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“I’ve heard enough…just leave me alone!” she yelled. Imran’s face reddened with shock. For a moment he felt lost. Finding it difficult to stare back at the most adorable eyes, now full of rage, he looked at his little girl who started crying out loud. Baby Amna’s cheeks flushed as if she was in a completion with her mother. She threw her baby hands towards her father knowing that he had the warmth to console her than her mother right then. Imran could feel his skin on back of his neck tighten but he tried to stay calm. With all his strength he tried to block the ways for the shaitan’s whispers enter his mind.
“The most perfect of believers in belief is the best of them in character. The best of you are those who are the best to their women.” Thick voice of the mufti he had listened to today started curling up in his mind. No, he wasn’t a perfect believer as Prophet (pbuh) had described in the Hadith but he was trying to perfect himself according to the teachings of Islam. The very same thought made him sigh. Wasn’t he treating his wife well? Didn’t he adore her for everything she had? But why did she disobey him? Once upon a time there was love in both hearts but what had happened now?

He watched Fida open her closet and pull out her clothes. Imran moved a foot closer to her when the metal moisturizer pot slipped through her hands. But then he stopped by then, bent and carried the crying baby instead. While patting Amna’s back he miserably watched his wife stuff clothes into a traveling bag. He knew her, he knew her very well that she wasn’t going to change her mind. Not at this point when she was mad at him.
He bit his lower lip while watching her mutter, curse and wipe her eyes with her hands. Unlike the other days, now she disliked his presence and he raked for a good reason to stop her madness. He remembered the days where she would come behind him. Why had she started thinking that it wasn’t the same man she fell in love with a couple of years ago? Had he changed a lot? No, it’s the very same Imran to whom Fida had been the world. How could he explain her that he would feel empty without her?
His gaze caught with hers through the mirror in the dressing table. She looked into it for a split second but then she briskly turned away leaving him to stare at his own reflection. Amna now had stopped crying, instead sucked her thumb and flapped her right hand on his white cap which fell off a few feet away from him. At that she giggled but Imran didn’t take his gaze away from his reflection. Yes, he has changed. He’s not the funky guy anymore. He’d changed to a following Muslim, a man with a beard and a kurti, not the one Fida had fallen love with.
She didn’t like his attitudes or his looks anymore. He is not the Imran Hashim she knew from her school days. He was popular, heart winning then, but look at him now?
“Where are you going, Fida?”
This time his voice was stern. He couldn’t tolerate the agony he felt right then.

“I’m not going to answer all your silly questions Imran Hashim…I’m not your slave anymore. Come Amna, I don’t want you to be around him!”
Her words dug deep into his flesh, it hurt. Fida tried to pull Amna away from him. Imran’s hands tightened around his daughter. Amna’s expressions started to change again. Imran caught Fida’s gaze. His eyes narrowed hardening his jaws. Fida looked at her as if it was her sole enemy. Little girl who just began to feel warm in her father’s warmth started to cry again. She hugged her father’s neck predicting the separation yet to come. Fida pulled her daughter towards her. It hadn’t been easy as she had expected to be but Imran’s heart thawed watching the expressions in Fida’s face. He knew he couldn’t win her back being cruel. Perhaps the baby could feel her father’s withdrawing warmth. She soon surrendered to her mother, still crying out loud.
“You’ll regret one day Fida…” he whispered.
That was all what Imran could think of. She gave a last frowning look at him. Imran’s lips quivered. With a broken heart he watched her slam the door behind her. He knelt down feeling lost as if gathering million pieces of his shattered world. Only He could hear his pounding heart with thousand pleas.

“Shut up Amna! Stop crying!! Your dad is dead!!!”

Fida shouted at her daughter. She hated Imran. He ruined her life. She never thought everything would end like this. She loved him once and that was her first mistake. She thought he’ll be fun. He was attractive, mind blowing. Every other girl in her school eagerly waited for him to request for a date. But wasn’t she the luckiest among everyone else? How proud she was to walk with him side by side being his girlfriend? How sad her friends had looked on their wedding day?
The life was filled with colorful butterflies. But everything changed on that unfortunate night when he met with this accident where he scarcely lost his life. She was thankful for his survival, but now she felt why it had to happen like this? The colours of their lives were stolen one by one and left her in dark. Everything just slipped by her hand leaving nothing but miseries in her life, just because of his change.
Imran spent his time at his work and the masjid. But he didn’t forget to spend time with her, she thought sourly. But then again, what’s the use? He wanted her to be like him. Follow his path which she didn’t want to give a second thought of. Fida was a born Muslim but never a practicing one. She thought everything on their scripture the Holy Quran was outdated. She is not a rotten egg to accept everything in Islam and cover her beauty and do nothing but stay at home, be her husband’s slave.
When she was pregnant, she thought it would bring back her Imran. But he never changed. Every time when Imran came closer she felt him as a stranger. He wasn’t colorful or glamorous. He stopped listening to his favorite music and even stopped smoking.
“He’s gone crazy these days…being a father has driven him to this. It’s not the Imran I knew…he’s more like a terrorist with that weird beard”
Her friend Surayya said when she met her in the stores a few weeks ago. It had been nice meeting her. She didn’t meet her friends for ages.

