Well, well, well… would you look at that! Two posts in one night!
This is the second part of post Forty Eight. Drop me a comment to let me know what you’re thinking. 🙂
Much love ❤
P.S. Salma is Daanyaal’s mum’s name.
As narrated by Daanyaal:
Saturday night, 10:00 pm.
I lean my head against the headboard and close my eyes.
Paapa should have been home an hour ago already. And with every passing minute, I’m growing more and more restless.
Maama is on her musalla (prayer mat), praying in the corner of my room.
Sighing, I look down at the book in my hands and end up reading the same paragraph that I’ve just read 4 times already. Partially because my brain is at unease, and partially because I simply love it. It’s as if Suzanne Collins, the author, slipped into my brain and stole my thoughts.
“I no longer feel allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despise being one myself. I think that Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over. Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children’s lives to settle its differences.” – Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)
“Daanyaal, why don’t you go to sleep?” Maama says.
I look up and stare at her, asking her questions with my eyes. When she looks away, I know that she is thinking what I’m thinking.
And one hour later, when I hear the front door open and then slam shut, I’m convinced that we might just be at square one again.
Please don’t let him be drunk.
A feeling of dread knots my stomach.
I jump out of bed, all my senses instantly heightened.
My room door opens at the same time that I reach to open it.
“Daanyaal, listen to me,” says Maama urgently.
“No, no, no, I won’t let him hurt you,” I say, cutting her off.
“Daanyaal, please,” she pleads.
Ducking under her arm, I rush out of my room.
I don’t have to go far before I see him in the passage.
Unsteady on his feet, a drink in his hand, he scans me with his bloodshot eyes.
He starts walking towards me and I involuntarily take a step back.
Having thought that Maama would have followed me, I’m surprised when I don’t bump into her. Taking the risk of tearing my gaze away from Paapa, I quickly look to my right. And just as I expected, she’s in my room, on her musalla. Maama’s faith is unbreakable.
You need to take him as far away from Maama as possible, Daanyaal.
But when he steps forward again, his narrowed eyes focused on me like a lion watching its prey, fear overtakes me. And acting on instinct, I step back.
Forward, Daanyaal! MOVE!
Fighting the urge to cower in a corner, I step forward, my leg feeling like a ton of bricks.
Momentarily surprised at my boldness, he steps back.
Then, breaking the earsplitting silence, he asks, “Where are they?”
It takes me a second to realize who he is talking about.
“I don’t know,” I answer truthfully.
“Where are they?” he asks again, his voice rising. “I said you all must come home.”
When I don’t reply, he steps forward, grabbing my pajama top in a tight hold.
“I asked, where. are. they?” he repeats slowly, pulling me towards him.
My heart is thundering against my rib cage and I suddenly need to use the toilet, despite having went not too long ago.
“I don’t -“
“Don’t you dare lie to me!” he shouts, pushing me against the wall.
“Paapa, please, you promised,” I beg frantically.
I search his eyes for the tiniest trace of compassion but I find none. They’re empty; dead.
Just like his heart.
“You promised,” I whisper, hating the way my voice shakes.
“You promised you wouldn’t -“
A sudden sharp pain shoots up my jaw, my head flying back as he connects his fist to the side of my face.
Tears sting my eyes, all my hopes crumbling.
This is it.
I’ll never have a normal father.
I’ll never have a normal family.
I’ll never have a normal life..
“WHERE ARE THEY?!” he roars angrily, his grip on my top tightening.
“I don -“
He punches me again and my body crashes to the floor, unable to retaliate.
“I DON’T KNOW,” I scream in anguish. “I swear I don’t!”
Choking on blood and saliva, I sit up slowly.
My head is spinning and the reeking smell of his breath makes me gag.
“Please,” I sob. “Please don’t.”
“ANSWER MY QUESTION!” he yells.
“I DON’T KNOW!” I repeat.
“Paapa, please. I don’t know. I wish I did, but I don’t,” I say miserably.
Just when things started changing for the better… or so I thought.
Sadness engulfs me, because as much as I tried, for so long, to deny it, this is the reality.
This is my life. This is who I really am ; a broken, paranoid 12 year old boy.
And it’s all because of this monster in front of me.
All I want is to loved, to be cared for, to feel safe. Dammit, I all I want is a normal life!
Lifting my head, my eyes begging for sympathy, I stare at the man who I call Paapa.
But he only stares back, his eyes possessed by a cold fire.
Once again, I find myself wondering, How can someone possibly be so merciless to break their own family ; their own flesh, their own blood???
And when he lifts his beer to his lips, I suddenly find myself pitying him.
Pitying him because he has allowed himself to reach such a level of addiction where he can mercilessly hurt his own child. Pitying him because he once had everything ; a good job, a good wife, good kids, a good life, and he simply threw it all away.
Wincing with pain, I stand up and reach for his drink.
He whisks it away, eyes narrowing.
And when I see it again, it’s too late.
I open my mouth to scream but no sound comes out.
I watch in horror as it slowly comes down towards me.
My brain is screaming at me to move, to protect myself, but my body, frozen with terror, refuses to cooperate.
And then it connects, knocking the wind out of me.
The glass cuts open my skin as the bottle crashes against my forehead before falling in tiny pieces onto the floor.
My vision is blurred and it all starts to fade, unhurriedly, my mind making sure it doesn’t let the memory disappear until I fully grasp it.
Giving in, I allow the clawing darkness to snatch what little there is left of me.
And then, everything goes black.