. I don’t get it how our conscious is still so intact even when we know we have ruined someone’s life. How we intentionally and very soberly, mastermind the downfall of our very own friends and people who trust us. Doesn’t it bite you inside? Doesn’t it pinch you deep inside that someone somewhere cries for the difficulty you put them through? For the money you borrowed and intentionally refuse to return? For the trust they gave you before stepping on it like a used cigarette? For the times they awaited you to take responsibility for the role you play? Doesn’t it eat you up that someone wakes up in the deadliest of nights to cry to God about you. About what YOU did to them? About how you tore their hearts and how their souls ache for you or because of you? Doesn’t it bother you that you are the reason your mother no longer smiles? That someone slept hungry today? That someone gave up on life? That someone is contemplating suicide just because you have been so reckless with your words?


KE Gif Ge 468X60

I don’t get how a man carries himself, step by step, full of confidence and promises, full of charm and over-stretched smiles to a lady’s home. He marries this woman and takes her away from her loving family, from her comfortable life, from her king-sized bed, from her cute kitchen, from her tiny library that has been her source of bliss of years, just to turn her life into hell. I don’t get it, because even if this woman was having a miserable, tough life in her own home, you have no business giving her hope just to transfer her from one hell to another. I don’t get it. Were you forced to marry her? Did anyone hold a knife on your neck to take her to your home? And even if you were pushed to marry her, does she have to pay her entire life for a mistake your father, mother or grandparents did to you??

I don’t get it when parents are so irresponsible, so thoughtless, so immature, when they make their children pay for their failed marriages. I don’t get it, how you even allow yourself be the reason your child falls into depression, why your child has insomnia, why your child wants to end their life before it has even started. Why do we assign ourselves these duties if we are not ready for them? I don’t get it how we allow ourselves be the reason our children justify their depression with,’I come from a divorced family.’

I know you don’t care. Most of us don’t. We are busy faking our happiness we forget how much we damage other people. But you know what’s the scariest yet still the beauty of life? Whatever you give out is what comes back to you. Give out love and compassion and it comes back to you. Give out misery and tears and you’ll remain wondering ‘where did I go wrong?’ You want to know where you went wrong? It was that person you hurt and broke. It was that person you stole from. It was that person you oppressed. It is the prayers of that person you mistreated being answered. You are wondering why you are never succeeding in whatever you do? How misery engulfs you like charcoal on fire? Find out who you hurt; could be intentionally or even unintentionally. Their heart ache is perhaps the reason you won’t be able to smile for the next few years. Indeed, what goes around comes around. It’s all a matter of time.

Food for thought…


KE Gif Ge 468X60

Photo Courtesy: www.pixabay.com

I faked a smile after I kissed the hand of the man who abused me.
“MashaAllah! He’s grown into a fine young man,” he responded as my father reintroduced me to him.

A lump had already formed in my throat. My mind was abuzz with activity as my heart tried to register the multitude of feelings that exploded inside me. It reminded me of the flurry of movement that takes place in a company when something major happens. Bosses making numerous phone calls as their subordinates jog in and out of their offices every thirty seconds to urgently report the slightest update, while a plethora of emails are sent and received as everybody tried to make sense of the situation.

“Aziz, the man asked you a question,” my father interrupted my thoughts.
“Hmm? Ah, yes uhh…” a long pause ensued, then “Come again?”
The man broke into a hearty laughter, “Kids these days, they always seem to be distracted by one thing or another!” he said as he playfully grabbed my chin. Dynamites exploded once more inside my chest. “I asked you about your studies. How are you faring in them?”
“Oh. Alhamdulillah, I’m doing well. I’ll start my first year of college in September God willing.”
His face lit up even more on hearing this, “I expect nothing less from my former student. I always told you that you are brilliant!”

Another fake smile.

“Well, it was a pleasure seeing you after such a long absence, Aziz. Work hard and take care of your parents. Through Allah’s Will, they are the reason you are where you are today.” He then turned to my father, “Thank you for the invitation Mr. Saleem. May God bless you!”
“May He bless us all,” my father replied courteously.
He chuckled as he shook hands with him once more and winked at me.
“Excuse me,” I mumbled as soon as the man went inside the hall, “I need to go to the bathroom.”

*******

Breathing became an alien concept. Thankfully, no one was present in the bathroom to witness my panic attack. I unbuttoned the collar of my kanzu and opened the tap. This cannot be happening! Why is this happening? It took several splashes of water on my face for my breathing to return to normal.

The sound of approaching footsteps snapped me out of my confusion and I quickly got in a bathroom stall that was farthest from the door. I closed the lid, sat on it and then went on to involuntarily listen to a man take a piss. Soon after the same footsteps faded into the distance and I released the breath I hadn’t realised I was holding. Distracting myself from the reality of what just happened was impossible. However, I tried to delude myself into thinking that if I stayed in the bathroom long enough, then he’d be gone by the time I got back. Maybe, just maybe, an emergency would come up and the man would have no other choice except leave before the wedding even started.
I barely noticed my hand shaking. What was this feeling? Was it rage? Or fear? Maybe it was both? Am I going crazy? I couldn’t understand. A short burst of laughter escaped my lips. I’m definitely going crazy.

Where are you? A message from my father lit up my phone’s screen.
I’m experiencing stomach problems. I’ll be a while. I replied.
Sorry to hear that. Get well soon.

I didn’t want to leave the bathroom. The prospect of seeing that monster again terrified me. Seven years had passed since that “unfortunate event”. I thought that it was all behind me, that I had buried one gigantic skeleton. I punched the wall once. Twice. Three times. The pain in my fist, however, couldn’t override the aching sensation in my chest.

