I am in the waiting room at the hospital while the doctors check what is wrong with Ethan. My hands have not stopped shaking since I got here. I know this is not the first time Ethan has been in this situation, but I feel far more nervous than I was the first time. I can barely stop moving my hands and legs. Ya Allah, I hope it’s not severe. The doctor comes out, and I quickly walk towards her.
“How is he doctor? I hope it’s not serious? Can I see him?” I ask so many questions at once
“Cool down Miss, Ethan is going to be fine. He just got a little concussion.”
“Alhamdulillah, can I see him,” I say feeling very eager to see how he is doing.
“This way,” She says and walks me to the room Ethan is staying in.
I walk inside, and Ethan is asleep. He looks so peaceful while sleeping. I walk over and sit down on the seat beside the bed. I can feel myself calming down, once I see his handsome face. I am so happy it’s not something serious that is wrong with him. I can’t imagine losing Ethan, and I don’t even know why I can’t. I feel like a world without him won’t be complete for me anymore. I feel so many new things towards Ethan, and I don’t even know what they mean.
I hear movement on the bed, I turn to check if he is waking up, but he is not. His eyes are tightly closed, and the expression on his face looks like he is in great pain. He has a lot of sweat on his forehead. Maybe he is having a bad dream.
“Ethan!” I say trying to wake him up because he looks like he is in a lot of pain in this dream. He does not answer and starts turning all over the bed. This dream must be horrible; I need to wake him up.
“Adina?” Ethan says in a whisper
“Yes, Ethan, it’s me, wake up.”
“Save me, she is going to kill me,” Ethan says and grabs my hand in a tight grip. I don’t know if my ears are deceiving me, but I am sure I heard a hint of fear in his voice. Oh my God, what is happening? Whatever is happening in his dream must be making him very scared.
“Ethan can you hear me, wake up. It’s all a dream, wake up” I say increasing my voice while shaking his body.
“Adina, Adina, Adina!” Ethan says, screaming in agony while increasing his grip on my hand. He is holding it so tight that I fear if I try to remove my hand, it might only make him more scared.
“Ethan, please wake up, you are scaring me,” I say getting more worried by the minute. I gently use my free hand to tap his face, hoping to get a reaction out of him.
“Adina, please don’t leave me. Adina, please save me, please” Ethan says in horrified fear while pleading greatly.
“Ethan!!!!! Wake Up!!!!” I say screaming in his ears, hoping I save him from this nightmare.
Ethan jolts awake with his eyes full of fear and confusion. Ethan looks around him before finally settling his eyes on me. He looks at me, and all the fear and uncertainty in his eyes go away. He pulls me tightly into his arms, filling my whole body with his warmth and lovely perfume that I am starting to like a lot these days. I can hear his heart beating fast against mine, but that’s not what is leaving me in great wonder right now. Our heart is beating in the same rhythm. The room is so silent that the only thing that can be heard is the sound of our heartbeats. Oh my God, what is happening? I can’t believe our hearts are beating in the same rhythm; could it mean something. I doubt it does; I am probably overthinking. I gently try to move out of his embrace, but that only makes him tighten his arms around me. I know its wrong Islamically, but a part of me does not want him to let go.
“Thank God you are safe. I thought I lost you to her” Ethan says as his breath fans my neck, causing a cold shiver to go down my spine.
“Ethan, I don’t know what happened in your dream, but everything is fine now,” I say into his chest, feeling it vibrate with every word I say. Ethan does not say anything for a good minute; it’s like he is practically not here.
“Ethan is everything alright?” I say gently lifting my head from his chest. He is so engrossed in his thoughts that he can’t notice me moving away from him. Ethan holds around my waist loses, and that’s how I genuinely realise he is far away from here in thoughts. I wave my hand in his face, and it takes a couple of seconds before he comes back to earth. His deep grey eyes land on mine, staring intensely into my soul. His eyes are filled with so many emotions like I have never seen before. I don’t even know what his eyes are saying right now. I slowly remove my eyes away from his and stare to the ground. A part of me wants to understand the emotions in his eyes more than anything right now. And that part of me also believes those emotions in his eyes might have something to do with me.
