“Sacred” – Abdulrehman Minhas

The darkness clouds my actions, as the shovel penetrates the dirt. I dig the sacred tomb of heart. In fitful rage I pressed it beneath the surface, for the dirt separated me from my beloved – my cosmic mate who lies buried beneath it. These actions are not befitting for a lover; but a petty grave robber. But depraved beings aren’t any better than the latter. They too only cherish dead pasts. As for me I am neither, but a guilty man unveiling a truth, which lies buried under.

It is a still night, as though we were alone on an island of sweet bliss. We had been abandoned in the stars, far apart as eyes winding shut, between a blink and a stare. The moon, peaking through the veil of darkness, my only witness as its glow, present and languid. Eyeing the evil as it comes to fruition; voyeur of cold, cruel things. The night reminded me distinctly of her, the perfume from a distance, the cold vacuum created by the space between her hand and mine. Yet as I dig deeper the realization her warm touch is snuffed by cold decay. The ravenous monsters that feasted on her body, in the soil. Would they have been vicious as the people above it? They pluck the ripest of plums.

I do not think of these things as I continue digging. My only thought of reuniting with her. But she has been through severe changes, would she even remember me? …of course she would; she loved me once before; she wouldn’t forget it.
It is odd that the night is still. As my evil reveals itself; the universe does not condemn it. It should have called forth a dreadful tempest, full of bitter rage and spite. The wind howling as though escaping from Hades, the thunder hammering like a pronouncement of condemned man— the malice of my deed captured by atmosphere. But there is neither: just me, her and the mute night.
The dirt is still wet from the evening dew. The sinking and lugging of feculent goes effortlessly, but the taste of wet soil is ineffable. The aroma although exotic to the living, must smell like sulphur to the dead. I continue digging away at the dirt, in hopes of reuniting with unrequited love.

How desperately I needed to see her. It had been ten years since her death. Till now she was my obsession. I wanted to see her beautiful face again. Her true face that she hid from me so well. I wanted to confess something to her. I needed to tell her all; something I hid beneath the surface; those long years. I am going to hurt myself in her love, while I reveal my naked truth to her, she will be skinless too. No hidden truths, no painted veils, just naked children, formless, true selves exposed inside a grave.

My clothes are infested with the mud. Corrupting my attire, my costume reflects my person. The dirt truly knows who I am. No woman-born, has realized that yet. I always knew that nature was a better judge of character. If my love was a saint, I will find none of her—the soil swallows them whole; but if she was a sinner—-I would find her more beautiful than ever.

The shovel grates at something solid and hollow. Could it be her coffin? Firm and maintained underneath violent earth. I fall on my knees; clear the dirt from her containment, with my hands working simultaneously, against the grain of sand. I will be able to feel her presence again. I sing graces to God! In my own delusional delight. I work furtively as I hasten to awaken her from catatonia. The tears lingering in my eyes, all the time spent alone… her presence haunting me all those years. The space between the touch of her hand and mine, which seemed infinite, now so close.

Then I opened her grave and how infinite that distance became. Life, our partition, as I saw her ugly and decayed face. The skin was hanging like leper, what remained of her was just bone; chewed malevolently. Her hair that once reflected light heavenly, lost colour and white. Her once beautiful rose red cheeks, no more; but haven for maggots. She became a world filled with obscene things. Nature truly did love her and made her a harem of filth. I had no doubt, she was a beautiful soul and I loved her once upon a dream. As I kneeled at her feet, looking at her, I could not hold the somnambulist tears, which broke through the realm of grief on to the plain of skin. I wept as I collapsed on the wet ground, the darkness didn’t smell of perfume. It smelled of emptiness and despair.  No one was there to hold my hand, only nature to tell me that I was condemned to solitude. But now I made a brave face and I looked at her again.

I felt my face, construed to suppress tears. I looked down on her. I needed to tell the truth, bound by my sacred love. The truth, which haunted me. The truth that for the past ten years in all my years of solitude; when there was no one to console me. I threw out everything that reminded me of her. I made an empire of ether to disassociate myself from her. To forget her, to forget you my love. Because I could not continue living, knowing that we were in different worlds. Her voice still lingered through hallways, but time did allow me to forget you. I was able to convince myself, that you were gone all those years. Yes, I destroyed all memory of you, and I forgot; I forgot how you looked like.

I tried reminding myself how you once danced in the moonlight. But I could not remember how you looked like! All those dreams that you appeared in were vivid and the actress who played you didn’t once remind me of you. I needed to open your tomb. I needed to desecrate your grave, to remember the owner. Whom I cherished once. The face that showed me possibilities; that seemed endless and I never thought possible, were gone. Never to look at me with longing eyes and thoughtful glances. Your offerings to mother Earth were the only remnant of memory. It was my only hope to remember you, but all it did was reopen those wounds again.

I knelt to the ground, and I kissed her rotten hand. Taking long and ghastly stares at her, but what remained, didn’t stir any memories. It was not her and she was forever gone. I closed the coffin and I turned to leave. I threw the dirt back on her grave. Covering the sacred heart with mud, so the world does not see the truth. I lay down on the freshly laid dirt, with my love, so we could count the stars once again. But the stars had shut their eyes a long time ago and the night was still passive as ever.

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