This is a continuation of Raya part one, find it here… https://www.shufaayakut.com/short-story/raya-a-saga/
One morning Raya texted her long-time friend, Mona “hey dear”
“Hi girl, you so lost”
“Ah, Mo haven’t you missed me?”
“I have, but I know you’re in school. And you rarely text me when you are there. As if you are studying in the moon. (This is an inside joke she used to make to her because Rays has been wanting to study astronomy since they were in primary school).
They send laughing emojis then Rays texts, “I’m at home, please come and visit”
“Yoh, what’s up?”
“Been sick since school”
“I collapsed in the room”
“Hahaha sis, you were homesick”
“Nah, I’m serious”
“fine, I’ll come to see you tomorrow”
This one sounded very serious, Mo, had to make an effort to go listen to the collapsing story.
The following day Mo rushed to Raya’s house in the evening. She found her whole family there. Often they are always there. Raya was in the bathroom so she sat down at the living room and waited for her. Immediately her aunty started out, “your friend told you she blacked out in school?”
“Yeah, she held up a knife for Sumaya” her little sister added on.
“Ghafla eti ana maruhani. Sasa amerudi na wako na mtihani” her mum concluded in rather a disbelieve. Mo was just there cluelessly. The aunty sounded pity, the sister sounded like its a movie and the mother sounded like it was a pretense. According to how they were putting it out. She didn’t have the courage to ask much, because she didn’t know where to begin with. She was kinda scared of Raya’s mother so she waited for her to dress up and go for her night shift job. As soon as the mother left, Mo turned to Raya’s aunty and said, “so what happened?”
“Sumaya called us crying saying Raya held a knife at her and doesn’t want to talk to her till today”
They explained the whole story until when she came out after dressing. A beautiful tall, slender lady. Yes, slender. This lady always loses weight whenever she goes go to school. She was a black, beautiful tall lady, so when she gains weight, it all sits in the right position. Her hair was very weak and thin, but long enough to be tied in a ponytail. Round-faced, in a passport photo, she would look fat. She had big cheeks that covered her whole face. Wide smile eyes and a short wide nose. Her little tiny lips opened up to a perfect dentition when she smiled at Mo. She had a long neck which reduced the roundness of the face. Her chest was perfectly the size of her palm in a cup shape. Very rigid and firm, nipples pointing to the directions she was walking to. She had a tiny waist and double-sized hips. Very long legs, her upper body is a third of her whole height, the waist downwards covered the rest of the three-quarters of the length. Whenever she walked, she looked like she was in slow motion.
She stretched out her arms to hug her friend Mo. “I missed you”, she said in a shaky beautiful voice as if she was crying. Mo smiled, not sure what to say. Of course, she missed her too but the environment they were in was confusing. After a few seconds of confirming that Raya was not a robot, she went ahead and opened her mouth. ” what happened to you?”
“I don’t know, I’m told fell down and fainted. I held a knife to Sumaya, almost killed her. She must be scared of me now.”
“So what’s up now that you are home?”
“There’s a man who comes to recite ruqya to me. He does it so well. I don’t want to go back to that school. Something isn’t right. No, actually, I’m tired of studying. I want to get married.”
“Haiyye, dada. You’ve found a man already?”
“There’s this guy called Ali, he is the chairman of our Muslim union. He is very handsome, God-fearing and so polite ma shaa Allah”
“Enheee, tell me more…”
“Whenever I see him I feel at peace. He calms my inner demons. He always reminds me of prayers and tells me the benefits of marriage in Islam. The things we go through in that school aren’t worth the paradise of Allah. No one cares about our welfare as muslims. Look, we aren’t even allowed to cook in school but its Ramadhan, where do they expect us to find iftar? This guy Ali has stood up very firm for us and he has been fighting for our rights as Muslims in the school. I’m not saying that we don’t eat, we do cook but secretly. At least our prayer time is being respected and also the places. H has done a lot fo the Muslim community in Kisumu University”
“You are being very much radicle. Why are you so religious? ”
“It is not even about Muslims. It is about me. Ali is always there for me. He always reminds me of prayer times and how to dress properly. I cannot walk with ladies who cover their bodies halfway. He wants me to be his wife. He knows all the rights of a wife and how a woman in Islam should be treated. Let me tell you about these women is school, they are all discriminative because they are all light-skinned. I HATE THEM. They look down upon me because I don’t know Arabic because I don’t know the whole Quran off the head and many other things that I am struggling to learn just to fit in. There are many things that I am struggling with in that school which I cannot bear. Nobody loves me. Nobody accepts me. Ali is the only one who understands me but you see I cannot spend all the time with him alone because it’s fitnah. ”
“Honey, you have been living in this same life you are in since birth. You have never been an Arab and you have always been happy. Your friend, Sumaya, is an Arab and she has never disrespected you. You went with her to a catholic high school and she didn’t feel what you are feeling now. I am very sure you are not the only non-arab Muslim lady in that school and I am very sure they are happier where they are. What is wrong with you? Just know why you exist, what you went to school to do and most importantly what your God wants you to do. Okay?”
she nodded. Mo went on, “Marriage will always come at its right time. That guy is in his final year that’s why he is misleading you into marriage before you complete yours. Remember you are the firstborn and both your parents and sister are looking up to you. Your whole family. You are by far most the only one in the lineage of your family who has made it to university. You do not know how many people are looking up to you….” before Mo finished, Raya interrupted, “… You don’t know how many people in this family are not happy for me. For the same reason. The aunties are jealous because nobody has ever made it here. They are eagerly waiting for my downfall. They hate me. One of them should have bewitched me I swear I don’t feel like completing this school. Please pray for me.” She went silent as she cried. She looked confused. She didn’t even know what her problem was but Mo figured out that the key points are that she didn’t want to go back to that place and also wanted to get married.
People completed exams and Raya had to miss the whole semester’s exam because schools closed immediately. She met a new ustadh who came home every day for recitation therapy and gave her a few herbal medicines to help her stay sane and avoid any attacks. They worked. She started feeling better and eventually gained some weight. She looked more beautiful than she was when she came from school. Her hips and thick thighs spread out so well you would think she was 10 years older than her original age. Raya healed. Schools opened and Raya went back to school. She felt a bit sick when she was about to complete her previous semester’s exams but she pulled through. Life went on well for some months then one fine day she just called Mo in a panting voice and said, “Mo, Ali is missing”
“What do you mean?”
“He is not here, he got out for fajr prayer and he never came back since Last Friday. We still have hopes he will come back”
TO BE CONTINUED.
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