After that day, I knew I had to keep my distance away from Ethan because I might have felt comfortable in his arms, but that does not change the fact that being in his arms is Haram. I tried hard to stay away from him, but I couldn’t. The more I remained away from him; the more my heart yawned for him. I don’t know why I am feeling all these emotions towards Ethan.
I am walking to the parking lot to drive home after a day full of exams. Winter break is around the corner, and I can’t wait to stop going to school for a few weeks. I am about to enter my car when I see someone that makes my blood boil. I wish I could make him feel the same pain he did to my friend. Marcus hit Khloe again, and this time I was not ready to hear anything from her. I was so close to reporting him to the police, but I stopped when Khloe begged me not too. I also can’t believe she went back to him after what he did last time. Love is really a dangerous thing. I walk over to where Marcus car is parked to give him a piece of my mind.
“I can’t believe you after you used your dirty hands on my friend. You have the right to have another girl in your arms right now. I always knew you were no good. You are lucky Khloe stopped me, if not you would be rotting in jail” I say with a lot of anger in my voice.
“And who the hell are you to tell me what to do and what not to do. I can do anything I like, and there is nothing you can do about it” Marcus says with an evil smirk on his face which I wish I could slap off, but I won’t let my anger get to me.
“You are just an excuse for a man,” I say hissing. I walk away because if I stay there any longer. I don’t know what I will do with all the anger going through me right now. I can’t allow the devil to use me and do something I would regret. A ’oothu billaahi min-ash-shaitaannir-rajim (I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast) I say trying to cool down. I don’t get to walk away like I planned to because Marcus pulled me back
“Get your dirty hands off me,” I say removing my arms from his grip.
“What did you just say to me,” Marcus says with a lot of anger.
“I think your ears are working, and you heard me right,” I say in a stern voice. I see Marcus hands moving in a way to slap me. I quickly lift mine to block him, but I don’t. Something else happens, something I would have never imagined in my life happening. Ethan is holding Marcus hands from slapping me. When did he get here?
“Don’t ever try to lay your filthy hands on her again?” Ethan says in a stern voice and a lot of anger in his eyes towards Marcus. He drops Marcus hand like it’s a piece of dirt.
“And who the hell are you,” Marcus says
“Who I am is none of your business, but all I know is you are not allowed to lay your hands on her” Ethan says, referring to me. I know Ethan, and I are friends, but I would have never pictured him defending me in the way he is right now.
“Wait, are you not the Ethan guy Adina is always complaining about,” Marcus says recognising Ethan, which I must point out he was slow in doing.
“I am, and so what,” Ethan says even though that no longer happens.
“Then why are you defending her? You should be joining me to beat her up” Marcus says, totally changing his behaviour towards Ethan like he is his friend.
“I am not a foolish coward like you that find’s pleasure in hurting women. And most importantly I would never hurt someone special to me like Adina” Ethan says with a lot of anger, and adoration through the end when he says I am special to him. I can’t believe Ethan just said that. Am I really special to him, but in what way does he mean? There are so many things Ethan says, and do that I am yet to understand.
“What did you call me?” Marcus says, coming closer to Ethan while changing his whole aura from a friendly one to anger.
“You heard right,” Ethan says, also getting closer, and that’s my cue to end this before I end up separating a fight.
“Ethan, I think we should leave. He got your point right” I say coming in front of both of them while facing Ethan. I can’t believe I am stopping Ethan from beating up someone because of me. How is this happening? Ethan hesitates a little, but listens to me and starts walking away. He stops when Marcus says something that pisses him off.
“Follow her you damn pussy,” Marcus says, and I wish he didn’t because he gets a big punch to his face.
“Call me pussy again, and I won’t be nice only to punch your face,” Ethan says while he grabs my hand and walks away with me, but I don’t think Marcus has any sense in his brain.
