PART SEVENTY THREE 

We got back just before Asr, I went to my chalet. I told Mariam she is welcome anytime to come over. Although I wanted time alone, I felt bad for her. I checked my phone and saw three missed calls from Ahmed. Why was he calling me when he knows I wanted no contact because I want time alone. 
 
I called Ahmed to find out what he wanted, he said he wanted to know if we could speak at least once a day. I explained to him that after all that I went through, I need the space. I need him to give me space and time. I need to think if we should be together or not. 
 
If his family can plot such a big conspiracy and hate me so much before we even married, imagine what will happen when we are married. I need to find a way to deal with the drama his family will always cause. Do I want to be around people who I can’t trust. Time spent at his parents would be so stressful.
 
I didn’t realize while I was on the phone Mariam was standing at the door. I saw her reflection on the tv and I turned around. I hope she didn’t hear my conversations. I told Ahmed I would call him back and we would discuss the matter later. Mariam felt bad that she just came and I was busy on a call.
 
I told her it was okay, I tried to avoid her asking me questions about the call but she did ask if I was on an important call because it sounded important. I guess she heard a bit of our conversation. I made tea for us, we sat outside and had our tea while we spoke. Mariam was more interested in my life this time.
 
I told her a bit, like where I am from, about my family, what work I do. I also mentioned Ahmed and that we are engaged but I never told her all the details. I know she did tell me details about her life but I’m not comfortable telling my problems to strangers.
 
Anyways after she left I got into my pjs and then got into bed. I switched on the tv when I realized that I had to call Ahmed. I called but he didn’t answer the call, but he called back after a few minutes. I didn’t ask what he was doing, I got straight to the point. 
 
Ahmed kept begging me to let him call me at least once a day. He said if we didn’t speak at all we would just be putting more pressure on our relationship. At first I felt like he has already put the pressure so what more is there to do. I gave in at the end and told him he could call once a day. 
 
Then he asked if we could speak a little now, I agreed, he asked about my day, what I did, then he asked about what I wanted to do for eid. So I told him I will be in Jo’burg and will be spending it at home alone. He was shocked that I was going to be alone and he didn’t know. 
 
He did ask where uncle Abdullah and his family will be and he asked why I didn’t tell him before. My reply was “when were you interested in what I had to say, all you wanted was for me to agree to go to your family for eid.” he kept quiet, I knew he felt bad and I wanted him to feel bad and know how I felt. 
 
In the morning I checked my phone, Ahmed had left a message for me. It read,” I’m so sorry that I forces you to do something you didn’t want to. Today I realize what a special person you are, you are willing to spend a day of celebration alone for me, to make me happy and you didn’t complain once. I have to tell you that today I respect you more than I ever did. My love for you has increased immensely. I wish to be at least half the person that you are. Please forgive me, I love you, Ahmed.” 
 
I’m glad that he realized his mistake and has started to appreciate me. His message was a good start to my day. I booked a spa treatment for later in the day and planned to just relax indoors. It was so relaxing, no disturbances, just me and my books. 
 
After my spa treatment I went for a slow long walk along the lake. Then I took a boat ride around the lake. When I got to the chalet I took a short nap and then made supper. I got two more days here and I want to make the most of it. Tomorrow I want to go to a nearby shopping centre and then relax for the rest of the day. 
 
I need to do some thinking and decision making as well so I can’t waste my time here. After supper I got into bed and watched tv. I fell asleep while watching tv. In the morning I saw two missed calls from Ahmed. I feel so bad, I missed his calls, I did hear the phone ring but I didn’t realize it was mine.
 
I called him before I could do anything and I apologized for not answering his call last night. He was not upset at all, he figured I was asleep. I think it was the spa treatment, I felt so relaxed after that I actually slept early and had such a peaceful sleep.
 
After breakfast I got ready and went to do some shopping. I bought gifts for everyone at home and for Ahmed. After shopping I went out for lunch, it felt weird having lunch alone but it was good also. Sitting in the restaurant, I hear someone call out my name, at first I thought it was Mariam but I didn’t listen properly, it was actually a mans voice. 
 
I turned around, it was a old university friend Arshad. He was also on holiday with friend and also came to have lunch. Strange that he was alone for lunch but he came with friend on holiday. I didn’t bother to ask, it was good talking to him. We caught up on a lot since we last saw each other.
 
He was staying at the same resort but on a different section. They were camping at the resort. He was not married as yet and was not seeing anyone. I thought he was a good match for Rizwana but I didn’t mention anything to him. I just took his details,i don’t want to play matchmaker and my own relationship is on the rocks.
 
Arshad said they were around only for one more night, it’s their first camping trip and it’s been hectic because the resort has a problem at the camping site with electricity. They haven’t had a hot water bath for days. I told Arshad to invite his friends over for supper. 
 
I also offered them to come use my chalet to bath and so on. I went back to the resort and prepared for supper. I invited Mariam as well, she came over to help me. When Arshad and his friends came over they all wanted to shower first. Mariam was kind enough to offer some of them to use her chalet. 
 
One other thing they were glad to see was a tv, I just laughed at them because they were going on as if they were sent to a jungle. I asked them what made them come on this camping trip because they not the camping type of people. They actually loss a bet and had to come camping. Anyways after supper we had desserts and tea and then the men left. 
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