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Mar 31, 2013

Short Story: Where is My Khadija Chapter 9

By Alawiya Abdalla

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Bismillah

Khadija

Waking up in the Asha’s house was so weird for me. It was weird because it was not home

As much as Saydi tortured me, I still call their house my home. I grew up not knowing who my mum and dad were, and as bad as they are towards me I still see them as my family

Do not get me wrong, I am very grateful for the Abdalla family’s hospitality but I still miss home

Subhanallah, I even miss the mattress I used to sleep on and it is only been a day!

I cried quietly all night, I hoped that Asha had not heard my sobs

I guess I am feeling like this, because I am afraid that my time is limited in this house. I will have to find somewhere else to stay as fast as I can.

I do not want to over stay my welcome, as I really respect this family The boys have moved everything, to make space in Asha’s room.

They took out this inflatable bed with legs and everything

Well, not legs as in HUMAN legs! Oh no, it actually looks like a normal bed and it is very comfy too Mashallah.

Maybe I am feeling weird, because I am not used to pampering and being treated as a human being

We all woke up Fajir time and prayed together, and then we all went back to bed.

Except, I did not sleep. It is 6 am and normally this is when I start my chores back home, and I am finding it quite hard going back to sleep

I am just lying in bed staring at the ceiling until my head hurt. I decide there and then that I am going to wake up anyway and try to find something to do

MAYBE I SHOULD START COOKING BREAKFAST

OR CLEAN THE TOILETS

OR__

Okay, I am gonna start with cooking breakfast! I cannot believe how excited I am at the prospect of cooking and cleaning again

I really am a weirdo!

A weirdo who loves cleaning__

Or is it cooking?

Do I love cleaning or cooking more?

Cleaning_

No. cooking__

I love cleaning AND cooking. I tend to make a list of anything and everything in my head so often; it helped when I had nothing to do all day back in Tanzania.

But I have GOT to stop doing that!

Inshallah I will stop it recently__

Or is it soon?

Or is it, I will stop it in the recent future__

In the recent future, I will stop it soon_

Or is it__

YA ILLAHI, SOMEONE BETTER STOP ME NOW

So leaving my crazy thoughts behind, I head towards the kitchen to cook breakfast but then I remember my doll

It is in a Sainsbury’s bag beside my bed. I had it in the bag, which I got from the kitchen before I left Saydi’s house. I did not want people to see me holding a doll, thinking I am a freak

And now, I need to really hide it as I do not want Asha or anyone to see it. I just do not want them to make fun of me

So I tucked my doll safely in a small cupboard next to Asha’s bed, I had to be extremely careful not to wake her though.

I make my way to the kitchen, and I find it hard to locate everything! which explains the noise I am making right at this minute

The first thing I find is plain flour, so to avoid making more noise I decide to cook Loho ho (Pan cake)

I was halfway through my batch of Loho hos, when I saw Asha’s mother Halima making her way to the kitchen. I feel so flustered and anxious, that I almost drop the plate that was carrying the Loho hos

“Good morning Habiba. What are you doing up so early sweety?” Asks aunty Halima.

“I..I…I I just thought I’d make you all some breakfast,” I reply nervously, feeling my hands getting damp

“Oh sweety, you don’t have to get up this early to cook breakfast for us! Subhanallah go back to sleep and rest. You’ve had a long night yesterday,” She says kindly, giving me an option to talk about it or not.

“I’m almost done aunty, I’ll bring you some Inshallah,” I tell her, trying to avoid explaining about my previous life and why I was booted out of Saydi and Manafisa’s house

I just feel so embarrassed and scared about they would say if they knew__

If they knew about the torture I endured almost daily on the hands of Saydi, and how it stopped suddenly__until that night when he tried to___

About how I was a nobody, with no past and no future__

How would anyone marry me when they do not know where I come from, and who are my family__

My heart breaks to pieces at the thought of marriage and kids__

I am like most girls who dream about finding a good pious husband, and having a house FULL of kids Inshallah

But I always bring myself back to earth. I have to be realistic and accept that, this moment is the best I could get from life Alhamdulilah.

I wish I could stay here forever my thoughts were interrupted, when Asha came out sniffing from her room.

“Do I smell Loho ho?” She keeps sniffing, until she locates them on the small table next to the sofa where aunty Halima was sitting.

