Chapter 27- Healing

My father tried to wake me up. I was groggy from all the medication.

“Fatima, we have some bad news. Aslam has passed away in a car accident near Harrismith,” said my father

“Aslam, what was he doing in Harrismith? He was with me a few hours ago.” I could not make sense about what I just heard. I was heavily sedated. Aslam left me to die. I did not feel anything when I heard the news. I just felt numb.

Later my father came to inform me that the funeral would take place immediately and that he needed to go. I could not leave the hospital. I was in the ICU. I still did not understand what was going on. I was baffled. It did not sink in that Aslam was dead. I just felt emotionless.

When I woke up the next morning I received a call from Layha.

“Fatima, have you heard about Aslam. We buried him. I am in iddat now and can’t leave the house but I am here for you if you need me. I also want you to come and stay with me once you are out of hospital,” asked Layha.

I told her that I would think about it. Iddat, that is the four and half month waiting period when your husband dies and you don’t leave your home. I wondered if I had to also go into iddat.

Soon after the call I could feel I was crashing. I needed a fix and I needed one immediately. The shivering started. The anxious feelings started nagging at me. I did not know what to do. I called the nurse making some or other excuse regarding pain so that she would sedate me. The nurse did not co-operate this time. She did not fall for my antics. She told me that I needed drug rehab therapy, as soon as I was out of the ICU. She was fully aware of my history.

Drug rehab, why did I need to go to drug rehab? I was not a drug addict. I was only doing this for fun. I was not addicted. I thought to myself.

I suddenly found it difficult to breathe. I started sweating uncontrollably. My heart was racing faster and I was feeling nauseous. I did not know what was happening to me. I felt like crap.

“These are all signs of withdrawal symptoms,” said the nurse. “Everything else seems to be fine with you.”

My parents arrived just in time. My mother came to me and held me tightly in her arms.

“Be strong Fatima, It is going to be a struggle but this too shall pass”

My father held my hand,

“We are here with you Fatima and we will be with you every step of the way holding your hand through this journey. We love you and we will not give up on getting you the best help.”

I started crying out of guilt. I have been an awful daughter and my parents were as loving as ever. I did not deserve their help or their love. I have put them through hell the last few months. I was blessed to have them. I was equally blessed to have Layha in my life. I owed her for saving my life. She called again to find out how I was coping. “Fatima, trust Allah knows best. I am here with you every step of the way,” she said. I did not know why she was being so good to me. I had made her life miserable as well.

As soon as I was discharged from the ICU, I was booked into a private ward. The therapist was waiting for me as I was wheeled into the room. My parents were present as well.

“Assalamwalykum Fatima. You are looking better. I am your therapist Ayesha. What I find helps with situations like these is to have family support. Do you mind if you parents stay with us during this session?”

“They can stay, but I am not a drug addict.” I answered.

“Ok, let me ask you a few questions and you can decide afterwards if you have a problem and if you need our help,” said the therapist.

She went through an entire survey. The more she talked, the more I started to realize I was actually highly dependent on all these illegal substances. I was unable to control my drug use even though it was harming my body. The signs were visible. I was a compulsive drug abuser and the withdrawal symptoms were spot on. I was becoming delusional. My body was aching. I was exhausted all the time. I had intense craving for cocaine. I was shivering most of the time. I was constantly in a depressive or anxious mood. I found it extremely difficult to concentrate. Physically I was skeletal thin, I had blotches all over my face and my eyes were blood shot red most of the time and let us not forget the chronic nose bleeds.

“My name is Fatima, I am a drug addict and I need help,” I finally confessed. Both my parents ran towards and hugged me.

“This is the first step to recovery. Without admitting you have a problem anything after this is pointless, “ said Ayesha.

The session officially started. I was asked about my drug use history. I was also asked about why I started drugs. I could not think of a good enough reason. Did I just start drugs to be cool or was it just total boredom. No one forced me to take drugs. I did it out of my own free will. I could not blame anyone for my actions. I really could not find a reason why I turned to drugs. Maybe the rebellious streak in me wanted to shine a bit. I was always a goody two shoes. I never smoked at school like the other girls and I was holy and wore my scarf from a young age. Maybe I just wanted to find out how it is to live on the wild side for a change. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what attracted me to drugs. The therapist asked me about my life goals and what I loved to do before the drugs came into my life. She asked me about my hobbies. I always enjoyed reading and I loved to draw. Before the drugs I had high hopes to study and make something out of my life. My life was different to what I envisaged. My matric results were horrible and I would not even get into university. I was a straight A student before this. The therapist asked me about my family and if we were close.

“I love my parents and they have always been supportive and have always showered their love upon me, I am actually spoilt,” I acknowledged.

The guilt was nagging at me for what my parents must have gone through with my behavior.

“How do you suggest you going to get off drugs?” asked the therapist. I was not sure what to say. I was clueless. I just shrugged my shoulders upwards.

“Okay, how will you spend your time that you spent taking drugs and also what if some of your buddies ask you join them?”

I did not have any answers for these questions.

“Please help me, I don’t want my life to be like this. ” I begged

“You will have to go on a detox program and you will need all the support from your family you can get. This will help to get rid of drug dependency in your system and help with the withdrawal symptoms”

I agreed. I needed all the help I could get.

“Family support is crucial to recovery and what is important is to get closer to your Creator. It is very important to find your way back to your religion. Many patients I have helped only got through this when they found Allah or their God back in their life,” instructed the therapist.

“Especially to your parents, please don’t be hard on yourselves, you have tried your best and please don’t blame yourself for your child being in this situation. All this will not help. Let us all look forward now. Let us find productive solutions to this problem. Making excuses and blaming each other and friends or anyone will not help the situation.  The past is gone. Tomorrow is uncertain. All we have is now. Let us live every moment and take it one step at a time. We need everyone to be committed to make sure Fatima get’s out of this with flying colours.”

Layha called me later that evening to find out how things went. I was going to be discharged soon. She begged me to stay with her and also said my parents were welcome to stay as well. She insisted that she want to help me during this difficult time. I spoke to my parents about this and after some consideration they agreed it would be best if we stayed with Layha during this time, as it would be easier to get all the help we needed in Joburg.

After I was discharged from hospital I went to the apartment to get my belongings. Only when I walked into the apartment did it finally hit me that Aslam was dead. The apartment was in a mess. Someone attempted to clean all the blood but you could still see traces of it. I just had a flashback of that day and started trembling. We packed up immediately all my personal belongings and left. I did not want to be there for a minute longer. The memories were painful. I still did not know how to feel about Aslam’s death. I was not grieving. I was not sad. I was still just numb. My focus now was me and trying to heal my self. I did not want to dwell on all the pain and trauma he put me through.

