Story: The Travails of Hassan and Hussein (1)

crying mom cartoon
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He took a glance at his brother who was also watching with helpless enthusiasm. He watched him stagger up and down the sideline shouting “gooooaaal!!!” at the slightest provocation. Hassan’s face broke into a smile seeing that his brother was enjoying every bit of the football match, even though he couldn’t take part in it. It pained him that they had been nothing but spectators for the past six years of being regulars on the pitch. But it pained him more that his twin brother, Hussein, was born an imbecile.

Different thoughts invaded his mind as he watched other kids enjoying themselves. He knew he would have been allowed on the pitch if he’d wanted, but the feeling he got five years ago when he  decided to play with the other kids, leaving his brother to watch alone from the sideline would not stop haunting him. He could still remember the look on his face; it was as though his best friend had just been snatched from him. And he wouldn’t want to tamper with his happiness one more time. Moreover, he had promised his mother he would always take good care of him.

Just when he looked again to check his brother, he saw him on the ground, struggling to get up. He guessed he must have been knocked down by a person who got so irritated by his incessant screams of “goal”. Hassan scurried towards him.

“I guess it’s time to go home Hussein,” he said, as he helped him to his feet.

Spittle dripped down the corner of his mouth as he tried to balance properly on his crooked legs. Hussein looked up at Hassan fondly. He saw a normal version of himself. Without his affliction, the two of them were exactly alike, and he knew it.

Two months passed and Hassan became very sick. Life became difficult for Hussein, and he couldn’t help his brother’s situation. Their mother was just a petty trader struggling to make ends meet. Their father had died almost immediately after their birth fifteen years ago, and all their mother’s effort to get help from relatives proved futile.

Hassan had been on paracetamol therapy since the symptoms of malaria manifested few days back. Hussein and their mother would spend part of their nights praying for his recovery, but their prayers were taking too long to be answered. When she couldn’t bear to see her son suffer helplessly, she left home one day to seek assistance, leaving Hussein alone at home with his brother.

Couple of minutes after her departure, Hassan became very uncomfortable. All what poor Hussein had to do was get him another two tablets of paracetamol, but there was none left. He became very scared, and confused…and he started crying. He ran out of the room as fast as his crooked legs could carry him, spittle dripping as he left... That was the last time anyone saw him.

TO BE CONTINUED... YOU MAY READ OTHER STORIES HERE.

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