“Yaser and Hamed got in a car accident,” my mom said, crying. Those words are words I may never forget in my life. That day is by far the worst day I have ever had and may remain the worst day of my life. I had just finished taking two finals and was ready to go home. I headed to my locker grabbed my backpack, put everything I needed for my third final tomorrow, took out my phone, and left. When I turned on my phone, I saw a text from my dad. “Sarah, Mama is tied up and can’t pick you up. Please stay at the library until we let you know.” I didn’t know what was wrong; I thought my mom was in some kind of danger. I called him about three times, but there was no service at the hospital. I texted him about three times and asked what had happened. He replied back, “An urgent family matter.” At this point, I knew something was wrong. I asked him again what had happened. No answer. I called my mom about six or seven times, until she finally answered. “Mama, what’s wrong?” I asked “Yaser and Hamed got in a car accident,” my mom said, crying. “What?” I replied. “Yaser was driving to school with Hamed in the car and he lost control of the car and hit a car. Yaser is fine, and is getting checked out soon. Hamed hurt his arm really bad, and is having surgery in his arm,” she added. At that point I didn’t know what emotion to let out, but I automatically just started crying. Hamed and Yaser are my two cousins; we have lived like brothers and sisters our whole lives. Hamed is a year and a half older than me; though we created such a close relationship he became my best friend. He listened to me whenever and was always there. “Mama, I’m scared. Is Hamed going to live?” I asked. “I don’t know, stay at the library until I can find someone to pick you up,” she stated in a stern voice. “Mama, is he okay?” I asked again. “I have to go, your aunt needs me,” she replied and hung up the phone. I was in a bathroom stall shivering like never before. I don’t know what happened to me, I couldn’t control myself I was shivering and I had butterflies in my stomach. When I brought myself back, I washed my face and walked toward the library. I walked in front of the receptionist’s office and she could tell I had been crying. “She told you, didn’t she?” she asked. I couldn’t do anything, but cry again. She came over to comfort me, but I told her I had to get going to the library. I headed towards the library and I met my 6th grade Algebra teacher, Ms. Hardin. “Are you all right?” she asked. Words couldn’t come out of my mouth; I was shivering and just couldn’t speak. She took me to Mrs. Arend’s office, my principal. At that point, I was so grateful that I went to such a wonderful school. I couldn’t imagine going through such a terrible tragedy without the wonderful people at my school. When I was at my principal’s office, I was speechless. She did an amazing job of comforting me until the school counselor came out of a meeting. She talked to me and tried to make me feel better until my mom’s friend came to pick my sisters and I home. I came home to a crying grandma and two hungry younger sisters. I realized I had to take a deep breath and take charge of the family since my mom wasn’t home. I ordered pizza, fed my sisters and my grandma, put a movie on for my sisters, and waited. Then finally, my mom called and told me that my other cousin also, with the name of Hamad is bringing Yaser to our home to rest, and was going to pick Omar, the youngest of the brothers, from school and bring him to my house as well. “How’s Hamed?” I asked her. “Keep praying for him. He is still in surgery and hasn’t been out yet,” she replied. At this time, Hamed had been in surgery for more than 3 hours. “He must have hurt his arm really badly if he has been in surgery this long,” I replied. “Sarah, don’t mention this to your sisters, Omar, or Yaser.” “Yes ma’am.” I replied. “Hamed hit his head in the car accident.” “What? Is he okay?” I asked. I was in shock. “Just keep praying,” she answered. “Don’t tell anything to Omar or your sisters they don’t know anything, and don’t mention anything to Yaser,” she added. “Okay mom, keep me posted.” “Okay,” and she closed the phone. About an hour after the phone call, the boys finally arrived. Yaser had a black eye, cuts everywhere, and was limping. He had chipped his knee bone and wasn’t walking properly. I didn’t know whether to hug him or not because I didn’t want him in more pain, but I did because not only was he physically hurt, but he was emotionally hurt too; I could see it in his eyes. Omar didn’t know anything. Hamad brought them and had to leave back to the hospital. I told Omar that my sisters were in the game room and put Yaser in bed. Friends of Yaser began to come, to comfort him. After a few hours, my mom’s friend brought home my other younger sister from school. She had been on a field trip all day and finally came home around five. She was the person I needed the most at that time, other than my mom. My sister is one of the closest people I know. We have three years between each other and yet we are very close. I really needed someone to talk to. I told her what had happened, even though my mom told me not to. I made sure she wouldn’t tell anyone. I did receive calls from my mom every once in a while. My mom left when Hamed had come out of surgery. She called when she was on her way home. “He is now stable and may not wake up for 24-48 hours,” she told me. “So he’s not moving at all?” I asked. “His heart is beating and he moved his toes about two hours after he came out of surgery,” she added. “He’s in the ICU right now. How’s everybody at home?” “They’re all good. Yaser has a couple of friends over and Omar is with them, the girls are sleeping except Nour, and Grandma is watching TV,” I answered. “Mom?” “Yes,” “Can I go with you to the hospital when I finish my final?” “O-Okay,” she hesitated.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2012
