CHAPTER 5 (continued)

Posted: May 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I check the chicken Korma and it is done to perfection. The smell of my freshly ground cumin and coriander is intermingled in the sharp notes of the roasted red chillie. It’s like a symphony of notes joining together and creating a type of music that only your nose can identify. I go to the pantry in search of atchar and when I get back Hussain is in the kitchen, lifting the pot lid in wonder.

He looks at me and I cant read his expression. I her a soft ‘hmm’ under his breath. “You look nice, different but nice”, he says, when he sees me. I am immediately taken aback. I can’t remember the last time he ever commented on the way I looked. It is only then do I realize that I was still dressed in my abhaya and hijab. I smile back and shrugged my shoulders. “I went to Taalim today with Husna”, I explain for the second time today.

“And this”, he gestures to the pots on the stove. He is clearly impressed.

“Got home early, thought I would treat you to an Indian meal”.

He nodded approvingly.

As we ate in silence I thought about telling him about the story of Ebrahim and Sarah, but since the miscarriage we haven’t really spoken about babies and conceiving, so I convince myself that now was not the right time. I ask him about his project that he is working on, and I get concise, simple answers. He doesn’t seem to be in a mood to talk either.

We sit opposite each other, with our eyes on our food and finish supper in silence. The chicken Korma is delicious. The spices arrest your nose as you scoop out each spoonful and they are fully explored as they mingle together in your mouth. Each piece of chicken is saturated in flavour, soft and juicy. I look up at Hussain. He seems to be enjoying it, but he says nothing. I used to be good at reading his actions and thoughts. That seems like a lifetime ago. It is quiet except for the sound of the plates and forks.The klank of our cutlery speak for us. We have nothing to say to each other. I feel the familiar uneasiness that has slowly crept into our marriage.

I eat as slow as I can but still too soon supper is over. When the food is cleared and the dishes are done. The last of the faint aroma lingers as evidence of some joy in the kitchen. That too soon fades and I can feel is the ominous emptiness of the house again.

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