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Loneliness Kills You

LONELINESSI say, there is no difference between me and Ben. Ben is the little pup you see by my side. After my mother’s death, I was left all alone. I had nobody else and that left me on the streets just like Ben. You see? There’s no difference between Ben and me. I sleep on the footpath at night. Ever since I was left all alone, I started to collect polythene bags, plastic bottles and leftover food from dustbins. I often end up cutting my hands while desperately searching for food from dustbins out of sheer hunger. It isn’t just about me anymore. It’s also about Ben.

However, most days, I find nothing to eat. And whenever I can’t find anything to eat, I sniff show glue in order to forget all about my hunger and my malfunctioning body and brain.

I still remember when last week at midnight, when I was fast asleep, Ben was whining loudly beside me. I awoke to that familiar sound which is exactly what I usually do when I get hurt or feel helpless. Ben was lying right next to me, injured and helplessly whining. For the first time in a long time, I actually dreaded losing someone all over again. As soon as I took him on my lap, I felt a sudden click and I instantly knew that Ben was the only family left for me. I couldn’t let him go too, right?

I was desperately waiting for the sun to rise again so as to carry him to the nearest pharmacy for slight treatment. By the grace of God, he is getting better each day. That is exactly when I named my new-found brother, Ben.

My life and everything around me seemed so pointless after my mother died. I took to cheap drugs like shoe glue. My mother would never forgive me for this. But now that I have Ben with me, I have actually found a new meaning. My life has taken a positive turn now. We stay together and believe me when I say it, we are inseparable now. I look after him every day, just as much as he looks after me. I try to provide good food for him, as much as I can. These days, I carry baggage for passengers at the ferry station and Ben accompanies me everywhere.

I sniffed show glue just a week ago from now and look at me now. I am trying to do away with those habits for the sake of taking care of Ben.  I want to be guardian I never had. Leaving this habit isn’t easy. I vomit every now and then. However, I promised Ben to be a very good brother for him. I love my brother more than anything else in this entire universe and I will never let him feel lonely.

Because I know loneliness kills you.

Ali Zafar
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