Posted: May 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


CHAPTER 6 (Hasina)

Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings. -Ralph Blum

How wonderful it feels to wake up happy and content. My eyes open slowly and fall onto my new surroundings. It has been just a few short weeks, but this new room is now finally looking familiar. My eyes look around to my new larger and more dramatic bedroom. The suspended ceiling in a rectangular shape, with its muted concealed lighting, borders the space over the bed. The bed rests against the dry wall constructed to conceal the corner of the room. It was my clever idea to build a walk – in closet, in a triangular shape behind the bed, with his and her entrance on either side. Yusuf expertly took my idea and materialized it into a functional concealed space that eventually turned out better than expected. The bed faces the opposite corner of the room. The heavy linen curtains are drawn closed to block out the early morning sun and it covers the glass paneled walls that form the two walls of my corner bedroom. To the right of my bed is the door of the en-suite bathroom posing as a full length mirror that slides open to reveal our large lavish bathroom. The bedroom has two distinct spaces. Besides for the bed, there is a cosy spot close to the glass corner wall furnished with an armchair, lounger and small glass coffee table. This is the dream bedroom I always wanted.

Then my gaze finally comes to rest onto Yusuf’s face, still asleep next to me. ‘Now I’m definitely home’ I think warmly. I look over at him and make a mental picture of his sleeping face. He has clear and fair skin, ‘baby soft’ I think, as I resist the urge to touch it. His high cheekbones have a pink morning glow and his chiseled strong jaw is covered in a short brush beard that frames his face. Eyes closed, his face has a peacefulness that is calming. His masculine eyebrows are thick but tamed and it gives his face an almost bad-boy look. He could probably knock out any man, simply on the strength of his facial features. I trace the tiny freckles on his neck, with my eyes, that form a Y shape ending at his collarbone. His tousled hair, once a light brown, now with a dusting of white hair (which, as men go, tends to only make them look more distinguished) is repeated on his splatter of chest hair. As I ponder now I think it’s not his looks that are his best feature, that’s for all to see. His best feature is encased in his chest. It is the heart of a generous, loving, intelligent man, and it belongs to me.

Yusuf stirs and I can see his consciousness return to the surface. A slow and lazy stretch ensues as every muscle in his body is awoken. I’m greeted with a half awake smile and eyes slit open. He finds me starring at him and he responds to my stare with a lazy and shy grunt, but he’s still smiling. “Assalamu Alaikum” I say. And he mumbles his reply back sleepily. I can hear the faint giggles of my children in the room down the passage, and I am grateful that they haven’t stormed my bedroom yet. I wonder if it has something to do with their new spacious bedrooms and attached playroom. I sidle towards Yusuf for a lazy Sunday morning cuddle and then we both doze off again.

I wake up for the second time, to a rapid clicking sound to find Jameela standing over me on the bed snapping photos of a sleeping mummy and daddy, with the iPad. Bilal is sitting at our head pulling faces and trying to get in each frame. I feel Yusuf move and when I turn to face him and our eyes meet we both burst out laughing.

“I’m going to be a photographer, mummy” Jameela says as she turns the iPad to change angles and squints her eyes. The clicking continues and I wonder just how many photos she has taken already. Yusuf is now joining Bilal in funny-face-making which sends Jameela into fits of laughter.

“Give it to me, Jam”, Yusuf tells Jameela, asking for the iPad. “I want to take a photo of the birthday gir

I can’t believe its Jameela’s birthday already. The weeks have flown by since Yusuf and I finally decided to buy the dream house we saw on show last month. It was a big step and it meant picking up our lives and starting again somewhere else. I must admit I fell in love with that house… who wouldn’t? I can just imagine myself laying next to cascading pool, in the shade of the build-in gazebo that I never even got to see on the first day. When Yusuf and I went to the house the second time, this time picturing our life there, things were different. Without the cloud of disappointment and grief over me, I saw for the first time, a house eager to become a home. That time, it was an empty shell, not the lived-in fullness that we first encountered. Farnaz had explained that the previous owners had been waiting to move out and it seemed their loan was approved just the day after we first came. When I saw the house a second time I saw the empty walls eager to be filled with a family and warmth.

As soon as we had signed on the dotted lines, I realized how much work it would be to move our lives from one place to another. We began immediately, packing up cupboards boxes and labeling them, while I tried to keep a semblance of normality. I insisted the children go to school as normal and Elizabeth brought a friend to lend a hand. I hadn’t realized just how many things a person collects over time, but eventually it was all done. Our entire life could be packed up into a few cardboard boxes. Actually, many cardboard boxes. By the end of the stressful ordeal those brown invading boxes were scattered menacingly all around the house. They lined up along the walls, and became an intricate obstacle course that you had to negotiate just to get to the bathroom. Elizabeth got so used to it, I would watch her skip over and shimmy her large body through small gaps with ease. Then she would say “ooh eh eh, Madam, it’s just like going to those fancy gyms of yours”.
After all the packing, came the unpacking. My sister – in law Sameera came to help a few times, but I got more commentary than help. “I can’t believe you still have an oil fryer” she gasped in disappointment, while helping me in the kitchen. “I can’t live without my air fryer, its like magic”. I also got comments for my Cake mixer “You really should tell Yusuf to get you the candystripe version, it will go so well with you décor”. Of course Sameera would buy appliances that match her décor, and wouldn’t dream of buying them to actually use them, I thought to myself. She did offer to help me shop for new furniture for our guest bedroom, study, second living room and patio, new spaces we didn’t have in the old house. She had just decorated her new house so her input was invaluable. Her skills in shopping could get it recognized as an Olympic sport, and a legitimate therapy tool, because the more she shopped the happier she became.
Then there were little modifications and renovations of the rooms. Although the house was nearly perfect as it stood, Yusuf felt a need to put his personal stamp on it by doing a few small renovations. “You’ll see how nice it will look, Hasie “ he said when I was forced to wait another week before we moved. I’m glad Yusuf had the foresight to ensure we stayed in the old house until everything was done and ready. When we finally had most of the house done Yusuf suggested that throwing Jameela a birthday party in the new house will be a good idea. “We can invite all the neighbours so I won’t have to meet anyone for the first time while I’m in my pyjamas, taking the bin out one morning” he joked. “Or worse” I added, “When I take the bin out one morning in my pyjamas” the thought of it horrified me.
Looking at Jameela now, she is posing for her daddy as he snaps shot after shot of her, his face full of pride. I can not believe she is seven years old already. My little girl is growing up I think. I sink back under the duvet covers. I’ll give us all ten more minutes, then we really have to get out of bed and get this party started.


My dream bedroom


Bilal pulling funny faces


Mirror wall concealing the bathroom

  1. Anonymous says:


    With regards to the quote at the beginning, as Muslims we believe in taqdeer. Therefore, I dont think that it would be correct to say that nothing is predestined.


    • HW says:

      Wa Alaikum salaam. This quote is not from a muslim – as can be read from the name. I used it simply to illustrate a point.
      yes. you are right. As muslims we believe in our qadr. Alhamdulillah. But we also believe that whenever we are faced with obstacles and difficulties in our past (adversity) we should turn to dua. Surely it is dua that can change our Qadr. (in Sha Allah ,aameen.
      Saaidina Salman Farsi raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Nothing can change the Divine Decree except dua…” (Sunan Tirmizip.35 v.2)
      Taqdeer is also something that we should not argue over and engage too much in, Imaan is linked to taqdeer and as such we should believe.

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