The Last Page of a Suicide Bomber’s Life

The gaunt face looked at him. His skin was sallow and pock marked, his brow knit together in concentration and his brown eyes were unblinking. Many hours of grief and turmoil had made him like this. Before all this, some might have even called him handsome, almost statuesque. Now he looked aged and fatigued. His brow relaxed, and his eyes became glassy. Then realization dawned and a fiendish quality overcame his features. His eyes became menacing, but then despair crossed over, a plea escaped, which became a whimper, and then, a wail. He clutched the sides of the mirror, his composed demeanour, obliterated.


But the breakdown disappeared as quickly as it had come; the composure was replaced with fervour. A helpless renegade, he was not. He silently cursed himself for falling prey to his emotions, splashed his face with cold water, and felt rogue drops gently roll down his neck, and disappear at the base of his collarbone. He checked his reflection one more time, making sure not to linger at his own eyes, this was not the memory he wanted to keep.


For too long he had shrouded himself in opacity, stuck in an ever raging storm, overwhelmed by all that he saw around him. In truth, it wasn’t his fault. One’s purpose in life was always an avoidable topic, for it held no ground, but years of lack of emotional satisfaction had caused a thirst to develop in him. He had started believing that this craving would only go away if he embraced his inspiration. But although he did his best to tell himself otherwise, a sense of failure had nestled a place for itself in his heart.


This was, rather, his chance to show his mettle, and prove that he was not craven, but a force to be reckoned with.


As he stepped outside, the piercing light of the sun interrupted his thoughts. The fresh air tore through his lungs, but he straightened his shoulders, held his head up high, and stepped into the street. Even with this show of unwavering determination, there was a scruple going on inside of him. He walked past the hordes of people, looking straight ahead; babel was all he could hear, which was slowly becoming deafening.


In a moment of weakness, his eyes met the gaze of a little girl, who looked at him expectedly with her limpid eyes. He stopped in his tracks; Dread playfully ran its fingers down his spine, the weight he carried around his midriff suddenly became too heavy to bear. But this was a moment of no return; some things were just meant to be bigger than meager lives.


There is always a reason, a purpose, and his was to rid himself of his black cloak, become and apostate, and attain oneness. He closed his hand upon what he considered freedom from his worldly meaningless self, and all he saw after that was a blur, as he took his final turn in his last serenade.

Khadija Ranjha