• Kadeja Tasnim

Through The Lens

It stares at me. Unblinking. I stare back, back down the barrel of the gun pointed between my eyes, not wanting to look but unable to look anywhere else. The gun twitches and, for a second, I think that this is it; but then it steadies, stills and stares. If I look closely, narrow my eyes a little, I can pretend that the deep black hole is a camera lens, and through it, I can see every moment that I had ever lived.

I can see my brother when he was ten and I, eight, playing football in the back garden. I’m standing in goal, he’s in front of me and then with all his might, he kicks the ball. It hits me first, like a cold, wet slap, hurling my body back against the goal post. Then, the ball rolls into the net. My brother cheers. I can see myself sitting on the peeling leather couch in the living room whilst I open an acceptance email from my dream university. My mum and dad speak for the first time in four years. They take us out to dinner to celebrate.

I can see my husband when I meet him for the first time in the school library. He tells me to be quiet or get out. Two weeks after that, we have our first date. I can see my wedding, my mum and dad walking me down the aisle and my husband crying when he sees me, his face pink and in awe. This is my second happiest day. I can see my daughter, a little smudge on a screen. My husband kisses my forehead and puts a hand on my stomach. This is my happiest day. I can see my daughter again, this time at the bottom of a toilet. My worst day.

There is not enough time for my life to flash before my eyes, the sound of distant sirens pulls me back, the camera disappears and there is a gun at my forehead again. I close my eyes. My knees tremble, almost numb and bleeding as the gravel digs into my flesh. I hear the gun click. I want to keep my eyes closed, to stay in the memories a little longer. I open them anyway. I look up at my husband, his face wet and pink. I hear the sound of my death.

By Kadeja Tasnim