A year has passed since I have decided that I am going to give up on my search for Khadija, and I am still the same
I am still the same as in, I am still obsessed with finding her
I have my reasons I really do! I am not just some creepy stalker I promise but for you to understand why I went back to having that hope again, I will have to take you back with me to a year ago.
It all started with that silly facebook group. It was a typical day, as I came back from North West London College (Studying Business National Diploma)
I entered my house, feeling hungry as usual. And as usual Asha was on her laptop, with Ibrahim beside her and they were joined by Jawahir.
“It has come to my attention that Mr Mohamed Abdalla is looking for a wife. He has only ONE requirement ladies, He only wants to marry a girl whose name is Khadija!” Asha reads the group’s status update out loud so I can hear it.
“What?? How did she know THAT?? I’ve only told my mum!!” I exclaim___LOUDLY
“I KNOW! She knows everything! I wonder who this person is??” Asha wonders, by putting her hand on her chin.
“She really does have a very good insight into you guys,” adds Jawahir.
“What I don’t understand is, why am I only mentioned on two measly ocassions??” asks Ibrahim grumpily. “The first one says, Ibrahim is charming. The second one, Ibrahim is funny.”
Asha laughs hysterically and says,
“You’re a clown that’s why. Ibrahim is a clown”
“You’re so evil Asha,” Says Jawahir with a giggle
I do not wait to hear Ibrahim’s reply so I leave them all squabbling, and I go to look for my mum. I find her in the kitchen, and I can almost taste the delicious smell of Lasagne
“Salamu Alaykum Ma.” I greet with a kiss on her hand.
“Wa Alykum Salam Son, I hope you’re not full because I made your favourite,” she tells me holding my face between her hands
“You seem to be making A LOT of my favourite foods these days Ma! What’s the deal?” I ask her, looking at her suspiciously
“Can’t I spoil my youngest for a change?” She answers nonchalantly
“Asha is the youngest too Ma,” I remind her.
“That one needs to learn how to cook! She will completely and utterly embarrass me with my future inlaws. Do you know what she said when I asked her, how is she going to get out of cooking when she marries?” She tells me angrily.
“What did she say?” I ask, holding back a giggle
“She said that she’ll make me come to her house first thing in the morning, so I can cook everything for her and then pretend that she did it all by herself!” She tells me with her hands flying all over the place in frustration
“Oh mum! You know she’s lying, she will learn at some point whether she likes it or not,” I reassure her.
“I better hope so! Barawanis in-laws will rip her apart if she doesn’t know how to cook.” She says it to herself, while checking the Lasagne.
“Ma. How come that girl on Facebook knows that I want to marry someone whose name is Khadija only? I only told you!” I ask her accusingly
“I KNOW! She like knows everything that one! I wonder who she is?” She replies by not looking straight into my eyes
“Ma?” I enforce my question with a raised eyebrow
“OK OK! I told someone who told someone who told someone, that’s all. I got so excited Mohamed! Ahmed doesn’t want to get married, and I want GRAND KIDS people!!” She says grand kids WITH A PASSION
“Why don’t we look for someone for Asha first,” I remind her that she needs to think about Asha first, because I am still not sure about the whole forget Khadija thing! I am such a genius like that
“She’s soooo picky Mohamed! Last weekend I took her to a wedding, and she gave me a headache with her nonsense requirements. I just gave up hope!” She starts throwing her hands all over the place again
At this point I actually feel sorry for my mum, so I tell her what she wants to hear even though I’m still not ready to give up
“OK then Ma, Fix me up with a nice Khadija then.”
“Does she HAVE to be Khadija? Because I know a nice Rahma, a nice Iqraa and even a nice Zainab,” she asks me eagerly.
“OK then Ma, why not? I’ll give them a chance Inshallah. But how are we gonna meet them Inshallah?” I ask her.
“At a wedding of course!” She replies shocked at my question
“I don’t know!! I don’t like mixing at weddings Ma! It’s too mixed if you know what I mean.” I explain my uncomfortableness (that’s not even a word? It really SHOULD be though!)
“Nonsense! It’ll all be too innocent I promise. I just want you to choose who you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with, there won’t be any dancing or anything, Inshallah. I’ll make sure of it.” She promises me, and I accept even though my heart was not in it but I gotta try it for my mum.
Maybe I’ll find my future wife in a very relaxed__Looking at her from far kind of enviroment___
WRONG__WRONG WRONG WRONG__
Did I tell you how wrong I was?
