HER Stories: Samira

Another fictional story for the series about a young unmarried Muslim woman who falls pregnant and how men and women who make the same mistakes suffer vastly different consequences. 


 

She was pregnant. Pregnant. She had been trying to get hold of him continuously for days. Sometimes the phone rang out and eventually went to his voicemail.  Sometimes it seemed to get cut off, without going to voicemail at all. Usually it went straight to voicemail.
She knew the street he lived on. She had gotten to the point of contemplating knocking on every house on his street until she found him. Until she could share this weight on her shoulders that was on the verge of crushing her.
She had never felt so alone in her life. Every where she turned were people, yet she had never felt so detached from everyone. So detached from her life.
She tried to push down all of the feelings of despair and heartbreak. How he had so completely abandoned her. He had dropped her just like that. Straight after they’d spent a night together. She tried to ignore the inner rage at herself, at her naivety, at her foolishness. She had to fight the urge to hate herself, right now she was all she had.

She did hate herself, though. For falling for his lies, for being lead astray by him and for doing what he wanted because she didn’t know how to say no. All she wanted was him, to make him happy and for him to want her. And now she was pregnant.

After a week of ringing him endlessly since she had found out, finally she got through.

“Hey.” He said casually, bored even.

“Hassan, where have you been? I’ve been trying to get hold of you for a week!” She tried to keep the desperation out of her voice.

“Oh right, sorry I’ve been busy with family, work, everything you know.”

“Ok. Well, we need to talk.”

“We do?”

“Can we meet?” She would much rather tell him face to face, for reasons she’d rather not admit to herself; namely, so that he couldn’t just hang up on her and pretend he hadn’t heard.

“Erm maybe one evening next week, so hectic at work though.” She could practically hear him trying to weasel his way out of it.

“Forget it. I’ll just tell you now.” She steadied her breathing but she was sure he must be able to hear her heart pounding through the phone.

“Ok…” he had finally cottoned on to the seriousness of the conversation.

“I’m pregnant.” She cut straight to the point.

There was a long silence as she held her breath for his response.

“Hassan?” She prompted him.

“Well, is it mine?” He accused.

The rage that surged through her made her feel sick and in that moment she hated him more than she had ever thought she loved him.

“Yes, it’s yours! You are the only-” she hissed and then trailed off, her anger stealing her words from her.

“Ok. So what do you want me to do?” She didn’t know what reaction she had expected from him, but it wasn’t this.

“I want your help? We need to talk about what we’re gonna do!”

“Which is what?” His words were so distant, his tone uncaring.

“Well we should get married before it’s -”

“Woah, Samira? Married? You know I’m not ready for marriage.”

“You should have thought about that before-”

“It takes two to tango. Marriage isn’t an option.” He stated coldly.

“Things have changed, though, surely?”

“Look, I’m working on getting a promotion. Right now, that’s my priority.”

She was speechless. How had she fallen for this man? This man who would abandon her so easily. This man who would cast her aside as easily as an old pair of socks.

“What am I supposed to do?” She asked, mostly to herself, as the tears slid down her cheeks.

“There’s an easy way to make this problem go away.” He informed her.

Samira pulled the phone away from her ear and hung up while he was still talking. That was the last time they spoke.

She felt numb. Any hope she had had of coming through this situation unscathed had evaporated with his harsh objections. The reality that now faced her made her feel like she was drowning. She lay down in her bed and buried her face in her pillow as the sobs escaped her. How she wished she could fall asleep and never wake up, to never have to face the consequences of what she had done. To be free of responsibility of this, as he was. She was truly alone now, no help or comfort would come from Hassan.

It takes two to tango. She remembered so clearly the dread and uneasiness that had washed over her as she realised what was happening. As she realised she couldn’t turn back. As she opened her mouth to protest but found herself unable to speak.

