Day 44 – A different perspective

It hadn’t been a quiet night. I’d woken up to the unfamiliar sensation of being cold and my question of whether to close the doors and windows in the room was quickly fast-forwarded by a crash as the door slammed shut into the hall. The number of storms were unpredictable and many at the moment and although it’s nice knowing we can regulate the temperature a little bit more, Aaliyah also almost lost half of her clothes she’d had drying as we’d expected a quiet night.

I was working on ward 3 again today and it has been very easy, very light and time went quickly this morning. At around 9:30 if I remember right, Hairdye – one of the boys from basketball, one of the four top leaders if you like – came into the rehab room and tried saying something to me. I assumed that he was playing a joke on me like they all did and was trying to get me to do his therapy and run me off my feet so I told him to go away, I was dealing with another patient (obviously all light-hearted and supposedly playing along). It wasn’t until later that I realised what he was really saying. For the first time that day, which was unusual, I caught Al and Abu with Abu’s new crutches heading down towards the Halfway Hostel; I stopped and asked where they’d been all day. That’s when they told me that Hairdye was going home. ‘Home!’ I’d said, ‘That’s great! Wow, good for him, I’ll come with you and say goodbye.’ And I started heading on down with them, but they stopped me and shook their heads, ‘No,’ They said, ‘He go.’ And it took me a moment to realise, he’d already gone. What he’d really been trying to say, was goodbye.

Another shock came around lunchtime as I finished my therapy and was heading to say my mandatory hellos to the women’s ward when I passed the boys all washing their plates and hands ready for eating. That’s when they told me that Al and Son were moving to the Halfway Hostel. Again, I had the same – though not quite as enthusiastic – reaction: already I knew this was great news that they were close to going home, but Abu (who we regard as Al’s best friend) had only just moved onto the same ward as him and now they were being separated again. Then it hit me that if they were going to the hostel then… ‘When do you go home?’ I asked, though they didn’t understand at first. ‘Tumi jao… shomoi?’ You go, time? In 14 days, they replied. Two weeks. Only two weeks and two of the people who held this group together would also be going home and it was clear that after them, it was likely that Abu and Sol were probably going to go next.

All this news has really brought me down; it’s fantastic that they’re all finally being discharged after months of being here following their injuries, but they were the ones that had made our stay here so much fun! It was the idea that Aaliyah and I wouldn’t be playing basketball with them that had originally made us sad to leave and now the tables were turned and they were leaving most likely before we would be and what’s more, it’s one thing to miss a friend who you know you’ll see again, it’s another to miss a friend who you barely knew but will never meet again. Two weeks may seem like a long, or short time dependant on perspective and mine right now was focused on the fact that already 2 weeks ago we’d been trying to get on a non-existent plane. Reality really can hit hard.

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