As narrated by Zainab:
“Zainab there’s a courier for you”, Dolly, our helper said as she slowly entered my room
My room was a war zone! I had turned everything upside down this morning in my fit of anger. I was alone at home anyway, my family had a function to attend. I didn’t go, citing the excuse that I was sick. The truth was, I was sick. ..sick to my stomach! !!!
When I opened that message, I didn’t expect to see a picture of Arshad and Maaherah all cozy! !! UGGGGGGGH!!!!!Fine, it was a long time ago but it still hurt! !!
I turned the small courier bag over. ..it was from Arshad. A small, very small wave of happiness swept over me as I opened the bag.
But it didn’t last long! !!
I was beyond livid! I angrily dialed his number and waited for him to answer.
“What kind of a gift is this? “,I said as soon as he picked up
“Babe calm down please. ..”, he said softly
“Calm down. ..after seeing that picture you’re asking me to calm down? ??”,I snapped
“It was such a long time ago Zainab. ..it doesn’t mean anything”, he begged
“If it doesn’t mean anything why did she send it?”,I asked angrily
“We don’t know that she sent it”,he tried to explain
“Well there’s only one way to find out”,I said as I held my head
“What difference will it make ? “, he asked
“If you saw a picture of me and my ex…and ex that you didn’t know about. ..and that too on the night of our engagement how would you feel? ?”
I was on the verge of crying my heart out. Men would never ever understand! !
“Okay love I’ll pick you up in 15 minutes. …I love you Zainab this silly picture doesn’t change anything”, he said longingly
“Fine”, I said and cut the call
I looked at the contents of the courier bag. … Calmettes! !! He thinks that I need Calmettes! !! I tossed the box into my cupboard. I didn’t want or need anything to calm me! Why did I ever call that tramp to my engagement? I should have realized that some people just don’t change no matter what.
I waited outside my driveway gate the way that I used to back in the not so distant days when Arshad and I never got along. It irked him but good atleast now he can feel a little bit like the way that I feel.
I thought of calling Maariah but decided against it. This was something that Arshad and I needed to do alone.
While waiting for him my mind dissected this whole thing into tiny little pieces but only one thing stood out. Most guys didn’t think twice before fooling around but when it came to marriage then they would marry a girl who is the total opposite of the girl they went out with.
Ok maybe I’m exaggerating when it came to Arshad. He wasn’t like that but still. ..
Very soon his car pulled up outside my house and even though the irritation was very visible on his face he didn’t say anything. Good.
“How do we know if she’s even at home? “,he asked after a few minutes
“Why don’t you phone her and ask her! “,I answered sarcastically
“Zainab…I don’t have her number, I haven’t had her number for years”, Arshad answered as calmly as possible
“You don’t understand Arshad”, I said as I tried to hold back my tears
“I do understand actually”, and he took a deep breath in and continued “perhaps the situation is different but I understand alright. ..how do you think I felt when Aadil came to see you? You saw an old picture of Maaherah and me together and you flipped, I had to digest the fact that another man came to see the woman who I loved because she wasn’t brave enough to tell her parents that we were together! ”
I was completely taken aback!
“Did I tell you anything Zainab? From which ever angle that we look at it, both of us are wrong, every thing is wrong! We have a chance to do something right yet what is it we’re doing? But if you feel like you still want to make a fool of yourself and give Maaherah the benefit of the doubt then fine. ..it’s your call”, he said angrily
“Don’t you dare throw this back at me! !!”, I snapped back at him…”I don’t care who did what. ..you didn’t tell me even when you saw her that you knew her!!!”
“And when was I supposed to tell you? ??? She came to my house with Zoheb just a little while before we left for your house”, Arshad shouted back
“Look at it from my point of view! !!!”, I screamed
“I told you that I knew her such a long time ago. ..this girl is trouble. I know that you already have a history with her why do you want to drag our relationship in the mud”,he said angrily
“You men just don’t get it you just don’t! !! She sent that picture to stir trouble because either she still likes you or..I don’t know”,I said as I folded my arms
Silence…a good few seconds of silence….
“Is that. ..yes it is! !!something’s burning! !!!”, Arshad said with a sudden grin on his face
I frowned at him questioningly. ..
“My darling you’re jealous! !!! Because of me! ! You love me so much? ??Zainab I’m totally bowled over! ! I will take you wherever you want to go. ..Maaherah Shaaherah whoever and even if you want to fist fight her I’ll cheer you on!!”
Unbelievable. Here I was seething with anger and well jealousy too and Arshad was just basking in his new found realization with a huge grin plastered across his face! !! It’s true and now proven- most men do lack a great part of intelligence that women are born with.
Ofcourse I loved him and ofcourse I wanted to stake my claim in front of her. …but was she worth it? ?
I didn’t say anything else and just pondered silently over everything. We don’t think when we date someone that he or she is also someone’s child, someone’s brother or sister etc etc. We don’t think about the long term repercussions of our then seemingly innocent actions. The human psyche is deeper and more sensitive than we can even begin to imagine and something that we didn’t think much of, may turn out to be the root cause of our biggest problems.
And as always, there is more than one choice. Sometimes, we just don’t see it. In our current state of mind, we’re blinded by our emotions and our anger and refuse to acknowledge the tiny window that has been left open for us. Arshad was right, we finally had a chance to do something right,together.
I didn’t even realize that we had reached Zoheb’s apartment, and I was glad that I was no longer consumed by that ferocious urge to barge in and do something that I probably would have ended up regretting. Ultimately, I wasn’t the old Zainab anymore. Allah had given me a second chance and I didn’t want to blow it. I was better than her, and I was better than my anger.
”So are we going upstairs or…not?”, Arshad asked hopefully
I looked down for a few seconds, my mind racing…and then looked up at him and winked.
”Ofcourse we are!”