Yesterday began as a normal day. I went to my 9 am class as did Ayesha. We met up to eat lunch at 12, talked to a few friends, and got some work done. Ayesha had a 3-4:15 yoga class so I waited for her before (trying to) head home. By about 3:30pm, all my friends had left campus and the snow was piling up at a good 2 inches an hour. I looked outside, sighed, and starting making du’a that somehow, we’d make it home and that somehow, I wouldn’t get into an accident on the way. I called Ayesha a total of 16 times, texted her 4 times, and tried to guess her email passwords a few times as well (to see her class schedule). I had no idea what building she was in and her genius professor decided to keep her in class till 4:15 pm on the dot. When she finally got out, she came upstairs with icecicles forming on her hijab and her face all red. We got ready and ran to the car as fast as possible without slipping. Alhumdulillah, we made it.
After about an hour of waiting in the campus parking lot to get out of school, I decided it would be best to stay on campus and wait the whole thing out. By now, there was about 4 inches on the ground. As soon as I thought of heading back, my car battery died. Joy. :) So, I silently started panicking, turned on the hazard lights, and started asking people if they had jumper cables. No one did. I suddenly remembered that a few brothers were still on campus when Ayesha and I left so I contemplated whether to ask them for help…when all of a sudden, my cousin calls! My hands were frozen, so I asked Ayesha to call him back. Apparently, he saw us heading out and knew we couldn’t drive in this kind of weather so he offered to give us a ride home. He also had an automatic battery charger in his car so we got my car going, parked it, got in his (warm :)) car, and off we went….. or so we thought.
By the time we got on the road in front of the campus, we had been in the car for about 30-45 minutes and it was obvious we weren’t getting home any time soon. So we headed back a second time and decided to stay at school for a few hours (4 exactly) before attempting to get out again. We also did our public service of the day and told everyone we saw not to try and leave lol. Anyways, we went back to our usual table upstairs, Ayesha munched on some doritos and rambled while I did some reading. We talked with some other friends who were in the same boat as they waited for their parents to come. It wasn’t too bad. :) After 4 hours, we went back to the car and started the -epic- journey. NOTE: As I go through the rest of this, think of each obstacle as a different level in a video game lol.
Alright, so now we’re finally on the road, and it turns out the gas tank was totally empty. Luckily, there was a station right outside of campus so we went straight there… waited for half an hour when all of a sudden the lights went out completely. He got out to check if the pumps were even working and of course, they weren’t. :) I’ve driven on an empty gas tank numerous times so I said, just keep going and we’ll see how far we get. (Usually, there’s reserve gas out of which you can get about 20-25 miles). I took us about 45 minutes to cover a 5 mile distance. People were standing on the road, their cars were stuck, and none of the main roads or highways were plowed. So we were literally driving through 7-8 inches of heavy snow. By the time we hit the second gas station, the front tire was loosing air so now we didn’t have gas or air. :) The second station was also out of gas and the air pump thing was all the way in the back, where the snow was knee-high. Somehow, he was able to park his car close enough to still be able to back out. He checked out the air pipe and guess what??.. there was ice inside. :) I suggested we use a match or a lighter to try and melt it which kinda failed. A pointy pen got the job done and we were able to get some air in. As he tried to back out, the car swerved a little and we got stuck for about a minute. At this point, I was seriously considering sleeping in the back lol. Alhumdulillah, we got out of the gas station.
The next station was about a mile away but I was almost sure they’d be empty as well.. and they were. Again, continue to imagine people on the side of the road waiting for help, cars in the middle of intersections, and 8 inches of snow on the ground as I go through all this. After we passed the third gas station, we seemed to be the only car on the road. First we were frustrated with all the traffic and now we were confused cuz we were the only ones on a fairly busy road. At this point, the road was getting more narrow and my parents were calling constantly. When they called the 6th time, we were at an intersection and our car started swerving really badly and a cop almost hit us. I shut of the phone and suggested we stay in the left lane.. which wasn’t too great of an idea because after about half a mile, there were power lines on the ground and we went over them by accident. Nothing happened alhumdulillah.
We made it to the 4th gas station… i think you can guess what happened. Remember, the gas tank is completely empty still. Slowly, we watched all the lights go out on that road. It’s one thing to see a place with no electricity, but seeing it go out in front of your eyes makes it all the more dramatic and scary. Alhumdulillah this road was the one right before my cousins’ house. We called this level “Lights Out!” lol. We got onto the service road, and I just had a gut feeling that one more thing was going to go wrong. I was right. There was an SUV on hazard in the service lane and there was no room to get by. After a few minutes, they were able to move it out of the way and…. there it was…. their house! The driveway wasn’t cleared out so our cousin tried to push the car through the snow, but it got stuck. He was able to get it out in no time though, Alhumdulillah. As soon as the car got in the driveway, it stopped on its own cuz there was not an ounce of gas left.
We tried to leave campus at 4 pm and got to their house at 11pm. But we got there.
SubhanAllah.. Our cousin just happened to be on campus and have a 3pm class, he happened to see us frantically leaving school, he happened to think of how we’d make it home and call us, he happened to have a battery charger with him, the air pipe happened to be working when nothing else was, out of all the cars that got stuck in the snow or hit a car, we happened to not be one of them, the power lines happened to miss our tires, the little gas we had just happened to be enough to get us home.
Over the course of the drive, we talked about lots of interesting things.. how the worlds’ about to end, school, the future, and random stories. It was great. We don’t get to see our cousin very much so it was nice catching up.. despite the extreme circumstances. May Allah out of his infinite mercy and wisdom, bless him and raise his ranks in Jannah, give him ease in all his affairs, and forgive all his sins. I seriously can’t think of how Ayesha and I will thank him and his family. Allah bless them all. Ameen. I also can’t even imagine what we would have done if he wasn’t there. We ended up spending the night at their house and came home this morning. I think my back is still recovering from the 5 feet of snow I shoveled last year but Ayesha and I tackled the driveway as soon as we got home. It’s clean now. :)
Remember Allah in times of ease and He will remember you in times of difficulty.
p.s.: snowpocalypse isn’t really a word lol.
p.p.s.: I thought we had it bad. Apparently, a kid in Ayesha’s chem class lost his keys in the snow so he planned on spending the night on campus. He said his dad was coming from Richmond to get him. I hope he got there. I know you’re laughing.