I can hear them; it’s only at a mild stage right now, barely out of the door but in hearing distance. I am supposed to be studying this lesson. Instead… I peek over my book, first towards the closed door and then towards my sister. I look at her somewhat disdainfully, yet in a way I envy her and her indifference. She never looks up from the cell phone in her hand, furiously typing away. It’s either that or the phone pressed to her ear. How can one be so absent minded?
Even as I make my way to the closed door, I know that this is a mistake. It’s not a mundane issue any more. It was, but only at the beginning.
I don’t want to be a part of their fights. I don’t. Yet, I am dragged in too. Always. You don’t get a choice. A choice is a mere illusion, in the end you are meant to be torn inside. The torture, however, is obviously unseen to them. Illusions.
It’s all because of me. I know. Every little step that I take towards resolving the fight turns into a giant step fueling it.
‘They don’t need your bloody little amendments, you freak,’ she said to me today ‘You are the cause of the problems. The root.’
Am I? Is it really because of me? The other night all I did was bring them water and they started quarrelling. Do they do this on purpose? Of course not! Perhaps I am the cause.
I asked her this while she was engaged in another one of her endless calls.
‘Would you stop it? Stop being a pain to everyone? Would you ever just stop and mind your own business!? I am so sick of this place, of them, of you! I need out but guess what, I don’t get out. It’s all because of you, all because of you’
And then she pinched me; a mere twisting movement of the hand that sent burning sensations down my arm. Weird how it was oddly comforting. As if for a moment the pressure on my brain leaked out a bit.
She hates me. But she can’t do that without reasons. I am her sister. What if…
I have been thinking, perhaps if I just give it a try I’d know. For now I cannot even think straight. Their fights echo in my ears even if I sit as far as the boundaries of this house allow. They ring terror bells in my ears twenty four hours a day.
What if this helps? It’s only a tiny needle.
I hold the needle in my left hand which quivers violently. I watch it for a few long seconds but of course I can’t. Like always. Like I can’t stop the fights, like I can’t stop the all from hating me. I am the glitch, the fault.
I clench my teeth shut and watch as the needle moves forward and pierces the skin of my forefinger. For a split second there is pain and then relief. It washes over me like a wave of cool wind in suffocating heat. As if a block has been moved away from over my nerves.
I’ll do it again.
A shard of glass is more powerful. The greater the pain it’ll inflict, the better. The longer I feel secured. The longer I feel enveloped in the embrace of physical pain, it helps ton done the constant drill that continues in my head.
They stand outside my door. They scream for me to stop, they shout for me to throw away the pin, or the jagged piece of glass or to stop banging my head against the wall. They look at my bruises and cry and blame. And then… and then they fight again. It starts all over. The blames, accusations. Guilt.
This time, I won’t be stopping them. This is their torture, for all the suffering. I’ll follow the light, any light, any path that brings me the peace.
She came and she cried. I saw her after years. We were so close, always. Her tears were genuine. She ried for the state I am in. And apologized. I wanted to tell her not to, for she was the only person who was not at fault. Or was she?
They look at me like a creature in a zoo. All of them. The kids poke me, the elders try to make small talk which is plainly awkward for both of us. I do not talk. The time for talking is over.
They’ll be gone. She’ll be gone.
They have taken away all and any sharp objects they could find. They don’t realize that my peace doesn’t require pointy things. They would have bound me if not for her. She screamed at them for hours, for once there was silence between them. She advised them strictly about me, about pressurizing me. For once, she was the parent and they were the children. She came in before she left; apologized, cried and talked, she tried to make me talk. I cried. I cried after what seemed like year but I couldn’t say a word. I tried, yes. But I couldn’t. Maybe I am past that stage.
She told me to try and read; to recite one name of Allah, only ten times a day. I tried.
She told me to read the surah. To not torture myself for a single day, a single hour. She calls every day, for an hour she continues to take me through the rituals, the actions I have long abandoned. She recalls the words and helps me learn. She’s there and she tells me He is too.
I did. I’ve never felt serenity as such. Never. I never thought I’d find peace in something so close. But maybe that is where the fault lies. Maybe that’s what we always forget. We look for peace in places where we only find hints of it. And yet we abandon the pool that never dries and walks wherever we go. Why do we rely on every worldly rescue but deny the right path that resides before us. Why is God the last source that we turn to?
Oh Lord! Help these people, help us all. Guide us toward the right.