In the quiet room, a father sat in a wheelchair, and his son, Mata, lovingly approached him. She moved her mouth gently and smiled at him, expressing her compassion and love for her father. Her smile melted his heart, and he felt the pain of all her smiles. Despite his debilitating condition, he couldn’t do anything to her after witnessing her pure love.

He couldn’t help but reflect on how he had failed as a father. He had never been able to look at women the same way again, knowing that he had disrupted their lives, from his late wife to his daughter Mata. His daughter’s birth had seemingly brought chaos into his life, and he couldn’t forgive himself for it.

Mata wiped her father’s shirt gently with a tissue and began to speak. She told him not to see himself as deserving of his condition or as the one who had ruined her life. She reassured him that she appreciated everything he had done for her, and she didn’t blame him for her birth.

Her words cut through the room’s silence, and her father couldn’t bear to hear her continue. He placed his hands on her shoulders, stopping her from saying more.

Mata’s eyes shifted away from her father, and she noticed Auntie Sa’adah standing behind her. She greeted her mother, who had been standing quietly, with a soft voice.

But her mother remained silent, as always. Mata knew that her mother’s silence was a sign of her disapproval.

Mata then turned her attention to her mother, who had taken a seat nearby. She greeted her mother, but her mother didn’t respond, and Mata couldn’t help but feel the tension in the room.

The mother and daughter then retreated to the room, and her mother took a seat. The silence in the room was heavy, as they all knew that there was little hope for her father’s recovery, especially since his condition had worsened in the past two days.

Mata, trying to break the silence, mentioned what Dr. Abbakar had said about her father’s deteriorating condition, but her words were met with more silence. Her mother, with a cold demeanor, said nothing.

Sa’adah, her aunt, entered the room and joined them. She motioned for Mata to sit on the edge of the bed and told her to stay there.

Sa’adah then left to check on the morning meal in the kitchen. She prepared a plate of white doyar soup for Mata, adding onions to it. Her actions reflected her deep love for her sister Mata, who had been there for her ever since she was born.

Laylah, another family member, called Mata, asking if she was going to be a doctor and skipping meals. She urged Mata to eat and then help prepare her father’s bed before the guests arrived.

Mata smiled at Auntie Sa’adah and started eating her food quietly, appreciating the care and love that surrounded her.

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