The room echoed with the sound of sobbing, a cry from deep within the heart. It was a cry that had become all too familiar, one that had been heard for a long time. The woman’s eyes were swollen, her face red from crying.

Slowly, the door to the room creaked open. A man entered, standing by the door, protecting the woman. He too had a troubled look on his face, frustration evident. He took a deep breath, trying to steady himself, and then started walking towards the bed where the woman lay, crying her heart out.

He gently touched her shoulder and called her name softly, trying to soothe her. “Hajiya Bilki.”

It didn’t take long, but she stopped crying. When she did, it was a sign that she had heard her husband’s call. Slowly, he began to speak.

“Oh, Hajiya Bilki, perhaps you can’t bear it anymore. Is it fate that we have to endure this? Must you sit here and cry because God has tested us? Oh, Bilki! You surprise me sometimes.”

He was trying to be strong, but deep inside, his heart was weak. She sat up and wiped away her tears, facing her husband, who was still standing, not sitting. Then she began to speak, her anger evident.

“Please, Alhaji, leave me alone. I’m tired of hearing your sermons. Honestly, my patience has run out! How can we have been married for twelve years, yet every year, I have to endure six months without you? What is happening to us? Look around and see how your family despises me, how they look down on me! It’s worse than ever before. We went to Hajiya Karima’s house, and do you know how they treated me? I felt humiliated in front of them, like an outcast!”

Her voice cracked, and she ended up crying again. Alhaji, on the other hand, lowered his gaze and felt a pain in his heart. He probably knew what she was talking about, but he also knew that they couldn’t challenge God’s will when it came to infertility. He saw that as destiny. So, he tried to calm her down and began speaking again.

“Hajiya Bilki, I will never tire of reminding you that God, our Lord, is the giver of life and wisdom. Don’t forget that you are His creation, and He does what He deems fit. God has blessed you with many gifts, and you must have faith that one day, you will have a child. You are already blessed with beauty, wealth, and good health. Moreover, you have loving parents who care for you. What greater joy in life could there be?”

He let out a sigh of relief as he sat down beside her, looking into her eyes. Then, he continued to speak.

“Childbirth is in God’s hands. If it is His will, you will conceive. No matter what tricks we try, if it is not in His plan, they will not work. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, we should raise our hands and thank Him, seeking His forgiveness and mercy. I haven’t just told you these words today; I see that they have been following you. By God, calm down and don’t let your frustration take over. You know me.”

She slowly raised her head, using her finger to wipe away her tears. He smiled, appreciating the maturity of their conversation. “Bilki, you should let me know if you’re hungry when I’m at work. I’d understand.”

She was speechless for a moment and then apologized. “I’m sorry; I forgot to prepare lunch.”

He smiled again and reassured her. “That’s alright. By the way, it’s the first week of the month. You should rest.”

Although he was familiar with Bilki’s behavior, he also knew her to be a caring wife. He responded with a smile. “May God bless you.”

She replied with a simple “Amen” before returning to bed, her previous anger subsiding. He got up and left the room, praising Bilki’s behavior.

He went straight to his room, took a bath, and then put on his jalaliya. He walked towards the kitchen, mixed some flowers and milk, and returned to the living room to watch Aljazeera on TV. He finished his drink and went back to bed with Bilki. He closed his eyes and prayed, thanking God for His blessings. As he thought about it, he eventually fell asleep.

At exactly two o’clock, he woke up and checked the time on the wall clock. It was 4:19 PM. He got up, performed ablution, and prayed. After completing his prayers, he stood up and noticed that Bilki was lying on the bed, typing on her phone. He called her name softly, “Bilki.”

She sighed and looked at him. “Yes?”

He continued, “Now you must think I’m being too harsh. But you know, the prayer time has passed, and I couldn’t wake you up.”

She replied apologetically, “I’m sorry; I forgot.”

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