She was discharged four weeks later and returned to the village.
“we are forever indebted to you sir.” Bashirah’s mother said to Suleiman as he drove her and her daughter to the village, even though both were secondary class mates and she is two years older than he is, but she is a sir to her anyway.
“Alihamdulilah, we are family now sis, we are family, all that matter to her is her health. “ Suleiman said. He returned back to the city that day as he is to start work in his company in two days time and he had not done any proper preparation, no thanks to Bashirah’s illness. He volunteered to assist her mother in taking care of her at the hospital and he even paid the hospital bills.
“What can I do to help?” his mother asked as soon he returned from the village. There is not much preparation to do. His official aqpartment is ready but he still want to spend time with his parents. The fear of staying all alone gripped him, he worked on his transfer to come back home so as to be close to his family.
“Nothing much, I have sent my clothings to the Laundry man, they should be sent back tomorrow .” Suleiman pointed out and his mother nodded.
“Your Dad told me you will like to stay here for the mean time.” His mother pointed out and he nodded, he watched his mother sat down on the bed and looked at him.
“Suleiman, when are you going to get married?” his mother asked and he sighed, he had stylishly avoided the question so many times but she caught him unaware.
“Mum, I was married.” Suleiman pointed out.
“Ofcourse you were, and it’s been five years after your divorce with Misturahy. The lady has moved on, why can’t you? Do you want to remain single for the rest of your life?” His mother asked him.
“Mum, please give me sometime, please.” Suleiman said, the truth is that he has lost interest in women anymore and even marriage in general. Even though he know how important marriage is in completing one’s Deen. He still find it difficult to believe Misturah left him. They were both happy until they returned back to the country. She was just not contented with the way things were; the pot holes, the harsh weather , the noisy markets and so on. She complains about everything, even though they live in one of the most expensive estate in Abuja, she want more!!
“I am tired of this marriage, You know what I want, please for Allah sake, let me go.” She said to him after leaving him for two months for the UK. He thus decided to let her go. There was no joy in their marriage anymore.
“Suleiman, You are thirty seven, almost thirty eight, you are not a kid.” He heard his mother’s voice.
“Yes Mum. Thanks , I will work towards it ins sha Allah.” Suleiman said , his mother nodded and left the bedroom. He sighed and sank on the bed looking lost.
Bashirah nodded in satisfaction as the water drum filled to the brim. She dropped the bucket and turned to go back to help her mother in preparing food for their customers as usual when she saw Suleiman at the doorway. He has come to spend the weekend with his grandparents as usual. He greeted her and enquired about her mother.
“She is fine Uncle, I have to go.” Bashirah said and left. Suleiman went in to join his grandmother who was sitting under tree in the compound. His grandfather was in his room sleeping.
“Mami, how much do you pay that lady for her chores?” Suleiman asked
“Nothing, her mother won’t accept it.” She replied and told her grandson how Bashirah and her mother struggled to feed but nevr begged for food.
“She lost her husband some years ago.” She explained and he nodded. He remembered the father very well, he was a teacher in their secondary school, Bashirah’s mother got married immediately after her secondary school education. It was so unfortunate, he died at such a young age.
“So, what about her school?” he asked, her father will want her to be a graduate.
“Her uncle could not afford to send her to the tertiary institution.” His grandmother told him.
“That is so pathetic.” He said and realized his grandmother was looking at him with a lot of questions in her eyes.
“What is it? Spill it now!” she said with smiles and he returned the smiles.
“I will like to marry Bashirah. I will like to ask for her hand in marriage. Bami can do that for me.” He said and wondered what secret one can hide from the smart old woman.
“Really?” his grand mother asked and he nodded .
“Yes Mami, ins sha Allah, I like her, she is well cultured and a good muslimah.” He pointed out.
“I hope you are sure about this, you know they are both dear to me, I don’t want issues that will break our family ties with them. You understand what I am talking about right?” she asked and he nodded. Ofcourse he does, Bashirah is a very good and perfect option for him, he thought.
