The realm of my dreams

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 06, 2017

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Submitted: November 06, 2017

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The dim light of my phone lit the path in front of me. It was dark and threatening storm clouds loomed in the sky, covering the moon entirely. Torrents of wind blew and the scent of seawater filled my nose. Sand rubbed against the back of my feet and around my ankles and my legs burned with fatigue but I had no choice so I carried on. One of the men, who hid their faces, and identities, behind magnificent black robes as dark as the night said something, telling me to hurry but his words passed over my head like the breeze.Still, I carried on.

I grabbed Amal's hand. He was all I had left now.

The masked man said something again, a tone of panic in his voice.

I clutched Amal’s hand tighter, pulling him toward me. I could hear the waves louder now. I listened to how they gently receded and thunderously crashed.

My phone illuminated a tiny wooden boat, filled with the people I had travelled with. I helped Amal get on before placing myself at the very edge of the boat, next to him.

Looking up at the sky I hoped and prayed; prayed that we’d live and prayed that we’ll find land to live on and prayed for food but most of all, I prayed that I’d get to see my mother once more.

The waves crashed against the boat one more time and we began moving.

 

Shattered shards of sunlight rubbed against my eyes, waking me up. It had been two weeks and, to my disappointment, the scene hadn’t changed. This was no  nightmare.

I looked around me;Amal lay in a passive slumber of sorts, looking at the vast expanse of water around us, staring into it’s indeterminable depth, dreaming of home.

A wave tumbled onto our boat making it tremble. Seawater surged all around us, some of it entering the boat. A shrill cry broke the silence. A few people grumbled, some looked dazed but I didn’t flinch. Both the baby and I wanted the same things. I looked again at the sea. I didn’t know what to expect or how much longer I’d have to be a part of this endless journey. Do we wait until our food runs out? Do we sit here helpless until a storm comes and washes away every trace of us?

The burning hunger inside me and the warmth of the afternoon sun made me sleepy. I looked down at my wrist: 23:34 read the watch.It was late back home.The waves gently persisted colliding and warm air pushed against my bare skin.Without even realising it I began to drift into the realm of my dreams. Into the realm where my both my happiness and hope lay waiting for me.

 

I woke up spluttering seawater. Storm clouds beckoned at our boat from above. The waves grew bigger and our boat, smaller.The wind cornered us from all sides. The faces of the men and women around me were solemn, their eyes sombre and scared. On one side, a woman lay clutching her child. She told us that she was trying to soothe her child, trying to relax her but everyone on the boat knew she was trying to deceive her;hide her from the inevitable.  

On the other end of the boat, a man maniacally whispered to himself, in a monotonous and continuous chant, occasionally stopping to look up at the sky before resuming with renewed motivation.

Amal sat beside me. Looking at the water and laughing at fish. Unaware of the circumstances we were. His loud laugh, which would fill our house was drowned by the waves and the thunder, as if the universe was trying to show him something but his innocence kept him oblivious and he continued laughing and playing with fish that swum beneath him.

It had been days since I had fallen asleep. Despite the unrelenting fury of the sky and water alike, the temptation to see my mother and father, the desire to read a book by the big window in the living room and  the craving to sit in our backyard and count the flowers was too great for me to resist and I caved. I travelled deeper into the realm of my imagination. I let my dreams flip through my memories like pages in a book. I let my desires control me and felt no guilt. I felt no guilt at all.



 

Amal shook my shoulders. I shuddered and after a few moments of temporary moaning and complaining, I sat upright to see what bothered him.He looked as if he were at a funeral.

“What is it?” I complained

A tear formed in his eyes and slowly streamed down his left cheek. His gaze shifted from the ocean to me. He stared deeply into my eyes. His whole body trembled, his fingers twitched and skin paled.

“We’re going to die” he whispered.

A wave rammed into the boat again. I wasn’t surprised nor was I upset. All I felt was a calm sense of acceptance.

I held Amal’s hand and told him that if he do die, we’ll see our mother again and we can fly over our old house from heaven and count the flowers just like we used to.

The storm raged on became more violent as the minutes passed but the storm within me had passed and all that remained within me  was the distinct memory of the sweet smell of freshly fallen mangoes in the summers and how Amal and I would climb the mango tree, going higher and higher to reach the sweetest ones.

 

Water filled our boat now, lightning flashed and thunder beckoned at me but I sat in that cramped boat and laughed at the cruel joke life had played on me.

The lightning flashed once more and our boat shook . The waves turned hostile and

 

I gripped Amals hand. The ocean pulled me further and further into it and I let it. My memories flashed once more in front of my eyes. Amal’s grip loosened and so did mine.

My mind still fixated on the little droplets of water in the water, on the grass at dawn and how they looked like crystals when they reflected the light of the sun.

 

The ocean had pulled Amal from me. I searched for him desperately but in vain. He had gone up to heaven, where he belonged. A sob escaped my lips.

I knew then that my life had lost it’s meaning. I had nobody left. Nobody to go to. Nobody to hide with. War had taken everything away.

The panic within me ebbed away gradually and so did the storm around me.



 

I don’t know when or where it happened or even if it happened at all.

I have no memory of it but the UNHCR tell me I was unconscious when I washed up on the shore.

One of many they say, barely alive, barely breathing.

I didn’t know where I was or why god chosen me to live and let Amal die.

 

I coughed, blood spluttering out of my mouth. Pain filling me from my legs to my lungs. My head throbbed and I could barely feel my hands.

People I had never seen crowded around the room, all of them in pain.

Every one of them was suffering.

What was life without family, after all? Could it even be called life?

I walked out of the makeshift hospital, walking along what would’ve been a beautiful beach if body bags and crying people didn’t inhabit it.

I walked towards the tiny office where they told us to go.

Determined to start afresh.To run from my past.

Determined to make the realm of my hope more than just imagination.

 


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