Feb 17, 2013

Short Story: Where is My Khadija Chapter 4

By Alawiya Abdalla

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Gotta keep running__4 3 2 1

Gotta run in this order__It has to be 4 3 2 1

There’s something so therapeutic about the way I run, I like running in that order because it’s like running down a hill. Running down the hill is much easier than running up and counting from 4 to 1 is like running down the hill for me.

When you run down you are faster and I like to set my mind into thinking that, as running for two hours straight is EXHAUSTING

I also like the smell of fresh dew while I run, and I like watching the sunrise as I make my way through my area Burnt Oak.

I always time my running after I pray Fajr, that is when I feel energy slowly fill my soul. Every day, the same routine for the last 7 years.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am 20 years old now Alhamdulilah. I arrived in England as a 13 year old skinny boy, and now I am DEFINITELY not skinny anymore

Going to school in England was tough, boy! Everyone would point out my skinny frame

“Look it’s the walking skeleton,” they used to taunt me

“Look at those chicken legs,” another would kindly direct the whole school to my legs

It was tough and cruel, and if I did not have Ahmed and Ibrahim there defending me I do not know how I would have survived.

Walah, I used to eat and eat and eat, but nothing would show! Asha would always say,

“You’re so lucky, I just LOOK at food and I gain like 2 pounds!” I used to think to myself “TRADE PLACES WITH ME THEN!!”

To make matters worse, my brothers Ahmed and Ibrahim were very bulky I did not envy them Walahi, but I wished they would pass me some of that bulk they had

So, yes. I was an awkward teenager

After high school, I decided that I need to get myself in shape. I needed to devise a nutritional and physical plan to get myself in shape

I used to see Ahmed and Ibrahim drink raw eggs every morning, and it looked so disgusting BUT desperate times calls for desperate measures

So I gulped the gooey, slimy, shiny eggs one day and BAM muscle man was born instantly

Well, not really. I had to do sit ups, press ups, flip ups_ any related ups training, I have done them all. However, the one that I actually enjoy doing is running.

When you run, you feel so calm and serene. You can think while you are running, and my mind always goes back to uncle Omar’s villa.

My mind goes back to that man pushing me to the floor, it goes back to my ultimate fall on the ground as I tried to help Khadija

We looked and asked everyone about her, even when we came here we asked. Everyone knows her, but they do not know where she is

It is a painful subject to my mum, as she feels like she is betraying dada Fawziyah as she promised her to find Khadija.

She has survived the war in Somalia. We phone her every month, and try to convince her to come here to England but she refuses.

My mum feels so guilty towards her, even though we can all see that she is doing her best with everyone she cares about. You see my mum has worked so hard since coming to England, she has continued trading with gold which started in Kenya.

7 years of hard work had paid off by going back and forth to Kenya with Ahmed, who only managed to finish high school as it is against the law not to go to school in England.

As soon as he completed his high school, he went to help my mum with the business. That union paid off, as now my mum is the owner of a jewellery shop located in the busiest part Burnt Oak high street.

She possesses all the qualities of a good business woman. She can be tough when she wants to, and she can be lenient when it is needed.

My uncle Yusuf (my dad’s brother) does his best to ruin my mum’s reputation, as she turned him down when he proposed for like the millionth time

He came to England with his family shortly after we entered, and he has been pestering and calling my mum all sorts of names just because she is choosing to work

It is so hard not to go up to him, and rip his head off but like my mum always tells us, he IS our dad’s brother

And now reaching our three bedroom house in Burnt Oak, my daily training comes to a halt. As soon as I enter the house I smell the strong scent of Loho ho (Pancakes) from outside the door

You can NEVER resist Loho ho and one is just NEVER enough.

My mum, Asha and Ibrahim are gathered on the dining table reading something on the laptop

“Asalamu Alykum everyone” I give my greetings as I sit down.

“She has a soft spot for Ahmed doesn’t she?” says Asha excitedly.

