Reham hovered over the hot stove, stirring the thick 3adas soup and watching the heat bubbles pop. 7amad hated it when the thin vermicelli noodles clumped to the bottom of the pot, because he would always find pastey lumps in his soup.
7amad was never the angry kind - he was only very particular when it came to his meals. Especially now that they were married, 7amad longed for his mother's cooking. And it was not that Reham was a terrible cook - she could get by in the kitchen, but she was no match for Um 7amad. 7amad popped into the warm kitchen to see his wife stirring the soup gently, her dara3a hugging her womanly curves.
"Ya36eech il3afya, 7abeebti," he said with a smile. He was lucky to have a wife like Reham. All of his friends' wives had the maids do all the cooking while they went out and melted their husbands' credit cards shopping.
"Allah yi3afeek," she replied, grinning from ear to ear. Reham hoped to herself that he wouldn't come any closer - she smelled of vegetables and hot grease. 'Just a few more minutes and I'll head inside to shower,' she thought to herself. 7amad had gone inside to watch the last of the TV shows airing before Fu6oor.
Reham turned off the stove and hurried inside and upstairs as quickly as she could, trying not to leave a stench of "6baa5" trailing behind her. Her cousins always told her that though a Kuwaiti man likes a hard-working woman, he likes a hard-working woman that smells good even more.
In the bathroom, she slipped off her dara3a and started the shower. Steam began to fill their small bathroom, drowning the thick smell of grease. Reham let the hot water blast in her face, and she squinted, not wanting to get soap in her eyes.
She thought of the past few months she had spent with 7amad. He wasn't the most romantic husband in the world, but he treated Reham so nicely and spoke to her gently, careful not to hurt her feelings or raise his voice at her. They travelled whenever they had the chance, and he never left her alone late at night. Still, she missed the innocence they once shared - when it was hard to look him in the eye without blushing. The faint kiss he'd leave on her lips when they'd see each other. Being married to 7amad and living with him left Reham feeling deflowered at times, but having him this way was better than not having him at all.
Downstairs, 7amad flipped through the TV channels until he came across 3amr 5alid's show, Il-Janna Fee Beyootina. 7amad admired 3amr 5alid's way of speaking and his principles, so 7amad listened carefully about how emotional and sexual energy should be dealt with during the Holy Month of Ramadhan.
"All women have needs and desires, and as women are to fulfill the desires of their husbands, husbands are urged to do the same," 3amr 5aled spoke to 7amad, pointing his fingers and flailing his hands every which way for emphasis. 7amad smiled and drummed his fingers on the leather armchair, thinking about his dear Reham who worked so hard to please him. Many women like going the extra mile for their spouses, and though some husbands do what they can to satisfy their needs, how do they know that their wives are truly happy? He couldn't help but wonder, was he pleasing his Reham? Was this marriage all she had hoped for?
Reham interrupted his thoughts when she bounced down the stairs, her stringy wet hair flapping against her back. The call for prayer echoed throughout the streets of their fireej, and it was time for them to break their fast.
7amad scooted his chair closer to Reham than usual, and he ladled the viscuous soup into her bowl. Reham was taken aback by his chivalry, but appreciated it deeply.
"7abeebi, ana a7e6lik! Don't worry," she smiled, pouring heaping ladles of 3adas soup into his bowl.
"Tislam eedich, Rahoomti," 7amad took her hand into his, "Yalla, bismillah."
They drank their soup in silence, with the exception of 7amad's "mmm"s of delight. Reham lowered her head bashfully, only to find 7amad's spoonful of soup near her mouth. She looked at him with a shy smile, and immediately understood the romance he was trying to rekindle. She sipped the hot 3adas from his spoon, and before she could swallow, 7amad leaned in to kiss her lightly. The taste of the peppery lentils danced on his lips, and a wave of emotion hung over them like a joyous cloud.
They enjoyed the rest of their meal, and their beginning of a very blessed Ramadhan.