An alarm bell in my head was warning me that I was on the edge of a precipice. One wrong move and I would fall into the unknown, a place I have been avoiding for almost a decade.

Counting backwards from one thousand gave me a false sense of stability, like papering over cracks that would surely reappear and worsen with time. I was now clinging onto the precipice with my hands, one delicate misstep and I would tumble down into the unknown.

“Six hundred and sixty seven, six hundred and sixty six, six hundred and sixty five…” I muttered under my breath. The man’s laughter would echo in my ears and his face would flash right before my eyes. My thoughts were beginning to spiral out of control, so I gritted my teeth and continued counting, albeit loudly. To Hell with being heard, my sanity was at stake.

Counting didn’t work, I could feel myself slipping away one finger at a time. Desperation led me to clamp my head tightly between my hands as I hummed a nursery rhyme. Was it ‘Mary had a little lamb’? Or was it ‘London bridge is falling down’? I couldn’t tell at this point. Cold sweat trickled down my spine. More images, memories from before, swirled around my mind, making me confuse past with present. I whispered “Somebody…please help me,” as my arms finally lost their strength and my body went hurtling into the unknown…

*******

“So today we’re going to learn some intermediate concepts of Arabic grammar. Before that, however, open your Quran and read where we left off yesterday,” my ustadh instructed us in an authoritative tone. None of us dared look straight at his face because he always had this imposing demeanour that demanded respect. I couldn’t help but steal a glance, only to make eye contact with the man. Apprehension gripped me, but it was quickly banished when he returned my gaze with a half-smile and a wink. I blushed and took this as a sign that he acknowledged me.

Ever since my first encounter with him, my heart fell in love. The kind of unconditional love a child could afford for his parent, or a student for his master. Here was a man who would be seen constantly with a rosary in hand, invoking praises and glorifying God. Always on time to lead the congregational prayer, everyone in our neighbourhood adored and respected him. He was my second father. No, I considered him more of a father to me than my real one. My ultimate goal was to become like him, or even surpass him if that were possible.

The afternoon wore on until four o’clock reached. We had concluded our lessons for the day and were dismissed, except he called me back and said cryptically, “Wait for me after ‘asr prayer.”
My heart started racing. What does he want with me? Did I do something wrong? No, that’s not possible. It has to be something good, right? Or maybe he just wants me to pass a message to my father? No, that doesn’t make sense. Dad always comes to the mosque, so he could talk to him personally.

Concentrating on my prayer was next to impossible, my body simply made robotic movements as I imagined one scenario after another. My palms grew cold and sweaty. After the prayer was finished, I waited for most of the congregants to leave the mosque and asked ustadh if I did anything wrong. He gently pinched my cheek and told me there was nothing to worry about. My sense of anxiety disappeared, only to be replaced with excitement. If it’s nothing to worry about, then it’s definitely something good. My face grew warm and I stared at the carpet. Finally, he’s acknowledged me and I’ll get a special reward from him, I thought elatedly.

“Let’s go, Aziz,” he said as he got up and put his rosary in his pocket. Five minutes later we arrived at his home and went straight to his study, which was at the top floor of a three-storey building. He called out to his wife in a loud voice, saying that he shouldn’t be disturbed, “I have a very important student of mine!” he added as he beamed at me and winked. He even considers me his friend! I said to myself as I laughed. A few moments later we entered his study and he locked the door behind him after allowing me to enter first.

“Please, have a seat,” he gestured towards a couch. He took off his kanzu to reveal a white T-shirt and kikoi. Sometimes I’d be curious about how he looked like without his usual garments, but now I saw that he was powerfully built, with strong arms and a barrel chest, making him even more imposing.

“Now then,” he began as he sat next to me, “I brought you here because I’d like to give you a special present, for the consistent results you have produced during the four years you have been under my tutelage. However, let’s talk first. I’m in no rush and I’d like to know my favorite student a bit more.”
Favourite student? I smiled instinctively. “Well, what do you want to talk about?”
“Anything you want my child. But let me ask you first, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
I didn’t even need to think before I gave my answer. “I’d like to be an ustadh, just like you!” With this, he broke into a rapturous laughter. I was so entranced by this that I didn’t even notice him place his hand on my knee.
“Like me, you say? That’s good, that’s very good. I’m really happy to know that I’ll have a capable person take my place when I’m gone.”

We continued talking for a little while, about my hopes and dreams, my plans for the future. However, with each passing minute I could feel his gaze intensify as he started to slowly caress my thigh. I noticed this, but I merely took it as a form of parental affection, the same way my mother would hug me tight and crush me against her heavy chest, or how my father would pull my nose and flick his finger on my forehead.

“Tell me, Aziz, what do you think of me?” he asked, but the gentleness in his voice was gone. He sounded…sinister? No, I’m imagining things, there’s nothing wrong. My spark of paranoia, however, transformed into flames when he pulled me closer. The slow caressing motion picked up pace, as did his breathing.
What’s going on? What is he doing? Why doesn’t this feel right? All of this and more coursed through my mind. I couldn’t think clearly. I checked the clock, it was five thirty. I didn’t want to stay in his study anymore, something was definitely wrong. Maybe if I could get him talking until Maghrib arrived, then it would be prayer time and we’d both have an excuse for leaving.

