She opened her eyes slowly but quickly shot them back. She tried opening them for the second time and slowly adjusted to the white roof above her. Where was she? She wondered as she looked around and saw that the walls were also painted white.
She tried turning to her right side but felt a sharp pain pierce through her throat. It hurts a lot she thought.
"You're awake, Ya Allah. Thank you for waking up, you scared me Zeenatu. I'm so sorry okay? I won't do it again__I promise."
That was when she felt the warmness of another hand in hers. She felt the hand being squeezed and kissed slowly. What happened? She thought again.
"I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have done it, I know I shouldn't have let my anger cloud my sense of judgement. But please forgive me, I promise not to repeat it again."
That was when everything crashed back to her memory. The slaps. The chocking. And the beating with the belt, a beating she had never had. Pathetic!
She jerked her hand away from his and winced in at the pain from her abdomen. 'It hurts so bad' she thought and felt huge tears rolling down her cheeks.
Is this the man she married? The man she loved? The man she had respected? The man she gave herself to before becoming his? Is this truly the man she had once looked at and fall in love all over again? No, he's not. Something must definitely be wrong.
He moved to touch her again but Zeenah flinched and shouted "Let go of me you animal! Don't you dare touch me!"
"I'm sorry" came his quick response, "it was a mistake Zeenah. I would never deliberately hurt You, you know that. I'm so sorry__please."
"Just get out of here Abubakar. I don't want to see nor hear your voice. Leave! Please!"
He inhaled deeply, his right hand going through his hair and messing his dark curly hair. He looked pained and agitated at the same time, but what hurts him the most was Zeenah's refusal to understand that what he did was a mistake and nothing more. A mistake he'll never repeat.
"Okay. I'll be back later. Here's your phone" he kept the phone beside her and moved back, his eyes assessing her stiff body as if she's afraid he'd hurt her again. "I'll call later when I'm coming over. Take care." And he left.
She broke down completely as soon as he closed the door behind him. What has she gotten herself into? She wondered. She looked at the white bandage wrapped around her right arm and remembered falling onto broken glasses of her Khumrah bottles.
Never had she ever thought Abubakar could lay his hands on her, neither had she ever thought he'll accuse her of carrying another man's baby in her womb. She was a virgin when he deflowered her. She was chaste and pious when he cajoled her into committing Zinah (fornication). She was just a helpless girl in love with him and he's using that love to his advantage.
But, even after knowing what she did with him before marriage was wrong, she still had her trust in him and married him. Still loved and respect him as her husband. Above all, yearned for his touch after marriage, sadly___within the week they had been married, he didn't make any attempt to be intimate with her in any way. Was he only attracted to her outside marriage or what? She couldn't understand what his actions meant.
But today, after laying his hands on her. Not in an effort to comfort her or feel her warmth. Not in an attempt to shower some love on her, not in an attempt to make her feel safe in his hands___but, to beat the hell out of her. To inflict both physical and emotional pain. To make her start regretting her decision for marrying him, to make her start to regret ever loving a monster like him!
She could swear her body was trembling when he moved close to keep her phone. She could swear the rate at which her heartbeat wasn't normal when he was still in the room. She could also swear she was so afraid he'll lose control again and start the abuse all over again. She doubts if she'll ever be as comfortable as she had always been in his company. He might have messed that up big time.
She felt her eyes growing heavy, her head hurts so bad that she felt like it would explode any minute. But the flashes of what happened a few hours ago are still haunting her.
"I asked who the hell got you pregnant woman. Were you going out with men? How many have you known so far? How many?" Abubakar bellowed angrily as he threw one of the khumrah bottles from the shelf they were kept.
Zeenah trembled and moved back quickly. She had always known that Abubakar had anger issues, but never had she ever thought he'd get as angry as he is right now.
"Stop stammering and answer my question ,you whore! Who got you pregnant?"
"Stop it! Please just stop it!!" Zeenah shouted as she moved back "what do you mean by who got me pregnant? Have I ever known another man apart from you before marriage? What are you trying to insinuate right now Abubakar? Are you sure you're even okay?"
"Oh wow! So I'm the one sick now right? I'll show you how sick I am if you don't answer me this instant!"
He moved towards her in a flash and chocked her "who the hell got you pregnant?!" His eyes were so red Zeenah thought pepper has been poured in them. Things don't look too good.
"Let...g..o of m..e" she gasped, trying to get rid of his fingers around her neck "you're..hur..ting m..me" she added.
"Yes! I want you to get hurt and tell me whose baby is in your womb woman. Speak up!"
