Celebrating East African Writing!
‘I cannot do this,’ Amina kept on saying. Her friend Halima stood quietly, watching her helplessly as she battled with her conscience.
‘Yes, you cannot,’ said Halima softly, ‘but you must do it for the benefit of your health, look how depressed you are.’ Amina sat down again at her dressing table and looked at herself in the mirror. Tears uncontrollably welled up in her eyes, and abruptly burst into deep sobs. Halima hurried to comfort her friend.
‘It is indeed so humiliating, so despicable for a Muslim woman to dress in this revealing clothes,’ said Halima.
‘I have never dressed like this before,’ said Amina, dejectedly.
‘It is haraam I know, for a Muslim woman to expose her hair, legs, arms and wear clinging clothes,’ added Halima.
‘I cannot go out in this!’ cried Amina bitterly. She started to take off the clothes; she unbuckled her mini-skirt, and stepped out of it in disdain. ‘Really, Allah will punish me for this,’ said Amina.
‘But we cannot solve this problem if you put on your hijab and do nothing,’ said Halima. ‘You must know; to catch a thief one must send a thief.’
‘But…can’t…you think of another sensible alternative?’ asked Amina as she dried her tears with a piece of cloth.
‘Your husband is eaten up with the works of shaitaan. He’s no better than a dog, and if he is sensible enough he must stop performing salaah, and stop going to the mosque altogether,’ said Halima.
‘You know what, the first time I met him I thought I had met someone my life had needed. I felt in my heart that day and I thanked Allah for accepting my duas’ said Amina.
‘How did you meet him?’ asked Halima.
‘I had a puncture one day when I was coming from work somewhere on M5 road. I tried to stop passing cars for assistance but no one stopped, and people just laughed at me as I struggled to jack up the car. Until a white Toyota Yaris stopped by, and a young man in his early twenties, immaculately dressed in a black suit stepped out of his car and helped me,’ explained Amina, emotionally.
‘Just like that?’ said Halima curiously.
‘Then we met each other a week later in Cavendish Mall in Claremont. That was the start of our affair,’ she said, but her eyes were still burning with derision.
‘Then what happened next?’
‘We introduced each other to our families.’
‘Nikkah followed after six month of dating,’ she said, tears welling up in her eyes.
‘Why are you crying now?’
‘I cannot believe what once loving, caring, uxorious Haroon is doing to me. Everyday he comes home before dawn and his car parked at Champs Club very often and sometimes in a company of loose women.’ Amina was crying.
‘You say at Champs?’ asked Halima, curiously.
‘Do you know the place?’
‘Are you sure?’
‘What time did your cousin say he sees Haroon’s car there?’
‘From 9 pm till late.’
‘During the week or weekend?’
‘Dress up again in that mini-skirt, blouse, high heel shoes and apply thick red lipstick to your lips, and put on dark glasses to disguise yourself completely,’ said Halima with authority. Amina reluctantly put the mini-skirt once again and a black chiffon blouse that had accentuated her full breast against her tight white bra, and when she walked the breast seemed would break out of the bra; and lastly slipped her feet quickly into the high heel shoes.
‘Walk to and fro, wiggle your waist,’ advised Halima, ‘not like that, like this,’ demonstrated Halima. But she had found the whole exercise so unpleasant and humiliating. ‘I don’t think I will manage,’ said Amina, sitting on the chair. Halima looked at her time, it was past 8 o’clock.
‘Hurry up!!’ commanded Halima.
‘Give me your car keys!’ said Halima.
Amina reluctantly pulled out a drawer and took out her car keys and gave it to Halima.
‘Come, let’s go!’ she said, pulling Amina out. Outside, Amina stood stock-still for a moment, ‘I think this idea is so obnoxious for a Muslim like me. Let us face it this way; I cannot sacrifice my integrity and dignity – exposing my body for the mere reason of catching my libertine husband red handed. I am not going!’ cried Amina.
‘Amina!’ said Halima, ‘this is a matter of life and death – you know these days there are diseases out there and adultery is dangerous sin in Islam?’
‘Why can’t we resort to prayers?’ asked Amina.
