I received an unexpected call at 1 am last night. It was one of my best friends.
I whispered into the phone and greeted him so that my mother in the adjacent room wouldn't hear me. I was waiting for him to tell some silly joke or say that he called because he was bored but his serious tone assured me otherwise.
"Hash, my dada (paternal grandfather) hasn't been doing so well. The doctor had come and he said that he probably won't make it through the next night... Or maybe even this one."
I wasn't sure what to say but I managed to blurt out a concerned "Are you okay?"
"Yeah." he said, trying to reassure me.
"Are you sure? Do you need a hug?"
"No, I'm fine; don't worry. I just needed to tell someone about this..."
I was amazed at how strong he was about this, with a sense of déjà vu. This was the the third time something like this had happened to him this month alone.
First, it was his maternal grandfather, who at the start of this month lost a long battle to a stomach tumour, next was his ailing paternal grandmother just a few days ago and this morning, his grandfather.
In such times, one might say that they are in a better place now or that they are finally rid of their suffering but no consolation will do for the mind of a good-hearted teenage boy who has been spending all his time studying due to the pressure of the upcoming exams. No time for any grievance. No time for contemplation. Heck, none even for actually absorbing the events that took place in the past few weeks.
It's also events like these that make me lose faith in everything and assure me that my skepticism about the existence of the almighty is rational because if he was there and was as forgiving and rightful as the fanatics claim him to be, he would know that no family would ever deserve to go through what my friend's is.
I chide Emily Dickinson for even daring to call Death a gentleman because a gentleman wouldn't miserably mess up his timing not once but three times. Because Death's carriage is not something a person's loved ones would like to see them get on.
So, today, I am an angry girl. Angry at the believers who say that the almighty will always be there and make sure the right thing is done, angry at Death for showing up repeatedly at the worst time and angry at myself, for being able to do nothing about it.
As I marvel at my friend's immense strength, I can only be the best damn person to lean on and hope that the departed souls rest in peace.