“Ma sha Allah, that is sorted then, I will talk to the mother first, you grandfather can come in later.” She said
Bashirah’s mother opened her eyes wide as Mami broke the news to her, it was the least she expected. She know Suleiman since they were young, they were class mates and he was one of her late husband favourite students before he left the village after their Secondary school education for the city. They heard how he won a scholarship and left the country. She heard of his failed marriage also. She has never thought her daughter will ever caught the attention of a man like him. He is a nice man, no doubt, a good looking man, everyone loves him in the village then, he is a religious man and he is from a good family. But to think that her daughter will get married to someone old enough as her mother is something difficult for her to take in.
“Marriage? Mami, Bashirah is young, she is still a child.” She finally said and Mami smiled.
“Ofcourse I know, you are like a daughter to me. I want the best for you both. Suleiman is my grandson, he is a nice man, he was just unlucky with his first marriage. I know he is far older tthan Bashirah but that does not matter.” Mami said.
“Alright mami, but Bashirah wants to go to school not to get married now.” Bashirah’s mother said and Mami nodded.
“that is no problem. Suleiman has that in mind too. Talk to Bashirah, let us know her decision as well then I can talk to Bami to talk to your husband’s family.” Mami explained, she know the family won’t reject a proposal from her husband but the young girl’s decision is very important.
“Mother! Marriage ke?” Bashirah asked with surprise.
“Suleiman is a very nice man.” Her mother said.
Ofcourse, she know that, he is good looking too but marrying him has never come to her mind.
“But school……” Bashirah said and her mother told her what Mami told her.
“okay, but please give me some time to think it over and pray about it.” Bashirah said and her mother nodded . at least her daughter will have the good life that she deserved. Life has not been fair to her .
To be continued ins sha Allah
“But, don’t you think the girl is very young?” his mother asked him and he smiled.
“she is my choice mum and you will like her.” Suleiman said. They were on their way to the village to meet with Bashirah’s family members.
“Ma sha Allah, I still very it very difficult that a young village girl caught your eyes.” Kudrah, his youngest sister said. She had volunteered to go to the village with them, she cannot wait to see the young village girl who her brother want to marry.
At Bashirah’s house, Suleiman’s parents and grandparents were welcomed warmly, Bashirah’s paternal Uncle was her waliy. A lot of questions were raised and agreements were reached. Bashirah and Suleiman were finally allowed to talk in the room with Kudrah with them.
Bashirah was very shy, she could not even look at Suleiman who was smiling at her. She was dressed in Pink hijab with a matching gown.
“Ma sha Allah, so how elaborate do you want our walimah to be?” he asked, he is aware every woman has their dream about their wedding day and he promised to go with her wish. At least, it was a very important discussion to start with.
“I want a moderate one.” She said and thanked him for all the gifts he bought for her. She was surprised at the various clothes, shoes, hijabs, and other accessories that Suleiman had sent two days before through his grandmother.
“I was told you want to be a nurse.” He asked and she nodded with smiles.
“Why not medicine?” he asked
“I always want to be a nurse.” She told him and she nodded. Her wishes must be respected.
“Nursing school is three years and six months for the mid wife course.” She said, she has read about all the required info, if only her mother has the means to send her.
“that is interesting, but why not go for a degree instead in a university?” he pointed out and she looked at him briefly before she looked away,
“Yes….. but universities education are expensive and competitive and they are for the rich.” Bashirah pointed out and he smiled. He watched her play with her fingers, he understand that she was just a young girl with a dream to become a nurse.
He asked about her Deen and came to understand that she attended an Islamic school in the village and can read the Quran fluently, memorized some surahs, understand some hadiths and fiqh but not as vast as he would have love her to be.
“I wish to learn further but there were no higher Islamic school in the village.” She added, Suleiman nodded , even kudrah who was listening to their conversation sensed her brother misgivings. She however love this young girl and cant wait for them to be sisters.
“Ma sha Allah, Suleiman nodded and smiled at his sister. They discussed about a lot of things, he was the only one asking questions and Bashirah answered intelligently.
“What about you? Don’t you have any question you wish to ask?” he asked , she was still playing with her fingers.
“Can i? “ she asked, she had a lot of questions to ask, their Nikkah and Walimah is in two weeks and she did not know much about him except his age, his status and his family background.
“What happened to your first marriage?” she asked him and his heart missed a beat, he felt as if he was being hit badly, but it was question he has to answer.
“You know that I am divorced, don’t you?” he asked and she nodded, but she want to know why he divorced his wife.
