They carried me into the familiar comfort of my home for the last time. I saw all of them – my mother, my father, my sister. Everyone was crying. Of course, they would. Who wouldn’t?
I saw my aunts and uncles and grandmothers and cousins. They wore shock and pain.
I was worried for my grandmothers. We were close. I wondered what they were thinking.
“You were always an inquisitive child! And so naughty! “
” Where have you been these days? Why don’t I get to see you? “
“May God give you all the happiness in this world. You make us so proud.”
I looked towards the statue that was my mother. The aristocratic beauty was nowhere to be seen.
“You were always my strength, my pride! You are the asset of my life! “
The woman of strength was lost in the irreplaceable shell of destiny.
I walked towards my father. An old, tired man sat in his place now. He seemed not to know me. Tsk!
“Who invented the bulb? “
” Edison! “
” And who invented the aeroplane? “
” Umm… the White Brothers! “
” Hahaha! No, the Wright Brothers! “
I searched for the irresponsible, happy-go-lucky girl who was my little sister. I couldn’t find her. And then I caught sight of a girl who looked exactly like her, except that she was sober and…she looked five years older than her. And unlike her, she was quiet. Very quiet.
They scared me – these new people who had hijacked my family.
“What would you have done if you didn’t have me as an elder sister?”
“I wouldn’t have missed you, yaa know..”
“Wouldn’t have known you so how could I have missed you, silly! “
I turned around. It was time to go back. Finally. But I was arrested by the faces around me.
I saw my friends and I wondered who they would exchange existential crises with, over warm cups of tea. I wondered who would annoy them with their raw philosophies. I wondered who would sit next to who on the plane when they would finally go on that world trip. I wondered if they would think of me while ordering extra cheese on their pizza. I wondered if they would miss the ‘rabbit food’. I wondered if colorful folders would remind them of me. I wondered…
And then I saw my Lost Friend and I wondered if regret and realization existed…
It was getting late and He was calling me and I was scared and nervous and excited. With big eyes, I tried memorizing the faces of the loved ones and the hated ones – for thanks to them, I had discovered my ability to hate. As I was scanning the commemoration for one last time, I saw my Best Friend.
Your eyes, my dear Best Friend, were rimmed with unshed tears that were made of God send grief, unfaltering strength, overwhelming love, infinite care and responsible bravery. I tried not to let my gaze waver, to hold yours, and to speak through the thread of silent communication – to tell you how proud I was of you. That moment revealed to me a new you, the one I thought never existed. We were going to miss each other, Best Friend.
I await the reunion in the skies.
I half-heartedly went to my vehicle. I was going where I was destined to, leaving behind a human legacy in the form of those who loved me – conditionally or unconditionally – and would stifle sobs over the void that I had created. How easy it was for me to move on to my final destination after blowing a tsunami over the serene lives that were intertwined with mine! But they too, would eventually join me, and we would either play together or burn together. And I was not an important leader, I was not a respected philanthropist, I was not a life-saving doctor, I was not a celebrated artist – I was nothing. I was a mere statistic filling the population count, adding to the number of students enrolled in a medical university. I was nothing, my absence was nothing, my presence was nothing.
I lay down. The white curtain was drawn. I was lifted up. We moved.
“God is great! God is great!”
The loud silence hovering above the house was deafening.
The prayers were over. I was lowered into the mud from which I came. I was covered with the mud which I had rubbed off my entire life. I was cloaked in white. White was my favorite color. The Ka’aba was black and gold. Black is my favorite color too.
My soul shuddered. I was going to Him. Would He forgive me? Would He accept the good I had done in selfish hopes of a reward? Would He punish me for the all my sins – intentional and unintentional?
And the last handful was thrown. I was hauled into symmetrical darkness. It had begun.