Khadeejah tried opening the door to Ahmad’s room. It was locked. She immediately called Abdullah and asked him to hurry home. Meanwhile, she kept pounding at the door in hopes that Ahmad would open the door. She remembered that she had a spare key to his room; she hurried to get it and finally opened the door. She shrieked when she saw her son lying on the floor. She rushed towards him and noticed the pool of blood. For a moment, Khadeejah felt her heart stop. She called the ambulance. She felt dazed. As the paramedics were taking Ahmad in the stretcher, Abdullah came home.
Abdullah glanced at his son’s face and tears rolled down his cheeks. As they were on their way to the hospital, Abdullah looked at his son’s pale face and ruminated on all the memories he had with him. His dear Ahmad. His son. He looked at his wife and saw that she was supplicating. She did not lose hope in Allah SWT. Abdullah realized how strong his wife actually is. He rushed into the hospital and told the doctors to save his son. Ahmad had slit his wrist; and suffered from an excessive loss of blood. Khadeejah held onto her husband while he tried to comfort her.
As the night progressed, the doctors told them that their son was safe now. Although he was extremely weak due to the loss of blood. They went to meet him. He looked so lifeless and pale. Ahmad opened his eyes, and he saw his mother holding his hand. Her eyes were bloodshot and rimmed with tears. He tried telling her that he was better now, but he did not have the strength to speak. Abdullah kissed his forehead and told him to rest.
The next day, Ahmad was much better and was able to talk. Abdullah asked him, “Son, why did you try doing something like this? What is troubling you? I will solve all your problems”
Ahmad looked at him with tears in his eyes, and said, “Father, will you help me? I really need your help. They will kill me.”
“Who? What is the matter son? Tell me. Allah is my witness; I will not let anything happen to you.”
Ahmad looked petrified. His father got worried and beseeched Ahmad to tell him. Ahmad started bawling and Abdullah saw terror in his eyes. He hugged his son and told him that everything would be okay.
They took their son home and Khadeejah spent all of her time nursing her son back to health. She noticed changes in Ahmad’s behavior. He was jumpy and afraid all the time. She mentioned his odd behavior to Abdullah, “Have you noticed Ahmad’s behavior nowadays? He seems different.”
“Yes, I know. I feel that something is amiss with our son. I intend to find out. I almost lost him once; I will not let it happen again. Not while I’m alive.”
The next day, Khadeejah went to Ahmad’s room to talk, She went in and found Ahmad trying to hang himself from the fan. She screamed and rushed to stop him. Ahmad pushed his mother away. She hurt herself but at that moment, she did not care. She shouted for someone to help her. Fortunately, Abdullah was home, he heard the racket and hurried to investigate. He managed to contain Ahmad.
“I don’t want to live anymore. Let me die.” cried Ahmad.
“Don’t do this, son. It is a sin to take your own life.” pleaded his mother.
“Living here is a sin. Death is peaceful. Just let me die. You should be happy; you will no longer have a son you’re ashamed of anymore. You can live peacefully, without having to make excuses for my behavior.”
“My son, you are lost. We will help you find the way. Allah will guide you. Have faith. Put your trust in Allah and He will create miracles for you. Please son, just talk to me. Please. If not for me, then at least for your mother’s heart. At least think about your mother. If something were to happen to you, she will not be able to live. You are our son and we love you.” said Abdullah.
Eventually, Ahmad calmed down and told his parents everything. He was in deep trouble. He was indebted to a lot of people. Moreover, James and his gang of misfits took a lot of heroin and disappeared. They told the dealer that Ahmad would pay him. Ahmad needed a hefty sum of money. He was threatened; they said they would kill him if they did not get the money within two days.
“Please, help me. I can’t find a way out now. I don’t want them to kill me. They will torture me. I am scared. Please. I don’t have that much money”, cried Ahmad.
Abdullah hugged him and said, “Don’t worry, my son. We will do something.”
Khadeejah fed Ahmad and made him sleep. Then, Abdullah told his wife, “We don’t have that much money, what will we do? Do you think we should borrow money from someone? But who will give us this much money?”
“You must sell the jewelry you gave me during our marriage; we will also have to sell our house.”
“No, I’m not going to let you sell your jewelry. It is your Mahr” said Abdullah
“My love, we have to do this for our son. It’s just jewelry anyway.”
The next day, Abdullah took Ahmad with him. He wanted Ahmad to see his mother’s sacrifice. Ahmad saw that his mother had given up all her jewelry without so much of a peep, even the tiny gold studs she was wearing in her ears, even her engagement ring. He felt sick to his stomach. He hated himself at that point. He wanted to make it up to his parents. He saw how much they loved him. How much they wanted to keep him safe and well. . It was because of him that they had to sell the only house they had. Ahmad wanted to make it up to his parents. He knew that it would take ages for him to pay them back. But he still wanted to do something.
There was an uncomfortable silence at dinner that night. Everyone was in their own thoughts. Ahmad was thinking of a way to repay his parents. Abdullah and Khadeejah were worried about their son. This was their last meal in the house. They had to change houses because they were unable to pay the rent. Khadeejah did not want to leave, but she had to.
Ahmad finally said, “I’m sorry… for causing so much trouble for both of you. And I wanted to say…Thank you for all that you’ve ever done for me. I know that I have been a terrible son, but I want to try and make it up to you. I want to change but I don’t know how. I want to stop smoking, but I don’t know how. I want to change my life around. I want to make you happy. I want to be the son you can boast about to your friends, and not the one for whom you have to make excuses. I want to be all this, and so much more but I don’t know how. I hate mysle ffor bringing all this on our family. I really am sorry”
Khadeejah and Abdullah had tears in their eyes. For a while, silence prevailed. Then, Abdullah said, “Welcome back son! We will help you. We will help you become a better person. Don’t worry, I know it will be difficult and tedious but, Allah is my witness, I will make it happen. I love you, my son. Now, its time you loved yourself.”
The following day, Ahmad went out in search of a part-time job. He wanted to support his father during these turbulent times. Although he was still drinking and doing drugs, he had reduced to quite less, it had got a hold on him that was hard to relinquish. He needed money for that as well. He searched high and low for a good job with a decent income but he was unable to find any. Until finally, he came across an advertisement asking for a taxi-driver. Ahmad had always liked driving ,cruising around, going on long drives and here was a job paying him to do that. He instantaneously called the number provided and got an interview. He decided that he would not tell his parents about it yet. He wanted to surprise them. He felt good from inside after a long time. He was doing something good that would make his parents happy and proud of him.
He went for the interview,stepped inside saying “Bismillah” and he felt a tingling sensations run down his spine. He was uttering these words after a long time. It had hit a chord somewhere deep down within him. A middle-aged man, interrogated him for some time until finally Ahmad was given the job.Ahmad was in high spirits as he left the place,rolling the first of his cigarettes of that day, but then he stopped and chucked the box in the dustbin like a 3 – pointer. Thanking Allah for taking him back into his mercy after all that he had done It was at this place, that he will meet the people who would change his life.
To be continued next Friday, Stay tuned………