Where the Wild Dogs Were

Last week I was coming home tired, thirsty and hungry, carrying heavy bags full of food and needs for the house. Although I work and study, I am responsible for the work around the house I want to support my family, be someone kind for them and take care of them. But the home environment is cold and broken. Because of this, my office is the only place I relax. I forget life’s headaches. I only remember it when I am returning to the house where everyone is a stranger to each other. I belong to a family in which love has died. I am the sister of a brother who thinks money is what makes life, and who is always angry; the word “happy” has been removed from his life’s dictionary. I am the daughter of a mother who can’t say anything; when she speaks, my brother will say, “You just shut up.” Then my mom will sit in the corner and pray.

When I came home on this day, Mom was lying on the ground in the yard. Her face was yellow and her eyes were tired. She was vomiting mournfully, slowly. I asked what was wrong and she said she felt very bad pain in her stomach.

The sky was getting dark and Mom was still very sick. She was walking in the room and then leaving, going back into the yard, but still feeling pain. She didn’t eat dinner. My brother and I ate. There was everything to eat on the tablecloth but my brother started complaining. He threw a glass at my head. My head hurt and I was afraid he would throw plates at me. Mom asked him, “Why?”

He said, “She brought the wrong glass for me. I am going to teach her how to be a good woman, so she can have a future and marry someone.” While he spoke, I was thinking if that is the way of teaching, then I hate all teachers like him.

I felt burning in my head and Mom was very ill; she couldn’t sleep and was moving like a snake. My brother was sleeping in the same room with us. It was 11 p.m. and Mom’s sickness got worse. She was vomiting and shouting: “Wey, wey , wey…” In a quiet voice, she told me, “You know it is end of my life. I will die. This is the key to the house. Keep it and take care of yourself. Never fight with your brothers.”

I was looking at Mom. Hope had died in her eyes. I was crying and thinking, what will happen to me? My brothers will kill me if Mom isn’t here. Then I told myself, it is the time to think about Mom, and I should take her to the hospital. I called to my brother, “Please wake up. We should take Mom to the hospital.” But he didn’t reply. I told Mom, “No matter, leave him. I am going to take you to the hospital.” It was midnight now and the hospital was half a kilometer from our house. Mom couldn’t walk but I encouraged her, “Be strong. Doctors will see you. You will get back your health soon.”

The houses were sitting silent; everywhere was silent—maybe nature was asleep. Some clouds were in the sky and the weather was cold. I had Mom’s hands in mine and her hands were cold. I knocked on the door of our next door neighbors to ask if they would give us a ride, but they didn’t open the door; they were asleep. The roads were dark and I was afraid: what if Mom dies? What is somebody kidnaps us? Why did I decide to go to the hospital now? Why didn’t I wait until morning?

We walked to the end of the road where the hungry, wild dogs were. Mom couldn’t walk any more. I tried to put her in my back but she was too heavy. I started pulling Mom. There was mud on the road and her clothes were wet and muddy. She seemed to be in coma; she was not understanding what I asked her. There was no one to help us, but God was watching.

At last we neared the hospital and I saw a light in the guard room. I left Mom and went to knock on the door. I heard a voice: “Who are you? What are you doing here?” I said I am a girl and my mom is very sick and I want to see the doctor, but the voice told me that it is midnight, the doctors are all asleep, go back and come tomorrow.

I was helpless, but mad. I shouted: “Open the door and come help me. My mom is in a coma,” and I knocked on the door with a stone.

After a few minutes, he opened the door, saw I was crying, and came out. “Where is your mom?” I pointed and he came and I took my mom’s hands and he took Mom’s legs, and in this way we moved Mom to the emergency room.

I told him to call the doctors but he said, “I can’t do that; the doctors will fire me tomorrow if I wake them.”

I told him, “Please show me the doctors’ room. I will go myself.” He took me up to the fifth floor and showed me a room. I knocked and no one came. The guard went back to my mom. I called “Doctor, doctor.” There was no reply. I sat next to the wall and cried. I thought my mom would die in front of my eyes. I asked my heart why all people had become cruel tonight?

