My name is Lula.
I know you will dismiss my story, because of fear of the unknown –
for fearing what you don’t understand.
This is my story.
CHAPTER 1 | THE BEGINNING
Two years ago, I met the man of my dreams at a local café across the campus of my university. I remember noticing him through the quiet breeze in the small scoped café. It was early morning, and I think we were the only two souls sitting across from each other.
He took gentle stares at me, as he nervously flipped the pages of the book he was reading. Minutes later, he walked in my direction and stood tall above my table with a shy smile. He blurred his name shyly into my direction:
“Hi, I’m Nasiib.”
In school I fancied books and sugarless coffee, while my friends sought love in the dark hours of the night. Dorm rooms were filled with weeping souls, begging to be consumed by love. To me, love was a great pitch to sell books and movie tickets.
Before Nasiib, I hated love.
See, my father left my mother while she was pregnant with me. He married a younger woman, whom he met while on a trip to Somalia. My mother found out that he made the wedding expenditures with their life savings. She came to know this when her card declined at the supermarket while she was shopping for milk and bread.
The next day she cued up for food-stamps, then moved to live in a building filled with gangsters and drug dealers. I grew up playing with kids who smelled of piss and weed.
For a long time, I blamed love.
I thought it was love that shattered the soul of my mother, as she lied awake in the middle of the night, feeling lonely and unwanted. It was love that dismantled the spirit of a civil-war survivor as she crippled out of bed in the morning to pack us lunch.
I hated my father. Some days, I also hated my mother for loving him.
He refused to divorce her. He claimed there wasn’t any legitimate reason for a divorce, since Muslim men are permitted to marry four. So, he comes back twice a year to drain the little money she saves.
I believed love was a curse.
Until love took a different shape; a different form. It started to weigh heavy in my heart.
I fell in love with Nasiib.
Some girls wish to find men who carry the same characteristic traits as their father; I wished for the opposite.
Nasiib was raised by his aunt. His mother died after giving birth to him. The doctors informed her of the risks of being pregnant, but she chose him over her life. She died holding him, trying to put him to sleep. She was cold and alone. The nurses had to call her closest kin to come pick up Nasiib.
His father didn’t even bother to attend the funeral. He was a seasonal fisherman whose time was absorbed by money-grubbing women and khat. We had that in common. We both had two selfish pricks as a father.
Nasiib and I decided to get engaged. We both agreed that it was time for us to embark on the next journey together.
What happened next was unpredictable.