She dug her nails deeper into my back, baring laser-whitened teeth. The pupils in her green, widened eyes were reduced to a speck, unblinking. Her left brow twitched and she remained frozen, her stab in my back shot through me at consistent intervals, not once losing its initial intensity.

I didn’t struggle; I couldn’t move from her clasp. My brain commanded me to move, to save myself, to be free. Yet, the heart is a matter that won over the mind, claiming that it was better to be of the oppressed than to stoop to the level of the oppressor.

Nur – that was her name. There was nothing bright about her as she struck – she encompassed all levels of darkness, solidified it – radiating an overpowering stench of hypocrisy that filtered through the gloom.

She had an illuminating smile once, and a shoulder that any burden could be placed on with ease, and it took one imbalance to throw her into an abyss.

“I loved you,” she muttered, her lower lip trembling as she struggled with love. “I really did love you.” She took ‘love hurts’ to an extreme level of reality.

Malek had left her, one day decided they were the epitome of black and white, that there was nothing attracting about opposites stumbling along, tripping over one another and forever standing still. She in turn grasped me, leaving me thinking that at some point her sharp tartness would one day ferment into a refreshing sweet lemonade if I gave her enough comforting support. Her bitterness evolved, deepened,  leaving an insistent zing. My awe of her tough exterior made me believe there was a tenderness that could be honed, scooped out and preserved. I bled.

My mother named me Amila, the ever hopeful who clung on to the wishful thoughts that some day she’d see my flesh beneath her nails, and know that she’d stolen a part of me for herself.

© The Londoner, July 2011.


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