A SINGLE TEAR
By Hajja Rukiye Abdul-Mutakallim
I could feel my heart pounding as I fought back tears. All I could think was, Where is my son now? Where have they taken him? I must be with him!
When we arrived at the hospital, my son was in the intensive care unit. The upper part of his head was wrapped completely in bandages, all the way around. I could see Suliman’s face, but the swelling was so bad that his eyes were practically swollen shut. His coloration was dark from the blood that had built up in his head and neck from the gunshot. Yet, he was still alive when we arrived. It was as if he had been waiting for us … for me.
I leaned in close to my precious boy, speaking his name. My tears fell on his bandages, his shoulders and his hands. I recited heartfelt Islamic prayers while I held his hand.
We called his older brother, Commander Hasan Umar Abdul Mutakallim, a naval officer who was stationed at the Pentagon in Virginia, and held the phone up to Suliman’s ear, so he could hear the voice of his brother whom he so cherished.