As she sits in the driver seat after stopping the car at the roadside, she grabs her phone and text them via their Whatsapp group. While waiting for reply, she lamented about what happened last night.
The night was pitch dark. Though it was not new moon or anywhere near that, the night was probably cloudy because it rained for a few hours after noon. The hole was quite big and the bump was hard. She was a bit dizzy when she stepped lightly on the brake pad as she steered the car out of the road, after feeling the steering give away to the front left tire failure. The oil palm plantation, though familiar, was so gloomy and silent as always. The only noise came from the irregular traffic.
Nobody would stop their vehicle at that place. Not even her, if she were them. She was too scared to go out of the car to stop anyone, anyway. Theoretically, she knows how to change tire. But it was too dark and she didn’t have torchlight with her. And she was too weary after a-day at work to even think of the possibility of doing that on her own. So she waited for their reply.
The reply came. She knew they were too far to come. But there was a suggestion to call insurance assistance. Good idea. So she did. It was helpful. The insurance helper at the other end of the line was caring and warm. But the panel mechanic needs a long time to reach there because it was out of town. So she waited.
She cried. Not because she was scared. She had face scarier situations. She cried because she felt pathetic. She was on the way to a part-time job, where she can earn money on the spot. Now, she lost the chance. Seeing the almost empty car fuel tank was not helping to calm her down. And this situation has went on for weeks. She started hating the decision. Why did she even bother to use this road despite her mother’s warning? What was she thinking when she thought she can save on petrol by risking this?
She was so thirsty but she couldn’t drink because she needed a bathroom so badly. She drank, anyway. But she choked. The water spilled. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she threw up on her lap. She grabbed the nearest towel in the car clumsily, only to realize later that the towel was dirty. Instead of cleaning, she smeared dirt on her cloth.
She broke down again, praying hard that something good is going to come. She needed something good so badly.
Her friends offered to come when they were finished with their business. She was too exhausted to think of an answer when asked whether she needed them. She couldn’t decide whether she should say no cause it was very far from them or she should just be selfish and say yes. But the mechanic arrived when she hesitated, so she said ‘It’s ok now’. This was more than an hour after that.
She startles when the phone rings. They are coming this time. Without asking whether they are needed anymore. How could the same thing happens twice in no more than half a day? This time she needs a tow truck. The spare tire was a goner. Luckily, the insurance also covers that. When they arrive, she can’t say a thing. She is overwhelmed with sadness and self-pity and touched at the same time.
She feels a pang of guilt when she finds in between the words of Allah:
She recalls how happy she was to be home last night. Even the warmth and the purr of her cats felt and sounded different, more calming. She is grateful for her exceptionally noble, caring and selfless friends. She is safe. The car is good. The damage is covered by insurance. She is calm now. How could she not be grateful? There are so many things to be grateful about in her life right now. How could she ever forget those things in the face of difficulties?
She remembers her friend mentioned:
“Say you face the worst day of your life, when you get home that night, what will you be thankful for? Think hard of the list and never forget.”
God promised in Quran at 2:155,