Numbers

5:00 pm

“Mama, I got the results,” a sad whisper flew through the air until it got to the other side of the cellphone somewhere else in Gaza. “Asmaa, honey, I am sorry.. I know you have been waiting for three years.. You’ll keep trying in shaa Allah 5e..” The voice interrupted, “Got ya! It’s positive. I am pregnant. Mom! Can you believe it? I am pregnant!”

 “Wali! How could you do this to your own mother? Where are you? When will you tell Eyad?”

 “I am waiting for a cab and I’ll get home and tell him. We might come to your house tonight. Don’t tell dad! I will tell him. Salam ya mama.”

“Allah ma’ek_ May God protect you.”

4:45 pm

“Are the results out?”

“YES!”

“Dude! Where are you? The electricity will go off in about an hour. Get home so you can log in and check them.”

“I am trying to find a cab. I can’t believe this. Look, I’ll give you my username and password and you can check it for me.”

“No I won’t! Ahmed, you have been working so hard for this course. You have to get home and see it yourself. How did your mates do?”

“Mmmm, I don’t know. I only know how much Adham got. 75.”

“Man! Really? I know you did better. Now get home.”

“I am going to buy something to eat first. I’ll be home in 20 mins.”

“Bye.”

“Salam.”

4:00  pm

“Abu El-ezz, Ezz spoke his first word!! He said baba.. Where are you now?”

“He did!! I can’t believe I missed it. I’ll be home soon. The business was bad today. I only had few people who rode with me.”

“It’s okay. We’ll find a way to bring in more money. Just get home safe and hear your son call you baba. That should make you feel better.”

“Ah w Allah. I will be home in an hour or so. Kiss the kiddo for me, ok?”

“Okay. Deer balak a halak.”

“You take care too. Salam.”

I have to get a better car. I just don’t know how. The diapers. The powder. The medications. My mom. I need to take care of her and my wife and my first born. I wish my BA wasn’t this useless. I wish there were more job opportunities out there. I am an engineer who’s working as a taxi driver. Yay!

5:30 pm

What is going on? Anyone knows? I heard the ambulance sirens.” “

“Haven’t you heard?”

“No? What?”

“Om Zaki was having a baby.”

“I heard a loud bang?”

“It was probably someone very angry that he banged the door.”

“Haha, yeah right. Because banging a door is this loud.”

5:01 pm

This is going to be the best day ever. I will write it down on every calendar. On every wall. On every piece of paper. On every.. okay am running out of things. My mom will be so proud. After six long years of studying medicine. I am finally done. I am graduating. A week until the graduation ceremony. My whole life I wanted to help people get better. I wanted to do research to find a cure for cancer. To help every unlucky person out there. I wish I had found a cure before she died. But it is okay. I have time. I will find a cure. No more mothers will die for cancer. This is big. BIG.

“Hey! Taxi!”

-El Naser?

-El Naser.

-El Naser, please.

BANG. BANG.

6:00 pm. Reporter:

“A bomb targeted Falasteen playground today at around 5 pm. Four people in a taxi were killed and a pregnant lady in an ambulance passing by the playground was severely injured. El-Shifaa hospital officials told us that the baby was lost. No one can identify the victims. Their bodies are distorted and we are still waiting for more details. Everyone please be safe and do not leave your houses. This could be another war.”

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