Ahmed, my honorary brother trying to survive the war in Syria, made it through the attack last night.
At 2:55 am I woke after a restless sleep to see if he was online. It was almost 10:00 am in Syria. The message I sent before bed had left my phone but had not yet been received by his.
I panicked. Was the Wi-Fi signal damaged by the fighting? Or had his phone been damaged? Or… I can’t even say it.
I stared at the little unread message and then, miraculously, the little indication that his phone received it lit up. Then I saw he read it.
Me: R u There?
Ahmed: Hi Marcy.
Then he noticed the time.
Ahmed: Ohhhhhh, I told you please not to worry. I’m so sorry. U r still awake.
Me: Hi!!!!!!!!! You’re there! How are you???
Ahmed: Why r u awake?
Me: I just woke up.
Ahmed: For me?
He knows I worry about him. After he sent me sound recordings of a clash taking place right under his window two weeks ago he knows I totally lost it. His internet went out right after he sent the recording and my messages didn’t get through for hours.
I thought he was gone and blamed myself for not getting him out in time.
When he was back online in the morning I could barely believe it. I called immediately. He was somewhat horrified that I had been so upset. I don’t think he understands how anyone not living inside a war zone can care so much about his life, or those around him.
Since then he’s been a lot more careful about what he tells me, and I try not to let him see me freak out so he’ll keep opening up.
Ahmed: Please go to sleep. I am fine. I’m sorry to worry u.
Me: I’m fine too! Don’t worry. Just woke up quickly. It’s not unusual. I’ll go to sleep now.
Ahmed: Please have sweet dreams.
Me: Okay but first…how is your house?
Me: Any damage? At all?
Ahmed: No damage.
Ahmed: She’s fine too. Thank u so much for asking.
Me: Is it loud outside now?
He knows I mean bullets and bombs.
Ahmed: Yes, loud. I’m sorry.
Me: Okay, be safe.
Ahmed: I will be fine, God willing.
Me: God willing.
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*Because Ahmed and family are still in Syria and could be targeted, it is not safe to use their real names or photos.
Banner photo by Pixabay. Stamp image by Wikimedia user Stan Shebs, Creative Commons license.