who i am

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 23, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 23, 2017



Droplets of light creeped through the window, lighting up the otherwise dark outhouse. A shattered mirror hung from the blood stained walls of the otherwise full arena. It stood as an embellishment, an unusual attempt at homeliness drifting over the vacant space. Light had been a scarce resource in this residence, a mere guest of a few minutes, stolen away by absence of energy in the antre.

Large shoes stuck out as the only evidence of Karim, his slumped figure lying against the dirty wall. The four walls surrounding him were the limits of his existence, a boundary holding him as an inmate.


Karim kneeled to sneak a glance at the mirror, examining his feminine fashion style, long boots and tight black jeans, a combination frowned upon in his culture. Even in the confined environment, he felt eyes press into his skin. Shame instill into his morale. He knew what the role of a boy child played in his society. His duty to help his father, be strong for the family.


He felt weak. Guilt was flooding through him, but truth remained inevitable.


Around him, there were so many new faces. People that were tall, short, different races. His eyes’ popped at the diversity. He felt liberated from the four walls that surrounded him, holding him as an inmate. The thought made him uncomfortable, shift about the seat on the Tube. He stared outside at the hopeful city, eyes popping at the prim and proper lifestyle. Men and women freely roaming the busy streets, smiles plastered on their faces. A sign - bright and neon could be seen outside. “Welcome to London”, it read curly lettering contrasting with the night light. High skyscrapers and historic buildings built a state of the art picture of a developed country, a new start.  


He imagined going back, living the same life in hiding. It was impossible.


Karim had aimed to change his image in this new town. New friends. An ebullient personality. Just enough information about him to get through.


He remembered his home as his eyes closed. The memory replayed.


Karina’s voice echoed inside the room, flooding from the outside. “Brother! They’re coming for you.” Shock had worn off his face by now, uneasiness filling the atmosphere. Karim had accepted his fate. He knew he couldn’t be someone he wasn’t, a faux figure forever. He slowly caressed the fold of his sweat as he heard the footsteps edging closer.


Bamboo sticks hit his bare skin, now a dark shade of red, oozing with blood. It was not the first time. Tears fell from his eyes. It was his own family, one that hurt him, disowned him.


The men’s faces were content as they finished for the day. Sweat dripping from their sleeves. They smirked, delightfully, pride an emblem of their success.


Karim wondered how such inhumanity could be present in the people who surrounded him, spent hours eating, drinking, celebrating with him over the last 20 years. He deemed it as a cultural flaw, a misunderstanding.


It was dark outside. A misty fog surrounded the small area like a cocoon. The outhouse was surrounded by bushes, but at night it was an abandoned arena, filled with dark mellows and the night sky scattered with stars. Inside there was a lamp, hanging at the tip of the broken cement ceiling, igniting speckles of light to form an image of Karim on the lowly mirror.

“How can I be someone I am not? Get married to a lady I have never met, when my heart doesn’t belong to the commitment?” He muttered to himself, unable to express his feelings.


Karim had tried to ignore his feelings, his feelings for men.


Dignity was his father’s prized possession. Something he cautiously maintained, measured and compared. The men in their society looked up to his father, inspired. Disappointment was evident in his face when Karim had told him, anger prevalent.


“I just wish Abba could accept me, could deem me good enough.” He thought to himself. This could be in an alternate reality, but never in one he resided in.


He imagined his father’s figure, a curt tone of precaution, or rather warning. His father’s strict posture, crisp shirts and formal tone. All traditional heirlooms, for the traditional mindset he bottled up inside of him.


“You’re a boy Karim! You need to understand your responsibilities, your duty. Get these stupid ideas out of your mind!”


His eyebrows tensed as the words pranced from his mouth. His voice was loud, shame evident in his tone but pain intertwined in his speech.


Karim was very well aware. His face fell, as he looked at the floor.


“Why, Abba? I am not like the others, how can I pretend?” He whispered softly, words barely escaping his mouth.


His father did not respond. Could not respond.


These words entranced a distance between the duo, a conversation thought to be forgone. But this was no hushed family dispute.


Karim had realised, the place he resided was no longer home. Just four walls that aimed to be against him, push him away, manipulate his decisions.


He needed to leave.


It was time, Karim had decided. Time to leave. To depart and restart. To build a new personality, a new life surrounded by people who accepted who he was rather than be someone he wasn’t.


Karim stood with his load of luggage, long hair now snipped short. He dressed modestly, differently than he ever would at home.


But he knew, to move forward he had to forget all his past.  He sighed, staring down onto his ticket. To London. A one way ticket to his future.


© Copyright 2018 dishamohta. All rights reserved.

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