Something Else is Yet To Happen

Afifa Zaheer
3 min readDec 20, 2020


Illustration by Tao Te Ching

The world of virtual reality is roaring with perfection, but the world around her is crashing, gradually turning to ashes. A penetrating sensation lingers in the body, like something is crawling through the veins. As people walk around her with smiles that only seem to be authentic, her eyes search for something that doesn’t seem to be in reach.

She walks into the house and observes every single piece of furniture that has been so immaculately positioned into it’s spot. The lamp in the very corner that she never switches off, the dusty television sitting on a gigantic table that reflects the darkness present not just within the room, but the world outside as well. So awfully quiet, that it reminds her of some element of tranquility, yet the only thing that seems to be disturbed in the space is her soul.

The bed is cold and the covers show no sign of bodies having entangled in pleasure. The only noise that can be heard is of the ducts blowing air into the room. By now, her body has memorized the routine, the mind has learned each mechanic of stirring her into motion. And just like that, she strips herself of the day’s activities and wraps herself into the softness of silk. A shiver runs down her body as the hand reaches for the icy-cold sheets.

She can feel it brushing againt her feet under the duvet, body becoming aware of its grip. So, it launches onto her like a darkness. Each breath turning into a muffled cry. It has gripped the torso now, her body flinches, yearning to cease whatever is about to happen. Tightly shutting her eyes, she attempts to step into another reality, but fails. That doesn’t happen, does it? There is no other reality but the one that we smell around us. And all she can smell is the decay of her patience.

His absence is present in every corner, his kisses linger in the air like the aroma of freshly brewed coffee early morning, his laugh echoes in the house every time the door stands ajar. No distraction seems to eliminate the sadness that she feels when all she wants, are his arms guarding her against the world. Sometimes, she begins to suffocate in her skin, cringing at her very existence.

“You know what you were signing up for,” they say as tears roll down her eyes.

They don’t know. You never sign up for love, you just love. Its a moment that occurs in your life when you’re least expecting it. You don’t measure it in any form. It just begins to dissolve in your blood like oxygen. And soon, it becomes hard to breathe, it begins to consume your thoughts and before you know it, everything serves as a constant reminder of the beloved.

And so she counts, each day that she can cross off the calendar till she finally sees him. Puts her head on his chest, hear his heart beat and go into a deep slumber. The one where no demons await her, no coldness crawls up her spine and where no darkness seems to frighten her. The only thing that matters then, is the softness of his lips against her forehead.



Afifa Zaheer

Writer | Poetess | Financial Consultant. A South-Asian Woman Mastering the Art of Metamorphosis as an Immigrant.