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Tabassum Hasnat

Drama Tragedy


Tabassum Hasnat

Drama Tragedy

I Miss You Ma

I Miss You Ma

11 mins 276 11 mins 276

Tossing the comforter out of the bed, I placed the numbing arm of mine underneath my head. My wide opened lids stung, as I glared at the blazing rays of the dawn. I could hear the deafening silence persistently ringing in the depths of my ears as I turned to the other side of the bed. A dry chuckle left from the confinement of my parched lips when I realized that once again the hollowness that dwelled within me was back, crawling its way into the fibers of my mind and snatching every tad of slumber from these bloodshot and swelled eyes of mine.

I looked at the alarm clock resting on the headboard of my bed, flinching as a familiar yet unknown heaviness gnawed at my chest upon realizing how I didn't need that loud cackling alarm to wake me up anymore. My fingers trailed the jagged outline of the broken alarm clock, as a fleeting snippet of the past crossed my mind, making me stare at it blankly. And that's when I remembered, how you used to set it up one hour before putting me to sleep while tucking me under those Mickey mouse printed quilts. I remembered, how you used to shut that annoying blaring of the clock early in the morning and scream at the top of your lungs while I held the quilt tightly over my head and pretending to be sleeping soundly. But then, you stopped setting this alarm up, and stopped calling out my name while huffing and puffing with annoyance. And there, this clock remained beside my head- all broken and covered with zillion specks of dust.

Clenching my fingers around the rusted handle of my wardrobe, I pulled it open, a bit startled as the messy heaps of clothes fell onto the floor with a soft thud. I found myself stumbling backwards, gripping the side of the wardrobe as your face flashed across the back of my lids. And that's when I remembered, how you used to rebuke me for keeping my clothes messily strewn across the whole room. I remembered, how you used to pull me away from the cupboard and take the reign of it in your own hands as you kept folding every piece of my cloth meticulously by yourself only to be found scattered and shriveled the next day. I remembered you holding out the prettiest outfit for me every morning, while I sat on the bed ranting about how I had run out of nice dresses. But then, you stopped cleaning and sorting my wardrobe, you stopped helping me to choose my outfits. And there, my wardrobe was- all nothing but a bunch of jumbled and shriveled clothes piled up together.

Drumming the tips of my fingers along the cold metal of the banister, I padded my way into the kitchen with a thumping anticipation of getting that familiar smell of my favorite pancakes and coffee to be kept covered on the table. I knew, it was futile to be expecting you to hum your favorite song loudly while making the breakfast for us, yet I walked sneakily towards the kitchen to catch that one glimpse of yours. I knew, it was foolish to be expecting to see you flipping the pancakes while you brewed the coffee, yet I could hear my stomach growling to have the best breakfast made by you; yet I could feel myself longing to hear you scolding me for eating without following those table etiquettes that you had taught me so lovingly and patiently. But then, all I saw was an orange note stuck on the countertop.

"Grab a brunch for yourself sweetie, and no need to wait up for me " - the note said, rather screamed sardonically at the false hopes that I continued to feed my soul.

Nibbling on the bowl of my favorite fruit loops cereal, I walked towards the recliner - halting in the midway when I saw the ghost of a memory of the past enlivening before my bare eyes. And that was when I recalled, how you used to sit on that red leathered recliner, with my head on your lap. I remembered, how you used to let those warm fingers of yours run through the knots of my hair while I complained to you about the silly and nonsensical fights with my friends. I remembered, how you would rub your nose against mine, and tickle my belly causing me to break into countless fits of laughter.

But then, you stopped sitting on that recliner. You stopped spending those lazy afternoons with me nestled up against you and making me laugh with your tickles while I kept pestering you with my constant blabbering. And there that chair was, standing in front of me - all cold and devoid of your warmth and love that once used to cover every inch of it.

Holding the watering pot with my palms, I watered the plants in the balcony while brushing my fingers against the tiny yet to bloom white buds when a thorn pricked me. I closed my eyes, hoping for the slight burning to fade away, rather another fragment of the past seemed to crept its way back into the wrecked depths of my mind. No wonder, making me to remember those days when you used to water these plants while whispering and mumbling gently to them incessantly. I remembered, how I used to giggle with my hand on my mouth when I caught you talking to these plants, while all you would say was that these were your companions and best of all friends. I remembered myself yawning when you kept telling me to take care of the plants and to make them the friends of my solitude. But then, you stopped fostering these plants and the flowers that blossomed to life upon them. You stopped watering them let alone talking to them. And here I was, trying to water the already wilted plants back to life while their thorns kept pricking me; while they kept mocking me, reminding me that how futile it was to salvage the withered remnants of the past.

I trod past the somber corridor, with my palms on my ears as the perpetual silence kept barking somewhere around me. I faltered in my steps, as the hollowness kept following behind me, tapping its feet impatiently and waiting to seize my insides. I rushed towards your room, despite the fact that you wouldn't be there. Slamming the door of your room shut behind me, I slouched down against it and onto the carpet as I felt the harsh slap of reality across my face. You weren't there, yet I could see your familiar presence lingering in every corner of the room. I lifted my gaze up, finally collapsing against the door as my eyes saw that photograph still placed on your bedside table. I inhaled sharply, trying to stop my mind from repeating those bits of the our once blissful past.