“What happened to your hair…it’s just plain…doesn’t he look after you now? Poor girl,”
Surayya touched a strand of her tinted brown hair and tossed it. Fida felt a shiver at first but then she felt happy for her beauty was adored by someone, after all someone cares about her. She gave a brief smile being ashamed of herself. Imran didn’t force her to stop going to the beauty parlor. It was her pregnancy stopped her by doing what she liked. But now since the baby was born why doesn’t she move around like she was used to be?
“Everyone is missing you. What a charming girl you had been. I’m sure everyone is going to be startled seeing you like this.”

The meeting of Surayya brought hope to her darkening life. She expected him to deny but he smiled approving her.
“I can’t force you to do anything, honey. Be conscious of what you are doing.”
She didn’t want to start a quarrel. After all he said okay, she’d thought bitterly. Thanks to whoever, childbirth didn’t cost her much to be back with her normal figure, healthy and beauty, instead it had given more color to her face. She adored her beautiful features in the mirror. The beautician did a good job with her thick eyebrows too.
“you are pretty.” She whispered with a long breath inhaled while staring at her reflection with admiration.
“What would they say seeing me like this?”

She saw many women entirely change after giving a child birth. Hanging belly and extra curves were something she hated to have.
she was extremely satisfied with the reflection the mirror showed.

A few days later she got a call from Surayya inviting her to the birthday party, Surayya elder son turning three.

“Say you will come, please honey, we’ll be waiting for you.”

Her lips curled hearing her friend’s request. Imran first hesitated but she was tactful enough to convince him.
“I’ll come to pick you”
He said dropping them at Surayya’s place. When she heard him she turned blue. She didn’t like the idea at all. She didn’t want to ruin the party.

“Don’t worry, we will look after both your angels…you carry on with your work.”
reading her mind Surayya said. Imran smiled out of courtesy.

“You don’t have to ask permission for everything Fida…it’s your life, your freedom. I feel sorry for you…but anyway…” Surayya waved her hand in air and then took a good look at her friend. Fida’s lips curled watching her friend’s appreciative gaze wandering over her. “You look gorgeous!”

Surayya kissed Fida’s cheeks and lead her way into her house.

“Now give me that cutie pie. Our nanny can keep an eye on her. Come, Little Puppy!”

Surayya carried Amna. Fida felt lost for some time. How wonderful it would be if Imran could join them too. But he’s not attractive anymore. None would be pleased to see him around, she thought, deep down she could feel pain of disappointment.
“Let me introduce a special guest. Meet Jake, my boss. Hey Jake this is Fida…my good old friend.”
He was a tall man with black hair cut short and combed straight to the left, showcasing his wide smooth forehead, bushy black eyebrows and the penetrating grey eyes were startling and innately captivating. Fida felt uncomfortable in meeting his gaze, instead she nervously looked down, an innocent smile tickled her lips.
Jake approached them sipping red wine from his glass. She knew his gaze was upon her, scanning through every bit of her. That Thought gave her a strange shiver. Someone is interested, that was nice, her deserted heart thought.
That was their first encounter. She liked Jake. He had time to adore her. talking to him made her cheer. She found hope to begin the day with. Early in the morning she would wake up smiling to a message he would send to her mobile. She’d possessively pulled her phone from Imran when he would bring her the phone when the caller ID displayed as ‘Jane’. She purposely ignored Imran’s hawk like eyes. Was he doubtful? Let him be! Let him drown in his own suspicions. She wasn’t doing something wrong. She’d found someone who values her. Rather spending time waiting for Imran to pick a boring topic to talk why not turn towards Jake who only wanted to see her smile? Surayya advised she didn’t wait for Imran’s permission anymore. She met Jake and other friends whenever she wished. After all that’s her freedom.

“A girl like you should be more appreciated. Lucky husband,”

Jake said one day pushing away a stubborn wavy hair strand from her face. It gave a chilling shiver to her. Fida sighed, if she could tell him the truth.

