A Prayer Heeded: A Prayer Series II

A Prayer Heeded: A Prayer Series II

by Samreen Ahsan

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Overview

A Prayer Heeded: A Prayer Series II by Samreen Ahsan

Adam Gibson is a multimillionaire who is not searching for God—or demons—when he finds love with a beautiful woman. Unfortunately, Rania, the one who has captured his heart, has a tormented past. Adam is unaware of his powers, how God makes sure his each prayer is heeded due to his virtue of charity. Adam knows Rania is still the answer to all his silent prayers. But now only time will tell if her soul is destined to be his once again.

Rania Ahmed is dead inside. Adam, the man she mistakenly considered to be her soul mate, has crushed her soul into millions of pieces. Due to her broken past, she still believes her curse will keep her from loving ever again. What she does not know is that Adam has made a promise to himself to never give up on her—no matter what. But Adam does not know whathe is getting himself into.

In this spiritual romance, an atheist embarks on a path of enlightenment with a tormented soul who may just have the power to change everything he has ever believed to be true.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491727164
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/18/2014
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Prayer Heeded

A PRAYER SERIES 2


By Samreen Ahsan

iUniverse LLC

Copyright © 2014 Samreen Ahsan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4917-2714-0



CHAPTER 1

SEPARATION


December 24,2012

Rania rushes toward the exit. Ali catches her elbow at the doorway, holding her back. She cries out in pain. "Let me go, Ali."

"I am very sorry for what happened, Rania, but where would you go at this hour?" Ali looks at the worn-out girl with pity.

"I don't know. Just let me go."

"I will drop you wherever you want." Ali tries to calm her down.

"I will get a cab. Please don't make it so hard on me, Ali. If you ever respected me, just let me go and call a cab." He releases her arm. Ali can see the pain she is going through. She is not warm, she is not cold, she is simply dead inside. The person whom she mistakenly considered to be her soul mate has crushed her soul into millions of pieces. Ali helps her to call the cab. She thanks him and, before slipping into the car, she opens her clutch and gives him her phone.

"Give this to Adam." She wipes her tears with the back of her hand, still sobbing hard. "Tell him not to chase me ever again. I don't want him to contact me in any way."

Ali looks at her with empathy. "Just give him one chance. You might not know it, but he loves—"

"Please, Ali. I don't want to hear it. I was always his. He didn't have to win me, but still, he's lost me now. Please take care of him and don't let him drink too much. Bye." She closes the car door and leaves for nowhere.


* * *

Meanwhile, inside the party, Grace picks up her son and takes him to the same private room where Aunt Marie was giving her fortune telling sessions. She is still there when Adam enters the room. He sits in a corner of the room and his mother provides first aid for his injured hand. Marie observes the broken man intently. She sits beside Adam and looks at his hands, covered with blood and pieces of broken glass.

"So you let your demon win over your soul." Adam looks at the old lady with fearful eyes. "And she thought you had a powerful soul. She was overconfident about it." Adam still looks perplexed, unable to understand what she is trying to say. He wonders how and why she is even talking to him about this. What does she have to do with their lives? But then he remembers that she was the one who first made Rania run away from the party. Adam wishes he had let her go home then, and not let Nathan meet her. Things wouldn't have gone beyond that, if he had agreed to let her go.

"You were warned, Adam; jealousy burned your relationship. You didn't hear what was being said to you. She is very far from you now. You will have to start all over again, and this time, it's going to be much harder. You need to start searching for her soul." Grace and her son look at the old lady with astonishment, as she speaks the truth. "You were almost there, Adam. You found her lost soul with your goodness, but you lost it as soon as you let your demon win over you. Her soul escaped from one fire last night to find yours, but your own fire burned her."

Adam gapes at the woman in surprise. He wonders how she knows about the fire. "What do I do now?" Adam still wonders why he is even talking to this strange lady, but he knows that the old lady and Rania share a secret.

