The Fiery Heart
Nearly six hours ago, Zayn was rushed into a private plane and was taken to London. His condition was deteriorating, and that had me badly rattled. There was a chance he wouldn’t make it, and that was scaring me a lot. I couldn’t lose him. I’d regained my brother, but that didn’t mean I would be ok if I lost Zayn. All I could do is pray and hope that he actually made it.
I lied down in my room, crying, wondering if I would ever see Zayn again. I got up, and headed to my brother’s room where he briefly stayed at. Entering, I saw Eduardo’s clothes. His scent was in the air once again, the same Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister cologne he always wore. I looked to see where Zayn’s clothes were at. I just needed something of his to hold, and hope that he did make it alive to London, in time for him to receive his transplant. I had to keep my fingers crossed.
I noticed a gold coin necklace on the nightstand, with a brown lace. The coin had an inscription written half circularly in Urdu – Islami Jumhuriyah-yi Pakistan – which of course translated to The Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was written in Urdu, which I’d kind of forgotten since I have not used it in nearly two years, but I understood it because in Arabic it was almost the same. Inside the inscription was a crescent moon with a star. It was the same crescent moon and star that both the Turkish and Pakistani flags had.
I’d seen Zayn wearing it a few times, but never really paid any attention to it until now. I picked it up, and held it for a long time. I needed to believe that everything would be ok, and that Zayn and I would once again be together. I’d gotten attached to him the same I did years ago when we first met. Back then I was practically still a child, thirteen years old.
Now, I was seventeen and I’d gotten attached to him all over again, the same way. I was also still kind of in awe as to why he was so patient with me, even after the way I treated him for how our friendship ended two years earlier. I’d said some things that I would never be able to take back, and if he didn’t make it, then I was never going to be able to tell him how sorry I was, and how much he meant to me. How to me, even though our blood didn’t run in each other’s veins, he was just as much my big brother, as Eduardo was.
I put the necklace on and hid it behind my black tank top. I grabbed my sweater, slipped my feet into my Toms black slip on shoes, grabbed my skateboard, and headed out.
I rode all over, until I finally reached the train station and headed to old town. I needed to be around people, a crowd, so I didn’t feel super lonely. At the moment, my mom was with my brother, talking to the police and giving them the lowdown on everything Lulú had done. I was still shocked to learn that my brother and Lulú had history. I never would have imagined that they dated, and that she’d nearly killed him. I was still in complete shock and disbelief. I never would have connected those two.
“Mehmet?” I heard Paola shout. I turned and there she was. They ran to me, and I couldn’t be any more relieved that they were here. “Oh my God!” she hugged me. “I heard what happened!”
“I can’t believe it” said a disbelieving Marco. “I can’t believe what that Lulú girl did to your brother and now to Zayn!”
“Yeah well believe it, cause it happened” I said.
“So I heard on the news that Zayn is on an emergency flight to London?” asked Paola.
“Yeah, all of the boys returned to London. Apparently they had to remove a kidney and his sister is a match, so she agreed to give him one.”
“Dang man” Marco said.
“I know” I resisted the urge to cry. “I still cannot believe it happened.”
“Look, Zayn is strong. He’s gonna pull through” Paola assured.
“I hope he does. I can’t bear to lose him too” I felt my eyes tearing up. “I know it might sound weird to both you guys…but he was almost like a brother to me.”
“That’s not weird” Marco tapped my shoulder. “He was there when you needed him the most.”
“Yeah well…I hope that…Ya Allah…” I put my hand over my mouth and took a deep breath. “I hope he does make it…and that we can be reunited again.”
“You will” Marco assured. “Look, I don’t know him as well as you do, but the fact that he was willing to protect your honor in regards to what that Lulú girl did, it’s more than just friendship, it means he loves you like a kid brother too.”
“Yeah” Pao gave me a small peck on the cheek. “Just know that he’s gonna pull through, and that you’re both going to see each other and do so much more together.”
I wanted to believe everything that they were telling me, and part of me did believe it, but another part of me felt unsure about it. Zayn was in critical condition, and needed a transplant. I wasn’t there to even help him. It was completely out of my hands, and that was what was driving me insane too. Not being able to control the situation, made me feel helpless and useless.
Marco, Paola, and I, headed to a nearby coffee shop and then went to this build your own pizza restaurant that just barely opened. I wasn’t all that hungry, and was probably just gonna watch them eat. I couldn’t swallow anything that was food. I was numb.
After eating we walked around old town and headed back to the coffee shop to get something more to drink. Drinking was all I could do. Eating, not so much.
The entire time, Paola and Marco were trying to keep me entertained. It was working somewhat, but my mind was still on Zayn. I was still really scared and worried that he wasn’t going to make it. I knew I couldn’t do anything, and that I had to wait until I got news. But the wait was so tedious, and hours felt more like years.
My brother suddenly showed up out of nowhere. “Hey” he said. “You kind of disappeared.”
“I needed to get out of the house” I said.
“Look, we’ll leave you two to talk” said Marco.
“Yeah, I’m sure you guys have a lot of catching up to do” Paola said.
“It appears we do” I said.
They left and now it was just my brother and me. We walked to a nearby park, in a secluded area. We sat down on a table and stared into each other’s eyes. This little reunion felt weird, but at the same time it felt like I’d reclaimed something that was rightfully mine.
“I know you must have a lot of questions” he started.
“Actually, not really.”
“What?” he was surprised.
“Look, I know just about everything I need to know. Unless there’s something life changing that you need to tell me, I prefer if we didn’t talk about this, or your history with Lulú. I think we can both agree that it’s not necessary to talk about her.”
