Article written by Ibtihal Ahmed.

I missed my flight because of my golden necklace. I suddenly rose like a school girl who missed the bus to school. My neck felt light; I was accustomed to the heavy necklace which I took off because it was heavy on the façade of my soul.

The prayer room at London Heathrow Airport was serene, but lacked comfort. It smelled of fresh croissants and vivid espresso. It took me sometime to realize that I missed my flight. I kept looking for my necklace only to realize that flight KH 055 bound to Khartoum had taken off an hour ago.

Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise because I was dreading going to Khartoum. The next flight to Khartoum would have been 12 hours later. I suddenly remembered my birthday when my late husband lovingly put the necklace around my neck and said, “I am yours forever and ever.” This was the last bit of his spirit that I could hang on to; I did not want to leave him between two different worlds yearning for a firm existence. I remember the time of his death, when he was gasping for his last breath, when he held my hand uttering God’s oneness, when his mother did not want me by his side. I remember the time when he told me that if I were to die before him, life would be so tasteless that he would pray to follow my spirit. I felt guilty taking off the necklace, for it ornamented my being. It was my source of protection, my confidant, my husband’s aura which witnessed my ups and downs in life.

The airport began to sound like muffled voices struggling to pass through the ambivalent ear. The announcements sounded like dreams, the people like stray children fighting for their share in the playground. I could still smell the freshly baked pastries and irresistible English tea.

“Sanaa Mirghani, please report to gate 7 in order to board the plane.”

The woman’s voice seemed so vague that I thought I was still lost in the nuances of my thinking. I thought I heard my name.

“Sanaa Mirghani, please report to gate 7 immediately in order to board the plane.”

The announcement was so vivid that it could not pass for anything else. I quickly collected my things and realized that my deep contemplation had taken me back in time. I passed by the prayer room and bid farewell to the place that captured the essence of my soul, my spirit, my reason for being. I left, leaving behind the golden necklace to travel through the waves of a new existence, to a land far from my tangled soul, to a body other than mine.