One Hundred and Forty

A peek into the past – Rameez:

“Can we go for this?” I ask, shaking the flyer slightly.

“Of course,” replies dad. “I was hoping you’d ask…”

Unsure of how to respond to that, I remain silent.

Neither of my parents had brought up the topic of drugs since I’d told them… until now.

“I’m glad you want to go, and I don’t have to force you. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you, Rameez, but I’m praying that you don’t take things further from here, because it will only go downhill now.”

Suddenly I want to talk.

“I didn’t even know it was drugs the first time,” I admit.

“Fang gave it to me, as an answer to a question I’d asked. I was obviously mad, that to him it was a big fat joke, so I crushed it. Scar flipped. He literally sent me sailing,” I say bitterly, remembering the pain my body felt as I crashed into the wall.

“When they left, I sucked it off the floor. I hadn’t had anything to eat for far too long, and Fang said it would make me happy. I knew it wouldn’t; nothing could make me happy then, but I was curious..

I don’t remember if it did make me happy, because I fell off to sleep shortly thereafter. The next day, when they let me me go… well, when they returned me home, I found 3 pills in my jeans pocket. I told myself I’ll chuck them out… but, I didn’t.”

“That was your mistake,” says dad.

“I know, because when I took the first one, I knew that I’d definitely take one again. But I had to make them last, so I only took one in two days. To be honest, I think I would have managed fine without them.”

Dad nods.

“You didn’t depend on them,” he says. “That’s good.”

“I took the last one the day I went back; Tuesday. I don’t know if it was a different drug or what, but that night, I was so hyped up. I felt like I was on a movie set. It was pitch black. Scar had a gun. We had night vision goggles. They were using code language through their walkies. I think if I hadn’t been so afraid, it would have been quite an experience!” I admit sheepishly.

Dad shakes his head at me, a small smile on his face.

“But then Scar killed the guy and I watched his head explode and he might as well have killed me because that was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life and I wish I didn’t have to see it because I don’t think I’ll ever forget that,” I say, all in one breath. “Like, one thing is seeing it through my laptop screen, but actually watching the guy smash to the ground, frozen disbelief on his face… And the blood. Oh god, Dad, the blood! There was so much. And it just kept gushing out.

I think I kind of shut down for a moment, because when Scar came rushing back to where he had left me, I didn’t register why we had to leave so quickly. The shock of what had just happened momentarily paralyzed me. That’s why, when Scar offered me a pill, I took it. That night, I depended on it entirely..

And the night we came back.. I took 3, at once. It didn’t matter at that time, because I didn’t think we’d make it,” I say quietly, a lump forming in my throat.

A heavy silence settles in the car.

“Sorry,” I mumble, shutting my eyes to prevent the tears from flowing. “I’ve already told you all this. I just….”

I pause, my voice breaking.

Dad takes my hand in his.

“It’s okay,” he says comfortingly.

“Do you think the pain will ever go away?” I ask, sighing heavily.

Dad doesn’t say anything as we wait for the garage door to open.

“Some days it feels like it never will,” he finally says.

His voice is quiet, his tone gentle, honest.

“But, we just have to work harder, I guess.”

It’s quiet for a moment before dad speaks again.

“I’ll give you one advice from my experience during the last couple weeks. But first, let me ask you something..” says dad.

“What kept you going?” he asks after a pause.

“Well..” I say hesitantly. “I don’t really know. I mean, I haven’t thought about it.”

What kept me going??

I think back to the moments where I felt like giving up..

“Was it music? The drugs? The gym?” asks dad.

“Urm..” I begin, still thinking.

“Me??” he adds with a slight grin.

I laugh.

“What made you want to stay alive?”

“I think.. it was the hate,” I finally say. “The thirst for revenge, perhaps. I was so angry.. I still am so angry, at the unfairness of it all. I would wake up wanting to take revenge, go to sleep wanting to take revenge. I thought of endless possibilities and ways of hurting them like how they did to us. And even though it was all hopeless, it’s still kind of in me.. that hatred, and that… that anger. I don’t think it will ever leave.”