When we arrived at Layha’s home, there were many people still there paying their respects. I was in no mood for all the glaring eyes. I went to meet Layha and asked her if we could go somewhere private to talk.

Layha showed me to my room. She tried to make me comfortable.

“Layha, Thank you and I am very sorry for everything I have put you through. You have saved my life and I am not sure how I will ever repay you.” I walked towards her and gave her a tight hug. We just held onto each other and cried. We cried out all our grief, all our sorrow and all our pain. We both understood what we went through. I was grateful to have Layha by my side to help me on this difficult path.

Layha was badly affected by Aslam’s sudden death. She had high hopes he would change his ways. She was strong but you could see it was becoming emotionally strenuous for her. Aslam and Layha spent a lifetime with each other. To Aslam I was just a passing fling. Layha was his soul mate and first true love. I regret getting in the middle of their life. Layha and I will be spending the 4 and a half-month waiting period together before we can leave the house. Layha felt we could heal together. Layha and I were widows at a young age. Layha was going through the grieving process. At first she was shocked. She later became angry and could not come to terms that Aslam was taken from her so young. At a stage she was in denial and thought Aslam would just walk into the door again. She was in despair and started becoming depressed. Eventually she realized this was the will of Allah. She regularly prayed and asked Allah to forgive Aslam and grant him Jannah. She use to plead for this and always ended up very emotional. She sent some money for charity on Aslam’s behalf often so he would be perpetually rewarded. I did not have the courage that Layha had and all I could remember was dying in my own pool of blood. The small consolation was that Layha was not going through the waiting period alone and we had each other.

The drug detox was intense. I was exhausted and fatigued all the time. I was always irritable and my nose was running incessantly. The shaking and tremors were starting again. I had an intense craving. I begged for just one quick fix. My parents came rushing into the room. My father tried to distract my mind. My mother held me tight in her arms and started reading some duas.

Layha brought in some food. I did not want to eat.

“I want some cocaine. I do not want this fucking food.” I threw the food out of her hand. My mother was apologetic and started picking up the mess. My father took me out of the room.

“Let us get some fresh air Fatima that will do you some good,” said my father. We went for a walk in the garden. It was a moon lit night. Everything looked beautiful. I tried to focus on the beauty of the garden and distract my mind from the craving. My father started telling me the names of all the different flowers.

Days went like this. Some days were good. Other days were traumatic. My parents and Layha were with me every step of the way and did not leave me for a blinking of an eye. The therapist visited often and we had many family counseling sessions. If I was bored we played board games. If I was hungry we cooked up a feast. I found great comfort in baking. Layha and I bonded with each when decorating lovely cakes. We actually started contemplating starting a baking business. My father bought me all the classics to read and we watched many comedies together. I can’t remember when was the last time I laughed so much. It was therapeutic. I also received an art set that I started using to draw my sorrow and pain away. Layha talked to me about all the tafseer she was reading and this brought some peace in my heart.

The one day I could not stand it anymore. I could not stay in this house one minute longer. I felt trapped and I needed some cocaine. It would be the last time I promised myself. I just had to feel that euphoria, that high for one last time. I went into my room and looked for something to sell. The only thing I could find was the expensive watch Aslam bought me. This would buy me some good stuff I thought. I managed to call the dealer in the quiet without anyone noticing. Everyone thought I was napping in the room but I managed to escape. I met the dealer at the nearest park. I gave him the expensive watch for what was hardly anything. It was daylight robbery but I did not care. I just needed this last fix.

I was high again. I had my fill. I had a burst of energy. I felt euphoric. I had that over confidence cocaine always gave me. I was on top of the world again. As soon as the high came I crashed immediately. I started trembling and shaking. I was irritable. The paranoia started and let’s not forget the verbal diarrhea as Aslam use to call it. I felt distraught. I managed to find my way back home. When I rang the bell, my parents came running towards me.

“What have you done Fatima? It is just a relapse. Don’t worry. We all make mistakes. One step back, two steps forward. You are doing so well. We will get through this Insha’Allah,” reassured my father.

“Trust Allah and beg Him to give you will power to get clean” encouraged Layha.

I was suffering from withdrawal. I did not want to go through this torture anymore. That high was so short-lived it was not worth the aftermath. My muscles started to twitch. I was nauseous. I had diarrhea. I started sweating profusely. The convulsions began. I did not want to go through this anymore. Either my head was in a bucket vomiting or I was in the toilet. I just wanted to die. I needed a fix and I was becoming desperate. I was sinking deeper into a depression. I then decided to end it all. I started plotting all these ways to end my life. The easiest would be an overdose. I went into Layha’s bathroom and found some medication. I decided to take the entire bottle. I went to lie on her bed and left a note. “I am sorry” is all I wrote.

I woke up in the hospital again. My stomach was pumped and my life was saved again. Could they not let me just die. I did not deserve to live. All I did was bring pain and suffering to everyone I love. I was booked into a rehab centre for Muslim patients.

My parents came with a gift in their hands. It looked familiar.

“We love you Fatima, we make dua you will choose to live. Turn to Allah ” They handed me the musallah and Quran they had gifted me before my final exams. The hugged me and left.

At first I was weary. I have forgotten Allah. Why will He help me now? I just put the musalla and quran away in the cupboard. Ayesha, the therapist came for her session.

“Have you found Allah?” she enquired.

“I have lost Allah the day I decided to take my scarf off.” I answered. “ I am ashamed of what I have done and now that I am in trouble I don’t want to beg Him for help, I am ashamed of my actions,” I answered.

“Allah loves you Fatima. His mercy surpasses his wrath. Never lose hope in the mercy of Allah. Never underestimate the power of dua, Allah is waiting for you to repent and turn back to Him.” said the Ayesha.

“I don’t know how to go back.” I said.

“See Fatima, we all have our own forms addictions. Some overeat. Others smoke. Some are addicted to their mobile phones or the Internet. Some are porn addicts and others may also be workaholics. Drug and substance addiction unfortunately are a bit more intense because it changes behaviours and chemicals in the body but all addictions are similar. At the end addictions have their root causes. The slave to the addiction develops an attachment to the substance or food or whatever their poison is for comfort. Every time this comfort is removed they are in pain and suffering. They start missing it and sometimes can become emotionally attached to this addiction. The heart, which is the seat of love, becomes afflicted. The only way to restore a pure and clean heart is to love what Allah loves and stay away from what he has prohibited us to do. We need to learn to be moderate. If we love anything more than Allah and put our trust and hope in a person or drug we are treading on a dangerous path and can lead us to lose our Imaan(faith). An addict is constantly fluctuating between a vicious cycle of desire and comfort or need and relief. They become a slave of instant gratification. They start demolishing this world and even the hereafter and their heart becomes diseased forgetting Allah and solely depending on the addiction.

