BY MEENA DIASSO
I WAS ALMOST DEAFENED BY THE LOUD THUMP OF MY HEART, I blinked rapidly to see if I was dreaming, the pics of me and Vida was littered on every social media platform, I recalled when dad said he was going to call off the wedding, Were these the same pics he was talking about, what will Zahra and her family do?, will they force me to divorce her?. I shook my head vehemently I can’t lose her, that explains the looks we received as we entered the building, I rushed to the elevator, there were whispers as I sprinted out. I runned to her office but she was not there “Where is she Lola?” I asked in a strained voice, she looked at me angrily and didn’t even try to hide her frown rolling her eyes at me, “She went out” she replied in a cold voice, I deserved this treatment, I hate that my past could ruin what we were building I just pray she understands when I tell her it was a past mistake and I never knew Vida was crazy enough to pull this kinda thing off.
I drove around trying to remember where she would be, she had no friends and siblings, she only had her mom, aunty, my mom and my sisters, then her psychologist, I wasn’t ready to face any member of her family or mine, “Ya Allah please don’t take my Zahra away from me” I prayed repeatedly as I drove around town, I drove to the hospital, and was met with an angry Faiza “Why did you have to do that?” she asked giving me a mean look, “It was an ex-girlfriend and it happened way before I met Fatima” I said looking into her eyes with tears shining in my eye, “Where’s she?” I asked looking around the office. She nodded in understanding and sighed, “but you should never pull such a thing on her again or I swear you’ll have me to answer to”, I nodded and raised an eyebrow when she looked up from rearranging files on her table, “She’s in the adjoining room” she muttered motioning behind me, I frowned in confusion looking around the room, ” the knob is here” she said walking around me and opened the door.
I almost lost it when I saw the smile on her face, she’s forgiven me, I said in my head but was afraid to voice it out, then she suddenly looked away, I felt like ashes with specks of fire had been dumped on my heart, I confessed all my heart desires to her but she was still quiet. The ride home was quiet I wondered what Faiza whispered in her ear when they hugged.
She rushed to her room when we got home, I had to go to my parents and explain things, mom was super annoyed, “I want you to leave my room now” she she said in a cold hostile voice, turning her attention to the television, dad was not around and the last time this issue came up he was the one who calmed her down “Mom please help me talk to Fatima she has not spoken a word to me since I got her from her friend’s” I pleaded, mom laughed hysterically “You think I’m that biased ehn, Ahmad” she shook her head and closed her eyes then sighed “Ahmad I’m very angry with you for going against the words of Allah to do this heinous acts, you could have caught a STD, were you not afraid of that?” she shook her head, “and the bitch you do your stupid acts with is not civilised enough to act like a lady so she took pics of your rendezvous ……subhanallah then decided to spread it to the world” she finished in a total despair, “I accept all my………” “BREAKING NEWS……..THE FLIGHT FROM MAIDUGURI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO ABUJA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS CRASHED ABOUT THREE HOURS AGO, KILLING 48 PASSENGERS WITH 11 SERIOUSLY INJURED, WE STILL HAVE OUR REPORTER ON THE SITE TRYING TO GET MORE INFORMATION, meanwhile families who have their relatives aboard the evening flight are advised to contact the said airports or visit the Central Hospital for more info”. “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un” mom uttered repeatedly, I was confused “What’s wrong mom?” I asked my heartbeat increasing, “Y-y-your Father Ahmad ” she uttered bursting into tears, I was confused I blinked rapidly trying to make my mind register what she just said, what was wrong with dad, mom wasn’t on her seat when I turned to it I was lost in my own thoughts I didn’t see her leaving, I ran downstairs and she was pacing the hall with a phone held to her ear, “Mom let’s not jump into conclusion dad might be at granny’s let’s call them”. “No he’s not because he called me before their flight took off and his number isn’t going through, I can’t stay here Ahmad let’s go to the airport and call your siblings” she said in a sudden stoic voice rushing upstairs. She came back in a long hijab and walked outside, I followed suit thinking about how things were going to be if we really lose dad.
We drove out like we were being chased out, “Mom please calm down we’ve not verified anything yet” I said coolly when I saw her fidget in her seat, she nodded and turned facing the window. I was scared myself, I had a gnawing feeling I was the reason why my dad was in the accident, that is if he was on that plane which I pray he wasn’t.
