PART HUNDRED AND THIRTY

The wedding day has finally arrived, I’m not feeling too good today. I think it’s all the exhaustion. Ahmed and my mum told me to not overdo things and to relax during the day but I feel so bad that everyone else is busy doing something. Plus it’s my brothers wedding, he did so much for me and for my wedding it’s the least I can do.

My mum orders me to sleep for a little longer. She says maybe I will be a bit okay if I get more sleep. I layer in bed not able to fall asleep, someone knocks on the door. My mum told Ziyaad that I wasn’t feeling too well so he came to see me. He told me to get rest and some sleep. I woke up in a shock, remembering I had something very important to do.

I looked at the time and it was already 11:30 am. I could hear everyone outside speaking, I felt a bit better but still in a daze. I didn’t want to go in front of everyone looking like a ghost, so I messaged Ahmed and Faheema, in case one of them never read my message which said, “come to the room.” That obviously sent them both to the room in ligtnening speed.

I didn’t really think before sending the message to actually say why I was calling them. The both entered the door in such a speed, asking what was wrong. I aplogised after realising that I had them in panic. After we were settled, I explained to them that I didn’t want to come out as yet because I was still feeling a bit dazed and that I didn’t want anyone seeing me looking like a ghost.
Ahmed sat with me, Faheema went downstairs and prepared breakfast for me and brought it to my room. Everyone asked where I was and she told them not to disturb me, I was not feeling well. While I was having breakfast the news of me being ill spread and before I knew it everyone was in the room checking how I was.

After breakfast, I went to shower, Ahmed waited in the room because he was afraid I would fall or injure myself. He refused to leave me although I told him there’s so much work to do. He said, ‘ there are plenty hands to help.’ I couldn’t argue with him. I decided to go downstairs and sit with everyone,maybe I would feel better. Ahmed helped me downstairs and made me sit in the lounge.

I sat there listening to the old auntie’s gossip about people I didn’t really know. I so much wanted to go outside but the minute I moved my Mum or my Dadi would shout at me. All the fun was happening outside. Moinudeen was looking for me since he woke up, his father had to eventually take him out because he wouldn’t listen that he couldn’t come to my room.

So when he came back to the house, Faheema told him I was sitting in the lounge. He ran to me telling all about how he was crying for me and his mother didn’t want to let him in my room and cleverly said, ‘I know Abba took me out because he didn’t want me to trouble you, Abba wanted to bribe me. ‘ I laughed at his intelligence.

He sat on me, laid his head on my shoulder and told me how much he loved me. I knew he wouldn’t change his behaviour towards me while I was pregnant. On the hand Sabiha doesn’t even want to come near me or talk to me. She tells me straight, ‘I don’t like you, because you got another baby.’

Strange that she doesn’t want to be around me but she has told Faheema and my Mum that she wants the baby to come soon because she wants to play with the baby and she loves the baby a lot. I don’t force her to come to me or tease her because I think it just makes a child miserable and they start hating you.

After lunch I was feeling a lot better, although my mum didn’t allow me to do any work. Since Ziyaad couldn’t go out of the house so he sat with me, keeping me company. Ahmed was missing in action for a couple of hours but checked on me once he got back. The house was quiet after lunch.

Everyone went to the hall to check what last minute things needed to be done for the walima and then went to their houses to relax and get dressed for the wedding. I sent Ziyaad to change at 3 pm, the nikkah was after Asr which was at 5 pm. Sabiha and Shiraaz arrived just after lunch, I felt bad that I couldn’t welcome them properly. My in-laws arrived just after 3 pm.

I called Ahmed to come see them but he said he would see them later. He was very busy at the hall and they had to finish up. Most of the work at the hall was mine and I felt so bad leaving on Ahmed,Yaseen,Shuaib and Faheema to do. It was one thing I wanted to do for Ziyaad, It was my special thing to him. The whole day I was feeling bad about leaving them.

My mum and Zinat entertained my in-laws and Sabiha and Shiraaz, they brought them refreshments and made small talk. Zinat took Sabiha and Shiraaz to their room and I gave my in-laws my room to use. Maria helped me take Ahmed and my clothes out of the room. I was hoping they would be done before he got back so we could use my room.

The men got back just past 4:30 and rushed to get ready. We ended up sharing a room with Yaseen. I was the slowest out of everyone, I got ready last and then needed help to get down the stairs. Ziyaad insisted on waiting until I was ready,he didn’t let the Moulana start with the dua before I came. I finally managed to get to the lounge where everyone was waiting, all beautifully dressed.

