I WATCHED IN ANGUISH AS SHE CAVED INTO HER CAGE,  I wanted so much to shake some sense into her. She was giving me the silent treatment i detest,she cooked and acted like a wife was suppose to but wouldn’t speak to me unless necessary, the arrival of the goods and my parents complicated things the more, I didn’t have enough time cos of work and she always made excuses with either my parents or work. I laughed hysterically as I reminisced events of the past week  between my parents and us Fatima and I were the ones acting like the older couple the little encounter we have is our night hugs,  I hug her to sleep and it’s sad that she still has nightmares,  I wish there was something I could do about this,  I couldn’t chase them in her dream the least I can do is make her forget,  I was getting help and we needed it now. 

 I paced the hallway slightly nervous, I’d called up  the chauffeur to go pick her from the office she could be difficult if she wanted to be, my message was for her to come and it was urgent,  the time was 3:30 pm now,  I needed to clear this up,  I needed my wife with me. 

She wasn’t so happy when she saw where we were, I nodded at the chauffeur to leave us and motioned  her to the door,  I nodded when she looked back at me with hesitant eyes,  I could give her the silent treatment in a double dose, and I was not going to back down on this. 
I  nodded at the doctor’s extended hand, “I’m sorry I don’t shake hands hope you’re not offended” I asked as she smiled back and looked to the door where Fatima was standing. “Nice to meet you ma’am” she nodded and walked over to us, I looked down at her heels and shook my head I still can’t get my mind over how she walks in that thing and still does it with ease.  I smiled at her and pulled the chair for her. 

“Can you please excuse us Mr Abubakar I’d like to speak with  your wife alone please” she said after we were seated,  Fatima was being a snob,  she just nodded at the doctor,  and did not answer a single question the doctor asked since we came in. 

I couldn’t sit on the chair, I had all this macho persona on but I was super nervous, I needed her to cooperate with the doctor, I just pray she does, I closed my eye and ran my hand through my hair saying a silent prayer for God to intervene and make her cooperate. 


I SAT ON THE CHAIR AND LOOKED DOWN , TRYING SO MUCH TO BLINK BACK THE TEARS THAT HAD GATHERED IN MY EYES,  I was being a difficult, maybe stupid but how did he expect me to act o know he had women who satisfied his needs,  and I can never be woman enough to claim that part of my marital duties,  my marriage is just a formality and there will be nothing more to it.  “Tell me about yourself Fatima is it OK I call you by your first name?” she asked hesitantly,  I nodded and swallowed trying not to choke on my saliva, “I’M BROKEN” I stated bluntly breaking into tears I felt her envelope her hands around me I leaned into her hug and cried till tears were no longer coming out. I told her all about my childhood and the fear and guilt I still felt over what happened,  I even told her about Annette,  my meeting with Annette was what reopened the old wounds, the young girl was much stronger than I was,  I was still held back by my past,  I was sometimes angered by how I made this whole thing control my life but I couldn’t muster the courage to face it,  It was sometimes  suffocative, it was like all air had been sucked from my lungs I breathed deeply through my mouth and exhaled from my nose, “Take it easy on yourself Titi” I smiled at the nickname she’d given me. 

She asked me numerous questions about how I felt and reacted with other men, I was quite amazed when I realized I did not fear Ahmad, I’ve never flinched from his touch or feared him from day 1 even when I thought he was a rapist,  I only kicked him when he tried getting closer than he always does,  and I couldn’t blame myself for that,  I tend to act spontaneous to touches,  I laughed which gained me a weird look from Faiza the psychologist, I remembered once when a classmate jokingly slapped my back and I slapped her hard across the face,  I swore to her it was a reflex act but it ruined our strained relationship the more and she made sure to warn off everyone from me which rendered me friendless that school year. 
I felt like a weight had been lifted off me,  if that is even possible,  I felt lighter Faiza Dabs (my new psychologist) was of great help, though I still wonder about her last name,  we scheduled to meet thrice a week. 


I was getting along very well with Ahmad now we could talk for hours without tiring of each other,  I made  a peace offering with him that night after we  came from the hospital I promised to be the wife he sought for but I couldn’t jump to being the perfect wife without being a friend knowing his likes and dislikes and being with him without trying to kill him.
 I moaned as he massaged my shoulders, I was very tired from all the walk and meetings with sponsors who had rushed in to help make my dream come true,  it’s my little secret for now, I crooked my head and closed my eye I was a bit hesitant when he offered to  do the massage but it was paying off I could feel my muscle relax under his touch.  I stiffened when  he pressed a kiss to my neck, I stilled and willed my body and mind  not to jump into action,  he’s your HUSBAND FATIMA I kept repeating the mantra, to ease my mind and not freak out. 
Dedicated to Fatima Kaka 


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