I found myself in the corridor of a hospital one evening. Everything looked blurry to me. I rubbed my eyes but everything remained blurry. One end of the corridor was dark, pitch-black while the other was lit up with a blinding white light. There were expressionless translucent people walking towards the light. Somehow, they seemed to be at peace. 

In a state of confusion, I sat on a bench. I felt something under me. It was a note that read ‘Don’t Leave’. I assumed it to be a random piece of paper and threw it away. A minute later, a man walking by handed over another sheet to me, this one too read ‘Don’t Leave’. This was followed by another and then another.

“Are these for me? Who’s giving these?” I asked one of them. She just quietly pointed towards the dark side. I sprang up and scuttled to where she had pointed. There I saw my daughter, Natasha, sitting on a bench with folded hands and tears rolling down her cheeks. 

“Please don’t leave me, don’t leave, don’t leave,” she kept murmuring. Each time she prayed ‘don’t leave’, a paper carrying the prayer appeared through her hands.

“Natasha, I’m right here can’t you see me,” I yelled.

“The living can’t see or hear us,” said a lady who was walking by.

“Am I dead?” I enquired.

“Not fully. Your daughter’s prayers are not letting you go,” she said. “Otherwise, you would have also been walking towards the light like the rest of us.” 

Suddenly, a team of doctors arrived and rushed into the room right behind me. I felt so helpless. My daughter was so upset, right in front of my eyes but I could do nothing about it.

A minute later, I suddenly felt a strong force pulling me towards the room behind me.

“What’s happening,” I shouted in confusion.

A few seconds later I felt another strong pull and I was dragged into the room through the closed door. I was shocked to see my bruised and bandaged body lying on the bed. The display on the monitor showed a flat line and the doctors were frantically trying to revive me using the defibrillator.

“Increase the shock strength,” instructed the doctor and gave my body another shock. This time I felt a tremendous force that sucked me into my body. 

“He’s back!” said the doctor as the line on the monitor started dancing again. That’s all I remember from that evening. When I regained consciousness the next morning, Natasha was sitting beside my bed holding my hand. Her eyes were moist and she had a smile on her face. Natasha’s smile worked as a pain relief balm for my aching body. Though I felt a searing pain in my broken body, I was just happy to be back.
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Zeyd Ladha
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