I gulped, trying to calm my nerves, but I was fumbling with what I was trying to say, “I uhh…I think that…you’re a great man…and…everyone respects you…and…and…umm…you’re my…my…my role model,” I finished meekly. Unable to disguise my fear, I met his gaze, but all he did was look at me dreamily, while an evil smile played on his lips.

I was about to speak, when suddenly he embraced me so tightly that my arms couldn’t move. I felt like a rabbit being squeezed by a python as it prepared to devour the poor thing whole.
“I must confess something to you, my beautiful boy,” he began, his voice heavy and excited, “Ever since I laid my eyes on you, I have been beset by a demon, a demon only you can exorcise. You’re the only who can do this! If not, then I don’t know what will become of me. I need you, my beautiful child. You’re the only one that I want in this world my precious boy!”
I tried to pull away, but it was impossible against such strong arms.
“Will you exorcise this demon Aziz? Will you?” his voice was so frantic, that for a moment I thought he really was possessed by a demon.
“Y-y-yes…I’ll try!” I found myself agreeing to his request. Anything to get out of this choking embrace.
“I’m so glad you’ll help me. Thank you so much, this means a lot to me,” he whispered reassuringly as he pulled back, though his hands were still locked on me. I thought that the worst was over, but in the blink of an eye his lips were firmly placed on mine. Shock ran all over my body and I was rendered immobile. One of his hands was firmly set behind my head, so pulling away wasn’t an option.
After what felt like an eternity, he stopped kissing me and for the first time, the desire in his eyes was apparent.
“That felt good, didn’t it? It always comes as a shock for first-timers like you, but with time you’ll end up loving it, I promise.”

How could I ever end up loving something as disgusting as this? I thought as my body trembled. This couldn’t be him. This couldn’t be my ustadh. It must be the Devil himself. They say that the Devil can shapeshift into the form of any man, except prophets. So it had to be him. There’s no way that this monster before me could be the same pious and dignified man that I loved and respected so much.
“You seem shaken up. Would you like some tea?” he asked with feigned concern.
I nodded, too shell-shocked to speak. He then got up and went to heat two mugs of tea in a microwave. I checked the clock, fifteen minutes until six o’clock, fifty minutes until the maghrib call to prayer. If I drink my tea slowly, then I might make it. Otherwise, there’s no knowing what this man would do next.
“I had the maid make us some before we came in,” he said as he returned a couple of minutes later holding a mug in each hand, “I’ve warmed it up a bit in the microwave, but you should be able to drink it without burning your tongue. Go on then!”

I took a small first sip, then another. I decided to give myself three-minute intervals in between sips. Alright, I can do this.

All of a sudden my vision started blurring, my head grew heavy and my hand could hold my mug no longer. It slipped to the floor and I felt my body fall on the couch in slow motion.
“No…please…stop,” I protested weakly. My voice sounded far-off as I tried to stay awake. Whatever was laced in my tea started taking full effect, and the last thing I saw was ustadh on top of me, his burning eyes like twin coals, and then darkness…

*******

I saw my father’s concerned face when I woke up. The first thing that came to mind was that I was home. Thank God! it was only a bad dream. I must have come home and dosed off.
“Are you okay?” he asked, as he pressed his palm against my forehead.
“Yes, but my back hurts. I must have slept badly,” I replied with a smile, but it quickly vanished when I realised I was still in ustadh’s study, with the man himself standing a few feet behind my father, his face expressionless. My hands tightly gripped the blanket I hadn’t noticed until now. So it wasn’t a dream? No this can’t be happening! I panicked and my breathing grew rapid and shallow.

“Aziz are you alright? Ustadh told me that you fainted.”
I didn’t even register my father’s question, all I did was recall what happened before I lost consciousness.
“Can we go home? I don’t feel so good” were the first words I blurted. All I wanted was to stay as far away from the Devil as possible.
My father acquiesced and held my hand as I got up from the couch. I still felt dizzy. Ustadh, no, the Devil said something to my father but I couldn’t process anything. I was in flight mode. He moved towards me and placed his hand on my shoulder. It took all I had to stay put and not make a run for it. “You take care, okay?” he started, the warmth in his voice had returned, “I’d be beside myself if something were to happen to my favourite student.”
I did nothing but stare at the floor, hoping it would open up and swallow me whole…

*******

Where are you? The ceremony is about to start.
I’m on my way. Give me five minutes.
Good. I hope your intestines are still intact though.
Haha. They certainly are.

I leaned on the toilet and stared at the ceiling gloomily. Seeing my abuser for the first time in seven years revived that feeling of being tainted, that there was a certain impurity which will never go away. Like a stubborn stain you thought you had removed, only to realise that it was painted over, and now the paint has peeled off.
I shuffled out of the stall and headed towards the sink. I looked at my tired face in the mirror and became amazed by how sometimes it takes only a few seconds for someone to ruin your day.

I sighed pitifully. Is there truly an end to this nightmare? I wondered, as I straightened my back and faked a smile.

Photo Courtesy: https://pixabay.com/

I am running. Both literally and metaphorically. It’s two minutes to time and it is raining heavily. I don’t want to be late, I hate being late so I jog faster letting my sweat mix freely with the rain drops. It doesn’t bother me; the rain that is. I let it flow on me like it would wash away all the grief within, perhaps then many more people wouldn’t mind the rain. Or me. I have been running away from my life too; wanting so desperately to detach myself from it. So that’s why I am here, knocking restlessly at my therapist’s door…This right here is not a love story. It is a story of love.

