ALEENA – 2

For the first time since they got married, her husband didn’t spend the night at home and her heart broke into tiny pieces. She had only herself to blame.

Aleena had ran into her bedroom to get her phone but she discovered to her dismay that the screen had broken beyond repair and she couldn’t make any call with it. 

“Zoya! Zoya!” Zoya was her live-in nanny and maid and she was in the kitchen, feeding Jawaira.

“Hi mummy. Where is my daddy?” She asked with a mouthful of food and Zoya raised a brow at her. She giggled and continued eating.

“You called me, Aunty.” Zoya turned to her, even as she dabbed Jawaira’s mouth.

“Yes I did. I need your phone to make urgent calls. My phone dropped and the screen broke.” She smiled weakly at her little girl and kissed her chubby cheek.”Your daddy will soon be here. He went out to get something and will be back.”

“I am so sorry about that.” Zoya fished her phone out of her trouser pocket and handed it to her.

“Thank you, Zoya” She hurried out of the room as she dialed Haseeb’s number but it was switched off. Not so unexpected. She dialed Basimah’s number next. The 3 numbers she knew off-hand were basimah’s, her mother’s and Haseeb’s mobile numbers. She had no intention of shedding another tear but the moment the phone connected and she heard her friend’s voice, a muffled sob escaped her mouth and she ran into the guest room for privacy.

“What is wrong, Aleena? What happened?” Basimah’s frantic voice reached her and she sobbed harder. “Should I start coming? I can order a cab and start coming now.”

“No, please don’t come. I deserved this. You warned me but I didn’t listen. I only have myself to blame.” Silent sobs shook her slim frame as she went to the window and parted the blind.

“Wait, did he hear our conversation?” Basimah seemed to hold her breath over the phone.

“Yes.” It was a whisper.

“Oh my God! Oh my God! You didn’t know he was in the house? What have we done?” She groaned.

“I knew he was in the house but was nowhere close to the room. I checked. I must have forgotten myself and didn’t know when he sneaked up on me. He left the house since then and his number has been switched off. I don’t know what to do.” 

‘Don’t do anything hasty please. Chill till tomorrow morning and if he doesn’t come home, call mami. She needs to be informed before it gets out of hand.” 

Aleena sighed heavily and rubbed her eyes tiredly, “Thank you. You always have the best advice.”

“I am so sorry, sis. I shouldn’t have brought it up.” Basimah’s voice was regretful.

“It wasn’t your fault. It was bound to become an issue sooner or later. I just want him back, basimah.” Tears filled her eyes again and she sniffled.

“It is alright,Aleena. Everything will work out fine at the end.” They spoke for a while longer before the call ended.

That night, Aleena didn’t sleep a wink. She did ablution, and sat on the praying mat, supplicating to God, “Ya Allah, please make my husband come back to me. I know I have messed up and tampered with his trust. Please touch his heart and let him forgive me….”

There was a knock on the door which jolted her awake and she realised it was dawn already. She had fallen asleep on the mat and her body ached. 

“Come in.” Her voice was groggy with sleep.

The door opened and Zoya poked her head in, “Good morning Aunty. Mama is here to see you.”

“Really?” The sleep cleared from her eyes instantly and she bounced to her feet. Mami! My angel without a wing. “I was just about to call her.” She rushed out of the room and straight into her mother’s arms., then burst into tears.

“Darling girl ! sweetheart! What troubles you?” Naila folded her in her arms and rocked her from side to side. “I couldn’t sleep. I just have this weird feeling that my baby girl is not alright. Come.” She led them to a sofa.

“Haseeb left the house since yesterday and has not been back.” Her voice caught on a sob and she took a deep breath. She had shed enough tears on this issue and it was time to take action. She would do everything within her capability to bring her man back to where he belonged, beside her.

“What happened? You guys had a fight?” 

“This is more than a flight, Mami.” She told her about the offensive conversation and how Haseeb walked in on them.

“That is a serious one but it shouldn’t be enough to break your home. You know where his parents live, right?” 

“He is an orphan. His Uncle has been his stand-in father and I know where he lives. I will go and get dressed now so we can pay him a visit before he leaves the house.” Aleena jumped to her feet.

“How about Jawaira? Is she okay with Zoya?” Naila got to her feet and headed to the guest rest-room. “ I will observe subhi prayer while you dress up.”

“Yes, she is fine with Jawaira. I will join you in a moment.” 

*****

“My in-law! To whom did I owe the honour of this visit?” Haseeb’s uncle, Bilal Mohammed was grinning from ear to ear as he stood up to acknowledge the presence of his visitors. He was a tall, slim and lithe man  in his late sixties. He looked like an older version of Haseeb except he was dark-skinned while Haseeb was fair-skinned.

“Assalam alaykum Baba.” Aleena knelt in front of him and he placed his hand on her head, then lifted her up

“Wa alaykum salam, my wife. Please have your seat.” He smiled at her mother as he gestured to a seat and the two women sat down opposite him. “What can I offer you?”

“We are fine for now, Alhaji. Have you seen Haseeb since yesterday?” Mami jumped straight to the point and Aleena gave her a mental round of applause. Her mother wasn’t the type to waste time on frivolities. 

“No, I have not. Is he missing?” The elderly man frowned as he looked from one sombre face to another. He picked up his phone from where it lay beside him and dialed his niece’s number. It was switched off.

“No, he is not missing. He walked out of his matrimonial home since yesterday and has not returned. That is why we are here.” Mami folded her long veil and placed it on the sofa , leaning forward.

“Why? What happened? Aleena?” Bilal turned to face the younger woman and she squirmed under his penetrating gaze.

“Aleena was abused as a kid in her father’s house and that was how she gave birth to Jawaira.” Mami  was blunt as usual. Aleena lowered her face and stared at the rugged floor as the sense of shame she usually felt threatened to engulf her. Her father told her it was her fault she was being abused and it took her years to shake it off.

“Subhannallahi!” The elderly man shrank back into the seat as if struck by a vicious snake and stared at her mother with shock. “ Is your husband aware? He should be flogged.” The man spat out in anger at her mother’s nodd.

“Yes , he should. Obviously, Aleena didn’t discuss this part of her childhood with her husband before they got married and the fact that her trust-issue runs deep. She couldn’t afford to leave her child with another man for fear of the little girl experiencing the same thing.”

“Ah! I see.” Bilal’s shoulder seemed to droop with defeat and he stared at the floor for several moments. “Trust is a deep issue for Haseeb. It was the reason he hasn’t spoken to his father in years.”

Aleena’s ears pricked and her head shot upward in disbelieve, “Alhaji, stop please. Did you just say he hasn’t spoken to his father in years? Does he have a father? His father is still alive?” She sat upright.

“Of course, He does. What do you mean? You don’t know….” His voice trailed off as he stared at her. “What have you youngsters turned this life into? What is the basis of love without trust?” 

Yes, what was the basis of love without trust? She felt her marital life was crumbling around her like a pack of cards. Their marriage was built on the foundation of half-truth, lies and deceit. What did they expect to reap? A sharp laugh escaped her dry lips and tears welled up in her eyes. 

Was this marriage worth saving? 

©mobolaji olanrewaju

2 thoughts on “ALEENA – 2”

  1. Faith says:

    I’m loving the twist already. I can’t wait for the next chapter

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