Zeenah's eyes start to water as she kept gasping for air. She was still struggling from that when she felt her face stung in pain. Abubakar had just slapped her.
"Speak up woman!" He slapped her again, again and again before finally letting her go.
"Ever since you let me have you, I've been having second thoughts about us. I know I love you, but when you cheat me Zeenatu___that love will be gone like how a dead person leaves this earth. You've been following men around right?" He asked, his voice sending chills down her spine as she watched him through hooded eyes losing his belt from his trousers. She was still gasping for air and trying to take in everything when the first lash came down on her back. It hurts so much.
She closed her eyes and welcomed the pain. She knew nothing she does will make him stop without him being satisfied, she knew her only option was to let him do what he wants and go. She didn't know how long all that went on as she lost consciousness. Her only prayer was that her baby is still alive.
She opened her eyes quickly, gasping for air as both of her hands are on her neck. She felt like she was being chocked in sleep. Felt the pain all over again. It had been two hours since Abubakar left the hospital but no one other than the nurse checking up on her came in to see her. Where is her mother? Didn't he tell her family what happened?
The door cracked open slowly and she looked up to see Abubakar's face few inches. She quickly closed her eyes as more images from a few hours ago flashed back again. She remembered the look in his eyes and trembled.
"Addah Zee" she heard Khadija's voice close to her and quickly opened her eyes to see her. "Addah Zeenah are you okay? What happened to you?"
"I told you she slipped and fell down" Abubakar quickly answered.
Zeenah quickly looked at him and saw the pleading look in his eyes. She felt her heart twig a bit at his apologetic expression.
"Yes baby sis. I fell down. How are you? Them Baba and Mama? Why didn't you come with Ahmad?"
"Yaya Abu said you slipped and fell down. So Umma asked me to come over and see you and Yaya Abu begged Umma to let me stay over for some days. How are you feeling?"
"Much better Sisto I've missed you."
"It's been just a week, Addah" Khadija replied laughing.
Those two days have not been the best days of my life, and the third day has been the worst of all. Zeenah thought.
"Just trust the fact that I missed you. Is that so hard?"
"No Addah, I missed you more. I'll go home with Yaya Abu and prepare something for you to eat okay? Take care."
"I will baby sis."
Khadija stood up and moved away from the bed. Abubakar approached her slowly and Zeenah quickly closed her eyes. He kissed her forehead slowly and Zeenah flinched.
"I'm sorry," he whispered slowly "you don't know how sorry I am baby. I really am, forgive this silly husband of yours, please. I love you."
The words pierced through Zeenah's soul. It's been two days since she heard him say such soothing words to her. Could the incident be the reason for them going back to the normal lovey-dovey life they've always had?
He slipped a piece of paper into her hands and left the room, Khadija tailing behind him.
"You're the most beautiful and brave woman I've ever seen. Find it in your beautiful heart to forgive this loony man who's not even worthy of your love O dear one. I'm so sorry Ayni. Forgive me."
The letter could be have took away 40% of her anger towards him. She loves her husband, and maybe__just maybe this is part of their challenges as married couples.
She might forgive him. But he has to earn that forgiveness. She smiled sheepishly and reread the letter again___over and over.
Perhaps, her Abubakar still existed within the monster she saw hours ago.
