By Alawiya Abdalla
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Whenever I feel anxious or confused about something, I like to make paper planes and throw it around randomly. And right now, the tree that is situated between our house (Outside our window to be specific) and Mrs Evans house looks very tempting indeed. Tree it is then
After making 5 VERY amazing paper planes, I take position and___
Whoosh___Why am I feeling agitated? Paper plane lands in the tree perfectly
Whoosh___Yeah I know, it is that Jawahir person
Whoosh___I mean I APOLOGIZED to her, and what does she do__Whoosh__She ignores me
No one___Whoosh___Ignores me like that
I need to make more paper planes, before Ahmed gets here and starts yelling again
I used to share this room with Mohamed and Ahmed, but after we got married it automatically became Ahmed's room.
But now that I am back, I feel like I am cramping his style. In fact, I always seem to be cramping Ahmed's style
I know he took responsibility of our care since our father passed away at a very young age, but he needs to chill a bit. I can totally see how my father’s death has affected Ahmed. He is refusing to get married, until we are all married off. But that does not mean that I am totally immune from being affected by his death! I just deal with it differently.
For example, I hate to sleep alone in a room. I even hate staying in a house by myself, that’s why I moved in back with my family after my marriage broke down. The idea of being alone scares me, and Salwa used to wait until she thought I was asleep to come into bed. Obviously she did not realize that I would be awake, pretending to be asleep. I just wanted the idea of someone__In a room__breathing
Even now and before I got married, I would stay up late pretending that I want to watch a movie until I see that Mohamed or Ahmed enter the room to sleep.
The idea of dying alone scares me
What if I die, and no one notices until the next day? That thought is constantly on my mind
The whole idea of DEATH scares me, and I know I should be doing more than praying to prepare myself for the hereafter but I just cannot seem to be able to do more than that! I only started to pray after I got divorced, and yes it is as bad as it sounds
I was so careless before, that I did not really think about praying. As stupid as this sounds, I thought if my mother, Ahmed, Mohamed and Asha are praying then it should be enough
I never really thought about the consequences of not praying, until my wife cheated on me
The first thing I did after coming back here is pray. Ahmed is trying to make me read Quran, but there is still that old Ibrahim in me that is refusing to budge
For me it is like, Hey dude I am praying back off now like
Talking of Ahmed, he is standing in the room all serious and angry as usual
“Ibrahim, when are you gonna stop this? Can’t you be responsible for ONCE in your life? What is the neighbour gonna say now? She might call the council you know” Says Ahmed, inspecting the very cool paper planes scattered all around the tree
“I have a lot on my mind, I'm sure Mrs Evans will find the whole thing amusing” I reply cheerfully, thinking if I was Mrs Evans I would love to wake up to a pile of papers in the tree adjacent to my house
OK, Maybe Ahmed has a point but he does not need to know that now does he
“By the way, just wanted to warn you that mum and Khadija are trying to arrange your marriage in the kitchen” Murmurs Ahmed in a bored tone.
“WHAT? TO WHO??” I squeal__uncontrollably of course I am shocked that’s all, I do not SQUEAL
“I haven’t heard, but they were whispering and I heard something about inviting “her” and her family when Ibrahim is around” He says it, before falling into bed from exhaustion.
“Who is SHE? And I didn't ask them!!” I throw my hands in the air, in protest but Ahmed does not notice it so I look like a fool
And to make matters worse, Mrs Evans saw me throwing my hands in the air totally making me look like a fool
“Hi Mrs Evans” I wave, with a dashing smile (It works all the time)
She looks at me in disgust, and slams her window in anger
Well, maybe not all the time like
But Who is my mum trying to fix me with? and WHY am I a little bit intrigued?
Never mind my face
I am actually just a TINY bit intrigued, not like psycho intrigued
OH WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FACE??
It has been THREE years since my divorce, and maybe that’s why my face is making uncontrollable movements of excitement??
I think I need more paper planes
I am at my room and on my laptop to be specific, and I am chatting to Hamadi.
Hamadi is the mean kid from the ship, when we made our way from Calais to Dover. I can explain I promise
But for me to explain how I came about to not only contemplating talking to Hamadi, but to actually think about MARRYING him I will have to take you back in memory lane.