I DRESSED IN ONE OF MY LONG MODEST NIGHT GOWNS, I LIED ON THE BED BUT COULDN’T SLEEP, a part of me knew I was waiting for Ahmad to come explain things, no matter how much how I was angry with him I could never go to sleep without his hands wrapped around me, I watched the wall clock intently like it could give me an answer it was getting late but I couldn’t follow him to his parents room, I don’t know if dad was back from his trip and I didn’t know how they were going to handle this, “Were they going to reprimand him or would they blame me for being a bad wife who pushed her husband to adultery” I wiped the tears that were trickling down my face I heard the clutter of the main gate being opened i looked at the clock again and drew my curtain to the side a bit, Ahmad’s car was by the gate then he speedily screeched his car out of the house.
I felt like ice bergs had been dumped into my brain and heart, I blinked slowly trying to understand what was going on around me, “He just left me he gave up on me” I cried out bursting into uncontrollable tears
“You know I love you Zahra, you should never doubt it, I’m unfashionable without you” he said looking deep into my eyes, I shyly looked away, “Don’t be shy my love look into my eyes I want you to believe it cos that’s the truth, and I only have eyes for you, no other woman is worth my love but you” I smiled widely, I really loved this man, I looked at our intertwined hands and kissed it, “I love you too” he held my chin up and kissed me on the lip.
I fluttered my eyes but I couldn’t open them fully, they felt heavy, my neck was stiff and sore, I slowly raised my head massaging my temple like it could stop the thud. I massaged my neck slowly I couldn’t crane it to either sides without feeling pains. I stood as rigidly as I could and walked slowly to the bathroom.
I couldn’t believe the guts of that guy, he was the one to wrong me then decides to get angry too. I did my prayers moving as slowly as I could without injuring my self more, then took painkillers to calm the pain. And that dream felt so real, I could have sworn it was real.
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I couldn’t move to the side there was a bulge blocking me, my midriff was pulled and my body was blocked by a boulder I couldn’t tell, my eye felt very heavy, I raised my eyelids slowly and looked down at my midriff to a hairy hand circling them, for some reason I didn’t panic, I turned as stiffly as the little space I had could allow me, he had his eyes closed I looked at his facial features like I was seeing him for the first time, he looked so handsome and perfect, my heart beat increased “I love you” I whispered, then yesterday’s event bombarded my mind, I tried pulling myself from his hold but he held me tightly muttering gibberish stuff, I nudged him as hard as I could in the arm with my elbow, he opened his eyes in confusion then buried his head in the crook of my neck “Pls Zahra don’t push me away I really need you, Pls don’t leave me I can’t lose you not now not ever” I struggled to pull myself away but froze when I felt a wet liquid on my neck. What could have happened to Ahmaf to make him cry. “What’s happening Ahmad please tell me” I asked my voice quivering a bit. “I almost killed him I’m the reason he’s in that situation he mumbled against my neck.
What did he mean, “What is happening Ahmad?” I asked my voice coming off normal, I was scared of the answer he was going to give me, “my dad was in a plane crash Zahra, he’s in a very critical condition we’ve been denied access to his room” he said his voice trembling a bit. “We have to go Ahmad, go bathe I’ll wait for you” I pulled his head slowly from my neck, he looked around like a lost kid, “Go bathe so we can go Ahmad” I said again more insistent this time , he nodded then rushed to the bathroom.
I closed my eye and patted her back gently, I can’t imagine losing either of my parents I shivered a bit when the thought crossed my mind, “It’s okay Aunty he’ll be okay, we’ve not heard anything from the doctors yet so we can’t say for sure what’s happening”. I looked around the room at the anxious face of everyone, it was like the whole Abubakar family were shipped here, Munirah was in one of the seats with her husband, my mom and dad had come over but dad had to attend to an emergency, my mom was speaking to Mama, she looked lost and disheveled Mama loved dad so much I just pray nothing happens to him, I went out to see if I could find Ahmad, but there was no sign of him. I was worried he could do something stupid.
Mom talked my ear off about taking care of my husband, and supporting the family in this trying time. Dad’s words were pretty much the same, Everyone adviced me to be patient and supportive, one thing I’d never do is leave this family, they were my family, the only thing that would separate us shall be death.
A week later…..
Things were a bit normal, I have taken sometime off TV because of the recent incidents but my project was almost done and I made it a point to stay in contact with the kids, Dabs was of great help she talked to the children, and Ahmad was a bit easy on himself now, his younger brother joined us two days after the accident, he looked so much like Ahmad he could have pass for his twin, he’s just a bit taller than Ahmad.
He smiled and called my name in his croaky voice, I smiled back and looked down shyly “Thank you for being with my son Fatima, I knew you would be a blessing to him, may Allah bless you with kids that will obey you like you do to us”.
Everything righted in my World at that moment, my only problem was with Ahmad I felt distant from him, even when he held me to sleep every night, we were not the same I still loved him probably more than ever but does he love me the same, I forced a smile on my face when I looked up to dad. I was going to find a way to work it out.
Dedicated to Fatima Kaka