It was 4:30 in the morning, and things like that always happen in 4:30 in the morning. It was one of the many nights that she felt like an alien in her body because somewhere beneath her skin, the only home she knew was him. At nights, she would get tired of the mask she’s wearing and just allow herself to be as vulnerable as she is, and she would cry. How is it, then, that his absence can be this painful, this heart-breaking? She’d wonder how her heart can bear all this pain.
Before her shoulders curl and her back curves on her bed craving the warmth of a baby in a mother’s womb, something in that space in her room dropped the word “no” in such a firm, wordless manner. It’s as if that presence was an old man with the most warming, welcoming eyes that would contain her broken pieces with just a glance that says “I understand your pain.” And it’s as if this man told her that she shouldn’t cry, and that there is a fine line between being expressive and being a victim; while the first is human and the second is a crime. So that presence of “no” echoed all the way to her ribs as her heart pumped it to her blood.
Her pillow soaked in tears, something contained all that she is and helped her go back to sleep.
It was 8 in the morning, she woke up, got ready for her day and tied up a ponytail. She wore red lipstick, because days like these only begin with a red lipstick, and she looked at herself in the mirror and smiled; she liked what she saw, because she knew things would never be the same again.
The rain on her pillow dried, and the clouds swallowed themselves and disappeared. Somewhere in her heart the sun was shining again and she couldn’t explain how fast the seasons can change inside a human body.
She looked at herself one last time before she leaves her room, and realized that this presence, this still awareness has always been there and it has always protected her, she just forgets to listen sometimes.
She placed her hand on her heart and said: “Here is home, no one can take this away from me”
© 2015 ALIA SULTAN
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