“Who does??” I ask puzzled

“There’s a group dedicated to us called The Abdalla brothers appreciation group, I mean YOU guys on facebook” She talks fast ” It has 100 members already and going up”

“That’s so ridiculous! What does it say? And who is this person creating this group?” I ask, feeling gobsmacked at this news.

“What’s there not to like?? She is giving us free publicity, and I am certainly grateful” says Ibrahim cheekily.

“Ibrahim is a true Abdalla, but with an extra slice of charm and comedy” He re-reads the update eagerly.

“Mohamed is a true Abdalla, with an extra slice of romance,” he reads the section about me.

“But not compared to the serious and fine young man that is Ahmed Abdalla.” He finishes reading the info section about this RIDICULOUS group

“That person has too much time on their hands,” declares Ahmed immediately, as he joins us for breakfast.

“She talks a lot about you in here Ahmed, listen to this,” says Asha enthusiastically.

“I don’t want to hear about this haram group.” Ahmed cuts her sentence short.

“Well you DO need to think about getting married you know, and this person is advertising you” Asha points out the benefit of the group.

“Am I a woman or something?? I told you all, I will get married after you all do, Inshallah. I don’t need her help!” He dismisses Asha’s theory on the matter.

“Who says it’s a girl? it could be a guy writing this” Chuckles Ibrahim loudly.

“Ha ha soooo funny! NOT! Get a life Ibrahim,” says Ahmed furiously

“Come on. I’m only teasing. You gotta admit though, I am one funny dude” Ibrahim says it, looking over at Asha who is trying very hard not to laugh

“Come on guys. Stop it and leave him alone,” I urge them to stop the teasing

“Ibrahim, leave Ahmed alone!” My mum tells him off, while holding back a chuckle

“Ahmed you need to think about settling down my son, you’re 24 now and I wanna see the first lot of my grand kids Inshallah” She says it sadly.

“I thought we already discussed it Ma, I’ll marry these clowns off first and then I’ll think about myself Inshallah” He replies as politely as he can.

“I know why he wants to marry us off first! He wants to take you to live with him! Naaah man, my mum is coming to live with me Inshallah,” Demands Ibrahim.

“NO WAY! She’s living with me,” joins Asha in the protest

“Asha, I am NOT living with you so I can cook for you if that’s your intention.” My mum reminds our little sis about her lack of culinary skills

“I can cook eggs!” She answers defensively.

“Your mother-in-law will be pleeeaassseeddd with that!” Ibrahim joins sarcastically.

“Shut up Ibrahim!” She tells him angrily.

“No YOU shut up, she’s mine,” Ibrahim argues back.

“She’s mine.”





“She’s yours,” says Asha and confusing Ibrahim, by changing the course of the argument
“She’s yours,” Ibrahim replies back not realizing the bait

“Ok then if you insist!” Asha TOTALLY wins the argument

“HOLD ON HOLD ON! I WAS TRICKED” Ibrahim says it embarrassingly.

Ahmed high fives Asha, just to irritate him.

“You know what? I haven’t heard Mohamed’s voice over you two. Don’t you want me to live you sweetheart?” Asks my mum in that motherly tone that makes your heart melt.

“I want YOU to choose where you wanna live Ma, if you live with me then you will NEVER lift a finger in my house. Because you will be my queen” I TOTALLY win this, and you can TOTALLY see it from Asha’s and Ibrahim’s dropped mouths

“Well said little bro,” Ahmed tells me proudly.

As Asha and Ibrahim were squabbling over who will take mum, we hear the door bell ring.

I go and open it, and I see that Jawahir (Asha’s friend) is here to go with Asha to college as she does every morning. Jawahir and Asha take the bus together to go to Barnet college in Colindale everyday.

They have been friends since high school, and have been inseparable ever since. Everyone was trying to pair me and Jawahir together, but both of our hearts belong to someone else.

Mine belongs to Khadija, and Jawahir has this massive crush on Ibrahim. Even though he is my brother, I totally believe that Jawahir can do sooo much better than him

My brother Ibrahim is kind of a player, and when I say kind of it really means kind of

He goes on dates with lots of girls, but he never takes things any further than a meal in a resturant. He has sworn to us that he does not do anything haram with them

I do not know why he does it to be honest! But we all know that Ibrahim is Ibrahim I guess. Maybe one day he will actually go for Jawahir, or at least someone like her.

