New York, USA
To be frank, I have experienced many unusual days in my life, but the one I am about to reveal is the weirdest so far. And this is a real story!
I still vividly remember the day when I was at work with my best friend Jeremy a year ago. It was a Saturday afternoon. We had just finished eating our lunch before one of our best Egyptian friends Issam dropped by where I work to visit. The meal was a delicious Halal chicken over rice with extra white sauce and green sauce. It is Issam’s favorite dish with extra hot sauce. He can never get enough of it. It is not hard to describe him; he is an old school, Egyptian guy in his late fifties with a big smile always on his face. He is probably the most religious guy I have ever witnessed.
Despite the aforementioned, I could tell he was not in a cheerful mood that afternoon. It felt as if he was not well. After one hour of chitchatting with us, Issam said with his voice shaking, “ I have got to go. I have someplace to go.”
I was so concerned knowing that his words were nothing but an excuse not to tell us what was wrong. We, my cousin and I, know very well that he is secretive by nature. I had to see what made him ghastly pale. “ What’s wrong, Issam? “ I asked unable to contain my curiosity.
“Nothing at all, Ayoub!” he replied with a fake smile.
I asked him if he needed a ride. “No, thank you” was the last thing he said before he finally left, walking towards the exit door with his right hand on his heart the whole time. I had to follow him sneakily so he would not see me. If I said that I was so worried at the time, that would be understandable.
As he was approaching his car, I was three feet away from him, literally. He could barely breathe and then started to faint the minute he pressed the key fob to open the car. Thank God I was there, the right time, the right place. I held him and put him to the ground slowly so I wouldn’t hurt his head. I was shaking; this has never happened to me before. I did the right thing and called 911. Two police cars pulled up four minutes after I hung up the phone. Two minutes later, an ambulance arrived. They told me to meet them in the emergency room of Huntington Hospital, the closest one in town. They needed to run some tests to make sure everything was fine. I stayed with him until he woke up. Thank God he recognized me, but he could not move yet. Still, he told me he wanted to pray his fourth prayer of the day. I have said it before but it bears repeating, this guy is religious.
Anass, his youngest son, came one hour after I had called him. He almost cried when he saw his dad in this condition. He is lucky he was not in my place. If he were, it would be the weirdest day of his life as well.
After three days at the hospital, Issam went home. He is still thanking me for saving his life. “ If you had listened to me that day, I would be dead by now.” He proclaims all the time.