BROKEN by Meena Diasso 


              ◀FATIMA ▶

I looked around the room amazed by the painting on the wall, the wall was painted in a soft green colour but it seemed the painter had a color party on the right side of the wall cos it contained all the colours on the rainbow and more. 

I heaved a sigh and lied on the bed, Aunty Zainab teased me relentlessly when we entered the room, I somehow envy him he had siblings who cheered him, I wonder how growing up was like for them. 

Some of my aunties and cousins  went to my parents house in the afternoon when  Hajia said there was no need for the *budan kai* since I was going to be living with them; the furniture and wares were just going to be a waste. But Aunty Sawda and Aunty Hawa stayed behind, Nhyira wanted to stay but Aunty Khadija was having none of it, I was told Ahmad was on a business trip and would be back in two weeks, “Asalamu alaikum” I heard from behind the door with a knock in tow, I rose from the couch and straightened my dress,  “Wa alaikum salaam”  Aunty Zainab came in and held a phone to my ear I rose an eyebrow in question, she but she just shrugged and left the room in answer. “Uhm hello… ” I uttered but there was no reply, I didn’t want to end the call and come out rude it might be one of their extended family members or their dad, “hellooo…” I said again prolonging it mockingly “I want a proper greeting you know, the one that probably starts with peace” he said startling me I was shocked, I swallowed and stuttered out a salaam. “That was better you know” he said after he answered “How was your night in my room for the first time, did you sleep well, and the most important of all did you miss me?” he asked in his sultry baritone voice, I wonder why he never did journalism his voice is what most anchormen  yearned for, some even faked it  and a few women were blessed with it. 

I lost all my speech power and just listened to his rants, some I didn’t even get I just listened to his voice, “you know it’ll be better if you talk or say something, I’ll be home soon take care of yourself for me, and dream about me OK, not only at night but daydream about me too, I love you”. He ended the call, I had a huge grin  on my face, this is the second time he’s said this to me, I’m waiting for the day he’ll say it to my face. 

I looked around my room, I’ve not toured the house but it must be huge, it’s a two  storey building with lots of rooms, the rooms are more like hotel suites, my room has a huge hall with two bedrooms and a kitchenette. I wonder  how the other rooms look like especially  the master bedroom, and the small balcony too had an amazing view, it was green everywhere and I think I spotted a dome in the garden. I want to exploit every part of the house but it was all in due time no rushing. 


My aunties cooked for us, the annoying part of it is I’m not allowed to help out because tradition says so, I had to only help out on the seventh day which was Sunday, we ate silently Aunty Zainab and Maria visited almost every day, and Alhaji is the most welcoming person ever he was not around when I came on Saturday but he took me in like his own daughter, I think no I am the luckiest bride ever.

I rolled off the bed and wore my robe, I was trying  to adapt to wearing negligees instead of my pyjamas to bed, the few  I have here covered much less nothing I only wore them because I was alone and the robes too helped sometimes. I freshened up, bathed, did my ablution and prayed then went back to sleep after I had recited some few verses from the Quran.  I applied a little makeup and looked myself over in the mirror the skirt and blouse African print suited me very well, I looked like a real wife today cos I start my wifely duties today, it was a little over six am, I went down and a maid was cleaning the kitchen, I greeted her and admired the kitchen, it was every woman’s dreamland, I made porridge, tombrown, and boiled water for those who preferred coffee or tea, then asked the maid to help me arrange it on the dinning table, I went back to my room and took my book which I was lucky to bring along. 

I was far gone in the book when I heard a knock on the door, I  openedit Tommy two angry looking aunties, “You were not suppose to cook until afternoon” Aunty Sawda complained, “But you’re just too stubborn you had to do it” Aunty Hawa chimed in, I wanted to laugh but that will annoy them the more, they advised me again on marriage life and how marriage is not about the two of us only but our families too. 

My people came  in the afternoon and mom was among them this time around; I hugged her and burst into tears I just missed her so much, being away from her was no easy thing, she’s my advisor, my best friend and everything in between “You’re such a cry baby wait till I show this pic to Ahmad” Aunty Zainab teased as she took pics of mom and me,   I looked to Maria for refuge but she just shrugged.

