Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
It’s true what they say… Certain people come into your life for a reason. Once in a while, people enter your life that you love—not for what they give you—but for what they are to you.
But when that person leaves… For some reason… It’s either that their role has been fulfilled, or you are no longer in need of what they can offer you.
And when we lost Mummy, I anticipated always feeling that hole that seemed to be etched within my heart. I didnt think that the pain would ease, until time took it’s course.
And sometimes, the key to making progress is to recognize how to take that very first step. Then you start your journey to healing. To open your heart again. You have faith, hope for the best and stick with it, day in and day out. Even if you’re tired, even if you want to give up. You don’t.
You keep on trying, because you want that result. But too often, the thing you want most, is the one thing you can’t have. Desire sometimes leaves us heartbroken. Desire is what can slowly kill us inside.
And right now, I had kind of reached that point. The point of no return. The point where I honestly could not take any more.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I unzipped the teal and cream heavily beaded outfit that my new sister-in-law had arranged for me. It honestly was beautiful, but at least now I could sit without worrying about the stitches ripping.
Last minute adjustments were done as I got in yesterday, and it had fitted like it was made for me. The only thing was, I just couldn’t wait to get out of it.
Waseem’s voice cut through my hazardous thoughts.
“Will you be okay, angel?”
He was watching me carefully, but I avoided eye contact. Looking at him would be like him seeing right through me. I knew that if he had to respond to my insecurities, I would probably just break down.
I had been quiet on the way home, but I hadn’t given him an idea of what was on my mind. I mean… What was the point? Would he even have any answers for me?
“I’ll see you tomorrow?” I asked, sitting on the bed and ignoring his question.
I had decided to come home for the meantime, until Waseem was more settled. Settled in more than one way. Firstly… He needed to sort out where we would be staying , thinking it be best that he looked for another place.
Secondly… I think he definitely had issues to sort out within his family.
I mean, I sometimes thought that if I knew that things would be so evasive when it came to his parents, I wouldn’t have agreed.
I knew that he would never do anything that would hurt me. It was just that I was finding being around people too much. It was humiliating.
After the Walimah, although Aasiya and many people were really nice, my patience and nerves were at wits end. The absence of my new mother-in-law was a huge question mark for many guests. I could tell from the hushed tones that they were trying so hard to conceal. I could tell that they thought I wasn’t good enough for Waseem. Not modern enough. Not rich enough.
We had stayed late at his brother’s house, and right now, I just wanted to pray my Esha and get into bed. I sighed, slowly removing the bronze sandals and flexing my feet.
At least now that I was feeling more comfortable, I might feel more at peace with everything that had happened. It didn’t feel so frustrating.
I lay back on my continental pillow for a few moments, moving my hair to the side so the hair pins wouldn’t annoy me, ignoring Waseem’s penetrating gaze. I knew he wanted to make it okay. But what could he say?
I opened my bedside drawer, looking for my stash. Stocks were low. I scowled.
“Nabeela!” I shouted, annoyed, forgetting for a second that Waseem was there. He didn’t flinch.
It could only be Nabeela. Tomorrow I would have to take a trip to the supermarket.
Thank goodness most of the people at our home had left to go to back, or else I would have had no privacy here whatsoever.
“Must I get you some?” Waseem asked, already knowing what I was looking for.
Honestly, he was amazing. I instantly felt guilty for being off-ish with him, looking up at him apologetically. I nodded.
It wasn’t fair. This wasn’t his fault. Waseem was a good guy. A good husband.
“I think I have some in the car, actually,” he remembered, leaving the room to go and fetch it. I smiled, and Nabeela appeared in the doorway.
“What?” She asked, narrowing her eyes at me. “Stop screaming like a banshee. The guy’s going to think you’re completely off your rockers.”
“You ate my stash!” I accused her.
She looked at me and rolled her eyes. It annoyed me even more.
“You better replace it!” I warned her.
“I thought you would have come back in a better frame of mind,” she said, coming inside the room to sit on the edge of the bed.
“I’m fine,” I retorted, wondering why Waseem was taking so long. Maybe he had to go and buy some. I instantly felt worse.
I looked at Nabeela, and then put my head in my hands.
“I don’t know what to doooo!” I confessed finally, on the verge of tears.
It was just all so overwhelming for me. Nabeela looked panicked.
“Must I call Zakiyya?”
It was her way of saying she couldn’t deal with my dramas. I fanned my face with a nearby book, trying to supress the tears. I needed sugar. Where was Waseem?
I took a few deep breaths.
“So, how was everything?” She asked carefully, as I calmed down slightly. “Besides all the dramatic parts?”
“It was good,” I replied, remembering the first few days of our marriage. Before the reality of everything had settled in.
It was actually amazing, but telling Nabeela that would definitely lead to more questioning. She was at that annoying age where guys and everything that came with the opposite gender was oh-so-exciting. It made me want to strangle all my teenage cousins.
