Its going to be a long day.
My head is pounding from lack of sleep. Last night I didn't resist the urge to stay up a little bit longer than usual. I don't always get the time to be in the company of others, I let myself slip and now I've got to push ahead. The warmth of the bed calls for me, but there is no resisting the fact that soon I will be out there again in the harsh cold world. I place the blanket beside me and sit up while a rush of cool air brushes my body and I shiver. My vision takes a moment to clear itself while my head aches and so does my strength.
But I can't lose sight of my motivation. I need to keep it together.
I slowly drag my feet across the carpet to the bathroom. My reflection stares back at me. This time in a much different way. This time my reflection stares into my soul. It appears to beg answers for things. I can hardly remember the time when I first began sprouting this white hair. My beard is thinning out and so is the top of my head. My nose is slightly bigger and my features less defined. When did these wrinkles form? Who is this person I barely recognize? Did I forget who I am for a second?
There's a sharp pain in my back I'm trying hard to ignore. It must be from that new desk at the office. No it's not. It's old age. Subhanallah, I can't believe how fast time flew.
I find way to the closet. Thankfully, my style is still fresh. This crisp vibrant button down shirt looks good to wear today. My hands. The contrast of the shirt on my body hasn't been as noticeable as it is now.
This commute is a killer. Two hours of sitting still takes a toll on my back. I spend so much of my day alone- my thoughts eating away at me. More so today for some reason. At least I have my paycheck to look forward to today. Where did my life go? Oh right, I have a family now. Alhamdoulillah. How could I forget? They've been my only motivation all these years.
Everything is so slow. That clock is screaming in deafening silence. Not so sure what it's screaming though- maybe something about finding a way out of here. I think it's calling for me to remember my children. I remember it like it was yesterday - when I held their bare fragile bodies in my arms the moment they were born into this world. The way their innocent sheltered eyes first looked back into mine. Tears of joy fell on my cheeks. Their eyes desperately called for protection. And that was the moment that I first made the promise to keep them safe as long as I live. I knew that there are no lengths far enough that I wouldn't go for their sake. Oh, I got lost in my thoughts there. The boss is strolling down my aisle, I better snap out of it. This is my jihad. This is my jihad. This is my jihad.
Finally. Gotta catch that bus. Hopefully, this time I'll sneak a nap. My energy is fully drained now.
Ya allah, I almost missed my stop. How long was I asleep for? Anyway I'm almost home now.
Why won't anyone answer this door? Where's my keys? Oh, here we go. My heart is beating loud now. Suddenly I'm energized again. I've been looking forward to this moment all day long.
The living room is dead. Hmm.. That's strange. Perhaps they're upstairs in their rooms. Why are their doors closed?
"Did we forget the salam of the prophet alahyi essalam?"
"Baba! You just got here and you're already telling me what to do?!"
"Come on! It's already enough you grounded me yesterday!"
"Okay, but you were grounded for being out with your friends till midnight. You know how I feel about that."
What does he even do with his friends? I worry about him.
"It's none of your business how long I'm out. I'm eighteen now. I can do whatever I want. I am not out doing drugs or anything so you can relax."
"Then what are you doing?"
"Are you accusing me?! I can't have this conversation anymore. You don't even understand me."
I just gotta walk away. Nothing I will say at this point will make this better. I only have you Allah. Little does he know that I was once of his kind. Sometimes I see myself in him.
"Asalamu alaikum Baba"
Oh, that's my sweet daughter Fatima. Adam should learn form her about proper salaams.
"Wa alaikum essalam. How was school Fatima?"
"Fine. Baba, can I get my allowance early so I can buy those shoes I was telling you about?"
"Yeah sure Fatima. Is this enough?"
"Baba! No one buys shoes with twenty dollars these days! These are brand name!"
"Okay. How about this?"
"Oh thank you Baba. You're the best dad ever!"
Where did she go? I didn't even ask her how school was. I wonder about this girl's grades sometimes. I haven't seen a report card in ages.
Ah my beautiful wife Hana. I love her so much. I just wish she'd try a little harder. I can see the stains on her shirt from last night's dinner.
"Salam Omar. It's good to see you. How was work?"
Should I really burdeon her with the truth? No point in complaining.
"You're not going to believe what Sarah did! I'm so upset! How could she have the nerve to invite everyone I know but me?! Are we not friends or something?! She must be conspiring against ..."
I can't hear anything else she's saying for some reason. The lack of sleep isn't helping either.
"Anyway I'm off to a party today. I hope you're okay with that."
If I'm okay with that?! Of course not! I need you to be with me. I have nothing to look forward to more than you.
"Akeed Habibty. Go have fun."
"You're the best husband a woman can ask for! May Allah always keep you happy!"
I smell food.
"Oh and another thing please if you don't mind. I need some money to buy a dress."
"No problem inshallah"
There goes my paycheck. Allah will make it up inshallah.
Time to eat. Where are the rest of my children on this table?
"Hana, where's Adam?"
"He went off with some friends"
"What about dinner?"
"He'll buy McDonald's or something. Don't worry about him."
How can I not worry?! His living is the same quality as his eating. Why is Hana eating so fast?
"I hope you don't mind, I gotta get ready for the party."
"Mashallah. You're glowing!"
Why doesn't she dress like that for me?
"Thanks Omar. You're too sweet. Yallah salam"
"Salam. Take care."
Time to pray.
"Kids, come on down to pray jamaa."
hmm.. that's strange. I wonder what they're up to. I'll make wudu and wait for them.
5 minutes later
I should probably start this salat. They will hear me and follow. They're always late anyway.
"Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatu allah. Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatu allah. Don't forget to take out the garbage while I'm at work..."
Where did they go?
Who am I kidding? They rarely pray with me.
Time for bed.