“…and I say to myself, what a wonderful world” echoed in my ears as I walked down the hallway. It felt as if I was away from all that miserable life I had been living. I felt happy, alive. It was dark but the dimly lit corners of the hallway complemented it in a way I could not explain. The walls on both sides were having pictures, portraits of sorts. As much as a freak-show it was, I did not feel uncomfortable. The creatures or beings depicted were marred with miseries, sorrows, griefs, regrets, sins and yet I felt belonged.
The hallway opened up to an enormous room, bright as it could get. No, it was not the light but a person, standing just a touch away from another one of those portraits. Though it was just a glance or two, words could not explain how that person looked, such was the grandeur.
I started walking towards him and as I got closer, I could see that razor-sharp smile right there on his bright white face. A fine-looking gentleman, I couldn’t help myself but ask, “Excuse me, sir! Could you please tell me where I am? I feel as if I’m lost but not really.”
“Home!” he said, in a very god-like voice.
“What are you doing here in a place like this?” I asked in curiosity.
“I have been waiting for you all along,” he replied.
Surprised as I was, I asked, “What’s that behind you?”
“Ahh! Our most prized possession,” he exclaimed with a smirk on his face. I could not see a thing on it as it was too bright so I asked if he could explain as to what it was about to which he answered, “A man, hideous from the inside, hideous from the outside.” The light now started to fade, I could clearly see the man now.
For all my life, I have made a living off of killing people. I have committed sins and crimes that are unforgivable. I guess that is why I felt belonged here. Shivers, now, started to run down my spine but I couldn’t utter a single word. I felt choked, the feeling of home started to slip away as I looked at the portrait and there stared back something familiar. The longer I gazed, the clearer it became. I stared at the portrait and that portrait was me. It was I.
By Ahmer Zaman
Department of Mechatronics