I could see the look on my mother-in-law’s face, indicating that she thought I was delaying everything and that she didn’t believe I was sick. The Moulana read a dua and then read Salami, my mum started crying which left everyone in the room in tears. I couldn’t believe my big brother was finally getting married. My Mr Fussy was finally bringing home a bhabhi for us.

The men left to the hall and the ladies sat at home waiting for the men to return. We heard the nikkah take place over the receiver. It was a beautiful nikkah, it was so overwhelming and amazing. I kept stressing that my mother-in-law would create a scene or get upset about something and then would be upset.

I sat with them most of the time, I didn’t want them to feel out of place. Although all my family made them feel so welcomed. After the nikkah, the men came home, we all greeted and congratulated Ziyaad and everyone congratulated us, his family. It felt so strange, my Bro was now a married man.

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PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY NINE

After a relaxing weekend, the stress has hit us again today. We found out that Raees is here in SA for a deal with a drug dealer. We don’t know the exact deal. I told Ahmed not to get involved because these drug dealers are very dangerous. We should just cut ties with Raees and tell the family to do the same. Ahmed feels that if we keep quiet, then we allowing this crime to happen.

Also we will be just as guilty as them since we already know what is happening. Shiraaz comes up with an idea to anonymously tip off the police. That way only we know we informed them and we will do it from a new number that can be traced back to us. We all agree on this and the next day we buy a new some card and a cheap phone.

We inform the police and hope for the best. it’s been three weeks since we informed the police. We heard about a big drug bust that went down, my mother-in-law informed us that Raees had been arrested, his parents had made contact with them and asked for help. My father-in-law told them that they didn’t want to get involved.

Today we arrived at my parents, Ziyaad is getting married this weekend. We have functions from tomorrow, so we all came a day earlier. The house is full of family and friends, we haven’t had a minute free to relax. Everyone was here for lunch and supper, it was lots of fun. After supper, we sat outside in the garden and played antakshari.

This morning was such a rush, preparing for the khatam and Zikr. We ran around most of the day sorting out things for tonight’s function. The whole morning went with my mum, Faheema and I cooking for lunch and supper. Ahmed and Shuaib ran around getting the last minute shopping done, it just doesn’t end. Just when you think you finished with shopping and you have everything something crops up.

Zinat was making the salads and my cousins from next door were making desserts. Yaseen went to pick up the savouries for tonight, he dropped them off at Aunty Farida, she offered to fry and bake them for us. Everyone started to arrive just before Zuhr, well those who were off from work. We had lunch and then prepared for the khatam.

My Dad’s family are such a great help, they’ve all taken one responsibility off our shoulders so it makes it a bit easier to handle. For each day we have someone helping with something or the other. The ladies sat in the garden while the men read Zikr. After the Zikr, we served refreshments and then we got talking about our childhood.

This morning was such a rush, firstly being a Jummah and secondly because tomorrow is the wedding. We’ve been running around like headless chickens sorting out last minute details. Tomorrow we won’t have enough time to sort things out for the walima on Sunday so we did most of it today.

My in-laws are arriving today, Ahmed booked them out at a hotel, So is Sabiha and Shiraaz, they will be staying with us by my mum. Raeesa and her family will also be coming for the wedding. They will be arriving on the wedding day. They have also booked at the same hotel that my inlaws have booked at. We thought of offering them to stay by Zinat but we had to let some of my mums family stay there.

After Jummah we served lunch and then all the ladies got together and prepared the souvenirs that Ziyaad wants to give at the walima. Usually the grooms side only give chocolate at the wedding as sinni, but it’s something he wants to do so my parents agreed. Humeira is having her Mendhi tonight. We have to go there for a few minutes.

Tonight we having a function called Peeti, it’s when the groom’s family put haldi for him. There will also be some mischievous fun tonight. Faheema, myself and a few girls will have to sneak out for a little while to attend the function at Humeira’s house. The past two days we’ve been making more tea then we’ve made in a year.

It gets annoying when you have to make tea every five minutes, especially when it’s just for one or two people. I told my mum today that we not making tea every five minutes. We will make when there’s a crown at least 8-10 cups. The amount of dishes that comes out is unreal. I think only when there’s a function in your house do you realise how much dishes you actually have.

