MY TIME ON EARTH: SHORT STORY By Hameedah OJ
MY TIME ON EARTH; SHORT STORY
I woke up lazily that very morning. It was cool, maybe because it rained throughout the night. It’s twenty minutes to eight in the morning. I knew I had some washing to do and somewhere to go, even though I did not feel like going out that day and didn’t plan for it. I just had to get out of bed, especially that my mum came to inform me of the arrival of the wash woman that she called. She does that whenever my hands have started to give me problems again. I heard her voice already. She’s someone I was used to. No wonder mum said I was going to stay with her while she washes so that I do the rinsing and spreading. I felt like resting my head again just to get it set and avoid headache later in the day. Mum called again for me to get my laundry basket out and not waste time, but I was already up before her call. She was predictable after all. So, I didn’t have to allow her to call me before doing what I was to do.
She was preparing breakfast. I entered the kitchen and grabbed a cup to drink some water. She always told me to do that first thing in the morning and that was part of me already. Sometimes, after I brushed my teeth and few other times, it was before brushing. She always said it’s better before even though she knew I didn’t like that. So many bacteria activities all through the night and the taste they gave when I woke up. I just had to get rid of that first before getting anything through the mouth to my sensitive stomach. Although, I don’t know the medical implications of before brushing.
I got our laundry baskets to the backyard with the woman and we started the laundry. Mum called me back inside the kitchen to get me do something. She gave me a series of instructions, making me follow them one after the other. After the third instruction, I knew what the instructions were for. She wanted me to eat immediately. I knew my stomach health but I didn’t pay so much attention to it. She knew how naughty I was with that, so she had to use that method that morning. “You know, there are some children at some points, no matter their age, you just can’t help but make them follow series of instructions one after the other till they get to a stage where they won’t have any choice but finish the task. But if you tell them to do the task right away, they may just brush it off “. This was her response when I queried why she had to give orders one at a time, after the second order. We both couldn’t control our laughter. I ate the big slice of bread with àkàrà that I packed inside it and left for the laundry.
The clothes were not much and that dirty. So, it didn’t take us a long time to get through the chore. Mum had left the house for where we were going.
“I’ll join you when I’m done inshaaAllah.” I really didn’t plan going though. I began to think about what to wear. I’ve just washed my outing jilbabs. Not all though. ‘There’s still a carton color jilbab in my box. I’ll probably wear that’. I was not done with my thought before it started to drizzle. We rushed to the shade under the stairs, finished up cleaning the troughs we used.
The woman and I went inside and had breakfast before she left for her house. It was still drizzling, maybe more than before. After a while, it was some minutes before 1:30 pm. I reluctantly thought of getting dressed for the school party but the rain changed mode from drizzling to real pouring. I had no choice but to stay back and get some other things done. I chose to read my stacked up ebooks and online articles. I did that and chatted with friends till I went to prepare dinner for the family. I had to come back to my phone after dinner to complete what I started, one of which was a discussion with a friend. It was something very important to me so I couldn’t just leave it halfway to go to bed.
Getting to bed by 10:55 pm, I decided to read something for five minutes before closing my eyes. Not long after being swept off by the overwhelming sleep, I woke up to see it was just few minutes before 5am. I thought I didn’t see well. I stood up to check the wall clock and saw the the long hand on 7 and the short hand was on 5. “SubhanaLlaah! For how many minutes have I slept that it’s now already dawn? Hours seemed like minutes just this night” I muttered as I walked back to my bed. I sighed again as it dawned on me the similitude of death. “So, this is what existence on earth would be like when asked on the day of judgement about the number of years spent on earth and the answer would be a day or part of a day. Allaahu Akbar”. I muttered some prayers and laid back in bed. Since I was off solat, I decided to go back to sleep before the time when I would have to do my morning adhkar and prepare breakfast .
قَالَ كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ عَدَدَ سِنِينَ
[Allah] will say, “How long did you remain on earth in number of years?”
قَالُوا لَبِثْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ فَاسْأَلِ الْعَادِّينَ
They will say, “We remained a day or part of a day; ask those who enumerate.”
© Hameedah OJ
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