It was an old conversation of theirs. He wanted to give her eternity, but she continued to refuse. That night they were in the car, driving back home after a day out and somehow that subject had resurfaced. She shook her head with an amused smile as white lights illuminated her features. For a moment the world stopped as she spoke. "I'm pregnant."
And then the world came crashing down.
Hasan jerked awake and instinctively turned to look at his wife's side of the bed. A shaky hand reached out to touch the untouched pillow as he closed his eyes once more with a pained expression. The same dream again. The one that had plagued him for the past two years; mocking him. His wife and unborn child had been killed in the crash that had immediately followed her words. Hasan himself had been 'lucky' to have survived without a scratch according to the paramedics. Luck had nothing to do with it. It was this curse of his, this condition that his wife had rejected so often. If he had insisted would she have lived? Perhaps, but she would always have regretted and resented it. No, he could never have forced her to live this life. Even when she looked old enough to be [i his] mother.
He lay there for a while longer. The emptiness of the space next to him only becoming more and more heavy as he tried to reconcile his thoughts. With a sigh he pulled his hand away and looked up at the ceiling. Enough of this for now. It was the first day of the semester and he didn't want to be late because of something like this. It was difficult to pull himself out of bed. The heavy, leaden feeling that had settled over him when the realization that Amelia was never coming back was stronger today. It felt like he was stuck in a swamp; sinking slowly in mud that would eagerly devour him. Everything felt duller to him now and life was almost pointless. Still, he managed to push forward and live life. Not for himself, no. Hasan would happily join his wife. The one he was living for was his son Rana.
When he had finally emerged from his room, freshly showered and dressed it was Rana that greeted him. He had just finished feeding their cat when his father stepped out into the hall. "Mornin'!" He called. "Are you ready for the inevitable class of fangirls?" Hasan regarded his son dryly as he walked into the kitchen. [#87a8c9 "As ready as I'll ever be. Half of them will drop after the first test, guaranteed. They always do."] As he spoke he took his favorite mug out of the cupboard and turned his attention to the waiting coffee that Rana had already prepared. The young adult leaned against the opposite counter and sipped at his own mug of the stuff as he listened to his father. A grin easily slipping into place. "You mean once they find out that you're a hardass." That earned a laugh from Hasan. With his mug filled he replaced the mostly empty carafe and turned to look at Rana. [#87a8c9 "If you want to put it like that, yes."]
The two of them were often mistaken as brothers. Rana clearly took after his father with the dark hair and the darker tone to his skin. Their heights were similar as were their features. The only real differences were that Rana was a bit lighter than his father and he had dark brown eyes; Hasan's were golden yellow. Other than that, they could have easily passed for siblings. After all, Hasan didn't look a day over twenty. Perhaps that was the reason why he had so many admirers on campus, why so many students clamored for a spot in his class. An attractive teacher was always popular and for whatever reason whenever they found out that he was a father that made him all the more popular. The things he heard his students whispering, during class of all things, could fill a book. A book full of admittedly stalkerish things. There was a reason he hadn't bothered with social media despite Rana begging him to. It was bad enough that he'd had students try to follow him home. No. It was best to leave the throngs of admirers to Rana. His son knew how to handle them better than he did.
[#87a8c9 "Do you have any classes this morning?"] He asked. "Just one, then three in the afternoon. You?" Hasan made a note of that as he moved to fix himself something to eat. [#87a8c9 "I have a late morning class, one just after noon, and one in the late afternoon."] He told him softly. "...I thought you weren't going to accept that time slot anymore. What if you get caught up again? That one time-" Rana made an irritated noise when he noticed his father attempting to ignore him by stuffing his face. "Dad."
Hasan swallowed and smiled sheepishly at him. [#87a8c9 "I know, I know. The class ends at five thirty. That gives me plenty of time to get home."] Rana sighed heavily, but didn't pursue the subject further. "I'll see you tonight. I have to get going." Hasan paused and watched as his son set down his now empty mug in the sink and walked out to the main room where his bag sat waiting. A little spike of panic needled its way into his chest. [#87a8c9 "Rana-"]
"Yeah..?" Quizzical brown eyes were turned upon him. Hasan bit back a worried rant and smiled at him. [#87a8c9 "I love you. Drive safe."] Rana nodded and shouldered his bag. "I will." He unlocked and opened the front door, pausing as he stepped out to call out. "Love you too. See ya later." The door closed and Hasan was alone again. Not for long, however, as he was following suit not an hour later.
The campus was the same as always. The faces changed, but the student base remained essentially the same. Groups flocked to their respective places to chatter between classes and catch up or complain about one thing or another. The trends changed and there was certainly much more diversity, but things hadn't changed much from the time he was a student. Except for tuition. How these students could live with the highway robbery that was set upon them he could never understand.
Walking through the campus he received some greetings from colleagues and former students, but for the most part it was peaceful. New students that had yet to notice him and students too drained to care anymore made up the crowd today. A typical start to a semester. Of course, things could never stay typical in his life. Or simple. Hasan was forced to suppress a groan when he noticed a crowd forming, shouting excitedly as they grouped around two students. A fight. Campus security would be there soon, but Hasan wasn't about to wait. With a soft grumble he pushed his way through the crowd and stared down the two that were getting into it. Whatever their reasons, it was no reason to cause such a disturbance. He set his sights on the more aggressive one and stepped in by grabbing one of his wrists in a strong grip. His other hand was held out in front of the other young man as if to warn him back. [#87a8c9 "Break it up, now."] He told the two of them softly; his voice held a dangerous tone to it. If his voice wasn't enough to give them pause, the dangerous look in his eyes would be. [#87a8c9 "Don't you have a class to get to? It would be pretty stupid to get expelled or suspended on the first day of the semester, don't you think?"]