Journey In To Blindness

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Struggles of a blind Muslim girl Khairat Khan, married to an American Mike Coleman, fighting through her isolated journey of darkness.

The message carried in the story is the value of life and sight. This is to show people the worth of been able to live a life with all five senses. The genre is a combination of love, tragedy and thriller

“Once I knew only darkness and life was without past or future...but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.”

Helen Keller (1880- 1968)

I was on the end of a rainbow from Saudi, and time had dimmed the beauty of my childhood bridge. I was glad to be going back.

Dubai was a noisy city, the Sheikhs in the streets, their voices a roaring wind with the spluttering of the Jumeriah Beach. It was nothing like the flow of the Arabian Sea which washed over me like a blanket of my Mother’s kiss.Every morning, the first signs of dawn blossomed from the minarets of the mosque, echoing in the depths of the skies and hit our ears with glorious calls of divine. ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,’ filled our ears with the recitation of the muezzin.

It was a long walk to the mosque, through the twisting streets, beneath the date palm trees and around the city of Makkah that never sleeps. Father would still go on a walk in clouds, suffocating in the bunch of crowds, but performing his dawn prayers, shoulder to shoulder along the rest with proud. He would come back with a handful of dates wrapped up in a knitted cloth slightly sprinkled with attar, and me and my siblings would eat it in turns filling the room with the rhythms of ‘Tala’a al-Badru Alyna’ hums. Mother would lay out the clattering of the plates with her warm, gentle hands, while my little sisters Ranya and Falak would softly chant and serve the onion rings, teasing the tips of our nose with its fresh, sweet whiff. Ziyad, my older brother bloomed from dawn to dusk, serving the poor and in need, touring through the land of perfect bliss and returning for mother’s pleased glimpse. The heart of the city at Makkah, so awake, bright and filling the valley of ‘zamzam’ with a watery glow shimmering in the sunshine.

I never knew how living with the mind of my eye and the presence of my hand is, until a violent incident darkened the cloud of eyes and my bright married sky. I felt content to be returning.

‘Stay seated! Heads down everyone! It’s an emergency!,’ alarmed the Pilot.

The Plane began to toss me cruelly. My face tightened as tears streamed from the darkness in my eyes; breath after breath my mouth dried. I was sure that, moments later, every last one of us was going to die.

Sweating and choking on smoke I gripped the armrests tight. I had never experienced such weakness, battling to perceive with my eyes. I was enveloped in blackness and could not see anyone else’s reactions. I could only hear and smell their presence.

I was digging nails in to my palms as screams crammed my ears and cracking lips became ice- all awoke memories of his yells that were deeply set inside.

‘You have two choices Khairat,’ he told me. ‘Stay with me and accept my culture like you have in the past, or else.’

‘Or else what? Divorce? ,’ I say.

There was a silence.

He held my arm tight, ‘Just get out!.’ He snatched the necklace from my neck, pushing me through the door.

I heard the necklace drop, scratching against the floor. I wish I was able to catch a glance of his expression, was he drunk again?

My heels ticked loudly as I clumped my way across the grey marble floor before his words could stab me more.

The necklace was then ditched in the chest of drawers; knotted and twisted with the other chains as the silence between us grew stronger.

It was tangled up, just like us.

It was the first gift from him, protected in a glass box.

‘Happy first anniversary Mrs Coleman,’ he whispered in my ear. His arms enclosed me in like a cave as he tucked my hair behind my ears and fastened the necklace, ‘Hope you like it’.

I sparkled with delight and ran my hands over it.

‘It’s beautiful,’ I said with tears in my eyes.

‘I thought you would like it,’ said Mark.

The world around my neck hung loose, swaying as I walked. It was cast in the shape of a heart. I wore it almost everyday- it was as much a part of me as my golden hair and green eyes, it’s warmth on my chest and weight resting on my throat, deeply sensed his presence.

Love was a pearl then.

His forceful snatch had slit its ends.

It was no longer worn now.

I sat on the edge of the balcony and rested my head on the wall.

‘He doesn’t care for me like he did before.’ ‘His drinking habits were getting out of control,’ I said to myself.

When happiness deported my heart, I was locked away in an empty unlit world, lost in thoughts and tangled with the dark. I had put all my trust in the hands of god, lifting my tickling hands in the air praying he drapes me in his glorious blanket of faith.

The world of Accountancy had melted away as the chapter of books pushed away, and all left was the dark woods where my feet had never crunched before, but he taught me how to begin again. I did not know that in the power of a human hand too, glows a candle, sign, promise and a beam of guidance.

