Words fail me as I try to digest what Hamid just told me.
He is an illegitimate child?? What does that even mean? Do not answer it, I KNOW what that means...I am just shocked.
I should say something, I really should but there are no words. What DO you say when someone you love tells you "Hey by the way, I have a secret I should have told you ages ago" And then you innocently ask "What is it my friend" only to be told
"Oh nothing major, I'm just illegitimate"
How do you find the words to reply to that revelation?
"Why didn't you tell me this earlier?" My tongue has regained it's ability to talk.
"I guess I was just too happy that this important issue slipped my mind" Aw, this is just so cute__Not.
"What do you mean it slipped your mind?" I ask, trying to remain as calm as possible, but I cannot guarantee for how long I can remain this calm to be honest with you my friend.
"I took this opportunity as my chance of happiness. Asha, I have never had people interested in me the way your family are" He murmurs, with his head hung low.
"And that is supposed to make everything better is it?" I know I should not say these things, but I'm far too angry to stop and think about the words coming out of my mouth.
"I don't know what to say, except that I am really sorry" He looks out of the window, as he says it
"I will get out of your life, and you will never hear from me again In Sha Allah"
He does not give me a chance to reply. He leaves very swiftly, leaving me hanging with millions of questions floating in my head.
What does he expect me to say? Oh, you mean to tell me you are illegitimate? Happens all the time, I hardly think it is a big deal.
Really? I thought it was something bigger than that, let us have some tea shall we?
Of course it's a big deal! How did he think I will react??
"Is everything alright?" Asks mum as she peers in, followed by Ahmed, Khadija and Mohamed.
"I don't know, why don't you ask Mohamed?" How can my twin brother hide something THIS big from me? I saw the look he gave Hamid before he left us to speak. He must have known.
"Tell me what? And why did Hamid leave in such haste?" My mum puts her hand on her heart as she asks.
"I didn't know anything until I went to get him from his house when he took so long to show up!"
Mohamed tries to defend himself from the looks everyone is giving him.
Well, good luck with that my friend. I really hope you have a_____Hold on!! What does he mean, when he went to get him??
"What do you mean when you went to get him?" I feel quite queasy all of a sudden.
Was I going to be stood up??????
"He took so long, and Khadija told me___" He does not get to finish the sentence, as I cut him off.
"Khadija??? You told him to go get Hamid?" I cannot believe this!
"I told him to go check on him, and yes possibly bring him over. I didn't mean any harm by it" She replies, giving Mohamed an annoyed look.
"So he was brought over here by force?" Asks Ahmed.
"No, HE'S the one that said he wanted to show for the party. He was in a right state when I showed up at his flat" Mohamed explains.
"What do you mean? What was wrong with him?" I ask concerned, annoyed, betrayed. All these confusing emotions circulating me at this moment in time.
"He was having some kind of a panic attack or something" Mohamed explains.
So he was having second thoughts about us, because of his secret. He is telling me the truth, he never really planned to blurt it out like this!
I am so confused.
"Can someone PLEASE tell us what is going on??" Asks an impatient Ahmed.
"Hamid is illegitimate, that's what's going on. I only found out 5 minutes ago" I reply casually. Oh might as well lose my mind.
"WHAT??" Exclaims Ahmed.
My mum does not say anything, Khadija puts her hand on her mouth from the shock and Mohamed lowers his head in shame.
Then I come out with the most cliched reaction. I decide to put the blame on someone__Anyone.
And the lucky person who will be blamed for all of this is:
Khadija (For telling Mohamed to go and check on Hamid)
Mohamed (For going to Hamid and then knowing about the whole thing THEN bringing him over anyways)
Me (For being overly excited and a little bit in love, which blinded me to the importance of asking Allah's guidance in the first place)
I cannot blame myself yet, I am still in the denial phase.
Then I pick my victim.
"It was all your fault" I pick Ahmed.
"I know" He agrees with me quietly.
Complete and utter silence.
This day has turned out to be the worst day of my life. I cannot possibly show my face to Asha__Ever.
She is right, I should have told her and given her a chance to make a decision and not put her on the spot like that.
What was I expecting??? Of course she would be furious.
A little selfish part of me thought otherwise unfortunately! There is no acceptance in this world for the likes of me.
I will just have to accept that fact, and I will have to come up with a solution fast.
I will just have to get out of Asha's life forever. I cannot face the humiliation of being rejected once again.
It is funny, because I have gotten pretty used to rejection and the look of disgust from people but oh how hurtful it is when it came from the person I love.
Nothing could have prepared me for that. I was very happy and content with my life, until Asha came along!
To make matters worse, they live next door! I simply MUST leave this neighborhood altogether.
