• 05 Jan - 11 Jan, 2019
  • Ayesha Adil
  • Fiction

To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; – Hamlet

In my sleep I could hear everything and I could feel everything. The pause I got from this maddening world gave me a perception that I wasn’t aware of while I was awake. I wanted to wake up. But the chasm between the world and the after world was getting greater and I felt myself tempting to go beyond for good.

This pain that I had been carrying for so long needed to stop. At least when I was asleep I couldn’t feel it so strongly.

It’s suffice to say that everyone’s life around me was royally destroyed. My mom had to adopt Ibrahim full-time. There was no way that Fawad could juggle the house and work and a baby.

Saman agreed to keep Tabby in her home. He was considerably independent now and he really just needed a home to bounce back to after his shenanigans out there. Saman proved to be my loyal friend till the end.

Come on Saima it’s not the end yet, my inner voice reminded me.

How I craved to be with them all again. Hold my baby in my arms and nurse him. But this sleep was too strong. I was governed by a presence that was too strong to resist.

It felt like being in love. When one is drawn to another person without any reason or explanation. I felt like falling into a deep abyss unable to come up.

I was very aware of my surroundings. I was aware of my friends and family visiting me. I was aware of their muffled voices with my doctors discussing my prognosis. At times my mind would feel like it would explode trying to mouth the words trapped in my throat. I wanted to speak. I wanted to be a part of that discussion. But there was only silence around me, within me, inside of me.

Is this what death will feel like? I thought of all those ridiculous movies that I had watched where people were stuck between life and death struggling with their feelings and their thoughts. Those movies were stupid and senseless. Nothing felt like that at all. Nothing. I could only feel numb and at peace with the realisation that I needed to wake up because my family needed me.

Fawad stayed with me all night till he had to leave for work. He brought a few of his things to the hospital so that he could spend all the time he had with me. My mom adopted Ibrahim. She would bring him to see me every day. I loved hearing his cry and his laugh. The touch of his skin on mine was magical. But not magical enough to wake me up.

“Saima I need you. Please wake up.” Fawad would practically beg every night before he dozed off next to my bed.

I wanted to wake up. I loved life, didn’t I? You all know how much I loved life.

My life! My home and my family. My baby. My husband. My parents. Everything dear to me was in this life, not stuck between two worlds. Not in a semi-conscious stupor in a world between the living and the dead.

But this world had its magical uniqueness. It had so much that was missing in my life. It had peace. I experienced a beautiful solitude that I never knew of. I constantly felt a divine presence around me. I felt that I was lying in God’s arms. All the pain went away. All that hurt simply vanished.

I wasn’t ready for this world. Not just yet.

But at the back of my mind however I could feel new layers of worry collecting in fresh stratums even as they all sat and waited. The mind of a woman will never rest even when in a coma. I laughed inwardly.

I began to worry about things to follow. The what ifs. The mind of a woman and a mother.

What if Fawad abandons me? His attitude towards me when we found out about Ibrahim coming into the world was all too fresh. And what about my baby? If I don’t wake up and interact with him will he ever know that I’m his mother?

The what ifs began to haunt me.

The pain I was causing to my parents was unbearable. The guilt was extremely impossible to bear.

But was there anything that I could do about it? I was helpless and completely in control of my body that was not ready to shed off the disguise of the after world and be back in the presence of the living.

And the days kept going by.

to be continued...