|OIL PAINTING BY R. KINGMAN|
Some say that when people are young, they have nothing to worry about. They do not need to worry about making money, being successful and finding the one, etc. I grew up to overthrow this supposition. Kids? they worry. They worry about their mommy and pappy not loving them enough or equally. They worry when they see their parents fighting. They worry when they think that it is their fault that a bad man tried to molest them. They worry that they will fail their parents if they do not get a good mark. They worry when their parents lose control over their temper and beat them for a reason and no reason. They cry their eyes out silently because they think that nobody cares enough to wipe away their tears and hug them tightly and tell them that everything is going to be alright. It hurts when one thinks nobody cares. It wounds one's heart and damages one's soul forever. Unfortunately, most humans fail to see the whole point behind being more evolved than the rest of the earthly creatures. If you get emotionally, sexually and/or physically abused, you will change forever. The moment you are born, your environment will have a hand in the type of person you will grow up into. No matter how much you try, you will always have little control. But little control is way better than no control at all.
I was looking for the album of my photos taken when I used to be a little girl who had nothing to worry about, so they say..
Photos brought out memories of the first person I fell in love with when I was about 3 years old. He was the son of my mother's close friend. We used to play together. Whenever we played soccer, I favored him over my own brother. There is a photo of us I could never forget. I was wearing a cute blue dress and riding a white bicycle while he was pulling my hair trying to get me off the bicycle.
His daddy never loved him, or so he told me. I remember his mother being tough on him most of the time. One time, we were studying at the garage when we were 12. We ate some cake and suddenly he started to throw up in front of me and he kept asking me to go away so that I will not see him that way. But I could not. I was too worried about him. His mother showed up and she kept yelling at him and telling him that he deserved it. She turned to me and said:
"Don't worry about him, Aisha. He will be fine. He brought it on himself anyway."
I felt bad for him because he was sick and because his mother did not show him compassion. But who am I to say that? I was exposed to the same treatment whenever I fell sick. I have never realized how heart broken it is till I witnessed it being exercised on someone I loved. That's when I realized I did not really use to love myself. I got used to that treatment as it being the norm. How could I love myself when I felt that I was their least favored child? When I was constantly told that I have an ugly face? That I am going to be stupid no matter how much I try?
Tough love, they call it. There is no tough love and soft love. There is either love or no love at all.
A few months later, our mothers found out about us. They punished us. They asked us to never speak to each other ever again. His mother sent my mother a gift I gave him once. I gave him a book. I like trading books, receiving them as gifts and giving them to the people I love. Books are the most elegant gifts of all. I am almost 25 years old now and never have I ever given a book to someone and kept being on good terms with them.
I thought that it was over between us till one day he asked a friend to deliver me a message from his part. He said:
"Didn't we agree on never leaving each other no matter what? Are you going to break your promise?"
We got back together for a few weeks till we broke up again. He broke up with me because school decided that I was too stupid for him. He was getting way better marks than me. I was not good enough for him. I felt heartbroken. My refuge thought I was not smart enough. A year later, puberty hit me. I became prettier. Almost everyone I met fell for me, including four of his friends. Suddenly he fell back in love with me. He wanted me back. But I was too pretty, too smart and too heartbroken to be with him. He started to fail in school. I started to get better marks. That was my revenge.. To make a better person out of myself when everybody I knew thought that I was not good enough.
He started to drink excessively, skip class, have daily fights with his father, spend the nights out.. His family started to go through financial setbacks. He was just a kid. Around 15 years old. His life was going downhill. I made it worse by not loving him back, unintentionally. He was once my love, my refuge, my friend, my childhood companion and secret keeper. I felt bad. I cried for I knew how bad it feels to love someone who does not love you back.
A few years have passed..
The sky was celebrating the first flush of morning when someone's knocking on the door disturbed my light sleep. It was his mother.
"My son got arrested by the police. They said he was about to leave to Syria for Jihad.."
She kept talking but I failed to hear what she was trying to say as if suddenly I went deaf. All I could hear was the sound of blood rushing to my head and trying to burst out of my ears.
He decided to grow a beard, wear an alien outfit and receive training on fighting and using weapons. He was getting ready to shoot people, slaughter them, cut off their hands, scourge them, stone women to death, etc. He was actually going to do that, haven't he been seized by local authority.
The one who was once my love, my refuge, my friend, my childhood companion and secret keeper was dead.. to me.
When his mother visited him in prison and tried to convince him to confess and repent and told him that she will find him a good wife and help him open a business, he replied:
"My wife will be waiting for me in Heaven."
~ Will not be continued ~