CHAPTER 18 continued

Posted: July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

transformation definition

As we pull into the parking lot of the Rehab Centre, I am stunned. It is nothing like I imagined. It is green and lush and has a large garden next to a sports ground where some young boys are playing football. I wonder if they are in rehab too.

We park the car and I nervously get out. Despite what Yusuf has told me, I am anxious about what to expect. As we walk towards the entrance my eyes are drawn upwards towards the large sign that hangs at the entrance. In Arabic calligraphy at the top, is the usual Muslim opener – Bimillahi Rahmanir Raheem. Below it floats the English meaning – In the name of Allah and with the blessings of Allah. Vinyl letters in bold print announce the name of the centre : Al – Falah substance Abuse Centre. Below it, carved in gold letterring is a quote from the Quraan – “And seek help in patience and prayer (Al Baqarah 2:45)”. When I read it I am immediately calmed.

The building looks more like a small university than a rehab centre and then I begin to wonder what a rehab centre is suppose to look like.

Waseem and Shaheeda are already seated in the foyer and we greet each other warmly. Waseem has his lawyer face on so I don’t bother making any small talk with him and I rather direct my chit chat to Shaheeda.

“How are the children?” I ask.

“They are fine. Farhaan has a bit of a cold, and I am keeping the others away from him. Especially Nasreen” she says.

“oh dear, poor Farhaan” I say and make a mental note to call later and find out how he is getting on.

I smile at her encouragingly noting her beautiful modest tunic and hijab that she is wearing today. Her features are no less striking today, if anything the Hijab seems to have enhanced her beauty.

“The councelor is just finishing up another session”, Waseem reports to us. Yusuf and I nod in unison. We both sit down and just as I do I see my younger brother Suhayl walk towards us. He isn’t the man remember. His face is noticeably thinner. The weeks seem to have taken a toll on him and I remember Yusuf’s words about withdrawal symptoms. His clothes appear to hang on him and sway at the seams that are now too wide as he walks towards us.

When my eyes finally meet his I am surprised to find they are so alive. A smile warms his face and I am the one he is walking towards. I get up as he reaches me and worldlessly hug him. It is one of those long tight hugs I remember as a child when we would try to lift each other up and spin each other around. As he hugs me, I hold on, not knowing who is meant to start the spinning.

rehab centre hug


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