Zainab let her fingers trace Soha’s face. They left a trail along her eyebrows, her porcelain nose and her soft, baby pink lips. Soha was her masterpiece; the proof of her excellent craftsmanship. As Soha slept away her tiny troubles of the day, Zainab let herself plunge into the pool of memories once again…
It was in the summer of 2008 when Zainab had suspected she was pregnant. She had cautiously paved way for her career but she did not consider a baby, a hindrance or a setback. In fact she thought it was God’s blessing that he only bestowed upon a woman. And it was exactly what she and Abdul had been waiting for. For a man like Abdul, Zainab could gladly cross deserts, bare foot.
She remembered how overjoyed Abdul had been. He had carried her around the house for hours, not letting her feet touch the ground.
She had endured the troubles of pregnancy with a smile. With Abdul at her side, no trouble weighed as much as it should. Once in the middle of night, when she had vomited on the floor of the bathroom, Abdul had wiped clean the pool of sick without as much as a frown.
And just a couple of days before her delivery, when she hadn’t been feeling well and kept crying for no reason, Abdul had brought a jug of water and a tub and helped her perform wudu. He had prompted and guided her through every step of the prayer; she had felt much better after that.
Alas, when he had carried their daughter in his hands for the first time, he had said to her, “Look! Our Soha, the star of dusk.”
Two days after Soha’s birth, Abdul had left them forever. They said it was a swift death and that he was lucky to have witnessed his daughter’s birth.
Zainab kissed Soha’s eyes and lips in turn, asking herself the same question for the billionth time, Had he?
©2013. Habiba Danyal
1: having good luck
2: happening by chance : fortuitous
3: producing or resulting in good by chance : favorable