I FELT LIKE STRINGS WERE BEING PULLED FROM MY HEART, WHAT THE FU*K HAPPENED TO HER, SO MUCH FOR THE SURPRISE I HAD IN STORE FOR HER, “WHO DID THIS TO YOU?” I asked quietly as I watched her sleep, she looked so innocent in her sleep, I felt a tug in my heart when she whispered incoherently and turned, the couch was too small for her, “Fatima” I uttered softly trying not to frighten her, I brushed my fingertips lightly on her ear down to her neck, “Ahmad… ” she uttered in a whiny voice, I smiled and turned my wrist I couldn’t believe how fast time had passed, it was almost magrib time I scooped her up, I loved how her body relaxed into mine, she circled her hand around my neck. Her assistant had a wide smile on her face when she saw us “I’m so glad you’re back Sir, she was so miserable when you weren’t around” she blurted out then as if she had realized what she did she covered her mouth with her hand and widened her eyes I shook my head and creased my forehead trying hard not to laugh.
I nuzzled her face gently to wake her, she’s been out for hours I’d have freaked out if not for her incoherent words and turns, I brushed my lips against hers she fluttered her eye open and smiled widely “Ahmad… ” she uttered hesitantly in a raspy voice I nodded and kissed each of her knuckles “You gave me quite a scare you know ” she furrowed her brows in confusion “You’re really here? ” she asked widening her eyes and bolting upright “Ahmad…. I’ve… ” she frowned again looking at her surrounding for the first time “you’re really home?” she gnawed on the left side of her lip “But I’m suppose to be in the office how did we get here? ” she asked her raspy voice gaining much of its natural tone, I smiled and held her hand “you had a breakdown and I brought you home” I replied shortly her breath quickened as if she just remembered something, I was frightened by her reaction “Did anyone hurt you Fatima” I asked my voice straining when I remembered the threats I had received before the wedding I balled my fist trying to hold on to the anger building inside me I’ve never seen her this frightened “What happened Fatima please tell me” “He came again…. ” she replied breaking into tears I was burning with rage when I heard that. The damn photographer never listens he came onto her again I wonder what the hell the crew were doing. “I’m gonna kill the bastard he was lucky when you pardoned him the last time he’s not gonna get that this time” she tensed a bit, “But he’s DEAD” she exclaimed hysterically, pulling herself away from me, I felt empty when she pulled away “I told him I didn’t like how he touched me, but he didn’t stop” she circled her arms around her knees and moved to furthest end of the king size bed I stood motionless “He said it was nothing then gave me toffees making me promise to not tell mom and dad, don’t tell them ok” she finished looking into my eyes with her bloodshot eyes and tear stained face.
I swallowed hard trying to decipher what she just told me, I couldn’t get myself to do anything I wanted to kill whoever she was talking about I was walking to the door but was stopped by the sound of her laughter “You might as well listen to all that happened …..then there is the second one when I was in school mom had promised to come pick me up after school ” her voice broke a bit, “and I was the only one left, one of the senior students came and started conversation with me I didn’t like him but I opened up to him because I didn’t want to be alone so I joined him when he said the classrooms would be more comfortable I foolishly followed him and he almost raped me Ahmad he had his hands all over me I can’t even remember how I escaped ” she said ending in a quiet voice.
I left the room more to clear off my mind than to leave her in that state, I couldn’t believe how some men could be so cruel, something might have triggered her reaction, I massaged the sides of my head trying to calm the headache that was slowly seeping through, I went to the other room to freshen up. .
I COULDN’T THINK OF ANYTHING BUT WHAT HAPPENED I SAT ON THE FLOOR ROCKING BACK AND FORTH AS THE PAST INVADED MY MIND, I HATE THEM ALL, I RELAXED IN THE HAND THAT ENVELOPED ME AND WELCOMED THE COMFORTING DARKNESS THAT WAS SEEPING into my eyes.
I BLINKED MY EYE acquainting it with my surrounding I squinted my eye a bit I was in my room, how come, I don’t remember coming here, I was with Annette then I walked to my office, I tried rising from the bed but I was held tightly by a hand, he pulled me closer to him, my memory is a bit blurry I blinked rapidly when events of the day before flooded my thoughts, I remember telling him about uncle and that boy from school my breath hitched, he was surely going to leave me now who wants a troubled person for a wife. I waited for sometime and pulled myself away from him leaving for the bathroom, I scrubbed my body repeatedly trying to wash off the dirt of all those years, I still felt dirty I wondered how Annette coped all these years, my dam broke just then, I cried out withholding nothing back, for all the years I’ve been prisoner to my own fears, for Annette and what she’s been through and for all the girls that might be going through the same fate or much less worse cases. The bathroom door was knocked repeatedly “Open the door Fatima I know you’re in there” I heard him call out his voice muffled by the door and running water. And the love of my life who might leave me before I start LIVING.
AHMAD DIDN’T BRING THE MATTER UP, ALTHOUGH I COULD TELL IT WAS KILLING HIM, WE’VE GROWN CLOSE AND VERY FAR APART it’s somehow funny, he’s the one I ran from in the morning and end up in his arms at night, mom and dad’s arrival also helped me ran away from all those questios. He heard enough when I rambled about the past. I stood from my desk and stood by the window looking at the painting of waterfall hanged on the right wall it looked serene and free, I need to help these girls, we need a world where a girl will walk and not have the fear of someone harming her.. I’M DOING THIS, I WANT MY FREEDOM.
Dedicated to Fatima Kaka