In My Reverie

Written By: Shafaq  Javaid

Desk. Ink. Pen or a quill? I am not sure. But it doesn’t make any difference now. Or does it? Again, I am not sure. The only thing I am sure about is that now there is not going back. As per the cliché, I have burned all bridges. It is not as if I regret my decisions. I really don’t. Oh, look. There comes the Pastor with the obvious question: would you like to make peace with God, my son. Huh, I snort at his face. Your God or mine? The same God in whose name you scream murder and kill millions or the same God in whose you are hanging me. This reminds me, Edgar Allan Poe once said,

“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.”

I once met Poe. He was a good man. Saw him in a dream. Well yes, just as Poe says, I don’t say that I don’t believe in God. I just find it hard to believe that someone who can justify the massacre of millions cannot let go of one blasphemous comment. How narcissistic of GOD. I simply stare at the Pastor as he tries to convince me of a benevolent, ancient power. And when he is done, he merely gives me a look of dread and contempt as to what is coming next. Oh, my dearest Pastor, if only you knew what I had seen, you would not have given me that scornful look.

Desk. Ink. I remember it was a quill. Yes, that magnificent phoenix quill. At least for a moment I thought it was. You know, as the legend of the phoenix goes: all ends with beginnings. My head spins at the dexterity with which these fibs have been comprised about. How can life possibly begin from a pile of ashes? My God! Oh, look. I sought help from God once again. How ironic.

*Sigh* How the mind wanders when it has nothing to do. I think I am hallucinating now. Because I am seeing you. Your eyes are wide open with shock as you are reading this. Maybe introductions are in order. Hello, dear reader; I am someone you have probably never heard of. And you will not remember this encounter. No one ever does. You will forget that you ever met me. It will be wiped out of your memory like frost on a window.

You are sitting right next to me now. Your hand is slowly snaking around my neck. Now you are strangling me. Your hand is tightly wrapped around my windpipe. And just as I am about to pass out, you get up and leave; giving me the same look as the Pastor. I breathe in. It is time.

I get up and the cell dissolves to nothingness around me. I walk to the room that awaits my death. The room is marked as one and in awaits my biggest fears. I expect seeing my sister jumping into a bottomless pit in our backyard. Or seeing my mother being burned to ashes by my father. Family; such a funny little word, isn’t it? But just as the door opens, all these images vanish from my head and there is a moment of sheer peace.

“Mama, life had just begun and now I’ve gone and thrown it all away…”

Freddie Mercury resonates in my ears, as I am strapped to the chair and a surge of electricity runs through me. Immense pain and then darkness. I am no longer alive.

How is this possible? How am I talking to you? How are you reading this? It is not that complicated. It really is not. What is my name, you ask? Well, I have several names. Some call me this. Some call me that. But I am most commonly known as your conscience.