Dad nods, a pensive expression on his face as he removes the car key from the ignition.

Then he turns and looks at me.

“What about your hope in Allah?” dad asks quietly. “Did that help you keep going?”

The questions hits me directly where it should – right in the epicentre of my heart.

For a moment, the empty feeling in the pit of stomach is indistinguishable.

Is it regret, or sorrow?

The silence prolongs as I’m left without an answer to give.

And then the realization comes tumbling in like snow does in an avalanche.

How did I not think of that?

How did it not once cross my mind that Allah is my hope, my strength, my guardian?

How did it not once cross my mind, that as a muslim, I have Allah on my side?

That things would be okay, because after hardship there is ease.

That this dunya is a temporary testing place and perhaps this is my test.

What kind of a muslim was I to not put my trust and reliance in Allah?

What kind of a muslim was I to question His command?

And then, a thought that turns my blood to slush..

Is there still any hope for a person like me? 

“That’s what kept me going. And of course, you and your mother,” says dad.

As if hearing my unvoiced question, Dad speaks up again.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t is, that no matter what, we have Allah. No matter how many mistakes we’ve made, no matter how far we’ve strayed, there’s still hope.”

His voice is low, full of awe and amazement.

“Keep Allah on your side, Rameez. Focus and revolve your life around pleasing Him, and everything will fall into place. I promise.”

Then, he reaches over, takes my hand in his and kisses it.

“And never forget that I’m here for you, if ever you need anything. I love you, my son.”

He squeezes my hand before letting go.

And then it’s just me, sitting on the leather seat of my father’s car, trying to make sense of the swirling emotions within me, trying to slow down the speeding train of thoughts inside my head, wondering if I’ll ever be me again.

Somewhere hidden deep among the chaos of my heart and mind, a spark of hope shines.. a tiny spark of hope that assures me, I will.

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*This is the last post of Season 3, and the last post until after Ramdhaan. Author’s note with my necessary (and maybe some not so necessary) rambles will be posted tomorrow, Insha Allah. Much Love, Troubled Illusioner. ❤

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One Hundred and Thirty Nine

A peek into the past – Rameez:

I breathe deeply, trying to calm my thundering heart and still my trembling hands.

“Hey, you alright there?”

I look up at the sound of a young feminine voice.

Midnight-black eyes, framed with long lashes, peer down at me in concern.

“Yeah,” I manage to say, hastily wiping my teary eyes.

“Rameez.”

Dad rushes to my side, distinct worry visible in his tired eyes.

“I- I’m fi- ne,” I say shakily.

“What happened?” he questions.

“I don’t- t kno- w,” I mumble.

“You had a panic attack.”

I look over at the girl as she speaks again, studying her properly this time.

Round face.. chubby cheeks.. big, black eyes.. plump lips.. thick eyebrows.. long hair..

My word, she’s beautiful.. 

Suddenly hyperaware of my own appearance, I stand up slowly, running a hand through my hair in an attempt to neaten it.

“I’m okay, really,” I say, a little more steadier this time.

“Great! Just give a shout if you’ll need anything,” she says, seeing mum walking up towards us.

“Hey!” I call, as she turns around. “I didn’t catch your name.”

She pauses for a couple of seconds before facing me again.

She smiles then, a dazzling smile that displays her gleaming teeth.. and for a fleeting moment, I forget all the unpleasant emotions within me.

“Nabeela,” she says.

“Thanks, Nabeela,” I respond.

“You’re welcome, Rameez.”

For a millisecond, we simply stand there, smiling at each other..

And then, she turns on her heel, and walks off.

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*****

“I’m fine now, mum. I promise,” I say, sipping the glass of water she places in front of me just to make her happy.

We’re at home now, sitting altogether in the lounge.

The abruptly cut-off conversation we’d been having at the psychologist is now resuming.

“They told me they had you,” says dad, looking at me.

“And that.. that they’d.. killed you..” he continues, pulling mummy closer to his side.

“They did have me,” I say quietly.

“I know,” replies dad.

It’s silent for a moment, and I realize that it’s my turn.

