.I didn’t want to write this story when
it appearedI thought of it for the first time. in my thoughts,I pushed it back into the dark partsrecesses of my mind. I wished it to stay there forever, but it kept pestering me time and again. I rode a bus, queued at a checkout in a supermarket, walked in the street, and the story would creep inside my thoughts; andit did not want to leave me alone. I would lie in (my) bed fatigued and sleepy, waiting to drift off to sleep, when the story somehow would find its way into my consciousness and (would) keep me awake for hours. I was unable to read books or watch my favourite TV program without it disturbing my peace. I drank myself into a stupor, and forgot my tormentor for a few hours, but as soon as I sobered up, the story was after me again. After months of struggle, I had to admit thedefeat and let it come out, even if I knew it would cause me extreme pain.
I had to go back in time. The year was 1992, a seemingly ordinary year like any other. The world was looking forward to the
newOlympic Games. The newMan Booker, Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes would be given to theyet-to-announced distinguished writers, scientists and other eminent people. New discoveries and inventions would see the light, and old barriers into knowledge and technology would be overcome. The earthworld would be a better place to live in for billions of people whose standards of living would increase considerably. But that year, I smelled death.
There were no gas chambers in my hometown, but
the smellwhat I felt at the beginning of that year was a sensation I had never experienced before. Human language lacks the proper words to describe something that you feel for the first time in your life. You can use all the adjectives or other words you have acquired through your educationlearnt at school or from the andbooks you have read, but still, you will be unable to describe it. convey a right impression.But the smell of death I felt was definitely in the air. And it made me panic.
One day I ran to my mother on the other side of
thetown, and knocked at the door of her flat in which she had lived for more than two decades, since the divorce from my father. She opened the door and let me in.
“What happened?” she asked. “Why are you out of breath?
“Help me Mother,” I said, fighting for breath. “The war is coming. I feel it. I don’t want to die. Could you please ask your brother in Germany to let me stay with him for a while? I just need a place to
sleepstay for a short time until I find something better.”
She towered above me with her flared nostrils, her knotted eyebrows, and her arms crossed over her chest, and glared at me as if I were a stranger. “Who do you think you are?” She snorted. “My brother has to take care of his own family. He has no time to look after you.”
Anger/resentment rose inside me. I wanted to demolish her flat right away and make her pay for her arrogance. When I was a child, she had never given me pocket money and seldom shown
edaffection. And now, when I just for once asked herwas in desperate need of forhelp, she brushed me aside, as if I were a fly. I returned home a broken man. I felt a severe pain in my stomach, as if an ulcer were forming. I promised never to forgive her for snubbing me. She probably could not have forgiven me for staying with my father after their divorce, but she was not hurting him, but me - her son whom she carried inside her womb for nine months. I could not comprehend such cruelty. She slammed the door shut in my face, front of me,leaving me in the town that would soon be transforming into a large slaughterhouse.
TO BE CONTINUED
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