I crept up the stairs towards pères study. As expected the door was closed, I tiptoed closer, putting my ear against the door, I listened carefully.
‘This is wrong, you’re not supposed too.’ everything in me seemed to be screaming at me to stop, But I ignored the feelings, the thoughts that this was wrong and listened. I listened to the sound of mère sobbing, pères comforting words to her, then silence.
Then, mères words which shattered the silence, echoing through the study, leaving me in utter confusion.
Words which made me regret even listening, because it confused my already confused mind, it disrupted my thoughts making me think of it only, and wonder what it meant.
“I’m sure Saadiq knows something, But Saadiqah doesn’t know anything so we can’t take her, I can’t tell her, not now after we kept the details of south Africa away from them for so long. What if she………. I just can’t Hamid, please not now!
The words passed on from my best friend Khadeejah shattered me, though I managed to keep my calm for the sake of my daughter behind me.
I raced to my Hamid’s study tears rolling down my cheeks as I told him what Khadeejah had told me.
He comforted me but as much as I was comforted by his calm and composed exterior, I knew that he was breaking inside and I could only hope that he wasn’t blaming himself for all this.
It was then that I voiced my words of worry, I was scared that Saadiqah wouldn’t understand, that she’d be angry that I hadn’t told her all this while, and that she would rebel in the same way I did all those years ago.
“But where will we leave her?” Hamid voiced my thoughts.
I shrugged because at that moment I was scared, all I could think about was myself at her age. I didn’t want her to go the same way.
Hamid sighed.” Do you think Aaliyah will keep her?”
I shrugged again and he dialled his sister. I barely listened to his conversation as I searched for a last minute ticket.
Finishing of he turned to me just as I booked the last two tickets of a flight leaving late that night.
“I’ll go drop her off, try not to worry.” he said as he stood up.
“Wait, Hamid.” I called, he turned to look at me. “Aaliyah’s Safwaan lives with them, it isn’t right.”
“I know,” he ran his fingers through his hair, “but Saudah’s too far to drive to at night, Ridhwaan too.”
“Can you ask Aaliyah to take her to Ridhwaan tomorrow?”
“I’ll try.” he grimaced.
I nodded and he turned to go. I heard him explain to Saadiqah that we were flying down without explaining why and a while later she came in.
I gave her a hug and a kiss, warned her to stay away from Safwaan and sent her off.
I quickly packed some stuff for Hamid and myself for our trip before he returned and we were off to the airport.
Sitting in that flight was like the worst thing ever, memories of my past plagued me and the thought that I was going back made me shiver. I begged Allah over and over to help me and make this easy and succesful for me.
Finally reaching a wave of nostalgia hit me as I stepped of the plane into the airport.
But in a way this trip was to be way different from the last one.
I blinked away tears as I searched for Khadeejah, with whom I had arranged transport.
Khadeejah was the one who would always be waiting for me on my return from Canada, the only one with a welcoming smile on her face, with open arms ready to greet me.
Khadeejah was the only one who would keep in touch and would always be there for me, the rest of them had withered away, whether by choice or force, I knew not.
Khadeejah, my sister in islaam, my best friend, my rock and my shoulder to cry on. One of the few who know and understand me and my life, my sister that my real sisters never were.
And now as my tear filled eyes met her welcoming ones, I was transported back in time to when I had stepped of the plane on my first visit home.
It had been a happy return and a sad one, I was happy to be home but I was sad to leave Canada. I had been reassured knowing that I would return to Canada very soon, if all went well. Little did I know at that time that I’d leave this country with a change of mindset and a change of heart.