Diaries Magazine

Ch 10 - Boys with Abayas

Posted on the 16 January 2013 by Mavie
Baby things. From Mamas and Papas. For a baby. Her baby. His baby…Ahmed’s baby. The realization sunk in slowly crippling Lina, her knees weakened and her thighs shook tumbling her into the freestanding table of thongs behind her.

One fixated glance at the small protruding bump under the woman’s abaya was proof enough that she had something Lina couldn’t possibly give at this stage in her life. The tiny bump was the glue that solidified the relationship between the two bodies that were now picking out maternity bras. How could Lina ever compete? Ahmed turned away from his wife and strolled over to the cashier setting down their purchases on the gleaming counter, his wife was barely a meter away from Lina, and if she inhaled hard she could almost make out the expensive perfume that emanated from her skin. Lina focused, this was her opportunity. She should go over and warn her, tell her what a bastard she had naively married but the other woman seemed oblivious to the raging storm that brewed inches from her. She pivoted to face Lina and unknowingly taunted her by rubbing two hands over the swell of her bump, pushing her abaya against herself to accentuate her shape. Surprised at the size of her, Lina guessed she was at least six months gone, that meant Ahmed knew he was going to be a father when he began his illicit relationship with her. Lina flinched at the sound of the other woman’s soft hum as she sung to her baby, one hand circled around and around her stomach as if to sooth what lay inside, as if to tell Lina that she had lost a fight she didn’t know existed. A million emotions ran riot, Lina didn’t know what to do next, but she knew she couldn’t leave it like that. She couldn’t let him get away with this. Should she confront him? Should she warn his wife about his philandering ways and embarrass him so that he would never do it again? Or should she turn around and let them continue their false charade of a marriage? Spare herself the agony of confrontation?Go Lina! Don’t create a scene! Her subconscious yelled prompting her feet to move towards the door. Lina listened, she spun and placed on foot ahead of the other until she was out the door, facing a river of shoppers that hurried down the wide walkway.Stop! Stop Lina, you will never get this chance again. A brutal whisper resonated in her ear. Lina froze, it was true. Once she left that store then she would never see him again, never see her again – she had to let her know what her husband was like. Putting herself into the other woman’s shoes, Lina confirmed her next move, she would do her womanly duty and tell her, she couldn’t let the other woman live a lie.Whipping back around, Lina marched back to the counter where Ahmed was collecting his receipt. Lina snapped the scarf from her face, “you bastard!”Ahmed’s jaw dropped and his eyes swung over Lina’s shoulder to the other woman.“Don’t you dare look at her! Look at me!” Lina jabbed a finger in his chest, the words were flowing now, coming to her automatically, unplanned and unprepared. “What was I? A fling? A bit of fun? Or just a casual fuck?”“Oh!” The surprised gasp had Lina whipping her head around at the astonished cashier. “What? Haven’t you heard that word before?” Lina snapped at the Indian man who held aloft a carrier bag with Ahmed’s purchases in it.The embarrassed cashier lowered his outstretched arm and looked at the floor. Turning her scornful eyes back at Ahmed, Lina didn’t hold back the mounting rage, “so? What was I then?”Ahmed’s jaw appeared to be locked. His eyes drifted to his wife again. Blood pounded between her ears and she turned her attention to the approaching woman.“And you! You! Do you know who I am? Do you know where he was last night?” Lina thumbed the air in the direction of a mortified Ahmed.The shop lay still, but Lina didn’t care who was listening, she would not allow him to trample all over her. The fragile woman drew near and Lina could see that she was a couple of inches shorter than she thought. She spoke in beautiful soft tones to Ahmed who swallowed and replied beseechingly in Arabic.“Speak English for fuck’s sake.”“You know my husband?” The woman’s calm eyes speared Lina’s fury filled ones.“Know him? I slept with him!” Lina was on a roll, she vaguely heard the cashier gasp again and almost imagined him with a bucket of popcorn.“And what type woman are you? He is man. You woman, you should feel shame!” All sympathy for the woman left Lina and a fresh wave of hatred and fire filled her chest.“What? What world are you living in? I should feel ashamed? I’m not the one who is married with a fucking kid on the way!”“Lina! Watch your language. I will not allow you to speak to my wife this way.” Ahmed broke free from his stupor.“But you will allow yourself to cheat on her, will you? You fucking tosser. How dare you lecture me!” Lina bellowed shoving his shoulder, she didn’t know where all this bravery was coming from and she didn’t know the gaggle of customers behind her were staring shocked and immobilized.“Madam, if you please. There are customers…” The cashier croaked casting a distraught look over the shop floor.Lina blazed, “The customers can fuck off! No one is forcing them to watch. And you can piss off an’ all! This is his fault! Tell him to shut up.”