3: Mr. Hanan

The hot steam of the curry hit my face from below. With the help of Ummu Saudah, ​​I moved each dish one by one from the kitchen to the round table in the dining room.

"May I have a bit of it, can I?"

I nodded when Umm Sauda asked. I saw her lips smile and then tasted my homemade rendang. When I saw her radiant face, I was confident. Of course it's delicious, Ummu Saudah's expression and lips have praised me for it.

"Masha Allah, this is delicious ... according to Mira's cooking. From now on for kitchen matters I will not doubt you anymore, Hilya."

Ummu Saudah's sincere smile reminded me of my old mother. Thinking of them, Mother and Sister Mira, I'm a little worried. I hope you can take care of Sis Mira who is pregnant and that Sis Mira can take care of Mother when you fall sick.

The loud roar of the car in the yard, Ummu Saudah looked confused. Perhaps she was in such a panic, when her Master had returned home. "Remember, keep your distance from Mr. Hanan at least a meter or so. He doesn't like being around women." While tidying the dining table which was already tidy, Ummu Saudah reminded me. Her body couldn't stay still, including her mouth that reminded her again. "And if he passes by or you two are in the same room, keep your head down. Don't look at his face. You can glance at him, if he doesn't notice. Otherwise, he'll rebuke you."

Once again I agreed.

The door in advance has been opened by Mr. Hanan's private secretary, as Ummu Saudah said I can glance if he doesn't notice. A man in a black suit stepped in. Watching his sculpted face, I was stunned ... almost forgot to blink. If I describe, the sculpture of his face is so thin with a hard jaw. His eyebrows are neat and thick. His lips didn't seem used to a smile. If I don't like his luscious lips that don't smile, I like his tall, straight nose.

The sturdy body passed through the dining room. As Ummu Saudah taught me, I stood in front of the door a great distance apart with my head bowed deeply, reluctant to look back at him. When he saw me, a new figure that he had never seen before, Master Hanan turned his head. His forehead formed a deep frown, from the clatter of his steps and his loafers that I glanced down as he looked down at me.

"Who's she?"

Mr. Hanan turned to Ummu Saudah. His voice sounded disapproving.

"Female worker from abroad who have worked here before, Master."

Master Hanan was silent for a while, shaking his head faintly. He snorted slowly. "I don't want to live with a girl."

Shocking sentence that sounded restless.

"She's just a worker here, Sayid." Ummu Saudah defended me.

It's bad, if Mr. Hanan wants to fire me. While I found a good employer who apparently kept his distance from women. Wait, if the contract exists everything is safe. But, it's a little scary to be in the house with a terrible man who is risky to me.

"I'll ask her to stay out of sight when you're home. We can arrange that later."

Finally, Master Hanan nodded.

"Okay," then he glanced at my face again with an interrogative sentence. "Every woman who walks around me must wear a hijab, at least you have to take care of your genitals in this house."

Slowly, my head moved. Glancing at Ummu Saudah whose head was open, her white crown was clearly visible. Why was Ummu Saudah not reprimanded, while I was?

It seems that Mr. Hanan noticed it. I still hesitate to look up and look at his face directly, as Ummu Saudah asked.

"If you think this is unfair, do you know how old Umm Sauda is? 54 years old. She is menopause and a widow who has no intention of getting married. If the reason is not to show off her genitals, she is allowed to show some of her natural aurat. But... doesn't apply to you."

His tone was quite sharp, even though what he said was true. I even had a hard time digesting the complicated sentences in Arabic.

"You hear?" said Mr. Hanan.

"Okay, Master."

My eyes glanced up slightly. And… his normally silent lips curled into a faint smile.

His body turned again. Climb the stairs to the top floor. The Maghrib Azan has sounded. I thought he would worship. "Hilya..." Umm Sauda called. "Should I give you some hijabs that I'm not wearing?" I nodded. Follow the steps of Ummu Saudah to her room at the end. It turned out to be bigger than my room. Ummu Saudah opened the cupboard and gave me some thick-bottomed rectangular hijabs.

She helped me put it on, layered it on my head.

"You are more beautiful like this. Mira while working here, also wore a hijab. Mr. Ahbek asked for it."

Hearing that name, I secretly snorted. Asking my sister to take care of her aurat but she also stained it? How hypocritical.

"When Mr. Hanan comes out of his room later, you go back to your room. As we said earlier, try to get out of sight. But keep your work first. If you are not good enough, Mr. Hanan is a strict man. He can cut your salary."

After leaving Ummu Saudah's room, I returned to the kitchen. Cleaning the remains of the furniture while I cook and wash it. When he saw me, the man wearing a turban with a prayer rug folded in his arm—seemed to be preparing to leave for congregation at the mosque across the street.

At first I was afraid it was Mr. Hanan, but it wasn't. The man with a clean face without any hair on his face was the private secretary of Mr. Hanan I saw earlier. From the empty glass he was holding, it looked like he was about to get some water. His head was lowered, a courtesy I had never seen before. He stepped back as he looked around—it was just the two of us. He refuses to drink, he prefers to avoid slander by being in the same room with me.

I smiled wryly. Take a new glass and fill it with the juice that is in the fridge. I put it on the nightstand next to the kitchen door. Surely, if he was really thirsty he would take it. I resumed my work. As it turned out, Mr. Hanan's private secretary whose name I don't know actually took the glass of juice I had placed on the counter in front of the door.

"Thank you..." He whispered, very quietly.

Gosh, it turns out he's a shy guy.

"Hilmi!" Someone called, who was galloping down from upstairs. Master Hanan's voice calling for his secretary. The two of them came out of this magnificent house, of course towards the mosque on the other side.

Even though my father was religious when he lived, I felt like a failure to be his daughter. I'm not an obedient girl, I rarely pray. I should have joined Ummu Saudah to perform the Maghrib prayers, instead I prioritized work and cleaning.

My environment now is completely different from before. I hope my food on the table is not cold, because Mr. Hanan has been in the mosque for a long time.