My therapist opens the door for me before settling on her king-size chair. She checks her watch and smiles. ‘Never late,’ she says. I smile back. ‘I’m proud,’ I chuckle.
‘How have you been since our last session?’ she asks, gesturing me to sit down at another king-sized chair opposite her.
‘Umm,not sure yet.’
‘Understandably, this is just the second session. Don’t worry we will work it through together.’
I nod lamely.
‘So I want us to pick up from where we left last time. You told me you’ve been running. You told me you’ve been struggling. Is that correct?’
‘Correct.’
‘So tell me, how would you describe your life in three words?’

The question catches me off guard. My life? In three words? That would be like measuring the ocean by one droplet. I stare into nothingness for a while, scratching my head.
‘I’d say…overwhelming…confusing…’
‘Aha and?’
I remain silent. How would I describe this third feeling. The one that bites you irregardless of whether it is 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. This feeling that makes one feel like they are drowning.
‘Sad.’
‘Sad?’
‘Yes sad. I think Sad is probably my real first name.’

She looks into my eyes. Are therapists psychic too? Or why else would she stare at me like she’s reading something from the veins behind my eye sockets?


KE Gif Ge 468X60

‘Alright let’s go back to the running. What are you running from?’
‘People, situations, connections…people mostly’
‘Why would you run away from people?’
I feel a burn and some wetness falling on my cheeks.
‘Because people leave. All the time. They come into your life and give you hope and make you a big part of their lives. They make you happy…so you invest on them. But I invest too much on them. Too much such that whenever one of them leaves, a part of me is gone forever…’

I stop to cry. She sits there silently, watching me in scrutiny. She hands me a tissue.
‘I’m listening,’ she reassures.
‘I think I’ve loved people more than they ever deserved and now…and now, I have nothing left within me. It is empty in here. And every time I make a new friendship, a new connection, a new acquaintance, I am already preparing my safe exit plan before they plan theirs. I’m being too cautious I can’t breathe freely. I am building high walls I can’t see the sunshine. I am running…from everyone and everything…”

I take another tissue and blow my nose. She is still quiet. I hope she is not pitying me. Then she interrupts my thoughts.
‘Do you think that is the way to live?’
‘I know its not…’
‘Have you perhaps thought of how many beautiful people, moments, events you are probably missing on by caging yourself in this darkness?’

The darkness is familiar. Sometimes it is the safe place you can always return to; that cage, that high wall.


KE Gif Ge 468X60

I am running. Both literally and metaphorically. This time it is on my way back home. It has stopped raining. I see my home ahead but I decide to take a corner. I let the sweat wet my shirt as I listen to my own heavy breathing. This is not a love story. It is a story of love given and never returned. Shared but never to last.

‘How were you ever going to be happy if you gave all the love within you and left nothing for yourself?’ she had asked me. And I remained silent because self-love was unrelatable. ‘You need to find yourself first. Love yourself first before anything or anyone else. It should be YOU first. Always.’

I let the words sink in. It gives me a good feeling. Makes me anticipate the next session. I stop on my tracks, bend down to hold my knees as I breathe. Running, the literal one, is not bad after all.

Photo Courtesy: http://allswalls.com

I came across this meme the other day, it was actually a tweet of someone asking something like, “What motivates you to live?” and someone replies, “Suicide is haraam.” And you know it sounds funny but we all know there is so much truth and pain behind most of the memes. Maybe it is because they are quite relatable and you think, “Oh, at least i’m not the only miserable one.” so we just laugh it off even when are writhing in pain deep inside.

I am not sure how things got to the state we are in right now, the current generation that is. I, for one, know that several people would attempt suicide hadn’t it been illegal and an abomination in almost all cultures and religions. At this instance, many have thought of suicide, some have contemplated it, some have attempted it and some went ahead and committed it. What is so wrong about us? Is it that we are too soft or is it that we are just impatient beings who want bliss on a silver platter.

From what I always hear about the previous generations, our parents and grandparents went through a whole lot of hardship too. They would walk for hours to get education, they too suffered due to unemployment, from forced marriages, from ugly divorces, from death of parents and what not…They too suffered but it is important to note that they survived and that suicide was almost unheard of except for the abnormal or mentally ill patients or in very rare cases, the normal people. Were their hearts made from harder and metallic content different from what we are? Or are we simply the spoilt generation?… I am still trying to figure this out yet on the other hand, I do have an idea of where this springs from.

Before I go on. Wait, did you see where that famous vlogger, lady X, had lunch yesterday? Breathtaking right?!! Such a beautiful place and the food looked so delicious! After that she went for a spa…you know, those self-love stuffs we keep talking about. And Mr Y, that instagrammer with 20k followers posted this epic image of himself. He wasn’t doing anything really, but he looks so savage just how he ‘lives’ you know. Its like some people are paid for just existing. Ah, but that’s not even the who we should be talking about. There’s this fashionista who was showcasing her new wardrobe, I almost cried at how gorgeous the artistic prints are. But she is too pretty herself you know, we have to give her the due credit. My God, where are these young people getting all this money to just enjoy life? I mean, I have a job and I earn a salary yet I can’t even afford to be as happy. Sigh. Never mind. Where were we before talking about these seemingly perfect humans?

Aha. Suicide. Have you ever contemplated it? Do you feel miserable because your age mates seem to have everything figured out so well? Your age mates are going for adventures, they are getting married to these ‘perfect humans like themselves’, they are having cute babies, they go to the beach…and you? What do you do? probably nothing compared to what they do right? And that ends up messing you all the time isn’t it? Like why can’t I have any of that? Don’t I deserve it? I know for sure, if suicide wasn’t haraam, many would have tried it.


