Week after week, Karim was feeling his body go weaker under the influence of chemotherapy. He was losing his appetite and his energy. He felt nauseous almost around the clock, and even though at first he appreciated his friends and parents taking care of him, he soon became weary of it. He felt he was burdening them, as they put their lives on hold, just to be able to make him feel better. The actual sessions were becoming scheduled torture, and a few times he decided he would stop. But his friends and family would always push him into it again. His life was taking a turn, and he felt himself rolling downward with every passing day. Continue reading
Samer offered to take Karim to chemotherapy the next day, but Karim thought it was more appropriate if his father did. The appointment was around noon, and when Karim got into the car, his heartbeats started going faster that it was finally happening. But he decided to maintain a smile, just like he’d promised himself the night before. He would get through this, and he would get back to everyone he loved in no time. Continue reading
Karim woke up the next day refusing to open his eyes. He stayed in bed till well after noon. He curled in the sheets hiding the light from penetrating his wake. He desired nothing more than to stay in bed, as the world passed him, slowly consuming the remainder of his life. At that moment, he wanted to lie in the shadows, allowing time to elapse him. Tomorrow he would rise, would leave bed, he would think and react. Tomorrow he would feel, he would hurt and he would face the mockery of the world. Tomorrow, Karim would wake. Continue reading
As soon as he said it, Karim’s father turned away and walked out of the room. His mother stood motionless, her eyes widened with shock and words were unable to form on her lips. Karim was speechless, and could not even look at his mother, or to say anything. It felt as though icicles were thrust into his body, piercing and jabbing, ripping and gnawing at his insides. The air became thick and breathing heavy. Chill ran through his every organ, and his body was unable to perform. His mind was in total blank, and he was almost unconscious of what happened next. He felt his feet slowly move, carrying him outside of the room where a woman stood silently, and into his own room, and closing the door. He felt his body sitting him down on a chair, for how long he sat, he could not tell, but he did feel his mind growing lucid as memory began to tangle itself into his sense. Why his father had turned from a loving man to what he thought to be an animal he no longer recognized, why he began to abuse his family, especially Karim’s mother. Why he was so angry and short tempered, why hell had broken loose inside their home. All those years he spent blaming him, hating him and wishing his death. All those years he begged his mother to leave him, all those years he thought his father was the reason for the family’s misery. Continue reading
Karim was furious at his parents. As soon as Karen told him they had forbidden her from seeing him, he wanted to race through the storm of rage that erupted from his blood, go home and scream in their face. He wanted to break things, and allow the destruction to manifest itself to the outer world, outside his system. He needed release to everything that had been boiling inside of him. He wanted to call his parents on the spot, tell them he was done with their interference with his life, he was done being the good child, and he was done being their son. But Karen stopped him. She told him they both had known this day would come. They both had known their relationship was doomed from the day they had first met. Continue reading
I had known Karim to be the emotional type. I have known him to be sensitive, deeply affected and easily hurt. Yet I have known him to hide his insecurities, and cover them in a mask of apathy, and sometimes arrogance. But when it came to Karen, he was not the same guy I’d known. He was irrational, unthinking and impulsive. And sometimes when I looked at the way he acted when he was around her, I felt like I didn’t know the guy the least bit.
When he saw the missed calls and messages from her, his heart skipped a few beats. Had it been someone else, he’d have thrown the phone back on his bed and ignored all attempts of reconciliation. But he eagerly opened her messages to see what she had to say. Continue reading
“Karim, this is not right. It’s almost like you’re giving up on your life.” He remembered the anger he felt while his mother was talking him into his operation while he was having his lunch in his hospital bed.
“I’m not giving up on life, mom. I’m fighting this cancer, and it won’t get the better of me. I just chose my battle. If I don’t choose this, I would be giving up on my gift.”
“Life is your gift, Karim. God gave it to you.”
Karim was feeling exasperated with his mother constantly bringing God into this.
“And he could take it away.” He was trying his hardest to suppress his anger.
“God is testing you, you just don’t see it.”
His hands clutched his plastic spoon and it almost broke in his hand, as his temper was slowly rising. He did not answer.
“God is merciful and fair, Karim. He wants to see your strength.”
At this, Karim burst into shouts. The spoon in his hand broke, and he found himself throwing his dish across the room.
“Well screw this merciful God! Go pray for him for hell’s sake, and make sure to tell him to leave me the fuck alone!” Continue reading