"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: DrUzmaSyed
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User since: 15/Feb/2012
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Nothing and Noone

by Dr.uzma.Syed


I stand before the mirror and quietly contemplate on the fine lines that time has left behind. The laugh lines that I used to worry about are long gone and have been replaced by worry lines. The tiny curve of my lips that used to blossom into a smile at the smallest anecdotes has become sagged. Endless days of silent mourning does things to people that they cannot even imagine. The specter is as ominous for my own eyes as for any random observer. The artist creeping beneath my skin smiles at the beauty of agony. I have become a ghost without crossing the gates of death. Hell lives within me, the ravaging flames burning endlessly and turning everything beautiful and substantial to dust and ashes. I trace the features with a trembling finger. How can an image so familiar become so alien? The worst part is the hardening in my eyes. The gentle face mounted in a picture frame on the wall had the kindest eyes in the world. The image in the mirror has lost that kindness. Perhaps the picture only portrayed the kindness received and when life refused to bless me, the softness has left as well. I smile a very sad smile. I have become a mere shadow of what I used to be.
I turn away from the withered reflection and walk aimlessly to the large glass panels in my room. The tinted windows show a more agreeable image as I gaze simultaneously at the starry skyline and the quiet face looking at nothing in particular. This has become more of a ritual in sleepless nights. I gaze at the same scenic view of the little stream running beneath tall poplar trees. The antics of birds and the distant sound of crickets somehow soothe the senses. I stand watching the world go by as if I am a part of nature and not really living my life. These are the few moments when pain is absent from my consciousness. I seem to oscillate between complete numbness and unbelievable agony. I try to avoid feeling anything at all and be a lifeless observer to the infinite power of Life. But at times the ice is broken and the smallest emotion trickles through the hardened shell. All hell breaks loose as the flood gates are opened and the heart writhes in agony. The frost is replaced by immeasurable pain that dilapidates my heart, mind and soul. The distress is not a mere feeling and I can feel the slow death draining my body of life forces. But for now I am numb to the core.
I thoughtlessly lean against the window with my palm. My gaze shifts to the tiny lines imprinted on the glossy surface. Tears prick at my eyes as a familiar quotation comes to mind, “lucky at cards, unlucky in love.” I look at the lines of fate that have so heartlessly determined my ill fortune and left me to suffer endlessly. I have nothing and no one. This is the one truth that has never been spoken out loud. I say it softly at first and wince as the meaning sinks in. I am completely empty handed. Of all the gifts that I received from God, the pain and suffering was always several times greater. Bolts of stinging pain grip my entire being and the cascade of tears flows through. Between sobs I huddle against a quiet corner and try to outshine the darkness with reason. But tonight there is no hope. The moonless darkness leaves no room for silver linings. The gush of tears ends in a few lucid moments of silent pondering. The best is already over and the worst has also passed. Life has shown me all its colors and I have refused to let the spotlight wander away as the curtains fall to an epic performance. I have doomed myself to being ordinary when a timely quiet exit would have salvaged my pride. I have no one to blame but myself.
The view outside the window will forever be the same except the reflection on the inside. I pick up the Beretta safely stowed away in the bottom drawer of my bureau. The glint of steel finally adds the silver lining I was looking for. No matter how dire the situation there is always an outlet. The graceful moves of a good performance are rated equally by the last bow. I gently stroke the line of my jaw letting the reassuring cold metal soothe the fire within. A tiny smile peeks through as if I have finally found the cure to an incurable ailment. I must salvage my face though, as a last act of kindness to those I love. Unfortunately there never was anyone who loved me. But the flash of kindness makes me feel magnanimous. Even in the peak of misery I am capable of gentle thoughts. I move the gun to my temple aiming it at the back of my head. I know for certain that the trigger will hit the bullet and turn it into a thousand shards of metal. Each fragment will traverse through my brain and take with it a part of the pain that I have writhed in for a lifetime. The poison in my veins will flow freely with the scarlet blood and leave splatter patterns on the familiar window where I have bled within in endless nights. The lifeless form crumpled on the black marble floor will be at peace as the pictures of a glowing era silently observe the cadaver. I close my eyes and think of the time when all was bright and beautiful. It takes the smallest of effort to press the trigger and I am no longer in the race. I join the millions who have embraced the slumber before me. I have nothing and no one and I need neither.

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