Literature The Fiction Issue

Fiction: Hinted memories

“At home, Bo Ali couldn’t look at Lamya, his beloved wife’s, eyes.”
“At home, Bo Ali couldn’t look at Lamya, his beloved wife’s, eyes.” Credit: Shutterstock.

It was an unusual, hectic day at the office. Customers were invading the receptionist’s desk and demanding to speak to the manager. People were panicking after a crisis struck the financial market, triggering a collapse in the global economy. The news reported that it was ‘The Second Great Depression.’

Bo Ali knew that the office would be a disaster without his presence. He was a committed businessman and he wasn’t ready to abandon his treasure, his kingdom- not yet. He didn’t let his leg operation stop him from working, and he didn’t let his son Ali’s sudden death stop him either. He tried to control the chaos in his company as much as he could.

But he was unable to please his customers anymore; he couldn’t think of any witty remarks to save them or any compliments to take them off his back. They were losing their fortune because of the stock market crash, and they were behaving like wild animals, the hunger and rage blinded them.

Bo Ali got distracted and forgot to take his blood pressure pills. He suffered from a headache, and asked his receptionist to stop the customers from barging into his office. He ignored all the incoming calls from Dubai, Egypt and London, and he sat at his desk and ate a couple of chocolate bars that he  kept in his drawer. Sugar would only make his health condition worse since he has been injecting himself with insulin every night. However, at that moment, chocolate seemed like the most suitable thing that would tend to Bo Ali’s needs. After a few hours, the massive headache sent his screams bursting out of his mouth, and he left the office for his shelter.

At home, Bo Ali couldn’t look at Lamya, his beloved wife’s, eyes. He didn’t say a word to his daughter, Alaa, either. He fell on his comfortable coach and sank in shame. Bo Ali’s eyelids felt as heavy as burdens and he was hardly breathing. The source of his soreness was in his chest, and clenching his heart. It started to stretch over the rest of his body. He shut his eyes helplessly. He was mumbling a word, ‘pain’. Lamya patted him on the shoulder. He tried to open his eyes, but he couldn’t. He tried again, but he failed. He surrendered. Lamya felt the blues crowding his mind. She carefully removed his artificial leg from his swollen knee. He had lost his left leg a couple of years ago to a gangrene infection. He finally managed to speak to Lamya and said:

‘Is food ready?’

‘Yes, it is darling.’ Lamya looked concerned.

‘Let’s eat then,” said Bo Ali.

Alaa.’Esraa Husain  is a 25-year-old  Kuwaiti creative writer.