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3

Bittersweet Solitude

In the chilling whispers of the night, Thoughts begin to race, take flight. I listen to my shallow breathing And the thump of my heart’s rhythmic beating. When emotions pour out one by one, I try to escape them, I try to run. Anxiety creeps in like roots of a tree, Suffocating in a darkness deeper than I can see. Blinded by a despicable hatred, As I watch those dear to me become alienated. The walls inside me that I have so carefully rebuilt Have crumbled away with tears...

9

Not Her Cup of Tea: Part II

Continued from ‘Not Her Cup of Tea: Part I’ She was back in the rain- this time with a new purpose. She was still frowning, but her facial muscles were tensed with concentration, versus her previous hopelessness. She was still Amaan with her tattered sneakers and tired eyes. But at the same time, she was not Amaan. She was not the same girl who was scared of her own emotions, numb with mourning, or too paralyzed to get up and act, change the world with her own hands. Amaan’s arms...

12

Bee In My Hijab

It was that time of the year when the school decides to reward attendance with two weeks of exams. An optimist would say, “at least they gave us study leave” but not me, since any attempt at being positive typically gets squashed like a fruit fly. We line up outside the hall with our see-through pencil cases and our label-less water bottles. My classmates frantically try to recite equations and facts without their physics revision notes at hand. I gaze out of the window and begin daydreaming. I recall...