A fortnight later my mum took all of us to a mixed wedding, she normally goes with Ibrahim and Asha. Ahmed and I prefer to stay, because we are boring like that
Anyhow, back to the wedding __
I barely stepped in the wedding hall with mum, before all the mamas came at me in full force
Kissing my cheeks, touching my face (to examine for any imperfections I persume!)
So, project blend in with the wall was truly out of the window but that was not the worst part, oh no!
The worst part came when this Somali song came and BAM__
Everyone was on the dance floor dancing and somehow, SOMEHOW I am in the middle of the dancefloor DANCING!!!!!!
When I say dance, I mean swaying left and right like a tree. You know when the wind blows in Autumn and the tree stays put but the branches sways from left to right, Yeah that is how I was dancing
Note to self: Things Mohamed should not do EVER
Come to a wedding expecting to blend in with the wall (Did I say that already? Well it would not hurt to remind oneself again now would it?)
Dance (Did I mention that already? Well it would not hurt to remind oneself again now would it?)
The worst part was Asha and Jawahir’s imitation of my dancing, they just stood at the corner swaying like freaks, until I realized that they are copying ME
Oh the horror! The embarrassment! The Mocking voices I hear in my head from Ibrahim and Asha!!
I wish I was more like Ahmed at this point, he would probably get his sword out if any of the aunties suggested that he danced.
I know he does not carry a sword and all that, but that is just his character. Strong, opinionated and does not care who thinks that it is rude to wave a sword to his aunties faces when one needed to wave a sword on one’s aunty!
Again, he does not ACTUALLY carry a sword. It’s just a figure of speech I do not make any sense, because I am dancing like a fool
I am NEVER EVER, I mean NEVER coming to a wedding__
Well, that disastrous night was a year ago. And ever since then, my mum kept pestering me to go to a wedding with her again, but oh no I was having non of it this time, OOOOH NO__Not this time__OOOOH NO
The matter of fact is I look up to Ahmed, he has been like a father to all of us. I admire the way he believes in Islam, and I admire his determination to behave like one also.
I was very disappointed in myself that night, I always tell myself that I am a good Muslim but I truly and utterly realized that actions speak louder than words.
MBut I also realized that now is the time to behave like a good muslim, I must do something more. I have decided that I am going to do some voluntary work from now on Inshallah
Anyhow, remember how I told you that something awakened my hope of finding Khadija again? Well, Dada Fawziyah decided that she is coming to live in England FINALLY
She told us that something urgent made her take that decision after so long.
So a year passed until Dada Fawziyah was able to arrange for herself to come to England.
She lives in Mill Hill near our area now, and for the last week I have been passing by her house to visit her on my daily run
But I have not asked about Khadija yet There’s still that huge social barrier between us!
We are still the people who used to work for her son! I doubt they ever knew about my love for Khadija.
Every time I want to ask about her, I feel my tongue getting heavier and heavier
But, I have decided that today I am going to be brave and ask her Inshallah
As I was running, and getting so close to Dada Fawziyah’s house__
Precisely two doors down from Dada Fawziyah’s house, I bump into someone not noticing them unloading their belongings.
I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I did not notice that the car boot in one of the cars was open. I did not notice the figure stepping out carrying bags on both hands.
I did not notice, and I bumped into him/her
I feel so embarrassed and foolish, so I pick up the bags for him/her and I apologize. I do not notice that it’s a girl until I look up.
I see her eyes go really wide. It looks like she is seen a ghost or something, she looked mortified and she covers her mouth with her scarf.
“I’m so sorry, I really am,” I say it for like the millionth time.
At that moment a man comes out of the house in a hurry, to see what’s with all the commotion.
“HABIBA, GO INSIDE,” He orders the girl.
I guess that is her dad? I do not know! But the girl retreats back into the house so quickly, that I instantly notice that he must be a very strict dad.
I apologize to him as well, but the apology is not accepted from the way he held his steely gaze at me
So I apologize again, and this time I feel like I should go. I really should, but I am an idiot who thinks that when someone apologizes to you, you SHOULD accept his apology!
Sooo I just stand there like an idiot, waiting for him to accept my apology
I really am an idiot, no I am a pathetic idiot (and that is the worst kind of idiots I hear).
Whooaaa! Talk about an inhospitable man! So I decide to make my way to Dada Fawziyah’s house immediately.
My life has changed dramatically since that fateful night Alhamdulilah. I stand up for myself now, and I answer them back if they ever rude to me and I___
Well not really
Things HAVE improved as in there is not hitting and abuse anymore, but I still carry this huge gratitude that they took me off the streets and made me work for them.