Today I had a history final. I couldn’t concentrate on my final, knowing that I am going to see Hamed after. I couldn’t stop looking at the clock, waiting for time to pass by. Finally, the time came, my mom came to pick me up and we were heading towards the hospital. I felt like we were driving forever. When we finally got to downtown, my heart began beating fast and my stomach was tingling. Eventually we got to the hospital, parked the car, and we headed toward the ICU section of the hospital. Everybody was there; aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and almost all were in tears. We were allowed to go in and see him, but only two people at a time. My grandma wanted to go in and asked me to go in with her. We got suited up and entered a door that led us into a hallway. We followed the hallway until we got to the room he was in. We opened the door, and I wish we had never opened it. To see him lying on the bed the way he looked was and still remains haunting. He had cuts all over his face, half of his head had hair shaved off and he had a huge cut going through his head. His face was white, and his lips were puffed up. His eyelids were taped down and were purple. I still see that image vividly very often. My grandma and I stood there crying and praying for him. We tried talking to him and no answer came. Eventually, my grandma asked to go back out to the waiting room. I took her out and went back inside. For more than five minutes I just stared at him. “Hamed,” I said touching his hand which was really cold. “Hamed, come on. Answer me. You have to wake up, I need you, the whole family needs you, and in fact everybody needs you. I don’t know if you know about all the people who are waiting for you outside. So many of your friends are at school waiting to hear good news about you. I know you can hear me, and I just want you to know that I love you more than you can imagine, and I miss talking to you, seeing your beautiful smile, and experiencing your amazing personality. I think you know what you have to do, and whatever you do I’ll be standing by your side. Just know that I love you so much.” I left the room and realizing that that would most likely be our “see you later” because I know his soul wasn’t in that body. It was watching over me, but the amazing thing is that even though his soul wasn’t in the physical body itself. I could see light in his face, pure light. That day ended very normally. My grandma and I went home with my cousin. We picked up my little sister and went home. We ate leftover pizza from the night before. Eventually, Omar came home from school via the school bus and came to my house. My mom later on in the night brought home Yaser from the hospital, and my dad came home really late.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2012
I woke up to terrible weather that morning. I realized that something was wrong that morning, though I couldn’t wait until I finished my final so I could go back to the hospital again. I had an English final that day and just rushed through it. I ran out of the classroom towards the receptionist’s office expecting my mom to be there. I called her twice and got no answer, then I realized she had texted me just as I was about to dial her number for the third time. “Go home with Noor. I can’t take you with me. I’ll call you later, Yaser is with me,” she texted. Noor is my mom’s friend’s daughter, they happen to be our neighbors too. “Mom, come pick me up. I have to talk to him,” I replied. “Go with Noor, and it’s final.” “I’ll walk if I have to. I’ll tell Noor to take me there.” “Go home with Noor, your grandma is waiting,” she replied. “Is Hamed dead?” I asked. “Pray for him,” she replied. “Is he alive?” I asked again. “Kind of, sort of,” she replied. “What do you mean? I need to go at a time like this,” I stated. “I’ll take you there later,” she replied. “I’m going to find a way to get there.” “Go home,” she replied. I decided to follow what my mom had said. I went home with Noor. The whole car ride we were quiet. When I got home I came home to my grandma coming down the stairs, crying, and wearing black. Hamed had died. Hamed, my best friend, my brother is now no longer on the physical world. Hamed had died. In loving memory of my brother, Hamed, God bless his pure soul. Live life to the fullest and make sure that your family knows that you love them. You never know when someone can be taken away from you.