One Hundred and Forty Four

As narrated by Amz:

Instantly I panic.

Not now not now please not now. 

A knot forming in my stomach, I step forward, moving towards Dee and her mother.

But Zee is faster, calmer.

I watch as he casually steps between them and smiles his million dollar smile, saying a few words to Aunty Salma.

Joining them I hear Zee politely greet and then step back.

I’m there now, ready to rescue Dee from the situation, but she’s already stepping forward to embrace her mother.

I turn to Zee, looking at him with immense gratitude.

That’s all Dee needed. A few seconds to compose herself. To once again “shut down”.

Sighing, I suddenly realize that I can’t wait to get home..

After greeting everyone, we all get into the car.

Just before Dee gets in, she turns, looks at her mother and says, “No, Maama. We’re not.”

Then, without a second glance she slips into the car.

*****

“I am so, so, SO proud of you!” Meez exclaims, turning in his seat to face Dee once we’re on the road again.

“I’m even more proud of you!” Zee yells, side hugging her.

“I’m the most proud of you!” I say, squeezing her from the other side.

Dee smiles, saying nothing.

“Well this clearly calls for a celebration,” Uncle Ismaeel says from the front. “Rameez, phone mummy and tell her to get ready, we’re coming to pick her up.”

“What was Sumayya’s story?” Uncle Ismaeel asks us as Meez reaches for his phone.

“She needed to do some last minute shopping for her cousin’s wedding I think,” I say.

“I’m sure she’ll be done by now though,” says Zee, looking at the time on his phone.

“Check with her,” says Uncle Ismaeel. “Then she and Hamza can join us.”

I dial Sumayya’s number and press the call button.

“Hey, Assalaamualaikum!” greets Sumayya.

“Wa’alaykum Saalam,” I reply. “Howzit?”

“Good, good,” replies Sumayya. “How did everything go?”

“Urm, fine, I think,” I reply. “Alhamdullilah.”

“You’re done shopping?” I ask.

“Yeah, got back, like, 20 minutes ago.”

“Got any plans now?”

“Nope. Why?”

“Okay, meet us at Uncle Ismaeel’s place in 10 minutes.”

“10 minutes?!” screeches Sumayya. “You know how I hate when you give me such short notice. It bloody takes me ten minutes to tie my hijaab!”

“Bring Hamza with,” I add, grinning.

“Obviously!” she grumbles. “How else will I get there?!”

Laughing, I cut the call.

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*****

“I’m kind of tired..” says Dee. “But we can if you guys want to.”

We’re all gathered in the lounge at Uncle Ismaeel and Aunty Aadila’s place.

Uncle Ismaeel initially wanted to take us all out to eat, but Dee wasn’t up for it. Neither was Sumayya; something about what happens to her hijaab when she eats!

Aunty Aadila then suggested we pack a tea basket and go to the gardens as it will be more peaceful, but that idea was “too boring” for Meez.

“We could just chill out here at home,” suggests Meez.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea,” Zee says to Meez. “What you’ll reckon?”

“Good with me,” Sumayya and Hamza say in unison.

Aunty Aadila and Uncle Ismaeel nod in agreement.

“Amz? Dee?” asks Zee.

I look at Dee.

She shrugs.

“Look, I think let’s call it a day. I mean, it has been a pretty hectic day emotionally. Especially for Dee. Let her rest it out, then tomorrow we can plan something.”

Unanimously agreeing to that, we all part ways.

Hamza offers to drop Dee and I. Gratefully accepting we greet Uncle Ismaeel and Aunty Aadila and head out.

In the car, Sumayya gives us a rundown of her shopping extravaganza.

“It took me so long to find a dress I thought I would never find one!” says Sumayya.

“Yeah, you should have just listened to mummy and decided on something from your cupboard!” says Hamza, rolling his eyes at her.

“Are you perhaps mad?!?!” asks Sumayya, looking at him in horror. “How can I wear something from my cupboard for Shakoo’s wedding?!”

“I don’t see what’s wrong with that,” mumbles Hamza.

“That’s probably because you’re a boy!” I say, laughing.

“Well, maybe partially,” grins Hamza.

“I still can’t believe she’s getting married!” Sumayya says for the umpteenth time. “Like, she’s the last person I expected to get married!”

“How come though? She’s not so young, is she?” I ask curiously.

“She is!!” chorus Sumayya and Hamza.

“She only just turned 20 last week!” exclaims Sumayya.

“Yeah, so that’s not soo young,” I say.

What?! Amz! It is!” says Sumayya, looking at me, horrified.

I grin at her reaction.

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“Well what do you think is the right age, then?” I ask.

“I don’t know. Like, 25, maybe 24. But definitely not twenty!”

“25?!” asks Hamza, looking surprised. “That’s old!”

