Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh…
Hope everyone is well and doing great! Once again, jazakallah khair for yourlls understanding and patience. I’m putting this here to say that I’ll try to be regular but my posting might be a little erratic and I don’t want to put up notices everytime so if it’s delayed, just know that I’m trying to get it up as soon as I can❤❤
Have a wonderful Monday and enjoy the post xxx
I opened my eyes slowly, to sunlight filtering through the curtains. My head was resting on something hard and warm, my right hand curled on top of the same warm surface. Ahmed, I realised, squinting down my nose at the short, curly hair tickling it. That was surprising enough to give me pause; I hadn’t slept curled up against him in ages. Slowly, as the sleepy haze lifted, memory returned…Ahmed and I talking last night, making up…and the blissful night that had followed. Smiling like a cat that had eaten a canary I stretched languorously, the top of my head bumping against Ahmed’s bearded chin in the process. Oops! I quickly lifted my head and looked at him to see if I’d woken him up. His eyes were open, looking into mine smilingly, though a hint of caution lurked in their depths.
“Sorry. Did I wake you up?” I asked guiltily.
“No, I’ve been awake for a while…watching you sleep,” Ahmed replied with a smile.
“Sorry…” I began again. Ahmed placed a finger on my lips, cutting me off.
“No more sorrys. I didn’t mind.”
“Okay,” I smiled back at him, “what’s the time?”
Ahmed reached out a hand and picked up his phone, squinting at it. “Seven-fifteen.”
“What???” I jumped out of bed, wide awake now, “why didn’t you wake me up? I have to go! I’m gonna be so late!” I was already running around the bedroom like a headless chicken, pulling out my abaya and pants for the day before running into the bathroom for a quick, five-minute shower. When I came out again Ahmed was already gone.
Crap! I had probably delayed him as well, I thought, pulling on my pumps and hastily wrapping a hijab around my head. I grabbed my bag, dumped my phone and other essentials inside and raced into the kitchen for a quick glass of milk, only to skid to a halt when I saw Ahmed placing two steaming, fragrant mugs on the table.
“You were making coffee? I thought you’d left already,” I said, feeling absurdly pleased at the small gesture.
Ahmed shrugged. “If you’re late you may as well take your time. You can’t be late twice,” he said solemnly but with a twinkle in his eyes.
I laughed. “Try telling that to my supervisor!” Pulling out the chair I plopped down on it, looking gratefully at the toast and coffee infront of me, “I love you,” I said, biting into the crunchy buttered toast.
“I love you too, princess,” Ahmed looked at me intensely, leaning forward to run the backs of his fingers down my cheek. It was such a familiar gesture yet such an alien one that I froze then blushed. I looked down and took a huge swallow of coffee to cover my sudden awkwardness. Ahmed leaned back and started eating his own breakfast and the kitchen was silent except for the crunching sounds of toast and the muffled thuds of mugs being placed on the table. I ate quickly then rushed out after pecking Ahmed quickly on his cheek. And so began another hectic day.
Things didn’t miraculously return to normal after that night. We were still awkward, taking uncertain steps towards each other, still tip-toeing a little around each other, especially Ahmed. But we both made an effort. Our days were busy and we were both out all day but we tried to get as much time together as we could in between. To that end Ahmed suggested I stay up after fajr as well.
“I can’t do that! I’ll be dead on my feet the whole day!” I said in horror. I knew it was preferable to remain awake after fajr but I was so used to sleeping after fajr that the days I didn’t I really did feel like a zombie. I needed even an hour’s sleep to feel energised. Ahmed, on the other hand, had a habit of staying awake from tahajjud since his madrassah days so it was no big deal for him.
“I know it feels like that at first but if you carry on it gets easier. Try for one week and see. You’ll have so much more time before work that way.”
So much more time with me, he meant. I agreed to try, for his sake. The first few days were horrible! I felt like I was sleepwalking through my morning, my eyes looked red and felt scratchy and by lunchtime I had a dull headache that persisted till I went to sleep at night. But I persisted and after a week I could feel the difference. Ahmed was right. I had so much more time before leaving for work. After fajr Ahmed came home and made coffee for both of us then we went to sit in the garden on the comfy swing. After finishing our coffee Ahmed asked me to recite the Qur’an so I prayed my daily portion of the Qur’an aloud while he listened. Some days I asked him to pray but mostly he insisted that I should pray, saying he couldn’t get enough of my recitation. That was also advantageous for me since it meant that my daily portion of the Qur’an, which I had squeezed in after tahajjud or at other times of the day, could be prayed at that time. We got to spend time together that way, have a relaxed breakfast before changing and leaving for our respective work places, instead of oversleeping then rushing out of the house like I’d always done. It did make a huge difference, as I admitted to Ahmed after a couple of weeks.
“Assalamu alaykum!” Ahmed called as he entered the house, accompanied by the jangle of keys.
“Wa alaykum salaam,” I replied, wiping the back of a floury hand over my forehead to push back the stray strands of hair that had escaped my ponytail.
Ahmed appeared in the doorway, smiling like I was the best thing he had seen all day, despite the fact that I was in a casual shirt and sweatpants which at the moment was covered in flour. I left the dough I had been kneading and went to give him a quick kiss, quickly stepping back when he leaned in for more.
“No, I’m covered in flour. Your kurta will get messed!”
“So I’ll put it in the wash. Come here.”
“Nope. After I’ve showered,” I answered, neatly side-stepping him. I grinned at his pouty face and went back to kneading the dough for garlic naan. Ahmed disappeared for a while, reappearing again in a casual shirt and three-quarters, then proceeded to help me finish off supper. I had honestly thought that Ahmed was the type of man who didn’t get his hands dirty in the kitchen, since he’d never helped me out when we stayed with his parents, so I was pleasantly surprised when he’d started helping me after we’d moved.
“It was because of my mum. She hated men in her kitchen and always shooed us away,” he explained the first time I had expressed my surprise. Yet another reason for being grateful for moving out then!
I took a quick shower after supper was done, changing into something more flattering and spritzing perfume over myself. I wasn’t into applying makeup everyday but perfume? Perfume was life! It could turn casual into enticing in the blink of an eye.
We had a relaxed supper, talking about how our day had been and other random things. We cleared up and washed up then retired to the lounge or bedroom for some more together-time. The days I had work I would do it in the lounge while Ahmed sat with me, on his laptop or with a kitab in hand. We were trying and it was working Alhamdulillah.
As Nazia had so wisely said, our experiences would either draw us closer or draw us apart. In mine and Ahmed’s case it drew us closer than ever. Our bond grew stronger than the nikah and honeymoon stage as well; then we were newlyweds with stars in our eyes; neither of us could do wrong in the other’s eyes. We had been novices, sailing in smooth waters with the naive optimism that the tides would never change. But they had. We had weathered storms that had broken us, crushed us in it’s relentless grip; and we had risen from it, stronger, seasoned warriors…and together. That was the main part, that the storms had not managed to rip us apart. Together we broke and together we healed, and now here we were, knowing we had weathered the worst storms of our lives and emerged victorious; and we would, inshaAllah, emerge victorious throughout our lives.
If this ordeal taught me one thing, it was that we don’t give up at the first hurdle. Marriage is not a bed of roses, it’s filled with thorns as well. It’s extremely difficult to hold on to at times but we have to try…because it’s definitely worth fighting for.
I added some humour in the pics below. I came across them today and they were relating to marriage so I thought, why not share them here 😜😄