I woke up delirious. It was dark outside still. I did not know where I was. I walked out of the room and was met by Aslam as he was going down the stairs. He gave me the widest smile and warm hug. I really missed him. His breath wreaked of alcohol. We sat on the couch in the TV room. We decided to share some pills and before we knew it we were both floating, calm and serene.
We fell asleep in each others arms. I was awoken frantically by my mother screaming, “Ya Allah, he is a married man. What are you doing Fati? You both should be ashamed of yourselves!”
Aslam, rubbing his eyes said all groggy
“Aunty take a chill pill! So what if I am married? I love your daughter and it is time everyone knew.”
My mother went off, ranting crazily, hitting him. Soon everyone was downstairs. In all the commotion, the one thing I will always remember is the look of utter disgust and disappointment in my fathers eyes
With tears in his eyes, Fatima, we have trusted you, gave you your independence and is this how you repay us? By running into the arms of a married man!
Aneesa’s words pierced my heart,
“I brought you into my aunt’s home. She welcomed us with open arms and this is how you thank her by opening your legs to her husband?”
As true as their words were, I didn’t care. Honestly I didn’t. I defiantly looked at all of them and unashamedly confessed my undying love for Aslam. He wasn’t the monster his wife portrayed him to be. With this, Aslam proposed and announced that he wanted to marry me.
I didn’t care! I wanted Aslam in my life! Nothing anyone said or did would stop me, and I made sure that everyone understood this.
Stunned, Aneesa’s could not fathom why I would want to be with someone that hits their wife? “You are beautiful, intelligent and you can make something of your life. Why settle for this?”
I defiantly laughed and boasted, “I go to the best clubs! drink the best! Why should I work a day in my life?”
Before I even finished my sentence, my father slapped me across the face in an attempt to jerk me back to reality. Tears now rolling down his cheeks, his lips quivered as he said, “Fatima! We raised you to be a Muslim! Here you are with a married man, talking about haram things! Have u gone mad?” His anger turned to hope as he searched for possible answers to the madness, “Maybe someone did something to our family. Let’s just leave right now and all this nonsense will stop.”
I needed a fix! I was becoming irritable and aggressive for no reason other than needing a calm-me-down. I ran out of the house. I just ran and ran. I was lost. Panic started to set in.