“If I had a wife like you I will never let her go…come to me Sweetheart,”

Jake whispered into her ear. She felt the warmth of his breath, every word true to his heart. She could feel her cheeks burn. How would it be with Jake? How lucky would his wife be? Her thoughts wandered in her own wild fantasy.
Fida’s thoughts were interrupted by the cry of her daughter. She turned to look at Amna. Amna looked comfortable in her carseat, so what else did she want? Why can’t this girl keep quiet?
“Keep quiet Amna!”

She gritted through her teeth. Amna’s cry didn’t stop, instead it grew wild. With a curse she pulled her car into the parking slot. A few minutes later Fida anxiously waited in the apartment lobby.
“Did you call him…can you tell it’s urgent?”
She asked the receptionist one more time. The woman gave an annoying glance asked her to wait for a few more minutes. Fida went back and fell onto the sofa, her heart pounded fast. She wanted to divorce Imran. He found out her meetings with Jake. Although it wasn’t a deep affair she hated to respond to Imran’s accusing questions. He didn’t trust her, if he trusted he would never question her like that. Fida wanted Jake to help her. She dialed his mobile number once again. Thank god it was ringing. her fingers trembled as she held the phone to her ear.
“Jake it’s me, Fida” she voiced as soon as the line got connected.
“m……..who…he’s sleeping” She heard a melodious voice of a woman. A doubt stroke her mind but she desperately wanted to talk to him.
“This is urgent, can I talk to him?”
She said with a heavy heart.
“Jake darling, it’s someone on the line…”

As she heard the other woman her whole body shivered. Who was she? She thought Jake didn’t have a girlfriend and it was she whom he adored. By then Amna has begun whine again. . She hushed the baby.
She heard his husky voice.
“Jake it’s me Fida…”
She trembled.
“Oh, it’s you. Yeah, tell me.” Did he sound angry or perhaps disappointed?
“I’m waiting in the lobby,”
she said before the line went dead.
Amna fell asleep at last. At last, waiting for more than fifteen minutes he came clumsily.
“What’s wrong? Didn’t expect you at this time”
His eyes wandered over her and her little child.
“I’m sorry…but…er…I can’t live with him any longer…he found out about us.”
She stammered as she said. A thick brow of him shot up.
“Imran heard of us. I can’t live there anymore, Jake. I want to divorce him.”
“You brought this girl with you too?”
Instead he asked, his gaze pointed at Amna. She shook her head, her eyes ready to shed those fattening tears.

“Come on, Fida. Don’t create a scene now. Everyone is watching at us…”
Jake said under his breath.
“But you said…”
“I wanted you but not the baby,Sweetheart.”
jake tried to laugh easing the tension between them. Fida looked at him, her eyes widened letting those tears slide down freely. His confession was received shockingly. She didn’t expect this from him. She thought she could trust Jake. “I…I thought… you l..l…” she shivered failing to complete her sentence. Taking her gaze away from Jake’s betraying laughter she saw a beautiful woman walking through the doors with a brown slack and a sleeveless shirt. Her narrowed eyes were set on Fida, suspicious. She paced quickly and slid her hand through Jake’s arm. Unexpected, Jake jerked but then he was a master of betrayers.
“Hi honey, you up already?”
He asked the woman, his seductive gaze drinking the beauty of her. Amna felt discomfort. For a moment she felt he has no reason to accept her when a pretty woman was beside him. She tore her gaze away from them when they planted a kiss on their lips.
“Sandy, meet Fida…she’s er…her husband works for us.”
“Oh, hi. What’s wrong?” Sandy asked, her tone carried an amount of sympathy. That made Fida realize what sort of a mess she was. “Oh! Her husband is hospitalized…they need money.” Fida lowered her head with shame. She felt disgusted about her. How could she fall into such a low level?
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
What was she doing here, trusting a complete stranger and earning sympathies of others?Within herself Fida began to boil.
“Do something, Darling, won’t you?” Sandy rubbed her hand over Jake’s.
“Yeah. Why don’t you have your breakfast while I’ll settle this, Honey?” Jake’s voice pricked Fida’s heart. She felt stabbing that man with a knife. But she should stab herself first for shamelessly trusting this fraud.
“I’m going over there…join me soon darling”
Fida bit her lip when Sandy touched her shoulder before she left them. He sighed a long breath with relief.
“See, you almost messed my life!” Jake said, his eyes still watching the way Sandy went.
“That’s Sandra…my fiancée…we are getting married soon.”he said non relatively.
“I left Imran because of you. You said…”
She found her strength to voice.
“What? Are you silly? I don’t want another man’s woman to be my wife. You thought I’m a fool to father someone else’s child? I just wanted some fun. What’s wrong in enjoying an abandoned…” Fida couldn’t hear him. The anger in her took control of her. It took no time for her free hand print an unforgivable print on his face.
“You are a liar!”

