My husband received a phone call from a relative informing that an auntie of his was admitted to the hospital due to 'unexplained' complication in herself. When asked what sort of complication, he shrugged his shoulder and said, "She talked to herself non-stop".
So we hurriedly went to the hospital to visit her. That was at about 4.30pm and it was raining outside. When we reached the hospital, my husband dropped me off at the lobby and told me to wait for him inside while he find a parking space. There were many people who took shelter from the rain at the lobby. Voices of children crying can be heard amongst the conversations of adults. I proceeded to the elevator area and waited for my husband there.
I waited for about 15 minutes then. I understood it wasn't easy to find an empty space during visiting hours, especially on weekends. Three elevators busily transported commuters to their desired levels. As I watched the people nonchalantly, the elevator in the middle opened its door and people started flowing out. That was when I caught a glimpse of a person very familiar to me. When her eyes met mine, I was dumbfounded. Heat rushed to my face. I felt as if my heart stopped beating for some good few seconds before I struggled for air. She was still standing amongst other people in the elevator, looking at me, when the door closed again. The moment she completely disappeared, tears were falling down my cheek. I couldn't help myself from crying.
"What's wrong?" My husband touched my shoulder. He has just arrived from the parking lot.
"I saw my sister" I tried to hide my face from the public and also from my husband. I didn't want anyone to see me crying.
"Hafiza. I saw Hafiza just now. In the elevator." It was too strange for me to mention her name. As a matter of fact, it was also strange for my husband to hear her name coming out from my mouth. For a while he stood quietly in front of me, not knowing what to do. Later he took my hands and squeezed it gently.
"Let her go, dear. Allah loves her more than we do."
I wiped my redden face with a tissue he gave me, took a deep breath, looked up straight and tried to smile.
"Shall we go now?" I pulled my husband who was still staring at me. He nodded and led the way.
As I walked down the hallway, I didn't dare look at the faces of the people that passed in front of me. I was scared I would meet the familiar gaze again. Hafiza left us all four years ago in February. She was heavily 9 months pregnant when she passed away peacefully in my mother's arms. Until today, we never knew what was the cause of death. She went away with her unborn baby girl, never had the chance to say goodbye to all of us. She was an obedient daughter, my best sister, a faithful wife and a dedicated software engineer. I missed her so much that it hurts inside when I think of her.
May Allah bless her soul. Ameen.