“I think 20 is a nice age. Like you finish school at 18, have a year to yourself and then you move on in life. Like, to the next chapter,” I say. “That’s what my mother did…”

“But what if you want to study?” asks Sumayya.

“My naani wasn’t in favour of girls studying, because that’s what happens then. You start studying.. three four years go. You’re 23, 24 by then. And according to her that’s too late. Like, that’s the age a guy should get married,” I explain, remembering the time I had this conversation with my mother.

“Naah. I wouldn’t do that. Like, even if you don’t study, why would you want to get married so young. I mean, marriage is such a major thing,” argues Sumayya.

We’ve reached home now, but we continue talking in the car.

“And if you get married so young, you’re so much less mature and experienced. Like, that just calls for a disaster,” adds Sumayya.

“But that’s not everyone, Su. Like Amz can run a house almost entirely on her own and she’s only 16,” points out Hamza.

“Ya but she doesn’t have a husband and kids to look after,” says Sumayya.

“Dee is like 5 children!” I say teasingly, looking at Dee.

“Sorry,” she mumbles sheepishly, trying to hide her smile.

“Just troubling you,” I say with a grin giving her a side hug.

“What’s your opinion, Dee?” asks Sumayya.

We all turn our attention to her, waiting for her response.

“Eyh, this conversation is too hectic for me,” she says casually, avoiding the question.

“Amz, house keys?” she asks, looking at me.

“Yeah,” I reply, reaching into my sling bag.

Greeting Hamza and Sumayya, Dee gets out of the car.

“So how did the whole reunion thing go?” Hamza asks as Dee’s figure disappears into the house.

I don’t reply immediately, unsure as to what would be the correct answer.

“You know, to be honest…” I start. “For us, it went fairly well. But I definitely can’t speak for Dee and her mother. Dee was barely herself but she put on the ‘I’m perfectly okay’ front. Like, they spoke comfortably, there were no awkward silences and uncontrollable tears, but I don’t know if it would have been better had there been.”

I pause, a sigh escaping my lips.

“And Aunty Salma was there, but also not there at all. I don’t know how to explain it. I felt like that when my parents passed away. It’s like, you know when someone chases you, and they’re not fast enough to catch you but they’re also not slow. They’re right behind you all the time, you can feel their fingers on your back. The grief chases you like that. And you have no option but to keep running, no matter how tired you get, you just have to keep running.. because the moment you stop and allow that grief to get hold of you…”

I trail off, a lump forming in my throat as I remember the days I thought I’d never to be able to go on.

“It drains you,” I say, my voice shaking. “That grief… it drains you in every single way possible. And you can see it on Aunty Salma. She doesn’t even look like how I remember her.”

Sighing heavily I look up.

Involuntarily my gaze meets with Hamza’s.

The unexpected warmth and sympathy they hold almost makes me break down there and then.

Silently reminding myself to get a grip, I smile a small, tired smile.

“Anyway. Let me go. Thanks for the lift, Hamza,” I say, opening the car door.

“Anytime,” he replies, smiling kindly.

“C’ya chica,” I say to Sumayya. “We’ll meet tomorrow.”

The sound of the engine starting fills the air. I wave as they drive off.

Then, turning around, I enter the house and go to find Dee.

I still need to ask her what triggered her fleeting genuine show of emotion…

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Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola. 😀 

Hope you guys are all well and enjoyed the very early, longer than usual post! 

I would really like to hear everyone’s thoughts on what you’ll think is the right age for a girl to get married, and why? And for the married readers, would you change the age you got married if you could go back in time? I’m quite eager to know your opinions as I find that I have this discussion with friends/family quite often and it usually is controversial. 

Much Love,

Troubled Illusioner. ❤

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31 thoughts on “One Hundred and Forty Four

  1. 20…like me😀
    No I wouldn’t change the age I got married. I feel it’s better to marry young so we can settle in and adjust to the change of marriage better and also,we can have our kids younger…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree with sister Oceanus, 20 is the right age to get married because you are not yet settled in your ways and young enough to adapt and also grow up with your children

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am also of the opinion that 20 is perfect age. Though I myself got married at 19.
    Some of my cousins got married at 16 -17. But they feel that they missed out on life getting caught in responsibilities…
    So yea 19-20 is perfect age.
    Its easier at that age to mould into the new life.
    Once you start uni you make your own routines and live life your own way so it becomes difficult to live life someone else’s way… I hope I make sense…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Whoa 16/17 is very young. Like VERY young!!
      Yeah, I can imagine because things will obviously be much different after marriage. And the things you can do as an unmarried girl is different to the opportunities you get to do as a married woman.
      Yeah I get you, it does make sense. 🙂
      Shukran for sharing your thoughts sister. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Likewise the opportunities and things u get to do as an unmarried girl is different to what u can do as a married girl. When u married things are sort of more limited due to all the responsibilites etc. Sort of less fun lol

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I got married at 19. . In my opinion the ages of 19 till 21 are good for girls. . You tend to grow & mature in your marriage. . Also pregnancies are easier when you are younger too & you grow with your children. . Also there is no stopping you from studying after marriage if its what you want to do. . Also you are not guaranteed to stay away from zina so yeah. . Rather early. . Also you get married too late then you are too used to your own ways & it’s rather difficult to then adept afterwards. .

