Time goes so fast… Faiza thought to herself. She had been married for a month already now and at times she still felt like she was living in a dream.
It went without saying, however, that her married life was nothing like what she’d dreamed it would be. Her childhood imaginings didn’t come close to the reality of the situation.
She and Taahir were as different as chalk and cheese! They had opposing viewpoints on so many different issues that sometimes it made her head spin. The one issue which had caused the most difficulty was Faiza’s preference for staying at home rather than going out to work while she studied. Taahir hadn’t directly opposed it but he’d made it clear that he would have preferred her working.
That had been the greatest issue but it had by no means been the only one. Taahir still slept in the guest room and she hadn’t been able to bring herself to bring up the issue. But it upset her nonetheless. She felt uncomfortable knowing that she was the reason he had been forced to give up his bedroom.
He didn’t even let me say anything before he ran in there, she thought irritably to herself.
But despite the issues that were there, Faiza found that she had no regrets. There were things that she wished to change about her marriage but the thought had never even crossed her mind to wish she had married another man.
She had found herself growing to care for Taahir and she looked forward to him returning from work every day. He worked late hours, often only returning at seven or eight in the evening but Faiza made sure to wait for him before she ate supper. It always delighted her to watch Taahir eating – he made no secret of the fact that he enjoyed her food.
Food was the one arena where Faiza had confidence. It was her passion and she was good at it. She’d often dreamed about releasing her own cookbook one day and she had a stack of personal recipes kept away safely for the day that she finally took the plunge.
For now, though, cooking and baking were her hobbies while she studied. Faiza was in her third year of a Psychology degree which she’d pursued more out of a need to fulfil the obligation of getting a degree than anything else. She didn’t dislike the degree but she felt little emotion over it and her studies had slowly become a chore to complete every day.
She sighed to herself, wishing she could confide in someone about her worries but reluctant to admit she had wasted three years studying something that didn’t appeal to her in the end.
Only a few more months to go, she comforted herself.
Taahir sat at his desk, once again trying and failing to do some work. His thoughts were once again consumed by his wife. He’d found himself thinking about her at work more than once over the past month. He looked at the clock on the wall and groaned. It was barely four in the afternoon, there was no way he could justify leaving work for at least another two hours. His concentration was shot, however.
Taahir knew that something was bothering Faiza. He’d seen her sigh or frown to herself when she thought no one was paying attention and he knew that the fault was partially his own. They’d disagreed more than once over things in the last month and he knew that he’d hurt her with some of the things he’d said.
He’d wanted to take back his harsh words as soon as they left his mouth but he didn’t know how. He’d ended up just ignoring the problem, hoping it would go away if he acted like nothing had happened and Faiza obliged him.
In the back of his head, his conscience pricked him, though, knowing it wasn’t fair of him to expect her to forgive and forget when he didn’t even apologize for what he’d said.
Papa’s been telling me for years that I’d regret not working on my temper more. Well, he’s right. I do regret it. I hate seeing Faiza draw into herself the way she does sometimes. But how? Whenever I think something, it comes out before I can even think that it might hurt her to hear me say it. Ugh. This is so complicated!
Taahir pulled his hands through his hair in frustration, knowing that he needed help. He was ashamed to ask for it though, ashamed to admit that he couldn’t fix the problem by himself. The desire to continue ignoring the problem warred with the knowledge that he was hurting his wife and, eventually, he picked up the phone.
He dialled a familiar number and waited.
“Papa, I need help.”
Mr. Mahomed sat back with a smile on his face. He had just gotten off the phone with Taahir – a Taahir who seemed vastly changed from what he had been even a month ago. Before he had gotten married, Taahir had never paid attention to the way his words could harm others but now, barely a month into marriage, his son was willingly seeking advice to fix his flaws. Mr. Mahomed could not have been happier.
He thanked Allah (SWT) happily for the positive change in his son and smiled in satisfaction to himself. The guilt he had been feeling for strong-arming Taahir and taking advantage of his son’s hot head was evaporating due to the positive effects the marriage was yielding.