(unfortunately we posted a whole lot of posts without it being edited, thank you for your patience while we get up to speed)
Aslam met me near the elevator. He grabbed the bags from my hand. “Listen babes, I planned a small function. It is last minute. People will finally realize that Layha is a liar. I organized everything, hair, makeup, dress, and the works. Make sure you look stunning. We talked about this day for ages. It has finally come.”
I kicked off the heels I was wearing, tired from all the walking in the mall. To celebrate I ordered some bubbly. I never tasted wine before but this momentous occasion was a champagne moment.
There was a knock at the door. Room service wheeled in champagne in an ice bucket. I asked him to pop the cork. I didn’t have a clue on how to do that. He poured a glass for me and left the room. I whirled the glass, smelt it and then took a sip. Yuck! Why do people die for this stuff and pay so much money for it? It tasted like rotten orange juice.
As I was unwinding and dosing off, the doorbell rang again. It was Trisha. “Fuck you too” she said as she walked in. “This is Adrianna and she has some dresses and some shoes for you to choose from.”
Only one dress caught my eye. I wanted my wedding dress to exude class and elegance. I chose a long open-back, strapless ivory dress, with golden beadwork. This dress accentuated my bust. Who knew my breasts were so big. My run down face was suddenly glowing after the bridal make-up was applied. She added some fake eyelashes and finished up with some golden glimmer eye shadow. The hairstylist pinned up my dark, long, brown hair and pushed some small pearls of gold around for good measure. That was the quickest makeover ever! I looked like royalty.
I built up the courage, picked up the phone and dialed.
“Mummy put me on the speaker phone please.” Which she did. “Mummy, Pappa please come to my wedding day? I can’t do this without your blessing.” I implored them.
Sobbing uncontrollably my mother said, “Fati, you are making a big mistake, please listen to us. We always want what is best for you. Why are you hurting us like this?”
Tears were welling up in my eyes, and then I thought about the make-up and tried to keep restrain my tears. I reached for my bag, took out a pill and popped it into my mouth.
“It’s my life! I thought you will be happy for me. I will message you the address… come if you want. I don’t give a damn!”
I looked at myself one last time in the mirror before I headed out. I took a deep breath. “Keep calm, this is a new me, a new start,” I told myself. As I boarded the elevator I felt something was missing. My scarf! I never leave home without my scarf. I always thought I would wear a scarf on my wedding day. “This is a new me. No husband wants a wife who dresses like a Dadima,” I comforted myself.
I was surprised to see Faheem when I got to the car. “You look beautiful,” he said smiling.
“I can’t take the nerves! Don’t you have something to the edge off?” I asked quivering.
“I came clean. Aneesa found out about the drug business. She asked me to stop or she will leave me. I love her too much, so I plan to change my ways,” Faheem explained.
We sat in silence, until he looked at me from the rear view mirror. “You are looking stunning today. Are you sure you want to go through with this? It is not to late to back out. You can really make something off you life. You were becoming a doctor. Why are you wasting your life away like this.”
“Shut up Dr. Phil, you are just here to drive, so drive faster.”
As we approached the hall I caught a glimpse of Layha outside. “I wonder what this bitch wants!” I said to myself almost aloud.
“Fati, he is just using you to cover up his lies. This marriage is just a sham, one big lie. Who do you think planned this party? It was supposed to be my and Aslam’s anniversary party. The dress you’re wearing is mine. Fati, you are very intelligent. I am trapped, but I warn you… please get out while you can? He will drag you down and use you like a pawn, how he wants. Everything is just fun and games for him. I am begging you, please don’t do it.”
I pushed her aside, looked back and sneered, “You’re just a jealous bitch! Get a life! And I don’t care what you think. I love him and he gives me everything I desire.”
As I entered some uncle was standing with the nikaah book at the entrance. The witnesses were some man I did not know and Aslam’s two brothers. A moment of sadness overcame me, realizing my father was not there to represent me when I signed the nikaah book or even walk me down the aisle. This sombre feeling was short lived as soon as I entered the hall.
The hall was breathtaking. It was a Paris setting, with lights that shone like stars in the night sky. The plate settings were ivory and gold. The table décor was miniature Eiffel Towers. Even though I did not plan this day, everything was perfect. The brightly coloured macaron Eiffel Tower was my favourite. The only thing missing was the drinks. With all these bearded uncles here, I was sure it would have caused a riot if we had brought out the champagne.
I sat down at the main table. I was centre of attraction. Everyone looked at me puzzled, perhaps wondering who I was.
My husband arrived. Aslam walked in. He wasn’t dressed for the occasion. He looked a little shabby even. He greeted me with peck on the cheek. He wreaked of alcohol. I was ecstatic, regardless of his lack of effort.
As he sat down, he called for everyone’s attention.
“Salaams everyone,” he started. “I am very happy you all made it here today. I have just come from the masjid. I would like to announce and introduce you to my new bride and second wife Fatima!” There was a gasp and murmuring all around the hall. But he continued over the humming. “Isn’t she looking gorgeous? I am wealthier today. As they say, a man’s wealth is measured by the amount of wives he has. Thank you all for your support and enjoy the rest of the evening.”
Then there was silence. Everyone looked at each other confused. They then started chatting amongst themselves. I just overheard someone saying, “Shame, poor Layha, wonder what she thinks about this?”
When my parents suddenly walked in, I was overjoyed to see them. Every girl wants their parents to share their happiest day with them.
My father looked run down and 10 years older. It looked like he aged overnight.
My parents sat next to me. “Fati, you are married now, without my permission but I will have to live with this heart ache. There is nothing I can do now but tell you even though you are choosing this path, we are still your parents and we will always be there waiting for you if you decide to turn back. You will always be daddy’s little girl.” My mother said nothing, just sobbing uncontrollably the entire time. They left soon after that.
Aslam and I left the wedding party around midnight. No, I did not turn back into Cinderella. “The night is still young. Let us have a jol. Invite some cheap call girls. Have a drug fest.”
Before I knew it the room was filled with people. Drugs were flowing freely like air. The room was hazy. I had a whole cocktail of drinks and drugs. When I woke up I was on the floor, numb. As I looked on the bed, I saw Aslam with a white naked chic next to him. All I felt was numb. Not betrayed, just numb.
As long as I have him by my side and a free supply of drugs, he can do whatever the fuck he wants. Little did I realise at the time that I had hit rock bottom.