It wasn't as though,he had ever had the intention of beating his wife. It was not a dream and definitely not the best thing he had ever done. He's sure there's more to what he did than what was let out.The feeling of remorse flowed through his veins like some blood he survives on. He feels pathetic for ever raising his hands at her. But then, what will take away the thought of her having the baby that isn't really his?He inhaled deeply, his right hand over his face, as his right leg was sprawled on the floor in his bedroom, while his left foot was crossed over. He had been sitting in the same position for the past two hours ever since he had left the hospital with Khadija.He knew she was still preparing the food she was asked to, but he still couldn't bring himself to forget her expression when she saw the mess and dried blood trailing in the living room. What was she thinking? That couldn’t be brought to hi
A fraction of what was happening these days felt so unreal to her. She had always known that her Abubakar was romantic, but not as he had been these past few days.Guilty conscious, perhaps?Probably.He might have really changed like he had been saying for the past few weeks. Her Abubakar is finally back and more of an upgrade. Zeenah thought happily as she prepared his breakfast. But as soon as she cracked an egg, she felt nauseous and had to run to the nearest toilet and threw up.When will this morning sickness ever end, she wondered sadly as she leaned her back against the sink trying to catch up her breath."Thought I made it clear that I don't like you stressing yourself with your condition?" She heard his voice behind her."I was just preparing your breakfast.""You shouldn't have bothered" Abubakar replied as he helped her back to the living
The baby is gone' was the thought that crossed Zeenah's mind as soon as she opened her eyes, surveying her surrounding, she realized she was in a hospital, AGAIN.This was the second time she had been admitted to a hospital ever since she had gotten married months back. Was it a coincidence? Or was something certainly wrong with their marriage?''Kin tashi?'' (Are you awake?), she heard his voice whisper ''I thought I was going to lose you.'' Abubakar added as he moved close to her, taking her right hand which was free of drip in his and squeezing it so tight. His heart jerked at the feel of her cold hands in his.Zeenah looked up at him with her doe brown eyes and noted the dark circles around his eyes. Oh, how she loves this man as much as he loves her.''What happened?'' She managed to ask softly, her voice so soft that he had to strain his ears more to get what she was trying to say.A
Two days later, Abubakar notified Zeenah that he would be travelling to Zaria on a matrimony basis; Zeenah stared at him, in her thought, asking who could this be that she is not aware of and moreso, never heard about."Yaayy! should I get my bags ready too?''She interrupted Abubakar from operating his phone. “Pack your bags and go to?'' He asked slowly.''I thought you'd be taking me along, ain’t you?''Did I say so? What gave you that impression?''Okay, Zeenah thought. Why was he getting all worked up over something that simple?''Never mind. I'll get your bag ready then. By the way, who's this 'anonymous friend’ of yours?'' She asked, air quoting the favourite cousin's part.Okay! He had had enough of her bullshits. ''When was it made a policy for me to tell you everything about myself? I can't remember when the law was p
They were in their sixth month of marriage, and Zeenah comprehended that Abubakar's bad days, the days she was required to sympathize and compensate for every small injustice done to him, were outnumbering the good days. She didn't know how to fix that, but she suspected it was her fault. She knew other people's marriages were different, that they didn't constantly worry about how to anticipate their husbands' needs, they weren't always walking on eggshells. Certainly, her own parent's marriage hadn't been like this.She seems to subscribe to nightmares, leaving her exhausted the next day. She dreamt of losing a tooth or falling from tall buildings, a skyscraper perhaps. Or being chased by things she couldn't put her fingers on."It is bizarre and cryptic," she related to Abubakar one morning as he sips his coffee, "this new one I had last night. I was in a park somewhere, just walking by myself, and my right leg fell off. No blood or anyt
She tossed and whirled to her left side, a smile lingering on her lips. She had had one of the best nights since the past two weeks. How else can she be convinced not to fall in love with Abubakar over and over every single time when he's this sweet? She scoffed when she remembered Samira's words before she had married Abubakar.'Don't do it, you're going to regret it.'But she hadn't, and she never will. Abubakar has been one of the most incredible things to have ever happened in her life. They might have their bad days, but isn't it the same with every couple out there? Those ups and downs were what made them strong as couples.''You're awake.'' She heard his deep voice say behind her, and she smiled. She slowly opened her eyes and turned towards the sound of his voice.Abubakar was standing in the middle
“You look so thin,” Samira Bashir started as she settled on one of the couches illuminating Zeenah’s living room. “are you okay? Is something bothering you? In fact, you look so nervous Zeenah,” she added, accessing her friend’s appearance from head to toe.Zeenah forced a sad smile and sat beside her friend. "What if I am pregnant?”“Are you?” Samira asked quickly, “because if you are, you’re still in a mess. Remember, you’re yet to cleanse yourselves. Zeenah, do that before it’s too late, please.”“But Abubakar is not ready,” Zeenah heard herself saying. Even to her ears, the words sound shoddy. What was really wrong with her?It was a bright Monday morning, and she recalled the little fight she and Abubakar had before he left in the morning just because Samira was visiting. It had been long since any of her f
Little by little their marriage closed around her. At first, it seemed like heaven when she thought of the idea of being married to Abubakar. She had all the time she needed to plan how perfect their married life will be. She spent hours poring over recipes, improving her cooking skills so she can please her fiancee when they finally got married. Now, every day before Abubakar came home from the office, she would put on makeup and changed her outfit. She had started to do that after he'd told her one night he hoped she wasn't one of those women who let themselves go after they'd caught a husband because recently she had lost all interest in trying to look good for him.If Abubakar had been a jerk all the time, she wouldn't have been so compliant. It was the in-between moments that kept her with him, the evenings when they cuddled in front of the TV and watched the news, the impromptu romance after dinner