Aneesa’s engagement day finally arrived. Both our parents came from Kempville to Joburg. Layha was organised and sorted out every thing from the decadent food that was to be served to the most elaborate yet elegant table settings. The engagement was small and only about 35 close relatives were invited. It was not your typical function where the whole dunya (world) and five generations of far cousins are invited.
The best hair stylists and make up artists Joburg had to offer were called in to make sure Aneesa, an ordinary farm girl became extra ordinary. A local hot shot couture designer was called in to give Aneesa an outfit of her dreams. Aneesa wanted a cerise pink and silver panelled corset combined with a cerise pink cowl skirt with silver pleating at the bottom, embellished with antique silver embroidery.
As I was putting final touches to my scarf and couldn’t get it to sit right. I have not worn a scarf for the past few days now and I was definitely having a bad scarf day. It was starting to work on my last nerve. I still had to do make up and wear my outfit which was a simple and rust coloured churidar suit.
Finally the time arrived and we all sat in the lounge waiting anxiously. We were all tense and tjoep still incase we missed the door bell ring.
“Ding dong” The ringing door bell echoed throughout the house. Finally, they here, I thought. Layha and few of Aneesa’s cousins welcomed Faheem’s family at the door. Everyone was escorted to the garden lounge where we were sitting for the ” formal talk”.
Faheem introduced his parent’s to Aneesa. Faheem’s mother greeted Aneesa very coldly with a handshake and before she let go she said,
“look Aneesa me I am very straighforward, I am going to tell you we are very rich and I want no gold digging wife.”
The room suddenly went completely silent. We were all flabbergasted. My mouth actually dropped to the ground.
Aneesa’s father, uncle Adam, immediately retaliated,
“what are you saying that Mr money bags here is to good for our daughter. So why waste our time and agree to meet? He can marry a family girl and you can keep the money in the family!”
I was a bit high. I found all this very hilarious. I suddenly let out a giggle. Every one turned and stared at me like I was going mad. Once I got back my composure I started to speak,
“Aunty look, Aneesa may not be well off but who cares, she loves your son a lot, so much so, that if tomorrow he looses his money and charm she will still be there”.
Faheem’s father then put his two cents worth
” argh this is such a waste of my time. Time is money. There is so much money to be made and here we are sitting arguing? They are in love! If they not meant to be they will divorce or separate and he will find another wife and she will be taken care of so what’s the deal? ”
Every one in Aneesa’s family could not believe what they heard and they all had a look of disgust on their faces.
Aneesa immediately interrupted before Faheem’s father could continue.
” I love Faheem. I suppose you are right. I accept the proposal with what ever contract you want me to sign even if you stipulate I’m not getting a single cent”.
Faheem’s family were all smiles now and looked very relieved. Immediately Faheem’s mother took out the chain from her hand bag and placed it around Aneesa’s neck and gave her a hug. Aneesa was now officially engaged. This is not your typical engagement we see in the movies where the couple go somewhere private and romantic. The man goes on one knee and opens up a box and proposes while the lady starts screaming yes and jump’s into his arms. No, in our community the entire ghaam (village) has to be present to witness negotiations and proposal in action until officially the chain is noosed around your neck.
The three course meal was fit to dine royalty. The starter was a prawn cocktail served on a bed of lettuce. There was not a samoosa or soji in sight. The main meal was a rack of lamb with a mint sauce, some potatoes, peas and carrots. It was cooked to perfection. There was an assortment of desserts to choose from. There was a pastry chef there ready to make you any dessert you wanted while you waited. I was in a chocolate heaven. My favourite was the fried ice cream smothered in chocolate. It looked like phyllo pastry with ice cream inside deep fried served immediately. It was hot but cold at the same time. Hats off to Layha. She knows how to entertain and this was the perfect dream engagement.
As my high was wearing off from the joint I had earlier in the evening, I saw Aslam signal to me to meet him. I excused myself telling people who I was having menial conversation with, I needed to freshen up. I went into the house. I followed Aslam into his bedroom. As soon as I entered he pounced on me, pushed me down on the bed and kissed me.
“I want you so much, when are you going to give into me?” he said passionately.
Trying to push him off me I started giggling again and responded jokingly “when you marry me !”.
He got off me immediately and looked at me horrified,
“who the hell do you think you are that your body is so special? I can have any damn girl I want, you wait one day I’ll show you when you pregnant with my child then you will see.” He stormed out in a rage. The door opened and I was about to apologise when I saw Layha enter the room. Panic set in. The feeling in my stomach was so intense I thought I was going to throw up. My head was spinning and I couldn’t think straight. I frantically started searching for my “help me” pill in my clutch bag to calm my mood.
Layha was not flustered at all. I was surprised. She didn’t seemed perturbed at all. She nonchalantly rebuked me,
“Fati you think that you the only one he has cheated on me with? Girl don’t flatter yourself! The moment he gets you he is going to use you, mentally, emotionally, physically abuse you the way he tortures me! Trust me, all these things I have is nothing. My life is empty. I officially hate him. Next time you all over him ask him how he traumatises me and forces himself on me after a wild night partying, totally pissed drunk. I can’t wait for this dog to die”.
Looking at her morbidly I popped the happy pill. She’s just jealous. I am younger and these days she is looking like a old hag especially without her make up. Who wants to wake up to that glum face every morning. It is not my problem if she can’t make her man happy and feel alive. Layha laughed it off and shrugged it off, walked out of the room like nothing happened.
The pangs of guilt started hounding me. I was restless and I needed a quick fix. This is when Faheem introduced me to cocaine.