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Copyright © September 2019 by CiaoSteve
CiaoSteve reserves the right to be identified as the author of this work.
This story cannot be published, as a whole or in part, without the express agreement of the author other than the use of brief extracts as part of a story review.
This is a work of fiction. The events described here are imaginary; the settings and characters are fictitious and are not intended to represent specific places or living persons.
: All sexually active characters in this story are over 18.
: This is a story and intended purely for pleasure.
: Thank you so much to a fellow reader, Bablee, for providing the inspiration behind yet another story. With such a vivid imagination, it is always my pleasure to put her ideas into words. I do hope I have done this one justice.
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Where I come from, they say that the market is the centre of the town, the place where anything which needs to get done tends to happen, where the most important conversations take place and where one can hide a little secret amongst the hustle and bustle of daily life. My hometown was no different. The market was the place to be and be seen. It wasn’t the largest in the world, but for sure there was always a hubbub of activity and, at the same time, a feast on the senses. You couldn’t help but notice the heady aroma of spices mixed with the calming influence of incense. For the newcomer it could well be too much, but after some time you sort of got used to it. The glint of metal in what diffused sunlight reached inside, gave the impression of precious treasures hidden around every corner. Finally, was the buzz. The endless chatter, words merging into an almost solid hum as people went about their daily business.
It was one of the few things I missed about home. We’d moved to Europe many years back. Hubby’s work had taken us first to France and then the UK. At first it was a bit difficult to adjust. Zeeshan, my darling husband of more than twenty years, was rather strict in his beliefs and, whilst we had tried to adjust to Western culture, there were some aspects of life which he would never change. Don’t get me wrong, there were many benefits of a life in the West. Education was probably the biggest one, and with four children it was probably the most important. We had one lad in his second year at university studying engineering, another would go off in the Autumn and the third two years later. Zeeshan had their whole lives planned for them.
Then there was Amina, our daughter. I missed her so much. Amina wasn’t with us anymore. It wasn’t my fault, I kept telling myself. There was nothing I could have done, not with Zeeshan and his strong beliefs.
Amina had graduated with a good degree and a very promising future. The problem though was one of culture. I guess the children found it much easier to integrate, Amina probably the most. The problem was . . . well, rightly or wrongly, the problem wasn’t what she was doing but more who she was doing it with. She would toe the line when it came to appearances, wearing the hijab when out and about but combined with a much more modern combination of western couture. That wasn’t an issue, to be honest I had kind of gotten used to doing the same and Zeeshan tolerated it — well, most of the time he tolerated it, but on occasions Amina would chance her arm just a bit too far. The problem was her group of friends. There were a few from back home, but most were locals.
I cry sometimes, thinking back to what he did. I can understand why, but did Amina deserve it? Why couldn’t he just accept that times change? It wasn’t long after she had graduated, probably the end of that same summer. People were drifting away in different directions, some into work and others continuing their study. I remember clearly how Zeeshan didn’t want her to go to the party. Now I wish she hadn’t, but I guess that would just have been putting off the inevitable. Amina was seen . . . kissing . . . kissing an English boy. That was all it took. Within months Amina was set to be married, back in Pakistan.
I would plead with him, time after time, but there was no changing Zeeshan once his mind was set. The answer was always the same; how the Western culture would be the corruption of our darling daughter and how she needed the stability that a Pakistani husband would bring. Did she like him? Did she really know him? It was what was expected rather than a choice to make. He was the son of a family friend, a gentle man of good upbringing. Most importantly he ticked all the boxes when it came to the expectations of a suitable husband.
Amina had been gone now for around six months, but I still kept her room in the house in the vain hope that she would return. Wardrobes filled with Western outfits, deemed unsuitable for back home, along with photographs were my daily memory.
I missed her so much. Some would say she was the spitting image of her mother and I guess it wasn’t far off the mark. Yes, I canlı bahis was twenty years older or so, but from a physical perspective we were very similar. Unless you took a close look, the biggest difference was probably the hairstyles. Mine was totally natural whereas Amina had taken to adding highlights to hers. There was one photo of the two of us and, yes, we could have been twins. Some days I would even borrow her clothes, keeping her memory alive if only for myself. One day, I kept telling myself. One day, she would be back. Today was one of those days, the chance for a few hours to dress like she would. A pair of blue jeans, a long-sleeved white top and, of course, my hijab was my outfit of choice for yet another trip to the local market.