She kept coming closer and closer to the plate__

Still sniffing

And that moment ended when__

“WARYA, GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH BEFORE YOU EVEN CONSIDER EATING IT,” orders aunty Halima.

“I’m just sniffing! Eww I’m not gonna eat it without brushing my teeth!! like ew” Asha protests, STILL sniffing the Loho ho

And that moment ended when__

Aunty Halima started chasing Asha all around the house they only stopped when Asha locked herself in the bathroom, to brush her teeth of course!

“Subhanallah, that girl is useless Habiba I’m telling you!” she tells me breathlessly.

She sits down to catch her breath, and then she turns around to face me.

“Look Habiba sweety, I don’t want to rush you to tell me anything right now but I’m gonna need some explanation at some point. I just wanna know who would kick someone out in the middle of the night like that. Especially a girl!” She asks me in sympathy.

I feel so touched that someone would actually care about me and my feelings, that I cannot help my tears falling down furiously

“Don’t cry please! I didn’t mean to hurt you with my words! I just wanna know your rights, that’s all. I wanna go and have a harsh word with your parents sweety,” she explains in a panicked state.

“No, you didn’t hurt me aunty. I’m just touched that there is someone out there caring about me” I explain my happy tears.

“Like I said sweety, take your time. Whenever you’re ready to talk, I’ll be here waiting OK?” she says kindly

“Oh and Habiba?” She says it suddenly.

“Yes?” I reply anxiously.

“You don’t need to cook for us again please. You are a guest in our house, and WE are supposed to look after you. If my daughter doesn’t cook, then you shouldn’t have to. I want you to be comfortable here darling alright?" She says, taking both my hands in her hands, in a motherly gesture.

Mashallah, she must be SUCH a kind mum You can just tell that she is the kind of mum, who would complain about her kids not helping and when they do help, she would feel sorry about them and take over

Asha comes out of the bathroom, and immediately ravishes the Loho hos

“I wonder who’s cooking breakfast in Dada Fawziyah’s house??” Asks Asha, with her mouth full

DADA FAWZIYAH!! I wonder how she’s doing?

I’m gonna make sure that I visit her as soon as the ward open for visiting hours__

But I feel a little guilty about the guys sleeping at Dada Fawziyah’s house

I wonder who is cooking for them!!


Mohamed

“THIS IS NOT HOW I LIKE MY EGGS!!!!” yells Ibrahim, as he sees his runny eggs dripping all over the plate.

“Well TOUGH! EAT IT AND STOP MOANING,” yells Ahmed, obviously getting offended for his eggs

“I like my eggs well done,” mumbles Ibrahim, poking the runny egg with his fork which spills the egg yolk all over the plate.

“Looks like I’m just gonna eat the egg white after all,” He says defeatedly, as if he is devastated at the prospect of not eating the egg yolk

“I think we need to go eat breakfast at our house,” I say, looking at my questionable eggs and the burnt toast next to it

“You guys are so spoilt and annoying! Just eat and stop moaning!” grumbles Ahmed at our lack of enthusiasm.

So we all eat the questionable breakfast, and head towards our house to eat the REAL breakfast

We arrive at the house at 7 am, with Asha greeting us at the door.

“Oh it’s you lot!” She greets us, rolling her eyes.

“Nice to see you too sis!” I say it sarcastically.

“Food. Where is the food?” says Ibrahim, pushing through Asha like a robot and into the kitchen

“WATCH IT!” screams Asha after him.

Me and Ahmed decide to go and find mum.

We see her sitting at the sofa, with Asha’s laptop open and Habiba and Jawahir sitting next to her.

I wonder how she is doing after the night she had?

I take a glimpse of her face, and I see happiness. This is the first time I actually see her smiling broadly

She always seemed sad__

She would smile, but you can tell that she is hiding tons and tons of pent up emotions.

Not today. Today, she actually seems like she is smiling and she really means it.

Alhamdulilah, I am so happy for her. She just looks like the type of girl who has been through adversities, and she also looks like someone who needs a happy ending for a change.

Who thought I could see all that from a glimpse, I’m such a psychiatrist Mashallah

“Continue Jawahir, and then what happened?” says my mum to Jawahir! They seem to be reading something

“Ibrahim has been seen talking to some mystery woman, for several minutes before she lifted him up from the floor” Jawahir reads it out loud.

“What are you guys reading?” I ask, thinking who lifted who now?

“That facebook page thing. She’s explaining what she saw at the event you guys went to last night,” explains Jawahir.