"Nothing, right now. Let her go wherever she wants to. If her soul is destined to be yours, then your soul will find its way." With that, the old lady gets up from her seat. She stops at the doorway and turns back. "Just make sure she is only bent, and not broken." She exits the room, leaving Adam speechless and perplexed.

His pride and envy have taken everything from him. He lost Rania once by fire, but this fire that is burning inside him inflamed everything, including him. His fire is worse than the fire Rania had in her apartment.

After a few minutes, Ali comes back, looking for Adam. Adam looks at Ali with hope, as he may know where his love has gone. Ali sits beside Adam and hands him the phone.

"She requested that you not look for her, Adam." Ali sounds serious and broken too. He doesn't like the idea of seeing them separated. Ali knows how much Adam was addicted to Rania's company, and he is afraid of how Adam will survive without her. He saw him falling apart the night before, when Adam heard the news of the disaster, but this disaster is worse than last night's incident.

Adam still looks at Ali with hope, as if he might change his words. "Don't look at me like that. I couldn't stop her. She made me promise not to follow her." Ali's words make Adam's heart crumble into a million pieces. He has to admit that he has lost everything by his own flames.


* * *

Rania's cab wanders the cold streets of Toronto on Christmas Eve; she is still not able to decide where she will go. She has no home; she left her money and her wallet at Adam's place. The only thing she has in her clutch is her fifty-dollar bill and the donation checks Adam handed her, before leaving for the party. She looks out the window, remembering his words. I will never let you go. Ever. He deceived her in front of so many people. She can never forget what he did to her at the party.

Through the window, she sees the Hope community center and shelter home, decorated with holiday lights. She asks the cab driver to stop the car in front of the shelter home. She pays the bill of twenty-six dollars, and sends him on his way. When she steps inside the warm entrance, she sees a large picture of Adam hanging on the wall with the notation: We thank Adam Gibson for his generous donations. Tears trickle down her face on seeing the image of the man whom she once thought was her true love, whom she thought she could trust with her life. In the lobby is a shelter worker, a seventy-year-old Englishwoman named Martha. The old lady sees the suffering girl and leads her to a chair.

Rania bursts into sobs, letting all her pain flush away with her tears. Martha pats her back, providing her protection. Rania finally wipes her tears and her makeup, which is running down her face.

"I have no home. Can I stay here?" Rania asks the old lady innocently.

The lady smiles, and offers her comfort with a warm embrace. "You can stay as long as you want, my child. You know, due to some good people living in this world, we have shelters, even if we have no home. There is a bit of goodness left in this land." Rania knows the lady is talking about Adam's generous donation of this state-of-the-art shelter home. She puzzles over her fate. Of all the places in the world, she ends up seeking shelter in one of Adam's charities. She recalls Adam's words when he said he would bring her home back. Her fate has landed her back into his hands and riches. She is at the mercy of Adam's generosity.

She takes out all the checks signed by Adam, each check worth fifty thousand dollars. She hands all the slips to the old lady. "This is all I have. But I need shelter for a few days, against these checks." Her bargaining shocks the lady, when she sees a quarter million dollars' worth of checks in her hand. She looks at the slips and eyes Rania dubiously. "They are for donations. And there is no better place than Hope. But I would appreciate it if you can manage to hide me for a few days. I don't want my name to be on this donation."

"Don't worry, my child. You have a big and generous heart. Come, I will take you to your room." Rania follows the old lady and she shows her a small room. "We have plenty of space in this shelter, and since you have donated so generously on Christmas Eve, you deserve a private room."

"Thank you. But you shouldn't be thanking me for this money. It is from someone else." Rania smiles sadly at Martha, who looks at the slips once again and is surprised to see the Gibson Enterprises name on them. She looks up at Rania and then back to the checks. "Can I sleep now?" Rania speaks in a broken voice.

