They discovered to their shock and horror that the girl was pregnant, and Ebrahim wasted no time in making his intentions clear. There would be no further relations between his son and "this woman," as he called her; he, Ebrahim, would see that the child had everything, and he would also pay for the woman's confinement. That, of course, was if it could be proven that his son was the father of the child.
Ebrahim relayed this to the woman and she refused, saying that she was was not a prostitute. She genuinely loved Tariq with all her heart, and that was why she was pregnant with his baby. She would raise the child on her own.
Ebrahim felt somewhat relieved. He hadn't told anyone about this conversation, and had simply said, when questioned about the girl's response, that she was rude and didn't know how to speak to older people. At least, he told his wife, Tariq could now concentrate on his studies once again, and that was all that mattered. The sooner they could get him into NASA the better. He, Ebrahim, would go to the ends of the earth to achieve that. He felt that perhaps the events of the past few months were a sign for him to work harder on his son's future. But that was all going to change, he promised his wife. Tariq was going to make a great name for himself and his family. Ebrahim was going to make sure of it.
Tariq then began to disappear from his room regularly at night. He would wait till everyone was asleep and then slip out his bedroom window. He was like someone possessed.
Mariam caught him sneaking in at about two o'clock one morning, his face all flushed. She did not dwell on the thought, but she knew he was heavily involved with Nadia. His eyes portrayed his inner feelings more than any words could express.
She asked him what he was going to do for the future, because she knew that their father was planning to get him off to America as soon as he possibly could. What if he became aware of Tariq's nightly escapades?
Tariq smiled secretively and had said that nothing was going to stop him seeing Nadia. He planned on marrying her, and nobody was going to come between them. Nobody! He said it so ominously that she had felt a cold hand gripping her throat. And when she had asked him about his studies, he shrugged, and lifted his hands dismissively. She wanted to tell him that their father had threatened to disown him if he persisted in seeing this woman. What would he do for money then? But seeing the look in his eyes, she kept quiet, and slowly turned away from him.