breaking down

Let the world around you gradually slip away and fade into an indefinite period of numbness. Allow the air surrounding you to decay your heart, body and soul. Become a body of nothingness. Allow your vulnerabilities to slip past you and reach the surface – let everyone know. Take pride in your insecurities. Whether you invite them or not, they shape your personality and eventually how you identify yourself. There is nothing to be ashamed of.


Chantel suddenly awoke. She didn’t realise she was suffering from sleep paralysis until she noticed the bulky shadow lingering over her body – that of her father’s colleague. She was drugged. As she silently struggled her shrill screeches decayed into consistent soundless gestures that even a hawk couldn’t sense. She accepted her fate.

Who could she tell? No one would believe her. Chantel was only eight, after all. A girl at such an age doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand the world that has formed independently around her – like a steel cage guarding a snake. The flimsy, feeble, child strolled the corridor of her father’s palatial office at the law firm he worked. Her attractive red-and-white polka-dot dress torn up into shreds – the very ground around her splashing a vivid image of her appearance with all the bits and pieces of her clothes slipping off of her body onto the reflective ground.
“Chantel! What have you done? That dress was worth five-hundred dollars!” barked Nigel Woods, the famous father of the skinny girl. Regardless of the response she had thought up, it probably wasn’t going to be up to the intellectual mark her father would have wanted – and the child was taken home.

I clench my body as the very life around me slowly disappears. I do not want to look at the body-length mirror my mother bought me (to keep myself pretty). I do not want to examine my dumpster of a body. I am lying in my posh double bed now – gazing around my glittery room and worshipping the idea of another life. The portraits hung up on the walls of the empty corridors surrounding my room are misleading now – it has been one month and I haven’t welcomed a smile like this one – I mentioned to myself – acknowledging it – while I glanced at a picture I took at The Blue Mosque. I wish I could go back. I can’t go back.

I think I ought to have another chance. Do I deserve another chance? My diluted voice and my hideously naive smiles have failed me – my drowned out hopes and my fake black tears are helpless and the life I never dreamt of, is. There is a strange absoluteness to the sounding of my voice now. I lurch towards my cosmic dressing room door and pull out my favourite burgundy cardigan – the last one my late grandmother had knitted me – and a handsome turquoise scarf I would wear whenever my religious friend, Saema, would visit me.

I am twelve years old now and my life has ended. The music that had constantly rang in my ears has now reached its climax. It has accomplished the inevitable goal of keeping me accompanied as I recognised the gullibility of my character and soul. As I pull together the shillings of my life that remain, I muster up the courage with my eyes shut tight and my head pulled brutally back – my hair tightened to a busty bun to prevent any interference from God, to face the brutality of the finality of life. I am ready. I slipped my feet upwards and tossed the filthy chair aside where my feet were resting. I am clenching onto the life I thought I wanted to disappear from. I will (never) let go.

I have, now,




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