Our aim in life is to strive to cleanse and purify our heart and live to always please Allah. People will always talk but only worry about what Allah thinks. “

I nodded acknowledging what she was saying. For the first time my addiction started to make sense.

“You need to find balance again. Your first step would be repentance. Beg Allah to forgive you. Be grateful for all your blessings. You need to become patient and learn to control your desires. Start becoming punctual performing your salaah and talking to your Lord. It is important to get into the habit of performing tahajud and begging Allah to help you as duas are answered at that time. Start reflecting on the Quran and use it to guide you on this difficult journey. The Quran is a healing. Follow the example of our Prophet Muhammad(PBUH). Make dhikr and remember Allah often. Contemplate on Allah’s majesty and grandeur. You need to get close to Allah and connect with your Creator.

What will help you especially immensely is to start fasting. Fasting teaches you self-restraint and self control. It reminds you that Allah is watching you. It balances the body, mind and spirit. You are showing many signs of severe depression especially after the suicide attempt. I know fasting has helped many people through depression. If you just start with these small steps inshaAllah you will be on the road to recovery. You need to remove all other attachments from your heart and attach your heart only to please Allah. Your body, mind and soul need to be trained to love what Allah loves. This journey is not easy because there will be times when you feel lethargic or lazy but just keep on moving forward and take it one step at a time, even if you just do things robotically.  Make small changes in your life and be constant with your acts of worship. What is very important is that you make a pure intention, take sincere actions and make an effort to cure yourself from this sickness asking Allah to help you always. What is imperative is you need to learn forgive yourself especially and accept that what has happened has happened and this was the will of Allah. Move forward now.”

“This sounds like a plan and a start” I replied.

I woke up in the early hours of the morning when the world is totally dark and everything is silent. I was trembling again. I decided to talk to Allah.

“O Allah I am the worst sinner in the world. I have done so many wrong things. I can’t forgive myself for putting my parents and Layha under such trauma these past few months. O Allah I am ashamed. I have ignored you. I have neglected my salaah. I have dressed so indecently. I stopped covering myself and lost all modesty. O Allah I committed adultery and I drank alcohol. O Allah I took drugs like sweets.  O Allah I beg you to forgive me. I ask you to remove all my sin and give me another chance to make my life better. O Allah it is very difficult to leave drugs. I have this craving for it all the time. I ask for your help to remove this attachment from my life. O Allah I ask for your love and mercy and forgiveness. O Allah, Aslam almost killed me and I am finding it very difficult to forgive him, he is dead now, forgive him and grant him peace in his grave. O Allah I was almost killed and would have died without imaan.  O Allah I beg you to help me get back onto the straight path.”

I was sobbing uncontrollably now. I decided to take out the pink musallah from the cupboard and the burqah. I went to the bathroom and performed Wudhu. I performed two rakah salaah. I set in dua for a very long time crying and begging Allah to forgive me and pleading for help.

When I woke up the next morning I felt some peace. I was not cured but I felt different. I felt like I had some purpose again. I wanted to live my life to please Allah. I would try my best. I started to perform my salaah regularly but what helped me immensely was when I fasted and fasted and fasted and fasted some more. I must have fasted for months. I would wake up for sehri and have a good meal. I fasted during the day. I broke my fast with dates and water and a light meal. I prayed at night. Fasting  I believe brought me back my sanity. It removed most of the toxins from my body, mind and soul. I never felt better in my life. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I broke my fast daily. Fasting helped especially with my depression.

I was soon out of rehab and back in Kempville with my parents. I completed my iddat in the rehab centre. I decided to go back to school. I rewrote my final exams. I am proud to say I aced all my papers.

This is all I can remember about those dark days, as I sat there deep in thought waiting for my name to be called out.

“Dr. Fatima..” I walked up to the stage at my graduation ceremony. I wore the traditional graduation gown but more importantly I had my scarf on again.

As I received my doctorate, I looked into the crowd. My parents were crying. Layha stood up and started applauding. She has really turned her life around. She is now a well-known motivational speaker for abused woman. Next to her sat my fiance’ Shaheen. He is a qualified hotshot lawyer and has also started growing his beard. I feel blessed and grateful to have all these wonderful people in my life that have supported me through my struggles. People say once an addict always an addict. I am living proof that if you have the will to change your life anything is possible with Allah’s help.

 

THE END..

Chapter 26 – Agony

Layha’s side

When I arrived at Fatima’s apartment it was locked. I started banging frantically on the door. I called for Fatima. I could hear her moaning inside. I called her on the phone to ask her if she could try and get to the door.

“I can’t move, Ya Allah help me, I am losing blood,” cried Fatima. The paramedics arrived just in time. I called them on my way to Rosebank. They broke down the door. Fatima was lying in a pool of blood. It felt like déjà vu. This is how it must have looked when I was in the same situation. I was always petrified that the same would happen to Fatima. My worst nightmare came true.

I ran to Fatima. All I could hear her mumbling was “Allah, Allah, Allah.” I started to panic. She was rambling and losing consciousness. Was she dying? I encouraged her to start reading her kalimah.

“Don’t worry Fatima I am here now, InshaAllah all will be fine. Just be strong. Try not to sleep”

The paramedics put Fatima on a stretcher and wheeled her out. Fatima held onto my hand. I went with them into the ambulance to the hospital.

“She may have taken some cocaine or other kind of narcotics.” I warned the paramedics.

“Thank you for letting us know, administering the wrong medication could have been fatal,” said the paramedic.

Fatima was taken to the emergency room, stitched up and stabilised. She was then taken to the ICU ward for recovery. I decided to call the police. This time Aslam was not getting away with attempted murder. I also called Fatima’s parents to tell them what had happened. Fatima’s mum’s screams brought shivers down my spine. She became hysterical.

Fatima was regaining consciousness. I asked her if she needed anything. She was still drowsy from the medication. A few hours later the police arrived. They approached Fatima.

“Are you Fatima, we received a call regarding domestic abuse. Do you want to lay a charge?” Asked the police.

I went closer to Fatima to reassure her that everything will be fine and that she must speak the truth.

“My husband, Aslam hit me and left me for dead and I want to open up a police case and get him jailed,” slurred Fatima.

The police took the full statement and left. Fatima ate something and fell of to sleep. She looked so young and innocent. I hated what Aslam had put this poor girl through. The drugs made her look haggard and sickly thin. Her face was filled with stiches. She had bruises all over her body.

I stayed the rest of the day in the waiting room. In the evening Fatima’s parents rushed into the hospital. They wanted me to take them to Fatima immediately.

Fatima was still sleeping. When Fatima’s mum saw her she started crying uncontrollably I thought she was going to faint. Her father started sobbing as well.

