Testing Waters

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

You can’t stop breathing because the oxygen might run out. In the same way… You can’t stop living, just because you’ve faced death. Life wasn’t meant to be spent treading on egg-shells and waiting for something beneath you to cave in.

You had to make it happen. Be open. Be free.

Well, that was my theory.

That’s exactly how I felt that day as I left the hospital, glad to be alive. I know I was lucky. My brothers had drilled in into me. I know it was no coincidence that I was still here… Still breathing. But I was still not completely convinced.

I sniffed the air. It smelled different. New. Fresh. Like something had awakened within it. I loved it.

I lay my head back on the head-rest, keeping my eyes shut to ward off the nagging feeling in my mind.

It was a Friday, and Muhammed was playing some Qur’an recitation in his car.

I wasn’t sure when he had started keeping that type of listening material. Friday or not, it didn’t usually affect me. Muhammed, on the other hand, knew he had his wife to contend with. And though I wasn’t used to hearing this, somehow, I felt soothed as the sound reverberated throughout the car. It was different to music, of course… It brought about a whole different feel.

“So where are you going?” The arabic translation was saying.

I was stunned for a few seconds. Like, I actually checked to see if Muhammed had set this whole thing up. He seemed unaffected.

It was like the voice was directly speaking to me.

So where are you going?” (Surah At-Takwir: Verse 26)

My heart drummed in my chest, and I felt slightly perturbed.

Where was I going? Where was I headed?

Literally, obviously, I was probably headed home. I was probably being led somewhere safe and secure… Somewhere free from external influences that can probably affect or harm me.

But in essence… Where was I going? It made me think of what Mo had said to me yesterday, before I left.

“Choose your path carefully, boss.”

It was all about choice. And the fact that he had said that, at that moment, made me make a choice. A small thing that I had done that might have opened a tiny doorway for me.

But, in retrospect, I wondered… Had I left the path and gone astray? Have I been treading a completely undirected road? Have I turned my back to this bright torch that I might have glimpsed and gone toward darkness?

Those final moments… The minutes before I actually blacked out… I found myself re-living. It was terrifying in a way that I could probably never encompass again. It was awakening to the degree that no other incident could do… But I still wasn’t quite there.

Yes, in my moments of confusion, I had thought that I had finally found the gold, but maybe in my confused state, I was actually more in tune with reality than when I was completely sobre?

I was another weird theory I had always had. Feeling high and out of it always made me feel confident and on top of things. That was why I had always done the stuff that I did.

Last night might have been a different story, had I actually been to the places I had planned. Who know what my state would have been this morning, when merry-making, friends and the urge to feel ‘liberated’ took over?

Obviously, I knew Waseem was right. I was lucky, but it was no coincidence.

The car halted to a stop, and Mo turned to look at me.

“Alright?” He asked, looking concerned.

I nodded.

“Don’t tell them about your car,” he advised. “Yet.”

I just continued nodding. I knew I was in no position to argue with anyone, so for once in my life, I closed my mouth and shut off my ego, doing just what I was told. I knew my brothers would sort it out. I was spoilt like that.

I chilled in my room for the rest of the day, obviously being fussed over by my mother, just because she probably felt sorry for me.

A few friends had phoned, wondering what had happened to me the previous night, but none of them really bothered to come see me. I acted like I didn’t care, but somewhere, deep down, it did have an effect.

New feelings started to surface. I felt crap for missing out on last night, but more so, it made me realise the truth in what Waseem was saying. What kind of friends did I really have?

Waseem took me with him to Jumuah, and then I was left to my own devices for the rest of the day. That was the worst thing when you’ve been through something major. The worst place to be was with yourself, because I knew that I would probably end up being my own worst enemy.

Everything was a complete anti-climax. Social media got to me more, knowing that I could probably never relate to anything that friends were posting about. One thing that caught my eye was a snap of my written-off car, already being shared by the whole of Jo’burg and Laudium. It was no surprise.

I wasn’t sure if anyone had really meant any harm in posting it, but my first feeling was annoyance. Then, utter irritation. Like really, was there like, no privacy in our lives these days?

I couldn’t even meet in a damn accident in peace.

I flung my replacement iPhone into a corner of the room, determined to just shut out the world. I wanted to retreat to a place where I wouldn’t have to think of anything. I hadn’t felt so crap in a really long time. The worst part was that, this time, it wasn’t even because of drugs.

And that’s precisely what made me want to use even more. I needed to shut out reality for a while. Just to bring myself out of the hole I was in. I needed a diversion.

I sheepishly got off my bed, going to the corner where I had thrown my phone.

I just needed a little, I convinced myself. Just to feel okay.

But, as fate would have it, somehow, my iCloud storage didn’t back up the particular number that I needed. Now I would have to get it, somehow.

I was determined. I knew which friend would have it. I attempted to dial the number, just as a knock sounded on the main door of my room. I cut the call quickly, tossing my phone on the bed.

“Ziyaad!”

It was my mother, entering my room. It was like the 125th time she had been up here.

“What?” I snapped, annoyed.

“Are you awake?” She asked, peeping her head in.

I gave her a blank stare, but it was like she didn’t even notice it. Duh.

“Someone’s here to see you!”

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5 thoughts on “Testing Waters

  1. Its so true abt the friends we keep …. True friends r there in times of need , whether u ask them to or not !!

    I guess its Ml Umar that’s here to visit … Mayb I’m wrong …

    جزاك اللهُ خيراً

    Like

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