In line of duty, sometimes we miss many things in life, however it is never too late to start a new beginning, that no matter what life throws at you there can be something that will help you to stand right up again. Founder, Fatma Al Bannai shares her short story on this subject matter.
“Where am I?”
It was dark, completely pitch black.
Mayed looked around him, turning in all directions. He did not know what exactly was he looking for, but he wanted to see if he could find any indication of where he was, anything that would stand out of the darkness that he stood in.
He doesn’t remember how he got here or when, all he knew is that he had awakened to find himself alone in complete darkness.
He had taken a complete 360 turn and could not find anything, he turned again. Still nothing. He was still alone
Mayed felt himself panic slightly, his chest heaving as he began to draw in deep breaths. He shut his eyes and fisted his hands as he began to channel the voice of his mentor and commanding officer in his head, listening to his instructions as memories of his military training came to him, not the physical ones but the mental ones. He needed to calm himself before he goes into a complete panic attack, which Mayed knew would not help him at all in this situation.
He was a police officer, a soldier of his country. He knew he had to channel every once of decpline that he had along as well as all of his training if he had any chance to escape this dark realm.
Reading a few verses from the Quran, he finally opened his eyes to darkness once more and slowly began to walk forward. There was no point standing there doing nothing, if he wished to be out of his place his best chances would be to keep moving.
He doesn’t know how long he walked for or how much distance he covered, the only indication he had been for a very long time was the painful throbbing that he felt in his legs. But he didn’t stop, he just kept on walking.
After walking for a little while longer, his legs suddenly froze along with the rest of his body as he stood there, wide-eyed as he could make out the sliver of white light at the horizon.
It was the way out!
Adrenaline rushed through his body has Mayed found himself running towards the light source, which only grew in size and shined brighter the closer he got to it. He had to close his eyes when he was at arm’s length to it but never once stopped until he was completely engulfed by it.
When Mayed opened his eyes again, he was lying flat on his back staring right into an unfamiliar ceiling. He heard some sort of beeping noise before a voice spoke up
“Mr. Al Mahmoud?”
It was a male’s voice, completely unfamiliar to him
Mayed’s eyes widened slightly, that was Rashed’s voice. He turned his head slightly to right to see his older brother looking back at him with a stunned expression, a few minutes later his expression broke into a cheerful one as he raised his hand up and began to thank Allah, which left Mayed utterly confused
“What is going on?”
The man next him who was obviously a doctor from the sight of the lab coat that he wore and the Stethoscope that hung around his neck “was he in the hospital? why?”
“Mr. Al Mahmoud?” the doctor spoke, calling his name once more “My name is Doctor Howard, do you know where you are?”
Mayed can only shake his head unable to speak from his suddenly dry throat
“You are in the hospital Mr. Al Mahmoud” said Doctor Howard “do you remember anything?” he asked
“I…” Mayed swallowed the lump that formed in his throat, his voice coarse “I remember being called for an emergency case and hostage situation … my boss called me on my phone and I went to where he told me to go”
“Anything else after that?”
Mayed raked his mind, trying to find any memories of what happened next but after a few minutes of silence he shook his head “No”
Doctor Howard sighed before he scribbled something on the clipboard “I suppose that’s normal” he murmured before he turned his attention back to Mayed and proceeded to speak.
The doctor began to explain that in that the mission was a success, however he was shot during the process and had been in a coma for around 7 months now and that there was no telling when was he going to wake, if ever. Of course Mayed’s emotions were in whirlwind. First came the denial that he had been in a coma for that long without even feeling it, next was grief over the loss of all that time in this life. He closed his eyes and murmured “I understand” to the doctor
He didn’t know how long he stayed like that, eyes closed and unmoving. He heard the doctor tell Rashed that he needed to speak to him outside before he heard the door close, leaving him alone.
Or so he thought
His breath hitched “that voice” it was her voice, Maitha, his wife
He felt her hand close around his which caused him to open his eyes to find her standing there looking down at him, tears swimming in her hazel brown eyes and her lips pulled in a wide smile.
She looked different somehow
He felt his chest constrict as his eyes lowered from her face to her expanded stomach. He couldn’t breath when he realized it. It was obvious she in her last stage of her pregnancy
“and I just slept through it?!” he found breathing even more difficult as the heavy weight of guilt slammed against his chest.
He didn’t know she was pregnant
He couldn’t imagine how she could have felt, waiting for him to come home to tell him the good news only to receive of his accident.
He raised his eyes back to Maitha and opened his mouth to apologize, true there was nothing he could do once he was in the coma, but still… he could have been more careful in the field. But before he could even utter a word she spoke up
“Welcome back” she said titled her head, her smile never leaving her. Thought she did not speak it, her eyes told of what she wanted to say; that he did not need to apologize to her and that she was happy he came back to her
He smiled at her, but said nothing; instead his fingers curled around hers firmly around hers, causing his hold to be tighter.
No other words were needed.
Author: Fatma Al Bannai