A fictional story for the HER Stories 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.”
“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.
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.