Chapter one (Miriam and Ibrahim) Miriam walked into her bedroom, painted in lilac, and sat on the bed. Her feet ached and she had muscles spasms on her neck. She took off her clothes and arranged them neatly in a pile on the bed. She went to the all white bathroom and took a cold shower. They had an in built CD player installed and Miriam loved listening to music as she had her bath. The tunes of Don Moen’s ‘I want to be where You are’ were a soothing balm for her heart. “Hi,” She heard Ibrahim say from her door when she stepped out in her dressing gown. Miriam turned around to see him in brown shorts and no shirt on. His broad muscled chest glistening with sweat. A white face-towel hung around his neck. He had obviously just finished his evening work-outs. “Good evening . . . How was your day?” She asked and pulled her dressing gown tighter. Seven years of marriage and she was still uncomfortable around him. Why, she didn’t know. She was an iron woman to her employees, but a cowardly dog to her husband. Ibrahim pushed himself off the door and walked to her bed, his gait confident, and sat down. “Fine. Mustapha just got in from the states this morning. He would come by for dinner tomorrow. . . So prepare for him.” Miriam nodded, knowing what would come next and she wasn’t disappointed. Ibrahim looked at her longingly and told her to join him on the bed. “Ibrahim I’m tired . . .” “Then I can help you take away the aches and stress. Come here Miriam. Don’t make me beg . . .” Miriam snorted. Begging was never Ibrahim’s nature. Miriam walked towards him and when she got close he pulled her down on his lap. “Miriam … Kana da kyau. You’re beautiful.” Their relationship was strictly a sex thing. Miriam had come to the sad realization later on in the first year of their marriage; just sex and being a house-keeper. Ibrahim didn’t mind her working as long as it never interrupted with her wifely duties. Nineteen years old. That was how old Miriam had been when she had met Ibrahim. The stud that she hadn’t been able to keep her eyes off. Her cousin, Sherifat, had decided to celebrate her 24th birthday. To Miriam the idea had been ridiculous. Miriam had been discussing with a friend she had invited when he had walked in. Looking dapper, all dressed in black. Miriam kept staring at him, and for some reason, he turned and looked in her direction. Their eyes locked. He smiled at her. That confident smile that she now disliked. He had always been too sure of himself. Ibrahim was a hot shot. He was a guy any girl would want to have. The thing about him though, which Miriam later found out to her disdain and anguish, was that one woman wasn’t, and probably would never, be enough . . . He swiftly placed her on the bed. Miriam stiffened under him, wondering how many women he had slept with that week. She closed her eyes and silently begged for the tears building up not to come down. If she continued in her line of thoughts she might have a heart-attack! Ibrahim moved as if in rhythm to some kind of tune and when done he rested beside her, breathing hard. Miriam’s body covered with sweat exuded from both their bodies. “You’re so good,” He said in between breaths. Miriam didn’t know how to take such praises. How many women had he said the same thing to? “Thank you . . .” she muttered. Ibrahim got up from the bed and wore his shorts. He picked up his face-towel from the floor and walked out the room. Miriam wrapped the bed-covers around her and got up to have her bath yet again. She did all she had to do as a wife; taking care of him and the children, making sure there was food in the house amongst other things. She couldn’t blame any of his philandering to anything she had done or not done. All the days she would sit down and cry over what wasn’t her fault had been a waste of her time. He was a cheat. . . It was just his nature. Miriam closed her eyes as tears flowed down her cheeks. Miriam tried so much to push away any hatred she was harbouring . . . But it was hard. “God why are you letting me go through this?” After all, God had the power to turn the hearts of kings, so why not also make her husband turn to Him and in turn be faithful to her? Miriam knew she was losing the battle to hold on. How much else was she willing to take from him?
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