PART SEVENTY TWO 

We just sat in my room for a few hours in complete silence. We didn’t even realize what the time was. Then Ahmed said,” Saaj, I don’t know about you but I’m really hungry.” When I got up only did I realize we were sitting n my room for 6 hours, it was already 4pm. 
 
When Ahmed got up, his neck was sore because of being in one spot for so long. We both went to the kitchen to make us something to eat. I told him to leave it, I would make something but he didn’t listen. We ate and then he wanted to sit with me but I wanted him to leave. 
 
I needed some time to think things, my mind really went in circles for the last six hours so I needed to reflect on everything that happened and decide what I wanted. Ahmed sat for a little bit and then he left. I called Faheema and told her what happened and what I want but I don’t know how to move on from here and forgive him. 
 
She told me the best way is to ask Allah. He is the only one who can guide me and give me answers to all my questions. I called Ahmed after I spoke to Faheema and told him that we will only meet after eid. I needed sometime and when I was ready I would call him. 
 
He begged me not to do this, he was feeling guilty and my decision not to meet made him feel more guilty. He begged for forgiveness. He even said he wouldn’t go home for eid because he wants to spend eid with me. I told him I don’t want to spoil his eid so I would tell him a day before eid. 
 
Then he can go home nicely for eid and spend it with his family. He told me that he will wait for my call and that he was not going home for eid because his family have let him down. I didn’t want to get into too much detail with him and I wasn’t going to convince him otherwise. It is his decision to make. 
 
Anyways the next day I went to work and called my boss and asked him for one weeks unpaid leave. I have no leave left but I needed this time to myself. My boss said I could take leave but he won’t take it as unpaid leave. I then booked at a nearby resort. After work I went to do some shopping.  
 
I went to buy all the necessities for my trip and some extra stuff like snacks. I went home and packed my bag, I informed Aunty Rubina and then I left. I got to the resort just before maghrib. I checked in and then went to my chalet. I called Faheema and told her where I was, she was glad that I’m doing something for myself. 
 
I got to bed early and woke up super early in the morning. I put my phone on silent and sent the resorts number to Rizwana and Faheema. I made a nice healthy breakfast for myself and then went into the shower. After that I went for a peaceful slow walk around the resort. 
 
It was so relaxing on my mind, I sat on a bench near the lake and let my thoughts run wild. I can’t believe how calming it was just to sit there alone, lost in my own world. No stress about anyone or any work. While sitting by the lake I met a beautiful bubbly lady. 
 
Her name is Mariam, she lives in mpumalanga, she was also alone at the resort. I thought she was on a business trip but she was on vacation. She also like me needed some time alone away from work and people. She is such a wonderful person, so positive and always smiling.
 
She invited me to join her for lunch, she said it’s nothing fancy just home food. I took her chalet number before I went back to my chalet. I remember bringing a dessert premix, so I quickly made the dessert and waited for it to set for an hour. Then I went to her chalet, her chalet was just three Chalets away from mine so I didn’t have to go too far.
 
Mariam said it’s nothing fancy but Shew she had three different dishes prepared. You wouldn’t believe she was alone she had food for a village. I asked her for how long she was staying and she said for the week only. She really had food items for a year. She said she likes having people over for meals so she always carry extra food. 
 
She told me a lot about herself, she is actually married. She takes a week away from her husband every 4 to 6 months. She says it’s a treat to herself, she says she works hard the whole year and deserves a break. I found it Strange, wouldn’t a husband and wife want time together on holidays.
 
Her husband is a very rich businessman, he hardly spends time with her, he hates taking vacations together that’s why she goes alone. I feel so bad for her, she doesn’t even show it. I guess she tries to keep herself busy with other things and people. That’s why she appreciates the company of other people.
 
While we were having lunch she told me about a flea market place that sells all sorts of things at very cheap prices. She said they even beat the China mall. I would like to see this. We made plans that we would go after lunch, so we cleared up and then left to the flea market.
 
As we walked we bought what we fancied, it was fun and we got things really cheap. We took our time to walk around so we didn’t get tired and we took note of a lot of things. Afterwards we went for ice cream and coffee at a nearby coffee shop. 
 
So I was curious, where does Mariam leave her children when she goes on these vacations, it bugged me for a while but I would never ask. As the day went along I spoke about children to see if she has any but I didn’t ask directly. She then told me that she wants to have children but her husband doesn’t want to.
 
It has been one of the major causes in them leading separate lives. Whenever they are together they end up arguing about it. I don’t know how she stays in such a relationship but she says she is happy. I guess because of financial stability she is just sticking with him.
I heard at our weekly get together about such marriages where the women have to make these compromises, just because they don’t have family support and financial support. In a way she is free because he gives her the money and then never bothers to see her again, but then she looses out on love and someone caring for her.
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