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She woke up with a smile on her face. A slow, lazy one spreading across her face transforming a pretty face into a beautiful one. Before her body was fully aware that she was awake, her subconscious was reminding her that she had slept a happy girl. She turned lazily, while details of her smile started to filter into her mind. The smile grew wider.
“Salma!!” Her name on her mother’s tongue reverberated throughout the house. With a groan, she opened one eye. She had hoped she would be allowed a few moments to at least indulge in her memories. She heard her mother’s irritated voice getting closer and quickly jumped out of her bed. She doesn’t know what she’s done this time but she knows her mum well enough to know she should get out of bed before she gets to her room.
“I can’t believe this child. Subhanallah! She was brought into this world to test me! Dear Lord, what did I ever do to deserve this? Was I not a good daughter to my parents? Didn’t I follow the teachings of the Qur’an and pray my five salats? Have I not for 35 years been a good and dutiful wife to my husband? Why then was I given such a trial girl as my daughter?? God why?
Salma listened to the familiar tirade. She knows this speech. It always ended with her father being blamed for how she is because he spoils her. For as long as she could remember she was the bane of her mother’s existence. Salma was what you can call a retirement baby. Her parents had raised 3 sons between the ages of 11 and 7 before she was born. They had given up on having a daughter so she was a pleasant surprise. Her father and brothers dotted on her and her mother was always complaining. But despite her constant complaining her mother loved her deeply. Salma has pretty much managed to always get her way.
Salma rushed into the bathroom before her mother got to her room. Singing happily she got about her morning rituals. She vaguely wondered what had set off her mother this morning. But at the top of her mind was the activities of the previous evening. Her best friend was leaving the country and so there had been a farewell party for her. The loud knock interrupted her thoughts. ” Salma, how could you sleep this late when you know what day it is? We still have so much to do in preparation for the guests. The biriani is already marinating but you haven’t done the dough for the tandoori and the chicken needs to be prepared….!”
Her mother’s voice faded into the background as Salma stood frozen her toothbrush held mid-air. She finally remembered what had her mother in a frenzy this morning. The good feeling she had the whole morning suddenly disappeared and was replaced by a cold sinking feeling at the pit of her stomach. Today was THE day!