The attack

They said I would forget. The attack. That I would live and let live,  forgive and forget. But I couldn’t. Forget. I found it within me to forgive him, because I knew his situation,i understood it. I wasn’t able to forget. Could not. Would not. It haunted my dreams,  plagued my sleep with fear.  It was almost as if hee was there, watching me with those eyed.  Burning flames of anger that pierced the darkness

It was our last day here, we were travelling back home. It was a good trip, as far as holidays go. The people were friendly and welcoming, the food tickled our taste buds,  the sun kissed our cheeks, the wind blew it’s sweet breath on us, the music flowed through our bodies and the culture embraced us with open arms. We were exhilarated. Melancholic to be leaving this wonderful country behind.

He had been standing at the edge of the railings of the stairs. I hadn’t noticed him at first. Then I felt a pickling sensation on my neck and turned self consciously around. His eyes had been boring into my skull, almost penetrating  it with that anger that lurked so close behind those eyes. I don’t remember anything else of his features.  Only those eyes. Eyes that burned with hatred and deepest loathing.

I thought something else had made him so angry and brushed it off. Perhaps I was just unfortunate enough to be within his range. I turned away from him and carried on walking. I didn’t notice him striding purposefully toward me.

A cry rang behind me and I whirled to locate the source. I had turned almost completely when a fist connected with my face. I had staggered under the impact of the blow.  It knocked me to the ground and blood spurted out of my nose, gushing deep red. My mind reeled from the blow, and my thought thoughts grew foggy and i could barely comprehend what was happening. He continued his assault and in my haze I heard him spit out words with each blow.

Kick. “Go”

Punch. “Back”

Kick. “To”

Punch. “Your”

Kick “count-”

Punch. “-try”.

He repeated it again and again, slamming his fists and feet into me each time. My eyes swelled up and I saw nothing else but two black pinpricks. His eyes. Brimming with uncontained rage, depths upon depths of loathing. They were the only things that I saw. As if his hatred for me formed a fog around me. That  hatred reflected into my eyes and all I saw was disgust. Where I had once seen hope, lights and love, I now saw despair, darkness and disgust. Hatred. Detest. For me.

They said I would forget. The attack. It’s funny now to think about it. I don’t remember what he looked like, only those eyes that burned with hate. They even have a name for such attacks.  Before I’d say it with pity and sympathy. For those poor people who had been subjected to such despicable things. Now I spit it out with bitterness, with sorrow. With fear. Everytime I think about that day I hear that word over and over and over and over and over.

Kick.” Zee”






Glides and Dives

It had become a sort of routine for her. She’d open the doors leading to the garden, and sit on the bench near the wall. Then the birds would begin their flight. She’d crane her head to the sky, and watch them soar in the endless blue. The birds were a mix of breeds; crows, pigeons, swallows, doves, but that didn’t really matter to her. She’d just watch them in awe, as they glided, swooped and dived, then rose back up. Sometimes they would close ranks and fly together round and round, forming a bird-like whirlpool, before they’d separate again. She would watch them with a small smile on her face,  not wishful that it was her that was flying with then but simply content with admiring them. She would spent almost the whole afternoon just sitting there looking at they birds in the sky, until the sun began to set low and the birds started returning  to their nests. She would get up from the bench and would walk back into the house, closing the doors. Until the next day. It was only until she was in the house where the  contentness turned into melancholy. It was the kind of melancholy where one didn’t feel sad because of any particular circumstance, it was the kind that was simply felt because you wanted more. And she wanted nothing more but to be free like the birds who soared above her. But then she’d remember that even their freedom was limited. Altough they had the sky; endless, boundless, limitless, they eventually had to return down to the ground. And that scared her more than anything. Because if she was stuck here in this cycle of school, home, studying then the birds were stuck in the cycle of fly, land and take off. They could never simply carry on and keep moving forward, they had to come down at some point. Everything and everyone was the same. Limited to what had been assigned to them, forced to go through the same thing,  day after day with no reprieve. The only finalty  they had that it would end was death. And what then? What after death? Would there be  change, would she become something else in death? Would there be anything after death? The afterlife that priests, imams, rabbis and gurus spoke of? She yearned for an answer but could find none. So she resigned herself to a life of not knowing,  and continued her almost routine. Watching the birds soar and dive above her in the sky, a small smile on her face. Lost in that endless, expansive blue.