That does not quell my thirst of finding out who I really am though, I am not stupid. I saw how Saydi changed his behaviour towards me, I can still see the hate in his eyes but it seems like he was shackled somehow!
And that made my basic instincts go into overdrive, I had to go in his room to search for papers_ I had to wait till they all leave the house so I could begin my search Inshallah.
So I prepared breakfast for them all as usual, waited for them to all go out and then I started my search immediately__
There was no time to waste
As soon as I entered Saydi and Manafisa’s room, I felt a sudden attack of guilt but I reminded myself that I am doing this for a good reason__
I am desperate to find out who I am__
I feel lost and in despair most of the time__I have no clue who my family are! I just wanna know.
Zahra always gets worried when she starts a new year in her school, she always says that she does not like the feeling of not knowing what is waiting for her at the beginning of each school term.
Which of her friends will be back, how are the new teachers going to be like. Whenever I see her face all worried, I remember the day I was brought into this house.
I remember feeling so so scared, I remember sleeping on the mattress on the floor for the first time. The feeling of worry in Zahra at the beginning of each school term is engraved within my soul every single day
I just want to know where I belong, I want to know if I have a mum or dad who are worried about me__
I don’t even care if they are nice or bad, I just wanna see them even from a far.
So I entered the room, and I felt fear spread across my whole body. I have never done anything like this before
I have always been so honest and faithful to this household, but I JUST keep remembering Saydi’s face and I KNOW that he knows SOMETHING!
I went through the drawers first to see if there are any birth certificate that belongs to me. I did not find anything, so I moved on to a small cupboard that is located next to their bed.
I opened it, and I saw small papers__
Lots and lots of small papers they resemble receipts!
I opened one of them, and I saw money transfer transaction made from Somalia to Tanzania?? Someone has been sending large amount of money from Somalia?? how??
I check the name of the sender and it says Fawziyah__
Why does that name feel so familiar to me???
I trace my fingers on the name, and I get a strong sense of De Ja Vu. It is like I heard this name before! Where have I heard this name? And why would they take money from someone in Somalia Maskeen??
As I was lost in my thoughts, I did not notice the door to the room opening
I did not notice the figure hoovering behind me__
And then I felt a breeze, and I instantly knew that someone was in the room I turn around and I see him glaring at me!
Saydi is standing there looking at me like he was DEFINITELY gonna kill me
I dropped the receipts on the floor, and I waited for my punishment__
But this time I was determined to fight back, I did not even care anymore
And then just like that, he ordered me to leave the room
It takes me a minute to realize that WHOA he was not not going to punch me as usual??? I went back to my chores as fast as I could, thinking to myself this is getting more and more confusing!!
That incident was a year ago. It must have unsettled him so much to plan the sudden move to England!
When they told me, I felt so many emotions it was unreal
First of all, I thought to myself, does that mean I’m going to FLY to England?? FLY?
So they lock me in a house for as long as I remember, and then they BOOM__ tell me that we are going to FLY??
Yep we are flying!
Ermm, is everyone on this plane aware that we are flying in the sky? Just wanted to warn you all that the plane is taking off!!
These were the happy thoughts going through my head as the captain takes off.
It took them a year to plan this move, and apart from flying I enjoyed every single bit of the journey to London
I loved getting sea sick on the ferry from Holland__I really did
I loved the sight of the clouds in the sky as we were flying__
To be honest with you I even enjoyed the take off, just a tiny bit though I mean you still felt like Oxygen is being sucked out of your lungs, but it was still kind of good
Seriously I was like this the whole way through
And now we are in England Alhamdulilah, very early in the morning. I look around and I cannot believe that I am here!
It looks so beautiful, but VERY VERY cold
But it doesn’t matter, as I’m feeling so happy beyond believe_
I feel so happy that I want to burst out crying After being placed in Bed and Breakfast hostel first, we are now moving into our house in Mill Hill.
I was so lost in my thoughts, that I do not see the person running towards me at full speed
It takes me a full minute to realize that A MAN knocked over the stuff that I was carrying
A MAN who looks almost my age knocked over my stuff
Ermm, is everyone aware that a man with very long lashes knocked over my stuff
He started apologizing repeatedly, and I felt so shy that I just remained frozen on my spot
Like an idiot, no like a pathetic idiot (and that is the worst kind of idiots I hear).
It was only when Saydi yelled at me, that I was able to move my legs. I dashed inside quickly and I put the stuff on the floor.
I looked from my window to see what Saydi was gonna do to the guy, because he did not sound too happy
“Who are you looking at?” Asks Alawiya in an agitated tone.
“No one” I reply.
No one at all
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