The words “God help you” echoed in her ears, a phrase she hadn’t heard from anyone’s mouth for so long that she couldn’t even identify the last person who had uttered it. She turned slowly to see the source of these words, and to her surprise, she found him standing there, just like he always used to. That familiar light was back on his face, a combination of courage and pride that had always characterized him. She didn’t know what had happened to make him reappear, but a mixture of emotions swirled within her.

As she looked at him, a wave of anger washed over her, pulling her back from the brink of disbelief. She couldn’t fathom why he was here, in her dream, after all this time. Sadness gripped her, but she couldn’t help but keep her gaze fixed on him, trying to make sense of it all. He stood there, hands folded across his chest, silently observing her. However, the radiance on his face, which used to shine so brightly, had diminished from a hundred percent to a mere twenty.

She jolted awake, her heart racing in panic. Sitting up on her bed, she placed both hands on her head and rested her elbows on her thighs. Her disheveled hair fell over her face, hiding the tears streaming down her cheeks. She had the strength to stop him from entering her dreams, or so she thought. She had the power to keep him away from her dream world, just as she didn’t need him in her reality.

With a trembling voice, she whispered, “Innalillahi wainna ilaihir raji’un,” seeking solace in her faith.

She remained in that state for some time, wrestling with her emotions. Eventually, she lifted her head, wiped her tears away, and tied her hair back. Her face, once beautiful but now red from crying, bore the marks of her struggle. Despite the dim lighting, she gathered herself, determined not to be overwhelmed by the dream.

She got up and made her way to the nearby door, entering a room. After about five minutes, she emerged from the room, having completed her ablutions. She opened her closet and took out the clothing and hijab she would wear. Then, she moved to a designated area opposite her bed, where a prayer mat awaited her. Climbing onto the mat, she began to pray.

She lost count of how many cycles of prayer she performed, not wanting to return to the haunting dream that had interrupted her sleep. Sleep had been elusive, and the memory of the dream lingered, but she leaned on her faith to find strength in the midst of her turmoil.

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