This post is from before Daanyaal went to hospital.
Don’t forget to share, like and comment. Enjoy! ❤
As narrated by Daanyaal:
“I think you should,” Uncle Rashid is saying. “There isn’t much-”
“I’ll go,” I say, cutting him off.
Uncle Rashid stops. Aunty Raeesa, his wife and my aunty, looks at him, an unreadable expression on her face.
I’m pretty sure the look of surprise on their faces match my own.
“Listen, we’re not forcing you,” starts Uncle Rashid. “This is your home and we’re not chasing you out. I don’t want to do this any more than you do, but I’m afraid of what might happen if we don’t do as he asked. It might just even work. We can’t risk anything now that he knows you are here….”
He’s talking, telling me to consider it properly, reminding me of what might happen if I do, the consequences we might face if I don’t, stressing on the fact that we don’t have much time..
And I’m hearing but not quite listening.
My thoughts are racing.
Just the mere thought of being in the same building as the monster who haunts my mind causes an overwhelming feeling of anxiety to overtake me.
“Daanyaal!” repeats Aunty Raeesa, a hint of worry causing her usual soft voice to rise. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” I lie.
“I’ll be fine, seriously. I’m not a baby anymore, and like Uncle Rashid said, it’s worth a shot,” I add, trying to convince her of what I’m didn’t even believe my self.
And that night, reunited with my parents, as I laid in bed and stared up at my glow-in-the- dark-sticker covered ceiling, I almost believed what I had said.
Perhaps I will be fine.
“Daanyaal,” a sweet voice whispers near my ear. “Time to wake up or you’re going to be late for school.”
I open my eyes slowly, and gasp in surprise.
Aunty Raeesa’s eyes aren’t black. The curtains in my room aren’t blue. The walls aren’t white.
And then it hits me.
What was I thinking in agreeing to come back to the house my Uncle had taken me away from?!
My mother sits at the edge of my bed, stroking my hair.
“Maama,” I whisper, reaching out to touch her bruised, too early aged, face.
She smiles down at me, her black eyes sparkling with a happiness I have forgotten seeing on her.
Sitting up, she pulls me into a hug and I rest my face on her chest.
“I missed you so much, maama,” I say, breathing in her familiar scent as a fleeting sense of security surrounds me.
“I missed you too my strong little warrior,” she whispers back, hugging me tighter.
Getting out of bed, I look around at my room.
It’s exactly how I had left it. Bare, white walls, blue curtains, glow-in-the-dark-sticker covered ceiling. My mat that I used to drive my cars on, the one with the little village and roads, stood rolled up in the corner, leaning against the wall. Opening my cupboards, my car posters, horse pictures, and tippex scribbles stare back at me.
3 speech bubbles, much neater than the others, stood out, catching my attention.
“SABR AND SHUKR. Be patient with what you are going through and be grateful for what you are not going through.”
“And even when life becomes too life like, and you wish you could go back to the good, happy days, don’t ever give up. Never forget how far you’ve come.”
“Keep SMILING, you’re AMAZING!”
A rush of nostalgia constricts my throat. I run my fingers over the hard, dry tippex, reflecting… remembering.
Dee had written those. I even remember her trying to write on my face after that, but the tippex had run out and I wouldn’t sit still. A small smile makes its way onto my face at that memory.
Sighing, I close my cupboard and get ready for school.
I have been home for 2 weeks now.
My day went by with strict routine.
Get up at Fajr, perform salaah, recite Qur’aan, shower, breakfast, school. Get home, perform Zuhr, lunch, chill. Perform Asr, help Maama in the kitchen, supper, family time. Perform Maghrib, homework, Easha. Read a book, go to bed.
I don’t remember the last time my life had ever been this normal whilst living with my parents, and I cherished every moment. I cherished every hug with Maama, every smile of Paapa’s. I cherished it because I didn’t know how much longer it would last.
It made me so happy to see Paapa making an effort at normalcy and I wished my sisters were here to witness it. Even though it wasn’t often, he smiled, he hugged Maama, he ruffled my hair. And when he joined me for jamaat on Jumuah, I was convinced that something had definitely changed.
It occurred to me that maybe, things are actually changing. That feeling of nervousness I had felt on seeing my father again was slowly starting to slip away, and it crossed my mind that maybe it was time to let it go completely. Maybe that ‘happy ending’ that people promised me would come, has dawned. Maybe this was what they meant when they said, Everything will be okay, eventually. Maybe it was time to let my guard down and to embrace this long awaited change, because everyone deserves a second chance..
And maybe, just maybe, it was time for second chances.
But life has a strange way of telling you that you’re wrong, doesn’t it?
It throws itself at you in the worst way it possibly can, proving to you just how wrong you actually are…
Sabr – Patience
Shukr – Gratitude
Fajr ; Zuhr ; Asr ; Maghrib ; Easha – 5 daily prayers compulsory on Muslims.
Salaah – Muslims’ prayer.
Qur’aan – Muslims’ Holy Book.
Jamaat – Prayer in congregation.
Jumuah – Arabic word for Friday.