Jaan?is everything okay?
Abdullah looked worried when naeema unlocked the door and looked so flustered.
Yes! Im fine!
She snapped and turned away from him to avoid looking him in the eye.
Why did you lock the door?
Abdullah asked. He was clearly confused at naeemas reaction. She had never snapped at him like this before.
Oh! Am i not allowed to lock my own room door? Do i have to answer to you for everything i do? Why do you control me?
Naeema was really overreacting but she couldnt control the way she felt. She only regretted her harsh tone when abdullah remained silent. He didnt ask her any more and the hurt look on his face tore her apart. She was about to reach out to him and apologise but he turned around and walked back out of the room, closing the door behind him.
He returned to his guests as if nothing had happened.
Naeema was restless for a couple of days after the incident. Her past was consuming her every moment. It was making her clumsy and moody during the day and dreaming all sorts of things by night.
Abdullah forgave her even though she never asked him to. He took it as it being a woman thing. She was human. Not perfect. She was allowed to feel that way sometime. She had sacrificed and left her entire family behind. She probably missed them and felt lonely. He made up excuses for her.
When she was home during the day she often thought about his offer. Should she have taken his number? Or given him hers?
Her brain was at war. The good side telling her that she had done the right thing by not keeping in contact. It was haraam.
But the left side of the brain reasoned that she atleast owed him an explanation. That she needed to know who he married. If he was happy. Was she pretty?
She found herself holding the cordless phone in her hand on numerous occasions. Staring at it. Contemplating whether she should track him down or not.
She could call the hotel they stayed at and ask for him…
But what if he was gone already?
What if one of the other men answered instead? What would she tell them? Who was she? Surely his wife would call him on his mobile phone.
But when she thought about abdullah, she immediately left the phone and continued with house wotk.
Eventually abdullah mentioned that the guests from amreeka had departed from south africa.
Her heart felt uneasy. Her chance was lost. She tried not to show her disappointment. She glanced at abdullah from the corner of her eye, trying to gauge if he had any inclination towards her past being right in their house. But when she seen his usual calm look, she was hit by sudden guilt.
How would he ever feel if he found out? He would be so disappointed in her. He would be hurt. She had no right to cause this innocent man any hurt. He was nothing but good to her.
Months had flown by and life was pretty much in a normal routine. With habeeba at school. Naeema being a good and faithful wife. The shop was doing alright and hanzalah was flying through his hifzul quraan. He had an excellent memory like that of his mother and a mekodious voice like that of his father.
One particular morning, hanzalah seemed distracted. He played with his masala egg and couldnt put a drop of chaai past his lips. He watched as abdullah cleaned his plate with the tiny piece of chapati he had left before hanzalah took a deep breath and cleared his throat..
He cleared his throat again and changed his sitting position.
Abba jaan… theres something very important i need to ask you….