Saturday, 27 August 2016

THE PRECIOUS FIGURE


I sat on the oversized seat in our usual restaurant and my favourite seat felt hot all of a sudden. The man I fell in love with looked so strange that I demandeed to see him for clarification.
''Okay, Fareedah...'' he cleared his throat, ''...let's get straight to the point''.  He sounded bold but I could see the beads of sweat forming around his forehead despite the fully air-conditioned room.
"Najib, tell me it's the biggest dream of your life''. I let out the words from my dry throat and I wondered if there was a speck of saliva in it.
''It is impossible. I'm a normal muslim and you're too muslim for my liking'', He blurted out and my spine arched from within.
''Aren't we both muslims? Why are you just realising after you've captured my neart?'' I said trying to hide my face from him.
''I don't like the hijab, Fareedah. This is new age and globalisation has changed everything. We all ought to be trendy. I want my woman to open her cloak and show her beauty. I'm very sorry if I hurt you but I've found someone who is just what I want". He grabbed his car keys and stormed out of the building and everything went blank.
I woke up to find myself in my room, sorrounded by my family members. I began to cry again when I realised all that happened.
''It's not the end of the world, my love. Allah has clearly shown that he is not the right man for you''. My mother whispered softly as sh caressed my hands. I couldn't say a word. I just laid there and stared at their blurred vision one by one.
Shortly after, they all left the room leaving me with my mother who stared affectionatelyinto my grief-stricken eyes. Slowly, I began to shed more tears.
''My dear child...what you're shedding tears is not worth it. It is clearly written in the Glorious Qur'an that hijab is a commandement of the Almighty Allah for all believing women. Any man that tells you to go against the Commandement of Allah is not a true believer and therefore does not deserve to be your husband. You have to take heart my daughter". She hugged me tightly and I sobbed on her shoulders. That was the last time I shed tears for Najib. Never again!
It was exactly three months after the encounter with Najib and I trued to move on with the notion that someone better would find me. I had gone to a grocery store to buy food for lunch when on my way back home, the rain suddenly started. There was no hiding corner and I placed my hand over my forehead as I tried to stop a taxi. I was in the rain for about five minutes and I was getting drenched. I started finding it difficult to se e clearly and stop whatever vehicle I could glimpse when a car halted slowly beside me. I hesitataed for a minute but as the rain increased in intensity, I hopped into rhe car.
''Asalam'alaykum''. I turned to the grinning of a handsome young man clearly in his late twenties. I also didn't the sight of his milk-coloured, neatly arranged set of teeth and his bright eyes.
''Wa'alaykum salam", I replied as I gnashed my teeth and shivered.
''I'm sorry about your condition. Where  do you stay?"
"Down...down...the...street". I pointed with my index finger.
''Okay then, I'm Habeeb''.
''Fareedah".
We drove down to my house and when I attempted to come down, he was already at the door with an umbrella. My mother welcomed him warmly in spite of my companion being a stranger. I dashed into my room as I dried my hair in my room. To clear my doubt, I entered the living room. My mother had prepared hot cocoa for him and they both sat like mother and son.
"I am greatly enjoying the company of your new friend",She winked at me.
That was how Habeeb became a part of our small family. He either visited with loads of goodies or took me to restaurants I'd never been to. He proposed marriage to me a couple of months later and I cheerfully accepted.

When I asked what got him attracted to me at first sight, I was flabbergastered when his reply caem: ''It was the precious figure I saw in a wet green hijab that attracted me to you''.
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