It's All Things Bookish....
Because Life is short and there is so much to read, read fast!
Claim your free ebook https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/9Qwq4A3Z?source=social via @iambookseater
The Untold Tales (Short Story Collection Book 2) is coming soon and you can now pre-order it at a discounted price. The price will increase after the book is released.
When you lose your way in the middle of your journey,
When things start going wrong halfway through,
When there is an eclipse after a sunny morning,
That’s when you feel the pain so acutely.
But that’s also the time to remember and hope,
Because things get better only after they get worse,
Losing your way will lead to new enchanting roads,
Things going wrong will cause you to find new solutions,
And the sun will shine brightly after the eclipse.
Life is all about good, bad, and everything in between,
It is about the right, the wrong, and so much more,
It can be easy and difficult both at the same time,
All that matters is; we keep moving forward.
Be happy if you lose your way and find your soul,
Be glad if things go wrong and you discover life’s purpose,
Celebrate the solar eclipse, it doesn’t come that often,
More than that, don’t blame yourself for what’s meant to be.
© 2020, Fizza Younis.
When I was a kid, I developed this strange habit of staring at the night sky. I would wake up in the middle of the night, sneak out and stare at the moon for hours. I didn’t know if my parents noticed it or not but no one ever said anything. I did it for a long time. Until the day life got in the way. Then, I didn’t have time to sit and gaze at the silver ball of light.
There was so much that I only shared with the moon. It knew all my secrets. I was always a self-proclaimed loner. If it weren’t for the full-moon nights, I might have lost my sanity a long time ago. Thankfully, the moon was there for me when I needed something to anchor myself to. Did you know how calming it was to look up and see that one thing that was always there?
“If you don’t love the moon,” she said with a smile, “then you aren’t my type.”
“Why the moon?” He asked, narrowing his eyes as if trying to figure out the hidden meaning behind her words. But there was no mystery there. It was what she said because the moon mattered.
“Why not?” She raised her eyebrows, challenging him.
“Ok.” He relented, “if you love the moon then I will love it too.”
“Just like that?” She didn’t believe him.
“Yes, just like that.” He reassured her.
She shouldn’t have trusted his words. No one changes that easily. You couldn’t love something because someone told you to love it. That’s not how these things work. She didn’t know that. So, she trusted his words and he broke her heart. He was so not her type. She was a moon lover and he loved the sun. She was a night owl and he preferred the day. She was a mystery and he hated mysteries. They weren’t meant to be.
That night the moon had decided to hide behind the clouds. I hated that. I felt as if my best friend was angry with me and ignoring me because I had disappointed it somehow. Why now? Why tonight of all nights? I needed my anchor. I needed the moon. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have that one thing that I needed the most; moon’s calming presence to steady my heartbeat and find my hope.
Everything changed that night. I lost the love of my life and I lost my best friend. The moon wasn’t there for me so I gave up on it. I wondered if my life would’ve been different if he didn’t cheat or if the moon was there to console me. But there was no point in crying over the past. What’s done was done and I had to move on. So, I did.
“Do you like this color?” She asked, “I’m not sure about it. Maybe we should see some more samples before picking it.”
“It’s perfect,” he said, “there is no need to waste more time when we have already found something we like.”
“Hmm,” she sighed. “You’re right. No point in thinking too much. This will do.”
That’s how they settled everything. She would doubt and raise questions and he would tell her that she was over-thinking or trying too hard. She would give up and allowed him to lead the way. Slowly, she was losing her voice. What made her her wasn’t there anymore.
It was a full moon night and I was sitting outside bathing myself in the moonlight. There was something about the moon that night which made me question my life choices. Did you ever notice that moonlight is the prettiest thing in the world? You could sit there, staring at it for hours and still wouldn’t feel bored. It was actually very relaxing.
My mind was troubled that night. I had had the worst day and wasn’t so sure what the future had in store for me. The only thing I had was hope and the moon. It gave me its full attention. We stayed together for hours and I was much relaxed afterward. What would be, would be. At least, the moon would always be there for me.
“I’m rather tired today,” he told her, “let’s call it a night and head home.”
“But the festivities are yet to begin,” she complained. “Let’s stay a while longer.”
“Sweetheart,” he said, “I have work tomorrow. I really do need to sleep otherwise I would still be tired in the morning.”
