I sat here in the middle of nowhere, my feet jammed on the brake pedal, willing to let go off it any second to put my throbbing heart to rest. This cliff, which watches over 5000 feet of uncertainty can revaluate the certainty of the script of my fate and it wouldn’t hurt an inch of my being. I’d delve into the realm of dust and bask in the glory of nothingness and my so called free spirit shall really be set free. It often baffles me that we are led to blindly believe in the flair of every course of action being pre-destined while we fail to realize that it is in reality our choice which instructs the course of destiny. Destiny is merely a concept which unwinds the complexity of life for the very simplistic beings. However, the complexities cannot be negated by believing in something which is an open-ended aspect of controversy and have no reference to the context.
The reservoir of their time together flashed in front of her eyes like a kaleidoscope of memories and she knew that it was sufficient for her to take her final breaths with a smile – the cobblestone streets, their first kiss in the middle of the lush fields in Scotland, the scent of his musk overwhelming her senses, the adrenaline associated with his thoughts and emotions, the light reflected in his ocean blue eyes capable of illuminating the darkest of the imaginative fears and that crackling laughter to always take her breath away. Her eyes are tightly shut and jaws ferociously clenched with her arms pressed against the steering of her very first Porsche. It could not have been more perfect to let go of her only true belonging on her own terms surrounded by commodities which meant the most to her entirety. This car she sat in was the product of the proceedings left of her savings account she mounted while working as a bartender during her time at the university. The cliff was where Aaron, her high school sweetheart broke up with her, leading her to Frasier. Despite of all the heartache and trivialness attached with the unexpected breakup with Aaron, she knew it would have been impossible for her to call it quits if Aaron wouldn’t have been brave enough to address the concerns in their relationship, hence risking the existence of Frasier in her life. Frasier was her favourite memory of all, and the only risk ‘she ran by choosing her own terms and conditions was cracking his heart open. Perhaps, she was hopeful that he of all people would understand given he was the only person who understood her insides as if he co-existed within her.
I think Mother will be very unhappy with this choice in particular. My brain tells me that it may take Mother a lifetime to absolve my actions of sins she thinks only exist because of her faith in religious beliefs. It astounds me how she fails to understand that the Divine Force, commonly known as God if It even exists, and is the Provider for all of us then all It would wish for us is to choose happiness and therefore, my happiness is in letting go of the threads that deeply connect me with the circle of life. Father will be disappointed in me and I will no more be his champ. Finally, Uriel can seek the validation from Father that he believed was merely impossible because I stood as a rock-hard obstruction in his way. Father will appreciate for the very first time that Uriel didn’t turn out like me despite of him consistently breathing down Uriel’s neck to follow in my footsteps. I reckon all I will ever want to tell Father, if I ever could, is that I’d have a lifetime wasted if I choose to just suffocate my existence in the air which reeks of violence, hypocrisy and judgmental beliefs tainting the individuality, which is my human body over a vessel for something extremely sensitive and substantial: my soul. I believe it will pain my soul the most if Father even for a second will doubt his position of letting me be a free bird. If my decision to choose an eternity sooner than later will tarnish his belief that he should have listened to Mother and will admittedly give into her “I said so”, then every tear that moistens his cheek will be a stab tearing away at the base of my soul. These concerns have me second doubt my choices; if what I believe happens to dissect the core of not only the most important beings to me but also my soul even if it were to exist in its most natural state.
The most common of misconceptions to be construed with respect to her choice would be labelling her, some of which will stand out for self-explanatory reasons; the most pivotal one being selfish. A broken smile hatched at the curve of her mouth as she wondered if they really understood what it meant to be self-centred. Perhaps, they knew nothing about the philosophy of life, whose esse are in opposition to the biology of life; the latter of which they understand but the former of which their functional brains will find difficult to perceive. However, if she really believed in the surrender or abandonment as the ultimate salvation, she wouldn’t have waited all these years living on the edge given she was merely eight when it was past her head that the world will never be able to crack the intricacies of a human brain which for her was an utmost pleasure. It was her refuge from the brutality of humanity. She felt a stab of excitement and a pang of guilt concurrently.
“Follow your heart, Nora. It will lead you to your dreams. Trust your intuition, it facilitates self-discovery and inspires positive change. Be yourself; choose each day as an opportunity to better yourself and don’t forget to love yourself, love”, her father’s voice echoed in her head as tears rolled down her cheeks. The man did an exceptional job with her, preaching to her that being a misfit was as typical as the ways of a traditionalist. He was a protective father, like any other father, however he wouldn’t do injustice to the extraordinary his daughter brought to the world which filled him with sheer delight and pride. She pressed her propped arms against the steering wheel blaring the horns of the car to silence the doubts; she was struggling with the pendulum that swung at a pace faster than her heartbeat between her choice and their voices.
I have never seen Mother and Father have a similar opinion on a human before but Frasier was an exception. He won their hearts in their very first meeting with him. He was an absolute charmer. He helped Mother bake banana bread and blueberry muffins after lunch and set the table at the patio for the evening tea. He went to play golf with Father after the tea and returned swamped in advice on ways to improve his game. Father and Mother loved him so much in the matter of just an evening that Father had the hotel he was staying at cancel his stay with them and he ended up crashing in the guest room in our basement. What was there not to love about him?