KE Gif Ge 468X60

I think the current generation, my generation, are living in a complete illusion. We are soo engrossed in portraying how our lives are okay, no, in fact, we are more than okay. We are doing too good. We want our ‘haters’ to know that we are doing quite fine even when our haters are probably just people prettier than us or perhaps more successful. We want to be fancied, to be famous, to be noticed everywhere we go. We want to be able to afford any hotel in town and so we do anything to afford that. We want to be savage, to be envied and be seen like hot chocolate. But we all know in reality what goes down in our lives don’t we? We know what we show off and all that ‘awww thank you boo’, is a lot of pretense, sadness and pain. We pressure ourselves a lot and use so much of our energy in proving that we matter, meanwhile, losing the shreds of true peace and happiness within us. For the rest who are not obsessed with being ‘somebody’, we get carried away with what we hear and see about our friends, or these very happy couples and all these famous young people and we push ourselves way too hard to at least lead a ‘good life’ like theirs.

The truth is, what we see online is not even half the truth about what our lives or anyone’s life is about. There are so many fake smiles, fake laughter and fake lives plastered up on our walls to show the world we are doing great. But in reality, everyone is struggling. Each and every human being is struggling in some way. They may not show it but before obsessing over someone’s seemingly perfect life, always keep that in mind. And I know this has been said so many times even with the celebrities themselves, but maybe we should remind one another more often.

Keep in mind that each one of us has their own special journey, their own timeline and their own milestones. Concentrate on yourself, your special self and your special journey. Be patient and love yourself. So if you are thinking of suicide, or contemplate it from time to time, do know that the world is bigger than your struggles. You shall overcome them and you will be happy by God’s will. Life has never been a straight line. No one has gone through misery throoouughout and no one has ever been entirely happy forever. There are ups and downs, so with every low remember that your high is not so far away. Be kind to one another, you never know who needs it. And always remember that when God made suicide illegal, it was because He knew he created you with enough strength within you to tackle your battles. Have faith please and pray a lot.


KE Gif Ge 468X60

I know there are a lot other factors that contribute to the increment of suicidal attempts, but I thought to discuss about this first. If your struggles are overwhelming you way too much, please seek help. Please don’t feel ashamed to be helped. If you need a counselor, email me at info@lubnah.me.ke, i’ll link you to one. You never have to go through the storms alone.

To end this, i’ll just drop this forward I received this morning. It was written by one lovely counsellor:

“In the counseling session last night, the sister, after committing 100% to starting her journey of healing and self-care took a step back and asked very sorrowfully,

“But Sr. Bela, what about the years and years of damage, isn’t it going to effect my future?”

So, after taking her through a few more therapeutic processes to answer this question, I added – the example of a man who faced years and years of damage.

He was thrown into the well by his own brothers. Wasn’t it enough to inculcate fear in him and make him lose trust in relationships? Damage. He was sold in a market. Wasn’t it enough to ruin his confidence and sabotage his self-esteem? Damage. He was invited to do an immoral act by a woman. Wasn’t it enough to make him lose his chastity? Damage. He was imprisoned for many years. Wasn’t it enough to give him the liberty of playing victim for the rest of his life? Damage.

But what happened as a result of all these damages?

He stood confidently in the court of a King convincing the king to make him – what we can understand as – a Finance Minister. The years of damage made him – PURE GOLD.

Our beloved – Yusuf A.S.

After years of trauma upon trauma, he emerged the victor.

Lesson: Your past only does to you what you allow it to do. This is the reason Prophets never dwelt on their past and remained persistently positive – came what may.

The damages and trauma come in our lives to

1- erase our sins
2- elevate our ranks
3- teach us what happiness and an easy life could never teach us.
4- make us PURE GOLD.

Take lesson. Learn. Implement and move on.

The victor inside you is waiting for it’s awakening.” – Bela Khan.

If suicide wasn’t haraam, I hope you’d be strong enough you still wouldn’t try it.


KE Gif Ge 468X60

Photo Courtesy: pinterest.com

My friends and I talk about anxiety in hushed tones,
in desperate volumes,
in late night texts of hopelessness,
“You too?”
she asks as if we are a team,
like we are a bandwagon,
a secret group full of emotion jargon
like we are some sort of cult,
clutched in the hands of our feelings
that we can’t bring to a halt.
“I’m overthinking,” he says
“I’m overthinking about my overthinking,
about my edginess,
my restlessness,
my helplessness,
my breathlessness.
***sigh***
“Shhh!!” she says
they shouldn’t know
you should just lay low.
They shouldn’t notice any more
lest they call you weak
they’ll call you sensitive
an attention seeker
or perhaps an emotional speaker!
sshhh!
Conceal, don’t feel
Don’t let your joy seem so real
or show your over-flowing tears in the name of ‘I want to heal’
They don’t understand how you can laugh so whole-heartedly about a silly pun that’s not even fun,
or how you passionately cry about a video you watched on whatsapp.
They’ll say, ‘You’re too much’
like too much of anything is really poisonous.
They speak as if they know the itchiness beneath your skin
like insects having a party within.
As if they know of the noise in your head,
of the demons you carry on your back,
of the weight of the world you carry on you like you just became a truck!
No. They have no idea,
They have not a single bit of an idea of how it feels to have a super-power of feeling,
of feeling things unfelt, untouched, unseen.
They have no idea,
that’s why I keep feeling.

***Dear, you are never alone…

Photo Courtesy: http://stylearena.net

A man will be tested according to his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is solid, his test will be more severe, but if there is any weakness in his religious commitment, he will be tested according to his level of religious commitment. And calamity will continue to befall a person until he walks on the earth with no sin on him.

-Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h

I’ve intentionally been avoiding to write about this. No, not about sabr, about Shekuwe’s story. I feel no words can really paint the real picture of the situation. My own imagination fails me but then it keeps haunting me. The thought of someone losing his entire family at once? I think of how I make a fuss out of nothing, how me and you, break down because ‘I lost a job’ or ‘My car was hit today’ or ‘The cake I made turned out too sour’. The thought of this fills my heart with shame. I mean, have you even thought about it yourself? Take a moment and picture it please. Imagine all your family members succumbing to high tides and waves of the ocean; watching them die. One after another. And then nothing. You are left alone. All that darkness like a heavy cloud on your head. The numbness, the trauma, the disbelief that you are even breathing. Coming back home to only find emptiness? With echoes of laughter and cries and memories that are no more? How many of us could actually handle that?

But here’s the flip side to it.


KE Gif Ge 468X60

When you believe in Allah, and when Allah loves you back just as much as you do, then He’ll put you in tests over and over again. You will be pushed to be edge until you cry ‘why?’ But there are a few answers to this dreadful question:

1. “And know that your wealth and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.” ~ Quran 8:28

2.“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits…” (Qur’an, 2:155)

3. “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286).

4. “Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allâh has ordained for us…’” (9:51).

5. “We shall certainly test you, until We ascertain those of you who (sincerely) strive and those who are steadfast (in Allah’s Deen); and We shall test your affairs (to distinguish the liars from the truthful)”: (47:31)

6. “Most certainly you will face tests in your wealth and in your persons. You will definitely hear much painful abuse from those who have been given The Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if you are patient and fear Allah, then that will be the determining factor in all affairs.” ~ Quran 3:186

7. The prophet p.b.u.h said: If Allah wants to do good to someone, He afflicts him with trials. ~ (Bukhari 75/5)

8. The prophet p.b.u.h said: If Allah intends for a servant to reach a rank he is unable to reach by his good deeds, then Allah will put him to trial in his body or his wealth or his children, and he will be patient until he reaches the rank intended for him. [Ahmad]

9. The prophet p.b.u.h said: Nothing befalls a believer, a (prick of a) thorn or more than that, but Allah will raise him one degree in status thereby, or erase a bad deed. ~ Bukhari

10. The prophet p.b.u.h said: On the Day of Judgement, when the people who were tried (in this world) are given their rewards, the people who were pardoned (in life), will wish that their skins had been cut off with scissors while they were in the world. ~ Tirmidhi 36/100

11. Mus’ab ibn Sa’eed reported: His father asked, “O Messenger of Allah, which people are tested most severely?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “They are the prophets, then the next best, then the next best…”

12. “… and be patient over what befalls you.” ~ Quran 31:17


KE Gif Ge 468X60

Shekuwe’s story is something you’d probably imagine to be something extracted from an emotional, heartbreaking Bollywood movie. But it isn’t. How much do you think Allah loves this human being to put him in such a test? How much strength of imaan does he have that Allah put him through such kind of pain? How much do you think Allah loves YOU to put you in the pain you go through?

Truth is, everyone is undergoing something. It only differs with magnitude. Some have it easier than others and others have it waayy heavier than you could possibly imagine. But don’t we all want Allah’s love that bad? Don’t we want to reach that kind of status that brings us closer to Him?? We can only pray for Shekuwe, and for ourselves and for each other. We can only support and be there for one another because behind every smile is an untold story of sabr. So let’s keep making dua over and over again; we pray for strength and imaan and taqwa to keep walking however bad the storm gets. May Allah easen it for him and for us all.

One of my favourite ayahs is from Surat Ankabut, 2nd verse: “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?” And I keep reciting this ayah over and over again like it is my mantra. It has a deep meaning that strikes right into the heart. It gives us a purpose to soldier on to prove our love to Allah.

Dear heart, dear you, Do you believe?? Then have sabr oh dear heart. Have sabr. Because sabr is indeed beautiful (Assabr Jameel).

May Allah grant us sabr like of Ayub aleyhi ssalam. Ameen.


KE Gif Ge 468X60

Read part 1 at: http://lubnah.me.ke/my-other-half/

Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

It’s been exactly…wait, lemme count…from February 10th, 2015 to date; 11th of May 2017, how many days are those? 1,2,3…Ah too bad I am terrible with math. Anyway, it’s been all those many days since I first wrote to you. Ages right? I knowww! I almost forgot you ‘somehow exist’. Lol, i’m kidding. *silly grin* I’ve mostly been pursuing my dreams; both the daydreams and the literal ones 😀 But I’ve been planning to get back to you..and *drums rolling* here I am!

There’s just been something in my mind lately and I thought of talking it to you. By the way, talking to you almost seems like monologue or like me talking to the wall or some ghost in the room because your existence at the moment is delusional but we can always talk about that when you become a reality right? in shaa Allah 😉

So back to our topic, oh wait, speech alert: This is going to be a long monologue :p

A friend of mine posted this a few days ago:
{“The thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way to go is up.” I’m having a slight problem with this statement. Okay yeah sure maybe, but what if rock bottom is as wide as the Sahara and before you go up you’re gonna spend a heck of a long time moving sideways? Some people hit rock bottom, and stay rock bottom, and move sideways for the rest of their lives. How miserable.} Those are the ramblings of an insomniac and well what do you expect from an insomniac than a critical out-of-the-world thinking?! But then ever since I came across this, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

For a matter of fact, I do know several people who hit rock bottom, stayed there for as long as the memory lane can go down and died just right there; at the bottom. Now for a perfectionist and an empath with anxiety, hitting the rock bottom is beyond normal. It is a norm. And as much as it scares me that I might stay down there forever, it scares me more that I might never live up to the expectations of coming right back up.

