The doorbell rang and startled me awake.
Everyone was fast asleep on this last night of Ramadan. Tomorrow morning, we would all have to wake up quite early and drive for an hour and a half to visit my grandmother. We visit her on the first day of Eid Al Fitr every year.
No one got up to open the door, so I did. I walked past the bedroom of my siblings then that of my parents. They were fast asleep. No one heard the doorbell.
I approached the door with apprehension. Just before I reached for the peephole, I glanced at the clock that hung above the door. It was nearly 4AM. Who would be at our door so late?
I looked through the peephole and in the light of the hallway I could see my hunched grandmother standing. I quickly opened the door, held her arm, and walked her into the house.
“what are you doing here, Teta?” I asked her. “We were heading over to visit you in the morning!” After she finished catching her breath, she responded.
“I came to see you. I missed you.”
The phone rang. I helped my grandma onto the armchair by the entrance and told her to wait while I woke up my mother. The phone continued to ring, and my grandmother asked me to answer it first.
I turned around and walked to the phone. I picked it up. “Hello?”
The phone continued ringing. I pressed the green button again to answer it. “Hello?” I repeated. The phone rang again in my hand.
Then I realized it.
I was dreaming.
The phone was ringing, yes, but for real. I woke up from the dream to the sound of its continuous ringing. I was in my bed. I glanced at my bedside clock and it was nearly 4AM.
I ran to the living room, throwing a quick eye at the armchair where, moments earlier, my grandma sat in my dream. I picked up the phone. “Hello?”
This time there was someone on the other end. It was my uncle.
“Rami, wake up your mother and gently inform her that your grandmother has passed away.”