by Ayesha Hamid
Yes, we were worlds apart so different except for in our hearts. I relished our time together, her creativity, and the ascension of her art. Taking my hand, she moved it towards the thread that connects everything, showing me textures I didn’t know were there, creating compositions like her rendition of a flower, the petals bright blue, full of life, and flowing human forms, free of humiliation, which bent willingly with the wind. Her consideration changed everything, and when she took my hand I became something I could never have been. With her palm she tilted my chin, allowing me to see galaxies, the heavens, and baby blue skies, which could only come alive through each other’s eyes. I looked on with awe at the wonders in her work, mirroring the wonders which I saw before me, her eyes, her soft arms, and open heart. Rebels in love, neither of us ever wanted to part, but if our families found out, we’d be turned out, so, with year after year taken, our souls were shaken.
Her family made her marry because a husband was what they wanted. I was what she wanted, so, I couldn't give up. I visited her once, but she told me to go. Yet, years later I found her again, and she’d forgotten whatever she may have uttered. Still, she was my mirror, and I was surprised to see in her the same, engulfing flame, which couldn't care for all the rules and restrictions. Complaining to me that it was all true, she confessed that her husband couldn’t really care, not the way that I used to. So, I reached for her still, but to no avail because the boundaries remained, waiting to cut her and to cut me, if we tried to extinguish our pain.
Others only allowed me close enough to re-examine her compositions, so, in a lofty museum, I sat in front of them alone, with the whole world, and now they all knew what I already did decades before. These onlookers were fair weather, but I’d been there for the birth. Standing in front of these pieces again, I had the same longing, sitting for hours, rarely shifting, and wishing that we could go back, so she could again fill the missing pieces of my heart.
In a way, I already died years ago because I never loved again, nor had my own children. So at my end, it would truly be death, no child left to serve as a remnant of what I was. The only energy of me that would remain would be my life-long longing for her.
Years ago till my last breath, yes, the death of one meant the death of the other. Though we both despaired, it was hard to break the bond we'd created, but one of us did die in the end. Matters not who, for we were always one, not two. And with this death, the world was actually relieved that things were finally settled for it was never able to bear our love. To each other, we were the purpose of life itself, but to everyone else, I was nothing but a Palestinian and she was nothing but a Jew.