You know, there are just some days you can’t really be the hero or someone anymore and you just need to survive. And survival is what all of us are working for. But also, survival has always been for the fittest, and sometimes, being in the least bit fit let alone being the fittest is totally out of the dictionary. There are days you wake up you can barely breathe, your heart is heavy, all aspects of failure are rubbing on your face but mostly, its like sand paper being scrubbed on your fragile beaten-up heart. They say the scrub only makes you shine brighter but in the meanwhile, it hurts, and it will hurt a lot more.

What I got to learn is that you can never really be prepared enough to face anything or armed enough for a war. They’ll always be a lesson to be learnt in between the cracks of your heart. You can protect yourself all you can but the day you let down your guard for one single second is the day world war 3 happens; when all hell breaks loose and when you have to fight for your own survival. This kind of reminds me the story of Nabii Musa and Firaun. See how God downplays the best twists?! Firaun demands all male children to be killed after being foretold that a boy will be born and takeover his kingdom. But when his wife Asiya (R.A.A) picks Nabii Musa (A.S) from the river, she is able to convince Firaun that the boy could be beneficial and a son to them. Yet he turns out to be the one to takeover the kingdom. He protected himself from every boy he considered a threat, yet he welcomed the threat with his own two hands. Yes…fate. You can do all you want in this world; you can build walls around yourself, you can be vigilant and firm, you can be superman for all you wish, yet if you are meant to hit the rock bottom, you’ll just go right down there; for as many times as it’s written for you. But the thing is, everyone hits rock bottom, and the real test is how everyone finds their own way to get back up or stay below forever. People will put the blame on you for taking up the wrong choices, for making mistakes, for not working hard enough…yet they forget, it only happens for a reason.


KE Gif Ge 468X60

I’m still finding my way up and i’ll tell you this, it’s tough and really rough. Plus being a millennial only makes it harder. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong Century for not relating to my peers. They say i’m an old soul. And when you are an introvert you just have no option but to turn to books and tv, to get out of your world. Some friends the other day were joking that people like us, ‘the outcasts’ should start a group and call it ‘chama cha wanyonge’ 😀 😀 Idiots! or I know someone else who would call it ‘chama cha washokaji’ Not wachokaji, WASHOKAJI. Hilarious how the world views us; the introverts, the artists, the weird, the empaths…right? But maybe i’ll one day really start the group, but of course with a fancy name dah! Or maybe it could be a movement, and we could help people move from rock bottom 😀 Or maybe that’s where i’ll meet you who knows 😛

I’m not sure if you really do exist or maybe you don’t. They say soulmates don’t always occur in this life, maybe in the next…but if you don’t, I have a plan B of going to live up the cave. I would say I will be with my 60 cats like its always the assumption with people but pets scare me (The introverts will disown me for this). So maybe I will be with my scarier dolls like Chucky from Child’s play or Annabelle from The Conjuring filling up the entire house. Plus I got this brilliant idea from a meme of writing it on the wall outside: COME SEE MY DOLLS..and that’s how the horror movie begins *silly grin*

Well, I said what I needed to say. Thank you for being a wonderful listener. Plus please do remember to pray for me; to rise like the phoenix from the ashes. Ameen? I really don’t want to stay rock bottom, who wants anyway?!

P.S. You are the hope i’m waiting for 🙂

Until God decides our fate, take care.


KE Gif Ge 468X60

By: Naima Baghozi

Photo Courtesy:https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

#1

Sahira stood transfixed on the spot like her feet were glued on the road; unable to move a step. The look on her face was a horrified one for her eyes were opened wide and wider with fright. Her mouth formed an O shape and her heartbeats must have sounded even so loud to herself like a drum beat far into the night.
From afar, she seemed to hear her little brother’s voice calling out her name with such fright in his voice.

“Sahira, Sahira get away from the road…” but she just stood transfixed like a frozen statue. The road was a two way path so cars were driving up and down but she was focused on the oncoming car that was driving at such speed that she was unable to move away from the road.

Her poor little brother Dasi was yelling at the top of his voice for her to get out of the way of the fast coming car but she just couldn’t move even an inch. Then without any other single second passing; the car being at a very high speed, neither was the driver able to slow down nor to step on the brakes before ‘Bang!’ She was its target.

The next thing, Sahira came to her senses with so many bright lights around and with such worried faces of her parents and Dasi looking down at her where she was lying down. She looked at them with wonder as to why they were looking at her in that way or where exactly was she? The only thing she was feeling was pain all over her body like she was on needles. Her head…yes, her head…it felt so heavy that she couldn’t lift it. So she decided to ask her mum where she was and why was she feeling so much pain.

Her mum was literally in tears,
“My dear Sahira, don’t you remember anything? Just remain calm. You had an accident yesterday morning and you have been unconscious since then. You even had an emergency operation. Oh! We have been so worried about you dear!”
“But how did the accident happen?” She asked, puzzled.
“Sahira, it would be better if you ask your brother since he was there and saw it.”
So she turned her face towards Dasi and right away asked him,
“Dasi please tell me, what happened as I can’t remember anything.” And strangely enough, she couldn’t remember anything at all. As much as she tried to remember her head kept hurting her even more. She continued,
“Please tell me Dasi,” with tears in her eyes and slowly streaming down her face as she felt helpless and she felt she couldn’t move at all!