***

Samira left it as long as she could before she told her parents. She waited and prolonged until it couldn’t be ignored anymore. She delayed because she knew what would come. She knew. She wanted to spend as much time as could, while she was still a part of the family. She wanted to cherish every moment with her three younger siblings, who she knew she would never be allowed to see again.
Samira had already put her name on the waiting list for a flat, in preparation. When the conversation finally came and the accusations and spiteful words were flung at her, she didn’t flinch. She had mentally prepared herself for this moment for 5 months.
She didn’t protest or plead with her parents as they showed her the door. She simply took her bags, which were already packed, and walked out of the house, not before looking back and telling them she loved them.
Two hours later, her aunty Khadija called her. Aunty Khadija was a niqabi, the most pious one of all the family by far.
Samira answered hesitantly. “Assalamu alaykum aunty.”
“Walaykum assalam, where are you, Samira?” Her tone was concerned.
“I’m just walking, I don’t know. I’m near the park” Samira mumbled.
“Uncle will come and pick you up, you’ll stay with us. No arguments.”
Samira fumbled for words but Aunty hushed her and reassured her that Uncle would be there soon.
Samira stayed with Khadija until her flat was available. Samira had always feared her judgment from afar. Knowing that she was a niqabi; she fasted on Mondays and Thursdays; she read Qur’an everyday; Samira had assumed that her judgment for being unmarried and pregnant would be far worse than even her parents’ had been. How the opposite was true. Khadija was kinder and more compassionate to her than anyone. She was the only one.
When Samira’s flat became available, Khadija still visited her every few days as would her husband sometimes. Samira had wished she could move far away, rather than be surrounded by ghosts, strangers and a past so abstract from her future, but she had to take what was available to her.
Samira was petrified of giving birth. She wanted her mum by her side, reassuring her. She wanted a husband to support her and be there for her through all her pain. She wanted her family back.
Samira gave birth, with Khadija at her side, to a baby girl. As soon as she held her baby in her arms she murmured, “Noor”. For that’s what she was; her only light and hope in the dark world she was surrounded by. Samira felt sad now, not for herself but for her daughter, at the heavy absence of the streams of family and friends to visit her.
Khadija continued to visit Samira and Noor regularly and would often give updates of everything happening in the family. Who had a cold, who got a new job, her siblings’ grades and her parents arguments. After a while, Samira asked her to stop. It became too painful for her to know the ins and outs of a family who shunned her and cast her aside as easily as the father of her child had.

 

***
A few months after Noor was born, Samira ventured out to the supermarket with her, feeling brave and strong as she embraced her single motherhood. She pushed Noor in her pram with a basket on her arm as she wandered down the aisles. She turned the corner and froze at the sight of her mother. Her mother’s eyes pierced her like thorns as she stared coldly at her before turning and walking out of the supermarket, leaving her trolley in the middle of the aisle. Despite her best efforts, Samira crumpled to the floor in tears of grief and disbelief. The shock and pain of her own mother’s coldness was suffocating. She hadn’t even looked at Noor.

It was the encounter of another ghost which proved too much for Samira to bear. Two years later, walking with her bouncing and delightful Noor in the park, she saw a young couple walking towards her. The woman was heavily pregnant, they were holding hands and laughing with one another. Samira felt her usual prickle of jealousy when she saw such couples as these but when she saw his face, she felt a throb of indescribable pain pulsate throughout her. Hassan. She picked up Noor and unintentionally caught his eye as she did so. He looked from her to Noor and back again. She saw the recognition on his face before he coolly looked away and ever so slightly quickened his pace as they walked past.

Samira found her self gasping for air and unable to move for what felt like hours. With Noor tugging at her hands, she fumbled along. She was traumatised by the vastly different paths their lives had taken. He had carried on his life as though nothing had happened, literally. His family, all blissfully unaware of this life she held in her arms, that was a part of him. Would they even care if they knew? Probably not. They would blame Samira for tempting him or trying to entrap him. Something. Now, he was married and expecting another baby. A half sibling to Noor. How could his life be so unaffected by the events which had so drastically changed Samira’s. Abandoned and disowned by her family while his family cheered him on. Samira felt sure that she would never get married, her mother had kindly informed her that no man would want used and damaged goods. Those had been her last words to her.

That was when Samira knew she must leave. She had to make a life for her and Noor, somewhere far away. With the help of Khadija and her husband, Samira had found a flat and despite their protests, she knew she had to leave. She didn’t want Noor to grow up in a town where her blood relatives were strangers to her. Samira knew Noor would soon have many questions for her. Where was her daddy? Where were her grandparents? Samira didn’t know what she would say yet, but she felt sick at the thought of Noor knowing the truth.
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24 thoughts on “HER Stories: Samira

  1. Booky Glover says:

    That’s how young women get ostracized for getting pregnant out of wedlock. It happens here in Nigeria too, just that some families may not be so severe in their punishment like that of Samira’s. They really should stop to think. What if she got an abortion? Would she have remained holy in their eyes? Would ignorance be so much bliss? Young women fall into men trap everyday and if there is no one to guide them disasters will continue. We will have more unmarried women, children who do not know their fathers and a society where judgement rather than mercy rules.

    Like

    • Safiyah says:

      Yes exactly, even though it was the actions of both of them she is the one that pays for it for the rest of her life… Very good question, probably preferable as long as nobody knows about it and reputation remains intact. So true.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Romina says:

    It’s so well written, and so sad to know that things like this happen everyday. It’s honestly heartbreaking what some poor sisters have to go through because of a simple mistake. SubhanAllah.

    Liked by 2 people

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