“I missed you” Fatima says as she buried herself in the warm embrace of her husband, Ahmad
“I was gone for barely 10 hours”
“10 hours feels like a lifetime without you”
“Well i missed you too, hubbi (my love)”, Ahmad says
“Hubbi, say it again” she said eagerly
“I love it when you call me that, Mon amour(my love)”
She breathes in the scent of his cologne, as if she would never breathe out again, and for a brief moment they stayed like that as if they were oblivious of the hands of time.
“I read an arab poem that reminded me of you”, he said, as he handed her a piece of paper:
“Ma shaa Allah, hadha jameelun jiddan habibi,”
(this is so beautiful, my love, in Arabic language) she said,
“Ma shaa Allah” (a phrase in arabic that literally means as God willed, used to denote happiness, joy)
“Je t’aime tellement mon amour”
(french: i love you so much, my love)
“Laa anaa Uhibbuki akthar” (Arabic: no, i love you more), he replies
Ahmad and Fatima had both developed a manner of expressing their love for each other in foreign language often times in french or arabic.
A squeaky voice called out to her
“Ma’am, your family members are in the conference room, they have all arrived and they await your presence,” a voice called out to bring her nostalgic moment to a stand still.
she had stumbled upon the collection of poems Ahmad had written down for her, some by Arab poets others he had jotted down on his own.
She takes in a deep breath before she replies, “tell them i will be there in a minute. I need to sort out some things.”
Fatima took a while to get herself back to reality, she cringed at the thought of having to see her husband outside of their home, she had postponed this meeting one too many a times, just to prevent the idea of her seeing him, breathing the same air as him, but undeniably, she had missed him, she misses what they used to be.
They lived in the same house but barely said a word to each other. Or she barely said a word to him. The ambience in their home which was once filled with love became spread with hatred and despair.
She composed herself, gave herself a mantra talk, “you can do this.”
“Just go in there and listen to what they have to say and storm out,” she obviously had no idea what the family meeting would be about
Her uncle just called her to inform her about the meeting, with which she was informed both families would be present.
Her instincts brought the idea that maybe this was about the sudden turn in her relationship with Ahmad, but she knew Ahmad better than to tell the family members what was going on in their marriage or did she, as her hippocampus reminded her of Ahmad’s dubious ways.
She stepped into the conference room, and the first gaze to welcome her was that of Ahmad’s, she felt shudders down her spine like a teenage girl seeing her crush for the first time.
Or even the first few weeks of their marriage when she had butterfly in her stomach for him, as she looked straight into his eyes, his eyes ached.
His eyes ached of longing. He looked vulnerable, he looked sad, his eyes had sunken into his sockets as if he had been crying all night.
It was the first time she had really looked at him in a while, she had been so busy with her new job that she did not even have time to look at him properly.
His lips parted as if he wanted to say something, she on the other hand had to fight a strong urge to not run into his arms, she had missed the scent of his cologne. He had missed the scent of her hair, the warmth of her embrace.
Fatima loved Ahmad’s cologne so much, maybe because she had bought the perfume for him or simply because it scented so good on him.
They both used perfumes picked and bought by each other, they wanted to smell nice for each other. a thoughtful gesture one would say.
He stood up and gestured a seat to which he had to murmur a please, before she agreed to sit.
As she sat down, she finally became aware of the people seated in the room, a bit unusual for a family meeting to involve Ahmad’s friends and hers too.
Prayers were made. Apologies were issued out(for late coming) The meeting was set ablaze when Ahmad stood up to address the family members:
At this point the congregation consisted of Ahmad’s cousin, Abubakar, family friennd who is Ahmad’s best friend, Nuru, Ahmad’s uncle and mentor (alongside his wife) Uncle Buhari, and Ahmad’s sister, Raliya
On Fatima’s side, Fatima’s uncle and his wife who is a father figure to Fatima, was present, her friend, Habiba, her cousin, Badariyya, and her husband who is a relative to Fatima, Umar.
Ahmad stood to address the family, at this point it all made sense to Fatima what this meeting was about, Ahmad had yet again lured her into what she wasn’t ready for.
The look on her face changed, as it dawned on her, a mix between emotional and anger, she stood up in a bid to zoom off from the room as Ahmad was about to lay off his first sentence.
“Please” Ahmad voiced out
“I am sorry, I know this is out of line, and I shouldn’t have done this seeing as we promised each other never to speak of what was going on in our marriage, but you left me with no choice, Fatima,” as tears began to water his cheekbones.
“Fatima I am sorry, I know I have hurt you in immeasurable amount of ways but please, I want you to tell your side of the story, to your friends and family, and if need be I tell mine.”
“But this is an appeal to you, in front of your friends and family, please don’t walk out.”
Everyone looked confused as to what was going on, and asking one another to find answers.
“Fatima, please, don’t leave”, the whole family chorused, “atleast let us know what is going on, then we judge who is in the right.”