My Dad has been stressing so his blood pressure is on a high. We had to rush him to the doctor and my mum suddenly had diarrhea. I think also because she is stressing. It’s always at weddings that problems come up. Faheema can’t concentrate on the wedding because her mother-in-law keeps calling and telling her nonsense.

She hasn’t told Shuaib because it will spoil his mood and he would end up fighting with his mother. Her mother-in-law can’t handle the fact that they will be staying by my parents for two weeks. It’s like she thinks we going to steal her son away from her or he will end up having so much fun by us he wouldn’t want to go home.

Just before Maghrib everyone slowly starts coming in. One thing that delays any function is late guests. The men all read Salaah in the Namaaz room and the women read in the two guest rooms downstairs. After maghrib supper is served and then immediately the function is started.

Faheema, myself, four of my cousins, Zinat and my Aunty go to Hemeira’s house for the Mendhi.  We apply Mendhi to her baby finger and then let the professionals do the rest. She had two ladies applying Mendhi to her hands and feet. We sat for a little while, we were served refreshments and then we left. I couldn’t wait to get home, just so that I could take off my heels.

Zinat and I had been standing most of the time because they had brought two chairs short. Everytime someone saw us they said they would send chairs but never did. It was a good 45 minutes that we stood for. When we got back home, we started the Peeti. A few of my paternal cousins performed dances and small acts.

It was one of the most enjoyable evenings. I’m already in my sixth month of my pregnancy so I’m extremely exhausted. After the function, we cleaned up everywhere and then went to bed. Ahmed massaged my feet before we went to bed. I probably wouldn’t of slept if he didn’t massage my feet. The pain was unbearable.

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY EIGHT

It’s our first Sunday at home since the year has started. It’s been a lazy and relaxing morning. Faheema and her family were enjoying the pool with Ahmed. I was  not in the mood for a swim, so I just sat at the pool side on the chair reading a book. This weekend was full of fun, take outs and relaxation.

In the evening Sabiha and Shiraaz joined us. Ebrahim really enjoyed playing with the kids, he was glad that he was not the only child around. We had supper together and then played a game of monopoly. The kids played in the toy room downstairs. We haven’t bought much toys as yet, I’ve turned the spare room downstairs into a toy room for when we have kids over.

Before we knew it Monday was already here. I woke up for fajr and then got into the shower. I went downstairs and prepared for lunch and kept everything ready for breakfast. Ahmed left after fajr to fetch his cousin at the airport. They were back just in time for breakfast. His cousin was a bit reserved at first but warmed up to us.

I don’t think he expected a house full of people. After breakfast, Ahmed, his cousin Raees and I sat in the lounge, while Faheema and them got ready. We spoke about his flight, his parents, how they related and what he came to SA for. He seemed a bit weird though, a strange weird. I couldn’t figure what it was but he sometimes gave me this evil look. 

Faheema and her family left just after lunch. Sabiha came over to invite us for supper that evening. I offered to make the salad and dessert, so I got busy in the kitchen leaving Ahmed and Raees to entertain themselves. Ahmed had to attend to some work just after 5, leaving me alone with Raees. Which I obviously dreaded.

I kept myself busy in the kitchen and asked  Nomsa and Thandi to stay in the kitchen with me pretending they were busy with work. I told Nomsa how uncomfortable I was around Raees and the looks he gave me. She knew I was not just telling her stories to keep her busy because she knows I am a good judge on character.

Ahmed was running late so Nomsa and Thandi helped me with the things to Sabiha’s house and also I didn’t want to walk alone with Raees. I was glad I had Sabiha and Shiraaz around. How am I going to stay with this man in my house? I can’t tell Ahmed anything as yet because I don’t have proof of anything and he hasn’t really done anything besides give me strange looks.

Ahmed finally got here and we could have supper. I told Shiraaz to speak to him because I know he won’t believe me and say ‘it’s my imagination.’ We sat outside under the lapa, the men smoked hookah and Sabiha and I sat and spoke about my pregnancy and her experience with hers.

It was quite late when we got home so we went straight to bed. Ahmed told me that Shiraaz had spoken to him. He said he would stay at home and work for the few days that his cousin was around. He didn’t want to cause a problem and he knew his mother would make a big issue out of it so he asked that we rather take precaution but don’t mention it to family.

The whole week went by and Raees still didn’t say for how long he was going to be staying. I asked Ahmed to ask him, I didn’t make much conversation with him and when he tried to make conversation with me I didn’t entertain it. He was still giving me those strange looks but only did it when Ahmed was not around.