“That’s not fair.” She pouted, “I have been looking forward to this night for so long. And how come you’ve work tomorrow? It’s the weekend. Who works on the weekend?”
“Let’s not argue here.” He pointed, “we can talk about that at home.”
After that, she said nothing. They left the party early and he went to work the next day. She didn’t ask him about it again. It was like she didn’t care anymore. She knew something wasn’t right but she wasn’t ready to know the truth. Thus, she buried her head in the sand and waited for her fate to decide everything for her.
Around that time, I had started taking sleep medicine. Insomnia got too difficult for me to handle. Never before had I wanted to sleep as much as I wanted it then. There was a reason why they called sleep the ‘half death.’ At least, for those few hours, my problems went away. At that point in my life, that was all I wanted. Staying awake and greeting the moon every night had lost its charm. I was no longer interested in that. There was no attraction in the moon. My life was a mess and all I needed was an escape. So, that’s what I did. I slept every night, eight hours minimum, and forgot that even if the prince I loved turned out to be a toad, there was something else out there that had once mattered to me.
“I truly am sorry,” he said, looking ashamed of himself, “I never intended to hurt you. I loved you.”
“Save it,” she said, “it doesn’t matter now. You betrayed my trust and you broke my heart. That is all I know. I don’t need to hear your empty words.”
“Will you ever forgive me.” The look in his eyes beseeched her.
“Not a chance!” She didn’t understand why it mattered to him whether she forgave him or not.
“You changed,” he said. There was remorse behind his words.
“I changed?” Now, she was angry. The hurt was gone and the fire blazed behind her eyes. “You’re a lying, cheating bastard and you have the audacity to say, I changed.”
“But you did.” He didn’t raise his voice the way she had.
“Get out of my house. I don’t want to see you ever again.” She pushed him towards the door.
He left and that was how their story ended. She never forgave him and she never trusted anyone ever again. Love wasn’t for her. She wasn’t the love’s type. There was a secret within her soul, a story within the story, and only the moon knew. It wanted to tell her but she wasn’t ready to listen. Someday she would be. After all, there was a time for everything.
© 2019, Fizza Younis.
Engulfed by the darkness,
I lost my way.
Thinking about the past,
I lost sight of the present.
My vision blurred by the tears,
I forgot to see the light.
As if my throat just closed up,
I forgot to ask for help.
But I was wrong to have despaired,
It wasn’t the end of my story.
It was only a sad chapter,
Until I remembered to turn the page.
Underneath the wreckage of anxiety and panic attacks,
My dream is buried,
Somewhere deep down in those shacks.
It’s a dream I had when I was a little boy, bigger than myself,
Life had seemed easy,
And I had hoped to achieve it without help.
Only when I grew up did I realize how wrong it was, my life’s impression,
I began with a dream but soon,
All I was left with was my depression.
I was alone with no hope of ever finding a way out of this wreck,
I wasn’t weak,
I did fight it for as long as I could, heck!
But the beast that’s depression is nothing to joke about,
It’s vicious and it’s cruel,
It won’t let you go no matter how much you shout.
It’ll suck the very life out of you and it doesn’t know how to rest,
Soon, I was tired to my bones,
I had done my best.
Now, I’m ready to give up on my dream and my life,
Because what’s the point of having a dream…
That can’t even survive.
© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.
Oh, the things we do for love,
And the dreams that can never be.
Oh, the lies we tell ourselves,
And the nights we cry until falling asleep.
If love is so painful is it even worth it?
Then, if not love what else there is to live for?
Shackled by the bonds of our love,
None of us can ever be truly free.
It's something we crave and welcome,
Even if it breaks our heat in the end,
Love is something we'll always want to feel.
For love, we'll do despicable things,
And then will tell ourselves that,
All is fair in love and war.
We claim that the love we seek has higher purpose,
Telling ourselves that we accept wrong to be right.
Oh, the things we do for our love,
And the lies we tell ourselves!
© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.
When I think of death, I feel alive
Death isn't something to be afraid of
It's something inevitable and fighting it is futile
Thinking about it is a little strange at my age
But not thinking about it would be even stranger
Because when has death cared about the years
It can come to anyone at any time
We must be vigilant and stay prepared
Don't let it surprise you
Don't let it deprive you of the joys of your life
It is inevitable, that much is true
It is the unknown, fearing it may seem natural
But when you live the way you have
How bad could death really be?