"Of course, my child. Let me get you something to change into for the night. You can't sleep in this gown." Martha leaves for a few minutes, then brings some donated clothes for Rania and leaves her alone in the room. Rania locks her door and sits on the corner of the bed. She looks at the clothes and wonders at her fate. Within a few seconds, her life has dropped from the sky and she is buried under the ground. She remembers how graciously Adam filled his closet with a huge selection of high-end clothes for her. I will place the whole world at your feet. Adam's words are echoing in her ears, like an aching pain. She looks at the old used clothes and cries heavily, cursing her fate. How her life is broken into pieces in front of her eyes, how a streak of jealousy can tear strong relationships. How Adam treated her royally and lovingly, the whole day. And now, she is empty-handed.

The thought of Adam kissing her tenderly keeps flashing through her mind. Despite what he did to her, she knows deep down she still loves him. She has never trusted anyone in her life. Adam has passed all her tests of faith, but she wonders what happened to him tonight. What was the feeling that overtook his heart? She cries for a few hours in the night, and then sleep overtakes her mind.


* * *

Adam is all alone in his apartment, lying on a chaise in his study, drinking heavily and looking at the picture of his and Rania's first dance. He is cursing the demon that overtook his mind. Why couldn't he wait and let her dance with her old friend? All she wanted from him was trust, and he failed in providing it. Adam recalls the times he begged for her trust and when she finally agreed to trust him, what he had done brought him beyond the level of despair. He'd insulted her in front of three hundred people, and worst of all, bruised her lip, and then let her leave on her own. Adam keeps wondering furiously where she would go in the middle of the night. She has no home of her own, he has pushed her out of his life, and she has even left her wallet at his place. He thinks of calling Mike and asking him to hunt for her personally, but the idea that Mike might actually kill him when he finds out what Adam did, is shaking him. He knows how protective Mike is about Rania. He imagines her presence; it would have been the best Christmas of his life, but due to one single sin, it has turned out to be the worst. He goes into his room, where his eyes search desperately for her. He has not touched her, he has not kissed her yet, but his body is craving her touch; his lips are burning for her. He picks up her clothes from his bed and tries to feel her presence through her fragrance. Her absence has broken him.

He feels Ali's hand on his shoulder. "Please stop drinking, Adam. I promised her I would not let you drink heavily. Please let me keep my promise." Ali takes the glass from Adam's hand and puts it aside.

"She has no home, Ali. Where did she go? You know where she is, right?" Adam asks his friend helplessly.

"No, Adam, I don't know. She requested me not to chase her anymore." Ali takes a deep breath and continues. "Give her some time. Let her go for a while."

"But where is she? She could be out in the cold. She doesn't have anyone and I know, even if she had, she wouldn't go there." Adam hugs her clothes to him and speaks again. "Last night when I thought I lost her to the fire, I was cursing God for His decision, but now ... I have lost her with my envy ... who should I curse now, other than me?" He looks up again at Ali. "You aren't going to look for her?"

Ali stands there quietly, not saying anything in response. He looks at this rich man with pity and concludes that he is grateful he has never fallen in love with anyone. He sees a man of strong mind falling apart, all because he is madly in love. Ali remembers how Adam was with the other women in his past, not caring about their feelings, and one single woman changed him from head to toe. Her absence is killing Adam. He is behaving like a drug addict, who is not given his drug when his body is craving it.

Adam picks up Rania's bag and hands it to Ali. "I know you will find her. And when you do, this is hers. She'll need all these things. I am just afraid ... if she does anything to harm herself, I won't ever forgive myself."

"She is a woman with a strong mind. I don't think she would do that." Ali provides his point of view. "Suicide is a sin for her. I don't think she would go for it."

Adam is extremely tired and drunk, and his head is spinning with thoughts of where she might be. He is hardly able to stand on his feet. Ali is fulfilling his promise to Rania, so he stays with Adam and helps to put him to bed. Adam burrows his head into the same pillow that Rania slept on last night, holding the last clothes she wore, and he can still feel her presence in his bed. He looks around the bed and remembers the game they played in the afternoon, about the king and his chamber. He keeps wondering what he can do so that she will forgive him, and then an idea comes into his mind. He shares it with Ali before going to sleep.


