This call is the an expatriate worst nightmare!
No matter how old you are, or how long you’ve been in your voluntary exile. You keep dreading a specific call. You have nightmares about it at times. And others you pray to the lord not to ever face it!
Phone rings: You pick up, half asleep. Hello.. You notice it’s long distance from back home. you switch your tone, and rise a little bit in your bed… “Alo” you say .. gasping for air.
You start hearing the mummered voice of someone very close … You wipe your eyes, you try to concentrate .. You think you heard wrong .. you ask again… and someone would reply by saying .. “El 3omor Elak” or “El 3awad bisalamtak” (May life be yours) or (May you have good health)
You heart starts racing, and you forget to breath. You hastily ask, WHO …. And no matter who that “who” is, or whether or not you are going to drop the phone and run to get dressed, only to realise that you’re 10,000 miles away. In a cold bed, in dark room, over looking a wet street, under the crying skies!
You take few minutes to get out of your disorientation, and start asking more questions. When, how, you hear the answer, but you’re no longer there. Your mind has already turned off.
There are so many things that you fear when you’re away from home, only two things might actually bring you to tears. No matter how strong your personality is.. This is the hardest one of them, not being there to say good bye to a loved one.