She spat on him. Jake’s grey eyes sparked with anger. But then realizing that they weren’t alone his cheeks turned red.
“How can I trust a woman like you? You left your husband to meet me…what is the guarantee that you won’t leave me to meet someone else?”
The truth struck. She was to be blamed. Without uttering another word she trotted away from Jake.

Fida turned the wheel while trying to recall everything she went through. What on earth was she doing for a beautiful marriage life? How caring was Imran to her? He loved her. He didn’t care about her beauty because he loved her for what she was. She couldn’t stop crying this time. She spent her precious moments with worthless people forgetting her responsibilities. The hate she felt for herself disturbed her mind. There’s no turn to this, she thought regretfully. And that was when she heard a big thud. “Amna!” Was all what she could say. Everything blurred so soon along with the cry of her precious child.

The whole body ached with pain. She slowly opened her eyes. The dim light glowed in the small room. She looked around and realized she was in a hospital room. She then saw Imran sitting on a chair. He had fallen asleep like that. She watched at him sadly. How dearest was he? How could she treat him so badly to him? Hearing her sob Imran woke.
“Hey what is it? Is it painful? Wait I’ll call someone”
He quickly came to her and gently touched her hand. His fingers caressed her fingers.
“No…I’m alright…it’s just…”
She stammered.
“Amna is fine, Alhamdulillah.”
He whispered reading her mind. At that she felt an ache rising in her throat. Every word he whispered carried love he had for her. She didn’t look into his eyes; instead she fought with her complex thoughts.

“Can you remember what happened?”

He gently asked. She shook her head. She could remember. She merely hit a bicycle, it crossed her…then she turned the car to the other side and she hit on a light post. She heard the bang and Amna’s cry, then everything went black.
Imran gently caressed her fingers. The warmth she felt made her regret for what she did in her entire life. Wasn’t he angry with her?

“It’s the shock that had made you unconscious…”

Yes, she was shocked. What a stupid she was? She tried to pick a worthless pebble throwing away the gem she was gifted with.

“Why honey, what’s bothering?”

He couldn’t tolerate the silence anymore.

“Aren’t you angry with me, Imran?”
She finally found her voice. A soft smile curled his lip.
“It’s not only your fault, Fida. I realize how ignorant I’d been…I thought I might lose you for the second time when I got the call from the police.”
he stroked her soft wavy hair.
“Oh Imran, forgive me…”

“Forgive me too…I should have treated you more than I did…” Imran’s voice was heavy with regret.

“No…you loved me…but I..I didn’t…I’m sorry…”

“My love for you is the same as it had been when I first saw you. Perhaps I didn’t show it well,”

He said trying to smile. She tried to take away her hand from him feeling ashamed. But he held her hand tight not wanting to let her go.

“Listen Fida…I love you…no matter what happened I love you…I want you to be with me…please don’t leave me…”

“How will you trust me again Imran?” she sobbed hiding her face in the pillow. Imran kissed her forehead and stayed like that for sometime.
The love for her should never end, he whispered a prayer.
“I trust in Allah. This is a trial for both of us. Our differences shouldn’t lose our trust in each other.”

“But I,” she couldn’t complete her sentence. How could she tell him that for a moment she’d thought it would have been better to be Jake’s wife? How could she do this to this man in whose heart she was the queen?
“Oh Imran,”
she hid her face in his forearm, crying. She remembered the insulting way Jake had spoken to her. Imran’s love made her realize how God had shown mercy to her, an unfaithful creature.
‘Oh Allah! Forgive me, forgive me…You showed mercy upon this unfaithful creature…forgive me, ya Allah!

She whispered, regrets made her repent. She scarcely lost her love, broke her marriage and ruined everyone’s life. She was lost in a fantasy. She was thankful for her husband who forgave her and she was grateful for the mercy of God. Wrapping her arms around him she hid her face on his chest. This was the beautiful world Allah gifted her, she’d not lose it for any cost, ever.

“Nothing but Love”- ReviewsAuthor Spotlight- Poetess Stoori
  • I have read many novels.. And still I do.. But nothing gave this feeling.. Which I got when I was reading "Nothing but Love". The author proved that words can be inspiring and life changing!

    December 11, 2016 at 9:39 pm
    Posted by Amna
    • JazakAllah khair, that's so nice to hear. I'm humbly happy that you'd enjoyed the novel, Alhamdulillah:)

      May 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm
      Posted by Zeneefa Zaneer In reply to Amna

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