Rana Shubair

A Goodbye

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A cold marble column, a plaster decorated ceiling—all still with lifelessness.

Bright pink flowers on a canvas hanging above a beige sofa. I thought of how he must’ve bought it with his wife. I pictured them standing in the shop awed by its beauty and decided flowers would make their home happy.  But today the portrait seemed insignificant and stood as a stark reminder of the good times that are no longer there.
An open plan kitchen with vivid red cupboards. Red must’ve given their home life. But today it had lost its luster.

Some of the women sat in silence, some teary-eyed, while others found it a chance to catch up on each other’s lives. A social gathering, after all.

The decades roll by in my head like a film reel and for a moment, my mind compares who’s childhood was safer, ours or our children’s. We grew up under occupation which meant seeing soldiers in the streets. Our children’s version of occupation is the terror that comes from warplanes. I feel the loss in the missed opportunities. There were so many conversations we didn’t have. A deep void racks me.

No matter how many funerals I go to, it’s not something that can ever turn mundane for me. I tried to recollect images of this childhood friend whom I lost and my memory still kept one image of him when we used to play in the street with the neighborhood kids. Now that he’s gone, it seems that our childhood was only a mirage.

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