* * *

It's Christmas, and Rania wakes up around ten in the morning. Her head is still heavy due to her crying last night. She checks herself in the mirror; her lower lip is wildly bitten and sore. Adam has left the worst scar; not like the man who gave her burn marks in the past. This time, her soul is marred. She hides under the blanket again, afraid to face the day. When the incident happened last night, there were so many people taking pictures for the news. How can she ever face the world? He'd mistreated and insulted her, in front of all his family and friends. She thinks that if Adam had killed her in silence, she would have accepted death from his hands, but this is worse than death. The feeling that she has to live with this shame is torturing her more than anything.

A knock at her door distracts her. "Come in," she says in a low tone.

Martha steps in, with a tray of breakfast in her hands. Rania wonders why she is getting such special treatment—maybe because of her large donation. "Merry Christmas, my child," Martha says. "How are you feeling this morning?"

"I am good, thank you." She tucks her knees to her chest and creates a space on her bed. Martha sits beside her. Rania sees a folded newspaper on the tray, besides tea and a sandwich. Martha notices Rania looking at the newspaper, so she picks it up and places it over Rania's knees.

"I won't ask you how and what happened to you last night, but he is extremely apologetic about it." Martha's words surprise Rania and she opens the newspaper, where her and Adam's picture makes a headline. She reads the article with the title: Adam Gibson apologizes to his girlfriend in front of the whole nation. She wonders why the media haven't posted any pictures of the party last night, since the venue was crowded with photographers. Has Adam paid the press to suppress them? The question comes into her mind, but she has no answer. She knows Adam can move heaven and earth with his money, if he wants to. She starts reading the article. It says that Adam is extremely ashamed of his behavior and wants to apologize to his girlfriend and his parents for ruining their evening. The article also mentions that when Rania left the party, she had no home, and Adam is requesting information from anyone who can tell him where she has gone. He's included a personal message to her, conveyed over the media, nationwide.

Please don't close all the doors on me. You are my home; please don't make me homeless. Adam.


Tears cloud Rania's eyes and she hides her face in her hands. Martha looks at her with sympathy. She doesn't know how to treat this broken girl. After a few minutes of crying, Rania looks up at Martha and asks, "You didn't tell him where I am, right?"

"He still doesn't know, my child. But for how long will you lock yourself in here? As soon as you come out, anyone can see you. Right now, only I know, and I saw how hurt you were when you came last night. You are welcome here, as long as you want, but the man who provides shelter to hundreds of people would not like his own woman living on the mercy of others. He deserves one chance. Men are usually very bad at apologies, and he is apologizing in front of the whole country." Martha pushes the tray toward her. "I am not one to force you, but I still feel he deserves one chance." She continues, "Please, have your breakfast. I will come back after a while." Martha places a motherly kiss on Rania's forehead and departs from the room.

She reads Adam's message again and again and cries over her pain. She realizes that he is in as much agony as she is. But even if she forgives him, would things ever be the same between them? If a person has a habit of being jealous, then this could happen again. It is in Adam's nature and she can't change it. She decides that sometimes, things happen for a reason. She was never meant to be his. Things would not have been possible between them. No one can open the chains in which Rania is trapped. So she decides, let it be like this. Silence is the solution to all their problems.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Prayer Heeded by Samreen Ahsan. Copyright © 2014 Samreen Ahsan. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

PROLOGUE, 1,
SEPARATION, 7,
ONE BY ONE, 24,
THE TRUTH, 63,
THE OTHER SIDE, 91,
DISCLOSURE, 115,
THE CURSE, 130,
ANOTHER WORLD, 134,
THE CONFESSIONS, 145,
HOLY MATRIMONY, 160,
THE PYRAMIDS, 177,
MY LIFE, 191,
AN UNHEALED WOUND, 206,
MY WORLD—UPSIDE DOWN, 225,
A SILENT PRAYER, 236,
A FEW YEARS LATER, 253,

