I woke early the following day, Asad was already up praying, he’d stop waking me a long time due to my unyielding habit, I made my way to the toilet, I knew he would be thinking whatever this girl is up to, but my love you must fall this time, so I can crush you I thought. I prayed and went to check on the kids, Asad jnr was already on the dinning table having breakfast, he was surprised to see me.
‘Ammi are you alright.’ He said with a bewildered expression.
‘Yes of course, I just want to see you.’ I said.
Just then, shazia and Nazia came in, they looked so much like me.
‘Ammi.’ They said and stopped on their tracks, Sakki came along too holding Amir, I scooped him up and kissed him, he too was shocked but then he held my neck with his tiny hands. We had a good time, they told me that daddy will be coming for their PTA meeting today, honestly I forgot about all those things when I left school. Amir said he got a new friend in school and Shazia said she was the prettiest girl in school. Sakki was the lady that looked after my kids from childhood, just as Bakshi had raised us all, Baba’s PA attended all our school functions, so I thought that Asad’s PA would be attending all my kid’s functions too, He too came in and asked if they were ready.
‘Won’t you have breakfast?’ I asked, He gave me strange look.
‘No.’ He said coldly, but I was not going to give up after one try. When he left Sakki told me he doesn’t take breakfast.
So Asad takes them to school, I didn’t know about that. They left and I watched them from the verander as they got into Asad’s jeep and zoomed off, Ladi was cleaning the parlor, I saw maids sweeping and packing leaves downstairs, I visited the kitchen, they were so busy they didn’t notice my presence, my cook was flirting with one of the maids, so much happens before I wake up I thought. I needed to take a break from diamond necklaces world and check the real world.
I goggled how to cook and recipes in my ipad, finally I settled for rice and stew it seemed the easiest, the problem was that I have never cooked before.
I went to kitchen gripping my ipad as if the video would suddenly disappear from You Tube. Mr kweke the head cook saw me and hurried towards me, his fat body moving like Barney’s.
‘Hajiya.’ He said breathlessly, he had just moved a short distance.
‘Mr kweke I will be cooking today, so you may all vacate the kitchen for the time being.’ His small eyes widened, I had the urge to say something nasty to him but Nafisa’s advice was fresh on my mind.
‘It’s alright, Mr kweke, I just feel like cooking today, you may bring the utensils out for me.’ I read the ingredients from the ipad, he complied and arranged everything for me.
Now with no one but me in the kitchen the size intimidated me. I played the video and tried following the steps but many things went wrong. For one I couldn’t pour oil from its container and ended up with most of it on the floor and lots on the burner, the stew tasted bitter so I added sugar, I burnt my hand while taking the lid off the pot, I forgot to use a rag, the stew burnt and I was thrown into a coughing spree. When I looked up smoke filled everywhere the burner was on fire, the flames glaring at me looked like an inferno and the last thing I remembered was falling into Asad’s arms.
When I woke up, Asad’s eyes were looking directly into mine, I coughed and he handed me a glass of water. I hurriedly gulped it down and gave him the glass back.
‘What is going on in your head?’ He asked. I didn’t answer.
‘Are you okay, or are you going mad?’ He asked again, I still didn’t answer.
‘Tell me so that I’ll know whether or not to send you a mental asylum?’ Asad must be sick I thought.
‘No am not mad.’ I replied.
‘Then what is this?’ He said showing me his clothes which were completely ruined by my attempt to wash them with the washing machine earlier.
‘I was trying to wash your clothes’ I said.
‘Why, and why were trying to burn down the house?’ He asked suppressing his anger.
‘Am very sorry I ruined your clothes and almost burnt down the house.’ I said.
Asad’s pupil dilated, I have never used the word sorry before.
‘What the hell is wrong with you, did you hit your head?’
‘Then why have you been acting strange lately, Look what ever you’re up to you better stop before you either burn the house or kill yourself.’ He said and left. I smiled, no slap, no beating that means am getting somewhere.
I have been seeing our kids everyday now, and taking cooking lessons from Mr kweke, also I try by all means to keep our room tidy, and I now use the words “thank you, please and sorry” now even to the servants, I had check the dictionary for the meaning of empathy, sympathy and compassion before I could fully comprehend it.
