Somalilandsun – in this part-fiction part real Story Hamse Ismail reflects the often unexpected destinies and tribulations of Romance and love encountered by human beings especially in the Horn region
Twice Harder, A Tried Loving in the Horn
After finishing medical school, Shakar Yusuf goes back home and lands at the Hargeisa Airport.
“…….As he enthusiastically hugged his mother with his chin rested on her shoulder, 20 meters away, Halima’s sparkling face was very vivid to him. In her full length black-golden stripped neckline Abaya and pink headscarf, she unwearyingly waited for him. With an increasing pace and broad smile on his face, he walked towards her as she too advanced towards him rather unknowingly leaving her friend Nasra behind. Fascinated by her mesmerizing height and smart dress ‘How are you? You really look fabulous and surprisingly taller’ said Shakar…….”
Shakar get a job in a hospital and proposes to Halima.
“He looked right into her eyes and said ‘I believe the only way to stay ahead is to move ahead. I also believe choosing faith over fear, opportunity over indifference, trust and confidence over uncertainty and doubt, love and intimacy over lack of sense of belonging, protection over insecurity, progressively aimed direction over stagnation and for this reason, I really want us to get married”
He had bought his first car and drove to Halima for a date but get involved in an accident on the way to her.
“On a rainy evening right after Maghrib ‘sunset’ prayer, Shakar drove towards her and as he got close to the main bridge, there came a large truck that lost control and has already made a path of destruction along the way, running over people and cars. Horrified by the lightning speed of the truck and the ferocity and power with which it crashed everything that came before it, Shakar didn’t have a choice either to be run over by the truck or go off the bridge and going down about three meters and a half- meter deep water flowed in the sandy valley below. Shakar chose the latter and the car overturned thrice and as some terrified people rushed to his rescue. Shakar was pulled out of the car in intense pain and intermittent unconsciousness; he was taken to the Hargeisa General Hospital as the volunteers put some clothing on his bleeding scalp”
He is airlifted to Nairobi for medical treatment. He hopes to recover and get married to Halima.
“Shakar kept writing to Halima as some of his excepts read ‘…. I understand my accident coincided at a time when you had great expectations of me, a time when I had great expectations of the world…. I know the hospital bed is not the most pleasant place to write from, but on this drizzling afternoon, I urge you to stay put and wait for me, wait for a day that may not be that long, that my problems will go away and that I will join you and rise again …I am recalling our old days. I looked at your gentle walk towards me with great admiration, your big eyes with deep fascination, your wonderful smile with profound appreciation… I think of asking you out again, spending a wonderful time with you, I imagine sitting beside you in a romantic evening with star-lit clear sky and it gets calmer and exciting and a little windy and proves hard to part you. I think of seeing again your beautiful long hair in full length that I will put my sharp nose against yours perhaps for a while…”
Shakar is discharged from the hospital in a wheelchair and flies back home.
“The flight back home was full of many thoughts of the kind of life ahead quite different from his last trip to Hargeisa which was, in sharp contrast, full of hope and endless imagination. Shattered dream, prematurely ruined medical career and a love tested to the limit pre-occupied Shakar’s mind. Wheeled into his favorite room, an understandably overwhelming grief, shock and a threatening silence were evident in everybody’s face in the family, for Shakar who came back home as a doctor less than a year ago is now back again from hospital as a wheelchair bound”
Halima visits him at home and sees him in a wheelchair for the first time and she gives him some words of encouragement.
“After talking for a while Shakar assured her that he would be back to work despite whatever challenge to be met in his new life. ‘I knew you were always competitive and you believed to be the best, I still do and I think you can rebuild your life again but I also believe you need to work twice as hard as anybody else’. Halima then left and having seen the image she never wanted to see, Shakar in a wheelchair. Moved by his rendezvous with Halima and the statement of ‘working twice harder’, he did not quite comprehend what working twice hard as anybody else really meant. ‘Did that mean waking up earlier than anybody else or going to bed later than anybody else?’ murmured Shakar”
Shakar finally gets married to her and on the wedding night, he miraculously recovers from the paralysis.
“Utterly stunned by her astonishing beauty, unbelievably Shakar stood up and walked towards her in a rather unaided robotic walk and before he reached her, he stopped and realized he was walking for the first time in three years. Immediately Halima’s, Shakar’s family members and everybody in the wedding hall ruptured into laughter, joy and celebration brought about by the incredibly happy wedding further perfected by the miraculous healing from an incurable paralysis. People sang, danced well into the night and Shakar and Halima walked out of the hall, arms linked with identical smiles on their faces. They retired into their bedroom and spent for the first time together in one bed as a wife and a husband. ‘I can believe you recovered and we are really married’ said Halima as her head gently lay on his chest. ‘Yes we made it’ said Shakar as he vividly recalled about the shadow of sorrow and death walked by his tried love for her. Shakar got an everlasting happiness and joy from the marriage to Halima which came so close to being shattered by the fateful accident”
It is a story that Mr. Ismail presents to reflect the often unexpected destinies of human being with underlying truly tested romance.