A Life Time and Death Ago

by Bushra

"Oh sign this - in case you end up visible before the news." A comment so deliberately ludicrous and outlandish .. she knew the surveillance had commenced. She also knew the signing meant nothing without informed consent but they did not understand consent. She wondered if they laughed at her. She felt sad they were so frightened of her. She thought they must think she is easily manipulated. I bet they say that back to her she thought.

What was the reason? Ah the status she had started building up for herself. The visibility. Her spirit. Ah to demonise. She looked around and realised she was pretty unique. So to be extinguished.

But truly she wanted to resolve, and thought of ways she could help them through her own enviable network and stayed but she would not be complicit.

She was ready for the provocations. Why the surveillance.... may be she will finally slip up and show her true colours and there will be witnesses they thought. She understood the game early on and watched them play it like snakes rolling around each other in a dark pit. They were well known for it but she knew it was not everyone. And it wasn't all bad. They weren't all bad. Some were truly lovely. Nice people told her to see it out and ignore it.

Everything changed and she had other priorities and other parts of her life needed her, she told them but they could not resist as this was their chance.

But she left to go about her life where she was needed ... now and again one would be sent out to stalk. They felt they had to prove their worth by showing how far they could go. And they wanted her to see how little she had left. And she watched to see how far they would go. Lies about death and cancer. They knew this was her wound, so this is where they felt they had to flock like maggots.

She wondered if they have ever watched their loved one die minute by minute. The devoted nurses like angels helping through the night who do it day in day out for so many. Their devotion. The words. The humanity. The days left were exhausting but beautiful. Colours saturated. Every sound amplified. A clarity of spirit and fortune felt of holding this person and true love. Each second a cherished eternity. I wonder if they would ever be so lucky to experience it. Her mother always said she was a lucky girl.

The one undeniable thing it gave her which they probably didn't account for was a strength from her loved one. She basked in the beauty and love who gave her the power to have her voice. She was their breath. Their fire.

Do they think she would be extinguished so easily ?

Yet they still have their lazy drill. Speaker phone on and go. Such a lazy drill. Such is the mundanity. Did this even feel clever or creative for them? I guess they are important and busy and she needed to be dealt with. Such a lively place, oh let's move to somewhere quieter. The phone or computer out on the edge of the table. The flinching. The choice words. She is late and they need to go (ie they need to go on the other end). Oh such laziness but meeting her directly would be too respectful. She knew they did not understand consent and they liked to implicate others to reduce their own accountability.

The poor, ignorant and willing feeling they are important enough to be paid to lie, to be trusted to lie to create trust. The paradox. I guess they weren't brought up properly... to understand that lies never build trust and they think she is so easily manipulated, they even say 'You can trust me.' But being different she was deemed to be treated less than a human being so I guess they could justify it and probably it's kind of funny and besides she will be preoccupied with her mum's death so she won't know what's going on, and probably they were generous for being there you know a public service of keeping an eye on someone - what's the worst that could happen she might think, something is not quite right, the world is against her and it's a story she has made up in her head and cry. What's a few more tears ?

But her mum taught her, trust is in the gut. And her friends were aghast at what happened. She didn't cry but she felt sorry for them. Yet they are the foot soldiers and felt important for being foot soldiers.

All she thought was, they only had to meet with her and be respectful. She did reach out but they didn't want that. And she was too much and an outsider and they saw what happened to outsiders. To be respectful to her would be betraying their team. She understood why there were so few like herself at her level in their world - what was it less than 1% ?

Not all of them were bad of course. She could even see the light in their pit. She had hope. They didn't have the tools. Now they could go back to ignoring her.

And of course, she had gone back to her own life. All that was in the past now. A lifetime and death ago.

Wondrously goodness started to reach out to her, people putting their hand out to help. People she knew and people she had never met reached out to her. Powerful and generous people who saw everything. The most beautiful people. And her own powerful tribe always watching, beckoned her to help her recreate her own world, to do great things with people she loved and trusted. She started to burn bright again.

Her mother was right, she really was lucky.

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