Marcus pulls Ethan from his shoulder and lands a punch of his own on Ethan’s face. Before I can even say jackpot, they start fighting. Oh my God, Ya Allah, I have to do something to stop this fight. They are throwing punch after punch to each other. I am screaming at the both of them to stop fighting, and it’s like I am talking to myself. I don’t want to go close to them to stop them because I don’t want any of their punches to land on me, but I think that is the only way this fight will end. All of Marcus friends are just standing and watching the fight like its WWE. I can’t believe them but, they say birds of the same feather flock together. They are all irritating, cowards.
“Ethan, please stop!” I say placing my hand on Ethan’s arm. It’s like I just switched on an off button because once Ethan feels my grip of his arms, he releases his hold on Marcus. He turns to face me, and once his eyes lock with mine, he sees the worry and fear in mine. His eyes changes from anger into one of remorse.
“Adina” Ethan says in a soft tone as he walks towards me.
“Look at your face,” I say feeling myself on the verge of tears. His face has a few bruises, and his lips has a little cut. I am sure his rips also gotten a few bad hits. Marcus is a lot worst; I can barely recognise his face. Ethan beat him up bad.
“Please don’t cry, I am fine,” Ethan says, wiping my tears away with his warm hands.
“I am not crying and let’s go,” I say trying my best to keep my tears at bay while dragging Ethan away from Marcus before another fight starts.
I don’t even know why I am reacting this way, but seeing Ethan injured makes my heartache. It makes me feel very sad, and the fact that he is injured because of me makes me feel very horrible right now. I walk over to Ethan’s car to drive him home. After all, there is no way we can go to the hospital because both of them will end up in jail.
I drive Ethan back to his apartment, and also help him into his house. Ethan might have had the upper hand, but Marcus still gave him a few punches here and there.
I unlock Ethan’s door and help him over to the dining table. I sit him down on a seat and walk over to his bathroom, where he says the first aid kit is. I run back downstairs and start attending to his wounds.
“Please be careful,” Ethan says while I try to clean his wounds.
“Sorry, I can’t believe this happened to you, because you were defending me,” I say feeling tears fall from my eyes.
“Please stop crying, and this is not your fault. If anything it’s that foolish boy’s fault” Ethan says, cleaning my tears away.
“Please never fight someone over me again. I don’t think I can bear what happened today ever to repeat it’s self.”
“Adina” Ethan says, stopping my hands from cleaning his wound as he gets his eyes to lock with mine. “I will always defend you, any day, anytime,” Ethan says with a lot of determination in his eyes. I don’t say anything, and just continue cleaning his wounds. I don’t even know what to respond to that, and the look his eyes gave me is something I have never seen in his eyes before l.
“Do you feel pain around your ribs?” I ask.
“Take off your shirt.”
“What did you just say,” Ethan says smirking
“I know I told you it’s Haram for a Muslim woman to see a man’s body, but this time is different. I want to clean your wounds, so it’s not the same as just admiring your body.”
“Oh, alright,” Ethan says, and tries to remove his shirt, but has a little difficulty while doing so, so I help him.
“Oh my God Ethan, look at that what he did to you,” I say, and I can feel myself about to start crying again.
“Its fine, Adina please don’t start crying again. You just stopped, and I don’t like seeing you cry” Ethan says, and for some odd reason because he says he does not like it, I try to hold back my tears because of him.
“I won’t,” I say and start cleaning his wounds around his torso when I noticed something I think I should have seen the two times Ethan has been shirtless in front of me. He has tattoos, and I know Islam is against tattoos, but his are beautiful. He has a few around his chest area. Maybe he recently got them.
“Do you like them?” Ethan says noticing me admiring his tattoos
“Yes, I do, and did it hurt when you got them”
“It did a little. Do you want to have one?”
“No, I can’t, Islam is against it.”
“Is there anything this your religion is not against.”
“Yes, a lot of things. I doubt you even know anything about Islam except what you see on TV.”
“Unfortunately that’s right, but I don’t believe that all of you are terrorists, though.”
“Thank you,” I say, smiling.
“You are welcome, Bellezza nera,” Ethan says, smiling.