Asad has been noticing the changes, but he he’s been ignoring it,sooner or later he will bend. My next move must surely bring results. I was sure as I drove into Nia.I felt strange and when someone looked at me I’d think that they were thinking that this is the lady that is always brought here unconscious with blood stains from battering. I cautiously walked to the reception and fixed an appointment with Dr Sanam Raza Muktar, Asad’s sister.
Sanam’s gaze was deadly as she sat across me clad in her doctor’s white, I could trace out bits of Asad from her, had Asad been a woman he would have surpassed me in beauty, all Sanam had was bits of him. she was indeed a beautiful woman who chose to use her brain except in certain cases, she was one who didn’t learn her lesson on time, she had tried to get into my favor my taking over my case once when I was in Nia, but I reacted badly. I had woken up filled with bitterness and Sanam the culprit’s sister was treating me and I was like what the hell. ‘ ‘where is Dr zaks.’ I had screamed, soon Dr Zaks appeared and told me Sanam was handling my case.
‘Dr Raza is very competent in her field.’ He said reassuringly.
‘I don’t care and I don’t want any mediocre doctor treating me.’ I said with other doctors and nurses present, Sanam walked out and since then kept her distance from me which was what I wanted.
Now her gaze was like a volcano waiting to erupt, ‘How may I help you?’ She asked her tone very professional. I greeted her but she did not answer, instead she took her intercom and queried if Dr Zaks was on leave as one of his patients was with her.
‘Sanam it’s you I came to see.’ I said, her silence was irritating, so I ccontinued. ‘Please am sorry for what happened years ago.’ There was a shock expression on her face but she said nnothing. ‘I know I was very wrong and I want to apologize and I hope you forgive me.’ I didn’t know if Sanam would forgive me or not and I cared less but she was sure to call Asad and that was my mission.
I was welcomed home by the sound of Najma’s startling laughter, she was playing with the twins, I paused and stared for a while, Najma did not inherit Mama’s beauty but if anybody asked me to describe Najma I would just sing Bruno Mars’s just the way you are.
Her eyes makes the stars look like they’re not shinning.
Her hair falls perfectly without her trying.
She’s so beautiful and I tell her everyday.
When I complement her she wont believe me.
It’s so sad to see that she don’t see what I see,
But every time she ask me do I look okay I say.
When I see your face, there is not a thing that I will change,
Cus you are amazing just the way you are and when you smile the whole world stops and stares for a while.
She saw me and we greeted, I noticed a luggage by the side of the seat.
‘I take it you’re spending the night.’ I said. She nodded a yes all the while clutching to a bag tightly, I called Ladi to take her things to the guest room, when Ladi made for the bag she declined.
I was waiting patiently for Asad to return, Najma retired Early.
Soon I heard the sound of his Porsche Cayenne, I made sure the room was in perfect shape and entered the toilet. I came out after I heard the door opening and closing and Asad was gazing at himself in the mirror.
‘Welcome, how was your day?’ I asked.
‘Fine.’ He answered flatly, slowly he was pulling his clothes off and arranging them on a hanger, ” dirty clothes oh.”
‘Najma is sleeping here.’ I said trying to initiate a conversation. Remembering Nafisa’s talk to him advice.
‘Ok, how is she.’ He answered still looking at himself in the mirror.
‘Let me hang it .’ I said trying to take the hanger from him.
‘Let it be.’ He said and hung it himself.
‘Shahnaz’ he called, now that was trouble, whenever he called me Shahnaz I knew I was in trouble and I was wishing I let everything be.
‘What are you up to?’ Why did you go to Sanam.’
‘To apologize.’ Relieved that my plan has worked finally.
‘Look here you can do your silly little things at home but don’t try to hurt Sanam.’ His eyes were glaring hot fire.
‘I wasn’t trying to hurt her, I was only trying to rectify my mistake’. Asad backed me against the wall before the sentence ended.
‘Who put you up to this?’
‘No one.’ I muffled out, he had pinned my hands and tightened it as he asked further.
‘Who put you up to this?’
‘Nafisa.’ I shrieked and he released me immediately.
‘What?’ He asked disbelievingly.
‘I asked her to tell me the secret of a happy marriage, because am tired of fighting all the time.’ I said.
‘What did she tell you?’
‘To love you so much, so much you have no choice but to love me back,but I don’t think I can ever win your love I said and burst into tears, Asad was silent for a while then he got and left then he returned with tissue, he helped me up.