Zahra

I stare at my paper. The word neatly written, line by line. Equally spaced, keywords and main points I should remember are nicely highlighted. A minute pass then another. The words starts to blur as my mind takes me to a different world. I am sitting on a fluffy cloud, enjoying the breathtaking view of the earth from above. My hands reach for a handful of cloud and I eat in small bites.

Meowwwwww! A cat shrieks from outside my window. I shake my head and blink. The words that was previously blur is now crystal clear to me. Psychology. Great. I am back to reality. I sigh. Thanks, kitty.

Oh my Rabb. I can’t do this. The exam is tomorrow and I haven’t even started my revision. And by just looking at the first page of my handwritten notes.. I can’t do this. I don’t want to. I feel so lazy. My mind is giving up before the battle even starts. You know what, let’s do this after fajr tomorrow. I will sleep now.

I wake up to a sharp jab at my right abdomen. I whimper. My body curls to the sudden pain. Jab jab jab. There it is again. This happened before but it is getting worse now. It drains the energy out of me. I didn’t realise it but Mum is next to me. I must have screamed. I wince, unable to utter a word. We have gone to see the doctor a couple of times and was given medicine to ease this pain but it never really went away. The worry in mum’s eyes is clear. She calls dad who is down the stairs and we head to the hospital.

I lay in bed and scan around the room. Mum is by my bedside, sleeping. I am sorry, Mum. It was 4am when it all happened and they took me right to the hospital. Dad is sitting on the chair by the corner, leaning to the wall on his left. Asleep too. I am truly sorry. I continue to scan for details of the room. The wall is a faded peach with some paints already peeling off. There is a small window near to where Dad sits but the curtain prevents me from seeing what is outside. Just then, a phone rings and Mum wakes up to the call.

“Assalamu’alaikum?” She says in a raspy voice. She pauses as she silents to the person on the other end.

“Yes, that is my daughter,” she looks at me. Hm? Puzzled. Who would look for me anyway?

And then it occurs to me. Oh my Rabb. I have an exam today! I curse myself for not revising last night. If I did, I could have at least tried to sit for the exam. Well, maybe. The effort counts. I remember saying I will revise after Fajr but just before Fajr, I was taken to the hospital due to the pain in my right abdomen. Guilt seeps into me as Mum explains to the examiner that I am in the hospital and am unable to sit for the paper.

Her face is pale. I wonder if she even had any food for sahur.

“Mum, I am sorry,” I apologised for having caused them so much trouble. Perhaps being sick was inevitable but not revising and preparing for an exam.. I knew I could at least try.

Mum holds my right hand in both of hers. “Hey.. It’s okay,” she smiles faintly.

Knock knock. We both turn to the door. A nurse enters the room, bringing the result of the X-ray done earlier. All these while I have been given different kinds of medicine and we had theories about this pain. One of it is simply being menstrual cramps. A bad one I suppose. But it happened a little too frequent and it was not only during the time when I have my menstruation.

The nurse flips a sheet on her file and fill us in on what is happening. Two things that I hear clearly was appendicitis and surgery. She explains further on how it could possibly happen but I was no longer interested. I am about to tune out from the conversation but I catch a few more things she said to Mum.

“Yes, I am afraid she won’t be able to fast especially after the surgery is done. She will need to consume the medication and will most likely be feeling very weak,” she says.

Mum nods in apprehension.

“Okay, thank you. When is the surgery?”

“Tomorrow afternoon, inshaAllah,” the nurse replies and leave soon after.w

A week has passed since the surgery, my parents would come to visit me during the designated visiting hours. Accompanying me and entertaining me with their stories, bringing books for me to read. I can sense that they are trying hard to help me feel better. Because being in bed the whole time makes me feel sicker. The atmosphere already screams sickness and to be told to stay here for a whole month? And not to mention, the month of Ramadhan. It is hard for me.

This whole thing has made me realise how loving and caring my parents are. And how I have taken them for granted all these while. Each and every day, they would come to visit me and ensure that I am recovering well. I am thankful to have such loving parents and my heart fills with regret for the times that I didn’t listen to them, acted badly towards them. Here, being in the hospital, I made me reflect on how I have not been a good daughter. I hope to become a better one from now on.

Beep beep. 

My phone beeps, breaking me away from my thoughts. It’s telling me that it’s already ‘Asr. I take a deep breath and remind myself to be thankful of all that He has given me. Especially my family and my health. I smooth my hijab in preparation for the prayer and press the button at the side of the bed to adjust it so that I am in sitting position. It breaks my heart that I never truly appreciate my prayers when I was healthy. Always delaying it for no reason. Astaghfirullah astaghfirullah astaghfirullah. I seek forgiveness from the Lord of the World. I close my eyes and say the takbeer, Allahu Akbar as I begin a beauiful meeting with my Lord.

 

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