ON THE other side of the east river, not far from Adam, yet living in an entirely different world, Iman opened her eyes with the memories of the night before.
She had been sitting at the dining table for hours, satisfied with her day’s work, all set and settled. She had made the most exquisite dinner that day, only to please one person — Ahmed Ghani, the person she had given her heart to, and the person around whom her life revolved.
Oh, it’s eleven o’clock now, Iman had thought, where is he? I told him we will celebrate our first anniversary together. Why is he being so difficult? Maybe I should call him.
After listening to the recorded message of his phone being switched off, she threw her mobile away, bent her head and crossed her arms around it.
At midnight, she heard the front door of her small apartment slammed hard.
“Assalamualaikum, let me take this,” she said, with a smile on her face.
“Wàlikumassallam,” with that, he walked past her and went to the rest room without even glancing at her, though she had spent hours to get ready for the night.
“Oh, please help me,” she said, looking up and raising her hands.
“Ahmed, are you all right? I’ve been waiting for you,” she said the moment he came out.
“And why was that?” Ahmed answered in a monotone.
“Remember, I told you it’s our anniversary. I’ve made us a royal dinner. Please, have some?”
“What? Oh, our anniversary. Sorry. I forgot, and I had my dinner at the office. I’m so tired. I think I’d better go to bed now.”
“But — Ah,” Iman sighed as he left her alone in the living area.

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