Suddenly someone opened the door. I stood up. He held a light in his hands. He was a young man, in his bed clothes, and he asked me in Urdu, “What is wrong?”

I was embarrassed because I understand Urdu but cannot speak it. I told him in Farsi, “My mom is in the emergency room.”

He came downstairs with me and when he saw my mom, he shouted, “Oh my God.”
I touched his hand and said in English, “Please, help Mom, please.”

The doctor started checking Mom and asking me lots of questions. Suddenly, he looked at me and said, “We don’t have medicine.” I was shocked. How was it possible, no medicine at a hospital?

“Please do something, please do something,” I said.

He said, “I will give an injection now, and then we have to wait until morning.” He asked me, “Who is with you? Do you have a man with you?”

“I am alone with my mom.” The doctor looked at us and told me, “Don’t worry, your mom will be okay.” He sat with us until morning. I was crying. The doctor checked Mom again and I saw the doctor was crying too.

I don’t know how I passed the night. It was six o’clock in the morning when I left the hospital with the prescription. The doctor told me where to go. I went onto the street and knocked on the door and a man opened up. I was very tired and my eyes were puffy. I just showed him the prescription. He looked at the paper and then at me. I said, “Do you have the medicine?” He said yes, so I added: “Then hurry up; my mom will die. Please hurry up.”

He said, “I don’t sell this medicine to you.”

I was shocked and asked why, what did he want from me? I told him, “Don’t waste time, my mom was sick all night and is in a coma.”

He said, “All my medicine is for my patients. If you were a clever girl you would bring your mother here to our hospital.”

I took the prescription and left to find another pharmacy. After about twenty minutes I found a pharmacy and bought the medicine. On the way back to the hospital, I was running. It was 9 a.m. when I reached the hospital. My mom’s face was gray and the doctor was nervous, asking why I was late.

He treated my mom, and by the end of the day the doctor found out that Mom’s gall bladder was broken and she had liver sickness and needed an operation. He told me I should take her to India for the operation, and that it is expensive but important. I asked the doctor for some pain-killing medicine for my mom and said I couldn’t afford the operation. When I returned home with Mom, sad, tired and disappointed, my brother was at home, angry and nervous, and he didn’t ask what happened to us. He looked at me and asked, “When will you get your salary?”

His words were salt for my wounded heart.

By Roya

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7 responses to “Where the Wild Dogs Were

  1. Roya,

    You are such a strong, brave and determined daughter. You went through so much to have your mother seen in the hospital. Even though you were afraid, you still continued on your journey to save your mother’s life.

    I hope you will keep the key to the house and stay safe. You said your brother asked about your salary. What kind of a job do you have?

    My prayers are with you and your mother. I went through a long sickness with my mother- seven years of cancer. We were very close and I went to all doctor visits with her. Your mother is fortunate to have a daughter who loves her and is an advocate for her medical treatment.

    Have faith,

    Christina

  2. Roya,

    I agree completely with Christina’s comment. You are very strong and courageous. You are doing all that you possibly can for your mother, despite many dangers and lack of support from others.

    My prayers are with you for your safety and happiness, and for your mother’s health. God willing, may you be rewarded in this life for your bravery and devotion to your mother. And may you both have peace.

    Sincerely,
    Safia

  3. I just wanted to say that I have read some of the writings by these girls and am very moved by the stories. They are doing very, very well, and I applaud the project!

  4. This is a beautifully written, heartbreaking story.

  5. I heard there was no dogs 10 century ago, us human tamed them from wolfs, is this true?

  6. Roya,
    What an amazing story. Your mom is lucky to have you. I’m impressed by your bravery and your persisitence.

  7. Barbara Barefield

    Dear Roya,
    I live very far from you in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Your writing touches my heart and I feel your pain. I wish I had been your neighbor so I could have driven you to the hospital and helped. I pray for your continued strength and safety, and for your mom’s recovery. She is so lucky to have you and your love and determination. Keep writing, you have so much talent, beauty and courage.

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