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Creative Writing

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Literature

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Travel

To Qurratulain.


I don’t know what it is about you, but you’re addictive. One conversation later, you are all that exists. You’re infectious, it’s like your words immediately enter the veins, consuming, feeding. You so quickly become a way of life until our organs won’t recognise or submit to anything but the sound of your voice.

You’re smart and insightful, you always have interesting things to say. You’re compassionate and spectacular, you never have bad intentions, you’re pure and honest. You love and care about everything so deeply, so intensely. You’re generous and encouraging, you believe in other people, you see their truth, you recognise their talent, you empower them. You just want to make everyone else’s dreams come true.

Your attention to detail still continues to blow my mind; you remember scents, pauses, the faces of strangers that sat beside us in a coffee shop over a year ago. You find meaning in everything, from the dead spider that was trying to find his way back home to the way I hold my prayer beads at dawn. Your eyes attempt to consume everything they can in a frenzy. But beneath all of that, there is sorrow. It manifests in the subtext of your every movement; I think you’re beginning to learn how to use it to fuel your own fire.

You are made up of quirks, like needing to remain quiet while drinking coffee or watching movies in silence as not to disrupt the emotion. These things are what make you so intriguing, fascinating. You have a justification for everything and you’re okay with being different. You’re so comfortable in yourself, you’re confident even when you think you are not. I wish I could make you see just how much strength you have, how beautiful you are.

I’ve never met anyone so determined and driven. You don’t hang around. If there’s something you want, you get it. You don’t have the patience to wait and you don’t like making other people wait. You pour your soul into everything that you do, whether it is for yourself or for the sake of other people. If anything is to be associated with your name, it is going to be the best that it can be. There’s no disrupting that. There’s so much fight inside you, I see it in your movements. You’re always fidgeting with something, picking at your skin, looking for ways to occupy your hands. You can’t be still. There’s always adrenaline within your fingertips, ready, always ready. Ready to fight, ready to try, ready to give, you’re always ready to go. But it means that your touch is electric, it’s fire, it’s magic.

You take the term ‘perfectionist’ to a whole new level. I’ve watched you edit the same piece of writing for six hours straight until it is perfect, until each syllable is empowering, until you feel like each space has captured a sentiment. You forget to eat, to drink water, to move. Your eyes are fixated on the words and we can’t pull you away until it’s complete otherwise you feel uneasy, unable to think about anything else. You just want to finish it. You’re forever thinking, looking, conversing with yourself. Your mind doesn’t stop even when your limbs are exhausted, even when life itself becomes a daydream. You can’t switch off, you’re always on edge. You’re always tense, reserved. I’ve never seen you be still, completely relaxed. It’s like your body never gives in to itself. Every time I look at you, I can tell that your eyes are searching for the closest exit, a form of protocol, just in case. There is doubt in every situation but sometimes your desires are too loud and you don’t think. Like when you want a piercing or to try something new. You get these ideas in your head, you’re impulsive, you’re unpredictable. I guess that’s part of the attraction. I just wish you would slow down sometimes. Let us in. Listen to the voice of reason.

But then you have another episode and the sadness interferes with everything. It takes over and nothing matters anymore. You stop talking, you stop looking us in the eye. You’re vacant; you even forget to blink sometimes. All we can do is watch and pray that you’ll eat something, hope that you’ll cry or laugh or something, anything. You just stare at the walls and we don’t know if you’re present in your body. We don’t know what you are thinking, whether you are about to do something stupid. We just want you to be safe. But you don’t exist, your lips won’t move, your face is frozen in the same expression. You shut down.

When it passes, you realise that you need to heal but you push everyone else away so you can work through the sadness. You need to be in full control. You need to be the one making the decisions. You need to be the one to make yourself better. You’re vulnerable so everyone else is a threat. You’re cautious, paranoid. You don’t ever like to ask for help, it’s almost as if you don’t know how to, or that you can. You just want your space, you want to be alone. You won’t talk to us, you’re distant, and that’s when you lose us. But for you it all just becomes a part of the same pain. You’re already suffering; you’re accustomed to pain, you’re immune to heartbreak. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy for you, or maybe you’re just great at hiding it? But you move forward, even if it means leaving us behind. Even if it means shutting us out. Even if it means never talking to us again. You move forward, always move forward, always hold on because otherwise you will have to stop, you'll have to acknowledge the pain. You don’t want to be interrupted; you just need to be okay. You want to forget, so you’ll focus on moving forward because it means you are better. Even when you are not. Even when we are shouting from the sidelines that you need more time. Even when we are begging for you to be still and you continue to fight through. Even when there is nothing left of your body but your shadow.

You live inside your own willingness, you won’t let others in. You can’t hear us, or you won’t hear us. I don’t know anymore. It’s as if your limbs are weapons in your own war, fighting against each other, momentarily in harmony and then battling again. There is no room for another person. No room for input from anyone else. I know this now. You live in a permanent conversation with yourself. But we’re trapped; we’re all confined inside your echoes. We are still seeing your name; forever thinking about what could have been, forever wondering when we’ll stop breathing your name, when we’ll stop seeing your silhouette in our own shadows. You’re a drug, Qurratulain. 

1 comment

  1. Wow. So perceptive and deep

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