At the age of four, I got the very first shock of my life, physically. I was in bed for almost a week after it happened. I had gone to give a hug to the new refrigerator father bought then but the refrigerator being a sadist didn’t welcome me with open arms. It gave me a shake that cause an earthquake in the whole of my body. But I healed and that was the most important thing.
At the first Ward at Dantsoho Hospital, we met a lot of people that left several of the girls in our CDS groups shivering, dropping tears down their eyes. A lot of people who were incapacitated, broken, others just on standby waiting for their deaths. One even managed to tell us through his clenched teeth that he had been visited several times already by the grim reaper. As he muttered it between slow, mumbled breaths. I fringed and we from the two major religions prayed for his recovery and well-being. But he begged us more to pray that when he eventually gives up his ghost to die, that he gets granted the highest level of Jannah and that he gets to meet the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W). He had in his bony hands a prayer bead, a chaplet more of and rolled them in between his shaking fingers, whispering things we could not hear. But I could even then just imagine him begging to be forgiven, for eternal rest, for eternal joy, maybe for Jannah and for a chance to meet the Hurul Iyn. It is just hard to predict or imagine how the feeling of death feels like or what they see, what they feel, when it comes knocking on their door. I just shook off the thought and whispered as if I was gossiping to myself and then said “Allah ya sa mu cika da kyau da imani”.
The emergency ward wasn’t even any better, casualties, accidents victims all around flooded the space. We were firstl denied access to that part then we got to talk with the people in charge and made them understand the purpose of the visit was mostly for them. Those people who were badly injured, some yet to find their relatives, some already losing hope. Inside the ward, was a man whose two legs had been amputated and he was looking freshly bandaged. More like the amputation had been less than a day. He smiled weakly at us when we got to his bed. We wished him quick recovery and prayed in unison that God will continue to safeguard us and protect us from falling into accidents and dangers. Just immediately after we left the bed of a young guy who was bitterly tortured and brutalized by kidnappers, I saw a girl in the next bed with familiar sideburns running a little bit down her ear. I knew this was all familiar, her cheek, her neck. She was lying on her right side and I couldn’t see her face vividly. The prayers started rolling out in multiples and I found myself muttering “Allah yasa ba ita bace”. There and then I began to see the irony of everything, how man becomes immediately aware. Immediately conscious anf careful when there is danger or sadness surrounding him.
I was praying day and night to get a way to see Khadija as soon as I could but never do I want to see her in a condition as critical as the girl lying before us. I didn’t even want her to talk, didn’t want to turn her face towards, for fear that she might just turn out to be my nightingale as I have recently grew fond of calling her. I dreaded her turning and when she turned to answer our greetings, say Ameen to us or maybe she just wanted to stare at us, our eyes met and I froze.