Closing The Door

January 15, 2009
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I watch her in silence, all words escaping my tongue. She shuffles across the room, but pauses when she sees me. She stares at me for a moment, but I only see her expressionless eyes, the rest of her face hidden underneath a burqa. A mangled cry escapes her throat and lingers in the heavy air between us. She quickly lowers her head as if ashamed, and herds me out the door. I try to ask her what she is doing, but I'm already in the hall. Her hand softly closes the door with a gentle click, right in my face.

I can’t remember how long I’ve been staring at the brass door knob. What seems like hours may have been only minutes. Inside the room, I can hear her moving about. Floor boards creak as they are lifted up, storing mysterious items underneath them.
Once, she comes out and sees me standing there. With a rough shove she pushes me back from the door and utters a few words of warning. When I don’t respond, she holds my gaze and I can see into her eyes. They are cold and dark, but somewhere hidden under all the black, something flickers. Unnerved, she tears away and closes the door with a slam. I blink at the worn, wood panels.

Finally, she emerges. She is dressed in a black, flannel burqa, so heavy for a hot day. It billows around her like smoke, so thick I can hardly see her. Something large bulges out from under her garments, weighing down her slim figure. She brushes past me, not daring to glance my way. She stops in the doorway, her silhouette illuminated by the bright sun. The bulk she is clutching bends her over like a hunchback. I wonder what she was holding in her arms instead of me?

She made it to the street corner before I started running. I reach her before she sees me dashing down the street like a madman. Instinctively, I reach for her hand. For a fleeting moment, she seems to hold my grasp, but she lets go so quickly; I might have imagined it. I reach for it again, but she brings her arm up to stop me. Hurriedly, she turns around and continues down the street. I begin to follow her and she whips sharply around again. Once more, her eyes meet mine. They plead and beg from within their dark depths. “Please,” she breaths, more quietly than a whisper. I feel her look me over from head to toe. Then she turns on her heel and sprints as fast as she can away from me. I don’t follow.

I spend the remainder of the day in the empty house. I wander aimlessly throughout the barren rooms, drifting about with no purpose. Her room is immaculately clean. The bed is made so neatly it looks as though it were never slept in. All the photographs are gone from the walls, with pointy nails left in their place. The bureau drawers are empty and hollow. The only mess was in the fireplace. A pile of ashes lay on the cold bricks. I sift through the gray sand. A jagged edge catches my hand. I pull the corner of a small black and white photograph from the soot.

Just after nightfall a man comes to the door. He knocks several times before I open it. He says he is from the Government. He wants to talk about my mom. I tell him she left the house around midday, nothing more. I ask him if he knows where she is. The man takes a shaking breath. “Your mother,” he tells me, “ was killed in a suicide bombing”. He says she walked into a large crowd and blew herself up. I stare at him numbly. Heavy tears well in my eyes. He insists on more questioning but I shove him out the door and slam it in his face.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

hebos97 said...
Aug. 4, 2011 at 8:37 am
That was really good!  It was sad and the ending was twist which is always the best ending.  Keep up the fabulous work!
NKsunshine said...
Jul. 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm
Breath Taking......enough said;)
bubj98 said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm
i found this piece breath taking .i really love it.5 stars.and perhaps you could comment on my are a gret author and have some talent
B.R.Nack said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm
that was really good i enjoyed reading it alot and you are very good at keeping the reader hooked
Denae W. said...
Apr. 10, 2009 at 4:08 pm
Very interesting and unique style of writing. Neat how you didn't reveal that the woman was his (there was little to tell us if it WAS a boy, so I assume) mother and not girlfriend or anything.
For a second in the middle I wondered if the main character was an animal, and it would read a little clearer if you perhaps mentioned what the MC thought were his reasons for staying around, why he was trying to convince her to stay.
Or perhaps mention why she's so angry, give us reade... (more »)
Jane Quinn said...
Feb. 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm
I enjoyed the aura of mystery the author was able to create. It was full of suspense and very poignant.
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