It might even be better
Death is your friend, only if you'd see
Surrender to it and it will take care of you
Go willingly and it will lead you to someplace safe
Don't make a fuss
Life has no right to be better than death
It's just the other side of the same coin
Death is a beauty, nothing to fear
Some even wait for it to appear
Some hope it comes sooner, to some of us
It is very, very dear!
© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.
“I’m not a forgiving person. I’m a tit-for-tat an-eye-for-an-eye kind of person and always have been. If you annoy me, I’ll annoy you. If you make me angry, I’ll make you angry. If you try my patience then I’ll try yours. That’s how I work and that’s who I am. I’m not a nice person. I don’t care about your mental health issues and your insecurities. They’re yours to deal with and have nothing to do with me. I don’t give people second chances. I absolutely hate liars and cheaters. On second thought, I hate people period. I only tolerate the ones I call family or friends. Did I say you’re my friend? I suppose I did. Okay, I’ll tolerate you for now. Don’t expect any special favors though because that’ll never happen. If you want my respect, you’ll have to earn it. If you want my love? Well, that’s not going to happen as I don’t do love. That just isn’t my thing. Don’t ever think about love while you are here. There will be no love stories and no romance to speak of. My memory is weak so I do forget things easily, make sure you keep reminding me about all the important things otherwise you are useless for me and I’ll have to let you go. I admire people with a strong sense of morality and ethical values. I despise the ones who think just because they can they should break rules. Rules are meant to be kept and not broken. They are there for a reason and even though you are too stupid to understand that reason doesn’t mean that you get to break them. So, don’t even think about it. Also, I don’t consider ignorance as an excuse and it is your responsibility to learn about the rules and regulations of this place. Above all, remember who is the boss and what’s your place here. Don’t cross any lines and we’ll be all good. Any questions?”
His monologue finally ended not that I was paying attention. That man had serious issues, after his first sentence, I stopped listening. So, did I have a question? Probably a dozen but was I going to ask him? Not a chance. I’d find my own answers. I was good at that, after all, that’s why I was there; to find answers. Oh, I also had to deal with Mr. I-have-a-stick-up-my-ass but I wasn’t really concerned about that part. I was the best of the best, that’s why he chose me. I could do this job with my eyes closed. The real challenge would be to keep my true intentions for being there a secret. I cringed inwardly, my boss wasn’t going to make it easy on me I could see that much. Whatever, no one said life was easy. I would have to suck it up at least until I accomplished what I came here to do.
“Are you listening?” He said curtly.
“No, no questions,” I replied instantly.
“Please, avoid this fading out, be in your own head kind of thing from now on. If I ask something I expect an immediate answer. Understood?”
“Yes, Sir,” I said a little sarcastically and then hoped he wouldn’t pick up on that. Not a good move but the man was already getting on my nerves. The way he talked, his arrogance was astounding.
“Good, now that we are clear you may leave and get acquainted with your work.”
“Right away,” I wasn’t sure why my new boss thought I needed to know so much about him but I left the room hastily before he remembered something else that he had to say about himself. I didn’t think I’d be able to control my tongue if another absurd remark came from him. What a prick, I prayed that I didn’t have to deal with him every single day or I’d go crazy. Well, life had a way of throwing hardships at us. I’d consider this one of those and try not to fail at coping with it, with him. Only time would tell whether I’d succeed or not. Right now, I had a job to do and a secret mission to complete.
“So, how was your first day?” Mrs. Fary asked with a mischievous smile.
“Don’t worry, Ma’am,” I said respectfully, “the job would be done.”
“Oh, forget that,” she said smiling, “I want to know more about your new boss, Zavier.”
“What about him?” I was genuinely confused.
“Oh, don’t play coy,” she said, “I’ve heard he is hot.”
“He is?” Well, that was news to me. I suppose if he kept his mouth shut, he wasn’t too bad.
“Come on, it’ll stay between us women.” Apparently, the old lady liked to gossip.
“He wasn’t anything special. Just your usually asshole of a boss.”
“Oh, you’re no fun.” The way she said ‘oh’ in every sentence was annoying but I kept my opinion to myself. Mrs. Fary was paying my salary, the one that mattered. I worked for her and I must get used to keeping my mouth shut. Both my current bosses were difficult people to deal with. Not that I would ever admit that out loud.
“You’re late.” I looked up at Mr. Zavier as I left the elevator. Then, I looked at my watch and said, “yes, I’m three minutes late. I apologize for that.”
