Prologue


اَعُوْذُ
 بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيْمِ
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمن الرَّحِيْمِ

*** TRIGGER WARNING: This chapter mentions sensitive topics, including suicide and self-harm. ***

It’s easy to assume things about people. Judge them. Not that you mean to. Sometimes it’s just your subconscious. You try to be impartial. But it doesn’t always work out. So, you make these assumptions. You see a couple holding hands, you assume they are happy. You see a person reading by himself, you assume he is lonely. You see a Muslim in the hijab, you assume she is religious.

That was my entire life, entirely based on assumptions that people had forced me to follow. Maybe if people hadn’t judged me so much or expected so much from me, then I wouldn’t have ended up in this situation. That is my excuse anyway. What I like to tell myself, so I don’t ever have to face the fact that I was my own undoing.

Had I never had the chance to escape Pakistan, maybe I never would have ended up in this place. I didn’t even think about the repercussions. I saw the chance to leave and I did. At the time I didn’t realise the consequences that I would have to face due to my own selfishness.

I guess when all you do is take from people then eventually everything will be taken from you. I had lost pretty much everything. It’s ironic really, how when you are a child, all you think about is how your life will be so much better in the future. You don’t ever realise when or how it ended up so messy.

Sitting there, I knew what I had planned was wrong, Islamically and morally. But was there even a point in anything else? My hand was shaking as I held the pen. I didn’t even want to write the note, but I had to. It would provide me with some comfort in my last moments, so that I could force myself to go through with it. It made everything seem more final.

This was not the way I had planned my life to be. It just wasn’t. How did it ever come to this? I had caused this. A single drop fell from my right eye onto the sheet of paper as I started writing.

Dear all,

I know none of you are happy with me. And with all the sins that I have committed it is understandable. I never meant to hurt you. It was never my intention. And I know that this is the best thing for me to do.

I am sorry. I hope that one day you will all be able to forgive me for all the trouble and the sorrow I have caused you.

I love every single one of you and I know that without me ruining your lives, you will manage to make something of yourselves. Something I was unable to do.

I know you hate me, but I hope you can find it in your heart to pardon me for my sins. I thought I knew how to live my life. But I don’t. Not like this. Not anymore.

I finished the note and folded it. I placed a rock on it to ensure it wouldn’t blow away. This was the right thing to do. I had convinced myself of that anyway. The past few days I had tried everything in my power to survive. It was wrong of me to do this. But I couldn’t take this anymore. The blame. The guilt. The regret. I know I deserved everything that was headed for me. But I wouldn’t be able to survive. So, I was running away from my problems. Same as usual. I had tried to tell myself that it was a major sin, but the voice inside my head convinced me otherwise. Allah (سبحانه وتعلي) Will Forgive you. Just do it.

I couldn’t do this anymore. Every day it was the same gnawing feeling. I felt so lonely, all alone stuck in a bottomless hole that never seemed to end, that I could not seem to escape from. My only solace would be when I forced the knife into my bare skin, and I allowed the blood to drip through. I would close my eyes. Forcing myself to feel the physical pain to escape from the nightmare that never seemed to end. Every breath I took seemed nothing like a blessing and more like a curse. How could I go through life when my own mind had turned against me? My thoughts and feelings had consumed my entire life. Every action I took was forced and I had no purpose anymore.

Looking at my life, what was it? Nothing but a series of mismatched desires and failed dreams. I don’t even understand how it ever came to this. I had such hopes and ambitions that all seemed to come crashing down when I had followed them. What people say is wrong. You shouldn’t go after your dreams. They will ultimately become your destruction as they had become mine. In a few moments this would all be over. I would be free from the confined prisons of my own mind.

Looking down below, everyone seemed so small compared to me. I could feel my heart beating as I summoned the courage to take the step…

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