Ink by Yasmeen Abulezz

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

He can hear the air go in and out of his lungs as if he was hearing it from another’s ears, the pounding of his heart matching his ragged breathing.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. 

His eyes remain cast down, locked on the contract before him. Unsure whether he is brave enough to take the plunge, he continues to heave air into his lungs. Hoping the air will clear his mind and help him make his decision.

“Sign!” commands a seductively soft voice from within. “It’s the only thing that will save you…” continues the same voice. He shudders absorbing what his mind is saying to him.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

He closes his eyes and drops his head, resigned to the betrayal he is about to inflict. He opens his eyes slowly and with an unsteady hand takes the pen lying in front of him and signs the contract with a shaky hand.

“Well done son! You made the right choice.” says the man opposite the man who hangs his head. But he doesn’t care. Shame courses through him, as the weight of what he has just done crushes him.

I just turned in my own brother. I might as well have signed that contract…. That CONFESSION in his own blood not ink.

He keeps his head low, knowing that whatever he does, it will never be held high again.

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