• 14 Jul - 20 Jul, 2018
  • Ayesha Adil
  • Fiction

"Hey! How was your day, uh, evening?”

“It was good. Have you been working since I left?”

“I just need to finish off these before I call it a night.”

“Okay. You know I picked out a few places that we can go to…” I started off tentatively. It seemed as if I would probably leave London right out of this hotel room without seeing a single attraction. Fawad didn’t seem in any mood to be a tourist.

And the minute that thought occurred to me, he reaffirmed my suspicions.

“Saima, I’m here on business. This isn’t a pleasure trip. I don’t have time to be a tourist. You can plan out the days for yourself and in the evenings, we can have dinner out or just have a short stroll. All this sight-seeing is not really my cup of tea anyway.”

That hurt Mr, I love the outdoors so much. And now you’re suddenly ruining all my plans. Why did you even bring me along Fawad? I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs but I remained quiet instead.

I went into the bathroom, for I needed to be by myself. I needed a catharsis. I needed to cry.

Why had Fawad suddenly become so indifferent to my feelings? Why was he treating me so awfully?

I couldn’t understand his behaviour at all.

I eventually wiped off my tears, straightened up and ventured out cautiously.

Fawad was on the phone.

He hung up briskly.

“I was ordering some room service. I know you wanted to go to one of the restaurants for a formal dinner but I still have paperwork and frankly I am beat. I want to call in early.”

With that, he breezed into the bathroom and slammed the door shut.

I just stood there trying to digest what had just happened.

I sat at the edge of the bed. The only logical reason I could think of was, that he was genuinely tired and pressured with work.

But I couldn’t ignore the fact that my Dr Jekyll was turning into a Mr Hyde and there was nothing I could do about it.

I woke up with a start recalling the horror of that day.

I also recalled that things had in fact, begun to improve after that fateful day. At least Fawad wasn’t punishing me as much.

I noticed Saman looking at me questioningly. I gave her a smile to show her that everything was alright. The darling that she was, at least I wanted her to feel that I was grateful and enjoying the experience.

And I actually was, to be honest. It’s just what I needed.

The spa was playing soft, relaxing music.Ruby was almost done. She managed to tame my curls into softer more manageable wisps. She gave me a layered bob, something like a long bob. She began to blow dry to prep my hair for the colouring.

“You’ll get to see what it really looks like once I style it after the colour. You’ll have to be a little bit more patient.” She smiled at me sweetly.

Saman joined us.

“I’m beginning to see my friend finally coming back to life! I love what you’ve done Ruby. Good work!”

“Saman, you’ll tire out. This will take time, why don’t you get some services done too while you’re waiting? Or if there are any errands to run you can go off and get them done. I’ll be fine.”

“Don’t be silly! This is my gift to you. I’m not leaving you. Besides, I just bought this new book that I was dying to read and I’m already on chapter ten, all thanks to you. So don’t be bothered about me.”

With that, she glided back into her chair and submerged herself in her book.

Ruby brought out the hair colours and began mixing different shades to get the right tinge. She brought out all her little instruments, foil and gloves and combed through my strands.

This was going to be a long process, I thought to myself. Patience was really not one of my best virtues and now I found my mind wandering once again.

Fawad was trying very hard, I could tell. But there was no way to beat about the bush. The misery of being childless, of losing our only child was eating away at our marriage. As much as I wanted to be happy, the elephant in the room could not be dodged.

Was this the solution to all our problems? A child? A minuscule existence of human life? Could that save us? If we couldn’t save ourselves from our inner demons, would this child do it for us?

to be continued...