Will Dad ever listen to Mum, will he truly shoot me, or would he send me packing? O Allah, why is this happening, I have obeyed your command, but what I now face is oppression and the stranger treatment. Whenever I am outside, I can hear jeers and laughs; Now that I am inside, I feel homeless. I just hope Dad’s temper cools down and he listens to Mum.
“Listen to who?” her father shouted from behind the curtain, “You? I would send both of you out if care is not taken”
“At least, hear her point of view; hear why she decided to start wearing a Khimar” her mother beseeched
“What reason can she possibly have if not that she has gone mad?” her father yelled.
“Please, I beg of you, just hear her out.”
The curtain blew to make way as her father hit it furiously with his right hand. He was in full view and he was only wearing his white towel. Water was still trickling from his hairlines down his cheeks to his jaw, before dropping to the tiled floor.
“Zaynab,” her father bellowed
Zaynab was startled.
“Stand there,” her father pointed to the space between the bookshelf and the flatron TV, as he sat on the one-seater cushion chair in the parlour.
Zaynab’s heart skipped beats, her hands were trembling, and same goes for her legs. Her mother entered the parlour and she stood beside her father.
“When did you start wearing this Khimar of yours, and who gave you the permission? Is it that stupid Muslim society in your school who put all these ideologies in your head? Tell me, I want to hear it all,” her father probed.
Zaynab’s heart beat even faster, she felt all the saliva in her tongue dry up.
“Are you deaf,” her father roared.
“Take it easy on her,” her mother tried to plead, as she moved to console Zaynab.
Her mother dried the little tears that had begun to engender on Zaynab’s face. She knelt beside her and said:
“Zaynab, be strong and answer your Dad’s question.”
Zaynab felt the saliva slowly moistening her tongue, her heartbeat returned to the normal rhythm, the trembling and fidgeting stopped. She felt sane after a spell of moments.
“I wasn’t forced by anyone to start wearing the Khimar; I choose to wear it because I want to be modest. Most ladies nowadays go around showing off everything from their cleavages to their abdomens and thighs, all in the name of fashion. It was those things Islam saw and wants to avoid, that why the use of Khimar was advocated.”
Her father’s jaw tighten, and his face turned red
“So you are now telling me that there are no other dresses you can wear apart from a Khimar that won’t display your cleavage, abdomen and thigh abi? Where did you put long jeans and long sleeve T-shirt? Where? ”
“You are right that jeans and long sleeve T-shirt can be worn and it wouldn’t reveal the body parts, but it would still reveal the voluptuous body curvatures, and there is no modesty in that.”
“Enough young lady,” Her father snapped. “I am tired of all these Religious extremities. It was your mother who started all these when she started hanging Arabic inscriptions in the house. And am even going to remove all of it now,” he shouted, as he moved to remove the Arabic inscribed wall clock.
Her Mother moved to stop him, but he shoved her aside with his right hand as he climbed the chair to remove the wall clock.
Tears began to run the course of Zaynab’s face, they hit the edge of her mouth where they formed a tributary flowing to her jaw. She put her hands on her face to stop the stream of tears, but it wouldn’t stop, they even came out more and more.
You are the cause of all this, it is you. You have caused discord in a peaceful home because of your modesty wahala. Its better you leave the house now and leave them in peace
Zaynab didn’t know what got over her, she just found herself running away from the house unto the unending streets.
She sauntered across the road slowly like a sloth. She was too deep in her thoughts to see the yellow commercial bus that was oncoming with speed, the driver began hooting from a distance of about 200 meters.
Zaynab was delusional; she was lost in the mystery of her world. Just about 10 meters from the end of the road, she could see him in white apparels; his wings beautifully outspread, smiling at her as he awaited her arrival. Zaynab couldn’t resist, since she had no home, this was definitely one chance she wasn’t going to throw away, so she went slowly to him.
The driver sped on amidst the shouts from the bystanders; they didn’t believe the melodrama that had just happened. Some couldn’t look at the intestines as they protruded from the stomach; the face was almost unrecognizable as it had been smashed, thick de-oxygenated blood oozed from nowhere in particular. The jaw had been displaced, so were the hands and legs.
I saw Mum and Dad. Mum was holding Dad by his collars and she was accusing him of killing me? Why? Was I dead? I tried calling Fatima, who was also crying, but she didn’t hear me. I shouted till my voice cracked, but no one seemed to have heard me.
I don’t think they would ever hear me, if they had heard me, I would have told them that I am happy where I am. There are no noises, everything is just peaceful. I am happy I found a home at last … I truly am…