ALEENA – THE FINAL CHAPTER

“Haseeb!” Aleena shot to her feet and dashed towards him but he turned away and she came to an abrupt stop. Pain lanced through her and she wrapped her silk hijab around her as if it would protect her from the pain.

“You should have some respect for your father, young man.” Bilal got to his feet and glared at him.

“I don’t have a father, Uncle. He died the day my mother died.” He didn’t back down from his uncle’s glare.

“Stop deceiving yourself, Haseeb. Your father is alive and he keeps you under his roof until you decide to walk out on your own. We have gone over this in the past, Haseeb.” Bilal went toe to toe with his nephew and was ready to beat sense into his head.

“I stayed in his house because of my siblings. I won’t allow him to bully them the way he bullied my mother. Don’t force my hand, uncle” There was a deadly tone to his voice.

“ Or else what?” 

“I will disappear from your life too.” 

“Haseeb! Haseeb! For the sake of Almighty Allah, stop this nonsense you are doing. This is shaytan whispering into your ears.” Aleena had never seen this part of her husband before and she didn’t care for it. She launched her body at him and stood between the two men. “What is wrong with you?” 

“ Stay out of this, Aleena. It is none of your business.” He refused to look at her.

“It is my business. Haseeb, you are my husband and anything that involves you concerns me. Stop acting so righteous as if you are a saint.” She hissed at him and felt his wrath before he turned his cold gaze on her. Her innards trembled with fear but she didn’t step away.

“ What do you mean?” His voice was deceptively quiet.

“Children, can we just calm down and behave ourselves?” Naila didn’t leave her seat but her voice was like a whip.

Bilal dropped on his seat with a weary sigh. Aleena and Haseeb refused to sit, they stood on opposite sides of the room and glared at each other.

“How did you even know we are here, Haseeb?” Bilal looked at his nephew in enquiry. The latter lowered his gaze and shuffled his feet slightly.

“I have been in the house for the past few days. I came in with the extra keys you gave me  and instructed  Adamu not to inform anyone.” His voice was low. Adamu was the head of security in his Uncle’s compound.

“Oh I see.” There was amusement in Bilal’s voice but it was obvious he was also relieved. “ I should sack Adamu. He is turning into a traitor for me.” 

“I am sure you won’t do that, uncle. It was my fault.” Haseeb’s voice was slightly worried.

“The two of you have always been thick as thieves. I will deal with him later.” Bilal waved Haseeb’s protest away and faced Naila. “Thank God he is here. What do we do next?”

“We will leave them to sort themselves out. They are not leaving this room until everything is sorted.” Aleena’s brows shot up at that. Her mother must have been a teacher in her other life.

“You are right, Hajia. Please come. It is time for breakfast.” Bilal got to his feet and reached for Naila’s hand. They left the room together and the silence afterwards was deafening.

“Lack of trust was the bane of issues between my parents. Despite my mother’s constant assurance that nothing sexual ever happened herself and Uncle Farhan, my father never believed her. If she could do it with my Uncle, then she could do it with every man and no matter what she did, he always suspected her.” He folded his arms across his chest, crossed his legs and stared at the ceiling.

Her eyes followed his body movement and her heart picked up speed. It took her a while to realise she was getting aroused by his movement and her eyes widened in shock. She missed him. They had never slept apart since they got married and his presence seemed to be messing with her senses. She struggled to focus on what he was saying.

“It was as if he was punishing her for a crime she committed in the past. Yet, she was a virgin when they got married” 

“And how did you know that?” Her eyebrows winged up in curiosity.

“Well, I heard her mention it the only time she spoke back to him in anger.” He shuffled his feet in discomfort and lowered his eyes. He was embarrassed and she tried not to smile at his obvious discomfort. “But it ended in tears as usual. He beat her silly and I wish I could protect her. I wish I could stand in front of that beast and protect her but I never did until he sent her to an early grave.” His hands tightened into fists.

