BROKEN by Meena Diasso

         

         ~7~
FATIMA
NEWS OF WHAT AHMAD DID SPREAD THROUGH THE BUILDING LIKE WILDFIRE, I think it even reached my floor before the elevator got there, I looked ahead, refusing to meet anyone’s gaze, I looked on and walked to my office sighing when I got there, I was on the verge of losing my temper  over there, he had no right to do that I had already told him I didn’t want that but he went on and pulled that stupid stunt on me, I was going to give him a piece of my mind.  My assistant busted into the room startling me a bit I closed my eye and held my chest “Please tell me what you have to tell me is so important that you had to come in here like that” I asked in a cold voice. 

She looked lost and shook her head “No I just wanted to know if the rumors I heard were true” she asked excitedly, I licked my bottom lip and shook my head “Dear God please give me the patience to deal with this” I prayed silently looking up at the white ceiling, I settled my eyes on her “There’s nothing to know, I’m not the one who started the rumors, so you might as well ask the one who told you” I lashed out,  I really hated how her face dropped but she lit up suddenly”I really wanted you guys to be together you’ll make a fine couple and the kids you’ll both make will be out of this world-”  “Lola… ” I cried out laughing “Please don’t make this worse than it already is, I came here in a very good mood but it seems you guys are so keen on ruining it for me, please don’t bring this up again” she nodded meekly and went out I hated having to treat her like that cos she’s very good and quiet but I never knew my non-existent love life would intrigue her or maybe my future life. I rolled my eyes and dropped hardly on my seat making it squeak, I called Lola and asked her to call me thirty minutes before my photoshoot session, I wanted to inspect the  studio and familiarize myself with the place before I start this show, the media house had lots of studios for the different programs they did, we’re actually contemplating on either making it a live audience talk show, or a one-on-one show, I preferred the one-on-one though not that I’m claustrophobic but some people need privacy and not anyone can talk about certain things in an audience. 

***

I smiled once more looking into the lens of the camera, The producer had left after we took some videos, I did a few shots in other long dresses with hijab, “Would you mind doing a shot without the veil?” the smile just dropped off my face, “Do you have a problem with me covering up?” I asked narrowing my eyes at him, “You are just too sexy to hide that behind this” he replied coming closer to me,  “I’d advice you to stop that cos, it’s  harassment if you don’t know and.. ” “You can kiss your career goodbye” a voice cut me off, I was happy someone was here or I would have used my self defense skills to teach the bastard a lesson he’d never forget but losing his job was uncalled for he might have family to look after. I shouldn’t have agreed to do this when the producer said he was going to sort something out, the guy was surprised by the sudden appearance of Ahmad, I was pretty surprised myself but the guy had no right to do what he did. He took his phone and barked out orders to the executive producer I think, soon Mr Stanley came in with beads of sweat on his forehead “Stanley that’s my fiancee as in my future wife and imagine how I felt when I came in here to hear this bastard of a he-goat here harassing her” he said in an angry tone, I was taken aback by his actions, wasn’t he a manwhore himself. 
AHMAD 
I KNEW SHE WOULD BE ANGERED BY MY ACTIONS, but after being close to losing her the day before yesterday I couldn’t keep to myself when I overheard dad telling mom Fatima’s dad had even asked for the date to be pushed forward after knowing about  my  whoring days earlier in the morning. I did a sujjud Shukran right in the middle of the hallway, dad is too just for his own good though, he would have denied me my happiness because of my past mistakes, I sneaked upstairs so they wouldn’t know I overheard them.

