As narrated by Laeeka :
“Remember, it’s not Christmas! “, I said as gently yet firmly as I could
“It will be when she wakes up because she’s over doing it now..I mean it’s 22 days already! “, Nemo chuckled as he let go of another helium balloon
“It needs to look happy but not tacky, elegant, not overdone “,I said as I shook my head
“Well you said that I should bring balloons! ”
“Yes but something for Aara’s room , not for a new born baby! You brought so many “It’s a girl “and “It’s a boy “balloons! !”
“It’s a girl. ..she is a girl. It’s a boy…because she’s not a boy “,he laughed ,”besides, I needed the bunch to look full and there wasn’t any more plain ones left ”
I couldn’t take it anymore and I yanked the chair from under Nemo….causing him to land hard on his butt!!
“Grow up! ”
He was about to say something when a sudden beeping drew our attention. That was her heart rate wasn’t it?!?!?!
“Go call the doctor quickly! ”
“No you go!”, Nemo said as he rushed next to Aara
“Aara…If you can hear me…give me a sign “, he pleaded
I shouted from the room to call the doctor, and Zainab, Arshad and Zoheb rushed inside. It was just the 5 of us this afternoon.
“Give me a sign Aara. ..anything. ..something “, Nemo whispered as everyone looked on
The beeping intensified. …
“Move your eyes up and down two times for a yes…don’t move at all for a no…just the way that you used to when you were 8 “..and he laughed with tears in his eyes ” you used to scare Sahal like that remember ”
The beeping carried on…as finally, Aara moved her eyes up and down two times! !
Nemo cried as he asked her another question
“Did you hear what Laeeka said about the balloons? ”
I was ready to scream with joy as she moved her eyes twice again!
” Chocolate cheesecake? ”
And the machine beeped faster as Aara moved her eyes four times!
We were laughing and crying at the same time!!
“Aara. .it’s me”, Zoheb said as he held her hand tearfully
I expected the machine to go crazy again and I even thought that she would wake up. But she didn’t react to him at all. ..
“Would you like a mini facial Aaroo? “, Zainab asked gleefully as the rest of us looked at her in shock. …but Aara moved her eyes twice yet again
Everyone had a turn to say something to her and she responded. ..but despite several attempts from Zoheb, she didn’t react , not even once.
Doctor Jamal was very happy with the new progress that she had made and said that it was now probably only a matter of time before she’s back with us completely but that we shouldn’t overwhelm her and bombard her with too many questions, just be normal and don’t expect her to respond every single time because it was possible that at that time, she could be sleeping too.
Aara’s parents and Sahal were overjoyed and spent a full hour that night “talking ” to her.
When all except Zoheb, Maariah, Immy, Riza, Sahal and I were left later on that night , Zoheb asked for a few minutes alone with Aara. ..
As narrated by Zoheb :
I sat at her bedside and held her hand. I tried not to cry, as I tried to communicate with her again. .
“Apple pie, I need you. ..I need you so much. .I know that you’re mad at me, I am truly so sorry. ..I came back earlier because I couldn’t stay away from you any longer and I was going to come clean with you about everything. It killed me to leave you like that, to see all those questions in your eyes. .Please forgive me Aara, I can’t live without you…”
And I placed the ring that I had gotten for her in the palm of her hand. ..
“I wanted to make you mine, I messed up big time, I am so sorry, so so sorry. ..Please give me another chance ”
And I kissed her hand as tears poured down my cheeks. ..but she didn’t react at all.
I put the ring into my pocket and tucked her in gently
“I will wait for you. ..For as long as it takes ”
As narrated by Maariah
I hugged Immy goodbye as Zoheb exited Aara’s room. Everyone was silent. I really felt so bad for him…
It was my turn tonight. Between Aunty Salma, Aunty Sawleha, Aunty Maseeha, my mum,Zainab, Laeeka, Sahal, Uncle Hassan and I…we shared the night shifts at Aara’s bedside. The hospital staff were more than competent but this was for our own peace of mind.
Immy and I had started taleeem at home every night, and I was most amazed by Sura Inshirah so I read it aloud along with the English translation. And I repeated the lines that I loved the most. ..fa innama’al usri yusra, innama’al usri yusra (Verily, with every hardship,there is ease )and Aara’s heart monitor started beeping faster and faster. A wave of panic washed over me as I repeated the lines slowly, as my lips and hands trembled, and the beeping became more intense. ..
And just as I was about to get up and call for help. …I was frozen to the spot by a very familiar voice that I hadn’t heard in a long time . ..
” Can you read those lines one more time for me please? ”