“Don’t be late, not even a second,” he said knowing full well that I hadn’t meant that apology. “We’re leaving so just follow me,” he said curtly.
“Where are we going?” I asked as I followed him back to the elevator.
“I’m taking you shopping,” he declared as if that wasn’t anything unusual.
“You need proper clothes and I don’t want to be difficult. I’ve no idea if you wear,” he looked at my attire pointedly before continuing, “what you wear by choice or maybe you just don’t know better things are available out there. Anyhow, I’ll buy you some proper clothes. You can thank me later.”
Did he just say what I thought he said? I didn’t even know how to react to that, my brain was still processing this when we entered the most expensive shop in the mall. Did I mention that my boss owned this Mall and every shop in it? In any case, half an hour later I left the shop with a dozen dresses and matching shoes.
Not that I would ever thank him for that highhanded attitude. I had to remind myself that this wasn’t my actual job. It was temporary and I could wear these fancy clothes for a few days, weeks at tops, that I’d be here. Mind you, that thought was the only reason that I didn’t kill him right then and there.
“Zavier, how good to see you.” It was my mother and some other lady, one of her friends no doubt.
“Mama,” I said as I hugged her, “what are you doing here.”
“Oh, your mother and I were just window shopping,” the woman said before my mother could reply.
“This is Mrs. Fary.” My mother introduced the woman and said, “she’s an old friend.”
“I’ve heard so much about you,” Mrs. Fary said, “from your mother of course.” She was looking at my new employee who was standing behind me. “Who is that?” She asked.
“No one you need to be concerned with,” I said. Nosy women were creatures I couldn’t stand.
“How rude, Zavier,” my mother said, chastising me, “anyhow, you must be busy. We’ll be on our way then.” They said goodbyes and left. I started towards the top floor assuming that Miss Matilda would follow me and she did.
“He is the most insufferable human being I’ve ever come across.” Obviously, she was talking about me. That put a smile on my face. I’m not like most people I actually enjoy it when others talk shit about me. It keeps things interesting.
“Miss Matilda, may I have a word,” I said rounding the corner and startling her into dropping her phone. Served her right.
“Yes,” she said as she picked up her phone and said a quick bye to whomever she was talking to, “who do you need?”
“In my office, please,” I said and didn’t wait for her response. I was the boss and she’d follow me without question. “Take a seat,” I said as I took mine behind the desk.
“Thank you,” she said timidly. I knew she was anything but.
“How long have you worked for me?”
“And how long have you worked for Mrs. Fary?”
“Excuse me?” She feigned ignorance. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Do you remember what I told you about myself when we first met?”
“Not really,” she admitted.
“I hate liars and cheaters more than anything else in the world. So, I’ll ask you once again,” I said harshly, “how long have you worked for Mrs. Fary?”
“A year,” she said in a small voice.
“Good, finally some honesty.” It wasn’t good and we both knew that. “Why are you here?”
“To spy on your company.”
“And have you?”
“Have I what?”
“Spied and reported back?”
“No, not yet.”
“I’m caught,” she stated the fact.
“Let me be blunt,” I said, “I’ve observed you during this week and you’re the best at your job. I don’t want to lose you. Are you willing to stop your spying thing?”
“That’s a tough question. I’m paid very well.” I didn’t think I’d want to work for someone like him.
“I’d double your pay.”
Now, that was tempting. “Okay, deal. No more spying. I’ll resign from my current job and will work for you full-time.”
“Don’t betray my trust,” he said in a warning, “it won’t end well for you.”
“As long as you’re willing to pay me what you’ve just promised, you don’t need to worry about a thing.”
“And that was how our friendship started,” Tara said, the memories had put a smile on her face.
“But grandma, that doesn’t say anything good about you or grandfather,” Lily complained.
“That’s the truth. He was the most arrogant and difficult to deal with a man I had ever met. I was the most sought after spy. So good at my job that every top firm was after me. But I chose him and he paid me well.”
“But that doesn’t tell us how you fell in love,” Sarah complained too. Their grandparents’ story was nothing they had anticipated. Two little, impressionable girls couldn’t figure out what their grandmother wasn’t saying.
“Who said anything about love?” Tara smiled at them. “Weren’t you listening? Your grandfather didn’t do love. Ours was a relationship based on mutual respect and friendship.”