Marks hand was full of imagination that crowned the knowledge in my fingers. Hand in hand his arms brushed against mine, a shadow of my former self as we walked along the paths of joy and edges of the laughing water in the beach. He became my blinking eyes; his hands were drawn to mine, and flicker of his fingers bought back the fullness in my life. Touching object after object following his movement, I began to perceive with his eyes. I could not see colours or light but he showed me how to translate the apprehension of this life, and my heart began to open it’s petals of pride. The delicate fluttering of a butterfly’s wings, the smell of summer in the air and streams sending their choir of waves, all built parts which I then shaped in my mind.

He told me the story of Exodus and the touch of the hand in the chapters of the Bible. All carried out by the hand of the Lord and of Moses. With the stretch of Moses’ hand the waters of the Red Sea parted. I told him about the miracles of the Quran, power of the hand of Allah and his messenger Muhammad (pbuh). The companions of the messenger were parched with thirst. The prophet dipped his hands in to a bucket that had the last drops of remaining water. The water began to gush like a tap from his fingers.

My culture, traditional society, the language, a chance to kneel in front of god everyday, the dress- a black robe, a full length body cover cloth that draped me.

‘Very beautiful,’ he used to say.

We were different. Our system’s of belief dissimilar but the soul, mind and dreams were gripped together like a chain.

Love was then liquid which had dried up now. Those serving hands were becoming a hand to hand conflict. I had kept my emotions bottled up but now things were turning sour. I had to leave.

The smoke had now sunk in to my throat and flames immersed my mind as we continued to tumble across the skies. I buried my face behind the scarf that draped my head and pulled out the string of beads. One by one on the drop of each bead, I prayed loud, wholly dependant on my fingers and their apperceive.

I kept one hand in my pocket circling the necklace, conscious of my strongest sense as I stopped at every knot. Over time, its chain had felt rusty and its pearls rough.

A loud thump was made as fallen luggage landed on my feet, crashing open clothes that wrapped my legs and built up heat. My legs trembled as the seats rattled, I sunk my hand again in my pocket to grip the presence of the necklace only

to find that it wasn’t there.

My fingers reached out touching sharp bits of wreckage, poking the palm of my hand, stinging and pouring out blood. A storm blew over me. I did not know what to do. I found myself thrown around, not sure which direction I was drifting towards.

Sliding my hands across, I swept myself along the floor. I was so sweaty that my clothes stuck to me and the dust rose from my hands in to my mouth and nose, making me sneeze. I couldn’t tell what anyone else was doing. I didn’t want to know. I just wanted the necklace. I had to find it.

It was the last longing of him, the last bell of hope that he once cared and loved me. I felt my way over the raged surface, trying to keep my balance until I found the necklace. It was buried in rubble. I lifted it, held it in front of my eyes as if some sort of force of power will awaken my sense of sight.

The screams began to fade as the smell of smoke settled and I landed to a stop. There was snapping sounds above my head, dropping dust making me cough. The sounds became louder and growled. It was like the clatter of dangling wreckage. I listened with great captivation. My mind tried to capture a picture of what was conveyed.

Rolling on to my back, I banged my head on a hard surface and breathed heavily. Boom! The piece of wreckage thumped down the ceiling, next to my cold ear which froze with fear.

Patting my hands around, I was surrounded by walls of wreckage. I was trapped. Screams were no longer heard now. I didn’t know where everyone else is, were they even alive?

I couldn’t fight with the darkness anymore. My legs felt numb. My final moment was here, I thought, resting my body on the debris. The necklace still in my hand, clutched tight.

I was awoken by footsteps flowing through my ears giving me a sense of hope, but, they soon began to fade. I couldn’t move. My voice was pressed in. I had to do something.

I pulled out my stick from under the black cloth that wrapped me, unfolding it; I threw it with great force, unaware of the direction it flew in.

‘We’ve got another survivor! ,’ came a deep voice from a distance.

‘Over here, I see some movement in the wreckage,’ Came another heavy accent.

I breathed a huge sigh flattening on the painful floor.

Sharp pains travelled through me as I felt strips wrapping around my palm like a gift. It hurt more each time a strip was cloaked. I noticed something weighing from my neck. I laid my hand on my chest, twiddling my fingers across my neck.

Its existence was fond. It’s touch was familiar.

The same necklace I gripped in my hand was around my neck- untangled and free of knots.

Submitted: January 10, 2012

© Copyright 2021 AnamAniHussain. All rights reserved.

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