My turn to talk, to confess, to admit.

My turn to remember, to revisit, to relive.

As the silence in the room prolongs, I know that it’s my turn.. my turn to let go.

Taking a deep breath, I begin narrating every detail of the past couple weeks.

I leave out nothing, despite how cruelly it hurts us all. Despite mum’s sobs and dad’s sighs. Despite the threat of my emotions consuming me entirely again, I leave out nothing.

Every moment of blinding rage, every moment of crippling pain, every moment of utter weakness, every moment of lost hope, every moment of prickling guilt..

Every tear, every sigh, every breath, and every high..

Fury, agony, and grief course through my blood. The distress of my entire being contorts into physical, mental, and emotional pain.

As my parents listen in stunned silence, I hurt like never before.

I hurt.

And then I heal.

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*****

“Rameez!” calls dad. “Are you ready?”

“On my way down,” I call back, pulling a kurta (Males’ Islamic garb) over my clothes.

“I’m waiting in the car,” says dad.

Slipping my feet into sandals, I race down the stairs, through the kitchen and into the garage.

Shutting the car door, I click my seat belt into place as the engine roars to life.

We drive to the masjid (Muslims’ place of prayer) in comfortable silence, the windows slightly down.

It’s quiet, calm, and my heart is at ease; almost.

But as I step out into the cool early evening air, a feeling of uncertainty surfaces inside me..

What about all the wrong you’ve done?? 

A brief image of a beautiful young girl flashes in my mind.

‘Nabeela’, she had said..

Sighing heavily as the whirlpool of turmoil continues swirling within me, I place my shoes onto the rack and stand to pray.

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*****

“Brothers, just a quick announcement. There will be drug awareness program tomorrow in Benoni. The poster with the venue, time, etc has been hung on the masjid board, and there is a stack of flyers at the masjid entrance as well. Make an intention to attend for the pleasure of Allah, and to educate ourselves, lest we fall into such a terrible trap. JazakAllah Khair.”

I grab a flyer on my way out, briefly reading through it while I wait for dad.

Addiction to drugs and substance abuse is having a devastating impact on our society. Drugs have become a menace and a destroyer of lives in the modern world. The harmful effects of drugs are seen on our youth, the family, the society and most important, on our Imaan.

The sound of the car unlocking diverts my attention.

Jumping in, I continue reading the flyer.

Due to the dire situation we are facing, Darul Ihsan has launched a ‘Drugs Awareness Drive’ (DAD) through which we intend to help and educate our society on the impact of this societal scourge. Education and awareness is one of the most effective ways in which our generations could be saved. The objective is to highlight the seriousness of drug abuse in our community and to adopt the adage ‘Prevention is better than cure’.

“Dad?”

“Yes?”

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Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola. 😀

Hope Monday is treating you all well!

I’m terribly sorry the post took so long. Time is just not on my side. 😭 I feel like I should give you’ll a rundown of what my usual day is like, so you’ll know that my reason is valid. But I also have to keep up my cool and mysterious persona, yanno what I mean. 😌😎

Kidding!! 😆 I’m actually just keeping my shield up against internet trolls.  (But I do have to stay unknown too… so if you know who I am, ZIP YOUR MOUTH! 👀) 

Aaaanywayy, since there’s only one more post of Season 3, I’m thinking of just stopping one time after Season 3, and coming back after Ramadhaan (hopefully). Otherwise Season 4 will just start (I say just a lot, don’t I? 🤔😂) and because I don’t want to blog in Ramadhaan, I’ll have to pause again. So, thoughts? Opinions? Please. Yay or nay? What should I do? Bear in mind, that if I do start Season 4, I’m guessing I’ll only manage 2/3 posts before Ramadhaan. 

Alright, that’s all. Sorry for rambling. 🙈😂

Much Love,

Troubled Illusioner. ❤

One Hundred and Thirty Eight

A peek into the past – Rameez:

My parched throat begs to be hydrated.

Slowly, I sit up, moving out of my father’s embrace.

The world seems to spin for a couple of seconds and I have to close my eyes to rid the dancing stars from my vision.