Days have gone by, Alhamdulillah I am done with my exams. I am not going back home for winter break this year. I will be staying back in America. I am getting ready to follow Ethan for his family’s Christmas dinner. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but it does not mean I can’t eat what is made from the celebration. I did not want to go, but Ethan’s mom begged me to come over, and she is one hard lady to say no too.
I just finished praying Isha, and I am putting on my earrings when the doorbell goes off. I walk over and open the door without checking, knowing its Ethan. I pick up my handbag, and we leave for his grandparent’s house together in his car.
Ethan and I had a wonderful time at dinner with his family. I met everyone I met last time, and they were even lovelier than before. Ethan and I are walking down the shore of the beach. His grandparent’s live close to the beach.
“So Adina tell me about yourself,” Ethan asks, surprising me with his question.
“Why the sudden interest to know about me,” I ask while admiring the stars.
“I feel there is more to you that I don’t know and I would like to know more.”
“Really, what would you like to know?”
“I don’t know, anything… you could even start with telling me about your family.”
“Alright, I am the third born of my family. I have two brothers; you have met one of them, Usman. I have a younger sister who I love, even though she annoys me a lot. I have amazing Nigerian parents. You already know everything I like and dislike.”
“I know some of your likes and dislike not all, and I never knew you had such a large family.”
“Trust me; you know most of the things I like and dislike. And also, my family is nowhere close to being large.”
“So having four kids is not a large family.”
“Of course not.”
“Wow, four kids make a big family.”
“Really, and how many kids do you want to have”
“One is too small, at least two.”
“Two is also not bad, and are you feeling cold. If you are, we can go back inside.”
“I am fine. I am enjoying watching the stars. They look so magnificent tonight” I say looking at beautiful stars in the sky.
“Yes, they look stunning but not as beautiful as you,” Ethan says, staring at me. I turn to face him, and I see adoration in his beautiful grey eyes. It surprises me that he actually has admiration in his eyes towards me. I can’t believe he just complimented me. This is the first time Ethan has ever complimented me, and I feel so happy all around me. I can feel myself blushing. I don’t know why, but no guys compliment has ever made me feel happy the way Ethan’s praise just did.
“Thank you,” I say smiling so much I feel my face might fall off.
“You are welcome,” Ethan says as he takes slow steps closer to me. I can feel his breath on my face due to how little the space is between us. I gently place my hands on his chest to move him away, but I pause once I feel the fast rhythm his heart is going. I wonder why his heart is beating so fast.
“Adina I am so sorry.”
“What are you sorry fo……” I don’t get to finish talking because of what happens next.
What happens is something I have only experienced in my dreams. I never imagined it to be as amazing as it does right now. The feeling going through my heart is something I never thought I could feel towards Ethan. Ethan is kissing me, I can’t believe it is happening, and my body wants it more than anything right now. What is happening to me? I quickly come to my senses because my body might want what is happening, but Allah won’t be happy with me if I don’t end this. I try to pull away from Ethan by placing my hands on his chest, but Ethan gets the message wrong and deepens the kiss. He puts his hands on my lower back and pulls me closer to him; Oh my God, how is this happening. I have to stop this before I do something I will regret later on.
I am confused as to why my body is so slow in stopping Ethan, but the truth is I want what is happening. My body has craved Ethan’s touch since that day at the hospital. All of me wants to be touched by him, but I know it’s Haram to even think of such.
That is one of the trials about being a Muslim how you handle situations where your mind, body and soul want to fill into its desires. All depends on how strong or weak you are in faith but does not mean you are a bad Muslim.
Ethan finally pulls away, Alhamdulillah because I don’t think I could hold myself any longer. I am not the strongest in faith, but Alhamdulillah I am trying. I also know I have to do a better job at not falling into my desires.
“I know I am not supposed to do that, but I could not resist those lovely lips of yours,” Ethan says once he releases me from the kiss while trying to catch his breath. I am also trying to find my breath after my first heated kiss while I realise why my heart wanted the kiss. I like Ethan, Subhan Allah, I like Ethan. I am in big trouble.