Rising From Ashes

By Rukha Ali
March 7, 2016

I raised the gun to my head. Without letting any thoughts come in my way, I pressed the muzzle to my temple, placed my finger firmly on the trigger, and pulled back the hammer. I was done with my life, done with everything. I thought that by living life on the edge, pushing my horizons, I would have light. Yet, there was still emptiness in my life, which slowly and gradually plunged me into darkness.

Disgusted by my life circumstances, I had shattered the bathroom mirror with my fist just a few minutes before taking out the gun I had stolen from my father’s safe last night. Through the broken pieces of mirror, I could see a girl staring back at me with blood dripping from her right hand, falling onto the bathroom floor.

I hadn’t known this girl before.

She was shaking and convulsing as tears streamed down her face from her swollen eyes. Her eyes screamed years of overwhelming numbness and apathy, taken over by anger, fear and self- loathing. The next minute, I saw her wiping the tears off her face and putting together the broken pieces of mirror. She made a conscious decision to escape her pain: suicide.

I placed my finger firmly on the trigger, inching closer and closer to ending my life, when the memories of my mother flashed back. I saw her eyes shining bright as I came home from school. I saw her making morsels of food for me as I watched television, too lazy to eat on my own. I saw the worry on her face when she couldn’t find the most beautiful dress to give me on my sixteenth birthday. Amidst my crying, I could hear someone sobbing like a child. I looked around and saw her sitting in a corner, curled up, empty space in her eyes, trying to believe her daughter still existed. I blinked, shoving my pain-filled thoughts away. I looked down. My eyes that had been wandering around narrowed at a scar on my hand – the hand that had stopped bleeding, but still firmly held the gun. I recalled the time when I had cut my hand while trying to open a tin can; my father had tried to hide his tears as he drove me to a nearby clinic. The voices of hatred and despair lowered when I thought of the lifetime of pain I would be giving to the best man in the entire world. The fear of ending his world in the blink of an eye made my stomach twitch.

I was drowning … swallowing water until my thoughts soaked. I was broken … figuratively ripped apart, impossible to be put back together again. I turned around, and saw the scattering of light through my window, each ray roaring the blessings Allah has bestowed upon me. The grains of dust screamed the unconditional love people had always given me. I looked past the washroom door into my room, where the creases on my bed reminded me of the gossiping and giggling with my sisters after everyone slept. The left side of my bed reminded me of the day my little brother counseled me when I broke up with my boyfriend. I remember how adorable he looked, telling me he loved me the most, and that I shouldn’t run after people who don’t deserve my love.

I was alone and confused. I was carrying barbed memories from my childhood that squirmed in a thorny tangle inside my chest. Memories that would stretch out through my mouth, or up into my mind, if I didn’t battle them back down with the gun that was still in my hand. On the spur of a moment, I could put an end to everything people ever said or did to me. Those people who were once strangers, who became acquaintances; and the acquaintances who became friends. Amongst them were those who called me names behind my back. But there were also those few people who valued me, and made me realize that I am not a sponge, and it is not necessary to soak up everyone’s thoughts and opinions about me. I remembered the times when just talking to them loosened the tangled monster that clutched me, enough for me to find another glimmering star of hope to light my way.

I decided to let go, because of the people surrounding me, the people whose lives are connected with mine. I decided to let go because I didn’t have the courage to take a life that Allah has given to me, and not be able to re-unite with my loved ones at the Day of Judgment. I decided to let go because I wanted to live, and survive the inevitable struggles, and gain more strength to handle the despair in my life. Life has its own charm, and I wanted to live it.

My hands were trembling. I dropped the gun, and fell on the floor, crying my heart out.

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About Rukha Ali

Rukha Ali is a student of Mass Communication, completing Masters Programme in Advertising and Public Relations. She loves to write on different aspects of life, motivating and inspiring the readers through her words. Rukha takes interest in not only literary writing, but also in academic writing, proofreading and editing on various platforms. She is considered to be an extraordinary chef on Karachi Chefs at Home, a group on Facebook, where she posts recipes of continental dishes. Her photography skills and food blogging has attracted instragrammers to follow her and enlighten themselves. She manages social media website of her boutique and fulfills promises of her clients online.