Amir looked at Nafisa who had tears brimming down her face, her hand cupped her mouth. Yusra, Asiya and Amna had just arrived but it looked like they had heard what the doctor said as their faces looked mortified. Ahmad seemed motionless, lost in his mind, trying to put together the pieces, what he might have done wrong, maybe dues he hadn't paid to Allah or someone. Whether he didn't deserve to be happy.
Amir patted his back, lost of words to say. None of them seemed to have the words to say, everybody shocked to their core as the unexpected news hit them. Ahmad walked into the room, his heart shattered as he saw his wife's weary, ashy body lying there still in her hospital gown, a drip connected to her hand. She looked like she was asleep except she wasn't, she was in between worlds. He slowly reached for her hands hoping that she would grab him, tell him it was just a prank but the only movement was her heartbeat and breath. He felt a tear roll down his cheek, his throat tight and hurting.
"We have three beautiful kids, they need you." He caressed her hand "I need you" his deep voice cracked as the tears stream down, he wasn't in the business of bottle it up, his head felt like a war zone. Nothing made sense except for his wife to wake up. She was moved to the intensive unit where she would stay. The room was already filled with balloons, teddies and cards from their family and friends. They took turns staying with him in the hospital even after his persistent disclamation, he was hurting and the least they could do was support him by being there.
It had been four days and nothing had changed, Zinar was still the same, it was scarier with each passing day but Ahmad had hope. He prayed as though his life depended on it, their families and friends were also praying for them together with the local mosques around them. He looked over to the door that cracked open waiting to see who it was, he heard Abdullah say salaam before he walked in with a pack of fruits; he had visited every day since the delivery. Nooran, Amna and Nafisa greeted him as he placed the fruits on the table. He caressed the triplets in their crib before turning around to Adam who was tugging the end of his trouser calling him. He picked him up and pecked him tickling him a little and making him giggle.
"Fruits?" Ahmad asked knowing well it was a Nigerian custom. Despite his depressing state, he had noticed his father trying and he appreciated it. They all laughed at how weird it sounded, Adam ran to his grandfather and uncle showing them a drawing he did of the whole family. He was excited about the triplets, maybe too excited. After a few minutes, Abdullah announced he was leaving and asked Ahmad to walk with him a little. "How are you coping?" he asked and Ahmad simply shrugged, his hands in his pocket, while his sunken eyes shifted around. "When last did you shower?" he asked trying to lift the mood but even he felt weird trying. But he was his son and despite all their differences he loved him and seeing him like that saddened him. He gave him a manly pat and reassured him that Zinar was a strong woman. "Have you thought of a name for the second girl?"
"Her mother will name her" he informed and Abdullah nodded. Naming her meant he had lost hope, he would wait for his wife to wake and they would go home and raise their beautiful children, that was the plan. He couldn't give any room to negativity; he pushed down the crawling pessimism. He had to be strong for his family.
"Remember whatever happens is qadarallah. He wouldn't burden you with what you can't carry, have patience," he advised.
The doctor and nurses came in every day to observe Zinar, everything seemed to have gone back to normal they said; the cerebral oedema had resolved, her blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, reflexes everything seemed intact.
"Then why isn't she waking up?" Nafisa asked.
"It's undetermined," the doctor said "But we are doing everything in our power. Her brain activity is above 45 percent and that's hopeful". Ahmad looked down at his kids and caressed them, Bilal yawned and crawled back to his spot. The doctor excused himself while Nafisa sunk into the chair next to Zinar. Amir came in with cups of coffee and handed them each. Ahmad collected a cup and walked outside. He rarely left the room, he didn't want to miss when she woke up. He stood by the window of the aisle, staring down at the parking lot.
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