Smoke. There has been always something so special about smoke to her. Something that took parts of her heart and flew up with it. Not to happiness, not to relief, but rather to oblivion. Something that took parts of her heart and just flew away. Just like everyone she’s ever known in her life. The only people that were always there were her family, though they took parts of her without leaving they were always there taking parts and parts. She wished they were smoke. They don’t really know her. Neither do they care to know her. All they know is what they want from her. What they need her for. What they depend on her to do. Just like predators who know where the weak points of their preys are.
As usual she only realized that she’s gone deep into though after she was done with her cigarette. She remembered the last time when she only woke up from her day dreams by burning her fingers. She always wonders why does she think? And about what? What’s the use of it? And then she realizes that she is doing the same thing she wishes she would not do. Thinking! She always feels sorry after finishing a cigarette; the only thing that really feels her pain, however short-lived. Just like any human relationship. After a while feelings die. She believes that’s what happened to her. Her feelings died. The only difference is that her feelings died towards everyone and she is not looking forward to attach herself to no one. She’d be only getting more responsibility upon her shoulders. More needs, more work, more grumpiness, more silence and more smoke!
She stared into the nothingness as her tears mounted down her cheeks. Her eyes were so still. As if it’s not they that were crying, as if the tears came somewhere behind them. As if they were just a gate. A gate to her bleeding-to-death heart. She realized that as she always realizes everything. No matter how late she has always had a keen sense to reality. Reality that always shocked her. Reality that has never ever been fair to her. She decided that she has had enough though for one cigarette. Either she should sleep or she would have to light another one. She didn’t even want to think which is which. So she automatically leans back to her bed. Finds her favorite pillow to hug and closed her eyes. But her mind was never so alive as when her body is at relax. She always wondered why? It’s not like her movement is a thought process as well. Why did everything had to exhaust her mind. Was it not enough draining her heart to emptiness?!!
She decided to ignore the thickness on her heart. The thickness that crept out to her stomach and installed sickness wherever it went. Sickness into every bone of her being. She took a deep breath and locked it in her lungs. It was so empty. She hoped she could find anything in it to make her bear having to smile. Smiling to others was so sacred to her. She never knew why. Maybe because she wished someone would smile in her face. A smile that had no reason nor meaning behind. A simple smile, a pure smile!
Before she could quite the hurricane that battered her mind whenever she was alone, she went into sleep. Not that even slumber could extinguish the hurricane that burned every corner and stone in her head. That little head that could bear the pains and moans of all the world. That head along with the shoulders carrying it carry the burdens and concerns of everything it sees. Voluntarily and involuntarily. It was sometimes a curse and other times a bless. Or was it not the curse in its being. It would have been always a blessing if it always resulted in a smile. In gratitude. Not to herself but to her existence in others’ lives. All that was going through her head. Not even her dreams nor her nightmares can stop the process. She sometimes wished she could dream the ugliest of all dreams, maybe then she can stop thinking. Maybe fear is the answer.
She woke up, wishing it was a new day. Wishing she can get it over with. She only lived to die. She was waiting for death. She reached a point of despair in hope. She no longer has faith in life nor in people. They were all the same, just like days. Different names, same everything else! Only that some people look nicer than others, she called them weekends. Not that her weekends were any better. She also worked in weekends. A job that she used to love but it never paid off. At least not in the way she wanted to be paid. In weekends she cooked, cleaned and washed. She took care of her family. She took care of her pure-hearted sick mother, her feather-brained sister and of her selfish father. She loved them, she loved them so much that their rudeness and dependence bittered the joy she felt whenever she got something done for them. She wished she could be abducted, taken away by death or humans. It doesn’t really matter, she hated being taken for granted, and as long as she was alive, as long as she was there, she was really taken for granted! No will of hers will get her out of their hole of greed.
She was never able to touch upon the problem. Was it the fact that they are as such or was it the fact that she knows they are as such? Was the problem with her? She always blamed her mind for clearing everything up. She wished she was blind. But those who are used to darkness see better in it than those who are not. She wished she was stupid, but stupid in mind is smart in heart.
Written By: Walaa Anwar