The Tease

// August 17th, 2008 // Blog

She sat in the middle of the well-cushioned sofa – an inanimate item of furniture intent on swallowing her whole, perhaps in its own weak efforts to comfort her. Any embrace will do, she thought.

It didn't take long for the tears to flow. One, then two, then uncontrollable streams. Cheeks softened with salty excess. Mascara no doubt running. Wipe, wipe, wipe them away before anyone sees. But who is there to see?, she thought.

Now her nose joins in. She has no tolerance for this, reaching down for a stray tissue, intent on subduing the rebellion taking place on the plane of her sullen face.

Right hand, open, grip, upwards now, closing in fast; she readies herself to release the tension. But something catches her by surprise.

His scent.

Could it be? Yes, unmistakable. She would recognise it anywhere. And she has, many times before. How? Is it here to mock? To taunt? To reassure?

She cared little. Her senses relaxed in its presence, and urged her on to enter a period of reminiscence. Now, two hands cradling the gauzy paper to her skin, she prepares to be fully immersed in memory lane.

But suddenly, a dilemma. She remembers why she reached for the tissue laced with dreams, in the first place. Question: to breathe in, or blow out? She smiles. She laughs. Tears still streaming past the corners of her mouth.

How is it that even now, he could make her laugh? The tease.

19 Responses to “The Tease”

  1. Tuba says:

    iMuslim! Why can’t you write the full story?? *cries*

  2. iMuslim says:

    Tuba… this is a short story… nothing to do with the Princess & The Ivory Tower series (I am assuming that this is the cause of your apparent distress?).

  3. srtuba says:

    LOL, yes. It is very upsetting, you should write long stories and explain EVERYTHING. Like, who is this guy? Why was she crying? Etc etc.

  4. iMuslim says:

    Hmm, but where is the fun in that? It’s called using your imagination! {grins}

  5. Organica says:

    It seems that we are enjoying story-telling these days!

  6. iMuslim says:

    Yup! You are my muse…

  7. Specs says:

    Aw, i feel a bit weepy too now.

  8. ali says:

    May allah have mercy on you. You have such a tallent at creating an atmosphere of suspense and capturing detail, it’s amazing. God I wish I was that good.


  9. piniyini says:

    imuslim is a right tease, and dont we all know it !

  10. AnonyMouse says:

    “He” is her baby… whom she lost… oh dear, now I’m about to get all weepy myself! :(

  11. Marahm says:

    I disagree that you should tell all in a story. A really good story leads the reader to her own conclusion, a conclusion that lets the reader think she got it all by herself.

    This story ends on a nice note, because he makes her laugh. We do not know the circumstances of his absence, and we assume he won’t be back.

    Here is my conclusion: He may be back, but if he isn’t, she will grow to accept what has happened and eventually experience his memory with pleasure.

  12. iMuslim says:

    Specs: Sorry sis… don’t cry!

    ali: Ameen. Jazakallah khair for your kind words, masha’Allah… I don’t deserve them!

    piniyini: Yup!

    Mouse & Marahm: I am intrigued by your differing interpretations of the same story. It’s actually quite nice to see; a reflection of the individuality of your thoughts and experiences.

  13. Marahm says:

    The difference in responses is an example of both the possibility and the limitation of a good piece of writing. As writers, we take pains to chose our words so that they convey what we think we want to convey.

    (We must also be alert to the tendency to communicate more to ourselves than to our readers, especially of material that we did not intend to let loose!)

    We do not know the backgrounds our readers bring to our work, and therefore we can never be sure how our work will be received.

    That said, I still maintain that the exhileration of writing surges when writer and reader join hearts within words, and form a communicative bridge between souls that otherwise could not know each other.

    I believe this principle underlies the growing passion for blogging.

  14. iMuslim says:

    Masha’Allah, beautiful response.

    I think personal blogging is such a balancing act. Only a handful of people who follow this blog knew of my real life identity before my blogger identity. They tend to be the most paranoid ones… meaning, they tend to automatically assume that any personal article I write is somehow aimed at them. It gets to a point where I cannot really write freely, in case someone gets the wrong idea.

    Bloggers get other bloggers. We know not everything has to be about another person. Or if we have been inspired by real life events (which I usually am) writing about them doesn’t necessarily mean we are targeting individuals.

    For me, blogging is like dreaming. The brain often uses metaphors and strange analogies during sleep to help the dreamer make sense of what they may have experienced during waking hours – or what they are about to experience. I do the same when I blog on a personal level, either by writing stories containing both elements of fact and fiction – or just by ranting!

  15. Tariq says:

    “Factual fiction”? Is this story sahīh? Or is it fabricated?? And is the “she” referring to yourself? If not, what’s your chain of narration? ‘Tis very important to know these things…

    p.s. I need one of those people-swallowing-well-cushioned-sofa thingies, you have any?

  16. iMuslim says:

    Hmm, this story is daeef… i think? Chain of narration: one person – me!

    I have several sofas… but they don’t really like the taste of humans. So I have yet to be swallowed.

  17. ali says:

    iMuslim said: “Ali: Ameen. Jazakallah khair for your kind words, masha’Allah… I don’t deserve them!”

    Oh, you deserve them. At least … so far as this story is concerned. The Princess & The Ivory Tower, is a totally different matter. I’ll have to wait for the end though, before I ask or say any thing.

  18. Organica says:

    I reread it today because I’m really feeling it. You know? Your a brilliant writer. I can’t say it enough times.

  19. iMuslim says:

    Ali: hmm, that story has gone up and down… not sure where it will end. I pray it ends happily! Yes, even I don’t know the ending just as yet.

    Organica: I know why you’re feeling it. I prescribe 100g of plain chocolate, stat, followed by an Ovaltine drip (administered orally, not intravenously… unless you like pain and death and stuff).

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