Yes, yes, I know. I haven't updated HotM in years! But, not to worry, I have overcome my temporary writers block and am once again reentering the world of Fiction Press. As a present from me to you, I've decided to give you this story. So, I hope you enjoy and read on….

Silent Suffering

'Ow, that's gonna leave a mark.' Yousra thought wryly as she was slammed into the wall.

"You know," The blonde standing above her glanced at her nails then smirked, "This wouldn't be happening if you weren't what you were."

My silent suffering is my own to bear,

My curse in this world and my blessing in the next,

Yousra clutched at her shoulder as she stood up only to crumble back on the floor as a fist was rammed into her stomach.

Because of what I am I endure,

"It's your fault our men are out there fighting."

I'm told I should fight back,

"You and your people, all of you!"

Judging by what's going on around the world,

"Terrorists!"

I don't think that quite works,

A wry smile twisted Yousra's lips, but only served to anger the blonde more. Another of her henchman grabbed her scarf covered head and rammed her into the wall again.

But, I endure quietly without complaint,

Perhaps,

"You tell your family that we don't want you here in America! It's your fault my brothers fighting Bush's war!"

Perhaps I shouldn't show that I am weak,

"Tell your friends and the people at that-that temple of yours to leave!"

They don't understand,

I have a community backing me,

"Now get out of my site! You-you Muslim." She spoke the word like an insult.

"Atreyu!" Yousra called into the apartment. Her voice echoed emptily and gave her no response. She closed the door behind her and unpinned her scarf, letting it slide down to her shoulders revealing her brown hair.

'Guess he's not here.' She thought to herself. 'Oh well. Didn't expect any less. His classes don't end for another two hours.'

Her twenty-two year old husband took classes at the University from twelve in the afternoon until three. She smiled as she rummaged through the cupboards for a bag of chips, remembering when they had married and he asked her to remove her scarf so that he could see her hair.

"Oh come on, Yousra. We're married now. I'm allowed." Atreyu pleaded not only with his tongue but with his eyes and hands as well. She smiled benignly at him.

"But-"

"Please!" She sighed, resigned, and unpinned her scarf. It slid softly off of her sleek brown hair that she had curled at the end, just for this night. His smile widened as she looked up shyly at him from under her thick lashes.

"I married an angel!" He cried happily as he took her into his arms.

Atreyu hadn't changed since that night. He treated her almost like a child at times. Always gentle and caring, shower her with unnecessary gifts.

She left the bag of chips on the table and gathered a towel, soap and bath salts; hoping that a long soak in the tub would ease her aching muscles.

I try to forget,

Give them the benefit of the doubt,

At times I believe I am an even bigger fool than them,

Slowly, she slipped into the tub, already soothed by the aromas that floated out of the water with the steam.

I like to say they're ignorant,

But,

She dreaded to see how Atreyu would react when he saw the purple ring around her eye and the bruise on her neck.

'Ya Allah, what have I gotten myself into.' She thought tiredly. This was the third time this month that she'd been beaten up. The last beating had been bad enough to awaken her in the night.

I live in a nightmare,

One that wasn't meant for me,

That if I chose would end,

After an hour more of soaking, she lifted herself out of the tub and dried herself off with the towel. Contentedly, she wrapped her dark robe around her and walked into the living room. Grabbing her book off of the table she settled on the couch and started reading.

I should end it,

Yet I hate to think of how people would react,

The door opened and she was greeted by the tall form of Atreyu. His brown eyes lit up when he saw her on the couch, clad in only her robe.

"Is it my birthday and I forgot?" He asked hopefully.

"No, you pervert," She answered laughing, "I just got out of the tub."

He hung his head, letting his shaggy black hair fall over his eyes, but she could see his playful smile.

Perhaps my stupidity is laughable,

Considering all I have,

What does it matter how they react,

"Come here," She said, gesturing for him to sit next to her.

"How was your day?" He asked her.

"…..Interesting." His brown eyes clouded over.

As much as I try to hide it,

He always seems to see,

"What do you mean interesting?" He asked suspiciously. She didn't look up at him. "Yousra, look at me!"

Slowly, she raised her head and gave him a clean view of her face. His face clouded over with anger when he saw the purple ring around her eye.

So,

I've decided to stop being weak,

"Atreyu, please," She whispered to him, "Don't be angry."

"Why? Why shouldn't I be angry?!" She flinched as his voice rose. He saw her shrink back into the couch and his face softened.

Simply because I bring too much worry to those I love,

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled. But you shouldn't let them do this to you." He told her as he pulled her into his arms.

"I know. I'll try and fight back next time." She whispered.

They harmed me because of my religion,

They tormented me for my beliefs,

I'm a twenty year old college student,

And because I'm Muslim,

I'm suddenly a terrorist.

So, how'd you like it? Ok, a couple of notes.

The reason she couldn't show him her hair before they were married is because in Islam, the only people that are allowed to see your hair are those that you cannot marry, and after you are married your husband as well. Otherwise, your hair, ear and neck are covered and you dress modestly outside.

Other than that, I think I got everything covered. Let me know what you think or if you misunderstood anything. All you need to do is click the button on the bottom of the screen and submit a review. Not that hard. Nope. SO, give me the review!