“Haseeb, you were just a child. There is nothing you could have done about it. I am sorry about your mom but the choices they made are not your fault. We are only responsible for our choices.” She wanted to cross the distance between them and hugged him. She wanted to take his hands in hers and told him they would be alright but she knew he wasn’t ready for that step.

“Yes, we are responsible for the choices we made and I chose you. Obviously, you didn’t choose me.” He raised his head to stare at her and his eyes were cold as stone.

“If you choose me like you are righteously proclaiming  now, you won’t tell me your father is dead when he is still very much alive. You lied to me and didn’t trust me with your past.” She refused to be bullied by the coldness in his voice. He had never been this furious  with her and it was scaring her.

“So we are counting scores now, right?”

A heavy sigh escaped her and she sagged against the wall in defeat, “No, we are not. I am so sorry for not trusting you. It was a reflex and instinctive. I didn’t know the consequence of my action until I realised how much I have hurt you. Can you forgive me please?” 

He was quiet as he lowered his gaze and stared at the floor. There was a subtle softening of his stance but she couldn’t be so sure. She wanted him back at home. She didn’t want her marriage to end this way. Her heart raced in her chest and she rubbed palms ,clammy with sweat on her gown.

“I will be a complete hypocrite if I put the blame solely on your shoulder.” He raised his face and looked straight at her.Her heart soar in joy as she saw a ghost of a smile begin to form around his curved lips. Alhamdulillahi! Her husband was back. “I am sorry for the way I reacted. I guess we are still carrying lots of baggage from our past into our home.” Sadness lurked in the depth of his eyes and it tore at her heart.

She wasn’t aware she had moved until she found herself standing in front of him and her arms went around his waist. Another sigh escaped him as he lifted his arms and engulfed her in his embrace. Her head found its place underneath the curve of his neck and her heart settled in peace.

“Don’t be sad, my heart. I love you. I miss you. Please come back home with me and let’s walk through this together.” She mumbled as she squeezed him close like a teddy bear and startled an amused chuckle from him.

“You hurt me, Aleena. You hurt me so much with your lack of trust and it brought back dark memories I thought I have laid to rest. Please don’t ever do that again.Jawara is my daughter. She may not be of my loins but she is a child of my heart and you  know it.” His voice was raspy as his Adam apple bopped as if he was struggling not to cry.

“I know, Haseeb, and I am sorry. I am so sorry. I promise it won’t happen again.” She raised her head to look into his bleak eyes and brushed her lips over his own. The pattern of his breathing changed and the bleakness of his eyes was slowly replaced by warmth mixed with burgeoning desire. She kissed him again and he groaned.

“We need professional help, Aleena, but that is discussion for another day. Let’s go to my old room.” His voice dropped to a whisper as mischief danced in his eyes. She giggled like a schoolgirl.

“No, Let’s go home. I don’t trust those two. I am almost sure they are somewhere, eavesdropping on us. We will hurry.” She took her husband’s hand and led him out of the sitting room.

“You are right.” He laughed heartily and his laughter was music to her ear.

****

Aleena was right.

Bilal and Naila heaved a sigh of relief from behind the billowing curtain in the dining room, their eyes met in amusement and they both laughed so hard tears ran down their faces.

“She always has a smart mouth, my Aleena.” She wiped tears of mirth from her face.

“She is good for him. He didn’t even know how lucky he is to have a wise woman as that for a wife. Thank you , Hajia.” Bilal’s voice was solemn, even as his eyes still danced with merriment.

“They are good for each other. Alihamdulillahi, we are able to douse the fire of destruction that was about to enter their home. Thank you for your hospitality, Alhaji.” Naila got to her feet.

“You are welcome, Hajia. Mohammed will take you home.” Mohammed was the family driver.

“I am grateful, my in-law.” 

THE END
*****

UNTANGLES WEB is another blog series loading. It is the story of Lishan Wilson , Sappirah’s twin brother in RAPTURE : A TWIN BLISS RESORT NOVEL. Be on look out. Cheers!

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