Exile

You woke up as the sun was rising over your beloved city, tinting the sky a peachy pink, the smog blurrying the horizon, or was it your tears you couldn’t say. 

You didn’t know what to take, you didn’t know for how long you’d be gone, it all looked surreal to you, a big boys’ joke, really. 

Your mother was wearing her floaty 3abbeya, tears brimmed her eyes like diamonds surround sapphires. She was up before you, she made you coffee at starlight, no electricity again, you looked at her in silence.

Words were a luxury you could not afford. 

You draped your shawl tightly around your shoulders, tight, so tight it almost hurt. You carried your bags and your purse a thousand times, carrying them in a way that would never feel comfortable and putting them back on the floor with a definite thud that was here to stay.

You paced at the threshold of what you could once call home, lost in the no man’s land of your thoughts, drowning into space and time, the roars and chaos of the city spread ahead of you an already distant memory. 

You bid no one good bye for you did not have the time, you were pushed to leave and your numbness made you. So you stood in front of your family making decisions for you, trying to shelter you outside of a homeland that no longer felt safe, the smell of gardenia and bougainvillea intoxicating, making you sway in the scorching sun. 

You felt the nausea of leaving grip you while the taxi shook you to the airport, there were no tears in your eyes anymore, they were wide open trying to get as much of your eternal city as they could, taken in every crooked building, every coffee hawkers, every sound and every smell and every noise, trying to print all of it in your memory, the frustration of it all making your blood boil. 

You broke down when you saw the sea humming at your feet, bidding you goodbye, your salty tears rightly going back to her, you saw the sea try and lick your unspeakable pain away but it did no good. 

Your heart heavy with hollow sorrow, you picked your bags once again and started to walk, looking back all the time, pondering whether you should have just walked into the big blue haze, letting it put you to sleep. 

You left, and every miles that separated you from your land felt like a graze to your heart.  

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