Safna sat in the room, her heart heavy with sorrow as her brother Safwan walked over to her, his footsteps barely touching the ground. He gently asked, “Safna, my sister, why are you doing this? Why didn’t you talk to me? You know, Abba told me that he loves you. What would my life be like without you? I wouldn’t survive losing you.”

Quickly rising, Safna reached out and embraced him, tears streaming down her face. “I’ll do anything for you, Safna, because you’re the one in my heart. I feel like an orphan without you. My heart would be empty, devoid of any purpose. I can’t imagine my life without you. Why didn’t you come to me?” he asked, wiping her tears.

Safna apologized, assuring him that everything would be fine. “Don’t worry, I hope you understand, Zainab. Do you really know me? I wanted to talk to you about how Safwan is. Don’t worry about what happened in the room last night. It’s full of clutter, my children bring me joy, but my heart is still heavy with sadness. I can’t find happiness. I can’t move on after leaving.”

“Why are you asking me that?” Safna added. “If I knew, I would have told you. Take a deep breath and calm down. That’s Aunty Zainab. That’s the girl. There’s nothing I love more in this world than her. She’s my everything, the one who makes my world go round. Safwan is the biggest challenge in my life. Aunty Zainab says I need death more than life now because I don’t know how to enjoy life.”

Overwhelmed with emotions, Safna continued, “Keep me away from strangers, save me from worry and sadness. The fear of the future. Aunty Nafisa, there’s no way out. There’s no escape. I accept my fate. This is my only way out. I look to my God for deliverance. Ancestors, save me from the chains of life. God, help me find a way out of my heart. Now I have to face the world.”

The next morning, after the morning prayer, Safna went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, as was her routine after the dispute. She finished her bath, got dressed, and headed to the dining table. Abba came over to support her, and they greeted each other with a smile. Safwan approached Abba and then turned to Safna, gently raising her face to meet his gaze. She quickly averted her eyes, unable to bear his intense scrutiny. He sat quietly in the office, his troubled expression revealing his worry. Salim Yashigo, his name, was Safwan.

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