One’s First Love

He waited till his mother went around the house chanting prayers to all his siblings before Ms. Rukhaiyah came to the front to where he was lying on the couch watching his favourite team play in the La Liga. His mother bent over obstructing a complete view of the television to blow over the prayers to protect him from evil and he was mindful of nothing but the commentary of the football game running in the background. “Good night son.”, said Ms. Rukhaiyah through her crumbled voice as she made sure the doors were all locked and walked back to her room disregard of Ali’s murmurs under his lips with an unsatisfying smile on her face.

Ali, waiting till the lights go off in his mother’s room, reached out to the remote from where he was sitting, stretching his muscles under the idea of not to move a muscle from the place where he was lying flat on his back, and increased the volume before pulling the sheet over him leaving his feet exposed to the cold in the atmosphere followed by the heavy rain that day.

Sighing with frustration to every time his mother coughed, he paused from his late-night calls until the coughing faded away. That night, did he have no clue of what was awaiting him in the morning, that night, he did prioritise to being proud of himself for being in a relationship with his fourth. “Goodnight my love”, said Ali with eyes half shut being fed up of the extent to which his ‘girl’ was being serious about their relationship and the poor soul not realising his intentions replied, “I love you” to the one that could not smile back at the only person in his entire life span to have loved him truly, his mother.

Scrolling through the phone for the rest of his dark hours and texting to different people at the same time speaking of how ‘lonely’ he feels, fell asleep too soon that he later wished that he was up for the following hour too. Trying not to fall, Ali tossed himself from side to side on the couch with a frown on his face in response to the unusual noises from his mother’s room. The sun rises when the sun set forever at Ms. Rukhaya’s home. Ali not used to be woken up by anyone in the house was forced to wake up by the small fingers of his five-year-old sister hitting hard against his stubbled face. Turning around in haste, Ali almost had pushed Nafeela his sister, down before he noticed it was, she who had woken him up and put his arms around her ensuring that she did not fall hitting her back on the tiled floor.  Nafeela, confused of everything going around her, spoke shakily in a broken tone saying no more than just one word on repeat, “Mamma”, and pointed toward the room.

Ali, clueless has he always have been about everything, replied patiently controlling his rage apprehending he was speaking to his sister who was fifteen years younger to him, “Nafee, Mamma will wake up soon, do not wake her up, she needs to rest too.” Nafeela coming to realise that Ali had not responded the way she expected, pulled him up asking her to follow her to the room. Ali walking slowly stomping the floor with hatred piling up halted by the entrance to the room where he looked down to see Nafeela clouding up with tears in her eyes that she had controlled since the first outburst of cough their mother had released earlier that night. For a guy who used to play with words lone through situations and people, Ali was dumbfound for the first time in his life as he fell down to the floor with his knees hitting hard against the cold tiles and clenched onto his sister over his shoulders. A room filled with the tears and voice of Ms. Rukhaya’s prayers for her two children, had seen for the first time her blood. Fallen over the bed, with her hand reaching out to the jug of water whilst the other hand against the book of recitals she clenches onto while going to sleep before her night’s prayers, she laid there so close to Ali yet too far. Death has no mercy upon those who share too little or too much of love, and for Ali, has he never realised a greater love than that of his mother’s.

Humaith Cassim

Drama enthusiast with a passion for screenplays and poetry.


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