“What has that monster done to our baby?” he said.

Fatima woke up with all the commotion.

“Mummy, Daddy, I am sorry” she said.

After everyone calmed down, I went out to read my salaah and ordered some food that was delivered to the hospital.

When I went into the room Fatima looked extremely restless. It reminded me of the day when I picked her up from the Mandela bridge. She looked like she was craving a fix. She started nagging that she was in pain and needed some medication to calm down. She was shaking uncontrollably and had cold shivers. The nurse came in and sedated Fatima. She soon fell off to sleep.

As we were about to start eating in the waiting room, my phone started ringing.

“Are you the wife of Aslam ..?” asked a stranger

“Yes I am Layha his wife,” I answered.

“This is Inspector Mahlanghu from the Harrismith Police station, I am sorry to inform you that there was an accident at the Van Reneen’s pass. There was a head on collision with what looks like a BMW and a truck. The car is unrecognizable. We would like to know if this car belonged to your husband Aslam?” asked the inspector.

“Yes it is my husband’s car.” I confirmed.

“We are sorry to inform you that your husband was killed in this accident. His body was taken to the mortuary in Harrismith”

Did I hear right. I felt confused, disoriented. I can’t explain the pain. I was in shock. I started to scream. Fatima’s mother ran to me. “What happened Layha, speak to me?”

“Aslam is dead!” that is all I could say. The trauma and shock from news just made me cry from a place I never knew existed. I screamed with agony. I was grief stricken.

“What are we going to tell Fatima?” I asked.

Fatima’s mum gave me a hug. “We will explain everything to Fatima.”

Fatima’s father offered to take me home.

When I reached home, I did not want any company and asked to be left alone for a while so that all this could sink in.

“Call us if you need anything, we will come later,” said Fatima’s father.

I can’t explain to you the despair and turmoil I felt. My life turned upside down instantly. Although Aslam treated me very badly these past few months, I was still his wife. I loved him with all my heart. I was ready to forgive him even though he almost killed me. I really hoped things would have worked out for the better. I sat on the musallah for many nights begging Allah to guide me to make the right choices. Aslam was my first and only love. I know he loved me as well. There were so many loving memories. He was feeling immense remorse for all that he has done lately. He came begging me for forgiveness the other day. It really looked like he was turning a new leaf. I wonder what made him so angry that he almost killed Fatima today. Why was he near Harrismith? I had all these questions that would never be answered now. The Aslam I married was a good guy. I sometimes wonder what made him turn his life upside down with all the booze, drugs and women. I hoped and prayed he would change for the better. I am still his wife. I just started screaming until my helper came into the house to find out what happened. When she heard the news she started shrieking as well. We just tried to comfort each other by this tragedy.

When I calmed down I phoned my brother and informed him what had happened. I could not sleep. I just started pacing. I don’t have a clue what to do for a Muslim funeral.

I was so grateful when my brother arrived a few hours later. He took charge of the situation. Some how he arranged for the body to be flown by helicopter to a hospital in Joburg from Harrismith. I was relieved I did not have to drive so far in all this pain and suffering. A post mortem autopsy had to be performed and was compulsory before body was released or death certificate issued. I would have to go and identify the body with some proof of identification. I could not think of any identification. I finally rummaged through the safe and found Aslam’s passport and our legal marriage certificate from home affairs.

Aslam’s face was unrecognizable. It did not look like my handsome Aslam anymore. I identified him by a few body features that were apparent. I could not bear to see him in such a state. I quickly told them it was Aslam and ran out only recognizing him by the watch he had on and our wedding ring. What I saw haunted me. I did not want to remember him like that.

Aslam’s uncles and brothers were all at the hospital. They insisted he must be buried immediately. The hospital released the body. The hearse took the body to the masjid ghusl room, where the body was washed and the kafn was shrouded. My brother took me home. I broke down.

Aslam’s body was brought to our home. The smell of camphor and the amount of people in the room was overwhelming. Only when I saw Aslam’s body shrouded in the white cloth just lying there,  did it finally dawn upon me, I was a widow and so was Fatima.

Chapter 25 – Isolated

The next morning I was sitting at the table snorting some cocaine when Aslam walked into the kitchen after having shower.

“Did you manage to do pregnancy test?” he asked.

“No, I don’t have a car to go anywhere” I replied.

Aslam called a family doctor and made an appointment for the morning.

“He will do the tests and will not ask any other questions,” said Aslam

I just wore a pair of jeans and a tshirt and tied up my hair. There was no reason to doll up for the doctor I thought.

The doctor was ready to see us when we arrived. Amazingly we did not have to wait for hours. He asked us a few embarrassing questions. He asked me about my menstruation cycle. He asked us how often we had sex and when was the last time. I felt awkward answering these questions about sex to a stranger especially with Aslam sitting right there. Then he asked me to stand on the scale.

“You are severely underweight, what concerns me is you are showing clear signs of drug abuse, but that is none of my business, let us do the pregnancy test” said the doctor.

He then handed me a cup.

“What must I do with this?” I enquired.

“Go and pee in it,” said Aslam laughing.

This was going to be interesting and very challenging, to pee in a cup. I managed to catch some of it and brought it back to the doctor. “Leave it on the table by the toilet, the nurse will take care of it,” said the doctor with a smirk on his face. He then took some blood for blood tests.

“We are done, I will call you once we have the results. What still concerns me is the drug..”

Aslam cut the doctor short,

“thank you doc, keep us posted,” and we left in a great hurry.

Before Aslam dropped me off at the apartment, he stopped to meet the “foreigner” and a business associate. I was surprised to see that the business associate was my David. He was ravishingly handsome. We have been keeping in touch and he didn’t even tell me he was going to be in Joburg today.

David was Dahlia’s brother. He was here to finalise the details regarding all the laundering between Joburg and Durban. I didn’t hear anything they were saying. David always puts me into this hypnotic trance. Aslam noticed my staring. My phone started beeping

“Why don’t you go fucking home with him, stop drooling over this white guy,” messaged Aslam

Something started nagging at me about this whole deal. I then realized this was the same David that Faheem was worried about. They finally left and there went my eye candy.

“Stop being a slut in front of other man, you are embarrassing me,” shouted Aslam. I just kept silent. I was not in a mood for a bashing.

I tried to find out more about the deal and Aslam brushed me of saying the woman should just sit there and look pretty and not get involved in men’s business.

The doctor called in the afternoon. “You are not pregnant, Fatima.”

At least an abortion was out of the question. I was relieved that I did not have to decide to kill my baby.

“Can you prescribe some birth control bills for me,” I enquired. .

“I will send you the prescription. What is still worrying me is you have all the signs of cocaine addict..”

I cut the call immediately.

