Chapter Twenty Two

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ARGH, this chapter was so difficult to load, because it has been pouring down rain where I live, ALL DAY, non-stop, so our wifi at home has been playing up. After waiting ten years i emailed the chapter to myself and then uploaded it through my phones 4G -.-

But I did it for my awesome readers <3 sorry for making you wait on a cliffhanger for so long! Enjoy!

#Chapter Twenty Two#

A pregnant silence ensued.

"Tariq," I started with a shaky breath. He was quick to look down at the floor, as if he couldn't bear whatever I was going to say. "Promise me you won't hurt me," I blurted out, my throat making a rasping sound as I took in a deep breath. I didn't intend for my voice to come out sounding so weak, so vulnerable, but whether I liked to admit it or not, I was scared.

His head snapped up towards me, his expression screaming confusion. "Sameena, why would I want to hurt you?" His grey eyes searched my face, eventually resting on my eyes. "That's the last thing I'd want to do," he whispered.

"How can I trust you?" I asked quietly, the painful question lingering in the air between us.

I glanced up at Tariq and found him staring at me with sad, painful eyes - not in a manner that was sympathetic but rather, as if he was pondering who had broken me to this extent. Wondering who it was that had caused a fracture in my confident and self-assured demeanour. "Only you can answer that question Sameena," came his final answer.

There was another moment of silence as he stood afore me with his hands in the pockets of his dress pants, his back hunched in dejection. He silently watched me as I took a moment to compose myself and as much as I willed the tears to stop, my body wasn't having it. "I want to do this Tariq, I really do. But first, I want you to understand that there are going to be a lot of times in our relationship where I'm going to become fearful...where I might suddenly detach in doubt because my suspicion and uncertainty consume me. I don't trust people easily Tariq...I'm sure that I'll surpass this phase with you, but I'm telling you this because I don't want you to get frustrated with me in the future. I need time Tariq, time to grow out of my fears." I let go of the railing and took one step closer to him. "Do you understand what I'm saying?"

He nodded his head. "I understand Sameena. What I don't understand is why you ever thought I wouldn't." He took a step closer to me too, his eyes never leaving my face. "I want you to know that I will wait and be as patient as you need me to. I don't know exactly what's happened with you, in your past, but I promise I'll do everything in my power to be the man that you want." His tone of voice was equally serious and sensitive and his grey eyes which were still staring intently into mine, were pushing me to believe his words.

I analysed his face for any signs of falsehood and fortunately for me, I found none. I bestowed him with a small smile. "Don't betray me Tariq."

He smiled in return. "And you Miss Ahmad, don't give up on me."

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I'm sure it didn't look too good when Tariq and I emerged a few minutes later back into the garden. We got some curious looks, especially from Ziad, Sarah and Mira, but since it was mostly family, everybody knew us too well to judge viciously.

I had quickly checked myself in one of our hanging mirrors to see if my face gave away that I was crying but once Tariq assured me I looked like a sad bunny and not like a witch who's make-up was running down her face, I resolved to just dab at my eyes with a tissue.

"Is everything OK?" Salem asked, walking up to the both of us discreetly. He adjusted the wire in his ear and kept his hands intertwined at his back. His eyes flickered to Tariq with an accusatory look, studying him as if he was the next biggest criminal.

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