30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 20

Posted: August 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Day 20

Ammu Omar has come to pick us up before school is over, Mrs. Nadia tells us. She allows us to leave early and asks us to please take care of ourselves. How does a person take care of themselves? I wonder. Ammu Omar has never driven us to or from school before so mom and dad must be preparing a surprise. He sits there in the driver’s seat of his white Honda, talking on the phone as usual. The second next thing he always does whenever his laptop’s not around. Nora, Ramy, Noha and I share this look that we all know very well, then the four of us immediately rush to the car and knock really hard against its windows. Poor Ammu Omar, he looks terrified. He still smiles, puts down his phone, and gets out of the car to give me a hug. He asks why we’re out this early, and I realize I’ve really missed him, so I hug him again. On our way back home, he promises to give me an extra cookie after lunch if only I let Noha tell us all about her day. She talks and and Ammu Omar listens. He’s a very good listener. I love watching him listening to people. My heart jumps as I remember he’s about to see our gingerbread house. Mama made it yesterday, but we told everyone at school today that we’ve done it ourselves. I can’t wait to know what Ammu Omar thinks about it.

We arrive home and Nora gets her key out to unlock the door. I wish I had a key too. Mama says I can get one when I’m as old as Nora. She says that all the time, about everything. Nora gets her own room, her own jewelry box, and her own iPad, just because she’s 16. She unlocks the door and Ramy walks to his room. Mama and baba are not there, which is cool because we get to spend more time with Ammu Omar. We order pizza over the phone and wait for it to arrive while watching an episode from Arthur. The pizza man finally arrives and Nora has to go get Ramy from his room. I don’t think he likes anyone in the house as much as he likes Nora. Or pizza for that matter. We gather around the kitchen table to eat, and in my heart, I wish for this moment to never end. We’re only missing mama and baba, but it feels warm. Nora has her pizza in one hand, and her iPad in the other. Arthur is still playing in the background. Ramy tries to take a sneak peek at what Nora’s doing, and it makes her laugh. Noha has ketchup all over her face and Ammu Omar looks pale, but he still smiles.

Suddenly, Nora stops laughing and frowns at her iPad. She tells Ammu Omar she wants to speak to him alone. What do people say when they speak to each other alone? Will I ever have something that I would want to speak to someone alone about one day? Ammu Omar puts his pizza down and they go downstairs to the basement. Noha and I continue watching Arthur. Ramy’s eyes are fixed on the door to the basement. He doesn’t go to his room after finishing his food. He just stares at the door. We don’t hear anything but Ramy stays focused. It seems like an hour before they come up again. Nora has red eyes but she isn’t crying. Ammu Omar looks so much paler than he already was, but he still pretends he’s fine. His smile is no longer there. His hands are tightly holding onto Nora’s shoulders and it only reminds me that I miss his hug. He asks us to switch off the TV and we all gather around them. They look like they have something important to say. Did Nora fail her test? Oh my God, no, does she have a boyfriend? Does mama know? Why do we need to know though?

Nora walks away from Ammu Omar and sits down next to Ramy. Her left hand reaches out to hold his right, and their fingers slip in between the spaces of both hands. Ammu Omar sits down between Noha and I, and he pulls us closer. I don’t understand, but I feel like watching Arthur would be better than this. They stay silent for a few seconds then Nora asks if anyone has heard about a car accident that took place this morning beside the school. We all nod and then she asks if anyone knows what happened to the people in the car. Noha and I shake our heads, and she assumes Ramy doesn’t know either. She takes a deep breath, but then I don’t remember hearing anything until Noha starts crying while shouting out mama’s and baba’s names. She cries so hard. Ramy cries too. Nora holds him closer and they both cry in each others’ arms. Ammu Omar pulls us even closer, but I still don’t understand. Why are they crying? Why is Noha calling out on mama and baba? What does the car accident have to do with all this? Ramy pulls Nora’s arm away from him and runs to his room. She follows him. Noha jumps onto Ammu Omar’s lap, puts her arms around his neck, and digs her face deep into his shoulder. She’s still crying. Ammu Omar looks at me but he doesn’t say anything. Noha’s cries grow even louder. They give me a headache. Mama, make her stop! I hear myself saying out loud. Mama’s gone, she’s gone, Noha keeps repeating. Make her stop! I find myself saying again, and everything around me slowly starts fading away.

It’s hot. I’m sweating so hard. I can feel someone’s arms around me but I can’t open my eyes. Are you sure you want to do this? I hear an unfamiliar voice ask. I don’t hear an answer but the arms holding me suddenly tighten, and I feel myself moving around. I hear footsteps. They’re loud. There are five of them. Are mama and baba back yet? Everything fades away again. Then I hear screams and loud cries. The arms holding onto me get warmer. I feel a weird smell and remember that mama just gave me a shower this morning; I can’t let the smell get to me. I hear a voice that sounds like Nora, shouting, don’t do this to yourself, they wouldn’t want you to be doing this to yourself. But I never hear an answer, and the voices fade away again. When they’re back, I no longer feel the arms around me, but I feel more relaxed. I hear Nora’s voice again. This time Ramy answers back, but his voice is different.

They must’ve left because they’re mad at me, he says. Yesterday, mama came to my room and she asked me to turn off the play station but I never listened. She told me she wanted to have a conversation with me and I said she can talk while I play. I didn’t even look at her. Oh how I wish I could just get one last glimpse at her beautiful face. He starts crying. Do you think they’ll ever forgive me for what I’ve done? Baba didn’t even tell me goodbye this morning when we were leaving to school. He’s mad. I know he’s mad. Can he come back for just one second so I could apologize? I want to apologize, Nora. Please tell them I want to apologize. Please bring them back. Please. Nora doesn’t reply, and I feel like someone’s squeezing my insides. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Mama, baba, help me, I can’t breathe.

(Story’s First Part: https://untitledblabbering.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/30-day-writing-challenge-day-19/)

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