Ayyah Taslima, please set aside your work and finish cooking. You’re running late for school. I’ll handle my tasks and then join you.

No, go to the driver, Yashira. He’s waiting for you to come out. Just head over to my sister’s.

Very well, Antyna. Thank you for helping my sister.

Tashirya quickly put on her school uniform, grabbed her basket, and left. She had a special affection for Aunty Tawhida, considering her like a younger sister, even though they weren’t related by blood. Aunty Tawhida had taken her in as a maid when she was studying in her village. That’s why Tawhida (aunty) treated her like family and had brought her back home. They shared a strong bond.

Around 1:30 pm, Tashirya returned home and called out, “Antyna! Antyna!!” When there was no response, she became concerned and went to Tawhida’s bedroom. She found her lying down, hugging Data Saba’s ball.

Seeing Tawhida in this state, Tashirya sat down beside her, patted her shoulder, and said, “My aunty.”

Tawhida got up and wiped her tears, then she cleaned the ball and said, “Taslima, when did you get back?”

Tashirya replied, “I just got back, but what’s troubling you, aunty? You’ve been crying, and it pains me to see you like this.”

Tawhida sighed and said, “Taslima, only God knows how long I’ve been tormented by these thoughts and tears. I can’t bear to see you like this either, but my heart is heavy. You know, I have only one wish in this world, and that’s to talk to my son! I have a daughter, but God has not granted me a son. It’s been six years since I got married, and I lost my son in a miscarriage. He wasn’t able to survive. When I pass away, I fear that everyone will forget me. I was an orphan from a young age, both my parents had passed away, and I was born into this world alone. My father-in-law raised me as his own child, treating me no differently. When I was a child, Tawheed used to serve me, and as I grew older, that service turned into love. We got married, and he has always loved and cared for me. He’s often away from home because he’s a soldier, and sometimes he’s deployed for months. 

But my greatest worry is my infertility because that’s what consoles me. I long to have a child, so we continue to pray and seek God’s blessings on our family. They all help ease my mind, and that’s how I keep going. When Tawheed’s younger brother came to visit, it brought joy to our lives. He is Tawheed’s spitting image, except for the peace and happiness that Tawheed brings. They both excel in their studies. That’s why I asked to find a girl to work for me. I am content where you are because of your kind upbringing, your calm nature, and your support. You mean a lot to me, like my own flesh and blood. You once told me that you would be the one to wipe away my tears every time they came, and you’ve truly become a comforting presence in my life.”

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