I wanted Ahmed to see him doing it so I planned to record him. We had cctv camera’s installed a few weeks ago but didn’t switch them on as yet. I decided to have them put on and record what he was doing. That would be enough evidence to get him out of my house.

I don’t know if he knew what I was up too but for two days he never did anything and stayed most of the time out of the house. It was Saturday already and he told Ahmed that he should leave, he has overstayed his welcome. I found it strange that all of a sudden he felt that he was not welcome.

Raees said he was leaving in the afternoon and would be going back to London. I was glad that he was leaving although I wish I knew why he was suddenly leaving. Ahmed had the driver drop Raees off at the airport. I couldn’t of been more relieved, it was like the evil was leaving my house. 

This morning Ahmed decided we should go out. We packed a picnic basket and went to the zoo lake. Sabiha and Shiraaz joined us. We left just after 11 and spend the whole day there just relaxing.  We then went to Sandton, while walking to the coffee shop, I spotted Raees. I thought it was my imagination, he didn’t notice us as yet.

I stopped Ahmed and showed him, Raees was standing with some white lady. At first Ahmed didn’t believe his eyes. Because we know the driver took him to the airport and we even asked the driver. I didn’t want a confrontation at the mall so I told Ahmed to leave it. Raees didn’t see us and that’s what matters. He shouldn’t know we saw him, that way we have a upper hand.

Ahmed wanted to contact his parents and find out why exactly his cousin came to SA. I stopped him because I know his mother would make an issue of this. She is waiting for an opportunity. We carried on with our plans but I in my mind I still worried what Raees was doing in SA. When we went to bed Ahmed told me that he was concerned as to why Raees was still here.

He got someone to check up on Raees so we should know something soon. I’m just praying that it’s nothing bad. I can’t even imagine, someone enters our life’s for a week and suddenly we feel he left us with such a tensed feeling. Ahmed hasn’t been to work for a few days. I don’t know much about his cousin and neither does Ahmed.

A storm has just hit us and we don’t even have an idea what it’s capable of. Ahmed found out that Raees is here on business. We don’t know what business as yet, there’s a deal he will sign on Tuesday.  Why did he lie to us? What is up too? Once we know exactly what he is up to, we can tell the family. 

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN

After a great enjoyable weekend, we back to our daily routine. It’s been a great week, I’ve spent most of the week shopping for Ziyaad’s wedding. I didn’t get much for Yaseen’s wedding. The wedding is in a month, most of the things are done, it’s mainly the last minute things which always make you feel like you haven’t done anything as yet.

Faheema and Shuaib are visiting us this weekend. Saturday we going to fordsburg to do some shopping, the rest of the weekend we just going to relax. They staying until Monday so maybe we can squeeze in some visiting. They arrived just before Jummah, Ahmed was not home as yet. Shuaib left to the mosque and said he would meet Ahmed there.

We had lunch once the men got back from namaaz and an hour later the kids, Shuaib and Ahmed jumped into the pool. The kids refused to come out of the pool, they ended up only coming out past 6 and then rushed to the shower and got ready to go out for supper. Sabiha and Moinudeen were asleep before we got to spur at mall.

Faheema was like a real mother to me, making sure I’m extra careful because of my pregnancy. It’s sweet but can get a bit annoying at times. I was telling Faheema about our trip to my inlaws and how differently my mother-in-law behaved. She would understand because her mother-in-law is similar to mine.

She told me to be careful because it could be an act and sometimes a plan. That scared me, I’m so not use to people carrying on like this. I always avoid confrontations and prefer to keep quiet. I usually keep quiet and ignore the person. I began to worry a bit, thinking what more harm could be done.
After supper we went to visit my mums sister, The kids were awake by then. When we got home, Nomsa said my mum had called. I called her back immediately to see what she wanted. She wanted to speak to Faheema, it’s one of the times she and Faheema can speak freely. When Faheema is at home her mother-in-law listens in on the conversation from the other phone.

It’s been like this for years, we usually just ask her the usual, how’s she and Shuaib , how’s the kids and school and how are her inlaws. Which she usually speaks replies with we all good, then says a little about her mother-in-law and father-in-laws health. Nothing more or less is asked or said unless we inform her about something.

She usually calls when she goes to the shop , then Shuaib will tell her to call or when they alone she calls from her cell. It’s a nightmare that my dear sister pulls of so well. I feel her pain and frustration when she speaks about Shuaib’s family. At the same time she feels love and respect towards her husband and seeing her kids makes it all worth it in the end.

