Joy by Batool Hasan

My legs rush me to the familiar aluminium door, and my fingers unlock it. Unidentified molecules and particles invite themselves into my lungs as I inhale and exhale deeply. The midnight sun hangs in a broken half like a weeping heart. Tonight, I don’t have it in me to comfort it with sugary lies of forgiveness. I apologize to it and confess that I don’t know where the other half went. Sitting on the rooftop, I carefully avoid the dried pigeon droppings.

Blinking stars look down on me, hung like crucified soldiers. Their flashing brightness bores holes into my vision until I can see the pattern, the blueprint, the future they have arranged.

They have decided that joy does not belong with me.

Pathological judgemental beings, I hiss.

I am not a kind soul, not a helping hand nor am I an eager believer in the pure intentions of humanity. Kindness unkinldy spits at me. I unkindly stick my tongue out at it.

I don’t owe anyone anything.

My hands itch to go to my room, but my feet stay rooted to the ground. I stare and stare and stare until the silver gems turn into swirling lines, and the hypnotic void swallows me.

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