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A Prayer Heeded: A Prayer Series II 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Tandrence More than 1 year ago
After finishing A Silent Prayer by Samreen Ahsan last week, I had to pick up the sequel so that I could see how the story would end.  I must say, I was not disappointed! In A Prayer Heeded, the story of Adam and Rania continues.  They must develop their relationship based on complete trust.  Rania's troubled past is always hanging over her like a dark cloud, and she is afraid to hope that Adam could be the one to save her from that.  If he is the one, he will have to have faith, something that is not easy for a former atheist to do. This is a beautiful spiritual romance.  Adam and Rania are soulmates, but they have many obstacles that they must overcome in order to truly be together.  Adam must overcome his stubborn refusal to believe in things he cannot see.  Rania must put her complete faith in Adam, and after all of the abuse that she has been through, will she be able to do this? Reading this novel left me with warm fuzzy feelings.  It is nice to read a story about all consuming love that is spiritual and emotional.  This book series has won numerous awards, and I am very glad to have had the chance to read it.  If the author has managed to be so successful on her first published works, I am very excited to see what kinds of things we will see from her in the future.
DelSheree More than 1 year ago
The tumultuous relationship between Adam Gibson and Rania Ahmed had been heading for happily ever after at the end of the first book in A Prayer Series, but jealousy, insecurity, and mistrust threw everything into chaos, possibly ending everything they had built. Putting the pieces of their relationship back together will be anything but simple as secrets surface and lives are threatened.  Having been left on such a cliffhanger at the end of book one, I was glad to get back to Adam and Rania's story. The emotional upheaval I experienced in the first book was certainly continued through this one. Emotions are running even higher as Adam desperately tries to figure out how to make up for what he did and regain Rania's trust. Things are no better for Rania as she fights to overcome her past and figure out how to move on with her life and protect Adam when there are forces in her life that refuse to let her escape their grasp.  The supernatural, or spiritual, elements hinted at in the first book were brought into the spotlight in this book. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the truth behind Rania's dark past and the forces trying to control her future. I was very interested as I learned more about the traditional beliefs in jinns and other spirits. It was one of the bigger pulls of the story, learning more about the spirits Rania was caught up with. I was glad to see the glimpses in the first book panned out and were incorporated in the story more centrally.  The romance elements were well done, as I had come to expect from the first book. Readers are definitely in for an emotional and steamy journey as they follow these two. Even when the couple became more intimate, it was handled in a way that felt quite respectful of their relationship. As in the first book, there was a good deal of explicit language, but other than that, I really only had one issue with the overall story. That was that once some of the actions of certain characters were explained, I had a difficult time accepting them because their initial reactions had been so convincing. I felt a little misled when the truth was revealed, but even that was not enough to keep me from enjoying the story. Overall, it was a very captivating story or love and life and what it means to sacrifice for the people you care about. 
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite I read and reviewed the first novel in the A Prayer Series. I loved A Silent Prayer and since its ending was an unqualified cliff-hanger I just had to read A Prayer Heeded. This second book of the Prayer Series opens with Adam and Rania separated and miserable. Adam has let jealousy and alcohol cause him to lose the only thing he really cares about: Rania's trust. Meanwhile Rania is not only broken-hearted but financially broke and living in a shelter. It appears it's going to take a miracle to get the two lovers back together, but there is no doubt that they belong together.  Samreen Ahsan has done it again. Rarely have I seen such an artful blend of mysticism, magic, and realism in a story, especially a story that is essentially a love story. Samreen Ahsan unfolds her story with a very deft and talented hand. The major question of A Prayer Heeded is whether or not Adam and Rania will be together and we are unsure about this until the very last page. There are powerful forces at work in the lives of Adam and Rania. Some of them are good, but some of them are evil and Samreen Ahsan is a master at moving the story along while keeping the suspense level high. The Prayer Series was inspired by the Holy Qur'an and in this time of so much mistrust and misunderstanding between Islam and the West this book can help bridge the gap between the two worlds.