I put the kids to bed while Faheema was busy on the phone with my mum. We sat in the lounge speaking for a while and then Faheema and I went to bed. Ahmed and Shuaib stayed awake playing playstation and watching sports. Ahmed was awake before me this morning, he was downstairs playing with the kids.

They all seemed to be enjoying him taking them for horse rides on his back and make funny facial expressions. Seeing Ahmed with the kids made me feel so good and relieved to know that he will turn out to be a good father. I knew Ahmed is happy about the baby, I just wasn’t sure if he was ready to be a father.

We did speak about being parents but I always thought that he needed more time. When everyone was awake we made breakfast and got ready for our day of shopping in fordsburg. We had already decided which shops we wanted to go to so we could spend less time running around and more time shopping.

We had lunch at mochacho’s and then took a walk around fordsburg flea market. I hear someone scream out my name, I ignored it thinking it could be for someone else. As we got closer to the end of the stalls I felt a tap on my shoulder and someone grabbing my hand. I jumped in shock and turned around to see who was so rude.

It was non other than Asad. Meeting him twice in such a short space of time was not pleasant for me. I knew Ahmed would be furious. Faheema distracted him away from me and kept him busy with her talks. Ahmed  took my hand and squeezed it, I squeezed his hand hand back letting him know that he should calm down.

I told Shuaib to call Faheema and we would meet them at the car. They were not too long but didn’t come alone. Asad was following them to us, he insisted on walking them to the car. I don’t know if he knew these things annoyed Ahmed. I knew that the rest of the day was not going to be pleasant.

I don’t know if it’s just coincidence or if he planned to bump into us twice. Ahmed was highly annoyed for the rest of the day. He spoke to Faheema and Shuaib normal but spoke to me very harshly. How is it my fault that we met Asad there? I didn’t know he was going to be there, I got no contact with him. 

After shopping and lunch we decided to take the kids to the zoo lake to feed the ducks. We stayed for an hour or so and then headed back home. The kids fell asleep in the car, we carried them to the guest room and laid them on the bed. We ordered take outs for supper and then relaxed in the lounge in front of the TV. 

My mother-in-law called. She wanted to speak to Ahmed and said it was very important. I handed the phone to Ahmed and waited anxiously to hear what was wrong. Ahmed didn’t say much on the phone, mostly nodded his head and looked at me. When he got off the phone, he said that his mother wanted to tell him that his cousin from London is coming to South Africa.

We have to fetch him from the airport on Monday and he will stay with us for a few days. My mother-in-law offered him to stay by us until his work is done. I don’t mind but she could of asked before committing. At least we would of willing told him yes. Ahmed was still upset about Asad so I didn’t complain or say anything against having his cousin over.

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX

We all packed and ready for our adventure. Operation ‘fix it’ is our mission for this weekend. I blindfolded Ahmed, got him into the car and then we left. We spoke the whole way about general things, mostly my pregnancy. He did ask a few times where we were going but I refused to answer him.

After three hours of driving we finally get there. I take of the blindfold, hoping that he would not be angry with me. We both haven’t seen our families in a while now and obviously he needs to sort things out with his mother. He was not upset but rather shocked. He asked me what made me bring him to see his family. 

I explained to him that we’ve been living in a house where we have no happiness for one whole month. I’ve been eating alone, talking to myself, going to bed alone, practically living alone and doing everything alone. He had promised to be there for all my appointments but missed this one because he was too busy keeping himself occupied, I sent him a message but he didn’t come.

He felt guilty that he was not there for me and he was happy that I understood him and gave him time. He was glad that I didn’t react in a bad way that you would expect most people to. Any wife would throw a tantrum and make a fuss if her husband changed overnight and build a shell around him.

We stayed at his Dadi as we usually do. I haven’t been to my in laws house since the time I’ve been married to Ahmed. We’ve always met them at his grandparents or at a restaurant. This time I had to go to their house, it would be so rude to ask my mother-in-law to come to see us, so that her son can apologise.

I asked Ahmed to apologise to his mother, it doesn’t matter who was wrong but at the end they both miserable and making the family miserable and he can’t expect his mother to apologise, she is elder. Kausar invited us for lunch, this was the best opportunity for Ahmed and Aunty Shenaaz to sort out their differences.

We went to my in-laws just before Zuhr, my mother-in-law was happy to see us but hid her feelings, I could see the tears fill up in her eyes. She asked Kausar what we were doing here. I knew she wouldn’t make it easy for us to stay around her and I know that Ahmed would just end up getting more angry.

