I finished my chores and laid on the plush carpet on the floor for a while before my thoughts started drifting off to the memory of my friend.
It was eight years ago I met him, my siblings and I were on a break so we went to my state for a holiday to our mothers family and stayed at one of my uncles home, whose children we adore as they were our best cousins.
Two days after we arrived to their home, my cousins and I were outside, playing in the backyard when a boy my age came in and joined us, he introduced his self as Nabil, my cousins chirped in and told me he was their friend and they were neighbours so I replied him. We were resting after the games we played and he sat down beside me then tried to make a conversation to which I ignored because I wasn’t comfortable, but then he started telling me about himself, he told me where he schooled, I found out we were in the same grade and lots more, so I decided to tell him a bit about me too, but he was called back home.
I was sitting in the parlor with one of my cousins, zarah, just talking about random things when he came in with a salam. We replied him and I ignored him while he made small talk with zarah and tried to involve me, Zara’s elder brother Zayn comes in and noticed I wasn’t replying them
“Nasrin”. He called my name then scolded me about not being nice to Nabil and to stop showing attitude. To be very honest, what he said hurt my feelings and I felt embarrassed and angry due to the fact that he did that in front of Nabil himself, to prove him wrong, I decided to join in on the conversation when ever he cane by again so I stood up and left with them calling me back.
I went into the room and had a small nap, when i woke up I went to the parlor and saw my cousins with him, Nabil. What is he still doing here?, I really thought he’ll be gone by now. They noticed my entrance and told me to sit with them, i internally groan as i make my way to the only empty couch beside Nabil, now I’ll have to play nice with him. He started a conversation first and as I was going with it, I realized how nice and outgoing he was and I instantly felt sorry for how I treated him earlier so I apologized. He was quick to accept my apology which made me smile, my cousins mocked me nonstop because of that until he left. To say I was mortified was an understatement.
Nabil kept on coming everyday after that and we always had something to talk about, we also swapped numbers at some point because he said he wanted to have my contacts, the others said he liked me but I didn’t believe them – we were just friends or at least that was what I thought, it was a week before i was supposed to go home that he confessed his feelings for me, leaving me utterly speech less, it was hard to take in honestly… I never wanted this to happen, I was okay with us being just friends because I didn’t want to date anyone at this young age, I was just in grade10 and dating didn’t sound appealing to me… Suddenly I lost interest in him and avoided him anytime I could till my siblings and i went back home. I was beyond happy that I was away from him but I knew it wasn’t over yet.
He started calling me when we resumed school for the next term, sometimes I don’t pick his calls, at times I do and when ever we talk it wasn’t like before, because it felt so weird to me but I still talked to him, he once tried to ask me out again but I told him I didn’t want it and wasn’t ready for a relationship. He called me one day after I came back from school totally exhausted, I wasn’t going to pick his call but for some reason I ended up doing so and he told me he was glad I did before informing me he had been sick and had been admitted to the hospital, but he was getting discharged soon. He said it wasn’t that serious and I shouldn’t worry about it and I believed it, I called him back the next day – I had never ever called him before – so he sounded really happy about it and mentioned he was to be discharged the next day, I wished him well and didn’t speak to him again.
He called me a week later and as we were speaking he said, he was sick, the same thing happened the week after and after, making me think he was an SS patient. I answered most of his calls and others I didn’t. Soon enough we had finished another term and were on holidays, my siblings were thinking about going back for another holiday because they enjoyed their stay, but I didn’t want that because that would make me see Nabil. I tried convincing them out of it and they agreed, somehow Nabil got a hold of it and called me to inquire, he suddenly mentioned that he was going to transfer to my school because he really likes me and wants to see me always, it took me up to an hour trying to convince him against it, he was really persistent.
The holiday was almost up, I was working in the kitchen while talking to my classmate on the phone. As soon as I hung up the call, Nabils came right through, I was debating on whether I wanted to pick it up or not but I ended up doing it. I was very much surprised when his mother called me and informed me that her son had just been out of an operation a day ago and she wanted to talk to the girl that her son was calling out to when he was dowsed in anesthesia. I gasped lost for a moment before I came to my senses and greeted her and asked how he was doing, ignoring what she said…. She seemed to understand I didn’t want to talk about it, which I was grateful for so she passed the phone to Nabil, he sounded good for someone who has just been out of an operation so I thanked God, wished him good health and said goodbye to both him and his mother. I asked myself what I had gotten myself into when I hung up, with my hand on my chest trying to reduce my heart race. I still called back to talk to him here and there, feeling sorry for him.
I went back to school but this time as a boarder, my school was both a day and boarding school, so I decided to join the boarding, everything was really overwhelming, but all in all it was good. After a term of struggles and everything we finally finished the session, I went back home happy to see everyone and catching up with them, most of my friends that were far called me and talked to me, it was nice to know people didn’t forget about me, then I remembered Nabil, the guy who I tried to forget in school hoping that since we won’t have any contacts with each other will also forget about me and it seemed he did as he never called me even once. I must admit I felt hurt as the only reason I tried to forget him was because I had developed feelings for him too and I really thought they would die before I come back home, so when I found myself going through my contacts list and calling him, I realized I wasn’t over him. His number didn’t go through, it was switched off.
I decided to go on an app called 2go to check on him there, as I was going through his account, I saw some of his friends had posted rest in peace Nabil but I didn’t think it was him, my mind didn’t want to process it, so I decided to call the only friend of his he introduced me to, Ahmad.
Ahmad picked up on the third ring and what he told me tore me, his exact words were ‘your Nabil had died of cancer’. He started telling me how it happened but I wasn’t listening, my brain kept repeating what he said ‘your Nabil had died of cancer’, I hung up the call and fell to my knees and cried my heart out, for weeks. I later on found out he had heart cancer, the operation he got was a heart transfer one and the new heart he got failed him so he died. He didn’t tell me he had cancer, no one did, his mom said he didn’t want to make me worry or make me not want him when I spoke to her, I cried harder when I heard that, my family were so worried and couldn’t believe what was happening and were wondering what was going on with me, I didn’t talk to anyone.
I was going over all of our conversations in my head and wondering what would have happen if I accepted him and not rejected him multiple times, if I had known and been there for him and not ignored him almost every time, my parents ended up finding out and after much convincing I was taken to see a psychologist.
It helped me to be honest, I came back to my senses after grieving and with the help of my loved ones I got over his death and whatever pain I felt, leaving me with memories of what happened. I was told to never give up and loose faith in Allah by my psychologist, because with every hardship comes ease and Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond it can bear.