When everyone found out about Usman divorcing Sa’ada, blame was cast upon him, particularly by Abu. She stopped talking to him and avoided him at all costs. His unhappiness was deepening with each passing day.
Usman decided to go and plead with her sincerely, believing that the only way to win her back and avoid another rejection was through heartfelt pleas.
Fortunately, her parents didn’t stop him from meeting her this time, as they were worried about her emotional state.
Zainab was in her room, having breakfast comfortably on the carpet, when he entered. She didn’t speak, just continued eating.
He sat down beside her voluntarily, choosing silence for a moment before he began.
“Zainab, you look well,” he said.
“I think I am,” she replied simply.
A heavy silence hung in the air until Usman spoke again.
“I’m sorry for troubling you so much,” he said, his tone filled with gravity.
“If you were truly sorry, you wouldn’t be here. I asked you not to visit again, but you chose to ignore my wishes, and now you’re here saying you’re sorry, well aware of what you should do,” Zainab responded, looking even gloomier than before.
She was right. She had refused him for a good reason, and he knew it. But he couldn’t let her go, and he couldn’t give up.
“I know it’s unmanly and quite shameful of me to keep saying it and to be near you. But being apart only hurts my feelings, and it’s hard. Please forgive me and stop seeing me as an annoying person. I beg you,” Usman said, tears flowing down his face as he gripped her hand. “Let’s start again, please.”
Zainab sensed Usman’s old, reserved nature reasserting itself. The old caring and kind Usman that she remembered was back.
She rose to leave, recognizing how her heart was urging her to make a mistake.
Usman grabbed her clothes and pleaded, “Please, Zainab.”
She looked at him, and the forced bravado in her demeanor gave way to a more feminine, compassionate response. In a voice laden with tears, she said, “So it’s because you know my weakness that you’re doing this?”
“It’s not an act, Zainab. You, of all people, know that my feelings are genuine, and my words are sincere.”
Her heart melted. She loved Usman, but she also had deep feelings for Sa’ada. She couldn’t help but pity her, knowing that Sa’ada’s life without Usman would wither, like a plant without fertilizer or water. Sa’ada had made mistakes in the past, but she genuinely cared for her. Zainab looked at Usman, without thinking twice, she arrived at a solution.
“Alright, you can remarry the two of us,” she said.
Usman was overjoyed. Zainab had always had a forgiving heart, and her simplicity made her easy to be around. But why did she say, “the two of us”?
“I wish I had a mind like yours, always taking things as they come, and letting the past be in the past. Never worrying unduly. But still, can’t it be just the two of us? Please reconsider,” he pleaded, light-hearted.
“That’s my final decision,” she replied succinctly.
“Okay, can you sit?” he requested.
She sat beside him, the silence between them heavy. She had nothing to say; Usman’s words had made her question.
Later, Usman left Abu’s place and went directly to Sa’ada’s. Eager and hopeful, he just wanted to see Zainab as his wife again.
Usman tried all his ways to convince Sa’ada to remarry him, but she refused. “You aren’t mine. I made a mistake by dragging you into my life. I destroyed our friendship because of my selfishness. I know Zainab always wanted her man to be hers alone, and back then, that wish couldn’t be fulfilled because of me. Now that I’ve come back to myself, I can’t marry you again. If I could go back to before, I would surely delete the life I lived,” Sa’ada explained.
Despite Usman’s best efforts, Sa’ada wouldn’t surrender to his pleas. Frustrated, Usman decided to inform Abu about it.
Zainab went to Sa’ada and sought her consent. At first, Sa’ada refused, but seeing how Abu was annoyed and hearing Abu’s words that she had to agree to make amends, Sa’ada accepted the offer to remarry Usman as a second wife.
The preparations for the weddings were complete, and the dates were set, matching those of Ummi and Ayatullah as well as Khadija and Fatahurrahman.
The customary exchange of wedding gifts from the groom’s family to the bride’s family was carried out, as is tradition in the Hausa community.
