Saturday, 6 January 2018

To Chaima, My Dear Student Who Left Us To Soon

how is this new place to you?
Have you found
the rainbow behind the everblack clouds
that blocked you from the future awaiting you,
oh rising star ?

Did you fall so hard
just to rise up
into the great nothingness?

How could I've been be so blind
Oh child,
will you forgive me?

You only smiled and laughed
Your English essays warmed my heart
I told all my friends what a bright future awaited you
I thought your silence was part of your quietness
Wrong ?

On the inside, I laughed every time the boy you liked
asked me if he could attend my class
just to sit beside you
Of course I said yes
and you spent the hour shining as bright as ever
You sang along to Coldplay
You would always sit in the first row and smile at me
You probably didn't know but
It meant so much.
It meant so fucking much.

I can only imagine
How your empty seat haunts the school
Although I left teaching, I still thought to myself
One day I will meet you again and you would be a smart independent and beautiful woman
But there wasn't even a goodbye
One day I just received a call

You jumped from the network tower.
Waves of shock
Wild stories
Facebook posts
Were they too late
now that you cracked your bones to death,
my dear child?

"Some cared, but not enough."

Jumping made sense to you
It fit into the suffering you felt
that no one knew about or chose to not know about
Was there no sign predicting this,
Was there no familiar face, Chaima?
Or did they turn away?
Did they not hear your screams?
Or did your broken spirit sink further inwards
melting into your quietness?

15 and dead.
I still can't believe I won't ever see you again
that this is a final and inevitable truth we all must helplessly gaze into
that I will not hear of your success
and that I won't see you on your classmate's selfies again,
that you'll never sing to Coldplay again
that no other teacher will have you as their student again and feel incredibly lucky
having you smile at them in the morning.

Dear readers,
please don't ever ignore the slightest signs of suffering.
Be kind to each other. You never know what the other person went through. Try to talk things through.
Don't call people who killed themselves "weak". You are only contributing to a toxic narrative. Your feeling all high-and-mighty-strong is not going to cause others to be strong. Their pain is not about you. It is not about how strong you are. It is about them and their problems. it is about their pace, their life, their perseverance. Use your strength to help them up, not to make them feel worse.