The loneliness was killing me. I had a husband that was always absent. Even when he was around he was not around. He was either on his phone on business deals or sleeping. I had all the luxuries I desired but I did not have companionship and someone to talk to. I started pining for David. Before I called him I came to my senses. David was trouble and I found it weird he was stalking me in Durban. It most probably was a set up or something from Dahlia.

Days, maybe weeks or even months passed. I was not counting. Those days that went past dragged and most of it was a blur.  Drugs became my intimate friend. Aslam was hardly around. He only came to please himself and leave. He occasionally took me to a meeting with a client. All these places were just filled with drugs, booze and cheap women. Life was becoming boring and monotonous. I had no purpose. All I lived for was the next high.

My life was floating into a dark abyss of loneliness. I felt like I was drowning in a pit of emptiness. I craved people to talk to. I felt trapped in this apartment like the walls were caving in on me. This is what prison must fee like. Aslam would not even let me go to the mall to get the groceries and always go them delivered. I couldn’t leave. When he came home he would check my phone to see who I was calling and chatting with. I think he was also monitoring my calls and checking the bills to see whom I was messaging.

The drugs were not as potent as they use to be. The highs lasted for seconds compared to before. I had no one to talk to so I started talking to myself in the mirror. I actually broke the mirror. I hated what I saw. I was ugly and skeleton thin and my skin seemed to have aged. I felt isolated.

“You bitch, are you sleeping with other men, you slut. Since you came into my life it has been a living hell, I hate you. ” Aslam came storming into the apartment filled with rage, yelling like a mad man. He picked me up and threw me against the wall and then started choking me. “Today you are going to die.” I felt helpless and just surrendered to whatever was going to happen to me. I did not fight back. Aslam started punching me and when I fell to the floor he started kicking me. Blood was everywhere. I could not move. I found it difficult to breathe. There was an excruciating pain emanating from my ribs. I felt paralysed with fear that I messed my pants. I eventually passed out.

When I regained some consciousness I was alone and I was astonished to be alive. I screamed for help. I called for Aslam. No one answered. I crawled towards the coffee table where my phone was. It was extremely painful to get to that point. I felt lost and did not know whom to call. I dialed.

“Layha, please help me!”

Chapter 24 – Lonely

Sitting on the beach helped me forget my troubles. We had few more days to stay in Durban and all Aslam was doing was running around from one club to another on his business trip. I begged him to spend some time with me as this was supposed to be our honeymoon. When Aslam was not on drugs he was a very timid. The drugs were making him extremely aggressive.

I confronted Aslam about the incident in the bathroom the previous night. He was apologetic.

“I am not on birth control. I was a virgin before I met you. I have not been able to get onto the pill since. I have never been to a gynae ever and wouldn’t know where to start with this entire pill story. I hope you have been using protection?” I reprimanded Aslam.

“What the fuck Fatima, I told you I don’t want children with you. Don’t you ever listen?” yelled Aslam.

“Calm down, with the amount of drugs you have been pumping into me I doubt any baby would survive. I am very young and I am in no mood to be anyone’s mother just as yet. I am enjoying this party life way to much.” I replied.

“You better take care of it if you are pregnant, you stupid child” he snarled. I wondered what he meant take care of it.

I could see that Aslam was starting to get pissed off so I lit up a joint and asked him to join me by the balcony. We sat there calmed ourselves down and enjoyed the sea breeze watching the waves hitting against the sand.

“Any news from Layha regarding the divorce? She called the other day,” I enquired

“I love Layha with all my heart. I will never let her go. You have no say when it concerns my wife. She is my first and true love. All you are to me is a sex toy. Just remember that,” barked Aslam.

“Toy, am I only a toy to you? You drug me, dress me like a prostitute, degrade me by fucking me in public and when other men hit on me you start bashing me. I’m you wife!”

Aslam’s face was turning red and I was in no mood for a bashing. I walked away into the bathroom and locked myself inside for what felt like an eternity.

I finally decided I needed to get some fresh air and decided to go to the beach. I wore my bikini and sarong. I noticed that my legs were stick thin. I almost looked anorexic. At least I am not a fat slob. I tried to comfort myself.

I found a comfortable spot in the shade and started to relax. As I was paging through my magazine I noticed an article on cocaine addiction. I couldn’t help but wonder why people are so foolish to get addicted to these drugs. I was just a casual user and it was all fun and games. I was in now way addicted.

“Hello missy” when I looked up I was greeted by a gorgeous guy.

“Hello,”I replied. He was a hunk. Luckily I had my sunglasses on so he could not see how I was checking him out.

“Beautiful day in Durban don’t you think?” he asked.

“Perfect” I answered.

“Sorry I am being rude my name is David. I have seen you some where but I just can’t place you.”

“I am Fatima,” I replied, looking into his blue eyes that were putting me in a hypnotic trance.

The afternoon flew by as I chatted with this stranger. We spoke about food, holidays and any subject you could think of. I lost track of time. Finally an adult conversation with someone and it was great to be listened to for a change and not barked at. I was thoroughly enjoying all the attention from David.

When I checked my phone eventually I noticed that it was silent and I had missed a dozen calls from Aslam and even more messages.

“I am married,” I confessed.

“I am in a middle of a divorce, you seem to be in a hurry, here is my number, call me” responded David.

We exchanged numbers and I departed.

As I walked into the hotel room, Aslam was sitting on the floor in the corner of the room. His head was in his hands and he was crying inconsolably. I actually could hear the sobs in the hallway. Aslam is usually such a macho man. I found it strange that he had broken down into tears. I rushed to comfort him and asked him what was wrong.

“I am missing Layha. I love her so much. I regret lifting a finger on her ever. I can’t lose her.”

I was shocked by his words. It was heartbreaking to hear your husband love someone more than you. I did not know how to react. I started fuming,

“Aslam grow up! Are you not tired of her crap? That is why you married me to have some fun. I can’t believe you are falling for this holy act. That bitch wants out. Let her go?”

Aslam grabbed me and started throttling me.

“You just call my wife a bitch again, you slut!” shouted Aslam. His hands were getting tighter around my throat. I could not breathe. I started gasping for air. He finally let go and I fell to the floor.

“Do you enjoy pain? Watch your mouth. Why do you do this to yourself? You make me so angry.”

Aslam started drinking and gave me some to drink as well. Later that afternoon he came begging for forgiveness.

“Let me make it up to you, let me take you on a shopping spree” pleaded Aslam.

As I dressed to go out I had to put a scarf around my neck to cover all the bruises from the choking earlier. As we entered the mall, Aslam headed straight to a jewelry store. He asked me to wait outside, while he quickly went in.

Aslam came out and sat next to me with a gift bag in his hand.

