The boy pressed his ear to the door and willed his heart to stop beating so loudly. His mother had banished him to his room an hour ago for asking too many questions, but now his father was home with answers.
‘Akil, please tell me, what did they say?’ he heard his mother’s voice.
There was a long pause.
‘Masud’s blood is not a match,’ his father replied.
For a moment the world was silent – the house was still – and then his mother let out an agonising cry.
How was this possible after everything the doctors had said? Surely they were wrong. Masud angrily wiped his eyes and flung open the door, charging into the sitting room where his parents stood opposite one another. His mother was shaking, tears streaming down her face.
‘Baba!’ The boy clenched his fists in front of him and ran towards the man. ‘It is a mistake. I know it!’
Akil slowly shook his head. ‘Your brother is in God’s hands – there is nothing more we can do.’
‘No!’ Masud shouted. ‘If it cannot be me then there must be someone else – we just need to find them and then Jabari will be well again.’
Esha Salah’s tears fell to the floor.