I’d been in a hurry, rushing from stall to stall as I filled my bag with that evening’s dinner. It had become a sort of daily pilgrimage — I hadn’t worked since I came to Europe, relying on Zeeshan’s income as I looked after the house and family — to make sure that only the freshest ingredients made it to the dinner plate. Today was one of their favourites, my infamous mutton curry. Okay, so it was lamb as mutton wasn’t so easy to get hold of, but they still seemed to like it. I was so engrossed in my shopping that I barely registered the soft voice from behind.
“Amina?” he called out. “Amina?”
It was only his persistence which convinced me to turn around. When I did, I found myself looking at an English youth. I hadn’t seen him before, yet he seemed to be trying to catch my attention. I was usually pretty good with faces, but not this time. I simply stood, and quite rudely looked him up and down, a confused expression on my face.
The lad looked almost ashen white, a decent complexion, but definitely pale and pasty against my darker tones. He had short dark hair, well kempt, with a slight natural curl. Even physically we had little in common. I was a lofty five foot four in heels, with a very feminine figure and curves where you would expect them. The lad in front of me must have been a good foot taller, and seemingly slight for his height, albeit the loose clothing might have added to the impression of thinness.
His mannerisms though stood out more than anything. The speed at which he was talking told of pure excitement, yet a subtle tremble in his pronunciation revealed his inner nerves.
“I was right. It is Amina, isn’t it?” he continued.
I simply stared at him, unable to work out what he was trying to ask. Why was he calling out for Amina? It took a while before the penny dropped. This young lad — I guessed he was about the same age as Amina or maybe slightly older — was thinking of me as my darling daughter. It still took a while for the obvious to register. He had truly mistaken me for my daughter. This lad actually thought he was talking to Amina. Dressed in her clothes, with my head covered by the hijab, I suppose I did look like her. It wasn’t the first time that people had confused the two of us.
I didn’t know who he was. Should I have recognised him as one of Amina’s friends? I racked my brains but really couldn’t place him. Amina had so many friends that it would have been difficult to know all of them, but this lad did stand out as being rather alluring in a motherly sort of way.
For all I couldn’t place him, the lad surely believed he knew me. He was talking with such excitement, as if he hadn’t seen me for so long and was eager to catch up. Me? No, it wasn’t me who he hadn’t seen. It was my daughter. The lad still thought I was Amina. I smiled at him, confused in my mind and not knowing whether to tell him the truth or humour him. There was something in his voice. Despite the nervousness, there was a warmth, a passion in the way he spoke. It was almost like . . . like . . . like he had a thing for Amina.
I’d nod here, smile there, and respond with mostly single word answers. To be honest I wasn’t following his conversation so much. My attention was now taken by his eyes and the way they looked deep into mine. There was such a beauty in the pale blueness of those eyes, such a beauty and such a . . . how should I describe it . . . such an affection. That was it. His eyes exuded pure affection for the person he believed was my daughter. My heart was pounding inside. No-one, not even Zeeshan, had looked at me with this much affection for such a long time.
Still I was confused. It couldn’t be. He should leave now, realising his mistake. Deep inside though, I was enjoying the moment. But it was so wrong. I was old enough to be his mother. I was warming to the lad though — his name was Peter, but that still didn’t ring any bells — and was even a little disappointed when finally, it was time to come clean.
“I must be going now, Peter,” I started. “It was really good to talk to you.”
“Must you go, Amina? Can we not spend a little more time together? Maybe a coffee?”
“I’m sorry, I need to get back home with these vegetables.”
“Maybe I could walk with you? Carry the bag for you?”
“That’s really kind of you to offer, but I can manage. bahis siteleri And . . . anyway . . . maybe I’m not who you think I am.”
