Hope – Chapter 02

“The butterfly effect is basically a theory saying that even a minor change in circumstances can lead to  a major change in outcome. For example, a butterfly flapping its wings may alter the course of a tornado. The flapping itself will not directly affect the tornado but it might set off a chain of events that ultimately modifies the end result.” – Faisal Makki.

——————–

“It is not your fault. How many times do I have to tell you that?” I said with frustration. We were sitting at Second Cup, Tahlia branch, just Yousef and me. I have been trying to convince him for over an hour that he should stop blaming himself for Amal’s death. “It’s been over a month already. Don’t you think that it’s time you let it go?” “How can I let it go? If I can forget about her, I’m sure her family can’t. I shouldn’t even allow myself to forget. I should keep reminding myself of her so that I don’t make a similar mistake again. How can you, out of all people, ask me to leave it behind as if nothing has happened? Don’t you know me at all?” he nearly snapped at me. I shrugged and took a sip from my coffee. “I’m sorry, man. You know very well that I’m not angry at you, just myself,” he apologized immediately.

 

That was Yousef, constantly seeking perfection, constantly setting his standards higher than everyone else’s and demanding more from himself. He always prided himself on the fact that he was the top student in our class. Ever since we were kids back in elementary school up until the day we graduated from medical school, he scored the first place year after year. “I never make mistakes,” he frequently used to say. As arrogant as that statement was, it was very much true. Yousef never made mistakes. It was annoying and admirable at the same time.  I personally looked up to him because in the unlikely event he did make a mistake; he would be the first one to admit it and beat himself about it. He would punish himself more than any other person would. He never took his mistakes lightly. He would work extremely hard to ensure that they would never happen again. He was like a machine that never stopped running. He had the utmost belief that his destiny is to become an excellent doctor. He was one of the rare few that actually chose medicine so that they can help others. Clichéd as that may sound; he wanted to save lives. Perhaps he had developed a hero complex from all the cartoons he used to watch back when he was a kid. Amal was his first chance to experience his dream in reality. Sadly, it did not go as he once hoped it would and he, in his opinion, has failed miserably. Therefore, I understood why this particular mistake was not easy for him to deal with. Someone has died and that is not something you can make up for or fix.

 

Yousef is also the type of man who never conceals the way he feels. He wears his emotions out on his sleeve as they say. You can look at his face and you will instantly know if he is happy, angry, disinterested or upset. That is why when I ran into him at the hospital the following day after Amal’s death I knew something was wrong. Of course, Yousef did not wait for me to ask him what is going on because he simply blurted it all out the minute he saw me. I have been trying to get his mind off her for the past month but to no avail. So there we were at Second Cup in another attempt to bring back the usually cheerful Yousef.

 

“You are a believer, right?” I said looking into his eyes. He nodded his head, “Don’t you think that God would have inspired you with the things to do if she was meant to live? Don’t you think that Mazin would’ve saved her? Don’t you think that the accident wouldn’t have taken place to begin with? There might be a bigger picture that you’re not seeing. God knows best and we are not to question his wisdom. There was nothing you could’ve done to prevent what’s been written,” I said. “Maybe,” he said, clearly not convinced. “Let’s look at it from a different angle. Don’t you think that you’re a good doctor? Didn’t you do all the reading you should have done and more? Don’t you think you have practiced hard and long enough? Well, maybe they didn’t prepare us to deal with such emergent situations. It’s not our fault. It’s the system’s fault,” I said. “And they leave us out alone in the jungle to learn by ourselves as if it’s fine to lose a few victims along the way, collaterals,” he said with spite. “Anyhow, now that you have taken the BLS again and the ACLS, do you think you would have done things much differently?” I asked him. “I don’t know, perhaps not much. I guess it means I need to take the ATLS course too,” he said. I looked at him in a funny way. This guy will never surrender. Yousef will never change. “Listen, Faisal, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. You know I will. I just need some time. This is only a mistake if I didn’t learn anything from it. Anyhow, enough about me. How’s Samar?” he said. “She’s fine. She’s still in Switzerland having fun. I miss her but she’ll be back in a couple of weeks so it’s all good.” I said with a smile at the mention of my fiancé.

 

We stayed at the place for half an hour more before we decided to go home and call it a night. Ever since we started our internships, sleeping early has become a necessity if we wanted to survive the grueling work. “You know what? If I ever got into a car accident and I was injured and rushed into an emergency room, I would want you to be the doctor treating me. How about that?” I said. He laughed and gave me half a hug. “You know I would take good care of you,” he said then paused for a second before continuing, “Thank you.” He waved goodbye and left.

 

Twenty years later, my son got into a major car accident and was emergently rushed to the hospital. Yousef, a Consultant Trauma Surgeon then, operated on him and literally saved his life. Amal’s death affected Yousef’s life and mine in more ways than we could have imagined back at the time when we were just fresh interns trying to find a meaning in what seemed like a random and tragic loss.

 

To be continued…

18 thoughts on “Hope – Chapter 02

  1. i couldnt read the story now hopefully i do later this week
    bs i really loved the Quotations part
    The butterfly effect is basically a theory saying that even a minor change in circumstances can lead to a major change in outcome << ❤

    Reply
  2. I read both chapters together since I’m not very good with patience and had to wait for another post.

    There is no dignity in death. It strips you down of all that you are and leaves you bare with nothing except for your beliefs

    That really brought back memories I wasn’t about ready to deal with yet, even though my grandfather did not die in an ER, and his death was somewhat expected since lymphoma ravished his body beyond recognition, to put it bluntly nothing can prepare you for death. It would be so much simpler if I would die over and over again without having to witness that again, wishful thinking.