All the way back to Ibrahim’s wedding day.
If you are a woman reading this, then you will know that the hardest thing a woman has to do is watch someone she loves love someone else
You try to act brave, but your heart tugs at the sight of the person you love looking at someone else affectionately
That was tough, and it somehow made my insecurities about myself escalate. People have always been dismissive of me; you know being one of 5 sisters and all that. Each and single one of them has a quality that makes her stand out___
Fatiha is the white one (And the most desired because of her skin colour)
Luul is the pretty one ( The one with looks that makes us all cry in self pity)
Faiza is the one with THE body (No need to explain further)
And then there is me___
Jawahir. The one with?
EXACTLY, that is how they viewed me. They would actually PUSH me aside and say stuff like
“Where is Luul the pretty one?”
“Where is Fatiha the white one?”
“MASHALLAH Faiza, that body man”
And I would be standing at the side watching all of this, but my sisters would always say ,“Yeah but look at my sister Jawahir, isn't she just adorable?”
Which would coincidentally make me look for a shovel, you know__ to dig a hole in the ground enough to make me hide myself for a while
I know they mean well, but that makes the whole thing ten times harder for me
And to make matters worse, I am the eldest so WOOOOPIIEE
Yep, it means I am to marry first
My mum INSISTS on following this “ I'm so sorry but you all have to wait for your sister who no one wants” tradition
If it was up to me, I would just let them all get married but they are being too kind and they are actually waiting patiently
So that is why I decided to go down the internet route, I see the look of pride and acceptance from my sisters and my heart feels heavy for them
I joined several “Halal Dating” websites to find a husband, I figured to myself no one will mind if I marry someone from another country because quite frankly they JUST do not care about me
And this is what I found__
I found this website called Fil Halal, where everyone can post their profile without having to post pictures of themselves.
Profile number one:
I’m a 37 years old graduate (Not bad)
I’m 5’8” (Not bad at all)
Brown hair and eyes (MASHALLAH)
I’m an associate textile Egineer (How can I refuse? I mean I can see that he spelt Engineer wrong but that is OK)
OK let us see what he is looking for in a wife
I want a white muslimah (Oh Oh)
Must know how to cook (Ermm, that can be self taught)
Must be OK with giving me at least 6 children as first wife is not co operating (WHERE’S THE DELETE BUTTON)
I told myself not to be disheartened, and that this is just the first profile and there’s plenty more fish in the sea and all that.
I am a 6 ft tall male (Always good especially for someone my height)
Good looking (Let me be the judge of that, thank you very much)
I am caring (Good comeback there my friend)
Intelligent (Always a good thing, I DO want my kids to be Einstein and everything Inshallah)
Fun loving and quite a relaxed person (Exactly how RELAXED are you Mr)
OK let us see what he is looking for in a wife
I am looking for a female for a long term relationship (Leading to marriage I presume!)
I am very open minded as to her background and race (Good comeback there my friend)
I do have a preference for females from the following countries/regions though (Hey what happened to all the I am open minded kinda guy business!)
Alright! Well maybe England is one of them?
I will only marry a female from USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, Germany, France, Pakistan, India, Mediterranean countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, etc), Scandinavian countries, South America, Arabic countries
Nope, No UK anywhere
Let me put on my glasses just in case
NOPE, No UK still
And the more I saw, the more I hit the NEXT button
So I tried a different site, and THIS website was like WHAT THE?
Basically, some men want to be in a relationship with BOTH men and women and we all know what that means
The funny thing is, it’s called Al Zawaj (The marriage). How ironic
My search for a husband in these websites came to an abrupt ending I am afraid
I decided to turn my back on them
I started having a life outside freaking out about marriage, and I actually enjoyed it for a while__Until someone suggested I join Facebook, and I did.
It was very confusing at first. and it took a while for me to figure out what is what. As things progressed, I proudly (At the time) thought “Woohoo check me out, I have 20 friends”
That’s TWENTY friends dude
Obviously nowadays when I see someone having only 20 friends on their list, I chuckle (I am not proud of it) but I do.
