Once we had paid for the breakfast and left for the civil ceremony things seemed different, I felt we had drifted into an ease with each other already like when we had first met all those years ago. We sat in the back of the car while my mum and Helena sat in the front driving and chatting, the building was abotu 20mins drive away which gave me time to breath and calm myself. As we set off I muttered the duaa for travelling under my breath and turned to see Sulayman looking out the window and doing the same. This is one aspect of marriage I had looked forward to, someone to share my Islam with, to learn from and learn with, insha'allah I had found that in him. He turned back to me and put his arm around the back of my head leaning it on the top of the seat, he smiled at me sweetly and started to talk about what we could do for the rest of the day. He mentioned going back to my flat to pick up the last remaining boxes and of course he wanted to see where I had been living for the past 3 years, to understand what I had done in that time and how I had grown. Also he wanted us to spend some time with my mum, alone, before driving up the the country hotel we had been booked into with some family for dinner and our first night alone. I blushed at the prospect and he smiled as if knowing what I was blushing for, which made me blush even more. Holding my hand he told me, 'you know, the first time I met you I knew you were special and that night was such a turning point for me in Islam. It made me sit back and try to figure out where I was going and what I was doing, I wanted to give my wife something for the hereafter and when I saw you the second time you took my breath away. I thank Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) for giving me this second chance and I pray that we are together for our lives on this earth and in jannah, if you will have me' I smiled 'Insha'allah' I told him before he pulled my hand up to his lips and gently kissed my knuckles. We arrived at the building after repeatedly being told to act our age in the back of the car from my mum after periodically poking and tickling me, we stepped out of the car and brushed ourselves down to calm ourselves before I looked over at him with his hair all dishevelled and burst out laughing so much Davina pulled me to the toilets to fix myself.
The civil ceremony passed in a haze, this was more for my family than for us, to me I was a married woman and I wanted to get down to the business of knowing about the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Once we signed all the documents and posed for enough pictures we arranged the hotel event and everyone split up, I left my friends and husband outside while I changed into something a little less fancy for the rest of the day. I changed into a long chiffon black maxi dress and covered my bare skin with a loose flowing pale yellow cashmere cardigan, the look was completed with black wedged shoes and a black hijab with tiny crystals sewn around in a random pattern. I stepped out of the changing room to see that Sulayman, my mum and Davina too had changed into things more comfortable which made me feel better about the next few hours even more. Sulayman told me he had left his car outside of my mums house, so my mum drove us back there after dropping off my friends at their houses on the way back, we would all be meeting up later at the hotel so that was something to look forward to. As soon as we were dropped off at his car we exchanged bags into his boot and set off for my flat just down the road, once we had found a space to park in I pulled him across the road and quickly opened the front door. I was excited for some reason to show him my place, it was where I was living through this whole experience and it had in some way made me the person that I was today and for that I was thankful alhamdulillah. He smiled when he asked just how many boxes I had and we realised that maybe a few trips up and down the stairs might be in order, he looked around and commented on the little things I had done to make this my home. The touches of colour and culture I had incorporated into the once off white rooms, I was going to miss this, he then proceeded to tell me 'I think we should move out of where Im living by the end of the year, fresh start in a new place.. then you can add your touches to our place' emphasing on the word 'our' I nodded, liked the idea. I sat down on the floor and watched him trying to organise what boxes to take down first before standing up and asking 'fancy a cup of tea?' he nodded scratching his beard 'please, 1 sugar and milk' I laughed... couldnt believe that I had a husband and I didnt know how he liked his tea, it amused me although he looked perplexed when I explained what I was laughing at. Once all the boxes had been moved into the car we left the room quietly, this was an emotional time for me, I had so many good memories from this flat and I was nervous my new life wouldnt give me as many, I prayed it would. I locked the door for the last time and slid the key through the letterbox as my landlord had instructed me the previous week. I breathed a heavy sigh as he came up behind me, I felt his presence and saw his face next to mine as he whispered in my covered ear 'Im really not that bad you know' I smiled and moved as he kissed the side of my head through my hijab. I couldnt understand what I had done to gain the respect and understanding of this guy who had fallen in love with me while we hadnt even known each other. Allahu alim (God knows best) We then headed out to his place to drop off my boxes and pick up his bag for the evening in the hotel, it had previously been decided that the outfits we were all to wear that evening would be in the code of formal ball wear, so he had bought a tuxedo and I would be wearing a chiffon red empire lined dress, with the red kitten shoes I had worn today, a long black thin over coat to cover my arms and a sparkly red hijab that I had picked up at the ball dress shop the week before. I was looking forward to it, especially the food which was supposed to be amazing there, my mum knew the owner of the hotel so the price of the evening was less than most evenings, which was the decider for actually making this a big event.
As Sulayman moved all the boxes into his little house I sat on the couch and looked around, things seemed different from when i was last here all those months ago but it was nice. Clean, calm, modern, I liked it and hoped that the next place would be just as soothing to the soul. I noticed a quran and prayer mat tucked away in the corner and looking at the clock realised it was time for dhuhr, I took out the quran and began to read while I waited for him to finish so we could pray together and i think he realised this because he quickened his pace then washed up ready to pray. He walked in the room and smiled 'you ready?' he asked, I nodded my head placing the Quran back where I found it and took my position behind my husband to pray for forgiveness, for faith and for the ummah around the world. I had never heard his recitation before so it took me by surprise, the tone of his voice, the singing of his words, it was beautiful masha'allah and it was only as I made duaa after the salah that I realised he had brought me to tears. He turned around to face me just as I was counting on my fingers and reciting tasbeeh, when I finished I wiped my eyes and looked up to see a smile on his face that I would grow to wait for over the years. He patted the ground infront of him and pulled me closer towards him as he sat on his prayer mat with an air around him I couldnt even describe. I sat on my legs infront of him, nervous as to what his intentions were this close to each other, he pulled himself closer and opened his legs so each rested either side of me. Now we were face to face, closer than I had ever remembered, he moved closer and gently kissed the tip of my nose as he had done so earlier in the day, then he looked around my head and unclipped the hijab pin at my chin and pushed the scarf back off my head. He placed his hand softly on my head and muttered a duaa that a new husband should say with his new wife 'O Allaah, I ask you for her good and the good of what You have dispositioned her toward and I seek refuge (in You) from her evil and the evil You have dispositioned her toward' then looked at me smiling and leaned forward and kissed me on the lips. The same kiss that we had shared all those years ago, but this one seemed better, more intense, more meaningful and so much more halal ;) I held his face with my hands as it lingered and i waited to see who would be the first to pull away, he did and looked past my head and said quietly 'we should probably get moving, we have the rest of our lives to absorb each other' I laughed, 'hmm, I dont know if I want to absorb you, I just like looking at you masha'allah' he blushed which made me laugh 'come on' I kissed his nose 'lets get sorted' I said standing up and pulling him with me. I walked over to the big mirror hanging over his fireplace and fixed my hijab to look presentable and covering. Then we left the house holding hands and walked to the car to make our way to the hotel, the start of the rest of our lives.
Thanks for reading my stories :) insha'allah you like them and I would appreciate any comments you have to make regarding them. Now, next storyline?? thats something to think about insha'allah