“I am sorry Babes, this must have been the worst honeymoon in the world.” He said. As I opened the gift I was ecstatic. “How did you know I wanted this watch? I never ever thought I could ever afford it. You forgiven” I exclaimed. I kissed him and all was well with the world again for that brief moment.

The happiness was short lived. I suddenly started shaking uncontrollably. My face went pale instantly. I was becoming anxious and started talking uncontrollably. “What’s wrong Babes?” asked Aslam in a panic.

“Oh shit, I forgot my bag, I don’t have a line?” I mumbled.

Aslam handed me a small packet and walked me to the bathroom.

“Get a grip of yourself, be quick and don’t get caught,” he scolded.

I went into the bathroom and my favourite public spot for snorting drugs was clearly the toilet lid. I put down the toilet lid, made a few lines and snorted. Once the high was setting in I left.

After this episode we decided to have a quiet night and returned back to the hotel room and ordered in some supper.

My phone started buzzing at a very odd hour in the early morning. It woke me up from my sleep.

“Hello friend, it’s me David. I enjoyed our chat, want to catch up later today?”

I was relieved to see that Aslam was still sleeping.

“Not today, I am busy” I replied and deleted both messages immediately.

Aslam and I went for some lunch at the pool area. I was beginning to enjoy my meal when my appetite was spoilt when Dahlia and “the foreigner” decided to join us. Dahlia started flirting uncontrollably with Aslam and Aslam was not hiding his excitement very well.

“The foreigner,” came closer to me and whispered in my ears,

“interested in spouse swopping?” I was outraged at the suggestion. I may be a lot of things but I am not cheap.

“Dream on” I answered.

“The foreigner” seemed offended and he and Dahlia left immediately. I was relieved.

Aslam was furious.

“What did you tell him that they left so quickly? I hope you not messing up all my hard work to get this business.”

I explained to Aslam the situation and was surprised that he agreed that I did the right thing.

“Maybe it won’t be a bad thing just to experiment?” he suggested.

“Would you ask Layha to do something like this?” I yelled.

He just started laughing.

“We all know you are my toy and I married you to keep me young.”

“If you want to feel young why didn’t you marry a white chic?” I exclaimed.

“I need you to stay out of jail,” he replied.

I was in no mood to start an argument with him. I just agreed. Deep down I hoped he loved me.

Aslam left for a business meeting. I went to the room. I decided to entertain my boredom and loneliness with some drinks, pills and cocaine. The rest of the evening is a blur.

When I woke up the next morning, I searched for Aslam. He was nowhere to be found. I began feeling queasy. I ran to the bathroom and started vomiting.

I tried calling Aslam and each time it went straight to voicemail.

These new phone’s battery life are pathetic. His phone must have died.

The phone started ringing “Aslam, where are you?” I asked frantically.

“It’s David here”

We started speaking for a very long time. I enjoyed speaking to David. It felt comfortable. We had so many things in common.

I did not hear from Aslam the entire day. I decided to shower. As I was showering my nose started bleeding like crazy. I tried to stop it with towels but nothing worked. Blood was dripping all over the bathroom floor. I looked into my vanity case. I picked up a tampon, tilted my head back and shoved it into my nose. Finally it stopped. I looked closely at my nose. It looked like it was moving out of shape. I did not like what I saw in the mirror. My teeth were discoloring and my face had all these blotches.

The day passed by and all I did was enjoy the party pack from “the foreigner”

At 3am I decided to call Aslam again.

“Babes, I was at this amazing strip club and we took the party to some hotel room. I will meet you at the airport tomorrow for our 8am flight. Be a babe and pack up for me. I love you” and he put the phone down.

I was suddenly wide-awake. This was the first time Aslam said he loved me. I was on top of the world. He actually loves me.

The next morning I waited at the airport. I put on my sunglasses because the hangover I had was not agreeing with daylight. As I was waiting for Aslam I reminisced about the honeymoon. My head started pounding and my heart started aching at the thought of such a lonely honeymoon.  I boarded the flight. The doors were almost going to close when Aslam rushed in and sat next to me.

He handed me a box. “Diamond earrings!” I am fickle like that. All my anger melted.

As we landed at OR Tambo airport, Aslam gave me some money and told me to find my way home.

“I have spent enough time with you the past few days. It is now Layha’s turn.”

I stopped myself from having a tantrum.

As I walked into my apartment, I was overcome by deep sense of loneliness. I have never felt so alone my entire life. I had no appetite to even make myself a cup of tea. All I did was pop pills to escape from this dark depression I was sinking into.

As I was getting ready to sleep, Aslam barged in. He clearly had too much to drink. “I can’t let Layha see me in this state,” he slurred. Next thing I knew he passed out on the couch. I started feeling very sorry for myself sitting there with this drunkard, love of my life.

Chapter 23 Remorse

Aslam speaks:

On the plane to Durban, I wondered how on earth  I ended up this way. The cops were on my tail for blikseming Layha and almost killing her. I had to make a plan to marry Fatima as soon as possible so she could be my alibi. The day we confronted Fatima’s parents I went looking for Fatima after she called. After some searching, I finally found her. I could not restrain myself any longer and had to fuck her. I was attracted to Fatima since the first day I met her. I just could not get her out of my mind. In spite of wearing a scarf, I could see she was sexy underneath all that covering. She had all the curves in the right places. She was not fat nor thin. She was perfect. The day I saw her at that club I knew she had to be mine.  We went to the nearest hotel room and I managed to score some cocaine. The drug induced euphoria turned Fatima into an erotic porn star. Who knew this farm girl had it in her! Soon she was naked and I had ravished her virginity. She had so much confidence, I thought she was a professional. Only after she called me the next day crying about losing her virginity did I realize that she totally lost her mind after the cocaine. I needed to sort out this police situation as soon as possible and getting married to Fatima was my last hope for staying out of jail.

Layha planned some or other function. I doubt she was in the mood for people in the state she was in, all battered and bruised. So I decided not to let all her hard work go to waste, and arranged my wedding reception with Fatima on that evening instead. I asked my PA Trisha to sort everything out.

In the early evening, I went to masjid and we had the nikah after maghrib. I stopped at a bar to have some whiskey just to calm me down a bit before I braved myself for the wedding reception. As soon as I entered I couldn’t take my eyes of Fatima. She looked dazzling. I made the announcement and the hall went silent. The aunties were glaring at me from all angles of their eyes. After the reception we went to the hotel room and had a wild party. Fatima’s behavior was very erratic. One minute she was on top of the world laughing having fun, the next minute she had angry outbursts. She looked restless and was very talkative. She had hallucinations and was hearing and seeing things. It was getting to the point of paranoia. I could not deal with all the drama so I just ignored her and went about my business with the babes I hired for the evening. The morning after the wedding night it felt awkward to have someone else other than my wife in bed with me.