    Liked by 3 people

    • About the studying after marriage, the argument comes about that something will have to take the back seat. Like it’s obviously much, much more difficult to successfully study a career, take care of a husband and run a house. And then, if you’re doing a couple year career, if you have a kid somewhere along the line, that just adds so much more to your already full plate.

      And yeah, that’s so true. Like the new generation can’t understand when someone gets married young, but better they’re getting married than committing haraam and spoiling their own futures. (Haha, I sound like I’m from the old generation! 😂)

      Shukran for sharing your opinion. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Married at 20,had a baby a year later,felt like was very early seeing most of my single friends living the life,while I had to be changing diapers and cleaning up after little kids.I guess it’s nice marrying early but you need few years to enjoy your spouse before the kids come coz then you become a mom and the honeymoon is over

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Between 22 and 25. I have so many friends married early and almost every one of them feel they should have waited few more years. The responsibilities are just heavy. I also feel u have your whole life to be married so might as well take advantage of your single days. Also the age we live makes marriage quite difficult for a girl. It’s much easier to handle In laws husband kids when u older and more matured. And ppl also tend to take less advantage the older u are. Guess it depends on everyone’s nature in the end. If u already in a relationship and feel the need for company from the opposite gender then obviously u should get married young as u maybe

    Liked by 2 people

    • Shukran so much for commenting your thoughts. You’ve mentioned some very good points and I definitely agree that marriage in this day and age is more difficult. It’s honestly not just a “mindset”. The way divorces are given so casually and no longer considered such a grave act is frightening. And the blame cannot only be put onto men. The way the west has portrayed things and taken over innocent minds is indeed sad. May Allah grant us the hidaayat to follow His Deen in every way so that we can Inshl live content lives.

      Like

  7. 20 definitely…. The earlier the better, you get into things quicker, and cuz you young, you’ll enjoy the company more I think, because….. Well….. There’s loads of things you can do as a couple… About kids… It’s whenever Allah wants you to have…. Early in the marriage or later, it depends when Allah knows you’re fit for it…. Like motherhood is amazing, but also alone time with your husband is also just as awesome,,,, it’s a win win I think….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. i think in my opinion 23 til 25 for a girl. me my mum sisters all married around that age and have no regrets despite being happily married alhamdulillah. life is just not the same when you are in charge of a household. the older you are the easier it is cause bot parties can deal with any issues etc in a mature way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would say definitely nothing younger than 23 and the perfect age 25. But as muslims we beleive in taqdeer and know Allah has wriiten each of our fates in the most perfect way at the most perfect time and therefore the age each of us marry at is the perfect age for us although it might differ from others

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Both have its pros and cons but from experience im going to go with those who say nothing younger than 23. When a girl (or guy for that matter) marries young, every challenge in their marriage seems like a VERY big deal. Its way easier to handle any problem (with the help of Allah) when both parties are matured. Iv seen parents and extended families being called up and getting involved in small petty problems which then get blown out of proportion, just becoz one or both parties refused to contain the problem in thier home due to being immature . Also the younger you are the bigger any responsibility feels and you can pine for home and your unmarried days to such an extent that it negatively impacts your marriage. Seeing your carefree single friends actually hurts and can make u feel bitter about your own life. Although it might be easier to adjust when u are younger, somehow your marriage stands a higher chance of survival the older you are. Allah knows best. May HE protect all our marriages.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Lovely topic/debate

    Our deen is such that we have to fit in accordingly
    Unfortunately now we say ‘times are diff…’

    Another factor is how many siblings in da family n if you the eldest or youngest…
    Elder 1 being more mature n responsible
    Younger spoilt

    Not always but can be common

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely agree with the younger ones being more spoilt haha! 🙄😂 Though I do think that times have changed. Although keeping your marriage strong is still based on the same aspects as before, it is much more difficult due to there now being so many new and challenging fitan. Yes, our Deen has not changed and it is what we should be following for the best marriages, but it is just more difficult to follow in this day and age with outside pressure and influence.

      I’m not sure if what I’m trying to say is coming across correctly. 🙈🙈 Hope you understand what I mean.

      Jazakillah for commenting. ❤ Really appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts.🌸

      Like

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