The American

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CHAPTER 18

"Adina the reason I believe you did not cheat on me was that I heard Austin and his mom talking about it. They did not know I was listening to their conversation. They were celebrating how successful they were in separating us, with you going back to Nigeria. That was also the reason I got into an accident."

"Wow, but I still don't understand a few things. How does our relationship affect your stepmom and her son? Also, how did finding out the truth cause you to have an accident" I say getting more confused by the moment.

"I will explain when I found out the truth about you been framed by my stepbrother and his mom. I was devastated. I felt like the biggest fool on earth for not realizing they could do such a thing to me. My head was filled up with so many thoughts that it was hard for me to think straight while driving, which led to my accident. And why they ruined our relationship is because they know without you I can't function, Adina. They know you mean the world to me and the fact that you are a black woman that I fell in love with makes you ten times a way to destroy me."

"Ethan, I don't understand. You are getting me more confused by the second" I say wondering how all of these has to do with me or even the fact that it's because I am black. Is there something about Ethan that I don't know about?

"Adina I am madly in love with you. You mean the world to me. You are a black woman, and I fell in love with you. If you betray me, it will scar me for life. I might not be able to recover from it, and that is what my stepmom and her son wanted. They want me to lose my sense of reasoning. They don't want me to be able to function well, so my father won't have a choice but to pass down his company to Austin till I can put my shit together. But we all know once it gets into their hands, there is no way I will ever get it back."

"Wow, never in my life would I be able to come up with such a reason to why they framed me. That is a cruel way for a mother and her son to think. This world is full of surprises. But Ethan I don't understand why you keep emphasizing the fact that I am a black woman. How is that of great importance in all of these?"

"Adina there are things I have not told you about myself. I hope after I tell you this, it won't change the way you look at me. Around the ages of 6 or 7, I can't be too sure, but I know I was very young. My parents got divorced, and like any kid, at my age, I did not understand why I couldn't see my mother every day. I longed to have a mother who could live with me. My dad got remarried a year later to Patricia. I was excited to have a mom who I could see every day finally, but the love was never recuperated. Patricia was the definition of a living devil. She is the cruellest person I have ever met. She never laid her hands on me, but the pain she inflicted on me emotionally was ten times worse. I hated her more than anything in the world, but what made me hate all black women was what happened to me when I got kidnapped."

"You were kidnapped as a kid. Oh my God, Ethan. I am so sorry you had to go through all these pains at a young age" I say imagining the horror younger Ethan might have faced and I can't help myself but cry.

"It's fine now but let me continue the story so you would understand everything."

"Alright"

"When I got kidnapped, the people that kidnapped me were blacks to be specific. I was still a kid and still had hope that all women were not evil in the world. A woman was asked to watch over me while I was kidnapped. I was happy it was a woman that will be taking care of me while I was kidnapped. I thought she wouldn't hurt me because she might also be a mother and mothers love children, but I was wrong. The pain my stepmom inflicted on me was nothing compared to the pain I went through before I was rescued. They tortured me physically and mentally. At a very young age, I was praying for death. Before I was rescued, my brain had already believed that all black women in the world were cruel people."

"Ethan, I am so sorry you went through all that pain. I can't imagine it happening to anyone. I am so sorry."

"Adina you don't have to apologize to me. You did nothing wrong if anything I should apologize to you. I was the one who hated you when I first met you. I am sorry for misjudging you."

"No, you don't have to apologize to me, Ethan. Any child who went through the horrors you did would be the same. I understand everything now. I can't believe you were able to fall in love with me after everything that happened to you."

"Even I can't believe I did, but that's why I say you are truly amazing Adina. You truly showed me that all black women were not evil. You made me understand that I just met the wrong ones at a young age, and there were actually good ones like you out there. I am more than fortunate to have met you in my life." Ethan says with a soft smile

"I am thrilled I did, and now I understand everything. They knew you hated black women, and once the only one in the world, you were able to trust betrays you. They knew it would scar you for life. People are so evil."

"Yes, my love, you are right."

I am making my last duas after observing Asr prayers. I hear Ethan call my name for the third time in 1 minute. I wonder what he needs. I stand up from my praying mat and walk out of the room to answer him.

"Adina, where are you?" Ethan says from the living room

"I am right here, what can I do for you," I say while taking a seat on one of the couches.

"I have been calling your name for the past two minutes now. Where were you?"

"I was praying, and you know while praying, I don't talk to anyone."

"Yeah, you have told me before. I should have guessed it since it's already time for Asr prayer."

"Wow, Ethan, you know the name of the prayers. I am so surprised you learnt it and also happy you did" I say feeling so happy Ethan is learning more about Islam.

"It's what comes with loving you, and please I am starving, could you cook something for me?"

"Something just told me food was the reason why you were looking for me," I say, shaking my head at his behaviour.

"I could look for you for other reasons, my love. Please don't make it sound like I don't value you. It breaks my heart" Ethan says dramatically acting like I pierced his heart.

"You know I didn't mean it like that."

"I know you didn't; I just wanted to mess with you," Ethan says, smiling while I smile back and shake my head.

"What would you like to eat?"

"Jollof Rice with chicken and coleslaw. "

"Wow, it seems you were just waiting for me to ask the question."

"I was hoping you would"

"Alright then, dinner would be ready in an hour or two."

