( A fictional story written for the Muslim Woman Magazine – by Hajira Loonat )
“Every girl could do with a stroke of luck… Every girl wants to wear the crown…..”.
The day was an ordinary one. A Monday morning and once again hardly anyone had done their homework! We sat in math class. I had just completed his assignment for him. I entered the last digit, breathed a sigh of accomplishment and then I looked up….
My breath froze when I noticed that he was already looking at me. He never looked at me like that. Something had changed and he looked at me with a thought brewing behind his beguiled expression and with something lingering in his mind. His eyes were dancing and his lips curved into an alluring smile. My heart skipped a beat. That look changed my entire life…..
Our tale began in high school. He was the popular guy. The guy that was always surrounded by hordes of girls. Girls who would go weak at the knees just by looking at him, girls who would do anything for him! He exuded his charismatic personality on everyone and everything, and I was not spared the beautiful torture of enduring his spell on me. He was cool, chic, suave, handsome. He was everything that you could imagine and then some….
His gaze doesn’t even shift to look up at her as she enters the crowded classroom. He is too busy gushing over some or other girl. In fact, no one looks up at her! The plain Jane,the simple not much to look at girl, the girl who always has her face hidden behind a book, there enters ME…
We were a match mis-made, so to say. He was the north and I was south, or maybe it was the other direction around, he was hot, he was popular and I was not….
But by some miracle, I landed up with his last name. I counted myself blessed to be handed this stroke of luck, that of being married to him, the most wanted guy, the object of every girls heart. He was the object of many a crush no doubt but he was more than just a crush for me! I knew that no one would ever love him as much as I would and how it came to be that his last name became my own was something surreal…..
I was the one always doing his homework for him. I was the one that he would ask to deliver the bunch of flowers to his new fling. I was his friend, his go to person, the one who had to endure tale upon tale of how gorgeous some girl was or how amazing last night’s date had been. I swallowed hard and I did it all! How do you say no to someone whom you love as much as I loved him?…. Sometimes I wondered if I looked like one of the guys because that’s exactly how he treated me! Then one day my dream became a reality, he became my husband…..
He chose ME out of the hordes of girls. He said that he saw past all their superficial layers. He said that they possessed nothing more than beauty and popularity. But beauty and popularity would not make any man a good wife! It was I who would make the good and doting wife, the caring mother, the faithful and lasting soul mate. I beamed with happiness at being his one!….
And in the end, it was the girl who helped him get the other girls while she hid her longing for him and her sadness at knowing that she doesn’t stand a chance at being with him behind a smile that got to wed the man of her dreams…..
That’s where my fairy tale began….
Life saw us turn from friends into entwined souls as we exchanged vows in front of our elders, our nikaah…. I became the wife to thee most sought after guy. Women looked at me with envy, with jealousy, some with mock disbelief! He chose her? Yes, he chose ME….
I felt like the luckiest girl. Like the winner! Can you just picture me with my wedding ring, jumping up and down as I hugged myself with glee…. Geeky I know but that’s what I was, a geeky kinda girl and yet I married him…. It felt like I was crowned Miss World. My husband was my king. I would do anything for him ….
Two kids and ten years later and still he has every eye following him when we step into the crowd. And I am still simple old me. Some days I still can’t believe my luck! Is he really mine? …..
Of course life is never free of the odd blemish and unsightly crease here and there, but to me life was mostly good. I would even go as far as to say that it was (almost) perfect. Perhaps it would have been easier and less painful had I learned earlier(rather than later) that life can never be ‘perfect’.
As with all marriages we had ups and downs, more ups than downs as I always chose to see the silver lining and the positive side. And that was…. that ‘I’ was the one he had chosen over all the others. I reminded myself of this each time I felt betrayed, jealous or lied to. I refused to focus on the blemished and creased spots! Maybe he had a roving eye, maybe he was a bit too flirtatious, so what? He was a man right? It was ‘me’ that he chose…..
I got to sleep next to him, I got to wake up next to him, I was the mother of his children….
And as I sit now, thinking back, I remember how in those moments of bliss I was blinded and nothing could have prepared me for the twists and turns that my life was about to take…..
Comparing myself to him, I always felt that I was dealt the bigger slice of cake when it came to being gifted a partner. And for as long as I lived, I thanked Allah for a mate such as him, my soul mate. I grew deeper in love with him when he became my husband and the father to our children…. He was truly mines, all mines….
We lived happily (or so I thought) until a day arrived that changed everyday that was to follow it….
The telephone startles Ammatullah, our youngest child, our sixteen month old daughter, out of her morning nap, interrupting my mid week routine of cooking, baking, and seeing to all the other needs of my perfect little family….
The woman on the other end sounded sweet.
” As salamualaykum, is this Mariam?” She asked politely.
Her tone was so polished, so friendly and it blindsided me into offering her a cheerful response….
“This is Mariam”, I tell her as I spoon cupcake batter into little cups sucking the residue off my sticky fingers…..
She exchanges some courtesy’s; the “how are you?” and ” I hope I’m not disturbing” kind of courtesy…
She then says….
” My name is Sadiyya”,
She clears her throat and adds….
“I’m your husbands mistress”…..
To be continued …..