Click here for part one.
By weekend, I travelled. So I missed the Sabbath. I returned on Sunday, in the afternoon. I missed the Muslim students' Usrah too. I wanted to go to class. As I passed, I was called back. This time I expected instructions. But orders came. Now remove that scarf! Which one? The one around your neck. Hypocrisy. Turtle-necks are allowed. Mufflers are allowed. Don't they cover the necks? I went for the Handbook. But,she would not let me argue any further. It was a good morning at the start, now, she ruined the mood. I headed back. Where are you going? Back to the room of course. Won't you go to class? It's not a must. Being without hijaab means staying indoors. I called home. And the quest to quit began.
First, I went to meet the Dean. She's such a devotee. She asked me to feel free. I wanted to leave. Else, I won't cope. Moreover, it will be well of me to be a "drop-outee" rather than an "expellee". Expulsion. I was very sure of it because I won't acknowledge any ecclesiastical etiquette nor canon laws. As calmly as I had met her, she listened to my wherefore. Once I was done, she asked me if I'd talked to God. Now use. Then, she asked me to, when I get back to the hall, at a corner. Whatever God says should be the final. She wished me well before I left. God didn't talk to me, so I didn't go back to her. Actually, the constancy is that Allah Will not talk to me, nor to any other mortal. May His Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Musa. There was no point in sitting at a corner.
Friday came so swiftly. We would be praying in town, so I took my black jilbaab with me. The same feet-long hijaab I wore when the schorlaship was being launched. A lady, one of the ushers had asked if I was a beneficiary. I replied in affirmative. And that if I was sure I would be allowed to wear such. A father asked me too, if anyone had said anything derogatory. He felt relieved with my negation. If a big one wouldn't get denigrated, definitely, smaller ones would be welcomed. Even after the party, when we got to school. It was odd. Still, no one discussed it. Everyone looked as if they minded their business. As if all was well. It's almost time for Jum'ah. There's no need draping over the shoulders, I had concluded. We got to the Reception. As usual, we were called back. The Ameera was even by them. Her scarf was over her shoulders. She seemed not to see any reason why she would remove it. I didn't see any reason to remove mine either. Afterall, it's Friday, and almost the time for Salah. We went on. Every morning, when most girls pass, it's either you ask them to draw their skirts down or that they should change their blouse or that they should remove their make-ups. And, then, when girls who had long dress, modest tops and plain faces pass, you still ask them not to cover their heads cum neck. It's so ridiculous. Counteracting and exasperating. Dissimulating. On the long run, we concluded the arguments, asked to leave. And, we did. The Jum'ah was observed in the premise and we hardly made three full rows. I learnt it was actually to obviate the misconduct of some students who had taken Jum'ah as an avenue to explore the town. This nonchalant attitude had been a prominent reason as to why we had been summoned.
Everyone else left for service. Sabbath was so holy. It's obvious in the way people dressed, wearing scarfs. Everywhere went stilly. People had all left, except for the incalcitrant and non-compliant ones. I happened to be a member of the latter. With the administrators superintending the hall, all loiterers were taken to the Reception. Each, questioned for the validity of boycotting the worship. What do I say? That was the first time I would be meeting her. She really appreciated the candidates. I am a muslim, and I don't attend church services. Simple. I knew two verses, to support that. Quran109:6, and Quran72:18. I'll only be oppressing my own self if I attend. I got demerited. Other were, too. I wasn't baffled, not in the least. Sunday is for us to congregate once more. I was so eager for the programme. Discussion was about pending issues. People were so keen. It made me feel more elated. Seeing people, in a world you've thought as, as a disparate entity from yours, with meritorious intellection, contributing to the progression of the Deen in oppressive times, is really specifying.
I had really been trying to meet him, all in futility. When I finally did, it was at the parking lot. He asked, at first, if I was being victimized. My reply wasn't okeydoke. So he demanded what I decided to leave. This isn't my world. I don't belong here. I want to leave,to where I'll survive. Just like I had said to the Dean,I responded. It could be devastating. He reasoned. He wished me so well of sui generis success. I asked for the permit, but he said I could go. I was so grateful. I couldn't remember if he gave me a note or not. I had submitted a letter to the Hall. A notification of leave.
Just like I had been welcomed, I was baded au revoir. Starting from where the welcome stopped,to when it began. The tears fell and flowed.
We die once,
But we live twice,
Before we die, and after we do.