But, it was too late to avert my gaze away when I remembered how I had draped my arm around you and another around that man who was my father. I remembered us laughing and chuckling that day when the photographer told us to give the widest smile. I remembered, you holding me in your arms while I held my father's fingers as we looked at the camera with nothing but sheer happiness emanating from our souls and contentment filling every chamber of the hearts of ours. But then, it was all gone- our happiness, and my perfect family when the man who was my father chose to leave us; when the man who was your rock chose to turn his back on his responsibilities; when the man whom you had given your all chose a life without us because you and I weren't the ones he needed or wanted and because we weren't the life he wanted to settle for.

And that was when, I remembered him walking out of the door, while you stood by the stairs holding the banister so tight that your knuckles had gone nothing but lucid white. I remembered you standing by the stairs- numbed from all the pleading and begging; cold from the betrayal of his, and stoic from the endless hours of wails and whines. And soon, I found myself recollecting the way I had rushed back to my room and pulling the covers over my head while the once perfect family that I had since my birth kept fragmenting and shattering somewhere far away from me yet right in front of me. I recalled myself closing those eyes of mine in an attempt to sleep and wipe off this nightmare from the back of my mind, trying to erase the stain of that horrific reality from the pits of my soul. And how could I not remember that was the day when I lost you too? That was the day when I lost the woman who used to be my mother, my friend and my everything in this vast universe.

And how could I have ever forgotten, that was the day when you stopped looking at me with the love that you always had for your daughter and started to see me as the responsibility that needed to be carried out for the rest of your life. That was the day when you stopped seeing me as the part of your soul that I always had been, rather as the burden that was placed atop your shoulders without any prior notice. That was the day when you stopped looking after me not as your daughter but as an obligation that needed to be lifted off your shoulders at the earliest.

Twisting the knob of my door, and locking it instantly, I stood by the window of my room. And there, my heart cracked again as a fleeting memory of the past pierced through my soul. And that was when I remembered how you used to bang on the door at night with a bowl of lukewarm hair oil in your hands, waiting to give me the best head massage of the world. And I remembered, how I would run away from you, disgusted by the very stench of the oil. And now, I could feel myself yearning for those hands of yours to work its magic on my head, removing every ache that resided within me and imparting your warmth and affection in the empty pits of my soul. And here I was, almost on my knees, desperate and antsy to see that one familiar glimpse of the woman that once loved me with her all - before life compelled her to turn into the strong-headed and cold-hearted woman that she never wanted to be in this world that already a dearth of love and tenderness.

My fingers traced the dried tears on my cheeks, as the bruises of the present kept tugging at my cracked heart and hollow soul. The resounding silence was swallowing me in its entirety, leaving me incapable of breathing in the abyss of ceaseless emptiness that kept raging inside of me. They said, a mother could never be a father - but you proved them wrong by becoming the father of my life, however at the price of losing yourself forever, at the cost of depriving me of the woman whom I had known to be my mother since the day you held me in your womb; since the day you brought me to this expanse called the world, giving me the warmth that my soul needed to overcome the coldness of this world and giving me the love that my heart needed to thrive amid all the odds that this world had thrown at me.

Gripping the curtains, I stared at the fickly hues of the sky while the clouds that adorned it kept rolling and rumbling, shrouding the sinking sun far away in the glowing horizon. I knew you wouldn't return to this place that we called home any moment from now; I knew you told me not to keep waiting for you. Yet, I couldn't help but look over my shoulders haplessly to see you coming through the door and engulfing me in one of those overwhelming motherly hugs that you used to give me when life wasn't this hard on you. I couldn't help but hope to get that love of yours back that was now buried deep underneath the weight of the life that you had to choose only because of me. I couldn't help but wish to find you seeing me as that daughter of yours, rather than a mere responsibility that a man left behind for you to fulfill.

I curled my hair into a braid while turning off the lamp beside my bed once again allowing the nasty darkness to rear its ugly head and consume me wholly; after all I knew, you wouldn't be sitting beside me anymore to lull me into sleep. After all, despite all these years that had passed with me longing for my mother I knew I had to keep burning away in this relentless thirst to find that love for your daughter that you had suppressed within that heart of yours due to the steadfast stack of worldly hardships and duties of being a single parent. And now, I had known better than to keep waiting for you to come and kiss me good night.

"I miss you Ma.. "- I mumbled, letting the darkness to swallow me in the fathomless abyss of that perpetual hollowness as I felt myself go numb with the dampness on the pillow caused by my own tears and aches that were engraved in every bone of my being - constantly reminding me how I was rendered to a mere responsibility to the woman who was the very core of my existence.

But then, I could feel the comforter being pulled over my forearms, and lips pressing softly on the top of my hair. I could see your presence with my drowsy eyes, loitering hither and thither before I finally succumbing to the momentary peace of slumber. And there again, in the depths of my mind, I heard a voice laughing at me and at the hopeless ways I tried to delude myself away from the cold, numbing reality that now awaited in a hiatus before once again snatching every ounce of peace and sanity from my being.

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