Gone

by Enas F Ghannam

She closes her eyes, holding his photo between her hands, his voice and laugh in her memory. She falls asleep hoping to dream of him alive coming to visit her with a gift in his hands, saying “I chose it for you.” Or preparing for their impending wedding with her. If he wanted something that she didn’t like he would change his mind, and say “I didn’t like it anyway.” He might have bought her something she had admired, without telling her. He might have done something he knows will irritate her just to tease her and see her angry. Or he might yell loudly at her to go and change her clothes into full Hejab, and after she nervously obeys he takes her to a beautiful place and says or does silly things until she finds herself laughing, forgetting that she was mad at him. She knows that this is his way of saying sorry as well as she knows that he screamed at her from jealousy.

She closes her eyes with tears in her heart and on her cheeks, hoping to open them again to find it was a nightmare. If so, then she won’t tell it to him. She will wear that beautiful dress he likes so much, she will fool around just to hear him laugh. She will bake that cake he always asked her to but that she made something else because she thought it tasted better. She will.

She won’t. She won’t be able to do anything now. It’s not a nightmare, it’s worse… it’s reality.

“He is dead,” she says to herself, “he won’t come back.” The dream she always feared would not come true is now just that, nothing but a dream.

Remembering his beautiful face with blood around it. The moment when she received the news about his martyrdom. The day before, when he called her to make sure she was safe. The bombardments everywhere and the hole in her chest before she even knew that he had been killed. The screaming and crying at seeing his dead body for the first time. The still body that had never been still around her. The eyes which were always looking at her with love. The hands which were always holding hers for fear of losing her. But it is she who has lost him, forever.

She opens her eyes, looks at his photo again, wipes her tears and says, “Alhamdulillah.”

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