I finished cooking an hour ago. Ethan and I are at the dining table. I have to feed him his meal because his right hand is broken, but In Shaa Allah by tomorrow we will have his cast removed. I can't believe it's been two weeks since Ethan had an accident. Alhamdulilah, he is recovering well. For the past two weeks, I have been staying at Ethan's mom's place. I wanted to stay at a hotel, but Ethan and his mom refused. Ethan wanted me to stay at his home, but we all know how much that is a terrible idea considering the feelings I have for him. His mom refused to allow me to stay at a hotel. I come to Ethan's house every day to take care of him and go back in the evening to his mom's place.

"Adina I have meant to ask you, what are your plans once I get better. Are you still moving back to Nigeria" Ethan asks the one question I have not been able to answer myself.

The reason I was moving back to Nigeria was that I saw no future with Ethan. I could not stay in America, hoping things would get better between us, but now they did. Even though they did, Ethan and I don't really have a future together. He is still a non-Muslim, and that is a significant factor that is preventing us from not having a future together.

"I don't know Ethan, because I have been thinking about it a lot but I have not made a final decision."

"Alright, but once you decide if you are staying or not please let me know."

"I will, and since we are done eating, I will get going," I say walking to the kitchen to keep the plates.

"Do you have to leave? You can stay here. The guest room is practically already your room" Ethan says following me into the kitchen.

"Ethan, we have talked about this before, you know why I can't stay here."

"You have, but I don't understand. Why does your religion stop you from satisfying your desires towards me? It's not like I don't feel the same way towards you."

"It stops us because, in my religion, any sexual acts done outside marriage is sinful, regardless of how we truly feel towards one another."

"Yeah you have said so before, but then I still don't understand."

"I don't know how more I should explain it to you, but maybe you should ask a scholar. He might be in a better place to explain it to you."

"I wouldn't mind that"

"Alright, I will send you the email address of one of my favourite scholars. You can send him an email with all your questions about Islam. In Shaa Allah, he will have all the answers you need."

"I hope he does."

"In Shaa Allah, he will."

Alhamdulilah today Ethan is fully recovered. I couldn't be happier about his recovery. We are currently at a dinner his father organized to celebrate Ethan's recovery.

"You look beautiful tonight mi amore," Ethan says, whispering into my ears over the music playing in the background.

"Thank you, dear" I am wearing a Moroccan crepe fitted dress with a slit, a boat neckline and transparency detailing and embroidery. I am wearing a skin-coloured panty horse to cover my skin with the slit. My shoes are black with a blue veil that matches the detailing on my dress.

"Aha! Look who we have here. I am surprised to see you here Adina" Patricia says walking towards Ethan and I

"Why should you be? Oh, I remember now. You wished the plan with your son worked out, but let me tell you something, Patricia. The only thing you and your son achieved was making Ethan and I stronger than ever. You both can try a hundred ways to destroy Ethan, but you will only make him stronger."

"Haha nice speech, I am flattered. Now you listen to me young lady, you think what we did was anything close to destroying him. You are wrong because trust me you have not seen anything at all. I will destroy Ethan into pieces that even you little miss amazing won't be able to save him."

"I would love to see you try because as long as I am still breathing. I won't let you even make him drop a single sweat because of you. If you think I am joking, try me and see. You will regret the day you knew me."

"Who the hell do you think you are to make such threats towards me? Do you know who I am?"

"I don't care who you are but let me tell you who I am. I am the lady who is going to put you in your place and make sure you stay there."

"What did you say to me?" Patricia says, taking a dangerous step closer to me.

"I believe those two things beside your face work properly, so you heard me well."

"Who do you think you are to insult me in such a manner," Patricia says and lifts her hand to slap me, but before I can stop her, Ethan does.

"Patricia it is one thing to threaten me, but don't you ever think you can lay your hand on Adina. The next time you try such nonsense, I won't be so lenient with you. Get out of my face before I do something to you that I would regret" Ethan says, dropping her hands forcefully. Patricia does not say anything but angrily walks away.

"You were beautiful tonight," Ethan says, smiling at me.

"In what aspect," I say chuckling.

"Defending who you love and care about," Ethan says, smiling while talking about himself.

"Those are the things we do for the ones we love," I say, smiling back.

"I love you."

"I love you too."

Ethan and I are having dinner at one of the best restaurants in town. Ethan says he has something essential to talk to me about. I genuinely have no clue to what he wants to tell me, but I Hope is something good.

"Ethan, you said you had something to tell me," I say while enjoying my dinner.

"Yes, I do, and I don't know how you are going to take it."

"Ethan, you are scaring me, what do you want to tell me."

"Adina you know a week ago my dad made me vice director of his company."

"Yes, I do."

"Adina I have to go somewhere, and I want to ask you to fill in for me at the company while I am gone."

"What! Why? Where are you going too?"

"Adina I can't tell you right now, but I promise you once I am back I will explain everything."

"Ethan, where are you going too that you can't tell me?"

"I wish I could tell you, but it's better I don't. Please help me run the company while I am gone. I can't leave the company at the hands of my stepmother while I am away."

"Ethan you are scaring me, is there something going on that I don't know about. You know you can tell me anything."

"I know, my love but trust me. Once I get back I will explain everything so will you help me with the company" Ethan says, pleading with me, and I take a good breath before I answer.

"Ethan, I love you, and I trust you. I wish you could tell me where you are going too and why you are leaving, but it's your choice not too. I will surely look after the company while you are gone"

"Thank you, my love, and I know you barely have knowledge of running a company but don't worry, my secretary will be there to guide you."

"Alright and I hope whatever you are going to do where you are going, I pray you come back safely and satisfied."

"I also pray, I do."

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