I rub my eyes, feeling a little better, but also much worse.

My head is pounding, my limbs feel like lead, and paresthesia pricks under my feet.

“Rameez.”

I turn my head at the sound of my mother’s voice.

Dark circles surround her teary eyes. She looks tired; so very tired..

“Are you okay?” she asks.

I nod wordlessly, slowly getting up to embrace her.

A sob escapes her as we cling to each other, whispered apologies for actions we aren’t to blame falling through our lips simultaneously.

But “I’m sorry’s” don’t remove guilt.

“I’m sorry’s” don’t answer unanswered questions.

“I’m sorry’s” don’t fill empty spaces.

And so, we sit down on the fluffy rug in the psychologist’s consulting room and begin to talk.

The woman, taking a couple of things from her desk, leaves the room with a smile, telling us to take our time as she has no one scheduled for the next hour.

The door clicks shut and then it’s just the three of us.

Dad speaks first, taking our hands in either of his.

“It’s been a rough couple weeks, hasn’t it?” he begins, sighing. “And to recover from a rough time, you need support. We haven’t been supporting each other because we’re too lost in our own pain, grief, and suffering. I don’t think it should be like this, do you’ll?”

Mum and I shake our heads.

“So let’s go through it all together, shall we?”

“Dad, please,” I say, tiredly. “Do we have to?”

“How else am I going to get my son back?” he asks quietly.

I avoid his gaze, a pang of guilt twisting inside me.

“I’m sorry..” I mumble.

“It’s difficult for all of us, son,” says dad, gently squeezing my hand.

Dad speaks first.. explaining to us that he left work, at 6 pm as usual, with an almost-empty petrol tank.

“I would have made it home, but I decided to just fill up. There was mild chaos at the filling station though, because a man had just been pickpocketed. And as I sat and waited for someone to fill up my tank, it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to withdraw the money I had intended to, for my charity event the next day. But that inkling of fear that settled into my heart made me feel slightly cowardly. So, I headed for the bank after all.

The sun was just going down as I parked, and looking for excuses now, I reminded myself that I might miss Maghrib jamaat, that you’ll will worry if I only come home after salaah, that I could always just withdraw the money the next morning..

Eventually I left the bank without withdrawing any money. It must have been around half past six, twenty to seven, now. I was driving slowly, still conflicted as to what I should be doing. Something was off; I could feel it..

It was dead outside; quiet, still, not a soul in sight even though it wasn’t fully dark yet. And when the upcoming robot turned red, my heart told me to skip it. But I had already stopped. My window had already been smashed. I already had a blade against my flesh.”

Dad pauses, taking a deep, shaky breath before continuing.

“They asked me for the money they thought I would have. I played it dumb for a while, but I quickly came to realize that these guys weren’t your ordinary pickpockets. They knew what they were doing. I told them the truth – I hadn’t withdrawn the money. But obviously, they didn’t believe me. I begged, pleaded, gave them what I had, but they didn’t want to hear. Things happened lightning-fast after that.. A strong smelling cloth was thrown over my face, and then I blacked out.”

“How many of them, dad?” I ask.

“Two,” he replies. “Scar and Fang.”

I nod, indicating for him to continue.

“Do you know why their names are what they are?” asks dad.

“No,” I answer. “It makes no sense to me.”

“If you think carefully, you’ll understand,” says dad. “It would appear obvious for scarred face’s name to be Scar, for serpent tattoo’s name to be Venom, and for 4 shade’s to be Fang, because it sounds playful, wouldn’t it?”

Scarred Face. Serpent Tattoo. 4 shades.

I almost laugh out loud!

Is that how dad labelled them?!

“Yeah, that’s what I would have assumed if I didn’t know,” I admit.

“And that is exactly why it’s not like that!” says dad. “It’s too obvious. They have to be unpredictable.”

I nod slowly, realization dawning.

“Makes sense,” I mumble.

Dad continues..

“I don’t quite know how long I was out for, but when I regained my senses, I distinctly remember feeling terribly cold. The room was dimly lit. Not a sound could be heard. It took me a couple minutes to slowly sit up, take in my surroundings, and notice the two men who had attacked me earlier… now joined with a third; the main man -Venom.”

