written for the Daily prompt: If you leave

I have this fantasy that I’d like to not be where I am anymore.  Sometimes I wish I was just an orphan with no human ties.  No family weddings and funerals and formalities.  I’ve never known how to act in awkward situations like comforting someone who’s experienced great loss.  I struggle to say ‘I love you’ to my mother.  Not because I don’t.

I have this fantasy to just find a way to leave here and go live somewhere natural and beautiful where there’s nothing much else around.  No people.

A sweet memory of the past

Written for The Daily Post:Time after time

Tradition is not something I do for pleasure.  But the memory of them is pleasurable (even if, like now, they sometimes make me cry).  It keeps the child in me alive.  The feeling of trusting someone completely, feeling safe, and belonging somewhere.

The night before Eid was a special night to the child version of me.  My mother was a single mother.  We knew she loved us, but she didn’t have a lot of time to show us because she worked so many hours to keep us safe and warm.  The memory of the night before Eid is something I will always cherish.  The soothing smell of sweet things baking in the oven.  Helping in the kitchen, fitting on our fancy specially made dresses for the next day.  Going to bed late.  Licking the leftover cake batter still clinging to the mixing bowl.  A whole night of two happy little girls in love with their mother.

People who thrive on diminishing others


There are people among us who thrive on diminishing others.  You find them everywhere, at work, in the family, masquerading as friends, romantic partners …  they have for whatever combination of life circumstances, developed this modus operandi of subtly but effectively belittling others.  And why they mostly get away with it is because the rest of (unsuspecting) us have been raised to respect the feelings and boundaries of others, to be kind, and give others a chance before we give ourselves a chance.

What I have learnt is they cannot make me feel ashamed of my expectations.  They cannot make me ashamed of my feelings.  They cannot make me ashamed of my passion.  They cannot force their beliefs on me.   They cannot discredit my opinions.  They cannot make me do anything I don’t want to do.  Their opinion about me is not important.  They cannot make me feel small.  I don’t allow them that power over me anymore.

Dear Daddy

I did not love you.  I do not miss you.  I don’t hate you.  I never did.  I am happy you were never there.  I feel nothing about you being gone.

I cried at your funeral, I still cry sometimes.  I feel bad for the way you died.  Just the way I might feel sorry for a character in a movie who was just a ficticous stranger.

It hurts that you didn’t care enough to be around.  It hurts when they tell me you were kind and generous despite your ways.  You were not kind to me.  You gave a stranger a car.  You were kind like that.  We walked kilometers in the rain. 

I hated when mummy spoke bad about you.  Not because it was unfair, but because it was her choice.  It was her mistake.  I was angry for very long.  I know now she is  human.  I didn’t know.  She was very young.  Young people make lots of mistakes.

I don’t judge you.  It still hurts.  It is how it is.