Sunday, March 6, 2011

Doubt

It was always the same story, only enacted in a different way every time. Outside the window, the sun shone relentlessly as if to mock my state of mind. Nimbus clouds scurried past as if scorched by the intensity of the heat. Muted chattering and shouts rang out. It was strange to see how smoothly things could function in spite of the turmoil within me. I stared absently at my reflection in the window pane and hated myself for it. Stringy hair, sunken eye sockets. Shadows of grey beneath my eyes. I looked and seemed hollow- a mere shell of my former self.


Spring had settled in, and verdant grass sprung up wherever it could catch the scattered rays of the sun. He sat opposite me. Not him, but someone else who had asked.

I sniffed a bit and gulped the lump in my throat.

He had asked why I couldn’t just let go of him.

I wrung my hands helplessly and managed a hollow, mocking laugh. It seemed like a rhetorical question by now. Did he think that I’d never mused about it myself? That this was not something I would mull over incessantly and berate myself for?

A thought surfaced in my dulled brain. Like a bubble emerging from the depths of murky water. Maybe I’m so used to him being around that the thought of his absence terrifies me. Maybe it’s because he is a microcosm of poignant failure in my life, I thought listlessly. I looked over and debated whether I should tell him everything that had ensued. But what would this perfect stranger, this person who had absolutely no idea of my suffering, be able to understand?

I didn’t think I could have risked it. Not when another person was giving me an opportunity to start over. I hated for him to see how I was stuck in this rut. Above all, I didn’t know if I could trust him. Didn’t know if I even wanted to trust him. I couldn’t muster the effort to try. To open up a chasm of invulnerability would be fatal. Human weakness, exposed in its fragile, most pitiful form.

I laughed. It rang out in my ears as one intermittent, sonorous peal. Something inside me shrank at the fakeness of it. He gave me a quizzical, amused look, but said nothing.

Nobody likes a quitter, I had told myself a million times. Try, try, try again. Try until you die, I thought miserably. But wasn’t it important to know when to quit? I exhaled sharply, clenching the edge of the table until my palms hurt. I hated it. I hated it all. Maybe I just didn’t know when to lay down my arms and declare defeat.

It’s like cutting myself with a knife, I thought bleakly, trying to piece it together. What would a manic-depressant feel? The act of cutting, the rush of blood, the relentless mode of exhilaration. But it hurt. It hurt all the same.

He raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.

I grimaced and looked away. I shrank away from the warmth outside, preferring the cold of my Gollum-like retreat.

Outside, a faint yellow blot stood in place of the morning sun, only minutes ago. A striated grey matted the entire horizon. I got up and pushed open the window. The air was static, as if all the elements had conspired to create the effect of stillness. The amber skies had given way to ochre ones; pearly rain fell at random intervals and imbued the ground with the smell of wet earth.

Just then, the door swung open, and he walked in. I flinched, and tried to make myself as invisible. His very aura was enough to transfuse those pangs of pain. Like a stagnant ripple in a pond that had been put into motion.

And I knew then. I couldn’t bear the fact that he was so happy without me. And I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t see how miserable I was. A darkness lurked in a corner of my heart. It was as if the Loch Ness Monster of misery had permanently occupied a space in the deep recesses of my soul. And I hated him so much for doing this to me. For permanently blotting out my sun.

6 comments:

weird diary said...

you never fail to amaze me.. wonderful i must say.
but can i ask you something? is it just a piece of writing or is it what your actual feeling are, cause whenever a writer comes up with something to write on, there is some background behind it. you just cant come up with something so deep and write it all the way... :)

weird diary said...

feelings**

Maryam said...

Lol, you never know ;) But seriously, I never put up stuff that is personal on this blog. Also, strong emotions can trigger voluble, descriptive writing, irrespective of the cause.

Yusra Zainab Laghari said...

This post is amazing. You write beautifully and so perfectly :)

Tazeen said...

I've only read you twice but I think I could get used to reading you every once in a while. :)

RANA said...

Beautiful as always.