I shudder involuntarily, remembering the first time I laid eyes on Venom’s scar-covered face as his malevolent green eyes bore into mine.

“What was happening at home?” asks dad.

I look at mum.. she looks at me.

Indicating for her to speak, I drop my head, trying to keep my emotions under control.

“Initially I thought that maybe something came up at work. But you didn’t message to say so, which I found strange, and two hours later, when you still hadn’t come home, you hadn’t received my messages, you hadn’t answered my calls, I started panicking..”

I messaged Susan.. she said that she had left early and hadn’t heard from you since. She called me sometime later to confirm if your charity event was that weekend.. That’s when we formed a theory. And it was only a short while later that Susan received the message. Rameez was at Ziyaad’s place. I called him immediately, afraid that whoever these people were, might have him too. He was fine though, Alhamdullilah.”

“I went home, totally unaware of what was going on,” I say quietly, speaking up. “Mummy was so distraught that she couldn’t even tell me what was happening. I read the messages, slowly putting two and two together. I was still unsure though, as to what exactly happened.. so, I called the number in the message.”

“At that time I obviously didn’t know, but Venom answered. Dad.. his voice..” I say, a shiver running down my spine. “I had never heard a voice so cold and… and empty, before. He knew my name. He was expecting me to call and I had no idea why. I was so confused.. My mind was a swirling with possibilities, and after rereading the messages a million times.. it just clicked, I guess. They sent the message, didn’t they?”

Dad nods.

“You’ll weren’t supposed to get involved. Had I had the cash with me, they would have simply taken that and left me alone. But I didn’t. And they needed that cash. Why, I don’t know.”

“They needed it to give in exchange for drugs,” I say.

I hear a sharp intake of breath.

“Drugs?!” asks mum, her voice a hoarse whisper, her face wearing an expression of horror.

I nod, avoiding her gaze…

A newfound regret has made its way into my heart.

All the terrible things I’d done have been pricking at my conscience, and seeing the way my mother reacted, wondering what would go through her heart and mind if she knew the things I did, the words I spoke, the drugs I’d swallowed, only causes the turmoil within me to increase.

“How do you know, Rameez?” Dad asks quietly, his forehead creased into a frown.

A dreadful silence fills the room.

The clock ticks away loudly as I try to calm the anger rising within me.

Anger at myself for the mistakes I’ve made..

“Rameez!” exclaims dad, trying to tug his hand out of mine.

I don’t realize how tightly I’m gripping dad’s hand until then.

“Shit, sorry,” I breathe in horror, letting go and looking at my own hands in disbelief.

“Rameez!” gasps mum, astounded at my language.

I stand up hastily, my heart pounding against my chest, terrified that I’m involuntarily hurting her too.

My back collides with the wall as I stumble over my feet, trying to put as much distance between us. Shaking uncontrollably, I slide to the ground.

Worry etched in his face, dad stands up and walks towards me.

“NO!!” I yell, panic filling my entire being.

The room suddenly feels too small..

I need to get out!

All my senses have skyrocketed..

Oh god.. I can’t.. breathe..

Tears blurring my vision, I make a dash for the door, yanking it open as the invisible hand around my throat tightens it grip..

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One Hundred and Thirty Seven

As narrated by Dee:

“What’s stopping you?”

I bite my nutella-covered toast, contemplating Amz’s question.

“Besides the guilt,” adds Amz, pouring milk into her tea.

I chew, swallow, and then bite into my toast again.

“Well..” I finally say. “I don’t really know.”

Amz stirs her tea, patiently waiting for me to continue.

“It’s just that… I don’t think I can face her… after everything…” I say slowly, trailing off.

“But..” I continue. “Recently.. I feel like I should go to see her.. you know, clear everything up.. Especially now that.. now that Paapa’s gone…”

“Maybe things will be different..” I admit quietly, studying the crumbs on my plate.

A moment of silence settles between us.

