I am addicted to a man.
Sounds pretty ridiculous right? I mean, when you think of all the other things people are normally addicted to. But, just before you roll your eyes and turn up your noses at me or even judge me. Know this; I am not normal.
I have never been good at telling stories, not even my own. But, for you I’ll try. No, not for you, for me, for myself, it is important for me; it is the final step of my healing process.
The day it all began had been a normal day…. no, scratch that; normal wouldn’t do the day justice because, everyday up until that moment had always been a fantastic day for me. My family was a pretty small one, just me, my mom and my dad. It was not until later that I came to know that my mother had tried to have other children but, it wasn’t to be, because she had some implications when she gave birth to me and that was one of the reasons my mother hated me.
But, I never felt this hatred because my father more than made up for it in everyday; he was an amazing and wonderful man. He spoiled me silly, which was quite odd because I grew up in an era where children were beaten for every little thing they did.
My father would always say to me Adilah, “one day you’ll conquer the world, you’ll reach heights greatest than your imagination”. Well… I’m pretty sure he’d be turning in his grave because, his little girl did not conquer the world rather, she ran from it.
I would have loved to describe my father to you but, his physical features have become a hazy memory. I willed myself to forget because, I did not want to compare the face of the man I knew to the face of the man who was gruesomely murdered in front of me. The memories are vague but I think I remember he was a tall man with soft skin and thick moustache that I loved to play with anytime I sat on his laps. But, what I can never forget, is the positive essence and unconditional love that poured out of him towards me.
I used to sit on my father’s laps in our small and sparsely furnished living room, every night after dinner and he would tell me stories. Stories ranging from the adventures of the cunning tortoise to stories about how his day went, my father was like that, one minute he was talking to me like the child that I was and the next minute, he was talking to me like he would talk to an adult. When he talked to me like an adult, sometimes I understood but most times I didn’t but, I loved listening to his voice. So, I’d let his beautiful deep voice lull me to sleep right there on his laps with my head against his chest. We both needed each other because my mother treated us as if we did not exist.
I could go on and on about how wonderful my father was, how he’d gently wake me up and get me ready for school and still walk with me on the way to school. He wasn’t a rich man, he couldn’t afford a car but, it gave me the opportunity to enjoy our silent morning walks on the way to school. He always returned from work with a box of candy, I once heard my mother accuse him of spending ‘valuable money’ on me. But my mother’s disapproval was not enough to stop him from spoiling me with chocolate and candy. After all, she never approved anything.
He never spanked or yelled at me, one look from him was enough to tell me I had messed up. Instead of punishment he would sit me down and talk to me, he would talk and I would listen and sometimes he would listen and I would talk. That was how we resolved whatever issues we had. I got all the spanking and punishment from my mother.
That fateful day had been beautiful just like the rest, I had stuffed my face full of chocolate and was sitting on father’s lap already dozing off, I can’t remember which story he had been telling but, it was one of those cunning tortoise stories, when three masked men barged into our living room carrying machetes. It was my mother’s scream and father’s reflex that knocked sleep out of me.
My father pushed me away so suddenly, that I fell on the ground and broke my right arm on impact but, I did not feel the pain. My mother also dove to the ground and held me tightly as we both cowered in a corner while my father confronted the men.
“Who are you? What do you want?” He shouted at them. At that moment, I thought he was really brave to face huge men brandishing machetes. But as I grew older I came to the realization that hadn’t been brave, he’d been afraid; afraid for his family and afraid for himself.
The men responded to my father’s questions by hacking him with the machete, my mother fainted but I looked on in shock as they hacked my father, blow after blow. Even as he fell to the floor and his screams pierced my ears, I still couldn’t look away. We had neighbors but, no matter how loud my father screamed and cried, no one came to his rescue. And I looked on in helpless horror as the men killed my father.
Finally, he stopped screaming, his body lay lifeless on the ground, his eyes looked at me unseeing, his red flesh popped out of the injury marks all over him and his blood made a huge poodle around his body as it seeped out uncontrollably.
The men turned towards me, I couldn’t see their faces but, it looked to as if they were deciding on what to do with me. Eventually, they decided I wasn’t worth the stress so, they turned and left with their matchetes leaving a trail of my father’s dripping blood in their wake.
I crawled towards my father, taking in the whole thing, I traced my fingers over his wounds and he didn’t twitch. He was gone, he wasn’t coming back to me. I didn’t know who had done this to him or why they had done it to him. I didn’t cry, I couldn’t cry, instead I placed my head on his chest and closed my eyes.
The next time I opened my eyes, I was in a hospital bed with my left arm in a cast. My mother sat on a plastic chair beside the bed, all dressed in black. Machines were beeping and fluid was seeping into my body from the I.V. I didn’t understand why I was in a hospital.
“Thank God, Adilah you are awake.” my mother said, hurrying to my side. Her expression worried and sad.
“Where is dad?” I croaked, sounding unfamiliar to myself. But, just as the question dropped out of my mouth. Memories rushed back to me with so much force that I began to scream. I was reliving the night and it was too much for me, my mother ran out to call a doctor or a nurse, whoever was available. I was still screaming and thrashing on the bed uncontrollably when my mother came back in with a doctor. It had taken all the strength of the two nurses who came in with the doctor to hold me down while the doctor gave me an injection that put me to sleep.
I had spent two months in the hospital prior to my screaming fit, I missed my father’s burial because his family members decided that his death was too sad and sudden to leave his body lying cold in a mortuary. Besides, it was his right as a Muslim to have his body taken care of as soon as possible. So, they had buried him as soon as the police released his body to them. It hurt so much that I couldn’t say my last good-bye to a man who loved me and whom I loved in return. A man who made my life worth living. But, what hurt the most was that he was gone; murdered brutally yet, his murderers walked about as free as air.
One would have thought that my father’s death would have brought my mother and I closer. But, that wasn’t the case; we both dealt with our losses differently. For me, I began to cut myself.
Hey there, I hope you enjoyed this story. This story is a work in progress and is just an excerpt from a chapter of a novel I’m currently working on. It should be out for your consumption this time next year, In Sha Allah. Please leave your thoughts about it in the comment box I’d really love to know what you think. Also I’ll be revealing the details of my first giveaway in four days. Enjoy the rest of your day!