He rushed out of the hospital headed to no particular place. His legs could barely carry his heavy body laden with fear of the very worst. As he burst out of the hospital, a nurse scurried out almost immediately after him, yelling his name, but he was gone. Out of sight.

He stared around the hospital complex and found no one other than the usual vehicles, doctors walking back and forth from one building to the other in the large space. Nurses and patients moved in and out of wards too. He sighed and dawdled back in.

He scampered through the street and into the nearest extensive building. There, he found a church. His face was littered with sweat, dirtiness from the dust raised outside by both cars and passersby alike. The church was empty and bathed in the glory of silence. It was just him. He and the dozens of empty seats.

Everything felt frigid, and the burden felt worse. It had been a long time since he was in such a place. His feet hurt and were sore from the fruitless walking and running.

His throat was arid from the sobs and moans, eyes burned red; swollen from the endless tears. He limped towards the altar, sniffing, wiping his nose, worried and terrified.

He fell on his knees and clasped both hands together, looking up at the altar, struggling to believe, wanting to acknowledge that for this time He would hear him. The words to say felt heavy; the pain tore through his chest and he jerked from the burden he felt inside.

“God… I know you can hear me…” He forced each word out forcefully, adding more effort with each that he said, and every second which passed by felt like time was against him. Like he would die. “Please, I’m begging you, do not take this one from me. Save her for me. I — please, I can’t lose her. I can’t lose this one too. I just can’t. I won’t survive it. Please…” He groaned, his voice lost in his sobs as his tears poured off of his face. His eyes shut and his head jerked back and forth.

His memories flashed back to the times they both shared. The silly moments after school sessions, her naughtiness, the moments he would carry her and make her sleep on his body after she had a nightmare.

It went to the times they joked and played together, the bonding, the periods he made her cry, the hugs they both shared, the pecks he had taught her to give him every morning she woke, the times he would force her out of the bed, struggling to separate her from her pillow.

Suddenly everything was going bleak, seemingly hard to grasp onto. He knew, this he was sure of, that his heart couldn’t handle another loss. He knew this too well. This, he knelt there groaning, sobbing, praying for a miracle, with his voice deep, unsteady, repeating the same words.

“Please, save her, do something. I can’t lose her to this. Please, just—”

His phone rang. He sniffed, picked it up, and glared at the screen. It was the hospital. He raised it reluctantly to his ear and forced the broken words out. “Hello.”

“Mr Azi. It’s doctor Paul. Where are you?” He heard the familiar voice over the phone. It sounded less tense, less anxious and like one who had experienced relief.

“How… How is she?” He sniffed again, wiping his nose with his arm, struggling to stay audible.

“Just like I told you before the operation,” the doctor said. He had told him there was a glimpse of hope at the end of that tunnel. That the glimpse was tiny but could shine in fulfilled hope.

“Is she okay? Muna is okay?” He sniffed, his voice elated in tiny fragments of hope and gladness.

“It was just a glimpse. Too slim… We lost her. I’m sorry.” The voice broke the news. The calm demeanour had been all but to keep him eased, to accept the worst.

As the phone slipped off from his hand and smashed against the floor, his heart sank in. Shock choked his lungs and his eyes remained dazed as the sorrow he feared crawled up from its pit and engulfed his consciousness.

He bowed his head and screamed into his face, ripping in shreds what was left of his sanity. A scream which filled the house and dispersed its peace. A moment later, when he had gone from sorrow to deep despair, he slowly rose to his feet.

His hands were clenched, his teeth gritted together, and his eyes dead with pain and rage.

He stared angrily at the altar, his breath uneven, words unspoken, but his resolve slaughtered.

He just stood there, doing nothing, just staring at the altar before him. It was his heart breaking in half, and he was hurt and enraged all the same time.

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