Chapter Eight» Regret

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Aazeen

The call to prayer had echoed across each corner.  Waking old and young, inviting them to pray.  To bow before their lord.

No music, no instrument. Nothing could compare to the peace and calmness, of the Azaan when it's being  called out.  It's the sense of belonging.  The sense of at home,  one feels when they hear Azaan being called out.  Its incomparable.

Sighing softly.  I folded the prayer matt,  placing it on the white cupboard beside me.  Taking my scarf and putting it loosely on my head.  I glanced towards Ammar's sleeping form.

He was dressed in a simple grey top. The thick raven of his hair,  that always looked neat now remained shaggy and disheveled, across the white pillow.  His face looked relaxed.  Almost innocent like.  With no worry in the world.

Inhaling softly. I stalked towards the bedroom door, before opening it.  The cold morning air hit against me,  making cold shivers run down my arms. The entire mansion was quiet.  An eerie like whisper resided each corner, as I found myself walking down the large spiral staircase hearing,  a small conversation.

It was undeniable that Ammar's Parents house, was beautiful.  Each corner,  each wall was beautifully carved with marble and stones of every kind.  Decorating it.  Gripping ones attention. The ceiling of the large Hall,  had Arabic words written in italic,  though I suspect it wasn't any passage from the Holy Quran. 

Ammar's father, Hamad.  Was truly a mesmerising man. With his six feet tall figure and kind Brown eyes,  anyone would want to sit down with him and indulge in a conversation.  He looked the type, that would come home and read his grandchildren stories of old times. One wouldn't  mistake him,  for a high ranking officer in the Kuwait Army.

" Assalam Alaikum (Peace be upon You). I spoke softly.  Looking at Gul Jaan,  seeing her place the Quran on the tall cupboard. As she slowly turned around, surprise evident in her eyes.

" Walikum Salam (Peace be upon you too). Aazeen,  what are you doing up so early? " she asked in Pashto, sitting down on the black leather sofa and patting the spot  beside her. 

" I prayed my Fajr and couldn't get some sleep,  so I thought I'd come down here and see if anyone's awake" I said slowly.  Seeing a huge smile on her face, making her cheeks rosy.

"Alhamdulilah (All praise to Allah).  I had always wanted a pious wife for my Ammar, and here you are." she said lovingly,  making heat rise on my cheeks, from the women's awe struck face. 

" Thank you" I said softly.  Seeing her pinch my cheeks and laugh softly at my embarrassd face. " Aazeen, could you be a darling and take that tray to Ammar. I was going to take it but I suspect your Uncle Hamad is awake and wants to go for his morning Jog"  she asked softly.  Her eyes warm making me hesitate but agree nonetheless. 

I could hear Gul Jaan call one of the maids,  as they brought the tray filled with food.  Standing up,  I thanked the woman seeing her surprised face. 
I don't think they're accustomed to anyone thinking them. I mentally whispered,  holding the heavy tray in my hands. 

Inhaling sharply I proceeded towards the large spiral staircase,  praying to Allah,  I don't fall and embarrass myself.  It all looks fancy and nice but Lord, it isn't nice taking a tray filled with food upstairs.

Dada hated us eating separately,  he made sure everyone comes down and eat breakfast and dinner at the same time, on the same place.  

Dada found it hard,  especially due to his old age to sit on the floor and eat,  but insisted that we are no better than the companions of the blessed Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)  and we should eat on the floor.

So as a family we were accustomed to eating on the floor,  rather on the table and mind you.  The table wouldn't be able to fit half of the family,  never mind the entire household.  If its one thing I've learnt in my three  years in Pakistan.  Is that  the love and solidarity amongst the family,  is incomparable.

In London,  we barely found the time to sit down and eat together.  Never mind have  tea or coffee in the night time whilst watching a movie. 

My train of thoughts stopped as I reached the familiar white door.  Pushing it open with my free hand,  I was glad I left it slightly ajar.  Walking inside,  I closed the door with my foot,  feeling my eyes travel towards a sleeping Ammar. 

How much does he sleep? 

I mentally whispered. Placing the tray filled with food on the bed stand next to him. Unsure of what to do, I reached towards his bulging arms.  Feeling my hand press against it.

"Ammar, hey wake up.  Ammar." I spoke pushing against his arm,  whilst looking at my feeble attempts.  "Anmar wake up" I spoke a little louder earning a grunt from him as he turned around, causing his hair to cover his face.

Breathing in heavily,  frustration overwhelmed me as I pushed his hair aside,  reveling his face.  That looked rather annoyed if that was possible during sleep.

"Ammar wake up.  I've brought food" I said annoyed at the man,  seeing him move.  "Not now Aazeen,  I'll do it later babes"  he spoke softly. His hand holding on to mine, making me tense.

Cold shivers ran down my spine, as I moved my hand away from him.  Seeing his eyes shoot open. Shocked evident on them. Standing up abruptly I moved away from the bed, seeing him sit up. His eyes landing on me. 

Inhaling sharply, I looked down seeing  Ammar stand up, and walk towards the bathroom without a single word.  Confusion dawned on me, yet it soon disappeared as the ringing of my phone echoed across my ears.

Walking towards it. I held it up swiping at the Caller ID.

"Hey Zee.  You twąt forgotten us already. Listen darling no time to talk Dada was saying,  what time are you coming home today? You know so we can come and pick you up" Sumbal excited voice spoke up, making my eyes widen. 

Ah yes.  I was going home today. As tradition and customs in the Pashtun culture. A few days after the wedding,  the bride goes to her maternal house,  to spend some time with them before coming back to her In-Laws.

Excitement surged through me, as I spoke.  My voice confident. "I don't know bumblebee,  but I'll ask and ring you back" I said earning a groan from the girl as the line went deąd. 

Turning around.  I could see Ammar walk out of the bathroom. A towel around his shoulders and neck, as he looked towards me. His eyes emotionless.  A masked look plastered his features making him sit down on the bed, and reach towards the tray.

Biting on my lower lip.  I went towards him, seeing the man look up at me.  Something flashing within his eyes. 

" I er. My sister rang and she was wondering what time they should come, and pick me up" I said seeing his jaw harden as he looked down at his toast.  An uncomfortable Silence dawned on us, as he spoke. His voice hard.

" Whats my name Aazeen? " he asked.  Almost emotionless making me tense. His once soft look was now replaced with a hard emotionless one,  making me stiffen. My breathing halting.

"Ammar" I said softly. Seeing something flash within his eyes, but it soon disappeared as he stood up, his towering figure intimidating mine.

"Then you want to tell me, my dear Wife. Why you used another man's name in your sleep?"

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