Glass by Nouf Al Nafisee

Posted on November 15, 2011 by

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She puts on a smile, a strong face. Too many are fooled by it, and barely any of them can tell something’s wrong.

People consider her shallow. They think she’s transparent and that they can see right through her in one glance. If only they knew. A wound has been cut right through her months ago, and it hadn’t healed yet.

She sits in a room full of people who look down on her and tries to blend in adding oohs and aahs. She wasn’t paying any attention to one word. All she wanted was to be far away from all the judgmental pitying eyes.

She left without excusing herself and drove straight to their spot. Placing her thick shawl on the damp grass, she sat down and took off her high heels. As she looked at the small lake that’s water rippled effortlessly, she rediscovered how peaceful this spot was. Almost mocking her agitation and violent heartbeat.

Here’s where they’d met. Twenty years later, that’s where he had proposed. They were both sitting on the grass – after much persuasion in her case – and having a late night picnic. It happened so naturally, as if god was preparing them for it all their lives. They were man and wife only five weeks later.

He saw right through her. He knew how very delicate she was, like a thin fragile layer of glass. People think she’s see-through to them. What they don’t know is that the only person she was ever so clear and transparent to was him.

When he left for war, she stayed hopeful. When she received the news of his passing, she was shattered. It was like everything she had planned out had ended in vain.

Her days and nights melded together, trailing behind and before her in an unending aisle. She was so submerged in misery, until she couldn’t find a reason to go on living other than the hope that this boy would be half the man his father was. And if it was a girl, she hoped she would have her father’s eyes and the warmth behind them.

She stayed there, in their spot, and stared at nothing in particular until the deepest hours of the night. She was brought back to reality as warm beams cascaded through the trees and blinded her momentarily.

That’s when it hit her. She placed her hand on her stomach where living cells were multiplying inside her. She was expecting a new person coming into her world within months! She would be the most pathetic mother if she tried to raise a child in this state of depression. She’d have to gather what was left of herself and build walls around her. Roman Empire style.

She started her engine, and drove away leaving both her weakness and her shawl behind.

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