The American

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CHAPTER 20

I wake up to an unbearable pain on my right shoulder. I adjust my eyes to get a good look at my surrounding. All the walls around me are painted white. There is a little couch in the room next to the window. Beside me there is a table and a chair, it has someone sleeping on it. The person’s head is resting on the side of my bed, so I can’t see the persons face. I look at what I am wearing, and it’s a hospital gown. I suddenly recall why my shoulder hurts awfully. Alhamdulilah I survived the gunshot. The person sleeping beside me suddenly moves in their sleep, allowing me to get a glimpse of their face finally. I am not surprised Ethan is the one sleeping here. He looks very peaceful while sleeping. He is the most handsome man I have ever laid my eyes on. I really missed him this past three months he was gone. Alhamdulilah I survived the gunshot. I can’t believe what would have happened to Ethan if I had died. He would have felt guilty all his life, Alhamdulilah that did not happen. I feel my throat a bit sore and decide to stand up to look for water to drink. I carefully stand up from the bed, making sure not to wake up Ethan, but that goes down the drain. He rushes to my side once he sees me on my feet.

“Adina you are awake and what are you doing getting out of bed”, Ethan says quickly walking to my side. He gently guides me back to the bed.

“I just woke up, and I felt thirsty. I was going to get some water” I say, laying back on the bed.

“You should have woken me up. I can get that for you. I don’t want you stressing yourself in your situation.”

“Ethan, my situation is not that bad, and you were sleeping so peacefully. I couldn’t bring myself to wake you up”.

“It is, and next time, please wake me up. Let me go and get your water; I will be back soon” Ethan says, walking out of the room.

“Thank you”.

“Anything for you, princess”, Ethan says before he walks out.

Ethan comes back with water and food for me. It’s like he read my mind that I was starving. While eating, I decide to find out what happened after I fainted.

“Ethan, what happened after I blacked out?” I ask after finishing a bit of my food

“Austin tried to reshoot me but got shot by an officer first”.

“Wow, he was really hell-bent on killing you, Alhamdulilah he failed. Is he alive?”

“He is alive and would be spending a lot of time in jail with his mom for all the wrong they have committed”.

“Patricia is also going to jail?”

“Yes, she is. During the time, you were kidnapped. She tried to illegally buy some shares from the company and also helped her son with your kidnapping”.

“Wow, a lot happened while I was gone, but I have to ask how was kidnapping me going to help their plans.”

“They wanted me to transfer the company into their names. They kidnapped you to threaten me into doing that because they knew very well that only by harming you would I ever consider giving up the company”.

“Wow, but you were not even around. What if you never found out I was kidnapped. What would have happened to their plan because no one knew where you have been for the past three months. I am still curious to know where you went”.

“I don’t know what would have happened, but I am glad I was able to find out you were kidnapped. I can’t imagine my life without you and never repeat what you did there. I can’t live my life knowing you sacrificed your life for me. Please never do that again”.

“Alhamdulilah you found out, and In Shaa Allah we won’t ever find ourselves in such a situation again”.

“I pray so too”.

Later in the day, my elder brother Abdulhakim comes to see me at the hospital.

“Adina how are you doing, I hope you are not in pain”, Abdul says worried as he looks at me from head to toe.

“Alhamdulilah, I am doing fine. You didn’t need to come from New York”.

“You got shot, and you think that’s not enough reason for me to fly all the way here”.

“Maybe it is, but as you can see, I am doing fine. So please don’t make those at home worry too much” I say imagining what my family back home must be going through if the one that can see me is panicking like this. They have all right to panic, but I wish they won’t

“I can’t promise you that because they should be landing at the airport any time soon”.

“What? How long was I at sleep” I say wondering how my family might already be in California. It takes a day to fly from Nigeria to California.

“Little sis you were in a coma for three days”.

“Wow, I didn’t know that”

“Now you understand why I am worried about you”.

“Yeah I do, and I am sorry I made you worry. I never meant for this to happen”.

“It’s fine, and I know you didn’t mean for it to happen. Alhamdulilah you are alive, that’s all that matters”.

A few hours after my brother arrived the rest of my family arrives, and my mom can’t keep her tears at bay.

“My baby girl, I can’t imagine what you went through. Alhamdulilah, you are alive and doing well. Ya Allah thank you for saving my daughter” My mom says with tears flowing down her eyes.

“Mom, you need to stop crying. I am doing fine”.

“I can’t stop crying my dear because every time I think of what happened, I can’t be more grateful to Allah for bringing you back to us peacefully”.

“I understand mom, but please stop crying. Dad, please help me here”.

“Your mother is right, the whole situation could have turned out worst, but Alhamdulilah it did not.” My dad says

“Yes and the fact that you saved Ethan. Oh my dear I never knew you were that brave, but Alhamdulilah everything is fine now” My mom says

“I am truly proud of what you did, my dear. May Allah continue to bless you my child” My dad says

“Thank you, mummy and daddy”.

Khloe came by, and she almost cried once she saw the bruises on my face from the slap and my bandaged shoulder. She did not leave town since the day I was kidnapped and helped Ethan in the search to find me. Ethan’s whole family came, and his mom could not stop thanking me for saving Ethan’s life. I am truly grateful to Allah for making it possible for both Ethan and I to be alive today. Ethan’s dad also came, and I don’t need to be told to know he is not taking the betrayal of his wife very well. I can’t imagine what he is going through right now. I genuinely feel sorry for him for falling in love with the wrong woman.

