By: Rogia al-Shafee
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - On the first day of the new intermediate school year in one of the towns of Northern Sudan, first year student Sua’ad stood aloof from the other girls who were busy, each trying to pick her roommates in the school boarding house.
Because the perplexed Sua’ad had no prior knowledge of any of the other girls, she stood still, belongings in hand, not knowing what to do.
The shyness on Sua’ad’s face and the loss she was in drew the attention of Nafeesa , a jolly student coming from a another village located far away from Sua’ad’s. The sociable Nafeesa soon moved to introduce herself to Sua’ad and told her to take it easy. She suggested that the two of them proceed to look for other roommates to live with. And they did.
Ever since, the two became close friends, never parting, except during the school leaves.
At the beginning of each new school year, Nafeesa used to come to school, carrying some gifts, sent to Sua’ad upon her request, by her brother Ibrahim who works in Saudi Arabia.
And when Ibrahim decided to get married, his sister recommended Sua’ad for him.
But Ibrahim told his sister he had already proposed to a female colleague of his since they were students at the university.
On the wedding day Nefeesa invited Sua’ad to travel with her to the village to attend the happy occasion, an invitation Sua’ad said cannot comply with for special reasons. Here Nafeesa told her friend that it was her intention that her brother Ibrahim marry her; Sua’ad, because she liked her and wanted their friendship to grow further.
Sua’ad thanked Nafeesa for her good feeling telling her that their bonds, in any case, were sure become stronger in future days.
When the wedding was complete, Ibrahim returned with his bride to Saudi Arabia.
The two girls later on moved to secondary school.
Ibrahim, meanwhile, fathered two kids from his wife.
Towards the last year in secondary school,
Nafeesa told her schoolmates she was to get married to her cousin.
And the two girls then went, each her own way.
Sua’ad enrolled in the Cairo University, Khartoum Branch, while Nafeesa stayed home as a housewife.
Sua’ad’s brother, Ahmed, then found a job in Saudi Arabia. There he shared a house with some other Sudanese expatriates.
For sometime, Ahmed noticed that one of those fellow expatriates was always, aloof, pensive and chain smoking.
One day Ahmed approached and introduced himself to him. Some days later the fellow, Ibrahim, disclosed to Ammed he was in trouble and had divorced his wife. He told him his wife had maltreated his parents when they visited and stayed with him for sometime in Saudi Arabia.
He said he sent his wife and children back home and obtained a divorce certificate from the Sudanese embassy in Riyadh and sent it to his wife’s father. He then said he wanted a wife who would respect his parents.
Ahmed readily told him about his sister who studied at the University, saying she was a kind, compassionate, hardworking girl who also respect elders.
Here Ibrahim dropped the cigarette and told Amhed he would be in Sudan in a week’s time to wed his sister.
Back in Khartoum, he proceeded directly to the University, introduced himself to Ahmed’s sister and handed her some gifts and a letter from her brother telling her about the man desire to marry her. He also then travelled to the girl’s village and gave a similar letter from Ahmed to his father.
The father accepted the proposal and sent a young son of his to fetch his sister from Khartoum to complete the engagement.
The next day Ibrahim’s mother and sisters travelled happily to the future bride’s home to complete the procedures. There they were received by her sisters and neighbours. After the happy and welcoming exchanges, they asked to see the future bride who shyly came forth. Once they saw her, one of Ibrahim’s sisters, Nafeesa, gasped in excitement and she was nearly fainted shouting ‘Sua’ad .. Sua’ad.’ She was overwhelmingly surprised to see that the new bride was her close friend Sua’ad whom she had one day wanted her brother Ibrahim to marry.
The wedding was completed and Sua’ad travelled with her husband Ibrahim to Saudi Arabia where she lived and completed university tuition through distant learning. She gave birth to four kids of both sexes.
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