Chapter Twenty Three.

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Sorry guys, it's a short chapter. My sister-in-law went into labour today and alhamdulillah I have a new born niece! : ) I was between uni and the hospital so this is all I managed to write!

Enjoy!

#Chapter Twenty Three#

{Unedited}

"Sameena...I don't even know what to say." 

"I know it's a lot to take in..." I glanced down at my pale fingers and heaving a sigh, I looked back up at him with a gentle smile. "But I thought that you should at least know. Only a select few people know about this and in regards to the press, they were given a false backstory. So I would appreciate it, if you could keep this information between us."

Tariq shook his head vigorously. "Of course..." He began to jiggle his right leg up and down, simultaneously running a hand through his hair and exhaling in frustration. "I just don't understand how someone could be that evil...to do this to you. How did your father react?" 

I let out a humorous laugh. "Baba? It was Salem they were worried about. After I heard the confession straight from his mouth that night and couldn't help but faint, Aiman had evidently tried to make a run for it and escape. Unfortunately for him, Salem was on guard at the foot of the entrance and when he saw how panicked Aiman was, he immediately became suspicious and questioned him. Out of fear, Aiman ended up admitting the truth seconds after that and I remember waking up a few minutes later, coming down the stairs and finding Salem on top of his unconscious body, shaking his hand out."

Tariq chuckled dryly. "He deserved it." 

"Salem hauled his body onto a sofa and left him there. I was too emotional unstable at the time, so Salem was the one who had to break the news to my family." I felt salty tears blur my vision but I quickly blinked them away before he could see. "Next came Ziad's wrath. He didn't wait even a second to punch him in the nose just as he'd awoken, knocking him unconscious for a second time in the span of an hour." I rubbed at my eyes, mentally berating myself when some kohl lined my finger. I forgot I was wearing some light make-up. "Anyway, after that baba, Ziad and even Salem felt terribly guilty for everything that had happened. They believed that they should have been able to see through his facade; especially baba. But I don't think any of us could have anticipated such a motive." 

"I have a sister and believe me, I would have felt exactly the same if that had happened to her." He shook his head sadly and turned to me. "I'm really sorry Sameena. For everything that you had to go through."

I smiled. "Don't apologise. In fact, looking back now, I feel blessed. Allah SWT by testing me with people like Aiman, was honouring me. I have developed into a better person because of them. Back then, I was so naive, quick to fancy myself in love and maturely ready for a relationship. I put too much trust into Aiman especially, I gave him too much power over my happiness and that's where I went wrong. Because that power should have stayed with Allah SWT, but I let it slip loose." 

"So you believe that by prioritising someone else above Allah SWT in your life is a greater sin than what Aiman did," Tariq questioned thoughtfully.

"Exactly." 

He smiled one of his breathtaking smiles. "I would agree and that really speaks volumes about your character. But I can't help but feel like you take too much upon yourself Sameena." 

My eyes flickered to his worried face and I felt my heart lurch in something close to affection, despite everything we had been talking about this evening. "It doesn't matter because I've learnt my lesson." 

"There are some exceptionally selfish people out there and I'm glad that you didn't let them break you down into complete pieces. That would have been a shame." 

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