At the first roar of the clouds, Selim opened his eyes, bloodshot, drowsy and warm like a smoking candle. He stared deep into the abyss swirling before him. In his ears, the moans of the distant sky rang damply, as if the sound came from beneath a heavy blanket.
Selim sat up, his head bent down, sweaty hands clasping each other, eyes wide open like a fresh wound. He felt his body being as light as thin air. In contrast, the atmosphere of the room felt heavy. It was as if the space of that room was dragging everything toward the ground. Selim could feel his head being pulled down with an unusual force.
Selim stood up, walked to a mirror. A bare oblong shaped glass stared back at him instead of his own reflection. The mirror was blank as if reflecting the void in his eyes. But his unwavering gaze didn't blink, didn't move, and remained attached to its nothingness, buzzing like the sharp painful throb on the side of his head.
Selim could feel the void. He suddenly grew sensitive to everything around him. On his left arm, a mosquito sat softly and sucked his blood drop by drop. Once the mosquito was full, the belly of the insect swelled and took the faded color of incarnadine sun. As it couldn't bear its own weight, the mosquito fell to the ground with a faint thud. Yet it interrupted Selim while he examined the vortex of desolation before his eyes.
Night after night, Selim has tried to sleep but couldn't. Something in his consciousness never allowed him to do so. His insomniac brain forced him to visualize the macabre thoughts he develops constantly during his sleepless nights. Worst thing is, his thoughts got all tangled up. Songs played in his head in wrong tunes, and the lyrics lost all the rhymes and alliterations. As the night grew deeper, everything became more and more cluttered.
Selim went to the bathroom to wash his face and lighten the heavy burden of his contorted thoughts.
"All the lonely persons… Thousands of albatrosses beneath the lake, beside the trees, dancing and fluttering in the breeze… the wolf of Virginia Woolf"
He switched on the light. Its sharp yellow spectrum pierced through his eyes to forcefully show him the surrounding walls. Slowly, he grabbed the knob of the tap and turned it on. The water flowed fast like a flow of shiver down the spine.
Selim spread his fingers under the water. The water flowed in heavy stream with the swift motion. But the water slid off through his shivering fingers leaving his hands dry. He watched as all the water left his skin. Not a single drop remained. His hands remained empty, and he realized it when he tried to wash his face. He couldn't collect and preserve the water in his hands as they kept escaping. His bloodshot eyes widened again at the flowing water.
"What is … happening?"
His breath heavily echoed within his chest, struggling to get out.
With shaking hands, he hurriedly turned on the shower. The water flowed. It gushed down heavily. A moment later Selim stood with his drenched cloths on. His wet cloths held on to his body, the fabrics clung to his skin like his skin clung to him.
But Selim himself remained dry. As the water droplets smashed against his skin, they rebuffed, dribbling to the floor, or held on to the clothes on his body.
From the tip of his hair, to the sole his feet, every single inch of him remained dry.
As water droplets touched his body, he could feel those beating and dripping down his skin leaving no trait. He couldn't feel their warmth or chill anymore.
"What is happening…what is happening…. what is happening!"
With a horrifying realization, without a moment's hesitation he ran out of the bathroom leaving the water running.
Selim hurried up the stairs, and once he was on the roof, once he climbed onto the railing, once he was on the edge of the railing, he once again tried to feel the blowing storm and smell the rain. He couldn't.
He jumped and tried to force his senses to feel the air against his skin but he couldn't.
In the next moment, his wet body hit the concrete road. A small river of blood flowed from the cracks of his skull.
He once again tried to feel his life.
Abdullah Rayhan is a student of English literature, Jahangirnagar University.