The drug binges with Fatima over the past few weeks amounted to R200 000. The money has just disappeared into thin air. The highs are short lived and the money is gone. Poof! Up in smoke or snorted up our noses. Luckily the “foreigner” decided to give me a hefty cut if I allowed him to use my car sales business to clean his drug money. This would give me all the drugs I ever needed. This way I didn’t have to work another day in my life. I went to speak to Layha. She’s become a holy cow. All she talks about is Allah this and Allah that. I can’t deal with all that now. I have some business to take care of, specifically cop shop.

After checking the bank account, I realized that I had been overspending and wasting lots of my cash that Layha and I had worked hard to earn. I decided to get a flat in Rosebank for Fatima. She whined but I quickly put her in her place. After I showed her the place, I saw her flirting with her old boyfriend. What does that lightie have that I don’t have? I decided to teach her a lesson and showed her how a real man is and fucked her, there and then. “It will teach the whore to flirt with guys right in front of my eyes,” I thought. I dropped her off at the police station and hoped she did not mess up. She was in a state, shaking as she left the car.

Layha continued nagging me to change my ways. I needed to finalise things with the “foreigner”. So I decided to go on a honeymoon to Durban and kill two birds with one stone. Fatima had been extremely edgy lately. She looked horrendous. She was like a walking skeleton. Her skin was getting darker. Her eyes were always blood shot red. I was getting angry because she did not even make an effort to talk to “the foreigner.” She was short with him and only gave him one-word answers. It was like she wanted to sabotage this deal. Layha had the gift of the gab. She knew how to close deals and treat the clients. I started missing Layha. I suddenly had deep remorse for hitting her and leaving her to die. I still love Layha. She was my first true love. Layha is a good wife. She never drank alcohol, ate anything haram or even smoked a cigarette let alone a joint or take any drugs, and we are married for years. Although she dressed very modern she still had some modesty. I once bought her this sexy bikini. She only wore it for me. Fatima on the other is a wild party animal. I love that she is so carefree. Sex with her is out of this world. Maybe it is that way because we are both so high most of the time. She was young and vivacious. She would do anything I tell her to do for a quick fix.

As soon as we reached the hotel room Fatima was begging me for some cocaine. The addiction was making her irrational and restless. I needed her to be dependent on me, and the only way I could do this was by feeding her cravings for drugs. This guaranteed that she would never leave me. Now, with helping launder “foreigners” money through my business I had a free supply of drugs and I could give Fatima every drug she desired. It was the only way to have her hooked and I could control her.

Fatima put on her bikini to go to the beach. I wanted to have her there and then! But I needed to do some business in an hour’s time. She begged me to take her to the beach for a dip. We bumped into some aunty of Fatima who would not stop talking and I made a quick escape.

I could not get Layha out of my mind and decided to call her.

“Assalamwalaykum Aslam,” answered Layha.

“I love you Layha and I am terribly sorry about everything. I miss you terribly. I can’t lose you. We have been through so much together. I will do anything to make us work.” I begged Layha.

“Aslam I love you too but hitting me is never a solution. Despite all that has happened I have forgiven you. I started reading my salaah. I have started getting to closer to Allah by reading the Quran. I also started therapy. I have never felt so happy and alive in my entire life. If you want us to work, you have to give up your haram ways. Stop this nonsense with this “foreigner” person. Also, you will need to help Fatima get out of that pathetic state she is in. I make sincere dua you find Allah like I did,” answered Layha.

“My darling. I can’t bear life without you. You can’t leave me. I won’t allow it. How will you live without the nice house, fast car, the jewellery and all the things I bought you?” I said, trying to persuade her.

“Aslam, Allah is enough for me. I don’t need money and I have learnt about my Islamic rights as a wife. Money does not make the world go round. If you think that all I want is money, then I don’t think we are on the same page. I will only reconsider anything if you change your ways.” Layha put the phone down.

I was so furious! I wanted to punch something. This preaching from Layha was getting annoying. All I knew was that Layha needed me, and there was no way in hell I would let her go. I considered calling her mother. She would always set her straight.

The foreigner took me to all the clubs I would need to supply and collect cash. The club owners excitedly asked about the “foreigners” wife Dahlia. I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to meet her.

Fatima was looking hot that evening. We left for the club to meet “the Foreigner”. When I first saw Dahlia, her beauty was breathtaking. Just looking at her excited me. After dinner Dahlia came closer to me. She started touching me, flirting with me and whispering in my ears, “I want to fuck you, why don’t we swop partners.” I wanted to have her right there on the table. From the corner of my eye I could see that the “foreigner” touching Fatima. I was overcome with rage. How dare she flirt with a white man? Am I not good enough for her? Instinctively I attacked the “foreigner”. Clearly not a bright idea because his bodyguards almost knocked me out. Fatima went to the ladies room. I was furious and followed her into the bathroom. I showed her who was boss. This will teach her not to be a slut and let any other man touch her!

After I had my way with Fatima in the bathroom, I went back to the “foreigner” and apologized for my behaviour. I hoped that this did not spoil our deal.

Fatima went on a binge of drugs and drinks. She was wired. Her pupils were dilated. She was extremely moody. One minute she was happy and the next moment she was aggressive. When her verbal diarrhea started I knew it was time to call it a night. In the car she was nauseous and asked me to stop because she wanted to throw up. As we drove off she started shaking uncontrollably and started sweating profusely. One minute she was crying and the next minute she was giggling. The words that came out of her mouth made me look like a saint, or the parts thereof that I could hear because most of the time it was slurred. I could not take it anymore and gave her a slap across her face to shut her up. She needed to learn who is boss and respect me. At this point I couldn’t help comparing Layha and Fatima. How did I get to this point with a wild slut that was out of control?

Chapter 22 – Bruised

Durban always has a calming effect on me. I have fond childhood memories playing in the warm ocean and building sandcastles on the beach.

We checked into the Elangeni Hotel. I immediately rummaged through my bag looking for my bikini. I could not wait to have a dip in the sea. Aslam pulled me towards him, gave me a kiss and said he needed to take care of business with “the foreigner”, and that tonight we would be having dinner with him and his wife Dahlia.

“Your meeting is only in an hour’s time so please come with me?” I begged.

He reluctantly agreed. As we were getting comfy on the beach, I heard a very familiar voice.

“Fati, you so nangi, go cover up child. Doesn’t mean you are married you can dress like this. You are still Muslim?” It was a long lost relative who does not give you a chance to speak. “Is this your husband? You got married so quickly? Are you pregnant?”

I introduced Aslam to this aunty whose name I could not remember.