One day, a friend request was waiting for me. I opened it and my heart stopped
A friend request from Hamadi (The bully from the ship) was waiting for me to accept or decline. What does he want from me??? was the first thing I thought about, as I was staring at the screen feeling my blood boil
Then I saw that he was friends with LUUL my sister
I inboxed him asking what does he want from me? And why would he even THINK that I would accept him after what he did? Someone was hoping for a genuine apology, rather than that flimsy one back in the ship all those years ago?
Yes actually, I had very much like a proper apology thank you very much
Have you ever been hurt by someone’s comment sooo much, that it left a scar in your soul?
That is how I felt about Hamadi at that moment. An apology would have made the scar heal a little bit
I got an instant reply from him, and this is what it said
“Asalamu Alykum Jawahir, I know I’m not one of your favourite people right now. But I’d like to put things right, and start by apologizing for my behaviour back then. I was just a stupid kid, and I didn’t mean what I said. And obviously I was very wrong, as Mashallah look at you now. So I sincerely hope you can accept my friendship and my very very sincere apology”
I read the mail, re-read it and re-read it again.
Did he just say I am pretty
That is like the first ever Barawani person who said I am pretty, I mean I always get compliments from non Barawanis and non muslims but hey there IS a Barawani person who thinks I am kinda alright you know
I suppose I COULD accept his friend request after that very sincere apology
I could so tell he was sincere, even though I was reading it but you can just so tell__
It is a Facebook thing, people do not LIE on Facebook do they?
And ever since then, we would chat online and frequently exchange jokes in a very civilized funny manner.
Hey, I am even helping him with his Masters Degree. Even though it involves doing a thorough analysis about something in Engineering, I am still helping him with it
Our conversation have been nice and polite so far Mashallah. He says nothing inappropriate or anything that could cause me offence
But deep down, I am hoping that this might actually turn into something more
I am a good muslimah as far as I know; I pray 5 times a day and I read my Quran from time to time Alhamdulilah. I do not want to be wasting my time with someone who is not interested in marrying me
But how do you broach the subject, without making oneself look cheap
All of our conversations is nice, filled with politeness that would rival any polite conversations you have ever witnessed__In the history of “Politeness”
I mean, I do not want the guy to suddenly start being vulgar or anything
But a simple hint of “Hey I might wanna see your uncle to ask your hand in marriage” type will really be appreciated at this point
I did not even get the chance to use the sentence
“Wattcchhh it, I'm not one of THOSE girls you know”
And that BOTHERS me you see
But as they say, Patience is virtue
It truly is
And patient I shall be, Inshallah
It is the next day at my job, and Jawahir is no where to be seen___
Actually, I am slightly disappointed. I had a lot of annoying things to say to her, that would make her agitated to be honest with you
When I fight, I like to finish my fights and she cut me off twice now.
And that bothers me you see, so I make my way to the staff room to look for her. And there I saw her, with her head stuck to the laptop.
“SUBHANALLAH, We should really do something about this stalking business” I say it in an obvious, albeit mocking discomfort.
“Uffff” She replies, not looking up from her laptop.
Arrghhhh let me win woman
“I really like the fact that you are not speaking, it makes the whole day that much pleasant” I try to push her into making a retort.
No woman likes to be told she is annoying indirectly.
I know, I have my mum and Asha and they DEFINITELY do not like to be treated like they are airheads who do not know what we mean when we do not say what we mean directly.
You know what I mean
“Why don’t we just not acknowledge each other from now on, that would save us oxygen and as a result save the planet” She finally rises to the challenge
Men all around the world, THIS is how you make a woman REALLY mad.
“FINE” She replies back
“FINE” I insist
“FINE” SHE insists more.
“FINE” I really hope she stops, because now I am feeling agitated again
And she stops
I really really won
Oh man this feels good Wallahi, this feels absolutely___
“Ibrahim?” She asks suddenly
“Ask me how I'm feeling today please?” She asks with a big fat smile plastered all over her face
“How are you feeling today????” I ask suspiciously
“ I'm FINE” She says it, before bursting into a bout of hysterical laughter
OHHH MY DAYYYYYYSSSSS
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