An Unfamiliar Bed by Mohammed El Amine Dekhissi, Algeria

It was the second Thursday of May, another hot and sunny day in Istanbul. I began my morning like I did every day: woke up at 9:00 am, took a shower, had my breakfast and made my way to the library. We had had a great game the night before against the Marmara team, but I wasn’t feeling like a tireless boy anymore – I would turn 22 years old soon, so my body was beginning to feel tired after any physical effort. But I had given my word to my friend Emin that I would meet him at 12:00 anyway.

The library was more crowded than usual today. People were busy staring at their screens – few of them had books – so I enjoyed complaining about the space that technology has taken in our daily lives.

Emin finally called, asking me to meet him in an Afghan restaurant, but I insisted on Osmanli Sarayi, the restaurant nearest to me at that moment. The architecture and interior design of this restaurant is fabulous – brown wooden floors and golden brick walls surrounded by the smell of Ottoman glory. We took our seats in the corner, started eating and then…

…a small square window, buildings running quickly away behind it…I don’t know where the ambulance siren is coming from but this screaming in my ears is increasing the horrible pain in my head…I’m not fully aware, and perhaps that’s what relieves me…a moment passes and I see my grandma smiling at me even though she passed away 14 years ago…something is telling me that mom is around…

I wake up to find myself laying on an unfamiliar bed. My mom is here indeed, surrounded by my friends. She’s staring at me with tears in her eyes. All I know at the moment is that I had an accident, but I don’t seem to recall any of the details. The doctors say that I may not be able to walk again and everyone here feels sad for me except for my mom because she doesn’t understand Turkish. I decide not to tell her the truth and I ask my friends not to either.

I watch a video recording of the accident – the golden brick wall fell on us. Destiny intervened so nothing happened to Emin, who had been sitting in front of me, whereas I may have lost my ability to walk.

Two weeks later, I left the hospital. I started physical therapy, which, according to my doctors, was unnecessary. I kept trying over and over again – every time I fell, I tried to stand up again, keeping in mind that God is more powerful than all else.

Soon, God answered my mom’s prayers and a miracle happened! After only one month, I was able to move my legs!! It has now been 5 months and I walk with the help of crutches and use a wheelchair only sometimes.

So, never give up on anything just because someone said you can’t do it, no matter who that person is. Keep dreaming and stay dedicated, God never sows hope in your heart only to disappoint you.

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