Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola.
Hope you beautiful bunch are doing good and Friday is treating ya’ll fantabulously. (That’s not a word, but I just used it, which now makes it a word, and me a genius.. for inventing a word. Lol, just kidding, stop rolling your eyes!)
Yeah, so an author’s note before the post?
Let’s get to the point then, shall we?
Well, yes. Of course.
Soo, not gonna lie, I’m not happy with this post at all. I’ve thought about trashing it numerous times, but the idea of retyping 1000 somewhat words doesn’t sound all that appealing right now.. Besides, if I have to start retyping and wait for the writer in me to take over my keypad, ya’ll might have to wait at least another 3 days for a post. And I doubt that sounds very appealing either!
Maybe it’s because I’ve raised my own expectations, for this post, too high, or maybe it’s because I’ve read a few books recently (Aah, the privileges that come with having no assignments or exams!), and after I read a book, I tend to be unable to get into writing mode…
Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion to just put this post up, in all its horribleness, because ya’ll don’t know my expectations for the post so hopefully ya’ll will just think it’s good.
I feel like I need to explain this better but I’m rambling nonsense so let’s just leave this at this.
Now, moving on, as ya’ll may remember.. Actually, you probably won’t, so let me remind ya’ll… Season 1 ended after 45 posts. This post, is post 43 of Season 2. Obviously I want all the seasons (why is called seasons, btw? It sounds weird.) to have the same amount of posts. Thing is, I want to end this season leaving no more unanswered questions about Dee and her story. (Her past, her family, etc.) This post was suppose to cover half of it, and the post after to cover the other half. That isn’t working out… unfortunately. So, if I don’t manage to end Season 2 in the next two posts, then it’ll end at post 50.. after which I will break for exams.
This is all unnecessary information, again. I’m sorry.. You may now read the post in peace!
Troubled Illusioner. ❤
P.S. Drop me a comment letting me know what you think went wrong and where it all went wrong. You’ll understand my question once you’ve read the post. Eagerly awaiting ya’lls thoughts and scenarios! 😉
As narrated by Dee:
I walk pass the reception area of the Rehab, my sneakers treading soundlessly on the dull tiles.
I take the stairs up to the floor of Daanyaal’s ward. Past the occupational therapy room I walk.. A peek into the equipment room; remembering the time I use to spend my afternoons at the gym and my weekends doing marshal arts.. Up more stairs.. Down the passageway.. pass the doors leading to bathrooms and offices.. until I come to the dining/sitting area of the males ward.
I stop for a moment, and take a deep breath.
Do not change your mind, Deeyanah! It’s time he is told the truth.
Meez’s words ring in my ears, ‘No one deserves to be lied to’. I find myself thinking about Meez, again, wondering what I had done that we hadn’t spoken for so long.
I had spent most of last night fighting away torturous nightmares and wiping away endless tears. And after much contemplation, weighing of pros and cons, struggling to decide what was wrong and what was right, I had come to a decision.
And here I was now, trying to calm down before stepping into the ward Daanyaal shared with 7 other males of varying ages. Pushing aside Amz’s decision of adoption, pushing aside the endless ‘what ifs’ as to why Meez wasn’t replying my messages, I sip my water, breath deeply again, and then step into the room.
Daanyaal is laying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. His earphones are plugged into his ears, a small smile on his lips. He looks at peace.. maybe even happy.
My heart clenches knowing that when I leave this room, so too will his happiness.
With a heavy sigh, I walk in, towards his bed.
My movement catches his attention. He sits up, his smile widening.
That smile.. Oh god.
I grip my water bottle tighter, thinking of the times he’d empty the kitchen cupboards and then give Maama that smile that would disallow her from reprimanding him..
And the times he’d scribble in my school books and I’d get angry, he would hug my legs, look up at me and give me that smile..
And the times he’d crawl onto Dayyanah’s lap while she read a book.. pulling at her book when she didn’t give him attention. She’d look up to tell him to leave her alone, but he’d give her that smile and she’d pull him closer..
And the times Paapa would ruffle his hair, he’d clap his hands, that smile of his etching itself in our memories..
Alas, the once always smiling joyful Daanyaal grew up quickly, and when his fate suddenly twisted, so too did his smile..
The witty humorous boy his school friends knew soon became one who rarely found anything funny. The smiling boy who’d cling to my legs, soon began clinging to my waist, crying, questioning. The smiling boy who’d pull away Dayyanah’s books from in front of her face, soon began pulling away her hands from her face, crying, questioning. The smiling boy who’d clap in glee when Paapa ruffled his hair, soon began clasping his hands tightly together, trying to stop them from shaking, in the presence of the man who he once saw the entire world in.
And here I was now, once again to take away the smile of the boy who’d just learnt how to lift his lips again.
Here I was now, standing in front of my brother, forcing my own lips upward, in an attempt to share his soon to be gone happiness.
Here I was now, to fill all the spaces in his memory, to close all the open holes.
