Rows of big cars in various colors lined up, with white and black being the dominant colors. The groom’s friends eagerly awaited the girls he had dropped off, ready to take them home. Their joy was evident as they congratulated their friend on his big day.


The house was grand, filled with luxuries and brightly lit with electric lights, a testament to the wealth within. Zarah, the bride, was given marriage advice by the women present. They praised her good fortune in finding such a dream home and wished her a peaceful married life. Zarah remained silent, veiled, while the women admired her husband and hoped for similar blessings for their own children.


Once the groom’s friends departed amidst celebratory horn honking, only Zarah’s three friends remained with her. She removed her veil and joined them in a viewing room, where Lubna expressed concern, “Zarah, it seems you’re not entirely happy with this, are you?”


Zarah hesitated before answering, “Lubna, have I been treated fairly? What if I’m given a roommate on my first night?” Aisha tried to comfort her, “There’s nothing to worry about. You have your room, and she has hers. Plus, this man loves you deeply. Focus on your happiness and trust him with your heart.” Sadia added, “Zarah, don’t let such worries bother you. You’re not the first girl to go through this. Sit down, a little girl shouldn’t spoil your happiness. Come, let’s chat.”


Zarah’s friends continued to offer both good and bad advice, attempting to reassure her. Zarah found solace in their words, hoping for the best.


Shortly after the groom and his friends arrived, they were welcomed by Sani’s car. Walida, the bride, smiled as she watched Ango open the car door for her. He took her hand and said, “Let’s go home.” One of Yunus’s friends teased him, saying, “My man, you’re not wasting any time. On your wedding day, you grab a girl like you’re taking her to the market.” Khalid, the groom, laughed and replied, “You know we can hear you.” The banter continued between the bride and groom, and eventually, the friends of both sides departed.


In Zarah’s flat, tension simmered as she tried to hide her reluctance about Walida’s arrival. Walida had brought two large boxes filled with chickens and various condiments. Khalid, her husband, took her to her room and showed her the small gift he had bought for her – a chicken, a jar of lemons, and some sweets. Afterward, Khalid sat on the edge of the bed, lost in thought, and remarked, “This isn’t the life I was born into. I may not come from a wealthy family, but now I’m suffering.”


Walida, sitting beside him, asked, “Uncle, are you okay?” Khalid laughed with a hint of bitterness and replied, “No, Walida. I just realized that I’ve turned my niece into my daughter. Now, should I cook your meat, or will you eat it in the morning?” Walida turned her head, examining the chicken, and asked, “Isn’t this chicken hair from a machine?” Khalid, slightly disappointed, responded slowly, “If you don’t want to eat now, leave it for the morning.”


As Khalid headed to the door, he heard Walida suddenly burst into tears. Turning back, he asked, “What’s wrong?” She pointed to the chicken and said, “This chicken is biting my hand, and I want you to lie down here.” Khalid, surprised, asked, “What about the chicken? It’s the roasted chicken that’s biting you…” He paused as he realized that the chicken’s mouth was indeed moving, nibbling on the bones. Only the chicken thighs had been eaten, leaving the bones behind.


He was about to comment when Walida sighed and said, “Uncle, I need some water.” Khalid chuckled and asked, “Where’s the leather chicken?” Walida responded, “Well, I still need water to eat.” Khalid playfully opened the chicken’s lid and said, “Didn’t I show you that the chicken isn’t machine-made hair?” Walida took another bite, picked up the water glass, and grinned.

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