“This isn’t a meeting to decide who is in the right,” Ahmad continued. “I have wronged my wife. and I sincerely apologise, I have tried all means but to no avail.”
“I need you all to please, help me pacify her.”
“Ahmad, this is not fair,” Fatima says, with the words barely coming out of her vocal cords.
“One of you should tell us what is going on this instant, if not we will call your parent to this meeting”, Uncle Buhari’s wife said.
“Ahmad what did you do to Fatima? We would ask for her apology on your behalf only when we know what you did.”
“I think Fatima is in the right position to say it out.”
“I don’t want to say anything,” Fatima said, at this point she knew her uncle’s gaze was on her, and she tried to not look at him, she knew all he had to say to get her talking afterall he is her father.
Her parents died when she was 14years old and Uncle Tanimu had taken care of her like his own daughter.
“Teema”, he voiced out, in a calm voice, “have I ever gone against anything which you stood for, your right is my right, your wrong is my wrong.”
“I cannot help you out and support you if you don’t tell us what happened between you and your husband,” Uncle Tanimu said.
Tears rolled down Fatima’s eyes as she closed her eyes as if to feel the pain of what she was about to say… she had to go through the hurtful event someone who claimed to be her number one love had put her through
“Ahmad had been distant for a while, I felt it in a number of ways, he comes back from work, he barely says anything to me, he hid under the banner of too much work”
I knew that was false because no amount of work could stop Ahmad from being loving or caring. Something was on his mind, I was unable to decipher what it was.
“On a faithful friday evening, I had sent him a message saying I wanted him to come back home early, to which he did.”
“I welcomed him like any loving wife would, “I have missed you,” I said to him, he could not look me in the eyes, Ahmad always looks at me in the eyes, he was avoiding me for some reason, okay, freshen up, the food is almost done, i came back from work early so i cooked before you could come back, I made your favourite.”
“It was weird, he usually gets angry when i cooked without him, he would always say that he loves it when we cook together.”
“Just freshen up and come on let’s eat.” I finally said
“Would you like to join me?” he asked, “erm no, i have taken my bath already,” i said.
“Okay, it will be on you if i don’t come out clean,” he said, that was the last time we ever had a decent joke after what he had said to me that night.
“At the dinner table i couldn’t help myself, Ahmad what is wrong, i asked, nothing. Ahmad, what is wrong, i asked once again, as tears started rolling down my eyes.”
“Hea. Hea. Hea. He said, what did we say about being too emotional over trivial things, everything is okay, no everything is not okay i said, you’ve been distant. You’ve been trying to avoid me all week, making breakfast on your own before i even wake up, cleaning up just to avoid me. what is it?”
Okay, let’s finish eating dinner, then go to the living room and watch grey’s anatomy, then i would tell you all about it later on, okay, “i love you”, he said.
Well i was starting to doubt that, i said jokingly.
We were done eating, in the living room, done watching grey’s anatomy when he held on to my hands, looked me in the eyes and said, i know how we started off our relationship, how we related to each other, it was through our common hate for politics.
I know what politics did to your parents, it rubbed you of their love, affection and presence.
I know your parent’s political rivals orchastrated the death of your parents, and i truly understand that, fatima, and my actions do not in any way undermine all what you have been through, if anything i have always loved and supported you.
But Fatima, i want to run for the house of senate, i felt a thud in my heart.
All i could see were images of when hired assassins had raided our home, when my parents had to hide me in the dinning room, when i had to watch them get killed while i couldn’t do anything.
I was devastated. And then here my husband whom we both had shared the same hatred for politics, telling me he wanted to run.
I moaned in pain as all he said dissolved in my mind.
I wanted to reason with him, or atleast i did, for that brief moment.
What changed, Ahmad, what changed, Ahmad, please don’t do this to me, don’t hurt me like this.
Add another wife, i don’t care, get married to 3 more even, but please i can bare all of that but not you going into politics, you will get your hands dirty.
It’s just Uncle Buhari, says i have a high chance of winning, the people know me, they believe in me.
Nooo, Ahmad. please, for the sake of our love. I begged him.
I passed out at the thought of it.
It all felt like a dream, i woke up in the hospital and he told me. he had dropped the idea.
We went home a happy couple, for that weekend we had gradually gotten back to our usual selves, for that brief weekend i got my Ahmad back, i should have savoured that moment, for it was the last time i would ever see him like that.
Monday morning. we made breakfast together, tidyed the home and both left for work even more in love with each other than the previous days.
When he came back from work, everything had changed again, his mood, i gave him the benefit of the doubt that he must have been tired.
So i ignored his mood, later that evening, we were sitted in the living room, when he gestured me to our decision table
We had a decision table where we trade habits, he got me to stop listening to music while i got him to stop being active on twitter. I got him to start going to the gym, he got me to start listening to nasheeds.
