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Jul 2020
Striding in solitary,
Underneath the Lions Gate Bridge,
And along the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
Back in the summer of 2016,
On a summery blue-sky August day,
Whilst silently admiring the picturesque ocean,
And the lovable sea otters,
Inducing fulfilling ripples in the water below me,
I have an urge to escape.
Halfway around Stanley Park,
I pass a thousand trees,
And couples jogging,
All whilst following,
The demons ahead of me.
Alone,
I gaze at the sun,
Reflecting onto the murky green-blue sea.
I glance at the playground,
Clogged with dozens of high-spirited howling children,
Scampering through the sprinklers at the water park.
How I wish I could be those little children,
Flying freely into the water,
Their faces soaked,
And drenched,
With nothing but pure bliss.
Oh how I wish I could be a fascinating sea otter,
Adorable enough to capture the attention of everyone near the shore,
All whilst holding hands,
In a sense of sincere unity.
Even in the water,
They never let go,
Of family.
Oh how I wish I wasn’t walking in solitary.
But I wasn’t alone.
3 cousins,
Hundreds of miles in front of me,
Leaving me to walk all alone,
Behind them.
Why do you invite me,
Just to neglect my presence?
You didn’t turn around to say a single word to me.
Anything,
Would’ve saved me that day.
That day I deserved to be happy,
To celebrate BC,
Our province,
Without any mental pressure,
But on that day,
I was sobbing relentlessly behind you,
While you 3 were barking of laughter ahead of me.
I could cry for eternity,
But I don’t sell my tears to earn sympathy,
To those who don’t even notice my frown.
You show no remorse,
And no acknowledgement of my discomfort.
Am I not human to you?
You didn’t even turn around to look at me.
The starry-eyed and irritably naive,
Pre-teen 12 year old girl,
With that optimistic outlook on life,
Why on earth did I think I was worthy of never ending happiness?
You crumpled my dreams,
And all of my unrealistic fantasies,
Of an ideal August day.
With your back faced at me,
You didn’t bother to turn around,
And see the tears on my face.
Nobody even spoke to me on that day,
I’m not worthy of happiness.
I was the only one that day,
Wearing a modest hijab,
And a long kameez.
On that day I wore a silky white butterfly hijab.
That hijab,
I’ll never touch again,
Tucked away in my dressing table drawer forever,
For the fear of reminding me,
Of striding in solitary.
Despite the exclusion,
You kept glaring at my kameez,
With crude eyes.
I couldn’t control the horrid feeling of alienation,
I needed to flee,
I needed an escape from it all,
So I run to the washroom.
The washroom,
My saviour,
Where I’ll cry,
All alone,
Again,
And wipe away my tears.
I’ll walk out of that washroom,
And pretend like nothing happened.
I’ll disguise my tears,
But I’ll never let you see the expression of ache on my face,
For walking miles ahead of me,
While I was alone,
Crying.
I’m just a waste of space.
Whether I’m walking alone near the coast of the Pacific,
Or I’m sitting on a sofa companionless,
At a wedding in silence,
With nothing but a cushion in my hand for comfort,
No hand to hold,
Like the otter.
Staring at the ground,
Containing the waterfall behind my eyes,
While my cousins in the kitchen are cackling.
I’m just a useless waste of space,
Wherever I go.
Striding in solitary,
With tears running down my face.
Farzeen Rashid
Written by
Farzeen Rashid  16/F/Surrey BC Canada
(16/F/Surrey BC Canada)   
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