Lubna was a very dear friend of mine. We used to play hop scotch for hours on end, when we were young. Our mothers were good friends too and she was my neighbor. We used to hang out when our mothers used to hang with each other. Kind of like a play date that’s what they call it now. Back then it was just pure friendship. I remember she had really long hair and always dressed up in neat looking gowns. While I had really short hair and always looked as if I just got out of a wrestling match. We would secretly make plans to run away from our house in the middle of night to a far away place where we could buy a small hut and play all day long. Such fools we were. I had lost touch with a lot of friends from my childhood but not Lubna. She made sure she always messaged me or checked up on me even when we moved a remote mountain town while she chose to live in the city.
When Sam passed away, I was expecting she would call but she didn’t. I had family around me but sometimes it can be really annoying to be around people who are constantly pitying your situation and reminding you of how good a life I had and how tough it’s going to be now without Sam. And I knew that not a single person actually cared. All they cared was that the kids should have a father and now they don’t. As if I am not enough for them or I cannot take care of them. I needed a break from the chaos and from the sorry faces. Two weeks went by and I still did not receive her call. I thought maybe nobody informed her about Sam. Maybe nobody told her about my condition. I picked up the phone and dialer her number.
Me: Hi, How are you doing Luby?
Lubna: Rumi is that you? I am so sorry about Sam. How are you?
Me: Ah then you know about Sam. I thought you didn’t know and that’s why I called to inform you.
Lubna: I knew about it Rumi, your mom called up my mom and told everything. I just wanted to give you space and time to heal and recover.
Me: Hmmm…..I was expecting your call. It would have been nice to have someone who doesn’t cry the moment I take Sam’s name.
Lubna: I know Rumi. How have you been? I actually have my tickets booked to come and see you for next week. I wanted to come there and be with you once all your family members left. Sorry if you felt bad about me not calling you. I so wanted to but I was not sure if you were ready to talk or needed your own time to heal.
Me: I am glad you are coming here to be with me. That’s all I needed to hear today. Do not think about me feeling bad. I was actually pretty busy these past few days and had no time to talk to anyone. Anyway, I am so happy you are coming here. Send me all the details and I will send someone to pick you up.
I could not hold back my excitement. In that moment I had completely forgotten about Sam. And that’s what I wanted, to be around someone who will talk about me and not just Sam all the time. Healing is a lost easier when you have the right kind of support around you. Sam died, everyone knows but that doesn’t mean my life has ended or my future looks bleak. It just means I pick up wherever he left off and start fresh. But with family around I was not getting there.
Lubna understood that from my voice.
Lubna: Rumi, are you there? Hello?
Me: Sorry I just zoned out for a bit with excitement. Been two weeks since I smiled and now I am just grinning.
Lubna: You are mad Rumi. I miss you so much and I will be there soon. So hold on till then and keep the wine bottles ready.
Me: Yes, absolutely I miss you too. See you soon.
That was it, the next week went by in a jiffy because I kept thinking about all the fun we will have once Lubna is here. So many stories I had to share with her and so much to catch up on. I just wanted her to come and be by my side. I could talk to her about anything and everything under the sun and it would just make me feel lighter at the end of the day.
Next Saturday she called again.
Lubna: Hey Rumi, How are you doing?
Me: Oh my god I was just thinking about you. Are you all packed up? The train is for tonight right?
Lubna: Ya, listen I need to tell you something. I will not be able to travel today. Sorry something urgent came up and I have to be here in the city for the next few weeks. I am really sorry Rumi.
What? Did I hear it right or is she joking?
Me: Oh! What happened Lubna? Anything serious?
Lubna: No nothing serious I will tell you later. Okay I have to go now. Bye and take care. Give my regards to aunty.
And she hung up. Leaving me helpless and lonely once again. What was wrong with her?Was she is some kind of trouble or was there some medical emergency. Lubna never does this. She would tell me everything so why did she not tell me what the urgency was?
I couldn’t sleep that whole night. Vicky and Anna were fast asleep besides me. I just kept thinking of all the bad things or reasons because of which Lubna couldn’t be with me today. I guess I will only know when she is ready to talk.
I got a call the next morning from Lubnas mom informing me that Lubna is admitted in the hospital as she had a miscarriage early in the morning. I was shocked and scared at the same time. Why did she not tell me that she was pregnant? Why did she not tell me that she was not well? I badly wanted to talk to her but aunty told me that she is still unconscious and is not in a state to talk. All I could think of at that moment was hope she gets better soon and we can meet again and I can ask her about what happened and why did she not tell me.