When the home had snoozed that night, the night-owls they happened to be, they tip-toed their way into the patio to gaze at the starry sky. Frasier slipped his arm around her waist, gently pulling her closer and brushed the corner of her bottom lip with his thumb. He motioned for them to lay flat on their backs on the grass, his hand still clasping her waist ever so lightly. She inched closer and rested her head against his chest and the sound of his heartbeat felt like the wind chimes over the ripple of the ocean breeze calling her home. The silence in the air was golden. After a couple of minutes, he rolled over to lay on his belly slipping her head in the palm of his hand and the other arm snugged around her. He smiled his mischievous smile and the look in his eyes said it all. He moved closer and it felt like that the starlight had dimmed just for their moment. He pressed his lips against hers for not more than a few seconds when she managed to rid herself from his hold and dashed to the main entrance of the house. He chased after her and they crashed in the guestroom for the longest time, watching Netflix and sipping on the bottle of bubbly he got her parents just a day before. She brushed his knuckles while his fingers were laced with hers and he didn’t realize when he dozed off with his head perched on her shoulder. She pecked on his cheek, pulled the covers over him, tucked him in bed and sneaked out of the guest room, making the least amount of sound and motion. She laid in her bed wide awake staring at the blank canvas of her room ceiling, thinking to herself that what was it that she did to be fortunate enough to deserve someone like Frasier in her life, given humans usually weren’t her cup of tea. The thought of his chivalry put an insomniac to sleep that night and the very same thought shall today set the spirit of a wild caged soul free.
I don’t feel the need to leave a few words that perhaps will lurk in the lives of my people, serving as an excruciating reminder and the queer feelings that will be associated with it will only serve to defeat the purpose of slipping away as invisibly as possible in the realms of eternity. It will merely create a ripple effect of affliction, impacting the hearts I cherish the most to ache in grief of something symbolic of a celebratory cause. I believe my silence can speak volumes while my words may only serve to resurrect the essence of my being. This may commonly be misunderstood as selfish but I am rooting for the greater good here. However, sometimes, just sometimes silence is just as misinterpreted as words and I fear being misunderstood for making a bold choice yet again.
She wasn’t one of those who left their business half-done. She always has to have the last word.
Author’s Note: With two very renowned names committing suicide this month, I felt it was very important for me to publish this piece of prose I have written a while ago. The background of this prose is a conversation I landed in with a bunch of peers at a lunch a couple of months ago regarding what motivates suicide and how it is rightly ‘illegal’ on a social as well as religious account. It broke my heart that day to witness how ignorant we are even as an educated lot to not be able to acknowledge that each human mind paints and processes the taste of pain and this world uniquely and we cannot assemble any generalization when it comes to a human brain and heart. It failed me to know that they think that suicide is selfish and an attention seeking stunt; I was appalled by the audacity with which my peers so conveniently declared that suicide is usually an accident and a person never intends to take away their life but it is just a cry for help. It may be true in some cases but like I said before, we should refrain from making generalizations about such a serious issue and acknowledge that each human brain may have gone through ultimately a lot to even consider it to be a cry for help.
It is my humble request to play your part in embracing and spreading this message that mental health is as important, if not more, as your physical health. I have worked with groups promoting mental health awareness and believe you me when I say that we all have heard and read sufficient life stories to gather something as simple as this: life is often unpredictable and pain seldom times unbearable. At the end of the day, we are only human.
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reading this, I felt the mortal state of loneliness and suffering expressed so eloquently. You tapped into a unified experience though many are reluctant to admit to pain and loss. It is often hidden, culturally seen as ‘weak” and other defective expletives. We tend to blame, to judge, to justify and learn ways to escape feeling. “Life” offers many lures and alternate appeasements. Are they real? Objective? Subjective? Is Religion false as you suggest? For me, it is my starting point; but it is very true that Religion can deceive, surely the practice can be extremely false. What a man says is often not what is in his heart nor what he listens to in the quiet but long hours of the true testing of character. That is everyman’s journey. The moment when we face ourselves on the cliff is real. It belongs to us all as Life. Sometimes it takes decades to get there. How will the heart deepen to a Love that is powerful enough to override All? Can this be the beginning of one’s experience of God- our reach to something larger, greater and more powerful than ourselves. We are not the ones that created parent, mother, father, past nor future. We are not the silence. We are possibly the beauty that inspired the Silence, the Love that caused a Creator to motion the waves of Silence into motion. Could this beauty also be at the core of our hearts to write about? You are such a gifted writer! ….with you, for you and alongside you, LW
Naima, I am in awe after reading your prose and note at the end. I agree with you in being appalled at those who say suicide is selfish. I know nothing about being in that mindset, but my amateur thoughts tell me that one is so distressed, dealing with unbearable pain, that they are not thinking straight to even consider ending their own life. Thus, it is not a selfish act, but rather a case of mental health as you so brilliantly stated. It is so sad to hear of these cases that are becoming so frequent. My children (now in their 20’s) have both lost friends to suicide. This is something that my husband and I had never experienced at their age. It’s heartbreaking to hear of their loss, to hear that their friends felt no other options, and to feel the hurt they felt in losing their friends at young ages. Suicide is definitely a serious issue that needs addressing, but yet again, it’s an issue that holds two opinions. And it’s difficult persuading the other side.
Thank you for sharing your beautifully written story and thoughts. You are a very talented writer, and I’ve missed your posts. Take care, my friend…
Naima, your words moved me within, it has been a while, and yet my heart smiles at your growth in spirit and talent. missed you, my sister! Spiritual hugs and blessings always!