Saleem woke up to a blurred daze. One not much different from before he had passed out. He felt strong glowing lights in a room that seemed like it would never end. He was on a bed, connected to a drip that you would see in any typical hospital along with a machine showing his heart beats. Two men sat in two chairs. One of them seemed familiar, like the paramedic in the ambulance. The other man was too hard to see, some things were still blurry.
“Are you okay, brother?” said the paramedic.
“What happened?” asked Saleem.
“You were in an accident.”
“An accident?” Saleem had almost forgotten, “An accident! Where’s Nabeeha, is she okay? Can I see her?”
“Yes, you can see her soon. She’s already awake.”
“Oh, thank God!”
“How are you feeling?”
“I feel warm, like I’m heating up. I think I’m feeling sick. Where are we?”
“In the entry room.”
“The entry room? What’s an entry room?”
“It’s where people from accidents like yours first come.”
“I don’t understand. Where’s Mariam?”
“Saleem, I need to know if you’re in the right state of mind before we can have this conversation,” the medic said, with a stern look on his face.
The second man in the room came closer to the bed. He wore a black kufi that sat upon his greying hair, but matched his thawb. He held a tasbeeh in his right hand, the full 99 beads. Saleem immediately thought that he was some imam, here to recite some blessings for his daughter in some attempt to console him.
“Oh God, this can’t be happening. Tell me she’s alive. Tell me that Mariam isn’t dead,” Saleem said in a manic panic while he rose to sit in his bed.
The paramedic held Saleem’s hand, an odd form of reassurance.
“Saleem, you’re all dead.”
“What? That doesn’t make any sense,” Saleem could feel his heart rate slowing.
“The warmth you’re feeling isn’t sickness, Saleem. You are in hell.”