There, it was said. I had told the young lad that I wasn’t Amina. So, why wasn’t he going? I waited and watched. His face told more than words could do. The eyes still spoke of deep affection, yet an increasing tremor in the lips suggested a little discomfort with my reply.
“Another day, Amina?” came a surprising reply. Why was he still using my daughter’s name when I had told him I wasn’t her? “We could catch up some more.”
“I don’t think it would be a good idea, Peter.”
I watched his mouth drop a little more. It was strange. I almost felt sorry for the young lad, taken in by my deceitful appearance, yet the burn of those eyes kept my heart pumping as if I was with a secret lover.
“What’s changed Amina? You were different at the party.”
“I’m sorry Peter. I told you I am not who you think . . .”
“I know. It’s been a while and maybe you need a little time. Maybe I can call you in a week or so.”
“I don’t know. I don’t think it . . .”
“I promise. Let me have your number. I’ll call you in a few days. If the answer is still no then we can move on.”
My mind was awash. Had I not made it clear that I wasn’t Amina? Those eyes though, they were so deep and meaningful. I had to end it. I could not give this young lad my number. He thought I was somebody else, but here I was, old enough to be his mother. More so, what would that husband of mine do if he found out. But he was rather dishy, and nobody had looked at me with such affection for a very long time. I knew what I should do but the words just wouldn’t come out, at least not the words I should have used. It was a simple “no” which was needed but instead it was my mobile number which was passed on.
It was a thirty-minute walk back to the house and the whole way I did nothing more than worry about the mistake I had just made. My heart had ruled my mind and now I had given a stranger my phone number. What should I do? It was then that I realised another little issue. He had my number but I never asked him for his in return. I had no way to contact him and tell him about the mistake. Maybe, and maybe it was better for both of us, he would become wise to the deception. Maybe he would not actually get back in touch. But then there were those eyes. For those few minutes I felt so excited inside. Yet, I knew it shouldn’t be . . . it couldn’t be.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It was a few days later when the first message arrived. I was with Zeeshan when my phone buzzed into life. I glanced at the screen, reading quickly.
“Hello Amina. Have you decided yet? Can we meet again?”
I didn’t need to check who it was from. Immediately I knew it was Peter. I swiped left and deleted the text as quickly as I could.
“Who’s that?” came Zeeshan’s question.
It was out of character for anyone to contact me other than the family themselves, so I guessed his curiosity was awoken. The message was deleted, so it didn’t matter anymore. My lack of response would tell Peter what he needed to know.
“Oh, nobody. Just a junk message,” I lied.
“Let me see.”
“But I’ve deleted it, and really it wasn’t anything important, just something about new phones.”
I was aware of my husband’s typical nature and I didn’t want to give him anything which would make my life difficult. We weren’t exactly close any more, but a friendly relationship was better than no relationship.
To my dismay the lad’s text messages kept coming again and again. Each time I read and then swiped left, sending his perceived intentions to the trash can. Over time though, the content changed, becoming more emotional with each message. The more I read, the more I remembered those eyes. I could picture the deep blue reaching out affectionately into my own, and that feeling I had not had for so long; that feeling of being loved. I couldn’t leave it like this. He surely had the hot’s for Amina, and I needed to put it right. Or was it that my heart was softening to him? It was a risk, but I decided to talk to Peter and make it clear that he had made a mistake in thinking I was my daughter.
The next day I waited for Zeeshan to go off to work, a peck on the cheek my normal goodbye. As I picked up my phone, I noticed how much my hands were trembling. I was as nervous as Peter was on the day that we first met. This was so silly. I was a grown woman, a mother of four, and yet I was getting myself worked up about a simple call to a young stranger. I really didn’t know what made me feel this way. Was I scared of his reaction? Was I scared that he would not do what I wanted of him? Was I scared of my own reaction? Retrieving his latest message from the trash can, I clicked call against his number and waited. It rang and rang and rang. I was just about to hang up when he answered.
It was simple. All I had to do was tell him the truth. We could both go back to our own lives without any deception. Simple, wasn’t it? Well, even bahis şirketleri the simplest plans can sometimes go awry. I never even got it off my chest before Peter was proclaiming his love for me, or for the person he believed I was. Every time I tried to explain the truth to him it landed on deaf ears. He was either not listening or not wanting to accept what he was hearing. Over and over he addressed me as my daughter, to the point where I even started to think as she might have done.