Ahmad’s aunties came too, but a bit late we cooked the meal close to the outhouse that was the only place we could do it, I took the cooking paddle and stirred the stew. They cheered as I officially took over the kitchen duties in my husband’s house. Ahmad’s aunts gave gifts to my aunties to show gratitude for the meals that made for Mama.

I cried as we said goodbye especially to Aunty Hawa, Aunt Khadija  and Nhyira, I liked my cousin even if she reminds me of a past I’d rather forget. Aunty Sawda hugged me and promised to come over whenever she had the chance, Mom adviced me cos she knew how strong willed I was, “Promise me you’ll obey your husband, and respect his parents just as you do to your dad and I” I nodded  she hugged me again, “And please Fatima submit to your husband, the boy really loves you, look past his mistakes okay?” mom asked looking at me expectantly did she also know what he used to do?  I questioned myself, I nodded and looked as their cars left the building. I turned and looked at the house from the outside it’s very huge, and was painted white, Here I come new life.

My sisters-in-law  left a short after, I was now alone with my in laws, the house was very quiet,  Mom noticed my quietness and talked to me till I was , I  retired early today I wasn’t  a TV person and was exhausted from the work I did earlier. I did my nightly routine and lied on the bed I passed out  immediately my head hit the pillow.


MY MEETING WITH THE SECURITY TEAM PAID OFF, we caught the culprit and it happened to be Jessica I wanted to beat some sense into her, but that wasn’t like me I was not that kind of man and she was not going to turn me into one.  I handed her over to them to deal with her, the records we had also showed that she sent some of those messages to Fatima but I’ve never had a complain from her, her phone records showed she had been in contact with Fatima before we met but she didn’t talk when I asked her to tell me the kind of connection she had with my wife. 

I had a very important deal to sign with an European company during the week of my wedding, I was quite disappointed but it was for the best since I’ll still have to wait for another week to be with her,  I couldn’t stand not talking to her, I called Zainab and asked for the phone to be given to Fatima but she didn’t want to, she teased me profusely and made me make promises I don’t even remember before giving the phone to her.  “Hello.. ” I missed her voice I closed my eyes and made her voice wash over me. She hollered again, I told her I wanted a salaam and she stuttered it out I was amazed was she shy of me? my brave woman had a shy side she never brings out.

I pushed my  trolley as I made my way out of the airport no one knew I was coming back tonight it’s a surprise for my wife.

I watched as she turned in her sleep, it was 45 minutes past 11 pm and the house was very quiet, I was enveloped by desire as I watched her sleep, her long braids covered half of her face, she wore a skimpy night gown that left little to the imagination and a part of it rode up from her tossing and turning, I swallowed hard and pulled the chair from the dressing mirror watching her she fluttered her eyes and grunted something incomprehensibly. I rose from the chair and gave her a chaste kiss on the forehead, I freshened up, prayed and switched off the lamps before joining her she stiffened when I hugged her then she started fighting my hands off, I released her and started to  rise but I was too late she gave my jaw a swift kick, I grunted her name in pain and lit the lamp. She stilled when she saw me, she blinked her eyes numerously and burst into tears, she held the blanket over her body “I’m so sorry” she muttered repeatedly. 

I went to the bathroom and checked my jaw if I had any loose tooth, the girl kicked like a pro, I never took her for someone that strong, my jaw was going to bruise but it wasn’t that bad. I came to find her in the same position, her sobs were silent now, she stilled when I held her again but it seemed she was still trying to pounce on me, “What ever happened to her to make her act like this”.

I scooped her up and took her to the bathroom then, went out to give her space I waited for her at the door, I scooped her up again when she came out and gently laid her on the bed, she hurriedly covered her body with the blanket I was sad this was happening.  I went to the  the other bedroom, I couldn’t even blink but think of her actions, I remembered when she told me not to marry her because she had problems, Was this the problem?. I did my sleeping azkar and closed my eye waiting for sleep to exude me. 

Dedicated to Fatima Kaka. 


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