“Did you say it?” She asked, pressing on. “I love you? I don’t ever want to live without you… Again.”
I just smiled, remembering Waseem and his words. I knew she just wanted to hear about all the mushy stuff. And he was just so damn sweet.
To tell the truth, even my heart kind of melted, but with the tough-girl idea that I was trying to portray, it didn’t make sense for me to expose my heartfelt feelings.
Not as yet. I needed it to be my secret. Just for a little while longer.
“Or was it just awkward?” She asked now, making her voice sinister and leaning forward as if I was a spectacle of some sort. “Did you make it past base two?”
I wanted to giggle at her ridiculous terms. Base two? This child needed to stop watching junk.
It was my turn to roll my eyes at her now, because I knew where it was leading, and I definitely didn’t want to go down that road. In fact, going down that road would just be wrong. On so many levels.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned to the men and said, “Is there any man among you who, when he comes to his wife, he locks the door, throws his blanket over himself and conceals himself with the cover of Allaah?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “And does he sit after that and say, ‘I did such and such, and I did such and such?’” They remained silent. Then he turned to the women and said, “Is there anyone among you who speaks (of private marital matters)?” They remained silent.
Then a buxom young girl sat up tall so that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would see her and hear her words, and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, (the men) speak and (the women) speak.”
He said, “Do you know what the likeness of that is? The likeness of that is that of a female devil who meets a male devil in the street and he fulfils his desire with her when the people are looking on.” Narrated by Abu Dawud
I looked at Nabeela strangely.
“It’s not your business,” I said to her, not caring that I was being slightly rude.
As a teenager, I had also been obsessed with the romantic and sometimes ‘erotic’ stuff… So much so, that I would actually read pointless books on it, since Abbi never allowed us to watch TV.
It’s a different story of we want to inform ourselves about the Islamic rulings on how to please one’s spouse, but we don’t even realise that reading about intimate relations that occur is completely forbidden, whether the fictional couple is married or not. Bedroom matters had to remain in the bedroom, even if it was just lighter intimacy.
And besides the fact that it wasn’t right Islamically, it just wasn’t ethical to be talking about it.
Rude or not, I knew that if I didn’t stop it, she would have continued to venture down that avenue.
Waseems voice filled the passage, and Nabeela immediately jumped up as he appeared in the doorway.
I knew that Nabeela was still very shy of him. I mean, Nabeela was shy of everyone who was male. Besides, he was looking a little intimidating in his Kurtah with the most intricate details. I loved it, though. The colour actually suited him really well.
She smiled meekly at him, exiting as he stepped back let her pass. I just hoped that he heard nothing of what we were discussing. That would just be so embarrassing.
He came in, eyes sparkling and grinning slightly with his crooked smile. I already knew that he had heard some of Nabeela’s conversation with me.
I flushed, embarrassed.
“I’m sorry,” I said, covering my eyes and peeping at him through the gaps.
“It’s okay,” he chuckled, placing a Select packet on the bed. I was ready to lunge at it, but I controlled myself.
“I’m glad you get along so well with your family,” he said, passing me a bag of sweets from the packet. “I mean… You’ll find it easy to say what you’ll need to.”
I sensed that he had more to say but I didn’t press the issue.
We sat in silence for a few seconds as we munched, amd it felt like the first night we had met. Only this time, we weren’t so nervous. I pulled my knees up to my chest, making more space for him to sit.
“Zaynah,” he said, and I looked up at him now, meeting his gaze.
He was watching me carefully and I shifted under his scrutiny.
His eyes looked different today and I noticed that they sometimes changed with his mood. Tonight he seemed to be in an extremely subdued mood, and I wondered if what was on his mind was also my concern.
“I haven’t been completely open with you, Zaynah,” he said, coming forward to sit just where my knees ended.
I nodded, trying to swallow what was in my mouth. For some reason, with his proximity to me, I couldn’t seem to say much back. My mouth was stuffed, either way.
“I’m sorry. But I can’t go forward into this… With us… Without telling you… I just hope you won’t be upset.”
Upset? I honestly couldn’t remain upset with him over anything. I kept feeling guilty because he was being so nice. And sweet. Too sweet.
Either way, that was what marriage was about, right? I knew whatever it was, we would deal with it and make it through it together. Nothing could be too great a burden or too much to handle.
I was ready to hear him out. I knew whatever he had to say might not be easy, but it would be okay. It was time to break that barrier that was keeping us strangers to each other’s emotions.
“I wanted to tell you at-”
His sentence was cut off with the ringing of the phone. He usually never answered his calls around me, but as he glanced at the ID, he looked up at me apologetically.
“Sorry, sweets… I gotta take this.”
I delved into the gummy bag again, patiently watching him speaking. If it wasn’t for his sudden change of tone, I probably wouldn’t have paid attention, but the moment he cut the call, his expression said it all.
“I’ll be back,” he said, looking stressed and coming forward to peck me on the forehead.
“I have to go. Ziyaad’s in trouble.”