It’s been a month since the whole incident, Alhamdulilah I am fully recovered. My mom and dad were the only ones who came to see me from Nigeria. My dad went back a week after he came, but my mom is just going back today. She wanted to make sure I fully recovered before she went back to Nigeria. I dropped my mom at the airport hours ago, and right now, I am on my way also. Ethan is taking me on vacation to Italy. I couldn’t be happier when he asked me if I wanted to go. He also said I needed a holiday with all the drama we have both been through.

We arrived in Rome a few days ago, and they have been one of the best days of my life. Ethan has been taking me all around the city, exploring all the beautiful wonders this great city has to offer, and Rome is such a beautiful city. I can imagine myself coming back here a lot.

Today Ethan has planned this wonderful dinner for both of us where he intends to tell me something very important. I genuinely have no clue what it is, but I am excited to find out. I put on my dinner dress, gifted to me by Ethan. The dress is a blue A-line fraque and lace one-shoulder dress with coloured embroidery and a slit. I love dresses with slits because they are the easiest to walk in. I wear a nude light inner shirt to cover my exposed arm and skin coloured panty horse for my legs. I put on a pair of blue diamond stud earrings that Ethan’s fraternal grandma gave me when we visited her here in Rome. She is a charming old lady. I wear my shoes and pick up my clutch to be on my way. Ethan is meeting me over there so a car he sent will take me to the venue.

The driver drives for a few minutes before finally coming to a halt. I open the door and words are not able to come out from my mouth when I look around me. Everywhere around me look so breathtaking that words can’t even describe it. I slowly step out of the car and walk down the path of flowers and lights that guide me towards where Ethan is standing. There are different types of flowers laid out on the sand of the beach with beautiful lights all around. I take off my shoes so it will be easier for me to walk in the sand.

“Why didn’t you tell me we were coming to the beach? I would have worn better shoes” I say once I get in front of Ethan.

He looks dashing as ever in his suit that hugs him in all the right places. His grey eyes are looking beautiful than ever to night with a lot of happiness glowing in them.

“You look beautiful this way. Come and have a seat” Ethan says, guiding me towards a small table setting. Ethan helps me pull out my chair and tucks me in like the gentleman he is

“Thank you”, I say once I am comfortable in my seat.

“You are always welcome”, Ethan says, taking his seat opposite me.

Dinner is served by one of the best chefs in Rome, and while eating, I decide to ask Ethan what he wanted to tell me tonight.

“Ethan, you said you had something to tell me”.

“Yes I do, Adina do you remember the first time we kissed?”

“Yes, I do. It was at the beach” I say replaying that wonderful day in my head and I don’t think I can ever forget that day.

“Yes, at the beach, and that was the place I first declared my feelings to you. So today again I will do the same”

“What do you mean?” I have no clue where this conversation is going

“Adina I still remember the first day I saw you. You were the most beautiful woman I ever laid my eyes on, but I hated you because of your skin tone. I hated myself for even finding you attractive, but the heart wants what it wants. I stopped fighting my feelings towards you and allowed them to grow into something so much more. I never knew I could love someone the way I love you. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. You bring so much joy, happiness and light into my life, and I would forever be grateful to God for meeting you. Some might say I am too young to be doing this, but I believe it’s best to grow with those you love beside you. Adina Ibrahim will you do me the honour of being my wife” Ethan says and goes on one knee with the most beautiful ring I have ever laid my eyes on. It’s a petite twisted vine diamond ring.

“Ethan I love you more than anything in the world, and I would love to be your wife but…..” Ethan cuts me off before I can complete my sentence

“I know you are going to say we are of different beliefs so you can’t marry me but not anymore”, Ethan says confusing me.

“What do you mean Ethan?”

“Do you know why I could not tell you where I went too and what I was going to do there”.

“No”

“I did not tell you because I did not want to raise your hopes if what you might have wanted to be does not happen”.

“What do you mean?”

“Adina I visited some places around the US to find out about Islam”.

“Really but why didn’t you tell me. I could have recommended some scholars you could visit to ask questions about Islam” I say feeling so happy he is interested in Islam.

“I know, but I did not want to raise your hopes high about me becoming a Muslim because I was curious in Islam”.

“Oh, but did you find the answers you were looking for?”

“I did my love. I really wanted to understand why a religion you love so much will stop you from being with the one you love”.

“Now you know why and also understand”.

“Yes, I do, and I can’t believe I put you through such difficulties my love. Will you ever forgive me?”

“Ethan, you did nothing wrong. You are not the one who made me fall in love with you. Allah already decreed for it to happen. So don’t beat yourself up for it”.

“This is why I love you so much. You are truly an angel with such a beautiful and forgiving heart”.

“Thank you, but what did you mean earlier about our beliefs not been different anymore”, I say eagerly hoping my prayers have finally been answered.

“I know what you are thinking, and yes, Allah did answer your prayers”.

Oh my God, Ya Allah, I can’t believe this is happening. Ethan just said Allah, and he did not say it like he does not know the value of that name. He said it with a deep understanding of who Allah is. Allahu Akbar, oh Allah, thank you so much for answering my prayers. I am truly at your mercy.

“Ethan, how did this happen? How come I did not notice” I say trying to keep my tears of joy at bay

“After I found the answers to my questions, I continued to learn more about the religion. Before I knew what was happening, I became in love with Islam, Allah, and prophet Muhammad SAW. The moment I realized it, I knew Islam was the religion for me. You didn’t notice because I wanted to tell you at the right time and I knew it was now or ever”.

“I am so happy Ethan that words can’t even describe how I feel”, I say cleaning my little tears of joy.

“So will you marry me Adina Ibrahim”, Ethan says still holding out the ring.

“Yes, I will Ethan Montone”, I say smiling. Ethan gently slides the ring into my finger, and the smile on my face could be seen from a mile away. Ya Allah thank you so much for making everything work out between us.

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