Here I was now, to tell him who he was.. who he is, to tell him how cruel life was and continues to be to us, to tell him how he ended up here, to tell him why his mother never came to visit him, to tell him everything that was wiped from his memory.
Here I was now, to tell Daanyaal the truth.
“You, were born in 2004. So you’re 12 now. Dayyanah and I were born two and a half years before you. We’ll be turning 15 this year. We were a typical family. Paapa was a lawyer. He had to travel quite often because of work. Most times we would go with him. Maama was just a housewife. She used to say that even if she could have any other occupation in the world, she’d never trade it for being a housewife.”
I smile at the memory.
“Our lives were pretty normal. We’d go out during the weekends, if Paapa didn’t have any work things to attend to. Maama would spontaneously cook us our favourite dishes. We had curfews, a certain time we had to be in bed. We’d get shouting for doing homework on Sunday nights. We’d go to Nani and Nana’s house during the holidays, to visit Nana.”
“Are they alive still?” asks Daanyaal.
“No. May Allah elevate their stages. Nani passed away when Maama was about my age. Nana passed away just a few years ago.”
“My memories as a kid are very good ones. My favourite being Disneyland. Do you remember Disneyland?” I ask, giving him a few outstanding details.
“Not really,” he replies, vaguely. “I remember a castle like you say is there but not much other things.”
“Not many other things,” I correct him gently.
“Not many other things,” he repeats.
“So Disneyland you don’t remember. What about our December holiday at Drakensburg when you were 4?” I ask, again mentioning things which might spark a memory.
“Did Dayyanah fall of a horse there?” he asks.
“No, that was at Drakensburg too, but few years later.”
“How old was I then?”
“Urrm,” I hesitate, thinking. “Seven. You were seven.”
“Most of what I can remember is during the time I was 6 to about 8, I think.”
“Yes, your psychologist told me. And I’m glad, because those were some of your best years.”
I start talking again, telling Daanyaal about our lives before everything changed. I tell him whatever I can remember, the little things, and the big things. And as I eventually tell Daanyaal of the last good memory we shared as a happy family, all the emotions I’ve managed to overpower slowly begin gripping me tighter, making it difficult to keep them at bay.
“It was a Sunday. Paapa was working the weekend before and he had to go away the weekend after, so we went out. We went for breakfast to the gardens, hiked up to the waterfall, and then-”
“Dee,” he gasps.
I look at him.
“I remember. Oh my god, I remember that so clearly!” he says, sounding bewildered and slightly scared. “We went to Gold Reef City after that, didn’t we?”
“Yes,” I reply quietly.
“Dee? How come? Why do I remember it so clearly?”
I sip my water, swallowing hard.
“That was our last happy memory,” I say, my voice breaking slightly.
“What do you mean? Are you okay? Dee??”
“The weekend after that, Paapa had a business meeting to attend in London.”
I pause, taking a deep, shaky, breath in.
“We went to the airport. Obviously. Paapa kissed our foreheads, Maama’s cheek, told us he loves us..”
Don’t feel. Don’t feel.
“He was scheduled to return on Wednesday.”
I pause, fighting against the whirlpool of emotions inside me, threatening to pull me into its dark ferocity.
“Wednesday came, Paapa didn’t,” I finally manage to say, my voice just above a whisper.
I hear Daanyaal gasp and look at him, then away again quickly. His eyes are wide, watching me carefully, listening attentively to ever word I say.
“What happened?” he asks quietly.
I ignore his question and carry on talking, knowing that he’ll get an answer soon.
“Maama received a message two hours after he was suppose to have arrived. Said something came up and he has to prolong his stay. Said he’ll be back on Saturday.”
“Urm, Dee? What does prolong mean?” he asks hesitantly.
I look at him and manage a smile. “It means he had to stay for a longer time.”
“Oh,” he replies.
“Anyway,” I continue, trying to steady my voice, trying to sound nonchalant… which I don’t fully succeed in. “We thought, okay, cool, Paapa’s a busy man, we’ll see him on Saturday. Everything was good… or so we thought..”
“Paapa came back on Saturday, as he said he would… but something was different. Something had changed.. only, we didn’t realize it at that time. We thought he was just tired from his trip.”
“But then… Then, slowly yet suddenly, Paapa was out of the house more than he was in, he left home earlier and came back later. He kissed our foreheads less often. He ruffled your hair less often. He spent less time with us. Suddenly he needed to attend meetings and conferences every weekend…”
I’m silent for a long time. I close my eyes, trying to rid the lump in my throat, trying to stop the tears threatening to spill.
“And every single one of them was supposedly held in London.”
My words hung heavily in the air, making it tense.
I feel like pushing my chair back and running out of here. I don’t want to talk about this. I just want to get away. Far away. From everything and everyone.
‘Ugly selfish coward,’ taunts the voice inside my head.
And I don’t push it away, because that is exactly what I am…