Copyright © 2020 UKAF
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
“For the third time, nothing is wrong with me… honestly”, Laylah Khan says, avoiding your gaze, again.
You are used to her admitting that she never had anything wrong with her after your countless efforts that were fruitless.
But you’re scared and worried because today, she seems different, rather ashen with puffy eyes.
Seeing as she is tensed, you shrug it off, pulling her into a hug, “I believe you. I’m sorry for asking.”
She smiles slightly into your broad shoulders as you pat her golden brown hair.
She pulls out from your tight grip on her, suffering from shortness of breath, or probably from a heart disease, you never knew about.
You don’t know why she pulled away, but you smile caressing, gently, her cheeks, knowing it is from how tightly you hugged her.
“Would you like to eat something, now? I made some cottage pie for you while you were asleep.” You utter with confidence, because you intend to impress her after your failed attempts of care.
“What?” You hear her scream loudly, not missing the tone of surprise from her exclamation.
“Is something wrong?” You ask, believing she was amazed by you taking catering as a new hobby.
“No, no, of course not.” She says, putting on that all too familiar smile she recently learnt to display perfectly.
“Okay, then. Shall we head to the dining?” You request, offering your hand out to her in a bid to make her feel special.
“Erm, Samir,” she whispers as you both step out of the bedroom, hand in hand.
“Yes, Habeebatee”, you respond to her call.
“I was hoping that maybe we could consider that diet stuff. You know, eating fru – ” she is saying when you cut her off by halting in your steps.
“Laylah!” You call her by her name, while she gulps down nothing, “Talk to me Laylah; I’m not your husband for nothing. Is something wrong?” You avoid yelling, but you’re scared the more as you shake her by her arms.
She stares deep into your eyes as you stare into hers too, full of unsaid emotions that you don’t understand. Only, what she does next isn’t something you expect.
She pushes you away, holding onto her chest with teary eyes.
“I told you that there is nothing wrong with me. I’m fine,” she begins, “I’m fine, Samir.” She ends with a whisper and tears dropping slowly from her eyes.
You try your best to hold onto that phrase even though it seems like it’s missing all the necessary ingredients.
“It all happened like it was yesterday. I begged her, Zubair, I asked her what was wrong with her. I made everything perfect for her. Why? Why did she not tell me? Was it trust?” You toss and turn on the hospital bed you were placed screaming at your therapist, Zubair, as you remember how she left; how Laylah left without a proper goodbye, except for a note that held a heartbreaking story of her coronary heart disease.
Narcoticised on that same bed, you wonder why she kept to herself, all the while, not speaking of all the things she should and could have said to you before she went gentle into that good night.
GENRE — Tragedy, Short Story, Mystery, Fiction
Prompt Held By — Creative Writing Ink, accessible at creativewritingink.co.uk
Entry Date — 11/24/2020 10:00 PM – Universal Time Coordinated
Closing Date — 11/30/2020 11:59 PM Europe – Greenwich Mean Time
Written by Aisha Olanrewaju.