Chapter 20

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Yusra unlocked the front door, stepped inside, and resisted the urge to just collapse in tears. She knew she was being unreasonable. She knew she was being difficult, and her heart went out to her husband. She missed his touch, she missed his embrace. She missed being able to talk and laugh with him. She missed his kisses, she couldn’t help but think as she pressed a hand lightly to her lips. It was the first time they had kissed in two weeks, and not for lack of him trying. She just wasn’t in the mood. She knew she wasn’t being fair to him, she just felt horrible. She was so sick. Sicker than she had been in a very long time, and the worse she felt, the more annoyed she got. She didn’t have the energy to cook or clean anymore, even carrying Kareem was a strain on her, and the baby wasn’t heavy. She didn’t know what could have caused this sudden relapse, and it scared her. A lot. She wanted nothing more than to share her fears with Amir. After all he was her best friend. But for some reason her emotions were getting the better of her, and she was finding herself putting up this wall between them. She didn’t know if it was due to her emotions or her pride that she was having trouble letting him in.

As she stepped into the living room, she found Kareem asleep on the couch next to Hana, and Layla laying on the floor in front of the television watching Arthur. Hana looked up from where she was reading a book, and gave Yusra a small smile. Almost immediately Yusra could tell something was wrong.

“Are you okay Hana?” she asked, and Hana nodded, quickly swiping under her eyes. As she stood up to give Yusra a hug, she paused, peering into her face anxiously.

“I think the question is are you okay Yusra?”

To the surprise of both of them, Yusra exploded into a fit of tears, and a startled Hana put her arms around her. She just sobbed into Hana’s shoulder, wishing Amir was there to hold her, and as Layla turned to look at them in concern, Hana led her to the kitchen, sitting her down in one of the chairs.

“My dear what’s wrong?” Hana asked anxiously, and Yusra shook her head, burying her face in the tissue Hana handed her.

“Oh Hana.” She managed to get out before a fresh wave of sobs escaped her, and Hana patted her back before getting up and setting on the kettle for tea. A few minutes later, Yusra had calmed down, and gave Hana a sheepish smile as she dabbed at her eyes. “I’m sorry for losing it like that. I do apologize.”

“Don’t be sorry. Is there anything I can do for you?”

Yusra sighed, and began to unpin her Hijab.

“I wish you could. I just,” she paused, her eyes roving over Hana’s face. “You won’t tell anyone right?”’

“Of course not.” Hana said, taking a seat next to her.

“Amir and I have been fighting. A lot. And I know its my fault, habibi he has been nothing but supportive even though I have been awful to him. I just, I don’t know how to make it right.”

“Can I be frank Yusra?”

“Of course.”

Hana leaned in close, a smile on her face.

“You apologize.”

Yusra gave a small smile.

“I don’t think it is that easy.”

“But it can be. Can I be frank again?”

Yusra’s eyebrow raised again.

“Go ahead.”

“You just need to put your ego aside.”

“I don’t think it works like that.” Yusra said with a sigh, and Hana crossed her legs, watching her in disbelief.

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