“But that’s not enough.”
“Maybe not for everyone but for us, it was more than enough,” Tara said with a far-off look in her eyes. It was indeed more than enough for them. Two imperfect people living and working together in perfect harmony. What more could you ask for?
© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.
Sometimes a hundred years isn't enough time to get to know someone. Sometimes a second is more than enough. It was a rough patch in my life when I met her for the first time. We met in a hospital of all places. I was visiting my psychiatrist and she was there is her brother who had been in an accident. It wasn't your ideal social gathering and normally I wouldn't even be talking to anyone let alone sharing my deepest darkest secrets with a complete stranger. There was something about her though that compelled me to open up.
That day, I told her things even my doctor didn't know. He often told me that my biggest problem is that I don't talk about myself, oh boy, only if he could see me talking to her. I couldn't stop myself, she was a good listener. She didn't say much about herself, noded just a little, gave me a few smiles and said all the right things. That's another interesting thing about her, everything that comes out of her mouth feels right. It's like she knows exactly what to say and when to say it. I'm not sure if there is any science to it but she had it perfected. So, was it any wonder that I fell in love with her right then and there?
We met again in the same hospital. She was sad because her brother was no longer with her. That day she talked while I listened and we decided to stay in touch. It was the beginning of our friendship that went on for years. I never told her that I loved her and she never let me believe that it was anything more than friendship for her. It was okay though, we were happy with our situation. We met often and we used to talk for hours on the phone. My depression was long forgotten. I had fully recovered and my life was on the mend. She had picked up the pieces of hers and was now moving on.
It's one of those good things that come from the worst situations in your life. Unfortunately, it didn't last long. Soon, we drifted apart. It happened slowly, unknowingly to us. I can't be sure what started it. Perhaps, there were parts of her life I wasn't privy to. She knew all about me though. I used to talk about myself a lot. In hindsight that might have been one of the problems. I loved talking to her so much that I rarely let her talk. I just assumed that she wasn't much of a talker never ever imagining that there could be more to it.
You know, how they say that what you don't know will never hurt you? Well, guess what? They lie, what you don't know is exactly the thing that's going to hurt you. I was so self-absorbed that I never thought about her or what she might be going through. Years later I found out that she had committed suicide and I felt like an idiot. The time that was happiest for me was anything but for her. The friendship that I cherish to this very day hadn't meant much to her because she never confided in me. Was I even a good friend to her? Are my memories of that time so twisted that I had made those moments mean more, in my mind, than they actually did?
In retrospect, I can see where things went so wrong. I was experiencing something good after the lowest point in my life and I let that cloud my judgment. This one regret in my life will stay with me forever. What if I had asked her something as simple as, 'are you happy?' What if instead of keeping my feelings to myself I've told her, 'I love you.' What if I wasn't so self-centered? What if... would she still be alive then? Would we be together then? These questions and many more plague my every waking moment.
People are often more than what they seem and things are often far more complicated than we assume them to be. These days I tend to pay more attention to people around me. I want to know if anyone is going through a hard time. Perhaps, I'll never be able to do anything for them but at least, I'll be there and I'll definitely try to catch them as they fall.
© 2019, Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.
She gave and gave never expecting anything in return,
She lived her life for others never complaining even once.
She was generous to a fault and gave away the last of herself,
She believed that she will receive the love she deserves.
Alas, she was wrong because life is not so fair,
In the end, all she received was a lack of love and little care.
On her death bed, she was lying utterly alone,
No loved one to kiss for the last time and say goodbye to.
But even then she pretended to be okay and did not complain,
Until the very end, a beautiful smile on her face remained.
She did what she did and lived a life she believed in,
Her heart was warm and her soul was giving,
She was content with her life and didn’t require anyone,
But we know that was a lie because she did care.
One thing is for sure though, she must have gone to a happy place,
Because what else there could be for a soul that left behind no trace,
Of hatred, or resentment, of anger or sadness, to her life was fine,
There was a light in her soul she had let that shine.
She had given so much love and so much care, so what?
If she didn’t receive enough in return, it was never her intention,
She didn’t like it when her good deeds people mention.
To her, the more you give is not so that the more you receive,
To her, giving is a choice you should make regardless,
Because this life is fleeting and there is a life after,
That life matters more and for it, she was preparing,
In all the love and care that she was sharing.
2019, All Rights Reserved.