Mama believes that I despise my adorable sister, Maggie, and I do not blame her for the way she perceives me because my mother did not get an education beyond 2nd grade. I know how it was almost impossible for a black person in the 1920s to get an education, especially for girls. As I was growing up in my Mama’s house, I realized that we were poverty-stricken. I wanted to have a better life for my family and myself. So I decided to get an education in order to be able to unshackle my family and myself from the bondage of ignorance that I believed was part of the reason why my family was poor. I remember when I was young and naive, our old house that I despised engulfed by the flames. I was so gratified because I wanted to wipe out all the memories that I resented while living in my old house. I remember seeing my beautiful sister getting eaten by the flames, and unfortunately, I was completely paralyzed that I could not even help her, probably because I wanted the house to be wiped off the surface of the Earth or because I witnessed my adorable sister being hunted by the flames? All I know that at that time I was dazed and overwhelmed.

Also, I remember when I was trying to enlighten my family by teaching them and showing them the other worlds, they felt like I was intimidating them. I do not blame them for their feelings, but I do blame them for the fact that they believed that I hate both of them and never attempted to listen and open their minds. After I felt completely disconnected from my family, I decided to travel to build my own future due to the fact my mother and sister seemed to love each other, living in their small and very-limited world. After five years of being away, I bought my own house and got married to a man that I love and believe will assist me in my journey of prospering. This is the reason why I left my own family. I left them to become a better person and help them in the future, but I never hated the family that I grew up with.

As I started to get involved in my life overseas, I came to realize that family is very precious and indispensable. I will never forget those days when I did not have any  6company but the bleak darkness of the midwinter. My husband left for a business trip and I was all alone at home. While he was away, I played dead, hoping the loneliness would leave me alone, and to avoid the empty side of my home. Each night insomnia used to sweep me up in his arms and dip me in the kitchen in the small glow of the stove-light. Insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feels like the perfect company. So I decided to go for walks but my stuttering kneecaps clanked like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists. They ring in my ear like clumsy church bells, reminding me I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness that I can not baptize myself in. But this was not what really made me realize that family is vital to a healthy life, but the fact that I abandoned my own family because they could not comprehend and accept me.

My loneliness made me feel me that I was obligated to reunite with my family, otherwise it would haunt me until the last moment of my life. So I went back to my home country hoping that I would get accustomed to my family. I was compelled to incorporate new methods and means in the way that I treat my family to assure them that I am not an outsider. But still my family rejected reunification, and this was the moment I came to realize that I was born alone. My fate is to be alone. The hollow auditorium of my life started to get wider and bigger as I decided to go back overseas. Still, Mama does not understand 

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2 Comments
  1. El-Hassn 7 months ago

    Dear El-Hossin Salem:

    I am enthusiastic about your short story, “ Loneliness is a battle with no winner” It is an intense story. I am fascinated by the way you narrated the story from a psychological aspect.

    One line that stands out for me is, “ My loneliness made me feel me that I was obligated to reunite with my family.” It makes me think that sometimes we do things that we don’t want to actually do or because we think that we have to actually do it. As humans, we have control over ourselves, so what makes us feel that we are forced to do something?

    Another line that stands out for me is, “I will never forget those days when I did not have any 6company but the bleak darkness of the midwinter” I think this section is intense because it makes me think that we actually realize the value of things when we lose it. We take everything for granted, but the bitter fact that nothing is for granted in this life.

    Your story reminds me of my childhood and makes me feel that when I was young I did a lot of things that I felt that I should do, but, in fact, I didn’t want to do it. In the meantime, I think that I should never do something to satisfy anyone, I should do just the right things despite everything.

    Thanks for your story. I am looking forward to seeing what you make next. Your way of writing shows your deep thinking, but also shows the influence of your life experiences on every letter in your short story.

  2. Yeanoor 8 months ago

    Dear El-Hossin

    I am enthusiastic about your short story, “ Loneliness is a battle with no winner” It is a wonderful story. I really liked the way you portray Dee’s personality, and described how isolation was killing inside of her.

    The one line that stands out for me is, “ My loneliness made me feel me that I was obligated to reunite with my family.” when we are alone, our brain thinks very deeply and make us realize what we are missing.

    Your story helps me to understand “ Everyday use” that I once read, that you have to sacrifice something in order to gain something. Dee’s knows how to play around people by only caring about her desires and gain, what she craves for. Her confidence helped to pursue a better life, which was completely opposite for her sister Maggie.

    Thanks for your story. I am looking forward to seeing what you make next.

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