MY LIFE AS IT IS….
Laila looked to her left, then her right, her eyes glowing like the flame of fire in the semi-darkness. She walked the short distance from her room to the kitchen door with her threads soundless because she was barefooted and tip-toeing like a ballerina on display. Her posture was rigid like a brick that could break with a slight pressure. Something wasn’t right, I thought. It was an ungodly hour to be roaming about in the near darkness.
Something was definitely up!
Laila placed her left hand on the door knob as she dashed her eyes to somewhere behind her. The kitchen door hinges gave a slight creak that stopped Laila from opening it further as she took another look over her right shoulder. Another small push opened the door completely without any more sound. As I stood at the corner of the laundry room which led off the kitchen, I was perplexed to see Laila in full glare of the fluorescent light as she took off the lid from one of the cooking pots arranged on the cooking gas. What is Laila up to? The thought gripped me, and I stood unmoving in the shadow of a wall. I couldn’t see what she was doing after removing the pot cover because she had left my view and she was now behind the kitchen door. Should I barge in there to see what my sister was carrying on? The memory of a stinging pain came to me unwittingly- the repercussion of interfering in a matter that concerned my younger sister some weeks ago. No, just go ahead to bed, implored my head, you don’t want to get slapped again by your mother. Or do you? The memory did magic on me that I totally lost interest in whatever Laila was up to and sluggishly went to the boys’ room.
The Next Morning…
“Bashir, Usman, Waheed, and Hameed…….. Will you all come to the kitchen right now?! The bellow of mother’s voice triggered a fear that I always likened to what ‘judgment day’ might sound like. When mother went screaming for our names like that, it meant hell was going to let loose. Fear skittered over my body as I dropped my right foot sandal that I was about to wear and scuttled after my brothers out of our room. The reason for the loud call was another thing, and a bigger problem would arise if we don’t make it fast enough to the spot where she stood awaiting our arrival…..