Chapter 2

Fitnah got into her car and drove away quickly, as if she wanted to escape. She arrived at her house, parked the car and walked directly to her room without greeting her husband, although she knew he was at home. She sat down on a chair and murmured, 'Woe to her! How stubborn she is. Was it not enough for him to treat me so cruelly that he has proposed to my cousin and renewed my pain? He thinks Sumayah matches his ideals and morals, while she is only making a show of being virtuous. Years ago, I tried to make him love me, but he never cared for me. He said I was a fool and a deviated person. He will soon know that Sumayah is no better than I am. I know how to draw her to this corrupted life of mine.

'I married this playboy in order to get his wealth and enjoy life. I must tolerate living with him for the sake of his riches. Oh, I will deprive Sumayah of Ahmad as he deprived me of himself. I won't allow him to fulfill his dream of marrying a committed Muslim girl. I'll show him this is impossible and that Sumayah is just like me. Now Ahmad is getting his doctorate while my husband, Hamid, has not even managed to get any degree. I'll never let Sumayah get such a husband as Ahmad. I know he is bright, clever and has strong belief, yet he is also stubborn, reactionary and full of vanity.'

At that moment, the door opened and Hamid entered. A smile was on his face as he said, "I thought you were sick. May I enter?"

Fitnah tried to appear normal as she told him; "I have a headache, that is why I did not join you in the living room."

Hamid said, "You look quite well! Does it make you sick to see me?"

"Oh, Hamid, do not make me nervous. I didn't know you were at home!" she lied.

"But didn't you see my car? You are absent-minded today."

Fitnah said, "I told you, I have a headache! Please leave me alone now. Do not make me angry."

"Alas I am nothing but one of your many lovers and." he began.

"Oh, stop it. I know what you are going to say, so don't repeat it."

Hamid said, "You don't want to hear it! You are lucky to have a husband like me, otherwise you are good for no one.”

"What about you?" Fitnah asked. "Could any other woman tolerate life with you? You talk about me, but you forget all about yourself."

"Am I so bad?" Hamid asked her.

Fitnah replied, "You should know. Had I not been a good wife, I would not have lived one day with you. There is nothing to benefit me in living with you!"

"Then why did you marry me? Why did you attract me to yourself?"

"Oh, what a rascal you are!" Fitnah exclaimed.

Hamid said, "Never mind! I know what attracted you to me! It is my wealth, which you adore. And you have beauty, which I love. I like to live free of limits and you do also, hence we match each other."

"Have you finished?" Fitnah sighed.

"No, I have not seen you for ages. At night you attend parties and during the day you visit friends and shops. You forget you have a house and a husband! Why don't we have a child?"

Fitnah became impatient and cried, "Please leave me alone. I am sick and tired. I must sleep!"

"Then you won't even have lunch with me?"

"No, go away", she said.

Hamid asked, "What if I go and never return to you?"

Fitnah was about to say: Go, I don't care, but she controlled her feelings. He is her golden goose! Can she give him up? She does not love him. She despises him and thinks of him as being a worthless creature, but for his wealth; even his indecency is nothing to her. In fact, she has encouraged him to adopt her loose way of living so that she can live free of restrictions.
His great wealth, luxurious house and magnificent car are too precious for her to risk losing.
She smiled and said quietly "You know dear, life is dull without you, but I have this headache. Otherwise, I would have been happy to join you."

"I wish you were not so beautiful. Then you would see how I could treat you and make you feel less proud! Surely, you now think, 'I wish you were not so rich'. Had I been poor, I would not have been your prey!"

"Oh, Hamid, you do me an injustice by these words. I love no one but you.”

"Thanks a lot. Yet you insist on turning me out."

"I always love to have you near me, but now I need to rest."

"This is your usual way," Hamid said, leaving the room. "Sweet words but stingy deeds. I am leaving you, so be at ease."

He left the room, displeased. Fitnah imagined for a moment that she might lose him, but she dismissed such an idea, since she was sure of her own beauty.
She said to herself, 'Oh, it is nothing important. As soon as I smile at him, he will come quickly. Now I must think about Ahmad, who never cared for my beauty and called me a foolish, deviated girl.'

She lay on her bed, thinking of only one thing: revenge on Ahmad and his belief, which blocked her way to his heart. No, she must engineer a revenge through her cousin. She is determined to do her best to spoil this marriage, and lay thinking of the best way to achieve her aim.