A night in Jaramana – Part 2

After another round of beating me up, they threw me in the trunk of the car, where the luggage usually goes; they threw the tired me just like they would throw a bag of garbage, so I slowly fell like a sheet falls down in accordance with the air. They then pushed the back door, pushed it over my head like a cooking pot would push back the food within, like an alive crab within, and nothing more.

Inside the back trunk of the car, I changed into the ball position, like a worm, with my head touching my knees, and with both my hands cuffed backwards. Blinded I tilted right and left pushed by the car on the road, where the driving took 10 minutes, which I wished would have lasted forever. Outside this kind trunk everything seemed unknown in a worse way. I made up thousands of dialogues within these minutes, wrote hundreds of scenarios for how I would pass away in a while.

I was taken out of the car, thrown on the ground, and the four soldiers took turns kicking me, with the help of the driver, until I reached a house. I heard someone shouting “Take care of the merchandise before the chief sees it.” I was squeezed into a narrow dark hall, and I sat on my knees, with my head facing the wall, and behind me stood a man. His sound was more tender than the others, but it was more malicious, and hits started falling on me from the back. I stopped feeling pain, my body went numb, it became resilient against everything. I didn’t distinguish the tools used to hit me anymore, but I was able to tell how sturdy each one was as a weird sort of awareness in such moments, as if I wanted to memorize them forever. I felt the amount of blood running from the top of my head towards my forehead and eyes, all the way to my nose; warm blood. Salty tasting, to a point that pushes you into throwing up.

“I am not a killer or a murderer,” I told myself. “I am not a terrorist, I never assaulted anyone my whole life, never stole money from anyone.” I talked to the creator, “Are you there? Do you hear me? Do you feel my pains!?” Then I shook my head like a cat walking out of the water would do, not caring about the creator that listens not to my monologues. Blood was scattered on the opposite wall, but I couldn’t see a thing except for the dark created by the piece of cloth blinding my eyes. I was not scared. I did not scream. I made no movement that suggested I was a human being. Silence was my friend, and all that bothered me was the horrid smell of the piece of cloth, and the moist of the coagulated blood in the space between my eyelids and that piece.

Moments passed as if they were entire ages encapsulating several lives, then a word came like a bolt when another man opened the door to the hall, and gave the man who was terrorizing me the instructions to kill me. I heard him lock his weapon from behind, and I felt nothing afterwards.

No. I did not die that night. It was an unintentional visit. I was thrown in front of the building of my house afterwards, entered it silently, and lonely I started talking to myself, as my family has had left Damascus while I was imprisoned. I gathered my pain alone, laid on the sweet bed one more time, it looked warmer and more comfortable than the previous night. I rolled tight again, and I drowned in my cold sweat.

I later knew that the local forces “Pro regime terrorizers” in Jaramana are the ones that turned the night of my exit from the prison into a nightmare that stuck to me for three years, holding psychological effects far greater than those that were physical, bruises, or wounds leaving scars and taking all their time to heal. Since that night, I have never placed foot in Jaramana despite of all my friends’ attempts who never knew why I refused back then. They might excuse me now.

This is why I hate Jaramana, now I see it as a dark land, abandoned by memories, features, people, and life.

Mustafa Al Dabbas

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