“I say just go, Dee. You won’t regret it. You’re just looking at the whole situation with a negative eye. Trust me, your mother is probably dying to see you,” says Amz.

I frown, slightly irritated at her overly-enthusiastic encouragement.

Deep down, a familiar ache throbs on, craving to feel a confirmation of Amz’s words.

Wrapping my fingers around my mug, I let my mind wander to a place of bittersweet memories.

No matter how hard I try to forget, no matter how many times I push them away, they always resurface.

They always do and I know that they always will, for the mind has a strange way of remembering what we most want it to forget..

I close my eyes for a moment, recalling her scent, her touch, her smile. Maama.

“Dee.”

Sighing, I open my eyes.

“Don’t dwell. It’s going to trigger your nightmares,” advises Amz.

I drink up my coffee, aware that Amz is right.

Pushing back my stool, I get up, drop my dishes in the sink and head upstairs.

After a quick shower, I dress, pick my phone off my pedestal and head outside into the backyard.

Laying down under the big tree, I call Zee.

“‘Ello,” he greets cheerily.

“What’s up?” I ask, smiling.

“Zilch. Might do some baking later. I mean, what better way to spend the last day of the holidays?!”

“All you did this holiday was bake. You’re going to turn into a big, round hot-cross bun!”

“Well at least I had a more productive holiday than you! And besides, you ate half my baking so guess you’ll be turning into a big, round hot-cross bun too!” he laughs.

“Heyy that rhymed!” he adds a second later. “I’m a poet.”

“Poets rhyme intentionally,” I point out.

“Yeah, so what did I just do?!”

“You rhymed and then realized, like, 1 month later,” I say, exaggeratedly.

Zee laughs, and I can’t help but grin.

“Anyway,” I say after a moment. “I need some advice..”

“Hang on a sec..”

I hear shuffling and then it’s quiet again. I have his full attention now.

“Alright, advice on?” asks Zee.

I relate to him my discussion with Amz this morning, telling him how she’s been encouraging me to at least go and see my mother for the past couple weeks, but I’d just avoid the topic, until recently.. where I now find myself actually considering it, yet still remaining uncertain.

He listens attentively, letting me finish before he speaks.

“Dee, I’m sure it’s a difficult choice, but you have to understand, that until you don’t take this step, you won’t be able to move forward. You have to mend this bridge, cross it, and then burn it completely. There is so much more to life than what you think there is. And you don’t know this because you’re too scared to feel too strongly. There is so much happiness and opportunities out there for you to achieve, but you have to want to do it, you have to strive for it. It’s not going to just come. Happiness is a choice, Dee. You have to move past all the negative emotions to get to the positive ones. And obviously it won’t be there eternally. Everyone has their bad days. But you can choose to have more good days than bad days. You can choose to be more happy than sad. You can choose to let go of the past and be free rather than carrying anger, hatred and guilt with you. What use is it, anyway? You’re just harming yourself. You need to start allowing yourself to feel. And once you get that right, you have to hold the reigns and keep those feelings under control. I agree with Amz. Go for it. Take it one step at a time but start walking. It’s time you face the music and let go of the past, because honestly Dee, it’s holding you back from so much.”

He pauses, waiting to hear if I have anything to say, but I don’t say anything.

I wanted him to tell me that it’s okay if I don’t feel like visiting my mum; even though I know it’s not, but he didn’t. He hasn’t said what I want to hear, he’s said what I need to hear. And I know that he’s right; Amz often tells me the same things, but I don’t want him to be right.

“I know it’s easy for me to speak, because I’m not experiencing what you are, but set your mind to it and just take the plunge. Don’t think about it too deeply, because then you’re going to find more void reasons not to go.”

His words are gentle and encouraging, and I don’t quite know what to say..

“Don’t give up on yourself. You’ve got this. Kick those negative thoughts in the butt and just do it!” he says.

I find myself grinning involuntarily; his sincere enthusiasm contagious.

We talk for a little longer before Zee needs to go.

Confirming that we’ll meet at school tomorrow, we greet and hang up.

I look up at the clear blue sky, appreciating the gentle breeze that blows as the scorching sun shines down.

