‘You think I’m playing? You either do as I say or pack your stuff right now and leave.” Hassan whispered. Those words struck her nerve, besides Asha; she didn’t know anybody else outside Mzee’s family. Who will she turn to? Her heart was racing and her mind couldn’t keep up with all the thoughts she was having. So she snapped, “What do you want from m…” Hassan covered her mouth before she could finish. ‘Shhh, I already told you, I want you now lower your voice and follow me. He grabbed her forcefully and led her to one of the many empty rooms. Without making eye contact, he started undressing her.
Halima allowed the tears to run down her cheeks, she felt helpless and disgusted by the whole situation. Hassan forced himself into her. It lasted literally 3 minutes and after busting the nut he thanked her and told her that they will be meeting there every Sunday evening. She tried to distance herself from both Mzee and his son but it wasn’t easy, they both had a means of making things go their ways. When Mzee was hospitalized after a few months, Halima really thanked God because sometimes one person’s good fortune is a direct consequence of another person’s ruin. Now, she had one thing to worry about.
Before they could release Mzee from the hospital, the doctor insisted on seeing Hassan in his office.
“Thanks for coming Hassan, please have a seat” he pointed out the seat for him.
“What is this about doc?”
“I’m just concerned about your father’s health, for the last three months, he hasn’t been taking his medicine. His immune system is getting weaker by the day.”
Hassan stared with doubt, not understanding what the doctor is talking about. “What do you mean? What medicine?”
“Oh, you didn’t know?”
“Know what man? speak up. What are you talking about?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want you to find out like this, and I thought he told you since you are the eldest son. Your father is HIV positive, he had been using the drugs for years but he recently stopped.”
Hassan’s mind was all over the place at this point. “When did this happen?” his voice was full of rage and shock. What did this mean to him, since he had been enjoying the same pie as his father? Then it clicked, maybe he used protection with her, his father loved Halima everybody knew that there is no way he could put her in that risk. He convinced himself and that thought actually gave him hope and courage to thank the doctor for the information and walk out of his office.
“Karibu nyumbani Mzee” Halima welcomed him and forced a smile at Hassan who didn’t show any interest in her hospitality. Hassan pushed her and walked in as fast as he could. “Halima, I need to see you in my room now please.” Halima recovering from what had just happened followed Mzee quietly to his room. “I made you some soup”, she said, smiling. There is that beautiful smile I fell in love with, Mzee thought. “Thanks, Halima, but I just need to talk right now.”
“I think it’s time for you to leave” he cleared his throat and tried as much as possible to avoid eye contact “You are young, beautiful and smart, you have a whole life ahead of you. Get out there and enjoy life, I’m dying and I will be at peace if I’ll know you are free from this hell hole I brought you into.” To say she was confused is an understatement; she was so upset and sad at the same time. “You know I don’t have a family, she whispered. I have nobody to go to and now you want to put me out after you and your son used me, this is the reward I get?”
“What did you say?” Mzee asked in a panic.
“Your son Hassan, he has been sleeping with me for the last eight months and if you think you will get rid of me so easily, um! You really underestimated me”
Mzee’s glare seared holes in Halima. But the lion that’d be sleeping in her is now fully awake and she knew she had to put a strong face to win this battle.
“You killed my son you low life hoe” Mzee tried to shout but his weak body reminded him that his best days are long gone. So he lied down on his king-size bed and let it all sink in.