Fiction Friday: Voices in the head.


He asked me for some money. Not a lot, but enough to make me angry. Dad always said that he was up to no good. I didn’t want to listen to his reasons or excuses. Just told him a flat “no”. He didn’t argue.
“That’s okay bro. No problem. I just stopped by to see you. I am tickled pink that you are doing so well.” We looked at each other, I with an air of superiority and he, just a simpleton of a brother that I couldn’t tolerate to have around.

He was a couple of years younger than me. We were brothers but we were more than that. We were friends, until he signed up to go to war. He came back a changed man. Couldn’t hold a job. Didn’t bother eating the right kind of food. Started losing weight and thought I would hold his hand and lead him the way. I had my own life, my career, my stand in the society. I was always a fighter; always wanted to do things my way, and didn’t tolerate interference.

He went away after an hour or so. Said he was returning to Kansas. I didn’t ask him what he wanted the money for. Didn’t ask him to stay and spend the night in his old room. He went away. I let him go!

Two months later I had forgotten that he had come by and had asked for some money. I was too busy. I was making a life for myself and doing it well. In these two months, my brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the esophagus, and had died in the hospital.

I received the call from the nurses at the hospital. He had named me as the only surviving relative. Somewhere from the deep crevices of my brain, I heard a scream that sounded like a growl of a hunted animal. I had always protected him and fought for him. My mask of menace and hostility was unraveling and I found myself on the floor, holding on to my stomach.

I kept hearing my own voice over and over again in the catacombs of my brain. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Take this money, I have no use for it now. Please come back to me!”
“Forgive me, forgive me, please forgive me.”
“There is a hole in my life and only you can fill.”
“You are gone now, and I cannot forgive myself. I want you here my brother, the longing is like an unending prairie, thirsty and hungry for your love.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me that you needed the money for treatment? I would have given you my life. “

All I now have is the cacophony in my brain like a metronome, hurting me, hating me, lynching me over and over and over again.


Zakiah Sayeed October 9th 2015 (A fiction)

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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13 Responses to Fiction Friday: Voices in the head.

  1. jstnotherday says:

    Oh my! This made me cry.
    How many times do we have missed opportunities in life?
    Miscommunications that can’t be undone?
    So sad, so terribly sad.
    I know it is a fiction but you really hit the heart.

  2. sunsetdragon says:

    Touches my heart and my soul and reminds never to take any moment I have to spend with loved ones for granted, as they are gone to soon.

  3. Beautifully and poignantly written, SweetZ.
    This brought tears.
    A profound reminder concerning communication and love and so much more.

  4. Heart touching and so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.
    We can not take things or people for granted. hugs.

  5. slmret says:

    Wow — it’s heart wrenching! Communication is truly a key to all relationships, and lost moments like these can easily result from that lack. Nicely written, Zakiah!

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you Janet. Communication is such an important part of the human life. So many misunderstandings and heartaches can be smoothed away if only people would open their hearts to express and understand the feelings and thoughts.

  6. rudyhou says:

    sometimes we are so blessed with a good life, we become overprotective on what we have and achieved, without remembering that we wouldn’t be where we are without the influence of family, which what matters most.

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