Usman was overjoyed. He couldn’t believe that Zainab was finally his once again. Additionally, he was happy to witness his daughter’s wedding.
The wedding ceremonies for both parents and children took place on Sunday morning, the 20th of September 2020. It was a grand and beautiful occasion, attended by family and friends.
Note: I’ve chosen not to elaborate on the wedding ceremony itself, as my brief explanation wouldn’t do justice to the event.
Three weeks after the wedding, school resumed. Ummi had decided not to go back to sleep after the Fajr (Dawn) prayer to ensure she finished her preparations on time and wasn’t late for school. However, she ended up falling asleep immediately after the prayers.
Upon returning from the mosque, Ayatullah smiled and picked her up, placing her on a four-seater chair. He then retrieved a blanket from their bed to cover her.
He knelt in front of the chair, staring at her. She was always beautiful, whether awake or asleep. Remembering he needed to prepare breakfast, he got up and went to the kitchen.
He cooked breakfast, set up the dining table, and prepared the bathroom, all before waking her up.
She was still asleep as he removed her top clothing and gently carried her to the bathroom. Staring at her sleeping comfortably on his chest, he realized she was such a heavy sleeper. He gently placed her in the bathtub, and she screamed, “Help!” fearfully, seeing him. But then she realized it was him and followed it with a playful, “So, it’s you.”
They playfully circled the living room and ended up in each other’s arms, cuddling for a moment. Ayatullah started kissing her lips, and his hand began to move toward her body. She pushed him slightly, jokingly. “Alright, let’s go. We’re going to be late.”
He smiled and followed her to the bathroom. They took a shower together, ate breakfast, and left for school.
Amira had been visiting Ummi’s place since morning in anticipation of her boyfriend’s arrival in the evening. Together with Ummi and Ayatullah, they busied themselves preparing snacks and drinks. Later in the day, Khadija and Fatahurrahman joined the gathering.
In the evening, as Amira’s boyfriend arrived, there was a collective surprise. It turned out to be Ahmad, Ummi’s best friend.
After a meal, Ummi couldn’t help but inquire, “How long have you guys been in this relationship?”
Ahmad, sporting a smile, replied, “Not that long.”
“Alright, why did you keep it a secret from me, your best friend?” Ummi playfully frowned as she asked.
“It’s not that I hid it from you; Amira begged me to keep it a secret for some time she wants to surprise you and I guess her plan succeed,” he explained.
“Eyye, you better apologize before I disapprove of the relationship,” Ummi teased.
Both Amira and Ahmad simultaneously said, “We’re sorry, Babbar Yaya,” looking meekly at the floor. Laughter filled the room.
After some more banter, Khadija turned to Fatahurrahman, saying, “My love, it’s time for us to leave.”
Ummi, in jest, asked, “Are you tired of being with us?”
Khadija grinned and replied, “Yes, I am tired. I want to be alone with the love of my life, just us.”
Ummi looked at her with her mouth wide open in mock surprise.
Ayatullah chimed in, “Don’t worry, dear. Let them go. We also need to be alone.” He held Ummi close, and they all shared a laugh.
Usman sat in the living room, engrossed in watching the news. Abu emerged from their bedroom and asked with deep affection in her eyes, “Is Sa’ada not back yet?”
A surge of energy coursed through Usman, and his eyes sparkled. He reached out his hand, inviting her, “Come here, dear.” She stepped closer and sat as he had beckoned.
He began running his fingers through her hair, holding her affectionately. “Can we stay like this?” he whispered.
Abu playfully chided, “So you can never grow up?”
“How can I grow up while I’m still young?” he replied, gently rubbing her hair.
She responded with a soft hum, “So young.”
“Yes, aren’t we still young?” he inquired.
“No, we’re not. Sa’ada saw a gray hair on my head the other day and checked yours too,” she replied, smiling.