Me on the other hand have been waiting for an invisible girl my whole life

Maybe I will never find Khadija! Maybe she is not written for me. Everyone’s husband and wife’s name is written in the unknown, only Allah (SWT) knows.

Maybe Khadija is already married to someone else, HAPPILY married to someone else

How come this realization has never come to me before?? I have been waiting 11 years for someone who could be settled with kids even

I would never go after someone else’s woman! NEVER__

And I am a guy, and I want to get married now. I’ve always wanted to get married by the time I was 20__

I wanted to have all my 10 kids by the age of 30

TEN KIDS??? I know I have to convince the wife, but WHY NOT. I like big families, she should be grateful because I just down graded the number from 11 to 10

Maybe it is time to put Khadija in the past, maybe it’s time to look for someone local.

I want to marry a girl who is pious, kind and loyal. But_

Her name HAS to be Khadija, all these years of reading about the Prophet (SAAW) and Khadija (RAA) has left a massive impact on me

I want my wife to be loyal as Khadija (RAA) I want her to be the first one I go to, when I have something to share just like the Prophet did when the revelation came to him at the Hira cave in Mecca.

I remember how the Prophet (SAAW) went back to his wife Khadija (RAA) and recounted to her his experience. And how She comforted him afterwards

So do you see why I am insisting on marrying a Khadija? Could that kind of love really exist?

If I cannot find Khadija bint uncle Omar, then my wife HAS to be Khadija? Do I make any sense?

No? Yeah I seem to be confusing myself too All I know is, it’s hard saying goodbye to Khadija.

It’s hard to let go, but I’m gonna try to move on


11 years is a loong time to be living in fear and misery

I cannot remember anything from my childhood! I was found wandering about in the streets of Dar esalam in Tanzania according to my employers, Saydi and Manafisa.

They told me that my name is Habiba, and that I had no family who claimed me when they found me

So they did a massive favour by employing me to work as a maid in their house. I am grateful_I am very grateful to have a roof over my head, but I wish they wouldn’t abuse me

Well not them, but him. I cannot even say his name, that is how much I hate him. For someone who did such a heroic deed of rescuing me from life on the streets, he sure knows how to inflict so much pain on a defenseless human being.

Anything sets him off. The floor isn not dry enough, the food was not good enough or just the fact that my face was irritating him sometimes

He would punish me in the worst possible ways, sometimes he would lock me in a closet for hours and hours.

But nothing compares to the cigarette burn marks I have all over my legs

Oh they hurt, they really hurt. However, years and years of torture has left my body numb from all the abuse.

I can no longer feel any physical pain, the pain is engraved in my soul__

The pain of feeling humiliated__

The pain of loneliness_____

That is the worst pain anyone could experience, I would not wish my life on my worst enemy.

The only thing making this life bearable, is Zahra. She is Saydi’s and Manafisa’s daughter, they also have another daughter called Alawiya but she is kind of mean

Zahra would always have a cream ready, when her father burns my legs with his cigarettes. She would always cover up for me when I mess up.

Alawiya on the other hand could not care less about me, but she would give her dad dirty looks when he burns me.

I think even the meanest of people would think that is a despicable act! So she does not like to communicate with me unless she wants me to do her homework.

And that is how I learned. I was not allowed to go to school, so when I did Alawiya’s homeworks I learned. She would quickly explain what needed to be done, and I would do it so easily Alhamdulilah

The funny thing about losing your memory is the irony. You remember things like, what you like and what you dislike. However, you cannot remember faces, you cannot remember names.

The only thing connecting me with the past is this doll I had since I could remember. Every time I hold it, I see figures walking across my memory.

I see arms opening wide, catching me and lifting me up in the air in joy That is the only time I feel safe. I also see a boy sitting on a bench, with long lashes and dark wavy hair smiling.

I wonder who are these figures walking gracefully in my memory?

