Zoya’s eyelids felt too heavy to open them. The whole room spun in front of her, while a pounding headache hit her sharply. She opened her eyes in narrow slits and closed them again, as she felt the bile rise up in the pits of her belly. She immediately stood up from the couch, or whatever it was, and ran towards the washroom attached to the cabin.
She emptied whatever had been left in her system from the morning breakfast. She had skipped lunch, and it was already past 7 in the evening now. This was an issue with her; whenever she starved herself in her depression, the baby made it worse than ever. Every woman experiences different symptoms during her pregnancy. Mostly they don’t feel like eating anything; but if they do, they tend to end up throwing up. But with her it was totally opposite; she felt hungry most of the time, and she rarely felt nauseous, except when she starved herself for more than 6 hours. Up till now, she had only experienced dizziness, and that was all. But since the last few days, she didn’t feel like eating anything; and it was causing her stomach to twist.
Zoya washed her mouth thoroughly with the tap water. She also splashed it on her face before entering back in to the cabin where Nasir was waiting impatiently for his mistress. He came forward to support her numb body by firmly holding her hand and made her comfortable on the plush leather couch.
Zoya felt as if all the energy had drained from her as she held her head in her hands. She saw Nasir holding his phone to his ear and reprimanded him in a huffed whisper.
“Nasir, if you are calling a doctor, then don’t. I really don’t want to see anyone right now.” Her raspy voice was the proof of how exhausted she was feeling. Nasir came forward and took the glass of fresh juice from the table which he had ordered before on the intercom. He presented the chilled rejuvenating drink to her with pleading eyes. Zoya looked at him; she knew she had already pushed him far beyond his limits; she couldn’t take him for granted. She took the glass from his hand while mumbling a thank-you. The drink definitely eased some of her nerves.
“I don’t know how I am supposed to react on such a stupefying revelation. I can now understand his aversion from telling me, as well as for blocking me out. It’s too much for anyone Nasir. And I really can’t understand why apa had to be so…” She cut herself in the middle; she couldn’t find the right words to describe Saba’s outrageous past.
But she knew that her apa, who was no less than a mother to her, must surely have some strong reasons for her actions in the past. Because it is not easy for a woman to see her own child growing up on another woman’s lap, no matter whoever the other woman is. It’s not easy to suppress her motherly love for her own baby in front of the world; and rather accept him as a sibling. It felt so wrong, what Saba had to go through, and so pathetically planned for her. Zoya felt her eyes burn with fresh tears of sorrow and grief for her beloved apa. She must have been through hell. Zoya couldn’t blame Shahzeb for shutting Saba off either. But still, these happenings of his past couldn’t justify his cruel intentions of terminating their baby. In fact, Zoya felt that after becoming aware of all these chaotic revelations, Shahzeb should have further cherished and felt obliged towards his family. At least, they were offering their child something which even Shahzeb hadn’t had, a legitimate family, with loving actual parents.
“I should be leaving now, it’s getting late. But tell him, whatever the hurdles he has been facing, it doesn’t justify his outrageous demands.” She was so busy in pointing out her husband’s biased behavior that she failed to sense the change in Nasir’s demeanor, who was looking behind her at the glass door with a disturbing glance.
The glass door closed back silently after the person’s arrival. Nasir could tell that his boss had heard the last bit of their conversation clearly. Shahzeb’s jaw was clenched hard, his eyes steely black, as he folded the cream colored blinds on the doors and windows to cut out the visuals for his executive department’s curiosity. Zoya tilted her head sideways to follow Nasir’s gaze, and saw her husband. She left out a tiring sigh.
“So Nasir had in-fact called Shahzeb, whom she had wrongly assumed as the doctor. He wouldn’t care less if she or the baby would die at this moment.” Her lips curved in a self mocking smile as she thought grimly.
Shahzeb came in front of her and stood with the support of his office desk. His arms were folded on his chest; his high cheekbones were faintly tinted rouge. He looked at her with hooded eyes, taking in every tiny detail of his stubborn wife, who looked frailer in the loose ankle length red cotton maxi dress with her scarf loosely wrapped around her neck. Brown silky strands escaped from her loose messy bun, falling around her pale face. Her brown eyes looked dull.
He had so many things to wind up, but here he was, having hurriedly left an important meeting in the middle, driving through the bustling evening traffic of the city, almost breaking the signals. Nasir had called him to come up immediately because she had made herself terribly ill. The poor man was frightened to death after hearing her choking sounds from the washroom. It was his first time seeing a pregnant woman throwing up violently. He immediately called his boss to come fast and take care of his tenacious wife.