Part 2: A Sick Friend

The two young women’s friendship grew stronger as time passed, and Warqa continued to ask the doctor about ideological questions. Then all of a sudden, the doctor stopped visiting her elderly patient. After three days, Warqa asked another doctor about Dr. Miyad. She told her that Dr. Miyad was ill. Warqa asked if she was at home, but the doctor told her that Dr. Miyad was in that same hospital. Warqa learned from a nurse that her friend was in room number seven.

"Is her illness serious?" Warqa asked.

"She has influenza," the nurse replied. "The doctor advised her to remain in bed for a few days."

Warqa made arrangements for the nurse to stay in her grandmother's room after 12 o'clock noon so that she could visit Dr. Miyad. Warqa thanked the nurse and went to room seven. When she knocked, she was surprised to see a young man open the door. She asked hesitantly,

"How is Dr. Miyad?"

The young man said, "Come in, she's awake."

Warqa entered the room, anxious to see her friend, who smiled and said, "I 'm all right. How is your grandmother?"

"She's fine. She sends her regards and wishes you a speedy recovery.”

As she sat down near the bed, Warqa noticed that Dr. Miyad's face and neck were flushed. It was the first time she had seen the doctor without her headscarf on. Warqa wanted to stay, but she thought about her grandmother and soon arose.

Dr. Miyad sensed her uneasiness, saying, "You mustn't leave your grandmother alone for long.”

"But I don't want to leave you alone either.”

"I'm not alone. My brother is here. When you leave, please tell him to come in."

"Where will I find him? " asked Warqa.

"He'll be in the reading room. His name is Sinad. He was the man who opened the door for you."

Warqa said, "Oh I thought he was a stranger, a doctor."

Dr. Miyad said, "He is a doctor, but he's also my brother. Otherwise, I wouldn't have allowed him to see me without my scarf on."

"I never thought of that."

"He left the room so that you would be at ease," Dr. Miyad remarked.

Warqa wished her friend good health and said goodbye. She saw Dr. Miyad's brother near the room and didn’t speak to him, since he had seen her leave.

She hurried to her grandmother, who was still sleeping. When she awoke she asked Warqa about the doctor and Warqa said that she was very ill.

"Is she alone?" asked Warqa's grandmother.

"No. Her brother is with her, although he left the room when I entered."

"He seems polite," her grandmother remarked.