“Yalla, we are leaving.” Ahmed pulled the carrier bag from the counter but Lina yanked it away, throwing it a few meters behind him.“You will not leave without giving me an answer.” Lina lowered her voice menacingly.It didn’t work, Ahmed smirked at her and took hold of his wife’s hand.“And you’re okay with him fucking other girls, are you?” Lina cried into his wife’s covered face.The wife narrowed her eyes. “He is my husband. He can do what he likes, he has the right.”“You delusional bitch. Wake up…!” A sharp slap cut the rest of her sentence away.Lina stared horrified at Ahmed who panted with rage, “how dare you? You were nothing. So what if I used you? I didn’t force you. I didn’t beg you. You wanted it and now you stand and complain! Did you think I would marry you? You with your modern day views would not make a good wife…”Lina let out a low scream and lunged at Ahmed, she knew she didn’t stand a chance, he was much bigger and stronger than her but she would not be beaten. Ahmed gasped and stepped back but Lina was on top of him punching both fists into his head, his headpiece fell to the floor and Lina pulled at his hair and scraped her nails against his face.“Security!” There were a series of calls and feet slapped against the wooden floor.Ahmed held Lina’s hands and pushed hard, forcing her body away. She extended her leg and kicked his shin, he howled and stepped back unwilling to let go of her arms.“What is wrong with you? Calm down!” He yelled into her purple face.“Fuck off! You wanker! You bastard! I hope you die, I hope your dick never works again!” Lina cried freeing herself from his iron grasp.Lina heaved deep breaths and glared at Ahmed who stood with his feet apart ready for battle. More customers piled into the shop to see what the commotion was all about and Lina knew she had to get away fast or risk the religious police’s wrath. She had caused an unthinkable scene and would not get off lightly, they would make an example out of her, a foreigner who failed to understand the ways of the world. “Stay the fuck away from me, you arrogant son of a bitch.” Lina gave Ahmed one last shove and whipped away blending into the crowd.“Stop her!” the cashier shouted but no one dared touch her. No woman was brave enough and the men wouldn’t dream of speaking to her let alone touch her.Lina exited the shop and spotted a fire escape that employees used. She walked quickly towards it and disappeared inside where she broke out into a full run. She knew the religious police or even mall security would not hesitate to detain her, they had witnesses but they didn’t have her just yet. She had to get back into the mall and blend in with all the other women who wore a nikab, they wouldn’t dare risking the outcry and implications of asking females to reveal their faces just so they could eliminate them from their search. Removing her scarf from around her neck, Lina expertly wrapped it around her head, making her a shadow of a figure. Confidently she strode back into the mall from the main doors adjacent to the exterior fire exit doors, it didn’t matter than she had set off an alarm, no one would be able to identify her as the culprit. By the time she had reached the food court, her breathing was back to normal and her blood pressure had returned to an acceptable level. She found Zari sitting on her own chewing on a burrito.“Where you were? You have been too long!”“I know, sorry Mum. But the religious police came after me and told me to cover my face.” Lina tugged at the scarf face keeping it firmly over her flushed face.Watching her mom shake her head, Lina endured the time it took to finish their dinner. Talking Zari into going home straight away, they hailed a taxi and clambered in. Once safely home, Lina removed her outer garments and excused herself to her room where she buried her face into her pillow to let the natural process of mourning start. Her sobs were muffled and her body shook with regret, her chest constricted and a sharp pain settled in her belly. With a gasp Lina sat up, she stared at the wall wide eyed and furious with herself.How could she have been so stupid? She had sex without using any precautions just because Ahmed promised her would bring her the morning after pill sometime today. Well that’s not going to happen now, is it? A cold hand circled Lina’s heart squeezing fear into it. She gingerly touched a shaking hand to smooth expanse of hot skin along her stomach, was a baby being formed in there right now?Lina stomach tightened in response, bile rose up her throat and she rushed into the adjoining bathroom to spit it out. Her insides churned, it was too soon to call it morning sickness, so the vomit that followed had to be out of fear. By her calculations her next period was around ten days away, ten agonizing days that would kill her if she didn’t keep herself busy. She couldn’t return to work now, Ahmed knew how to find her there, how was she going to spend the next ten days? There was no way she could get the morning after pill over the counter, she couldn’t risk seeing a doctor either – surely they would report her?Defeated Lina crumpled on the floor and wept.Just over a week later, Lina awoke from a dreamless sleep as something warm and wet trickled down her leg. Throwing the covers back she ran to the bathroom and let out a cry of relief, her underwear was stained with a welcoming shade of red, her period had come. THE END

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