BROKEN by Meena Diasso 

                       <11>

                ⏪FATIMA ⏩

I BURST INTO TEARS WHEN HE LEFT THE ROOM, what was I doing I act on impulse whenever someone touches me especially the opposite sex dad was the only one I felt comfortable hugging and with him I’ve been  used to his  hugs since I was a kid,  I didn’t make an attempt to wipe the tears, my marriage is definitely going to hit the rocks, he had the right to touch me I was his wife for crying out loud but I couldn’t I was frightened when I felt a hand touch me in my sleep, it took a while to get my mind to register his presence. 

I wiped my tears, and pulled the blanket tighter around me, it was past 1 am, I shut my eye tightly, praying for sleep to exude me. 

I felt a  tap on my feet, it was getting irritating I pulled my feet away but there was another tap then I heard my name in a distant voice, my name was called again nearer this time around I fluttered my eye open, and blinked trying to remember where I was, the room looked familiar and the man I  almost bumped our heads as I jerked out of the bed, he smiled “Wake up it’s almost prayer time” he uttered gently and left, I went to the bathroom freshened up and did my ablution, I wondered how he was going to explain the bruise on his jaw. 
I prayed and recited a Surah from the Quran, I heard the door  squeak  open but continued reciting to the end of the last verse,  I said some supplications then looked up, I cringed when I saw the bruise on his jaw it was quite prominent, my eye filled with tears, “Good morning welcome back, how was your trip?” I greeted hurriedly “I’m so sorry for what I did, it wasn’t intentional and I promise not to ever repeat it” I added wiping the tear that had fell, he was silent I wondered what that meant was he angry with me?.  He held my chin up  I flinched a bit but forced myself to not react “It’s nothing” he said with a smile on his face, “I can see you have a problem with people touching you?” he asked smiling, I smiled wobbly but didn’t say anything “Let’s go back to sleep but would you allow me to  sleep on your bed?” he asked raising an eyebrow, I swallowed hard trying to come up with an answer, but I couldn’t so I just nodded, “Submit to your husband” the word rang in my ear. 

I closed my eyes as he hugged me tightly from behind, I tried going to sleep but I was not comfortable and too frightened to go to sleep.  I pulled myself but there was a hand holding me,  I  looked at him then removed his hand gently from my body and got down,  his bruise had subsided a bit but was  still noticeable. 

I tiptoed out of the room so he wouldn’t wake up, the house was silent as usual but clean, I don’t know how the maid manages to keep the whole house clean, she’s the only one I’ve seen but the house is always spark clean.  I prepared rice porridge, oatmeal with grapes,  with wheat bread, I was lucky I didn’t have to bake that, we order our bread from a bakery. 
I arranged them on the dinning table and went back upstairs  to freshen up, I bathed and dressed up in the bathroom, he was sitting on the bed when I came out. He didn’t speak,  I couldn’t look him in the eye, I left the room silently after he entered the bathroom.
 
“What a pleasant surprise son you never told us you were  coming this week?” mom asked in a  surprised voice, mom and dad were already seated at the table when I came down. “I thought you knew, I met him at the mosque at dawn” “Good morning mom, Good morning dad” he greeted out politely “What happened to you did you get in a fight?” mom asked in concerned voice knitting her brow  “No I accidentally hit my face ” he replied stealing a glance at me.  “What should I serve you?” I asked in a silent voice “Mhm you know only to serve your husband you’ve never served any of us we really feel offended” Mom said in a hurt voice I opened my mouth but could not utter a word “I am… ” , “It’s ok dear I was just joking   you don’t have to serve me, I like doing it myself and for my husband” she said smiling and stealing a glance at dad, I smiled back shyly  and looked down, Ahmad smiled and told me he’ll do it himself. 

****

4 weeks on…… 

I felt in routine with the house work it was much easier now but I still had work to do, the premiering of my talk show was pushing forward and I really needed to go to work before I die from boredom, Ahmad went back to the office the day after he arrived and mom always has a place to go, she’s either shopping, visiting a friend or family, or just exploiting, I wish I knew what her childhood was like she’s such a free spirit, I joined her sometimes. 

I want to ask Ahmad about my job, I want to go to work and continue with what I  was going to start 

I tied the ropes of the robe tighter around my body, I now wear a robe over my night gown, my relationship with Ahmad is pretty much the same, the furthest we’ve gone is him hugging me I’ve never made him go any further, he wasn’t complaining but I could tell he was getting tired, I swallowed hard as he made his way to his side of the bed, “Good night” he said rolling to his side, “Uhm -uh can I please have a word with you” he turned and smiled at me I immediately looked down toying with my fingers I’ve been shy of him ever since I hit his face, I almost repeated it  but he was fast enough to dodge it. “I wanted to ask if I could go back to work this week?” I asked sheepishly, I wanted to come off strong but I’ve been getting less confident around him nowadays. 

He looked disappointed and nodded “Ok” I was surprised by his monotonous answer I nodded and rasped a “Thanks” “Is that all you’re  going to say?” he asked when I pulled the blanket and turned “I want a thank you kiss” he said making me turn abruptly, the last time he tried that didn’t end up well,  I nodded and  forced myself to give him a peck on his lip I pulled away when he tried to deepen it “I’m sorry” I whispered he sighed in frustration and nodded. I turned to my side as I thought about my life with Ahmad, where were we heading to?. 

            

     ♣AHMAD ♣

I WONDER IF SHE’S TRYING TO TEST MY RESTRAINTS COS I WAS LOSING IT, I’m frustrated in every sense of the word, I wonder why she acts the way she does was she raped? Or was she testing my patience, I just pray for more patience to endure this long  wait. 

We went to work together on Monday, the first time we went out together as a couple I opened the door for her and held her hand as she stepped out of the car, all eyes were on her as she came out. She was in a long ankle length abaya which was tied at the tummy area then wrapped a scarf around her head,  my wife turned heads especially when she’s veiled her makeup was barely noticeable. 

Fatima was in front her heels clicking as we walked to the lobby I pulled her  when we got to the lobby making her stumble and fall into me Miranda frowned then blinked her eyes as if in realisation, “OMG”  she exclaimed making everyone turn to us I smirked and smiled “YES we’re married she’s officially MRS ABUBAKAR” I said quite  audible to the people in the lobby.  She tried pulling herself away from my grip but I still held her we walked to the elevator together, she literally ran off the elevator when we reached her floor. 

I smirked and shook my head, I wanted to follow her but I had meetings to attend to and I was already running late. 
There were lots of congrats from some of the workers, Omolara had a fit in my office I was lucky there was never a relationship between us other than work,  I somehow hinted on liking her but I never pursued it. Tosin was still not back from her trip. 

***

Few days later.. 

Today is the premiering of Fatima’s show I wanted to be there to show my  support it’s a  Live show but it seems that couldn’t be achieved, I am in a meeting with my Kano Managing Director, about the new company I was going to open in Maiduguri, it’s funny how our company is almost in every state but Maiduguri my hometown,  I called to wish her luck but her phone was off so I  texted her a message instead. 

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