Behind The Door
Maria knew she had to gather the courage to open the door at some point in her life.
She had spent the past few days cleaning, scrubbing even washing the wood and its metal handle at least twice a day – hoping that she would somehow gather the courage to finally turn the doorknob.
It wasn’t, after all, a normal door.
This was the door that led to the most beautiful time of her life. The door led her to her previous self – or more specifically those parts of herself that she had now buried somewhere deep inside.
She would often hear those visiting her house saying “Look at Maria, she is standing by his door again” or “Oh poor girl, May Allah give her patience”, but she ignored them all.
It wasn’t just Maria who did not enter the room, but she made sure no one else did either. Not her parents who visited her every two days, not her deceased husband’s mother who tried to reach her once a week and especially not the COVID-19 fumigation team that was able to sterilize the rest of her house except that room.
After all, how could she allow them to take away the last remains of her 15-year-old son from her?
They had already removed every proof of him – his smell, his cells from the rest of the house, but she just couldn’t allow them to touch his room.
Maria had assured all those around her, she would not enter the room before 14 days. But she stood outside the room every night for hours, with trembling hands as she tried to get a whiff of his scent through the door.
She would often whisper: “Come back to me, meri jaan”, but on hearing no response, she would leave defeated once again.
However, even after those 14 days were over, she hadn't allowed herself to go in.
Not being able to see what was on the other side of the door gave her hope, because she knew once the door would open, and she realized there is no one sitting on the bed playing video games – it would finally become real.
Her worst fears would turn into reality. She would finally have to accept her son isn’t behind the door — that he was no more.
It had now been 3 months to her son's death.
Not ready to come out of her bubble just yet, Maria decided she would stay in this false reality a little longer until she was ready to accept the truth.