Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Taufik came home today with an extremely sombre expression on his face.
I should've known something was wrong.
"I have to go to Taif", he said.
My brain started to list down all the rigs I have ever heard him mention, trying to recall if any were in or near Taif.
Thinking there must've been a problem with one of the bits or something, I gave a disappointed "hah???"
He responded in silence.
He called one of his colleagues and talked about flight availability.
His tone sounded different. Not pissed. Not business like.
"What happened?" I finally asked.
A few smith staff members decided to drive to Makkah yesterday, he started.
Uh Oh, I thought.
"Dah tu, accident?", I asked, recalling the other time when an inexperienced staff member rolled a brand new truck into the side of the road.
"Hm." he said, very controlled. "Rahim injured, his son in ICU. Rayiz is dead".
I stopped short with whatever I was doing.
"Rayiz???? Serious??", not meaning to disbelief him, but still hoping I could disbelieve.
"Hm" was all he could say.
I rushed over to hug him.
I felt his pain even though he didn't show it.
Rayiz is probably the one reason why he's still sane while working in the Saudi office.
I know how much Rayiz's friendship meant to him.
Throughout iftar, maghrib and isya', I watched him tackle one phone call after another, getting updates and relaying it to the VP and District Manager.
I see the emotions stirring right underneath the stiff exterior. I know it's trying to come out. I know it's being suppressed by more pressing matters. Protocols, procedures, paperwork.
During one rare private moment, I hugged him tight and whispered "you can cry if you want to", and cried on his behalf. He was quiet, but I think I heard a sniffle. It wasn't long before the moment was broken by my kids begging attention and assistance with homework.
After Isya', I helped him choose clothes and put them in a backpack.
He is now on his way to the airport, hoping to catch a flight to Jeddah.
He hopes to be able to see his friend for the last time.
Knowing the regret of not saying goodbye to my own friend, I let him go with an open heart.

Innalillah hi wa inna ilahi ro ji oon.
Al-Fatihah to Rayiz.
May your soul be spared from the tortures in the grave, be saved from the fires of hell and may you be placed among the pious in jannatul firdaus, ya sadiq.

Oh Allah, please protect my husband.

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