“We were not compatible anymore thus we part ways.” He finally said and she nodded .
“Do you still see or contact each other?” she asked further and he swallowed hard.
“No, he said
“Alright, thanks” she said, even though she seemed not satisfy with his replies, she decided to stop the questions.
“So what is your favourite colours?” kudrah asked to change the conversation and her brother was glad she did.
“Cream.” She replied
“Really? But you are on Pink?” he asked her.
“That is my second favourite colour.” Bashirah pointed out.
“Ma sha Allah.” Suleiman said.
“Yours is white right?” she asked him and he wondewondered how she know.
“You are always on white.” She pointed out as if reading his mind.
He drove back home with his sister a few minutes before Maghrib. Their parents were already at their house.
“Ma sha Allah bro, I love her.” Kudrah said to her brother on their way home.
“Alihamdulilah.” He said with disinterest and his sister sensed this immediately.
“What is wrong with you? You should be happy you are getting married again and to an innocent young lady as that?” Kudrah pointed out and her brother sighed.
“If you still love MIsturah, why do you go for this girl?” Kudrah asked, afterall he voluntarily showed interest in Bashirah.
“I have to get married. ” he said
“Yes, you have to, why don’t you get married to someone older? The girl is just nineteen or less, she is too young to be in a marriage who is in love with his ex.?” Kudrah pointed out.
“Come on, Kudrah, you are taking this too high. I can handle it.” Suleiman cautioned his sister.
“it should better be that way. The lady is not bad anyway, she is intelligent, homely, beautiful and religious, so what else?” kudrah said as he parked in front of the family house.
“Enough!” Suleiman said and excused himself to go pray.
To be continued ins sha Allah.
Bashirah woke up for a start and realized she was the only one sleeping on the bed, it was their first day in Suleiman’s apartment, she thought she woke up late but she laid still when she know it was just four in the morning. She wondered where he was, the bathroom was empty, she left the room and went to the living room, it was empty as well, even there was no one in the kitchen, she then decided to check him up in the other rooms, behold, he was sleeping in one of the rooms. She wondered why he decided to sleep alone? She closed the door gently and walked back to the master bedroom looking very worried and asking herself if she has done something wrong. How can he leave her all alone in their room to go sleep in another room when their bed is big enough. She could not sleep back but waited for the adhan to call to prayer so that she can stand up to observe Salah.
That morning, when Suleiman returned back from the masjid, she served him breakfast which they had quietly. She noticed he had changed, he was quiet distant, he did not even crack his usual jokes or tease her like he usually does.
“Why don’t you sleep in our room?” she finally got the courage to ask after breakfast, Suleiman looked up from the newspaper in his hands,
“I am not going to sleep in that room with you, that is your room. I will only come to the room when the need arises. The room is yours and I will sleep in mine.” He replied in a very calm voice and he hope she understand.
“But why? I cant sleep alone.” She said childishly, she love the way he he held her in his hands everynight for those few weeks that they spent with his grandparents in the village and while at his parents’s house. They got to his house the previous evening and he had changed this much.
“That is my decision.” He said with an air of finalty and she nodded, but still very confussed. How can a man changed so much just after three weeks of marriage? She asked herself.
“Okay, ” she said and went into the bedroom, now she saw it all. He has planned this before bringing her into the house, there were no single thing of his in the room. She knows one thing is clear.
She is in for it.
Bashirah started school eight weeks later, two months after she completed her driving lessons and started driving herself to school. Few months earlier, she could not think of going to a school, not to talk of a a private University, and with a car!
Alihamdulilah, she said and wished to give her husband a deep hug daily to thank him for all what he has done for her in just five months of marriage! Her mother now has a canteen in the village, he helped complete and furnished her father’s house , he send monthly allowance to her mother. She wished to show him love but he was not approachable, they hardly see each other except when he comes to her room which is twice a week. He comes home late at night and tried to avoid her as much as he can. She wondered what went wrong with him. Even though he hardly smile at her, there is kindness in him, at least she can feel it. He is a loving man outside but cold inside. He buys her gifts every day even though he does not want to see her.
She was very sad as this was not the type of marriage she wanted. She wondered if people will believe her story. Suleiman is a very kind man and everyone knows that!!!!
To be continued ins sha Allah