He didn’t say anything for a long time, but he didn’t seem bothered either. “I guess that’s fair. You’ve been through a lot and you’re right, you do know just about everything.”
“I wish I didn’t, but sadly I do.” He stared at me for a long time, as if he was seeing me for the first time ever. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“You’ve changed since I last saw you.”
“I was a lot younger and immature then. I thought the word, and life, was simple and easy. But I believed something that wasn’t true.”
“Look, you’re still just a kid. You should see life as something dark.”
“Well things haven’t been so easy, and especially lately. So you can’t tell me to just suddenly grow up and see things in a whole new light either.”
He chuckled, his eyes still plastered on me. “Look, Zayn told me how you’ve been getting into fights at school, using your fists more, and of course having that ‘I don’t care’ attitude.”
I frowned. “When did you and Zayn see each other?”
“I contacted him and told him not to say anything to you. I had to warn him about Lulú, about what she did that messed up you guys’ friendship two years ago.”
“So you knew I was innocent and that she was involved?”
“Yes, and I was going to expose her, but she tried to kill me, and she nearly did succeed.”
Again, it was pissing me off that I was always the last one to know anything. But at the same time I didn’t want to dwell on how angry I was that everyone saw me as this injured little kid. Still, as angry as I was at my brother for knowing everything and not having brought it up sooner, I also understood that he was put in an impossible situation. So it wasn’t entirely his fault.
“Zayn also told me your attitude’s gotten a lot more aggressive and well, sarcastic.”
“Yeah, he’s right” I boldly admitted.
“Try not to let anger run your life. I let it happen when I found out what Lulú did to you and to Zayn. I don’t want you to become embittered by this.”
Too late, I wanted to say to him. Still, I didn’t want to be sarcastic or anything with him. I didn’t have the energy to consume all this fire that anger brought. I had to maintain my hopes that Zayn would be ok, and that he was going to pull through all the way.
“Eduardo, look, I know you’re back and I’m sure you want things between us to go back to how they were at one point…”
“Well yeah…we’ve always been super close and I really want to reclaim that” he smiled.
I sighed. “Look, things won’t be the way they were once” he expression sunk. “I know what happened wasn’t your fault at all, and I don’t blame you for what happened. There was no way you could have known everything either.”
“What are you saying?” his expression looked fearful.
“What I’m saying is…” I paused briefly. “I’m simply saying that I’m not the same person, and that maybe, the boy you once knew me to be, no longer exists.”
His expression sunk even further down. I felt bad really bad for him. He’d come home, hoping that things would almost be the same, but they weren’t. During his absence, I changed a lot. I became someone who was perhaps despicable, someone who was untamed, and who no one could control or bend to their will.
My brother was clearly getting used to that little possibility. I could tell that he didn’t want to believe it, that much I was sure of. Still, he couldn’t expect me to be this happy kid, when so much damage had already been done. These last two years have changed me a great deal, and something told me that my soul was pretty much scarred, for life. I never used to be the depressed type and don’t really consider myself to be such a person, but because of recent events, I feel that that’s the result of all the bad that’s happened.
“Buddy, I know how hard everything’s been for you. Losing Dasia and the baby, that’s not something that anyone can easily forget. I know and I understand you more than you think.
“I doubt that…sure you’ve been through your share of things, and that I cannot deny. Still, at the end of the day it is what it is. Can’t change the past and I’m not sure I would be able to change it even if I actually went back to change those events.”
“I never knew to be this negative. You used to be so positive and energetic. Always being optimistic, and now you’re suddenly this pessimistic kid.”
“Come on Eduardo…a lot of bad things have happened. And what happened to Zayn last night, pretty much sealed the deal for me!”
“I’ve been through things too buddy” he got a little more defensive. “And I’m not drowning.”
“Well then I guess what they say is true.”
I sighed angrily. “That we’re all different.”
For a moment it seemed he wanted to counter that, but then he didn’t. I decided to walk away. I wasn’t in the mood to argue with Eduardo. Or anyone else for that matter.
“Where are you going?!”
“Away!” I yelled.
I headed to the train station, got into the coming train and headed to where I normally got off to go home. I walked through the neighborhoods and tried taking in some fresh air. I didn’t know where I stood in anything. Everything felt so lost and so confusing, I literally felt like I was in some kind of limbo where I was trapped; trapped in between what I wanted, and didn’t want.
Fear was still creeping into me about Zayn and his condition. The doctor had said that his condition was bad enough, that he could even potentially not make it to London in time. Unable to handle it, I gave in to tears and cried away. It was all I could do to relieve the pressure I felt inside.
All I hoped, was that Zayn made it alive to receive the transplant. I wondered about his family. How were they dealing with this? Doniya, what was running through her mind at this moment, knowing that she had to give up a piece of herself just to save her brother?
All I could do is hope that it all worked out. That he made it to see another day of sunshine. That he and I could be reunited and so I could sincerely apologize for how badly I acted toward him. He believed in me, when I didn’t even believe in myself.
The one person I would never be able to forgive, was Louis. It was him who caused all this despair. We warned him about his ‘loving’ girlfriend, but all he did was make us all look like we were the bad guys; especially me. He always accused me of being the one who was after their fame, when all I wanted was to have a peaceful friendship with the boys, but especially with him, and of course Zayn, whom I was the closest with. There was one thing I was sure of. Louis created something inside me that no one could bend to their will. A heart so untamed and so indominant, that I would not hesitate to destroy him if he got into my path.
I would have no mercy on him, just like he never had it with me!