The Gift (Part-56)

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To read the previous part of this story, click here.

"I'm sorry for you but fighting it like this is not good for you, Sal", Ani said as she looked at her friend. "You know I'd do anything to help you get your wish…InshaAllah I would… but this one is beyond our reach. It's not something we can get hold of by simply going after it so that it will be ours. Neither it is something that we could force our way to happen. It's a matter of hearts, feelings and commitment. We've done what we could. It's in Allah's hands. Only His willing could bring those two hearts together. If it is to happen, it will, In sha Allah. If not, you've to try to let it go", Ani expressed her sympathy.

“And moreover He hath put affection between their hearts; not if thou hadst spent all that is in the earth couldst thou have produced that affection but Allah hath done it; for He is Exalted in might Wise” (8:63)

Saleha listened quietly and agreed with her friend with a heavy heart. In some ways she felt she was being selfish. Imran's happiness is her happiness and if he had found it, she should be happy for him. She liked Syakirah a lot. She could not explain to herself why she did. But the fact was it was she, not Imran, who liked Syakirah.
They went back to the hotel. They decided to drop the subject they had discussed before and concentrated on the next day's meeting with Hidayat and the exhibition.

Saleha woke up at 5.30 a.m. with a throbbing pain in her chest. She called for Ani who was shocked to see her friend looking pale and sweating. Ani helped her take the medicine. Ani asked her to lie down and said she would call Dr. Norman. Saleha stopped her saying that she would be better in half an hour. Saleha explained she sometimes had that attack but it would go away quickly. Ani was still worried. She had thought of calling Imran but decided to wait a little longer. Later, Saleha was fine and Ani was relief.

"Are you sure you're up for the exhibition, Sal? You could stay and get some more rest if you want. You still look a little tired", Ani told Saleha. The opening ceremony of the exhibition started at 10.30 a.m.

"I'm fine now. I just need to lie down for a while and I'll feel better, InshaAllah. It's still early", Saleha responded. She looked at the clock on the drawer beside the bed. It was almost 7.00 a.m.

It was almost 9.45 when they took a cab to the exhibition. Every once in a while Ani glanced at her friend. She wanted to make sure her friend was really fine. She had a feeling that her worry about Imran had something to do with the attack that morning. Ani remembered Saleha seemed quiet after her call to Imran when they returned to the hotel after dinner. Saleha might have gone to bed heartbroken thinking about Imran.

They arrived 20 minutes early but there were many people already at the anteroom of the second floor of the building. They took the seat while waiting for the opening ceremony. While they were talking, Saleha looked uncomfortable and in pain again. Ani looked at her and suggested they go to the hospital. This time she agreed with her friend. Ani called Dr. Norman on her cell phone. They walked out of the building trying not to make a scene and left for the University Hospital. Dr. Norman met them at the emergency lobby.

Syakirah received the message at 11 a.m. She had just finished her class. The office boy said it was urgent. She left a message to Yasmin asking her to take care of things for her while she was out.

She left a message to Yasmin asking her to take care of things for her while she was out. Syakirah ran to the emergency room and spotted Ani. She was nervous by the worried look on the elder lady's face. As Ani saw her, she walked towards Syakirah.

To read the next part of this story, click here.

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