We are delighted to have Lamya AlEghfeli back with us with a brand new post titled “The Sun’s Shame” We hope you enjoy it
As her coffin is being lowered to become one with the earth, as it is being enveloped by earth’s soils, my legs can no longer bear the burden. Suffocation fills my lungs and heart.
I can feel their presence behind me, hovering, waiting for an explanation. An explanation that will disprove what they have yet witnessed, which will contradict my previous words. The words that stammered out of my lips, woven with cries and disbelief, “She’s gone! Your mother. Is gone.”
I never believed in love, I saw it as nothing but a Hollywood movie concept used to allure teenage hearts. They all believed the act, those happy endings with prince charming or the beautiful girl next-door. Yet I didn’t, I grew up in two separate houses. My parents never looked each other in the eyes. How can I believe?
Well, I didn’t have to.
I didn’t have to believe because I felt it, I saw it. I saw love 10 years ago. Did you know that love could sit in a coffee shop and read a book? Or that love can have short waves of black hair? Or that warmth can be radiated from love’s icy eyes? Love had a name, it was Charlotte. She wasn’t the girl next-door; I didn’t love her for her rich lips, or her pink cheeks, or her mesmerizing ice blue eyes. My ears fluttered with the rhythm of her voice. When she talked about her favourite book, her eyes widens as if granting me access to what they’re beholding. I met love and I knew, at that moment, that Charlotte is the one I’ll spend my life with.
My life seemed like a fairytale, I know, I should have realized. Six years ago when Charlotte carried twins in her and joy filled our living room, I should have noticed how similar my life was to those man-made movies. I didn’t know what a happy, normal family looked liked. How can I if this is the only happiness I witnessed? Am I to be blamed for clinging dearly to those moments?
Until Eleanor pointed it out, I realized that we have been walking away from my car towards home. I laugh and cry. And look down at Alexander, he would have found this funny, I expected to hear his loud yet beautiful giggle. But he wasn’t. He was seeking comfort from hugging Mr. Teddy. His brown eyes were swimming in a pool of tears and his shoulders were still trembling. It’s a shock to all of us my boy. “I’m sorry.” After hearing “Where’s mommy?” for the umpteenth time, the car drive was silenced as Eleanor and Alexander fell asleep. I stare at the skyline; the sun was descending, hiding behind the mountains as if ashamed for what the universe has laid on me. This isn’t how it was supposed to end. Too soon. What happened to watching our kids grow? Graduate? Get Married? Together was what stitched these dreams. Together. Charlotte and Andrew.
86, 400 seconds
Seven days of dark clouds and heavy rain, indoors. No work, no school, only the three of us sitting in our living room. I try my best to spend most of my time with Eleanor and Alexander. Even though we barely talk, but the sound of their breathing blocks out the voices in my head. That is all I need. Reassurance that there is still life in this house. That there is yet a tomorrow to come. My eyes look out the window, there it is again, the sun’s shame. Every night I try to avoid this moment, avoid putting my kids to sleep. I still need them with me; I need to hear their occasional silly questions and comments. I look over at Eleanor. Her black hair covering her face, she has already fallen asleep.
I sigh as I pick them up, one by one, change their clothes, brush their teeth and put them to bed. There is no way avoiding this. I walk back towards our bedroom, my shoulder brushing against the wall. I get ready to go to sleep, knowing that that will not happen. Not tonight. Not the seven nights before. Or maybe today, I hear the voices whisper.
The voices, they’re back.
They wait for the quietest moments to emerge. To open the doors of hell. The doors to my darkest thoughts. At night, it’s just so quiet. The silence fills me, kills me, and watches me bleed. Night is the time of the devil. It allows those deafening voices to wander. It sets your thoughts loose. The thoughts you were trying so hard to bury. Seven days of digging and somehow, with the loss of the sun, they become the walking dead. Is that why the sun was ashamed? Not just because for what the universe has done. The sun knew that its departure meant the arrival of these voices.
“What would Charlotte do?” they’d ask.
She said she would never leave me. She said that she could never live without me. Yet I am alone. She said together. But I am so alone. I get out of bed, blinded. Blinded by my thoughts. Blinded by those voices. By grief. By anger. I stare at the wooden chair. She used to sit on it as she braided her hair. I ascend it, on leg at a time. I hang the rope around the chandelier above my head. What am I doing? Am I allowing these voices to take over? Am I thinking straight?
I don’t know. Yes. No.
I place the rope around my neck. I’m losing myself. Losing sight of everything and I have not yet kicked the chair. I hear something. Not the voices. I hear muffled footsteps. Has the sun risen? Alexander and Eleanor, did they wake up? Are they coming to our bedroom? Or is it the sound of Charlotte coming closer to me? I kick the chair keeping me alive.
I gasp. Again. And again.
Just in time to see the door swing open and Mr. Teddy leaving Alexander’s arms for the first time after seven days. Goodbye is what I think.
Author: Lamya AlEghfeli