I am breathless and my whole body shivers. There is gloom around me. And its hard to see things clearly. The path is rough and curvy. I have trouble moving. I look around but there is nothing but graves and sky-high trees. The graves are scary. Some of them are tiled, some are without tiles, some are small and some broad. There are shadows lingering over me. A black, apron flies in the air and swirls around. I turn icy cold. My lips are dry and suddenly I see a rusty gigantic gate. There is some light over there. I want to move my steps but something stops me. It is a funeral coming from there. People in black, people in white. I can’t see their faces. They have masks- black shinny masks. A man puts the coffin near an open grave. He holds the dead body and drops him in it. I feel spooky. My hands are cold and my lips dry. “Why are you standing here,” a man asks.
“A…aaa….” I can hardly speak up. Turning my face back, I run quickly. “Let me tell your papa, you are hiding here,” I hear him saying. “No…don’t….” I plead halting near a bamboo tree.
The man laughs,” ha ha ha”
He takes off his mask. He is uncle Ammar.
I know he wouldn’t stop. So, I try to stretch my lips pretending to smile. “No, I am going home.”
“No, you are not. Let me take you home,” he steps forward.
“Noooooo…” I cry putting pressure on my throat. He holds me from shoulder, “Pinky…pinky…” I open my eyes sleeping among the Eid guests. Rubbing my eyes, I greet everyone in a low voice, “Asalam o Alykum!”
No one bothers answering. Shahana, Sara and the guests are gossiping. Papa seems in a bad mood. His eyes are red and his mouth foaming. He is shouting on mama. Posy and uncle Ammar playing cricket. Grandma stands aside smiling.
“Why is she smiling? Why is papa shouting at mama? Why is mama crying? Why no one stops papa?” So many questions pile up my mind. But I can’t ask anybody. I am afraid nobody would answer.
“Can’t ask papa, he misbehaves in anger. Can’t ask grandma, she doesn’t like the subject. Can’t ask aunties, I already know their answer: It’s mama’s fault. Can’t ask Ammar, he says what grandma says. Can’t ask Posy, she will be scared like me. What to do? May be I should run away from home.
It is time of sunset. I can see sun half-in, half out far away. Sky is clean and I can predict a starry night. There are children in street. “Oh yes, it’s Eid day. Papa won’t scold me,” I remind myself and run to a friend’s home. It is ten steps away.
(to be continued..)