I ponder over my conversation with Zee, the sound of moving cars and singing birds sounding distant as my thoughts deepen.

Some time later, Amz joins me outside.

“So, when are you going?” she asks, casually.

I glance at her, delaying my answer for extra effect.

“Who said I’m going?”

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Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola. 😀

GUESS WHO’S BACK! 🙋😀

Hope all my wonderful readers are well. 💜

Soo, do you guys think Dee is going to go see her family or not? Do you think she should or rather not??

Eagerly awaiting your feedback. 😉

Much Love,

Troubled Illusioner. ❤

(P.S. Lowkey missed you guys. 😊🙈😘)

One Hundred and Thirty Six

Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola. 😀

Due to no wifi and other circumstances, I will not be able to post during the holidays. Hope you all understand. Next post will be up on the 19th of April InshAllah. Remember me in your duaas (prayers) and I hope you all have an awesome holiday! Until then.. 

Much love,

Troubled Illusioner. ❤


A peek into the past – Rameez:

“And how did you feel when you saw him?”

I contemplate the question, fiddling with my fingers in my lap.

The road to recovery is never an easy one..

It is my fourth day at the therapist, 2 weeks since I’ve been home, and we have seemingly made no progress so far.

The nightmares haven’t stopped.

The anger hasn’t subsided.

The hate hasn’t decreased.

The tiredness feels like it will never go away; ever.

My mind.. my mind is an absolute mess.

I shrug, briefly looking up at the woman in front of me.

“Terrified?” I say, but it comes out more like a question.

“Terrified that he might not be alive?” she asks, watching me like a hawk.

I nod, running my fingers through my hair uncomfortably.

A knock sounds on the door just then.

“Come in,” says the woman.

“Mr Varachia’s parents are here,” the person says, peeking her head in slightly.

“Okay,” she acknowledges. “We’re almost done.”

The door closes softly, and for a moment it’s quiet.

Then the woman addresses me again, explaining to me what we still need to work on.

“How long will it take?” I ask.

“How ever long you want it to take, Rameez. Remember what I told you during our first session. It’s all about your mindset. Once you get that right, you’re already halfway there.”

I sigh, nodding slowly.

“It’s just.. it’s so difficult,” I say softly, my voice suddenly hoarse.

I don’t see the brief flicker of surprise, at my willing confession, on her face, because my gaze is concentrated on my lap again.

She picks up her pen quickly as I speak again, a sudden feeling to just let everything out, to say what is on my mind, to speak my feelings with a tinge of hope that she might understand.

“And unfair. It’s so unfair that they get to treat someone how ever they want to, just because they want something, and no one will do anything about it. It’s unfair that they get what they want at the expense of someone else being left without even their own identity. I.. sometimes, I don’t even know who I am anymore. It’s pretty f***** up.. not being able to feel… normal? I can’t even talk to my friends about it, because they wouldn’t.. well, they wouldn’t understand. And my parents.. my dad himself is going through probably double what I am. He hasn’t said what happened to him from the time they got hold of him.. but I don’t think I could even bear to hear it. Everything affected my mum too, obviously. We barely speak. I feel like she’s upset with me. Things are my fault in many ways, so I don’t blame her. But..  I don’t think I can go on much longer like this. I can’t live like this. I don’t want to. It’s just so.. so shit. I don’t feel like getting up in the morning. I don’t enjoy things I used to. I.. there’s.. it’s like there’s nothing to life anymore. Sometimes I wish they’d have just killed me…”

The lump in my throat grows bigger, and suddenly I find it difficult to breathe. Hot tears roll down my cheeks as I speak, all the vent up emotions finally escaping after two weeks of fighting them off, pushing them down, sealing them away.

Burying my face into my hands, I sob like a little child, not caring about the woman in front me watching.

I don’t notice her picking up the phone on her desk and speaking softly into it.

I don’t hear the door opening a few minutes later.

I don’t notice his presence until he’s kneeling in front of me, gently prying my hands off my face.

I bury my face into my father’s chest, clinging onto him for my dear life, as I let the strong waves of my emotions crash through me.

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