“The Figments of Our Imagination” by Imaan Siddiq

It wasn’t the wavering verdancy that I wanted to be a deceased part of or perhaps a constituent of a quivering past. Maybe these words are after all mine to write or perhaps the contemplation of a few meaningful conversations, for how can I seem to forget the corner we solely used to revert to, a safe space indeed. Or maybe, the flurries of comforting words and uprooting silences that compose and detach, either into an entity of grief or two friends lost in a graveyard full of buried hopes.

I reminisce, darting down the school hallway as if breathing the same air as humanity was an irrevocable sin, as if friendship was an antidote constituting its own curse, after all I ended up being the victim of a crime I did not commit. I can’t clearly recall when Zahira shoved me into the wall, or smacked me across the face or did she threaten me with my own secrets and vulnerabilities? It doesn’t really matter. Did I yell at her or silenced my revolt; did words cure it or do they still ignite the burns of a dormant inferno? Friendship was perhaps just a utopian ideal, anonymous to the arms of a wandering nomad that aimed to find solace under the wilting willow tree. But to what wonder does it invoke, if a mortal hangs from an iota of mortality and constitute a vain perpetuity, for there lies freedom in death.

“Hey, are you feeling okay?” I clutched my abdomen and sucked up reality as Amnah stood beside my desk with an evident expression of distress. I gave a promising look but she seemed adamant, “Are you sure you’ll be fine, you usually stay back late after recess?” I nodded in hypocritical approval as if human interaction was a vice I never wanted to commit again. I went to bed that night, feeling conflicted, as if the cosmology had stained the constellations of my testament. Little did I know, it was the silence prevailing the act.

The sun faded ever so gracefully the next day, as I took my newly prescribed medications to diagnose a condition that remained unexplainable over the course of six years and then with hushed sobs made my way to bed to prolong my chances of survival or perhaps to not worsen the migraine, the anxiety, the suffocation and the everlasting fatigue. I prayed that night, but my words seemed lost. I felt as if I was being buried in my bed and contentedness kept showering over the miniscule number of people in my life, for there was no meaning left to supplicate and no sustenance that was adequate, but I forced my eyes shut. It came to me gradually, the day Amnah inquired, “What was the worst day in your life?” I tried to gaze into her eyes but always hindered in this enveloping ache of inadequacy, “When I tried to kill myself.” She glanced away quietly and I forgot what I murmured. However I waited, ever so patiently to fade away in a relentless slumber to a Land of Eden where I sought a hand to be held or perhaps an orchard of daisies persisting among the despotism.

I sat beside Amnah the next morning, like every other day and I could sense the stillness, a ravine of words left unsaid. I never deemed her to be this quiet, this reserved, but it was probably because I didn’t belong. The skies poured that day, as if infinity was in a mutual symbiosis that I couldn’t quite fathom. I waited in fortitude for her afterschool class to end so I could fumble a few words in conversation but it ended up being a priceless rhapsody of contemplations as she talked about her family and I about mine as we walked among the drenched earthen layers and relished the earnesty in our voices and our stories. Fate interceded nonetheless and Amnah had to go back home, but if my memoirs still remain imperative to my existence, I sobbed behind a book after she left, and the words diverged and converged into a singularity of dusk.

I can’t seem to omit the aggression that stemmed in my house the following month, for it came to me in a daze and left me numb. My own ink of blood was eventually going to have to be the resounding full stop, as silence stooped over and Amnah struggled with her loss of words with my condition. Perhaps I will just leave it at that, as I hyperventilated in my sleep one night on a day of no specific date and woke up to feel the pillow beneath my head being soaked with blood. I couldn’t comprehend nor did my vision allow me to as I passed out cold. Maybe it was just soaked with my relentless and pointless weeping last night as the vice and virtue ached with a ring of absolution and I was the medium of repentance.

“This too shall pass…” Amnah whispered quietly as we were used to the silence. I glanced at her and smiled, I felt at peace as gratitude overflowed the harrowing fields of anguish and the winds carried away in their bosoms, a bad omen. In this stillness of a void, I remained speechless at the prepossession of a virtuous presence that envelops in empathy and amnesty, something yet of an unfathomable depth. However, at times I wonder, whether the colours we see are alive and thriving or just figments of our imagination, a tireless effort perhaps to make the vice seem more alluring.  

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