THE LOVE WE NEVER HAD

…ke, if it’s a joke, ki bari.” Alhaji umar told his daughter.

He knew he had to disapprove. Of all things she could ask for, this was one he couldn’t dare permit. Alhaji umar loved his daughter, Amina. “Ranan safe na” He fondly called her as she was his last and only female child. He hated to see her cry but, this one request, he could not grant.

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“He seems nice” Alhaji told his wife, Aisha, as they laid in bed that night. “I like the way he treats her. I can’t think of another man that can take care of her. But, this is not possible.”

Overtime, Alhaji umar observed as Bo and his daughter grew close. He noticed how they exchanged deep laughter over jokes he considered unworthy of a smile. For Amina, Bo was the kind of man he always asked for in his dua.

***

“Baba, you always talk good about him. You know he is the right partner for me.” Amina’s playful words spiked his guilt, though he’d expected her to understand why.

How can he tell her? How can he put it? How can he tell her her love meant nothing? How can he tell her that she would have to leave the warm place she’d built with Bo? How could he tell her there’s a force against her love? How can he tell her she can’t marry Bo because he is Bo? How can he say no to her happiness because She is a muslimah and he is an arni.
How can he tell her she can’t have the love she thinks she has.

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