“Can’t we meet up again, Amina? Talk it through together?”
“I told you Peter; we can’t be together. It’s . . . it’s . . .”
“It’s him, isn’t it? I know what he did at the party, how unhappy he was. Is that why you’ve been staying away?”
“He’s difficult,” I replied, not sure if I was referring to my husband or Amina’s father. “He doesn’t like me spending my time with . . . well . . .”
“Yes . . . no . . . not with you . . . but, with anyone like you. He’s a very traditional person. So . . . I can’t . . . we can’t . . . you must understand Peter, I’m just not able to.”
“I don’t understand. I thought you were different. Is it me? Am I not what you want?”
“It’s not you . . . it’s . . . it’s just too difficult.”
“Then, tell me Amina. Tell me just what you want. If you want me to go, I will. If not, then at least let’s keep in touch even if we don’t get together.”
I hesitated. I had started the call with a single intention, which was to put an end to this deception, but the more we conversed the more I fell for the lad. By now I had walked into Amina’s bedroom and was staring at her photo as I held the phone to my ear. I needed to tell him that I wasn’t Amina, but I just couldn’t. It was a battle inside, my mind telling me this was so wrong yet my heart feeling the love that I assumed Amina had felt for this young lad. Why? I thought to myself. Why do I feel this way? I had no answer, but maybe my heart wanted him to never reach the truth.
Unable to decide, I surrendered myself to my fate and promised Peter we could talk again. Deep inside I could feel his warmth as he said goodbye, and yes there was just the slightest tingle of excitement as I imagined my phone ringing once more.
As the weeks came and went, so did our contact. It was purely on the end of the phone, but what had started as the hesitant first call had now become a much more comfortable conversation. For sure I had to be careful. I really had to keep Peter secret as I knew there would be no explaining to Zeeshan. Peter was very accommodating though, and our relationship had quickly become a little clandestine with me controlling the where and when, to avoid any problems.
I was surprised how quickly my own tone had changed. We would talk for ages, both obviously lost in each other’s company. Every time we spoke my heart would be pumping in my chest, butterflies tying my stomach in knots as I dreamt of the young lad. I hadn’t felt like this for such a long time, nor had anyone paid me the attention which would make me feel this way. It was hard to admit it, but I was like a young woman again, a woman who had fallen in love for the first time in her life. I had to pinch my arm and remind myself that I was a married woman with four children. What had started as an unintentional deception had become almost an obsession. Rightly or wrongly, I was enjoying life once more.
The more we talked, the wider our topics of conversation developed. We were quite cautious at first. Peter would state his undying love for Amina, and I would skirt around any direct questions, enjoying the attention but not really wanting to go any further. I guess we sort of became used to each other. The fact we were still talking could well have persuaded the young lad that he no longer needed to convince me of his adoration. Was I convinced or was I just a good listener? I guess I was infatuated with the attention, but in a sort of platonic way. It was companionship, yes somewhat romantic and definitely exciting, but I had no intention of this becoming anything more that a good friendship.
Before long came my next undoing. I should have noticed the signs and put a stop to it there and then. Instead though I let Peter become a little franker. It started with innuendo, his language becoming a little cheekier and more imaginative. Provocative suggestions were soon followed up by the odd sexy joke. Calls were now accompanied by regular texts and I really had to hide away my phone to make sure that Zeeshan was none the wiser. Still though, everything was harmless . . . harmless banter between two adults. Even when his calls became even more direct, sexual references becoming more frequent, I didn’t deter him. I was like a naive little college girl, embarrassed at first but soon thrilling in the naughtiness of his dirty talk.
The first picture, a few nights later, took me by surprise. I opened the message, took one look and closed it again. A picture of his manhood was not what I expected to receive, and I guess my rather harshly worded reply told of my annoyance. Without mincing my words, I had told him not to send me such pictures and that we would stop talking if he continued in this way. It worked, as he seemed to backtrack a little with no mention at all of the picture.
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