Here, We Live

Blood gushing from his throat flowed like the Nile River. His bulging eyeballs stared into my own as his life slowly crept out from beneath his flesh. The dry and cracked lips opened slightly as if to deliver a parting speech, but I knew this wasn’t a movie. He didn’t have enough time or oxygen to move his body let alone speak.

I stared down at him, revelling in my victory, and, in return, he shut his eyes. The axe in my hand weighed down on me more with the satisfaction of a job well done than with burden. I sighed – in his end was my beginning. Finally, I will live.

Almost as if he heard my inner speech, Adam opened his bloodshot eyes to give me one final look. What I saw was not contempt, betrayal or even pain, but a serenity that I had never seen in life. That’s when I realized the peace spreading over his complexion was that of death.

That’s how he went; looking into my eyes. The same eyes that had looked over him as he quietly entered the land of dreams. The same eyes that had memorized each crevice of his face and chest. The same eyes that looked into his and had found warmth and comfort. Now, these eyes find only a chilled ice river. One that will break with the slightest weight.

Immediately, I raise my foot and crush it on his eye balls. Squish – like the sound of stepping on grapes to make wine. I won’t look at them anymore. My obligations, promises and commitments to this man have been revoked. I’m free.

There’s more blood now gathering from his eyes and joining the bloody Nile on the concrete. Clatter. I drop the axe. Thud. I kneel. Sniff. I cry. And cry. And cry. A maniac war cry escapes my lips. Not a no, but a yes. I’ve made it. I don’t care if I’m found. Being caught will be my escape – not from him, but from the institution of marriage. The world needs to bear witness to my scream for justice. Mine and every woman who has been abused. For too long we’ve stayed silent. Now, we yell.

My body stops wracking with coughs and the spit dripping from my mouth recedes. I open my eyes and Adam’s juiced out, flattened sclera looks up at me. I get up and walk away until I’m at the door. Size 8 imprints of blood mark the concrete floor. Pausing, I glance back one last time at the man who loved me, but not enough to care for me.

In a while when they come, I’ll leave, but right now, I take my time and marvel at my work. Ten years of hits, punches, shouts, screams, beatings and endless scars end here.



-Rashida Khokhar
Mississauga, Canada


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