I spoke to him before we could come, I’m very well aware of the things my mother-in-law can do. I’ve warned Ahmed already, so there shouldn’t be any problems. I hope that this matter ends today, even if I have to intervene and become the bad one, I will do it. My mother-in-law already doesn’t like me, so it makes no difference to me.

Although she said she will change her thoughts about me just to be part of her grandchild’s life. I know it was said just to please Ahmed and so that he wouldn’t keep her away from our child. After lunch we all sat in the lounge, my father-in-law said he wants my mother-in-law and Ahmed to sort out their difference here and now.

I think he handled the situation well and at the end Ahmed and my mother-in-law made up, although I know Ahmed was not happy that he had to be the bigger person. He wanted his mother to realise her mistake, this way there’s no hope that she will change. I know that Ahmed can’t do without his family.

I’ve been given so much patience by Allah, I’ve come so far and handled so much. I’m glad that through all the problems I still remain myself and I hope not to ever change. I’ve been put through a lot of tests, I want things to change for the best before our child is born. 

After everything was sorted out, we decided to go visit all Ahmed’s family. I was just glad that things got sorted out and we didn’t have to go through the weekend with tension. Everyone was really happy to see Ahmed and I. While on our way back to Ahmed’s Dadi, Ahmed expressed his feelings about our relationship with his parents and siblings.

My father-in-law and sister-in-laws are good to me. They treat me well, we speak often, it’s just my mother-in-law who doesn’t want to accept me. Which makes it difficult for us, I know Ahmed would like to spend more time with his family when we in town and also stay in his house. I have told him that he can stay with them and I’m okay with staying at his Dadi , but he won’t leave me alone.

This morning Ahmed came up with a great idea to spend the day with his family. He called Sumaya and Kausar and arranged everything with them. We planned a picnic at a nearby reserve. Ahmed and I went to get all the snacks and his Dadi put up a pot of food for lunch. Sumaya and Kausar had told my inlaws that they were taking them for a picnic.

We got there before them and set up the gazebo and blankets. It was a day to remember, I’ve never seen my mother-in-law so happy to be around us. It was like she forgot she was next to her enemy. We had pleasant conversations between the two of us and we laughed together, made fun of everyone together. Even when we played a game she chose me as her partner.

I was really surprised but felt good that she was finally opening up to me. It felt nice to let down my guard around her and enjoy the day. Although I must say that I did think that she might be putting on an act. Whatever it was, it made Ahmed happy and that’s all that matters to me.

When the day was over and everyone was tired we went back home. Ahmed and I left for Jo’burg, we really had an amazing weekend. Let’s just hope that things remain the way they are and my mother-in-law’s feelings and expressions were not a facade. This relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is very strange.

It’s like a battle for their own identity, a relationship where the one doesn’t know if the other is genuine. It’s been like this for centuries and probably will be for a long time. It’s something that can’t be changed unless both are patient and understanding. Sometimes it can be a lot to handle especially if there’s hatred towards each other or even from one side.

I’m just glad that I have the support of Ahmed. I don’t think it would of been easy if he believed every word his mother said. I still can’t understand how my mother-in-law changed her feelings for me in such a short time and also so much that she has hatred towards me. When I met her the first time when I went for work to their town, she was such a different person, so caring, loving and pleasant to be around.

She had so much respect and love for me. Her son fell in love with me and all of a sudden, she hates me. Sometimes I wonder if I should of asked Ahmed to listen to his mother and marry his ex. Maybe then he would of not had all this tension. I don’t think he deserves being put through so much just for me.

I feel guilty that he quietly accepts that he is putten into this situation. He never ever complains or blames me for the way things are now. It frustrates me at times because I feel helpless when he can’t handle the pressure, especially the previous fight he had with his mother. I  know he missed her, but he never once said he did or blamed me.

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE

We arrived late afternoon in China, we were exhausted. I needed to take a nap before I could do anything. Ahmed sorted out his files and prepared for the meeting he had later in the evening. Ahmed wants me to join him for his meeting, I have no clue about Ahmeds business.

I had a quick shower and took a nap, when I woke up, Ahmed was already dressed and ready for his meeting. I got ready and then we left. It wasn’t at all what I expected, all the businessmen there brought their wives along, some even brought their children. There was no business talk at the table so we didn’t get bored.

