“Can I take that as a yes”…Zoheb asked softly
I was silent. It would be rude not to give him an answer but it had to be the right answer.
“Yes…but without any expectations”…I said
“Works for me”,he smiled
He walked towards his car…
“Wait”,I said and he stopped and turned around
“I don’t want to think one thing and it turns out to be another…”…I continued
Zoheb knew what I was trying to say. He walked up to me,held my hand and said..
“You’re an amazing and beautiful woman… I know I’ve just met you recently but I’m drawn towards you like a magnet. I would be the dumbest man on earth if I didn’t make any attempt to atleast try…this is me trying…I want to know everything about you because you fascinate me so much..I want to know the mysteries that dance in those pretty eyes…and before I confuse you further…even though I want everything…and I would love for you to give me a chance…for now I would love your friendship”
I smiled….” Does that change anything for tomorrow’s lunch?”
Zoheb laughed a little. ” A chance to spend more time with you….I wouldn’t miss it for the world” and he winked at me, got into his car and drove off.
I just wasn’t paying any attention at all!! The workshop was due to finish anytime now…and throughout the entire thing all I could think about was . ..Zoheb. Zoheb. Zoheb. Was this moving too fast? Obviously all the gifts and the “get to know you better” didn’t mean “I just want to be your friend”. I have to admit, he is very cute and very sweet but I’m not the kind of girl who just dates someone to “see how it goes”, if I date someone I really,really have to like them and want to hope to marry them. And marriage right now was a far cry away from my reality. Even though he said ” for now I just want your friendship” we both knew that he wanted more. You see, now that’s where the pressure comes in! I’m never going to be able to be myself completely with an expectation hanging over my head. I would have to talk to him. But just the thought of him , and that sinfully gorgeous smile made me go weak in the knees…again!!
I was actually relieved when I got home and my mom told me that the “boys” meaning my dad, Sahal and Zoheb had already left for the masjid. My mother forced me to wear a panjabi today..not one of those blingy ones but a plain and simple very fitted black panjabi. “modesty” in the name of fashion *sigh* who are we kidding.
its bad to wear a short top and pants but okay to wear a backless sari…its bad to not wear a scarf but okay to pile your head with layers of fabric and look like something that walked out of a scary movie
Laeeka would love to be in my head right now!!
I was still upstairs in my room when I heard Sahal’s loud voice announcing their arrival. And my mothers voice followed soon after…”Aara come in the kitchen now!!” So I ran down the stairs while trying to put my sandals on too. This long scarf going all over the place. Grrrr mum!
“Woooowww panjabi queen”…Sahal squeeled as he looked at me struggling with my sandals and scarf.
Me: shut up and help me!
Sahal: why should I?
Me: because I might just take you out later and you can choose whatever you want
Sahal: hmmm bribery
me: that’s the only way you work isn’t it now hurry up man maa is going to kill me
And Sahal put the straps on my sandal while I neatened my scarf across my neck.
Sahal: so pretty!
Me: I know
Sahal: and conceited
Me: err its a family thing…you should know
Sahal: so seriously, Gateway later?
I put my arm around Sahal. We were both tall but he was taller yet he was younger than me
Me: I only have one brother don’t I (wink and smile)
Sahal: and you love me no…wish I could say the same!
I pinched him hard before we heard my mum again! ” Aaara and Sahal where are you both! Come on now!!” We giggled the way we used to as kids and made our way to the kitchen.
What we didnt know was, Zoheb had been watching us all along…and by the look on his face he was enjoying it!
Me: Maa why are you dishing out into those containers first?
My mum: they’re for Naeem baby, you must give them to him please
Me: (I smiled..my mum had a very soft spot for Nemo) ofcourse maa *hugging her from the back*
So the menu…gajar halwa ( my favourite) chicken with veggies, mutton kalya and fresh naan. Gosh did I miss my mums cooking or what!
I walked towards the dining room and as I put one of the dishes down, a voice behind me said ” can I also help?”. Zoheb…shux I didn’t turn around and I couldn’t stop my mouth from smiling! This was going to be so embarassing. I didn’t answer and acted as though I didn’t hear him. But he persisted.
Zoheb: by the way, you look really beautiful in this panjabi..
Me: thank you..(Was all I was able to mumble as I started rearranging the entire table just to avoid turning around)
And then I didn’t hear him. Hmm. Suddenly a pair of hands were in front of me, putting the rest of the dishes on the table.
No guesses for who that was. But what….
Me: kurta? And you? ( He looked frikking hot!!)
Zoheb: (smirking) why…only you’re allowed to look good?
Me: I didn’t say you were looking good you know
Zoheb: you didn’t have to…your face said it all (grinning and winking and walking back to the kitchen)
Zoheb: I don’t know…you said ‘Zoheb!’ ( and he smiled)
Me: stop smiling! (because I know what that smile does to me and I’m starting to think he does too)
Zoheb: why? you had told me that I should smile more often now you’re telling me not to smile
Me: look somewhere else and smile!
Zoheb: (laughing) no (smiling even wider)
I stomped off to the kitchen! He had this way of I dunno…turning the tables on me- and in my own house too!!!
Zoheb was also included in our Gateway plans by my brother the Great and the 3 of us went in his car which meant he was also dropping us back home.
After not even twenty minutes of browsing…
Sahal: I’ll be back just now okay
Me: why where are you going?
Sahal: my friends are go karting I just want to join them for a bit
Me: you’re damn rude! You make us bring you and now you’re going off on your own!
Sahal: please Aara I won’t be long
Me: I know we’ll only see you when its time to go home
Sahal: (looking at Zoheb for support) you don’t mind do you Zoheb?
Zoheb: go, we’ll be fine .just don’t get yourself into any trouble okay
And before I could say anything, Sahal was off.
Me: you shouldn’t have done that
Zoheb: he’s a youngster he will learn. If he stayed with us he probably would have been sulky the rest of the afternoon…now, which way do you want to go?
Me: I really want to watch a movie now that Sahal ditched us
Zoheb:(smile) okay let’s go
As I began to walk with Zoheb towards the lift, I heard someone call my name.
I turned around. It was Aunty Zameera. Nemo’s mother.
Aunty Zameera: salaams my darling how are you (hugging me)
Me: Was salaam, I’m ok how are you?
Aunty Zameera: shukr can’t complain . Aara can I speak to you for a few minutes please?
Me: okay sure
Aunty Zameera: (looking at Zoheb who had greeted her and realised that she wanted to speak to me alone)
Me: just give me a second (turning to Zoheb) I’ll meet you upstairs
Zoheb: should I book the tickets or wait for you?
Me: you can book it, your choice of movie (reaching into my handbag)
Zoheb: (holding my hand to stop me from reaching into my bag) I’ve got it (smile) I’ll wait for you upstairs
And he left. Aunty Zameera and I sat on one of the benches.
Aunty Zameera: so are we going to be hearing wedding bells soon? (Small smile)
Me: ℓ☺ℓ no he’s just a friend…what was it that you wanted to talk about? ( I didn’t particularly like Nemo’s mother and just wanted her to get to the point)
Aunty Zameera: (shuffling and her head down) It’s….it’s about Naeem…