As narrated by Arshad
From the fast paced, high speed, life or death driving…everything suddenly went into slow motion and into a complete fuzz. Doors were flung open, Riza was shouting for the medical team to hurry up, tears fell as Zoheb placed Aara on a stretcher, her almost lifeless body surrounded by Dr.Jamal and his team, as they rushed her into theatre. The look on Dr.Jamal’s face when he looked at Aara made my blood run cold….this was going to be a long wait.
It is common knowledge that the longest night of the year is the winter solstice, but for us, this was the longest night of our lives yet. The waiting room was full of people. All our families were there, Aara’s parents had landed and Immy had gone to fetch them. Laeeka had left Pietermaritzburg with her cousin as soon as Zainab phoned her. Nemo had broken down several times already and Maariah had taken him outside. Zoheb was as still as a statue, his hand across his blood stained shirt. Riza sat on the floor, his head down.
How did we get here? We were a regular group of people, with regular dreams and regular lives…and now one of our best friends was fighting for her life just metres away from us…
“Everyone, let’s pray together “,my father said, breaking the silence
Nemo and Maariah joined us as we sat together and made dua.
“Oh Allah, please hear our plea..Please guide the doctors hands, please grant our Aara complete shifaa…Please bring her back to us and grant her a long and happy life..Please remove her suffering and grant her ease ..”
The rest of the dua was blurred as I felt tears fall into my hands, as I felt myself cross the barrier between shock and reality, as the situation became clearer to me , and I swallowed the lump in my throat as I realised that this might be it. I fervently made dua for our Aara, because until now I had been in a bubble of hope. But the situation was critical, and we had no choice but to accept it.
As narrated by Laeeka
“She what? “, I said loudly into the phone
“Laaeka. .Aara has been shot”, Zainab said softly
“Joke about something else please because this is not funny! And it’s a very lame tactic to get me to come back ”
“No Laeeka. ..she really has been shot..and it’s bad. ..” And Zainab filled me in on everything, through her sobs
My body went limp and my phone fell from my hand. My cousin Ehsaan rushed to my side , but I heard nothing, not his voice, not Zainab on the line, nothing. For a good few seconds, I just sat there staring at nothing as tears poured down my cheeks..and then just as quickly, I grabbed my bag and told Ehsaan to get the car out.
“Where are we going? “,he asked as he looked at his watch
“Joburg “,I said, ” if Aara thinks that she can just leave me like this, then she has another thing coming!”
As narrated by Nemo
Her words rang in my head continuously. Every single word. And each time it just hit harder and harder than the first time. This was my fault. And she pays the price for it every time.
If I could trade places with her right now, I’d do it in a flash. I wish I had gotten hit by those bullets and not Aara, not my Aara. I held my head in my hands as my heart pounded in my chest. I couldn’t lose her, no! Even if she could never be mine, at least I would know that she alive, okay and happy. Not lying on a cold table while doctors cut her open. ..how would I ever be able to face Maa and Papa? ?
That thought hung in the air as both of them followed Immy into the waiting room. My parents followed immediately after them.
“Naeem “,Maa cried the minute that she saw me
My heart broke as she hugged me and cried…how do I break her already broken heart and tell her exactly what happened? How do I tell her that I am responsible????
As though he was reading my mind, my father placed his hand on my shoulder reassuringly. I knew what that meant. Not here and not now..
But there was one thing that I could do, one thing that I should have done before, one thing that didn’t require anyone’s permission, one thing that even she should have done. I would do it. I looked at Zoheb, sitting alone and in a daze..and I turned to Maa and whispered into her ear
“He needs you more than I do Maa…because Aara loves him dearly ”
A very warm and impromptu welcome to Season 5. I dunno, I just felt like writing, so I did. With Ramadaan around the corner, and the no posting, I thought that a start at least would be good:)
Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!
ps: will reply to older comments real soon Insha Allah