While the ladies had desserts, the men discussed business in a private lounge. I would of been so lost if the women never spoke English. It was a long day for us, Ahmed’s meeting only finished at 10pm. When we got back to the hotel Ahmed said that the deal got finalized, so we will have tomorrow to relax and tour China.

I can’t stop thinking about my mother-in-law, my sister-in-laws messages today to say that they don’t know what to do because my mother-in-law refuse to eat anything, she is very upset with Ahmed. To tell you the truth, I can’t even remember why they fought. It’s frustrating, this continuous fight and problems.

They just make life so much more difficult. You feel like you have to be on guard every time you around them. Every time we meet up, I pray that it’s a pleasant meeting, with no fights. Sometimes I feel like I’m asking for a miracle. I’m just so glad we not living together, I can just imagine how awful our days would be.

Anyways, we hadn’t planned to tour China, so we were a little lost on what to do. The hotel staff were really helpful in arranging a tour for us. We did a little shopping and sight-seeing and then headed back to the hotel. It was lovely spending time with Ahmed. Since we moved we haven’t really had time to ourselves.

Maybe I can use these two days to convince Ahmed to sort things out with his mother. I don’t want people to think that I’m such a bad daughter-in-law, I know it doesn’t matter what people think, but we live in this society and we have to follow some rules. We also have to accept that this same society has certain ways which can’t be changed.

Yes, we can try to make changes, but it will take a long time until others change. Also not everyone will change, a lot of people will not change no matter how hard you try. So that’s why I have to be and be seen as a good daughter-in-law. I need to do something so that mother and son face each other, even if they forced to.

We were invited by one of Ahmeds friends for coffee, he and his wife were meeting us at the coffee shop at the hotel. At 4pm we got ready and went downstairs to the coffee shop, I haven’t seen much of China, but I liked what I saw so far. It wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

They arrived shortly after we did. They are a Muslim couple that live in China. I though it would be difficult because of the different cultures and religions, but they seem to be managing okay. They are both studying medicine, they spend most of their days studying and so have food arranged. I don’t think I would ever be able to live like they do.
We were so engrossed in our conversation that we didn’t realise how time flew. Before we knew it, it was already 9pm. Tomorrow we leave back to South Africa, we have a very early flight to catch. Ahmed and I spent the rest of the night chatting. I didn’t want to spoil his mood but this was my last chance to speak about his mother.
   
Out of the blue I asked him if he was going to sort out thing with his mother. I didn’t want to force an answer out of him, but I mentioned his family, his mother especially, a few times. He didn’t react when I mentioned his family. We got into bed and just as I turned to my side, he said that he would speak to his mother.

I know he doesn’t like to fight with his family and doesn’t want to be the cause of problems, but he felt he had to intervene this time before the matter got worst. My alarm rang, we woke up and got ready, checked out of the hotel and went to the airport. We finally got home, just after maghrib.

Today Ahmed is at home, he has been busy in the study most of the day. He only came out for lunch and Supper. Sabiha and Shiraaz came over to visit us. We haven’t seen them for a few days, with the wedding and our trip we didn’t have much time. As the days went by I finally got use to living in a huge mansion and got into routine.

I would never get use to the idea of just spending money. I still have the habit of asking Ahmed if I could buy something, especially if it was a big item. My mum called this morning, she remembered I had an appointment with my gynaecologist, I’m well into my third month of pregnancy.

Ahmed and I are still sticking to our promise of not getting things before my sixth month. Ahmed and his mother have not yet sorted things out and it’s put a strain on our relationship. It’s now a month and a half and they haven’t spoken. Ahmed had been really quiet and keeps himself busy with work, some nights I go to bed without seeing him.

I decided that this weekend we should go there. I haven’t told Ahmed where we going. I just told him it’s a surprise. I plan on blind-folding him and have our driver take us there. I have to intervene, it’s going on too long and it’s affecting us all. I just hope they give up their ego and apologise. I want Ahmed to apologise, I don’t care who was at fault.

I have arranged with Kausar and set out a plan, how we going to make them meet, what will happen. I hope that they don’t drag it until Sunday and we forced to sit them down and solve the problem. I can’t even have a talk with Ahmed because he will find out my plan.

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR

PART HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR

The hall was draped beautifully in white and silver on the roof and walls. The stage was decorated in white, silver and lime green. It’s such an unusual colour to pick out, but looked lovely. The roses were sprayed lime green and we’re arranging in white and lime green. The entrance table had an assortment of sweets and snacks, and
juice. 