Usman held her even tighter, as if he feared she might slip away. “It doesn’t mean anything. I’ve seen a two-year-old with gray hair,” he chuckled.
“But still, the years are passing,” she remarked.
He shrugged, “We can’t help it. Please, say nothing more. Let’s stay like this; I love your scent.” He pleaded.
They remained in that intimate embrace when Sa’ada returned from work. Zainaba pushed Usman lightly, as if trying to separate them.
“What are you doing, pushing him? Did I see that?” Sa’ada asked.
“Let me take a shower. We need to cuddle together, the three of us,” Sa’ada interrupted.
“Alright, dear. Be quick. I can’t wait to hold you all,” Usman said jokingly. Zainaba shook her head, and they all shared a laugh.
Alhamdulillah, the final chapter.
Finally, the book has come to an end as it should.
The author’s view about the book:
Please take a moment to read this; I implore you that it won’t be a waste of time, I promise.
You might not like the ending, I wanted to extend the story, but I couldn’t due to my busy schedule. I shaped the ending this way to highlight the importance of forgiveness in our lives. No matter how grave an offense, forgiving the offender can bring happiness, while holding grudges only destroys our own joy. Zainab forgiving Usman and Sa’ada was the best solution, and she showed her forgiveness by accepting them back into her life through marriage. The ending wasn’t the primary lesson; I wrote the story for four reasons.
First, because I love writing—it’s my passion.
The second reason behind this book is how broken homes lead to the development of broken children, consequently leading to a broken society. Yes, it’s true; many of the notorious people in our society are products of broken homes. For example, Ummi in this story was fortunate not to have a wicked stepmother, but she still had a psychological problem of believing that almost everyone, including her parents, hated her because her parents weren’t together. A simple word of caution from someone attempting to guide her would feel like an attack. This is a common experience for kids from broken homes. Children who grow up with both of their parents under the same roof tend to be the happiest and most confident kids.
For children with less fortunate circumstances, like Ummi, having an unsupportive stepmother can make life harder, leading to susceptibility to peer pressure. Many delinquents, including petty thieves and young smokers, often come from broken homes. Usman, for instance, turned to a life of drugs due to the tension caused by his stepmother. Sa’adah’s anger stemmed from her parents’ separation, and she longed for what Zainab had. Divorce, while permitted, isn’t always the best solution, as it has far-reaching consequences, affecting both children and society.
The third reason was friendship, and while it wasn’t the primary one, I know many of you might wonder why I chose to name the book “Our Friendship.” Well, I have a deep appreciation for friendship, and coming back to the book, the title was selected because I wanted to emphasize how crucial friends can be in our lives. A friend plays a vital role in our existence. While some might not believe that a friend can influence us, I wholeheartedly do. A friend has the power to enhance our lives and, conversely, can lead to the destruction of our happiness.
Let’s dive into what transpires in this book. Sa’ada had the opportunity to disrupt Zainab’s life because she was her best friend. A mere stranger would hardly have been able to do what Sa’ada did, and even if they did, Zainab might not have felt as betrayed. Moving on to Ummi’s life, Khadija’s friendship greatly impacted her life and altered her perspective. Similarly, in Usman’s case, his friendship with Zainab brought about a positive transformation in his life.
Now, onto the main reason for the book: depression due to societal pressure. Many of us experience depression because of family issues. Zainab’s depression, for example, was caused by her family’s mistreatment. Families sometimes mistreat their own due to factors beyond their control. If only Zainab’s family had listened when she sought divorce, things might have been resolved differently. After the divorce, if they had recognized their mistakes and treated her as a valued family member, she might not have been depressed.
Blaming someone for their own suffering doesn’t help; it only makes their burden heavier. Zainab and many women like her who are treated poorly by their partners don’t choose divorce lightly; it’s often the hardest decision they make.
Feel free to share your thoughts about the book in the comments. Thank you for reading. For any corrections or further communication about my book, you can message me on WhatsApp at 09028287218. Please use WhatsApp for contact.