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Zinar was in her mother's room. She came nine days ago. It was the first time she had come home during her first semester break. She had started under going cultural body conditioning though it was relatively light since she wasn't moving in and it was just nikkah but she still complained. The scrubbing, the waxing, tuning. The body therapy was tiring.

"I just want to have a wedding Fatiha and a walima and maybe one function" she said to Khadijah while making the bed.

"Wait! You dey play abi? What do you mean just wedding Fatiha and walima? Wedding Fatiha is for men and walima is for old people. So we don't have an event? We don't get to dance? That is not happening whether you want it or not we are having all the necessary events plus the unnecessary ones." She said rather determined.

"There is already going to be a walima from his said, the event will be too much" she whined. Khadijah eyed her before tuning back to what she was doing.

"He is an Arab, how could you let your daughter marry an Arab Zahra'u?" they heard one of the mothers cousin spat.

Zinar looked at Khadija who just told her to ignore them. She had been hearing people say stuff about Ahmad and her. Some say she was marrying him because of the money, some say he was playing her. She was sick of it, all the comments, the venom. People would not mind their business that was why she wanted it to be low key but she knew it was impossible. She had to go through the Nigerian wedding party and Arabian wedding party. She couldn't imagine the exhaustion. The good thing was at the moment it was just a nikkah so it was mostly men and they were to come on the wedding day and live after the walima.

She was awake all through the night. She pulled out her phone and dialed Ahmad's number. It was to 12, she was in the same room as Amna, Nafisa and Zainab. Zainab came a week after Zinar came back. Amna and Nafisa arrived together with their mothers three days ago. They have been so excited. All their dresses fit thanks to Khadijah who took care of it all. Nabil took them around for site seeing. They decided to spend New Years Eve at Zinar's since the next day was the nikkah.

"As salamu aliakum" she greeted

"Wa aliakum salaam" he replied wondering as to why she called him at that time. "Is everything ok?"

"Yeah, Just can't sleep"

"Me neither". They went quiet for a few seconds. It was New Years Eve. New year was Friday and their wedding fatiha.

"How are you feeling" she bit her lips nervously. She had been tossing and turning. Anti Jummai- her mother's younger sister- Khadija's mother made sure the bride and the bride's maid got to bed early. The house was a crowd, people were still frying and cooking all sort of things. Zinar wondered how it would be during the ceremony if the nikkah was that crowdie.

"If your asking whether am nervous, scared? Hell I am, am terrified" he chuckled causing her to do the same. "How about we pray two rakats or four. Ask Allah to make it easy for us"

"Okay". They did as planed and went to sleep after Ahmad sent her a New Year massage. "It's the beginning of a new year. Am fortunate that we get to start it as a couple In Sha Allah. May Allah put barka in our lives and Noor in our family. Happy new year. I love you." she read it with a smile on her face as her heart raced to the end of the sentence.

Zinar woke up by the high pitch noise coming out from the next room. Apparently everybody was awake except her, Anti Jummai said to let her sleep some more because later she might not be able to.

"Ha! You're awake. Let me call the mai gyaran jiki" Zainab walked out of the room. She came back to the room with the woman who does Zinar's conditioning. They did the conditioning, Zinar took her bath and got dressed into a gown. She sat down with her close friends and cousins as they gist and gossiped. She didn't invite a lot of people, some where in school or had traveled or were writing exams. She told them all not to worry since she was having the ceremony when everybody was around.

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