That night, Kareem decided to tell me a story. He called it: The Story of the Tyrant and the shadow. Exactly why he called it so, or why he chose to tell it to me, I do not know. But it goes like this:

The tyrant flogged the shadow’s existence dry. No shadow but his own was supposed to grow tall on the edges of his wall. He even refused the voices which filled up his head, the noises of the many shadows trapped inside his wall, their screams, their shrill appearance all of a sudden, and the smell which warns their approach, as if a horn is suddenly sounded.
The shadow would run for its life. Sometimes it would succeed in hiding, but in most times, the flogging would be inevitable. No matter the begging, or the looks of terror, or the resolved attitude with which the shadow faces his doom, the flogging always came. As the shadow lay one night, torn and weary, especially on the edges, he planned his revenge. His sweet sweet revenge.

Kareem stopped to look at me. It was clear he was stuck and did not know how to finish his story. I had to admit, it was getting more interesting, but I did not wish to finish it for him. After all, it was his story not mine. So I made myself some tea and sat by the fire and waited.
A few minutes passed before kareem raised his head from in between his two hands and spoke to me. You ruined things, he said. At first, I did not know what he was alluding to, nor was I keen on the reason behind this uproar of his, though these days they tend to become a tad too many. He explained himself, like I knew he would. He said it was all my fault that I am being treated the way I am. All I still need, according to Kareem, is a little more confidence, a whole lot of courage, a tiny more bit of articulation and eloquence (which unsurprisingly he volunteered to help me out with) and a whole lot more of self-assertion. I fumbled through the pockets of my dress (yes, I wore a dress that night) and threw a piece of paper at him. I basically told him to shut up. I did not want to hear what I already knew.
Stop acting like you live inside my head and get on with your story.
But Kareem, being the storyteller that he is, chose to leave his story till another night. And so shall I.

Advertisements