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Zinar called her mother. It was their second day of fasting. She had not spoke to Ahmad since the day he visited.

"Haba mama, you have forgotten me" she whined

"Am so, so sorry. My data has finished and I haven't subscribed I cannot with all the long distance calls".

"How are you and work" she asked. They exchanged all the pleasantries. Her mother asked about Zainab and their school and she asked about her siblings and spoke to each of them except for Abakar.

"Mama" she called quietly shutting her eyes, pondering whether to ask or not. "Were you sure when you were marrying baba?" she asked and a part of her regretted it instantly. She was scared. Table's turned and things you least expect happened. She couldn't imagine whom she would end up with and thinking it was Ahmad didn't make things any easier. What if it was Nasr? The guy that visited her father the same day Khalid's father did. He seemed nice and educated. They spoke and met a couple of times and they got along ok. Or Awwal who she couldn't stand, he was so full of himself. Or Alhaji Sani that is atleast 20 years older than her and wouldn't stop calling. Her cries had been endless those past months. She just prayed that Allah gave her wisdom to know what was right and the courage to do it. She prayed that marriage was not her trial nor was her kids.

"Zinar we don't ever fully get ready for marriage even when we think we are. You have got to have faith, believe in Allah and pray" she replied with her typical mother wisdom.

Zinar listened, a painful lump forming in her throat. She closed the mouthpiece an exhaled deeply she wiped the tears that were threatening to fall.

"Are you ok" her mother asked her voiced laced with concern.

"ye- yeah" her voiced trailed.

"Is everything ok, are you crying" she panicked. Zinar was never a crier, even when she was younger and was beaten by her elders or in school she hardly cried.

Zinar gritted her teeth, she shut her eyes fighting the tears. "Crying?" she chuckled "its just the cold it hasn't gone completely" she lied. She didn't want to work her mother up.

"Do you need me to come? Should I tell your father? Is everything ok?"

"Maaaa, ha! am fine it's just a question" she laughed to ease her mother's tension.

"Are you sure?"


"Toh please pray hard. Dan Allah, dan Annabi".

She told her about all the men including Ahmad and their three days fast. "May Allah guide us all. Be careful"

Ahmad was on his why to Zinar's. She had called earlier, that she needed to speak with him. It was a Monday afternoon. They finished their fasting on Saturday as planned.

"Hi. Please come on in" she said to him after she had opened the door.

He looked at her she looked normal. He was trying to figure out why she called him. As much as he was very pleased to see her name come up on his screen he dread the actual reason. He sat down and she got him some snacks. "I should offer you tea or coffee but am not sure how you like it"

"Oh you don't have to. Thank you."

"You know usually in Nigeria we don't ask visitor whether they want anything we just bring it"

"Why" he asked thinking it was ridiculous

"Because sometimes people are shy." She shrugged "they want something but they're not confortable enough to ask."

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