I cannot face them day in and day out, and oh no she works in the same place as I do!
What a mess.
This is the first time in my life that I am feeling that I cannot go on anymore. How many more knocks can one person take?
A verse in the Quran comes to mind, when I'm hit with the familiar feeling of a panic attack episode.
"Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe, and will not be tested?" (Quran, 29:2)
I put my hand on my chest as I try to steady my nerves, and I make my way to the bathroom to perform an ablution.
I will have to pray, otherwise horrible thoughts are circulating my mind right now! It is so powerful that I have to shake my head to try and get them out of my mind.
What is the point?
What is the point?
What is the point?
I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed shaytan. Never in my life have I felt like this before!
And I am overcome with a sudden yearning for my mum and dad.
All those times I did not call, and now I would give anything in the world to pick up the phone to talk to them.
Life is too short indeed.
I pray my Isha prayers, and I stay in the sujud position when I supplicate. I do not want to raise my head off the ground.
I am praying and asking for Allah's forgiveness like my life depended on it. I just cannot stop.
When I eventually lift my head off the ground, I come to a decision.
I am going back to Yemen. When I was in the sujud position I remembered something my mum wanted to tell me and I kept ignoring her, I feel like the time has finally come for me to find out what it was.
I am leaving England temporarily to seek solace in Yemen In Sha Allah.
I will have to find my closure, otherwise everytime someone mentions my illegitimacy in a negative manner I will always feel the need to do something crazy to deal with it.
I will have to go back to where it all started. My heart is completely and utterly broken, and the only thing that can fix this is finding out my parents wanted to tell me.
__Two months later__
It has been two months since Hamid informed me that he was leaving for Yemen, and he has already been replaced at work.
Nahla was not too pleased that she was not invited to the engagement party, and she has been giving me hassle ever since.
She replaced Hamid with an older person, a guy in his fifties just so there will not be any sort of mishaps as she so delicately put it.
He does not care if I am being hassled.
He does not care if I take the bus alone, and I would not expect him to either.
He does not call to check if me and Suad need anything, or lunch like Hamid used to.
Suad is beside herself with guilt, but I reassured her that she had nothing to worry about and that none of this is her fault.
My family have dealt with informing people about the short lived engagement. Of course they have not told them about the real reason, but they came up with something that I could not care less about.
All I know is I feel severe pain in my heart right now.
I kept going over my conversation with Hamid when he confessed about his situation, and I cannot stop beating myself over it.
I could have reacted a little bit better, instead of making him feel so small and worthless.
I should have thought about what I had to say, before shooting my mouth off like that.
Yes what he did was wrong, but I never thought about why he hid that secret from me.
I never really put myself in his position, and tried to see how hard it must have been for him growing up.
Even when he came to tell me that he is leaving for Yemen, I said nothing.
Now I am left with a hollow feeling, and what ifs to keep me company.
The only thing that makes all of this bearable, is the arrival of Jawahir and Ibrahim's baby girl.
Jawahir was suffering from pre-eclampsia, and they had to operate an emergency C-section.
Baby Maryam is just too cute, and I get to see her everyday at Jawahir's mum place. I am kind of glad that Jawahir is staying at her mum's house to be honest.
It gives me the chance to avoid dealing with a guilty Ahmed. He has not stopped saying how sorry he is for this mess.
I tried telling him that I just lost my temper that night, but he still holds himself responsible!
I am just too tired to deal with all of that.
I am mentally and emotionally ready to break down at any minute, and the last thing I need is a guilty looking Ahmed in my face.
May Allah heal my broken heart, and forgive me for my shortcomings.
"But mum he is__" Ahmed fails to finish his protests, as his mum cuts him off.
"Oh my darling boy, have you forgotten where WE came from? Did life make you forget what we've been through or how poor we were?" Asks Halima.
"No, of course not but___" It looks like Ahmed will not be able to win this argument at all.
"But your sister is hurting, and we need to fix her broken heart" Replies Halima calmly.
"What about people and their gossip?" Asks Ahmed.
"That's the good thing about Hamid being from Yemen. No one will know In Sha Allah, it is none of their business anyway" Answers Halima casually.
"Will their kids be legitimate? Have you ever thought about that ma?" Asks a furious Ahmed.
"We will ask a Sheikh and find out In Sha Allah, and then you will do what I'm asking you to do" Demands Halima.
"There are plenty of Barawani men here, why him?" Asks Ahmed calmly.
"Dear son, I was so happy with your father that I want all my children to settle with what their hearts desire. Do you understand me?" Answers a misty eyed Halima.
"I understand ma" Agrees a misty eyed Ahmed "If the Sheikh says that their children will be legitimate, then yes we will all go to Yemen for a visit In Sha Allah"
I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)