Or I just need to puke. I don't know.
My 4th semester at Uni starts tomorrow morning. How fast can a month of holidays end?
- *insert non-existent memories of the first two weeks of break which I honestly do not remember because right after that*-
- hear that a man has been stabbed right in front of our house one night.
- get the news two minutes later that the victim was someone that came out of our house.
- worried, dad calls my brother who hasn't come home, but no answer. he always answers.
- parents immediately leave to check the hospitals and i tell myself not to worry. because it can't have been him. it just can't.
- fifteen minutes later, dad calls. he tells me quietly to get dressed. bro-in-law is coming to pick me up. my mind goes blank.
- one minute later, mum calls. she's crying. i can't think anymore.
- the ER is in chaos. doctors, nurses everywhere. the whole hospital seems to be staring.
- half the family is already there. mum is crying; my sisters are close to. i still can't think.
- dad arrives with the doc and i overhear the convo -
- bro wasn't stabbed. his throat had been slit. from one end to the other. slaughtered.
- only a centimetre of the windpipe is intact. a centimetre...
- still alive and conscious, though. somehow. still alive. but for how long..
- entire family shows up. aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives whose names i don't even know. some cry and some don't. i can't.
- dad finally notices me. one percent, he tells me. only a one percent chance of bro surviving. what is one percent? i finally break down.
- they can't operate on him yet. waiting is torture. family is crying on and off. i feel so small.
- dad returns from ER. there is no blood bank here, he says. they have to move hospitals, he says. a mere one percent chance of survival and they can't give blood here ...
- for the first time in my life, i see my father utterly break down. lose all hope. i don't even know what i felt then.
- it's amazing. blood donors show up from all over. donors from the police, friends, strangers that are right there in the hospital ... we'll take the risk, the dr says.
- more than an hour after i arrived, bro is wheeled out of the ER for surgery. nurses have his throat covered, but we still see anyway. the whole hospital sees. relatives that weren't crying before burst out now.
- still conscious. by Allah's miracle, he is still conscious. he sees us - the entire maternal and paternal clans - hurrying behind the nurses and he raises his fingers and smiles. the man is on the brink of death, slaughtered like an animal and he fucking smiles like he's telling us not to worry, don't cry, everything will be ok. i break down all over again.
- 4 hours in front of an operation theatre. can't remember a worse time of my life.
- nearly dawn when drs finish and come out. they show pictures of the wound, before and after surgery. mum starts crying again. nearly the entire windpipe had been sliced open.
- still alive, they say. surgery is over; there is more hope now...
- danger's not over yet, though. coma or death ...
- a week in front of the ICU ... hardly anyone's allowed in. waiting, waiting, waiting ... i have never seen my parents and sisters in such conditions.
- i've never experienced such a thing myself either.
- bro regains consciousness halfway through. there is more hope now, drs say.
- internal bleeding, vomiting blood, improving, deteriorating, improving again ... but still, he may survive, they say. he may survive.
- he survives. Insha Allah. on the brink of death, nearly murdered, but he survives. the drs stare when he begins to walk, holding his head high. they had had no hope that he would. it's God's miracle, they tell dad.
- nearly lived at the hospital for the better part of two or more weeks. terrified, miserable, conflicted and finally relieved. glad. ecstatic. we have witnessed a miracle! but then-
- i'm leaving, bro says. i won't stay in this country anymore. i'll seek the right of asylum elsewhere.
- he will never be able to come back. ever. i will never see my brother in the flesh again.
- and i look at my mum and dad - who are two of the strongest people i've ever known, considering how well they handled themselves during the living hell they had to suffer for the past seven years (which was caused ultimately by my brother who's past is the most tainted slate from among all of us) - and i break down all over again because in the end, they are still losing their last living son.
I wrote this for myself. I had to get this out somewhere. I'm tired of keeping this in.
There is a part of me that wants to write out exactly what I thought and felt on that horrible night and all the subsequent days in full detail, but I don't know if I can handle that all over again. But I needed to get this out. Even like this, which is hugely condensed, but it makes me feel better. A bit.
I could've never imagined that happening. But somewhere deep inside, I think we all always knew such a day might come. I don't know. It's still too much to handle.
And now with Uni beginning, my Teaching Practicum is about to start and I have to leave for the atolls for three weeks and I don't want to go because I don't want to leave my parents alone just yet. They will have the loneliest Ramadan ever. A son gone forever and me, too? I want to stay back for my parents. But I have to go. And just ... I dunno.
I think in all this, the greatest reason I feel so miserable and angry and terrified and like crying is because of what everything is doing to my parents. I've seen how they suffered for the past several years. They are honestly the strongest, most patient people I know. And it breaks my heart seeing how they are just being dealt blow after blow after blow. And this is the worst one. I can't imagine it getting any worse than this.
Maybe it's for the better. Maybe it will stop now. Maybe they will be able to live the rest of their days in the peace they have always wanted. The pain will always be there; it will never be perfect. Our family will never be complete and together again. But maybe ... it's better off that way. For all of us.
I just don't know anymore. I'm tired and sick of everything.
And we are just a tiny part in the cruelty of this world. There are so many people suffering, people facing horrors that are greater than ours. I need to be grateful for what I do have.
In the end, our lives and souls are in Allah's hands. I leave everything to Him. My greatest prayer now is for my parents' health, safety and happiness. Sometimes, I don't think I can ever be as good as them.