Copyright © 2019 Nur Hassanain. 
All rights reserved.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The voice of a besuited doctor with a plastic smile fills the room.

“Losing one kg lightens two on your back & four on your knees,” he assures.

I feel the need to stab my hands across the television & grab him by the neck.

But instead I turn to my mother & sigh,

“Guess how much weight gaining one kg of empathy lays on your heart.”


My mother is an emotional girl trapped inside the logical brain of an adult.

She tells me to stop thinking about the world. That one day the pain will consume & destroy me.

So I sit there wondering if that is how everybody copes:

By wearing blindfolds or narrowing their lens.

Maybe that’s the way to do it. To only focus on one thing at a time.


We were introduced when I was little, sadness & I.

She made a memorable impression.

I saw her in my mother’s eyes when she came home with bad news.

Sadness also has a distinct voice.

I overheard her in my sisters’ conversations when they gossiped over boys with their friends.

She felt like burnt skin, & I touched her on the tongues of people in school

who thought that stating the obvious could scar & hammer me into mediocrity.


These days, I debate my way through things. Just to prove a point.

Oftentimes, the principle matters more than the outcome.

I feel rage at the thought of the man who broke my sister’s heart.

Because she was always so cautious with it,

But when she loved him, he robbed more than love.

I feel rage over dishonesty & deceit & war & natural disasters

& rapists & serial killers & people who indulge in torture.

I feel rage on behalf of victims in calamities that are so much bigger than themselves

Like how can you manage to overcome an ordeal when you can’t even see the end point?


Most of the time, I stay quiet.

Because sometimes the best place to keep your anger is at the back of your throat.

But I still can’t wear that blindfold.

So I sit there and nod before adding to the doctor’s recommendation,

“Apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss.”

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