That was what that table was for, serious decision that mattered in our lives
We sat there, and I wondered what offer he had to make me or what habit of mine he needed to change, we hadn’t sat there in a while…
I have thought about the whole political issue, Uncle Buhari wants me to give it a shot, he is unable to because he had already ran for the office before. They need a fresh face to represent them.
I couldn’t stand all that he was saying, Ahmad, stop. I said, stop stabbing me.
Times have changed Fatima, you won’t lose me, i will still be the same Ahmad you have known and loved.
No, Ahmad. I can’t agree to this. Ask me anything, i will give up anything just so you wouldn’t go into this. Please. Ahmad don’t hurt me like this.
Give up your job as a doctor, he said, he was so ashamed of what he had said that he couldn’t look me in the eyes.
My pupils widened in disbelieve. Ahmad, did you just hear yourself. Ahmad, are you joking?
No. I am not, you have to give up your career as a doctor and pursue another career if you really want me to not go into politics.
Ahmad was delibrately being petty, he knew the only thing i held dear to my heart apart from him was my work, as a doctor. He had no issues with me being a doctor he just wanted to be a politician so badd, he would go through any means possible.
I stood up from the table in dismay and went straight to bed.
I felt cheated. I couldn’t sleep that night, my whole world had crumbled down like a pack of cards.
It was like the dominoes effect, one card pushed and everything comes down crashing.
In the morning, Ahmad had woken me up to get ready for work, as usual,
I am not going, i said, i sent out an application, i quit my job, so you don’t need to bother waking me up for work from now on.
Ahmad was flabbergasted, are you insane? Fatima what has gotten over you, has your hatred for politics really gotten to this?
Give up your job, after all you have been through in medical school??? You are not okay, i was too depressed to even say a word,
We had breakfast before he left for work, he leaned in to give me a goodbye kiss, to which i prevented him to.
He left, and there my happiness left with him.
But what was coming my way that morning was something i had never imagined would ever happen
If only i had known better i would not have decided to watch the morning news, i turned on the tv and tuned in to watch the news there i saw my husband being congratulated as he sets off his journey to campaign for the house of senate.
To say that i was overwhelmed by pain,anger disbelieve… was to say the least.
I was furious. I wanted to get back at him so bad. I needed to avenge this pain.
At that spot, i made a decision, i was going to run alongside my husband.
I was going to run against my own husband. i called Uncle Tanimu, i persuaded him, made him believe it was something i wanted to do on my own.
He knew better than to try to dissuade me from it. I had made up my mind. Uncle Tanimu, pulled up some strings. In a matter of months my pictures were all around town, seeking the office of the senate.
None of you knew what was going on, you wondered about our sudden interest in politics, he was shocked at my move.
But i just wanted revenge. I had been hurt.
At the end, i came out of this scathed. I won the seat of House of Senate, while Ahmad lost.
It was only then that i realised what i had done to myself. What my anger had driven me to.
I did not opt in with the mindset to win, never did i ever imagine myself holding a political office. I got even more enraged, it was too late for me to back down. i wanted to let go of the office, but i couldn’t.
Fatima came to the end of her story as she wore a suit of melancholy
She had won the commiseration of everyone in the room, everyone in the room looked at Ahmad with disdain and disappoinment.
“so this was what happened.” Habiba said
I was so shocked when i heard the news of Fatima running for a political office, i could not believe my ears or eyes.
So it was all your doing Ahmad, i am so disappointed.
Everyone kept saying.
Uncle Tanimu, bursted into laughter as everyone rained their opionion. You all are so young and childish.
Don’t you all understand what had happened? Life had tricked Fatima and she fell right into it. she thought she could outsmart her destiny, the way i see it, Fatima was destined to be in this office, to own this seat.
It wasn’t about Ahmad being a senator, it was about You, Fatima, it was about you being tricked into the Government, the system which you so much hate.
You had haboured alot of hate for politics at a very young age. You held on to the grudge of that your whole life.
Life needed to teach you a lesson, i am sorry you had to go through all this pain, but don’t you see how much of a great job you have done as a senator so far?
often atimes the good people that are fit for a political office align themselves in the shadows for one fear or the other, for the simple fear of what could happen.
For the fear of failure, by that someone who isn’t fit for the office gains access to it.
Your husband has wronged you, i know, but he was only guiding you towards your inevitable destiny.
She raised her head up in realization of the truth in her uncle’s words
I have monitored your activities in the house of senate, i have heard good praises about how diligently you work to bring about reforms that would be of common good.
I have had people looking up to me, to tell me of the wonderful work you have been doing.
Fatima, i raised you, but you grew to continue the legacy that your parents had set aside in the house of senate.
Forgive your husband, he has realised where he had erred and he sincerely apologises, forgive him. he only guided you towards your destiny.
Ahmad rushed to his wife’s side,
“i am sorry baby, i swear i did not mean to hurt you like that,” he said in the calmest voice possible as if he was talking to a child, “i missed you”
“I missed you too,” as they both consoled each other.
Alrighty. Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to be owlsome. May we have a peaceful election. May the best man win.