Fatma

Yesterday, I woke up with a sore throat so I made sure to drink loads of water and tea throughout the day, to lessen the chances of feeling worse the next day. But here I am, lying in bed with a blocked nose, a sore throat, and a terrible headache.

For a while, I sat downstairs in the kitchen and watched TV, trying to avoid lying down all day. While surfing the channels, I saw that Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium was on. When I was eight or nine, I’d watch it and cry my eyes out, feeling that I was the only person in the world who thought about life after death and growing up and the risk of my imagination fading away. I still relate to Eric: I still find it hard to make friends because I’m so used to being alone, I usually observe rather than act and have fun, and I obsessively collect things (in my case, CDs, DVDs, and records).

In Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Mr Magorium has come to terms with the fact that he will die because knows he has made the most of his time here on Earth. What made me sad watching it recently was not knowing that I can say the same. If I died tomorrow, I don’t think I would be happy with what I’ve accomplished in my life. Maybe that’s just me always criticizing myself, but there is some underlying truth to what I’m feeling.

In religious studies class, I learned that in Islam the period of time between death and Judgement Day is called the barzakh. The teacher explained it as some kind of limbo. I immediately thought of the limbo in Sabrina The Teenage Witch, which eased my worries. The teacher must have seen that I was scared, because she asked, “Fatma, are you OK?”

“I’m afraid of death,” I said.

“Me too, but it’s going to happen.”

Her words lingered in my head for a while after the lesson. She was right: Death is inevitable.

I hope God forgives all of the stupid mistakes that I’m constantly making. I’m not the kind of person who only does good deeds for a space in heaven; I believe that God knows what my intentions are. I just want to live life being kind to people—nothing can beat kindness. I could be the prettiest person in the world, or the smartest, but if I’m not kind, I’m nothing. ♦