In a salon, I encountered a young girl, no older than fifteen or sixteen. Her gaze was filled with resentment as she remarked, “You look so beautiful after makeup! You’d shine brightly under the right lighting. It’s a shame you’re tying the knot with Abdul.” Her words stung, and in my heart, I silently prayed, “Oh God, grant her a sense of modesty.”

I gazed at her and replied, “Are you suggesting that I’m unworthy of marriage without makeup?” Later that day, I found myself contemplating how this audacious individual named A had to be reprimanded or silenced. During the day, I muttered to myself, “A, you must have no fear of God to speak so carelessly.”

A voice from behind chimed in, “Let’s go get some hot water.” Laughter filled the room, but except for my mother, Miemie insisted, “Now that you’re done, get up; we need to get going. I called my sweetheart to pick us up. He’ll take us to complete this errand from Chen Hajiya. Umma Maryam mentioned that I’ll be staying at their place.” She concluded with a teasing grin.

They all rose from their seats, and Miemie paid the salon fees. As they exited, a BMW pulled into the parking lot. Miemie whispered urgently, “Hurry, it’s him!” Miemie turned to me and said, “Allow me to experience this kind of love, Yaya Abdurrahman. I sense affection for him deep in my heart. Permit me to savor the dance of my own emotions.” I could only pity her for being unmarried, understanding that her actions stemmed from her longing.

He stepped out of the car, awaiting their arrival. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of resentment because of his proximity. As they reached him, she fell into his embrace, overcome with emotion. Observing A.A., they paid for their fare. Hers seemed more heartfelt than the others’. He gently moved her away from his body, saying, “You’re too heavy, dear.” Shagwawa swiftly unlocked the car and assisted her inside. He gestured for A.A. to join her. They settled into the car, and slowly, with a sense of fatigue and mixed emotions, they embarked on their journey.

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