Since that rescue mission, Layha has been on my case to seek help and go to rehab. Rehab? Is she nuts? I don’t have a drug problem! Rehab is for junkies and I just casually take drugs now and again when I am bored.
I was browsing through my emails when I saw the unopened message from my mother.
I took some calm-me-downers to brave myself to open the letter.
To my Fatima
When you decided to marry Aslam you hurt both your father and I. What is done is done. We can’t fix the past. I had such high hopes that you would be married from our home. I had so much to tell you about marriage, but this sudden marriage of yours came as a huge shock to us. I am still trying to come to terms with it. You are our only daughter and all we ever hoped was you have the best life. The path you are on now seems dangerous and self-destructive. All I can do is make dua that you find your way back home.
Marriage is not a bed of roses. It is half of your Imaan. You have taken a very big step and it does not seem like you have given much thought about what a commitment marriage is. There are moments in life where you will wonder why you are in the marriage. Just remember when things get tough, we will always be here for you. Always turn to Allah first as HE can do more for you than I can ever do. I can’t sleep at night worrying that Aslam will abuse you so badly like he did Layha. A woman should never be someone’s punching bag. Never take abuse. I get scared thinking about what might happen to you. If you ever need to talk I am here to listen to you. I am just a phone call away. Hope to see you when we are in Joburg again.
I suddenly missed my parents, I missed my home, I missed my bed, I missed my mother’s home cooking and most of all I missed my father’s warm hugs.
When I called Aslam, he asked me to get ready as we were going to view an apartment in Rosebank. I wore an off the shoulder pink dress that came above the knee with a pair of adorable, glossy black Guess heels. I tied my hair in a bun and put on some hoop earrings. Looking in the mirror, I noticed the brown marks on my teeth were even more visible now. Note to self: next stop, dentist for some teeth whitening.
I casually snorted some crack and went to the lobby to wait for Aslam.
Aslam pitched up looking all beaten up.
“Where have you been?” I asked
He ignored my question and said “Babe u look hot.”
“Why did you leave me in that alley to die?” I shouted
“Stop all this nagging and questioning my comings and goings. I married you so I can get away from all this nagging. The cops want a statement about where I was that night Layha got beat up. Don’t screw it up. Tell them that is the night we got engaged,” commanded Aslam.
I nodded in agreement. He handed me a package. “Here is a belated wedding gift from my new partner.” When I opened it I was ecstatic to see a mixture of drugs from cocaine to Molly.
When we arrived at this apartment, I was not impressed. “This place is crappy and so small and nothing like Layha’s palace.” I exclaimed. Aslam grabbed my arm and pushed me against the wall.
“Stop carrying on like a spoilt brat, I already signed the papers. You will just have to live here whether you like it or not.”
“You’re hurting me Aslam, please stop,” I begged and he let go.
I thanked him and asked about furniture. “Mine and Layha’s old furniture is in storage and I will get them to deliver it here soon. We need to be out of the hotel by tomorrow.” I was fuming! How dare he give me Layha’s hand-me-downs? But I did not want to piss him off any further so I kept silent, seething inside.
We hardly saw each other lately. I was missing him, so I went to kiss him. He pushed me away. I was hurt and felt rejected. I asked if we could go out for a late lunch. All he said was, “Let’s go to the police station so you can go and give your statement. I am warning you, don’t mess it up!”
At a traffic light, I saw Shaheen in the car next to us. I greeted him. Aslam went crazy. “What the fuck was that? Are you smiling at other men like a cheap whore, while I am right next to you?”
He angrily drove the car to a deserted place where no one could hear or see us. He dragged me out of the car. I begged him to stop because he was hurting me.
“You cheap junkie whore!” he yelled. He pushed me onto the back seat, ripped my underwear off and raped me. This was the first sexual encounter with him I ever experienced sober. When he was done, he zipped up and dropped me off at the police station. He then threw some money at me and told me to find my own way home.
When I entered the police station, I went to the bathroom and set on the floor. I was feeling very cold. I felt like I was going to faint. I was disorientated. I felt like I was going to vomit. I started trembling uncontrollably.
“Are you ok Madam, do you need to report a rape case?” asked a police officer who was leaving the bathroom. I stood up, washed my face and told her I was here to give a statement on another case. She told me to see her when I was ready. I went into the toilet cubicle. I locked the door. I closed the toilet lid. I took out some cocaine from my bra. I made a line on the toilet seat. Once I numbed away the pain, I got up went to the police officer. I was stuttering and stammering, still in shock. I lied under oath for Aslam about the Layha incident.
My phone started beeping. It was a message from Aslam.
“Hope you on the pill. There is no way I am having a child with you.”
I had all these ideas about intimacy with a husband. The night I lost my virginity and my wedding night were all blur. This was the first encounter I remember with Aslam. Is it possible for a husband to rape his wife? I could not process what had just happened to me. I became increasingly agitated and restless.
I left the police station, walking to nowhere, crying inconsolably.