At this point, Ibrahim and Asha walk in the living room where we are all seated.

“What is she talking about now?” Asks Ibrahim, with his mouth full of food.

“She’s saying that she saw you with a woman next to the ladies room?” replies Jawahir, with a hint jealousy only visible to us and not to him because he does not know that she likes him!

“O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful 49:6," recites Ahmed, shaking his head in frustration.

“HOW DID SHE KNOW THAT??” Asks Ibrahim, looking surprised and shocked

“So it’s true?” I ask him.

“Well, yeah. I met a girl who helped me up after I twisted my ankle next to the ladies room, my being next to the ladies room was COMPLETELY accidental of course,” he answers me, looking at all the staring faces

“So who is this girl??” asks my mum curiously

“She’s gonna be my future wife Inshallah” Replies Ibrahim proudly.

“WHAT??” The question coming from all of us, including Habiba

“You guys wanted me to settle down, and I will Inshallah. I found the most beautiful girl on the planet, and I’m planning to marry her,” he answers proudly.

“So you’re just gonna marry her for her looks??” asks Ahmed surprised at this turn of events, and I cannot blame him

Ibrahim has always been reckless, but this is too much

“The Prophet (SAW) said that a woman is married for four things; Her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion right?” says Ibrahim, directing the question to all of us daring us to object.

“Why don’t you finish the Hadith? He also said and you should marry the religious woman, otherwise you will be the loser (Bukhari),” I finish the Hadith for him.

“And he also said the whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman (Muslim),” says Ahmed.

“Look you guys I can’t explain it. I just KNOW she’s the one for me OK? Will you be my family and act like you’re happy for me? Even if you think what I’m doing is wrong, just be happy for me and support me,” he tells us, almost pleadingly

How could he decide that he wants to marry this girl in a day?? This is so bizarre!! And coming from Ibrahim? I just do not get it

“We will go and ask about her, and see what we can do Inshallah,” replies my mum, after almost a minute of silence.

My mum always wanted Ibrahim to marry Jawahir, because Jawahir reminds her of herself when she was young.

Poor Jawahir! You can see that she is trying to hide the sadness in her eyes with a smile

We all go our separate ways after that announcement, it is as if a storm is brewing from far__

I just do not feel comfortable about this, I do not know why?????


Khadija

A month has passed since I moved in with the Abdalla family. Dada Fawziyah is still in hospital, because she is experiencing alot of unexplained aches in her body and the doctors are keeping her for further tests

So the boys remain in her house, while I stay here and she does not mind.

I have not bumped into anyone from Saydi and Manafisa’s family. I really wanna know how everyone is doing, except him. I do not want to bump into him EVER

But I do miss the girls so much

I cannot dwell too much on that though, because moving forward is the way for me now

“Mohamed, why don’t you go to talk to mum or something. You’re cramping our style,” Asha tells Mohamed agitatedly.

“I’m just sitting on the table FAR away from you lot! What’s your problem? I wanna use the computer because Ibrahim’s got the laptop.” He explains the reason for his being in the living room while we are watching the TV

What happens the next minute is so weird and so sudden that I cannot explain the reason for it.

I suddenly remembered the EXACT conversation in my past__

Two people arguing the same way Asha is arguing with Mohamed

“Habiba? Are you OK? You don’t look too well,” asks Asha concerned.

“I just__I just remembered something,” I barely get the words out, as I try to will my brain to remember some more.

“What did you remember?” she asks, while Mohamed looks on curiously

In order for me to tell them what I just remembered, I have to explain my amnesia and my past and the way I was found wandering about in the streets of Dar ul Salam__

So I did just that, thinking maybe they could help me remember my past__

But why now? And how strange that Asha would use the same lines that I have in my memory

Very strange indeed

Meanwhile in a house not far away from the Abdalla family’s house__

“So you see this girl has a really bad reputation. I mean she has totally played with this poor man’s feelings, and now she is messing with your late brother’s boys!” says Saydi in a mocking concerned voice, with Habibo sitting next to him.

“That has to be stopped! That Halima woman thinks she can do anything she wants, and no one says anything to her! Well I will!!” replies Yusuf (Halima’s husband’s brother) furiously

“I have the perfect revenge for the likes of Habiba, but can I count on you to back me up?” asks Saydi slyly.

“You have my word and support,” Yusuf replies, shaking hands with Saydi!

The union of these three men CANNOT be good    


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