#2
Dasi looked at her with such hurtful eyes that it tugged at her heart and then slowly, he started narrating to her what really had happened.
“My dear sister…”he started as he held her hand tightly, “Yesterday, you and I were going to the shops…upon reaching the main road, you decided to just cross without checking the movements of cars. When you were in the middle of the road, you suddenly saw a fast coming car coming towards you and I don’t know what happened to you for you stood still and didn’t move at all. I kept calling at you so that you may move aside but you seemed not to hear me at all…don’t you remember any of this?”

Sahira looked strangely at her brother and just shook her head from side to side. She felt useless even to herself and she tried to sit up when…
“My legs, I can’t feel my legs…” she cried out breathlessly, “Mum, dad, I can’t feel my legs. Where are my legs?” she kept crying on and on and she was feeling agitated. Her parents tried to calm her down and Dasi ran out to call the nurses and doctors. In a little while, in came the doctor followed by a couple of nurses and seeing how the situation was, the doctor immediately took charge. He gave instructions to the nurses to immediately give her a sedative so that she may calm down and sleep for a while.

The nurses did just that and it wasn’t long before she gave herself up to the strength of the sedative and she was in deep sleep. In the mean time, Dasi and their parents were so concerned and worried about their situation and started firing questions at the doctor almost simultaneously on why she couldn’t feel her legs nor move them. The doctor answered them,
“Please, calm down and let me do some further tests and take x-rays to see what is causing this.”

Dasi felt so sad for his sister as they were very close since they were only two siblings and he always looked up to her and loved her very much. He just hoped and prayed to God that she will be alright and up and about very soon.
First thing early next morning, the doctor instructed the nurses to do the necessary tests plus the x-rays. All this was done with quite an emergency so that the results can come out with immediate effect and the doctor could determine as to the cause of Sahira not being able to move her legs.


Ke 17 Mobile Week Doogee 728×90

#3
Apart from the immobility of her legs, Sahira also got cuts and bruises literally all over her body-thus she also had stitches here and there including a couple of broken ribs and that is why she had all these pains all over her body. She was groaning from every movement she tried to make. Looking at her one could just see bandages all over her…

She continued so much to try recalling exactly what really happened to her or how but to no avail. It was so frustrating to her and it kept on hurting her head even more than ever. She was so determined to know it all, that she decided to ask her brother once again in private.

Since her case was an emergency, all the tests and x-rays were speed-fasted so that by mid morning the results were ready for the doctor’s viewing. The doctor came into Sahira’s room and requested her parents to follow him into his office. The parents stood up in silence and followed the doctor.

At this point, Dasi decided that he too, would follow his parents so he could know exactly what’s happening to his sister. However, Sahira stopped him on his tracks as she had her own ideas and that was to ask her brother of all the details of the accident.

“Dasi, please wait, don’t go and leave me alone. Please stay with me,” she said. Dasi then returned to his seat next to his sister’s bed. He looked again at his sister with such sympathy in his eyes and started to explain as she had requested.
“Basically, it is as I had told you before. There is nothing more to add other than that the driver of the car tried very hard to swerve away from you but it was too late.”
“So then, what happened to the driver?” she asked him.
“Well…”and he stopped.
“Why are you not saying anything Dasi? What happened? Please do tell me. I really need to know,” she pleaded with her brother. Dasi decided it’s best to tell her the truth or she would keep on asking until it would irritate him. After all, he knew his sister. She normally doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants. So he cleared his throat and continued with the explanation.

“You see, as I told you the driver tried very hard to swerve so he wouldn’t hit you and even hooted a lot but you were just like a stone; completely out of it. You were like a deaf person not hearing anything at that time. However, when he couldn’t stop, he just knocked you and you went up like a flying saucer and came down with a real bang. You started rolling down the road, as you know, if you can remember the road was not flat leveled. The poor driver with his swerve went and hit a side tree and then his car kept on rolling and when it came to a stop…it just burst into flames and nothing of it was left including the poor driver. That was the end of him and nothing could be done at that point to save him…”

It is only imaginable that at this point, Sahira was sobbing hysterically and she felt more miserable for she felt she was responsible for this poor man’s death. Dasi tried to calm her down.
“But how can I calm down Dasi, when you know very well I am the cause of this man’s death?” she said.
“That’s not true; you know that it is not true…” Dasi replied.
“It is true, it is my fault and you know it,” she kept insisting.
“Stop blaming yourself for this, if he was not driving at that speed none of this could have happened. This is his own fault,” Dasi kept on convincing her. He then continued,
“Okay, I do sympathize with what happened to him but you can’t blame yourself for what happened to him. Now look at your condition, whom are you going to blame for it? Were it not for his careless fast driving, you would not be in the hospital right now.”
“Dasi stop blaming the poor man, he is dead you know-may his soul rest in peace. The fault is mine that I am in hospital right now, so stop justifying the situation and claiming I am not at fault here,” she intervened. Dasi kept quiet at this point deep in thoughts of his own and she, deep in her own…


How does Sahira accept her new situation? Will she get her memory back?And will she be able to move once again? That, in the next piece coming soon in shaa Allah 🙂


Ke 17 Mobile Week Doogee 336×280

#6: Blade of Karma.

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.

“TJ…”
Her mother called at her, relief shrouding the exhaustion in her voice.
“Thank you.”
“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.

“Kat!”
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…”
*The fingerprints*
“…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.”
“What?!”
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”