Man turns his look away from a photo of Massoud and Maryam in his hand, and a drop of tear rolled down his cheek to rest on the blue pillow. He let out a deep, long sigh and turned his head toward the window. The strong wind of the fall was twisting the branches together and blowing the half-dead leaves about; a strong inner turmoil and
|Rajavi refuse Mehdi Fathi to return to France|
anxiety was churning up inside him. Through the trunk of the trees that seemed to get ticker every day he could see the stretched plain bordering the camp which in contrast to the trees seemed to be shrinking day after day. And he could realize his own image fixed among the autumn’s foliage.
It is now for months that he is bedridden like a piece of meat getting weaker and weaker. He is no more than a hollow-eyed man with black rings around them and hardly able to move his limbs. The past weeks were a grueling battle of death and life, a monotony of looking at his pale face in the mirror and the lengthened silence of his room made it more intolerable. The daylight filled him with delight although it ended with a sad nightfall, but the worse was an overwhelming pain that extended into the entire night. He had been told the previous day that they had done whatever they could to relieve the suffering pain that had filled all his cells. Rahman, his organizational senior in charge, had told him that brother Massoud (Rajavi) had been informed of his condition but all he had done to relieve the pain was to send a signed photo of himself and Maryam and a watch with an engraved logo of the organization instead of transferring him to a Hospital in Baghdad to receive due medical treatment. Perhaps it was the magic of the photo, said to be taken in the last days of brother Massoud and sister Maryam’s residence in Camp Ashraf, that was thought to bear the power to alleviate him! Watching him closely to see any trace of reaction, Rahman would say that it was a brand-new photo; and he only nodded without looking at Rahman who was quoting brother Rajavi saying it was the most serious juncture of the struggle against the regime and that they resisted transferring any patient to Iraqi hospitals unless the Iraqi authorities agreed to let interpreters accompany them to hospitals. And an agonizing pain ran through his body as he just listened, since he knew well that brother Massoud would never change his mind as he had never done before.
At dusk, a nurse came into the room carrying a tray of dinner and medicine. “How are you?”, she said. “Comrades did a terrific job today! They made it a hard day for the regime’s agents. Brother Olfat says they will clear out in two or three days if we continue as we did today. What do you say?” She did not wait for a response and began to prepare for an injection while she was eying him from the corner of her eye. And he turned on the bed to let her do her job.
He came to himself when he heard the door closing. The nurse had gone and he tried his best to sit on the bed. He gulped down the pills all with a glass of water and pushed away the tray of dinner. He reached out for the notebook next to the photo of Massoud and Maryam. He tried to write, as he always did at this same hour. The cover bore a smiling photo of brother Massoud and a quote that the daily “regular confessions”* had priority over the daily prayers. He took the black pen between his weak and bony fingers and began to write languorously: “Confession: today, I had some moments of doubt. I’m not well at all. The pain is killing. I do not know how this terrible and grueling condition can be overcome, but it can be made a little better than what it is. I do not know how long I can last out, but I also see no convincing reason to be kept in such a condition. Suffering from an incurable disease does not mean to sit and wait …”
A sudden dizziness overtook him and the pen slid out of his fingers. He opened his mouth to cry for help but no voice came out. His hand went to the small table beside his bed and knocked the photo and a jug of water over. He fell and his face hit the bed. He lost his consciousness.
He had a strange feeling of lightness, floating between the sky and the earth. It was a hard try to half-open his eyes to see many shadows moving around his bed. One in white was bending over him to examine his eyes with a flashlight. He could hardly understand what the doctor said but in the dimness he could see he was desperate and anxious. From under his half-closed eyelids he could see the oxigen tube inserted into his nose. He felt a stethoscope cold as a piece of ice gliding down his chest and heard the buzz of some medical equipment over his head. Little by little he came to realize where he was and why he was bedridden; a silent soliloquy began to form in his mind.
Damn these eyelids, they disturb me remaining half-closed! As it is the problem with my mouth, unable to utter a word, as I am frozen in a never-ending wonder. And this damn earsplitting bubbling of the tube in my nose! I cannot remember where I read you could go through your past when the death is near. Now I can only remember yesterday when Mahdi, Rahim, Rahman and other comrades were around my bed. Some tried to hearten me and others were joking, as if I was not to die in a few days. But I had no doubt about it and knew that I had no more than a few weeks or days to end it forever. Strangely, I cannot identify what passed yesterday with what I can now see through my half-closed eyelids! Now I see Rahman whispering something into the doctor’s ear; a meaningful smile appeared on their faces and they nodded to each other. I can hear Rahman asking the doctor “what percent” but the doctor was too vague to comprehend. And I can hear Rahman’s broken words: “unfortunately, … we have run of it, … you know, .. for the same reasons … brother Massoud … it can be turned into a frontline of resistance … to repulse the hirelings. For him it makes no difference to be today or next week, but it is critical for us at the moment. And brother Massoud has also found it right.”
What is he talking about? What reasons? What are they hurrying for? And again I hear Rahman saying: “I understand, but all are waiting, he is the key to open a stuck lock and the primer to blast a big bomb. He can provoke emotions and no doubt, works to disrepute Maleki and the regime”.
And questions one after each are boiling in my head. I see the doctor leaving the room angrily. Two more people that I do not know enter and approach my bed. What are they doing? One begins to draw out the inserted cannulas and the other detaches the wires from my body and a third one that I do not know takes the oxygen mask. What are they doing? I try to be optimistic. Perhaps I never needed all these tubes and equipment attached to me. Yes, maybe once more I have defeated the death and they are taking me to the ward where my other comrades are. They push a stretcher next to my bed but they do not seem to behave friendly.
Oh, why my eyelids feel so heavy. Everywhere is cold and white. All my body is numb and I feel sleepy. Rahman is looking into my eyes but his face is beginning to blur. Now I am entering a dark, endless tunnel and feel as light as a feather. Neither can I hear, nor see, nor understand, nor feel any pain. Anything is different; I am experiencing a new feeling, like a total transfer to a new thing, a new place, like waking from a horrible nightmare to pass into a sweet dream. Still I do not know what is really happening! All I feel is comfort and lightness and I am enjoying the beginning of a journey, an irresistible urge to cross the bounds of despair into the absolute happiness. The journey is tempting and I long to proceed into the fantastic world; I am much delighted, and with the same enthusiasm slowly I close my eyes.
*. “regular confessions” is a regular monitoring technique within the cult of Mojahedin to have the mind and behavioral changes of the insiders under control. Members are forced to write a daily or weekly confession and take part in inquisition sessions through which members have to confess before others of their thoughts and intentions and to renew allegiance to the ideology and the ideological leadership of the organization.