‘Of course prayer is always powerful but, prayer without catching him is not enough,’ said Halima, as she started the car.
‘Look, how this idea will affect our lives upon its execution. The whole entire Grassy Park will accuse our family of adultery, and all sorts of exaggerated stories will be invented to destroy our once graceful image. People will talk about me as a wicked woman, who hides under the Islamic etiquette. It will bring humiliation and embarrassment on our family,’ said Amina resolutely.
‘That’s an empty fear, the fact is; your husband will be so ashamed outright,’ said Halima, revving up the car.
‘Won’t he accuse me of wickedness and boot me of his house?’ complained Amina.
‘He won’t if anything he would be glad that you have saved him from wickedness so early before it grew deep roots in him. Let’s go, time is elapsing,’ said Halima, forcing Amina into the car. Amina got into the car. Halima reversed the car out of the yard into the road and drove toward Wynberg on their way to the notorious Champs club in Mowbray.
‘You know what, you must change your voice to something like this,’ demonstrated Halima. ‘I think it would be better not to speak,’ suggested Amina. ‘In case he might want to ask you something, so just be prepared for anything,’ advised Halima. They were now passing through Claremont, into Newlands and at Rondebosch they stopped to fill up petrol at BP garage. Thereafter, they resumed their ride, driving slowly and cautiously as they approached the Champs club. They had looked searchingly at packed cars, and spotted Haroon’s BMW packed at Shoprite. Halima drove the car and packed behind it.
Halima and Amina stepped out of the car and walked across the road to the Champs club. At the door they paid the entry fee and walked in. It was stuffy and slightly dark inside. Patrons were dancing and others sitting watching the match on the big screen. Amina and Halima sat down and pretended to watch the match whilst they searched with their eyes for the disgraceful Haroon.
Before long they spotted him dancing lasciviously, smooching with a scantly dressed teenager girl.
‘There he is!’ Halima was the first to see him. Amina pushed her dark glasses up and indeed saw him pressing his chest against the girl’s bosom.
‘Sub-haa nallah,’ exclaimed Amina, as she pushed back the glasses.
‘Hey! Don’t scream,’ whispered Halima, ‘you see people have been seeing him.’ When the song came to an end, they sat down, the girl was sipping Sminorf Spin beer and Haroon was smoking.
‘Now it’s time for you to act,’ said Halima.
‘How?’ asked Amina.
‘Wait a minute,’ said Halima.
‘But won’t he see us,’ asked Amina, her heart beating perilously.
‘There’s no way he can see us,’ Halima assured her. However, the teenage girl got up, Haroon pulled her down but she shook herself off Haroon’s hand.
‘I am coming,’ said the teenage girl, going out. Akon’s song-’lonely’ was playing and many people stormed the dancing arena. Haroon, however did not get up, he sat down still waiting impatiently for his dancing partner.
‘Now you can go and dance in front of him, so dirty, lasciviously that he would stand up and dance,’ said Halima. Amina was very piqued at heart and walked to the dancing arena; she had stopped for a moment and started dancing slowly towards Haroon. This time Haroon had raised his head up in anticipation of the girl. Nevertheless, he was dazzled and smitten with Amina’s dirty dancing antics. He got up and joined her; Amina teasingly danced, brushing her behind against his manhood. Haroon was tempted, and a surge of lust rushed through him. He turned round and faced Amina, who had tried hard at all cost to avoid his eye contact. He took Amina’s both hands and danced to and fro, following the song.
Out of the blue, the teenage girl appeared before them very furious: ‘What is this!’ cried the girl. ‘Leave us alone,’ said Haroon clinging to Amina.
‘Hey! Lady, leave my man alone!’ thundered the girl. Amina said nothing, she kept on dancing.
‘Leave…my…man…alone you slut!’ cried the girl, and slapped Amna in the face. Amina angrily shook off from Haroon’s embrace and walked out.
Haroon followed her. ‘Come back!’ said Haroon, following her. Outside, Amina took off her glasses and looked at Haroon straight in the face.
‘Haroon, I am your wife.’
Haroon was paralyzed with shock.
© Nixon Mateulah 2009
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