Twenty Three

4:57 am.

Sitting on the bathroom floor, my back leaning against the locked door, I sob as my mind wages a silent war with my heart.

“It’s never going to end.”

‘It’s going to be okay.’

“It’s only going to get worse. He’s going to destroy her.”

‘Perseverance, perseverance, dear.’

Shut up shut up shut up.

“He’s going toย kill her.”

STOP, please, SHUT. UP.

But the harder I try pulling myself out of it, the further it pulls me in. The harder I try remembering what the sound of silence sounds like, the louder the screaming gets. The harder I try to breath; to calm down, the more my body sweats; the tighter my throat constricts.

And where my heart should be, all I feel is a familiar numbness.ย 

And suddenly I’m angry. Too angry. Screaming, tears streaming down my face, I barge into their room. I want to grab him, scream at him, beg him to stop, toย think about what he’s doing, but… he’s not there. My mind mocks me, ‘What did you think? He’d be here? Bwahaha!’ Shut up shut up shut up. Please.

Then her arms are around me. Her gentle voice whispers words of comfort in my ears. Her voice is so far away, so distant.

The Athaan is going.. why is it so loud? Why is it not distant like mama’s voice?

Trying… trying to reach it.. please, I’m so close.. just get me out of this.. this.. nightmare. I fight against it until my eyes flutter open.

And as her voice floats away and the sight of her tired black eyes unhurriedly disappear, my breathing slowly steadies, the Athaan having a strange, calming effect on my troubled mind.

I get up and go to make wudhu.

Little did Deeyanah know, that as she walked to her prayer mat, each step a reward, on the flip side, one of her closest friend’s walked towards the entrance of a club, each step a sin..

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