A Letter To Someone
by Nofel

  1. When my father said that he no longer loved me,
  2. I was thrilled.
  3. Not that I didn’t need his love, but because I realized that he used to love me.
  4. I thought he never did.
  1. When I was eight years old, my mother gave me a hug.
  2. I didn’t like it.
  3. Not that I didn’t need hugs, but because my mother had never hugged me.
  4. This was the only time someone hugged me as a child.

I think it is the sine qua non to disclose your secrets to someone you know nothing about like that German stranger who walked up to me one night and told me that he is an illegal immigrant in Canada, that he wants to become a citizen and work better jobs, that he wants to have children, build a house, and pursue his education.

Perhaps it is the need to feel love from someone you don’t know like that time a stranger ambled up to me and hugged me, like the second time he hugged me. I have admired these hugs more than any others. My friends never knew why, but I knew. This occurred almost a year and a half ago. I no longer sense the warmth, but I still sense the love.

No, I’m not in love. I never was.

I believe in love, though—not the one portrayed in movies and literature, not the love I dreamt of as a child, but I do.

  1. It was late at night when I asked a man I never met hitherto, “How are you?”
  2. I’m still indefinite as to why he replied, “My best friend committed suicide last week.”
  3. Did he not have someone else to talk to? Did he see in me the new friend?
  4. “I hope you’re okay,” I muttered and caressed his arm.
  1. I no longer ruminate on committing suicide, unlike how I used to in the last seven years.
  2. Now, I realize that death is not my refuge, not my home, not my better life.
  1. Did you know that just in the last century one hundred and fifty poets committed suicide?
  1. I wonder,
  2. have you ever been too overwhelmed with life?
  3. Have you ever endeavoured to hurl yourself off a building?
  4. Have you ever wished you could flee life?
  1. I have.
  1. Not anymore, though.
Packingtown Review – Vol.9, Fall 2017

Nofel is an Arabo-Anglophone writer based in Canada. He can be reached at nofelshelleg@gmail.com.

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