    Waiting for the 3rd chapter now 😉

    Reply
  3. ur an amazing writer

    i loved it!

    especially the part about being a perfectionist
    i could totally relate to that.

    i believe perfectionists are really weak in any form of emergency/trauma/ disorient.
    when they are not in control of every little detail, it hard to pick up the pieces

    Reply
  4. samaher, yes I do believe in that theory to a certain extent!

    8bitsofcoffee, unfortunately for you, my stories tend to take time because it depends on inspiration that doesn’t come often! Hopefully, the chapters won’t be too long apart
    Sorry about your grandfather. Allah yer7mo wo yed5elo fase7 janato. And I do believe that nothing can prepare you for death. Sudden death is traumatic but even expected one can be too especially to loved ones.

    eshda3wa, thank you 🙂 And I see you do understand perfectionists! It is hard when things don’t go your way and you’re trying to control even the smallest detail

    his sweetheart, 😉 and the leap is on purpose to give a hint of what’s to come and to tell you that this story will span a large time cycle

    Reply
  5. I find it quite interesting how intense emotions can be easily transferred through powerful words. As a reader, the heartrending grief of Amal’s family as well as Yousef’s struggle to accept what God has already foreordained to happen, were almost realistically tangible.

    Your words, my friend, got me fully engaged with the story. My eyes, jumping from one line to another, seeking some sort of unexplainable relief, hoping that Amal, by the grace of God, would survive.. and now that Yousef, somehow, might find some peace through the unbearable feeling of guilt.

    Impatiently, I awaite the next chapter. 🙂

    P.S: (Merely a humble opinion) Some refreshing happy moments wouldn’t hurt! I’m pro-happy endings, you know! 😀

    Reply
  6. roa’a, lol inshallah you’ll like aljay aktar wo aktar 😉 thanks

    A Global Citizen, your words gave me a sense of pride and pleasure in addition to responsibility. Hopefully my story will not end up disappointing you as you have connected to the characters in it. Thank you
    and well, there must be happy moments in every story 😉 but as regards to the ending… I have not made my mind just yet!I’ve got a few scenarios in my head but I’m leaning toward sad because Layla’s ending was somewhat a happy one 😛

    Reply
  7. la 7awla wala 8owat elaa bellah ya bassem al 7ayaah elee fehaa enough enoo nez3al wii net’9ayag so plz 5alenaa 3ala al agal fe al la7a’6aat elaa we r spending time reading nefra7 >> so plz about leaning toward sad things 3ala al nehayat al story plz forget about it ! ! wiii ya rab dayman kol al nehayaat sa3edaa zay laylaa . . .

    Good luck 🙂

    Reply
  8. yaaay 7elo 🙂
    3ajabnii inno howa shaal ham mo zay al naas ella temawet 5alg allah o ma tefakker 😦

    o 7ekaayat al 20 years !!! 7assastani innak 5alaa9 bte3mel end for the story :p:p
    i need to read the 3rd chapter badly :S post it plz 🙂

    Reply
  9. lol people should feel guilty about their mistakes. Such a shame if we accept mistakes as a part of human nature
    and the 20 years thing as I said is intentional 😉 Just a peek into the future to see how far it extends
    3rd chapter’s today or tomorrow inshallah

    Reply
  10. hey i just love your quotes at the beginnings of the chapters!! they are so true and wise!!

    its complicated to read the chapters with quite long reading-pauses between (no , i dont want to stress you!!! take your time), so i needed to go thourhg first and second chapter again before starting 3rd chaper (what i will do after writing this comment). I cant say so much about the quality of the story, because still its open what is going to happen (and that is good!), but i like the writing-technicals in this new novel. Changing the lyrical I, showing things from different perspectives! this confuses sometimes (after the reading-pause that i mentioned before) but it makes the story more interesting. Good work!

    Ok now let me read chapter 3 😉

    Katrin

    Reply
  11. I write these quotes trying to sum up what I believe in the most and also as a way of laying the ground for the chapter to follow. Glad that you have liked what I’ve written so far.

    And you are yet to the LONG pauses between chapters lol The month of ramadan coming and it usually is a dry spill period for me lol
    I changed the writing style from the single first person narrative into the multiple so that, as you said, I can tell the story from different perspectives and show how varying events take place throughout the story. Confusing maybe but you get used to it and I’ll not increase the the narrators to more than 4 most likely so you’ll meet them again and again 🙂

    Reply
  12. oh umm…happy Ramadan then (or what to say ? sorry i dont know about this so much..oO)…take your time with writing…i am too busy nowadays as well and i am happy when i come back to your page and see that new chapters are there to read 😀

    Reply
  13. i did read the 2nd after the 1st ri8 away…mn zamaaaaan 3n al 7amas hada…and this chapter really remembered me of a guy im dating ri8 now that always thinks he’s good and i can say a perfectionest like the character here..lol but i do c it as a positive side cuz it meens that the confidence in this person is high and believes in wat god gave him and in himself…

    and i loved it when his friend asked him r u a believer?…cuz i always ask myself the same question when stuff go the wrong way…

    i loved the bonding between the 2 friends…its good u chose 2nd cup cuz it seems 2 me its the place 4 confessing lol…

    Reply
  14. I hope you’re happy with your perfectionist guy! I’m sure he’s great 😉
    However, perfectionist tend to be harder on themselves than others which makes it subsequently hard to deal with them sometimes… allah y3enek !

    yup 2nd cup is just one of my favorite places here in Jeddah!

    Reply

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