4. Cold Knees

Zeenah shut the door behind her, pushed her aching shoulders impossibly straighter and let the sound of voices guide her to her room. Her heart slammed against her sternum as she passed through the doorway. Conversation skidded to a halt. Expectant eyes turned toward her.

Now what? The last thing she wanted was sympathy.

Forcing an unconcerned expression to her face, Zeenah sat on her bed, dragged one of the suitcases in front of her and started looking through.

Within minutes, the room emptied and she was left alone with Samirah, who registered her a seething look which she never noticed.

She winced and shifted uncomfortably before forcing her gaze towards the window.

"Don't go through this without cleansing yourself Zeenah. Don't do it, its not possible." Samirah said in a cautionary tone.

She let the tears she had been holding back rush down her cheeks. Her shoulders shook from the silent cry as her mind is still cramped with thousands of thoughts.

What should she tell her parents? How could she convince them to call-off the wedding until after three months when the wedding is already starting this week?

Whatever she says, no matter what she does, no one would listen to her. They will all drink from the idea that she's a loony girl who is scared of getting married when its already time.

"What do you want me to tell them?" She finally asked.

"The truth woman. Tell them the truth and cleanse yourself!"

"You know I can't do that. I can't Samirah. You don't just expect me to tell them I had..." She stopped, gulping as she felt her throat tighten, "I...i.."

"That you had sex before marriage? Well, do you want me to do the pleasure of telling them? I can do that, I don't care about the consequences!" She snapped.

"Don't you dare do that! Don't" she closed her eyes, trying to calm herself "if you do that" she began, weighing her words carefully "I'll forget I once had a friend like you."

"Oh really? Seriously?" Samira let out a honorless laugh "If you don't do this, then you can completely forget you've ever known someone like Samira Bashir!" She yelled before picking up her bag and leaving the room completely.

Zeenah could hear the words of farewell which Samira also claimed she will be travel tomorrow and won't be back till the wedding is over.

'Is she seriously dodging my own wedding?'

Zeenah thought sadly. Well, there's nothing more she can do about it. She can't call off the wedding and as far as she knows (or, as far as she's concerned with what Abubakar said, they did nothing wrong!)

She let go of Samirah's thought and started packing her clothes. She won't break down just now. No, not now.


Abubakar inhaled deeply as he read the text sent by Samira. He had never liked the girl, and now he hates her the more for trying to stick her nose into his own problems.

Zeenah is his and his alone. He doesn't need anyone to tell him what he should or shouldn't do. He hissed loudly and was about to drop his phone when a call came through.

"Hey man, where are you?" His friend Shu'aib asked.

"Home. Something wrong?"

"No. The clothes are ready. Mehn! Your wife is surely a full package!"

Abubakar laughed heartily, his chest rumbling with the sound.

"I know right man. Kace ka karema kayan kallo?"

"You know right man. I kept staring at them, wondering how she'll look in them or better yet in reality."

"You can keep thinking man. She's mine to see alone."

"Amma fa kayi sa'a (you're so lucky), I'll visit your house everyday."

"You're not invited mister" Abubakar replied as they continued to bicker.

Deep inside, he was happy his close friend is complimenting his wife to be. He sure is lucky. He personally thinks that showing off his wife will make his friend respect him more. Like Shu'aib just said now, she's a full package, in a comic sense a package just, is she some kind of food?

They ended the call in thirty minutes and he found himself wanting to see or hear her voice. He quickly dialed her number and waited.

"Heyy" she said slowly as soon as she picked up "how are you?"

"You okay?" He asked, noticing that her voice was a little bit down.

"I'm fine. Its just flu."

"Are you sure? you can talk to me babe. You okay?"

All her resolve went away and she broke down. "I'm...I...I'm so scared."

'Here she comes again'! Abubakar gritted his teeth angrily and inhaled deeply, trying to calm himself down.

"Scared of what?"

"T...that you'll hate me once we get married, that you'll always shove it to my face that I wasn't a virgin when I came into your house. That I'm just a useless whore out..."

"Yes" Abubakar cut her off harshly "yes, you are my whore. But not just anyone's whore, you are my whore and I don't care if you come into my house not a virgin. I know you are, cause I took it away. So please Zeenah, I beg you, please__drop this issue. We've been going on and of about this for almost two months now. Aren't you tired of talking about the same thing everyday? Please let it go!"

She thought she loved Abubakar, but after what he just said, she's sure she's overly in love with her man. Now and forever. Even though they repeated the act not just once or twice but five times after the first time...she's still sure nothing will ever make him stop loving her.

"I love you" she declared slowly "I love you so much, it hurts."

"I love you more Angel face. I love you more than anything."

"Thank you for loving me just the way I am. You won't ever regret it. I promise you."

"Thank you. Now sing a song for me."

She smiled and sighed happily before looking up at the wall clock to check the time. It’s 11:00pm already.

"Okay. I'll only sing the chorus today. I'm so tired."

"Anything that suit the queen of my heart."

She cleared her throat and began...

"Nothing's gonna change my love for you"

"You already know by now how much I love for you"

"One thing you can be sure of"

"I'll never ask for more than your love"

"Nothing's gonna change my love for you"

"You already know by now how much I love you"

"You wanna change my whole life"

"But nothing's gonna change my love for you"

They both went silent after she was done.

"I love it. Your voice is so amazing. Goodnight babe."

"Goodnight Squirrel."

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