One Hour Later.
Salim’s Apartment | San Myshuno.
Even though she gave him the silent treatment the entire drive back to the city, Camilla still said no when Salim asked if she was ready to go home. It may not seem like it but this … was actually a good thing. It meant she didn’t want to stay mad, and that she was probably just waiting for him to say something convincing enough for her to start talking to him again.
Once they got inside his apartment, they parted ways, her to the living room and him to the bedroom. He wasn’t avoiding her or anything, he just needed a few minutes to figure things out … plan his next move. From what he gathered from their conversation back at the restaurant, she was mad because she didn’t like how he was handling the situation with Aahana, which was crazy to him because if she understood Aahana and her ways, she would get why he’s doing what he’s doing, but she doesn’t and that … might be the problem …That was the problem. See, ever since they started dating, Aahana was the one topic he always avoided talking about. Not because he had anything to hide but because … he just didn’t want to. Sitting around talking about his ex-wife with his girlfriend was not his idea of a good time so unless it was absolutely necessary, he made sure her name never came up and if it did, he had ways of changing the subject. Lately though, those ways weren’t working too well on Camilla so a real conversation about Aahana was something that needed to happen now if he didn’t want to risk ruining his relationship with her.
Salim: I’ll make a deal with you.
Camilla: [rolls eyes] I’m listening …
Salim: I’m going to tell you all about about Aahana. Everything you need to know. And you can ask whatever questions you want but after this … you gotta let me handle her. Stop trying to fix things and stop bringing it up every other day. It’s for me to deal with, not you.
Camilla, softly: Okay.
Salim: So do we have a deal?
Camilla: [nods eagerly] Yes.
Salim: [exhales deeply] Okay, so … when she was little, it was always just her and her mom. They were real close, but their relationship … it was more like … partners than mother and daughter … like her mom worked a lot, she was a single parent so she was doing 12 hour shifts, maybe 5, 6 days a week. So while she was out working, Aahana was home, by herself holding down the house. At 8 years old, she was seeing herself off to school, doing her homework and making herself dinner, basically everything parents do.
Camilla: She didn’t have a dad or any other family to go to?
Salim: She had a dad but he was the type that would make plans to take her shopping on Saturday but when the weekend rolled around, he would just … disappear.
Camilla: That’s … sad.
Salim: Yeah … so fast forward to later when she’s older. She told me about her life and everything before we even started dating so I knew all that already. But after while, especially whenever we argued, I started to see little things from her past coming out in the way she acted.
Camilla: What do you mean?
Salim: Like her wanting to run things all the time. She’s used to being the one who has to do everything, the one that’s always in charge and when she’s not, she doesn’t know how to deal with it.
Camilla: Okay, I get that but if she didn’t have a good relationship with her dad, why is she trying to make her kids go through the same thing?
Salim: [shakes head] She’s not thinking about it like that. She’s trying to prove a point. She’s trying to prove that she has the upper-hand and that she can take them away if she wants to.
Camilla, slightly panicked: So if that’s what she’s doing, how is not talking to her helping?
Salim: Because the one thing she’s scared of the most is being abandoned again. And if she thinks that’s what I’m doing, that I’m done with her, the babies, everything, she’ll stop.
Camilla sat there for a minute, soaking in everything he just told her. It was a lot and she didn’t know how to feel about it but she did know she felt … different. It’s like … earlier that day, she thought Aahana was just the psychotic baby mama who was doing everything in her power to ruin her relationship with the man she loves but now … she just felt … bad for her. Like this whole time, she was convinced she was the problem but … maybe she’s not? Maybe the girls were right and this whole thing is bigger than her and she should just let them work it out … and while they’re doing that, maybe she and Salim could … still be happy.