We are thrilled to debut a story by Maryam AbdulAziz, that is while short a very haunting and powerful. We hope you enjoy
“Look at yourself.” His whispering voice pierced. “You are nothing.” His voice, like darts, aiming for destruction. Evidently, he never hid his hatred, never hid his destructive character, and never stopped walking with me down this everlasting road. It was dark, always. Scarred, permanently. It grew endless yards of spikes, rising from the ground, growing in seconds. And each second, my fears grew larger. “Afraid, darling? Move away from them, they’ll hurt you, they’ll scare you.” He said again, carless care bursting from his voice. And my feet followed his words, moving further away from the spikes. His sudden laughter, cascaded like a waterfall of acid down to my veins, poisoning my heart. “Look at yourself!” He yelled, his voice dark, and demonic, and his voice swallowed whatever strength I had in me. “Naive and weak. Disturbing, and idiotic.” My feet could no longer hold my weight, and I collapsed to the floor. Those spikes, his voice, my pain, all murderous, all painful, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t carry myself, it was unbearable. My eyes held the spikes. And I thought, all these years, I’ve allowed my fears to haunt me, I’ve given them control, and let them daunt me. But why was I afraid? Well, I was afraid of being hurt, but I’m human, either way, pain and sorrow will come my way. And my past also has an explanation to that… But, at the end of every step, they’re nothing but spikes. And these spikes grow because I allow them to, I’ve given up on myself. The realization of that, cracked a smile on my bloodless face. And I felt the poison in my heart disappear, and I heard it. I heard laughter, and this time it was in my voice. So I spoke—Spoke up to the devil and said “You are nothing, dear devil. Look at yourself.” And the devil who followed me, the devil who once held me to the ground, stayed silent.
He never left, always haunted me. But with time, I grew. My fears, those spikes, that seemed so big, turned out to be as small as half my pinky, and my pinky’s quiet tiny. And of course, I cannot walk this dark road alone, but with Allah’s guidance, I will succeed. (Insha’Allah) I will break free.
I truly hope these little words show you the big picture. We all have our inner demon, and our outer one, the devil. And they both haunt us, they both create these fears that steal opportunities, and sometimes even happiness. And I know this because I’ve lived with social anxiety my entire life, and I still do. That thing, up there, is what I—metaphorically—go through everyday, self-destruction, because my fears haunt me, they create my way of living, and destroy everything I aspire for. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean I haven’t actually found my escape, I did. How? I’ve grown closer to Allah. End of. Right there. Straight-forward. I mean, I’m still fearful, I won’t lie. But, I’ve found my way out, and I’m working towards it, and you should too.
An introverted pessimist, with a rather optimistic outlook. Strangely.
Author: Maryam AbdulAziz