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Familiar with the unfamiliar

Familiar with the unfamiliar

“What do you think the river feels when it finally unites with the sea?” she asked, tracing a cloud with her finger.

My eyes followed the movement, trying to discern the shape- a turtle, perhaps? Or maybe it was just a mindless pattern.

“Do you think Pluto ever reaches for the sun?” I countered, turning my eyes back to the horizon.

“When will I ever get a straight answer from you?” she let out a low laugh, her eyes squinting as the sun emerged from the clouds again.

I stared at the blank page before me, the memory slipping away from my eyes. My therapist had told me to jot down what I was feeling. But how could I encompass my grief in words? How could the simple act of scribbling a few lines take my anger away?

I felt the silent emotions clawing their way out of my throat. My grief had unpacked its things in my body and had refused to leave, deciding to make a home out of me. It had brought its companions with it; the denial, the pain, the anger.

They were hostile in their advances, and I was all alone.

There wasn’t anything I could do to fend them off. Nothing I could do except making myself smaller and smaller, hoping they wouldn’t notice me sitting in my corner, curled up with my arms around me as if I had to hold myself together to keep myself from physically falling apart.

But all that did was allow them more space to take over, expand, and conquer.

I sighed, losing the battle and closing the journal with a snap. The chair scraped against the floor as I got up, almost tripping over in my haste to grab my leather-bound journal and walk out of my house.

I blinked as the warm summer air hit my face as soon as I stepped out.

It was strange how the summer used to instill new hope in me. Now it was just a mere change of the weather. It was as if I was a lone bystander, observing the movements my body made and the scenery my eyes witnessed. A narrator and an observer muffled in the background, no longer a participant.

It was only when I was standing before her that I realized where my steps had taken me. I had always been weirdly fascinated with graveyards, imagining the stories of every soul buried beneath the soil every time I passed one. But that changed when she made a home out of it.

I looked down at her grave, seeing that someone had placed flowers on it. The summer air pressed down on my lungs, and far off in the road, a siren faded away into the distance.

I sat down on the ground, tucking my feet beneath my legs. The gravestone had one single line carved onto it:

“Until we meet again”

After a few minutes of silence, I slowly opened my journal, the words coming to me before I had even uncapped my pen:

“When the river unites with the sea,” I wrote, “it rejoices in the knowledge that it is finally home after a beautiful journey. That it is safe, and that it has found the place where it belongs. I hope you have too.”

I looked up after that, a smile flickering on my face. The thing about my grief was that it had started to feel familiar, and maybe I wasn’t ready to let go of it so soon. Maybe, for now, I’d let it be my companion.


About The Author

Ramisha Aqeel

Currently pursuing my Bachelor's in Economics from Nust. Fictional works such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will always be home to me. As time passed, my interests grew and I became an admirer of the works of Khaled Hosseni and Elif Shafak. A rainy day, paired with a warm cup of tea and a good book will always be my idea of a perfect afternoon. In hindsight, my interest in writing must always be credited to my fondness for reading. From short stories, to poetry, to novellas, my love for writing is limitless, and it has been an ever rising passion since the past two years. I wish for my words to be the comfort of your hearts; which also inspires and motivates you to do more, to achieve more, and to aspire for more. I can only hope to reciprocate the effect that my favourite authors have on me, and to let my words be your escape.