I prayed when I got to my room, showing gratitude for the greatest gift I’ve ever had. I came back downstairs to join them for breakfast, mom was sitting on her usual seat and dad at the head of the table, “Good morning dad” he just nodded in reply “Good morning mom” she more like mouthed the reply, I  took my seat next to her and took a cup and spoon, I scooped a spoonful of coffee with a little sugar then poured a half cup of water and stirred but couldn’t make myself drink it when mom didn’t complain, she hated my eating habits, and would  complain even when she knows I was already addicted. I looked up, but she looked away she was looking at me I knew it but she was also angry with me, I gently placed the cup  back on the table then pushed my chair back making it screech a little, dad looked up only when he heard the sound the chair made, “I’m very sorry mom please forgive me” I said trying to hold my tears as I knelt at her feet. She was quiet and didn’t even look to where I was “Please mom your silent treatment is killing me” I looked up and dad was also looking at her. “Mom” I held her feet praying she would forgive me. 

“I’m not the one you sinned against you know, how would you feel if nude pics of your son were sent to you, Ahmad?” I jerked my head up trying to recall which of my past girlfriends was crazy enough to do that. She smiled bitterly and shook her head “I’d never had believe this even at gunpoint Ahmad, I regret ever gi-” she pursed her lips and shook her head “You are lucky the girl’s dad likes you enough to give his daughter to you”, the tears rolled down my cheek when she said that, “Don’t get your hopes up Ahmad I’m taking you to a hospital myself and you’re going to do every STI test, all of them and if you’re positive for a single test even if it’s easily contracted I swear I’m calling off the wedding myself”. She sneered leaving the hall all together Dad shook his head and  left after her.

I knew I wasn’t positive cos all the girls I had such relationships with were checked and I always used protection, plus I  had a test done immediately after I left Vida. 

I left for the office, but found myself at the lot waiting for Fatima’s arrival immediately after I had straightened things at my office Tosin was still not back or she would have given me clues on how to calm mom, I was ashamed of what I did and should thank Fatima’s dad cos I’ve never seen my parents this angry. 

I could swear my heart stopped beating for a second when she stepped out of her car, “Alhamdulillah” I prayed silently thanking Allah for such giving me such a pearl, she was covered from head to toe, only revealing her lower chin, I felt like running away with her then hide her from everyone’s gaze, she’s my precious gem, and should not be seen by none  but me. I walked to her and found myself blabbing we walked to the lobby together and I almost laughed at the curious looks from my employees I decided to indulge them and announce what they were dying to know.

And when I decide to go look for her I see this bastard harassing her he was damn going to lose his job and Stanley will follow suit, since he doesn’t seem interested in the job.  I wanted to really hit him but that was uncalled for since I have fired him, she was quiet I wanted her to just say something Stanley stood there sweating like he had gone for a 1000 metre run, “Don’t do that Sir I don’t think he meant what he said” she said in a quiet voice making my anger subside a bit, I wonder if she has forgiven me for what I did earlier. 

“Really?” I enquired looking deep into her eyes she looked away and nodded uttering a silent “Yes”. “I think I will take my leave now since you already have enough pictures and the videos we took earlier are enough” she said leaving the room like she was being chased away “Stanley I expected more from you how could you hire such a perverted racist who doesn’t know his worth and disrespects women, then decides to disrespect none other but my fiancee” I ended nearly punching him in the face, “I swear you’re lucky she said you could continue working here but I don’t want to see you anywhere near her, distance yourself from her and we shall live in peace” I walked to the door and held the knob but turned again “Not only her, bastard disrespect any other woman and you’ll find yourself jobless, and I swear you’ll never find job in any part of this country”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The days that went by were pretty quick, mom’s anger  had subsided a bit when all the results turned out to be negative she came to the office to see Fatima and she bonded with Fatima well, dad cooled off when mom did and the thing died out like it never happened, but from all indications Fatima has taken my spot, since mom now talks about her non stop, my sisters loved her too, she had the heart of each member of my family to do as she please with, even Maruf he liked whatever Maria liked. We were now a week down to the wedding, and Fatima has been playing hide and seek with me since that day in the studio, she makes up excuses when I go to their house but I was determined to see her today, that I was going to do. 
Dedicated to Fatima Kaka 

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