Tales

Zara (Part 1)

“Zara uttered her first coherent word in the 8th month,” her mom said as she spoke to her therapist. Her mother Zainab didn’t believe in the dark arts or superstitions of a similar sort, but Zara’s sudden silence puzzled everyone who knew her. Zara’s English teacher was the first to point out. That was the first time Zara knew that her silence was scary to people. “Her silence is acidic, pungent, makes my skin crawl. Something very bitter about her. It’s as if something evil has possessed her.” Her teacher whispered her words to the therapist. Zara was outside waiting for them to finish, the little girl was oblivious as her mother accompanied her home.

“Zara, darling, is something troubling you?” Zainab asked that afternoon at lunch. “They bully me if I talk and get me in trouble,” she said through her sobs. Zainab let out relieved laughter. Zainab and her teacher resolved the matter in school, and everyone moved on. From that day onwards, Zara knew her silence had to be a secret. She concealed it with all the noise that she could conjure up. She grew up to the most chirpy girl in the tenth grade. That episode sunk in the background as if it was a distant memory in everyone’s mind until that morning.

Zara came down with a terrible back pain radiated to her chest. It was as if a million horses were racing through her spine. She felt the hooves piercing her back. The sensation radiated all the way to her chest, and every breath hurt. Every rib stung when she moved. She threw up a couple of times. She saw a myriad of colors as she straightened herself. The nerves in her head began throbbing, and she couldn’t open her eyes. Zainab rushed Zara to the emergency.

Zara had a robust immune system unlike her younger brother Zaid. Zara was more like her father who was currently in Africa on a UN peacekeeping mission. Zara had always been her dad’s darling. Zainab didn’t bother him with details that would have him worry. Unfortunately for Zainab, she had aged prematurely with all the work and family stress. She took out her cellphone to call her husband. However, she decided against it. She was sure it was some viral infection.

As Zainab grew restless, a resident intern checked Zara’s vitals. She asked Zara, “Did you meet with an accident or did you fall perhaps?” “No,” Zara replied. The young doctor was baffled. She examined her back and her chest and found absolutely no external marks of injury. She walked out with caution to her senior doctor. “Doctor, her vitals are fine, but her pain seems mysterious to me,” as they walked to where Zara lay. The senior doctor had a daughter of Zara’s age. He knew that he had to handle Zara delicately. As it is puberty was already hard on them. Despite being a doctor, he was always fascinated with how women were a miracle of nature.

“Zara, you have to tell me the truth, did anyone beat you up, playfully or even unintentionally?” Zara merely shook her head to say no. At least from what he saw, the girl wasn’t lying. There was something icy about Zara that he could feel in his bones. She looked so beat up as if she’d never been able to wake up again but her eyes pierced through him. He felt as though he was in the middle of a deserted land covered with shards of glasses and all sorts of plant growth. He wanted to run and never return. However, when she spoke the doctor thought that the warmth had returned. He was back in the present.

The doctor gave the go-ahead for other diagnostic tests, and all of it turned out completely normal. Finally, they let her off with a painkiller injection. Zainab took Zara home, and Zara recovered in a couple of days. The mysterious illness appeared again, and they went through the same cycle with the doctor. The senior doctor was puzzled. But he never saw her again after the second time. She was on his mind for a long time.

To be continued….

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poetry

How to Handle a Heartbreak

And they will tell you
There are a million things worse than heartbreak
They will tell you, how the right one
Will make it seem destined
How your heart will leap
Your soul will dance

But, you have felt all that
Haven’t you
In detail,
Every pause, every exclamation
You have marveled
How universe conspires
To bring people together
How it all makes sense
And that is why it hurts
So horribly
When they leave
It crushes your soul,
It’s as if a herd of elephants is trampling on you
So powerless,
The left part of your chest hurts
Someone is dragging him away from you
Your cruising heart doesn’t race anymore
The blood just lifelessly moves in your body

Heartbreak is like a mirror maze
Just when you think you find your way out
You run straight,
Crash land, face first
All that separates you and them is that piece of glass
You scream you extend your arms
They only see themselves.
It’s a mirror isn’t it

You wait for them
To come back and say it was all a prank
But what gives,
You see her coming towards him,
He is going away from you

I am not going to tell you
Move on
Let it go
It’s the past

No! No!

You can’t.
Your heart is broken for God’s sake
So numb, so lifeless
So delicate
Almost dead.

No, No

Listen to me
Sit on the bathroom floor
Strip yourself
Completely
Under the cold shower
Embrace the pain
Scream, weep
Hold yourself
For God’s sake burn
Be destroyed for once
Stop pretending to be okay.

Get out then,
Go back to your art
Paint, draw, write, sing
Dance or run
Sweat it out
Pour it out
Not to your office!
Not to the rebound
Absolutely not to the one that broke you

Let your canvases be black
Maroon, grey
For as long as they can
Throw colors at it
Let your poems be as miserable
Compare them to the sun and moon
And everything that your world revolves around
Write stories
Kill all of them on the paper
Kill yourself on the paper
Scribble till the ink runs out
And your hands give up
Then, one day,
Your heartbreak will seem like a mere human,
No more analogies
No more colors

You will notice how your art
Transforms into you,
Your colors,
Your genres
And to butterflies and cold winters
Hopeful summers
Travel stories
And your symphonies
A successful marathon
Or a masterpiece

Your pain is powerful
Let it consume you
Because when it leaves and believe me,
It will,
You will know what a gift life is
And you will heal
Your smile will be real
A little brighter
Much broader,
And they will tell you
There are a million things worse than heartbreak
Don’t believe them.

 

 

 

poetry

Heartbreak 

Heartbreak is a 04:00PM sun

It smacks you right in the face

Every time you get back up

It’s when you find his picture with her

And your strength leaves you

Faster than the speed of light

Burning your face through the window

It’s when you pretend to hold yourself together

But your lips tremble

And tears trickle down

Heartbreak is when you taste a nightmare

When your  eyes are open

And you can’t wake yourself up

Because you are already awake

You want to sleep and never wake up

Till the time rights itself

Wake up with no memory

Of their treacherous promises

Heartbreak is when you are so empty

That every breath feels like waste of air

And you wonder why

It still hurts like it was yesterday

It’s when you ask yourself

How much longer are we going to cry

And a voice inside you says maybe forever