“Run! Zeenat! RUN!” He screamed.
And so, I ran.
But Grazta, the void took you. And, I miss you. Thank you Grazta. Thanks to you, I
….my family and their suffocating pressures.
It had become a daily routine for father to bring me down. Every time I opened my lips to
reveal a dream or goal I wanted to set for myself, he would simply look at me, smile and tell
me how ridiculous or absurd the idea was: “You will never [insert dream]”; “You are not
[insert quality] enough!”.
Thank you father, for killing the dreams of my childhood. You pierced my dreams like cupid
ruthlessly pierces hearts with arrows. I know why you did it, even though you may deny it.
Your parents did not believe in you when you told them you wanted to become a lawyer. The
words you speak are only the result of your parents’ teachings.
Knowing why does not mean it can no longer hurt you. Each word cut through me like a
knife cutting through butter. My dreams melted away. I was left a nothing with no dream, and
so I did nothing.
“Go outside! clean your room! Why don’t you act like other kids?” Father would scream. I
looked at him, and, wanted to tell him: you’re the reason. No use, just another fight. I had
already told him several times, he doesn’t care, nor does he want to care. He knows it would
mean me being right about him, something he would not tolerate.
One day, I surprised my six-year- old brother sobbing in his room and asked what had
happened. “Father said I could never become a lawyer. He said, I wasn’t smart enough!”. My
heart boiled with rage, I immediately went to confront him. To ask him: why?
He calmly explained, it was a necessity. “So, he doesn’t dream too big later on. Trust me, it
will help him in life. Look at how it helped you”, he said. I wanted to puke. It suddenly hit
me. A six-year- old, was already destined to be a nothing, because he was his son. That’s how
he saw it. Age did not matter, it wasn’t that we were too old to learn new things. Why
couldn’t my brother become what he wants? “Look at how old he is, I said. Everything is
possible at this age!” For me… it is too late, I thought. He stole my future away through
selfishness, he had to hand us his legacy of being nothing or he would not be satisfied with
I hate him. I shouldn’t. He does not beat me, does not abuse me, does not scream, but I hate
him all the same. His words are water to the flames of my dreams; extinguished.
Time passed, around four years, I believe. I am eighteen, now. Still nothing. Little brother’s
dreams have died, now. He no longer goes outside. He stays inside, doing nothing. Father
says: “Go outside! clean your room! Why don’t you act like other kids?” and little brother
smiles thinking: you’re the reason. He spends his days staring into the void and playing video
games. Not a normal life of a ten-year- old. He reads sometimes. Fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, etc.
Worlds which take him away from his own. Worlds where he can be anything.
Today, father died, I think.
Mother cries. Perhaps from joy? Me and my brother say nothing, do nothing, staring
into the void. “Why don’t they act like others?” Onlookers say, observing us. “How cold can
one be?”. We look at each other, smile and, point to father’s listless body.
Back at home.
A month later, I have started trying to do things. I want to paint. I realised I could do
what I wanted now. I no longer care to fail. My life is mine once more. I wish to go to an art
school. “You know, it’s quite hard to go to an art school…” says mother’s new boyfriend. He
reminds me of father. It scared me. And so, I made a choice. That same evening, I packed my
things in a suitcase. Tomorrow morning, I will leave this place, forever, I thought. Little
brother, saw me pack. He stood there, so anchored in darkness, I did not notice him.
This morning, I finally left, at the first light of dawn. Little brother was awake. He saw
me, walking towards the door and, called out to me from the darkness. As I approached him
to respond, I saw tears rolling down his cheeks, cascading to his shoulders. He looked at me
and screamed, it felt like I hadn’t heard his voice in a long while, “Run Zeenat! RUUUN!”
… And run I did.
Promising to come back to take him with me once I had found a place.
Goodbye little brother. Goodbye Grazta.