The bride looked stunning in her lovely white lace gown with pink and silver diamanté work, the groom wore a black suit with a white shirt and a pink and white tie. The groom’s parents walked in and then his sister and brother-in-law and his brother  with one of the cousins, then the groom walked in with his groomsmen. 

The bride’s parents walked in, her sister and her cousin after that, then the miniature bride and groom and then the bride walked in with her brother. The father of the bride fetched her halfway, then he handed her to the groom who then brought her up to the stage. Supper was served shortly after the bride arrived. 

They had two starters Chicken tikka skewers and sheekh kebab, main was roast chicken and creamy veggies, pepper steak and pasta with salads and desserts there were a few to choose from. While tea and desserts were served people went up to greet the couple and take photos. 

After the wedding everyone left to proceed to the bride’s house. The groom was fed Mithai’s and given money as a gift from the elders and the siblings and elder cousins of the bride. This is a small tradition followed amongst some Muslims, it’s called salami. It’s also practiced for the girl when she goes to the boy’s house. 

Afterwards Dua and salami are read and the bride went off with her husband to his family. We got home a little after midnight. I was absolutely exhausted and tomorrow we have all ahmeds cousins for lunch here with us. The Walima will be tomorrow and only the elders are invited.

At 5 this morning I could hear Nomsa busy downstairs. I woke up for Fajr and fell asleep waiting for the Azaan to finish. I feel so guilty, I haven’t read one salaah this whole weekend. I went downstairs to begin cooking and getting things sorted before Ahmed could wake up.

After getting everything and myself ready, I woke Ahmed up. While he got ready I made breakfast for us, at breakfast, I attempted to talk to Ahmed about the argument he had with his mother. He gave me a deaf ear and continued to have his breakfast. He didn’t wait for me to get done and went to the study.

I resolve to not get involved in their problems and allow them to sort it out on their own. I could end up being the bad one at the end. Just before Zuhr everyone arrived. The men went to the mosque and we ladies read at home. I put the food up to warm and Nomsa and Thandi set the table outside.

Most of his cousins were seeing our new place for the first time, I let them take a tour on their own so I could get done in the kitchen. Nomsa and Thandi are such a great help, they take care of everything without me telling them to. I couldn’t have asked for better help. The best part is they never complain. It makes it such a pleasure to work with them.

When the men got back from Salaah, they had made plans to go for a swim before lunch. The ladies had lunch and we delayed lunch for the men until they were ready to eat. My sister-in-laws made as if they were visitors in our house. Everyone else made themselves at home and helped themselves, I had to literally be behind them all the time to make sure they were okay.

By the time the walima was over, the men by me were knocked out. The men all fell asleep in the room downstairs. Some of them slept wherever they found place. The ladies, some sat in the lounge talking, some watched a movie and others decided to get into the pool. It was a long, tiring weekend for us.

Ahmed and I will be leaving tomorrow to China, I don’t know how we are going to manage to travel when we so tired. My in-laws are going back tomorrow as well. I hope ahmed and his mother sort out their issues before we leave. My Dad always says never go to bed angry with your spouse or family and never leave on a journey angry with anyone.

You might end up regretting that you remained angry, when you could of just said two simple words “I’m sorry.” By Asr everyone left and my in-laws came for supper. I told Ahmed to sort out things with his mother her. Nomsa helped me pack our bags on Friday, so I wasn’t too stressed with last minute packing.

After supper I checked our bags and documents and made sure we had everything in order. My Mother-in-law started with her performance after supper, one of the reasons why I decided to keep myself busy. She kept bringing up things from the past that happened.

They left without either of them trying to solve the issue. The rest of the night Ahmed and I sorted things around the house. We went to bed just passed 11 without even having our usual talk. I was too tired to be bothered about anything besides sleeping. We had a 11am flight and I needed to get enough sleep because I wasn’t sure if I would sleep on the plane.

This morning was such a rush, we are going to china for just a few days. I don’t even know why I’m going on this trip when its a business trip. Ahmed will be stuck in meetings most of the time and I would be left bored in the hotel room. Well, I agreed to join him on this trip so I guess I have to just suffer it out.

We finally got to the airport, our flight was delayed by an hour, which didn’t go too well for Ahmed. I also like to be punctual, but he takes it to another level. After our long wait, we eventually board the plane and were on our way to China. It was a long 15hr flight, I didn’t get much sleep on the flight, too much noise for me. Ahmed on the other hand slept for atleast 10hrs of the flight.