“Fati, you have a handsome man, I heard he is very rich also. Why don’t you join Baboo and myself. You are looking stick thin? Come have some biryani with us? It is still piping hot, I am keeping it warm in the wonderbag. Are you not feeding her Aslam?”

Aslam made an excuse to leave. I begged him to give me something or else I would drown them because they were working on my nerves. He gave me a pill and said this would calm me down until he returned.

This aunty kept on interrogating me about why I got married so quickly. She was upset that she did not get an invite to the wedding because she bought an outfit from Dubai and she really needed to show it off at some function. She kept on lecturing me about my dressing. She forced me to eat because she felt I was withering away.

“You must stop dressing like these nangi people, dress decently,” she nagged.

“My husband likes me to dress like this and I will change when I get older.” I retaliated.

“Fati, we have to live every moment as if it is our last moment. We don’t even know if we will wake up alive the next day. These days you hear so many incidents where young children are dying. Old age is not guaranteed for all of us. You should have some modesty and only share you assets with your husband.”

Tired of the bayaan(lecture), I greeted the aunty and left for our hotel room.

It is my life and I will dress the way I want. I remember seeing pictures of her in miniskirts when she was younger. Now she is all self-righteous, lecturing me on modesty. I was so angry at the audacity of this woman. All I wanted to do was enjoy some sun and surf and here she had to spoil my mood. As soon as I entered the room, I charged for the mini bar. I needed a stiff drink. I took out an alcoholic beverage and quenched my thirst.

My phone started vibrating. It was Layha. Could this day not get any worse? Reluctantly I picked up.

“Fati, I can’t live this haram life any more. I want a divorce. I am willing to stay if both of you give up your wild ways, all this drugs and alcohol.”

I laughed at her scornfully and told her to leave if she wanted to. She carried on with all these fatwas that she had researched. I was in no mood for all this Islamic lecturing today. I cut the call.

I suddenly felt nauseous. I threw up. I did not eat any food even though that aunty was forcing me. The nausea was not going away. Could I be pregnant? My period was only due in a week.

Panic began to set in. I couldn’t go for a blood test with all these drugs. I don’t think a pee stick would be effective because it was still early. I didn’t want a child to spoil my fun. I wasn’t even on the pill. Maybe it is just seasickness? I laughed as I looked at the ocean.

Aslam walked into the room and asked if something was wrong and why I looked so pale. I reassured him I was fine.

“I am feeling exhausted,” he said “and I need to take a quick nap before supper.”

I rested my head on his chest and asked him for something to alleviate my agitation. He passed me some pills that would help me sleep.

Aslam woke me up from my deep slumber.

“Babe, dress to kill today. Look elegant. The “foreigner’s” wife is apparently very classy.”

I didn’t know what to wear. I only packed all my sexy stuff for the honeymoon and nothing fancy. I frantically tossed out all the contents of my bag. I was relieved to find a short, gold, glitzy dress. I paired it with my gold stilettos. My make up was simple but flawless. My hair was lose but curled giving it a casual look in case we went clubbing later.

The craving for cocaine was nagging at me. I begged Aslam for a line but he gave me some pills instead. Aslam looked handsome, all dressed up in his suit. We headed out of the hotel arm in arm and looked like the perfect power couple.

We entered this elegant restaurant, which had perfect lighting.

“This way sir and madam,” a man ushered us to the table where Dahlia and “the foreigner” were seated. Dahlia was as gorgeous as Aslam described her.

We exchanged pleasantries. Conversation started flowing and so was the wine. I became light headed.

“How do you find Dahlia?” enquired “the foreigner.”

“Hot, sexy” replied Aslam blushing.

Looking at me the foreigner said “I always find Indian women intriguing. They think they are so high and mighty, better than everyone else.” I couldn’t help but smile. I didn’t know what he meant by that, but I kept smiling.

Dahlia complimented me about my dress and we started talking about the latest fashion trends, leaving the men to discuss business. Oddly Dahlia asked me about my sex life and if I have slept with anyone else but Aslam. “Is it true Indian girls only sleep with the man they marry?”

“Yes we choose to keep ourselves pure.” I replied proudly.

“The foreigner” decided to take us to a club to meet his new business associates.

I was already lightheaded and the car ride was not fun at all. I could not understand why there were bodyguards.

“Once Aslam agrees to help clean the drug money, you will also need a body guard,” said Dahlia.

The trendy club had more women than men. Dahlia started flirting with Aslam right in front of my eyes. She started whispering something in his ear and Aslam looked overly excited by her attention. “The foreigner” sat next to me. He started touching my hand and I just ignored it. He asked me if I would be interested in a night with him, casually laughing, I said no.

Aslam saw what was happening and immediately confronted “the foreigner”. The bodyguards started beating Aslam. I screamed, asking them to stop. Dahlia laughed at Aslam’s double standards. “It is ok for you to flirt with me, but the minute my husband flirts with your wife it is a problem? Grow up. How can we trust each other if you can’t trust him with your woman?”

Aslam wiped the dripping blood from his mouth and said that Dahlia was right. Clearly Dahlia was the one calling the shots and in charge. I began to feel nauseas, the thought about being pregnant long forgotten. I excused myself and headed for the bathroom after having too much to drink.

Aslam followed me into the toilet cubicle.

“Listen you are my wife and not a cheap slut. Don’t you dare flirt with other men? Am I not good enough for you that you want some white man to screw you? Are you a whore?”

He picked up my dress pushed me against the wall and once again forced himself on me.

“No! Please stop! I don’t mind giving you what you want, but not here.” I begged him to stop. He pushed me harder and told me to shut up while he pictures Dahlia because my nagging was ruining his fantasy.  I begged him to stop degrading me. The loud music was drowning my screams. When I left the cubicle no one even cared. I am sure they heard the commotion but they just ignored me and carried on like nothing happened. When he was done he gave me cocaine. “Stop wailing, I am your husband and I’ll have you where and when I want.” I tried to numb the pain. Maybe he was right. A husband can do what he wants.

For the rest of the night I drank until I almost passed out. Aslam was finally ready to leave. On our way home I asked him to stop because I needed to puke.

As we continued driving he said, “Babes, I love you, stop behaving like a slut. You are not every man’s toy. I have a good wife at home. I married you so I could have a wild wife to go partying with but not a whore.”

“Why don’t you just go fuck Dahlia, she is your fantasy!” I retorted.

He slapped me violently across my face. “Never disrespect me ever you heard!”

I started to cry and this softened him a bit. “I am sorry babes, don’t cry. As long as you give me what I want in bed you will get any drug your heart desires. You need to learn to be a good wife and stop embarrassing me in public.” My self-respect was bruised and my soul was crushed. Aslam had forced himself on me again and I couldn’t come to terms that it was in such a public place.