Whoever gave me this MUST have loved me, otherwise it would not produce all these lovely memories in my brain.




There must have been a time when I had them

Ya Allah I can only take so much Please get me out of this misery, sooner than later.

__One eye opener night in September__

It was a usual stupid night. That creature eating Jaat with his disgusting friends in the living room, and all of us went to bed as usual.

His friends are so scary and pervy, but one in particular was worse. His name is Habibo (How ironic that his name is the male version of mine!)

This guy is the most disgusting man I have ever met. He has been eyeing me with his piercing eyes since I could remember

He is very big and sweaty, and he comes EVERY night for the last 10 years *euuughh*

Anyway, today is like any other wasteful day in their lives except__

Mr. Habibo decided that tonight he will pay me a visit to the girls room

I sleep on the floor on a single mattress next to the girls’ beds. I did not even hear him enter as I was asleep, all I know is I felt a hand creeping up my legs

When I opened my eyes I saw him! I saw his red eyes staring, wide open and full of evil thoughts.

At that moment I snapped__

I do not know what triggered it exactly! Maybe it is 10 years of kicking, hitting pulling and shoving.

Ten years of being called the most horrible names a woman should not hear_

Ten years of being locked up in this house, only being let out for fresh air at the front of the house like dogs_

Ten years of no one standing up for me__Ten years of seeing Manafisa’s guilty face, but no words coming from her lips.

Ten years of wanting JUST one tiny approving to make me feel appreciated, but I got beatings in return.

I snapped__

I will put up with everything__but I WON’T put up with this

No I won’t__

So I shoved his heavy weight off of me, I started biting him so hard that I thought his skin would come off.

He let out a piercing cry, that made the girls wake up.

Saydi came rushing in with his eyes blotchy red as well, he looked at his friend and then back at me and he understood what happened.

He ordered his girls to go back to sleep, and he grabbed me from my arms to the hall, Habibo following us

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? You are engaged to this man, and you will do as he says” He says is with a curse so vile that I cannot recall.

“NO!” Was the only word coming out of my lips at that moment.

“NO NO NO NO, ENOUGH!” I say it running towards the kitchen and grabbing a knife.

It really was a moment of pure desperation, a moment of insanity, a cry for help__

I held the knife to my throat, and I saw a look of horror spread across his face for the first time

“I WILL KILL MYSELF IF YOU FORCE ME TO DO THAT. I WILLLLL KILL MYSELF RIGHT NOW, DO YOU HEAR ME?” I shout with all the strength that I posses, all the while hoping that he does not dare me to do it because I could not trust my mental state at that point

And I saw it__

The look of fear in Saydi’s face___

I saw the look I carried all my life___did I just make him afraid???

“Look calm down, and just go to bed. I promise you he won’t bother you again. Right?” He asks and looks towards Habibo with desperation seeping from his eyes

“Yeah yeah” He replies backing returning to the living room quickly.

“Now, put that down and go to bed OK?” His voice almost pleading.

I did as he asked, and I went back to my room. At first I was sooo mortified at what I was about to do to myself

I fell to the floor asking Allah to forgive me, crying uncontrollably. I was not crying because that disgusting man was about to molest me, but I was crying because I was gonna kill myself and die a Kafer

But after the crying came the realization___

Why was Saydi so scared that I kill myself?? If I was the girl with the most degrading names he used to call me all the time, why did not he let me die?

And then it hit me__

This person needs me to be alive! He needs me for something, but what for I do not know.

HE KNOWS WHO I AM!! There was something so strange about the sudden change in his tone.

Suddenly I feel so hopeful, I will not rest until I find out who I am Inshallah

I will not rest until I know what is he hiding. I won’t Inshallah.

I won’t__

I'd love to hear your views on this chapter. Please post in the comments section below! :)


beautiful as always sister... :D (y)

beautiful mashaAllah!

Salaam sis, i just cudnt wait for the chpt 4 and Alhamdulillah its really good! May Allah give u the strength to continue. Am forever a huge fan!

wow sis I'm loving this! mashAllah !

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