Home. It felt very weird being around my family. Last night when we landed, as expected no one from my family arrived to fetch us even though I had confirmed our time of arrival. I guess they didn’t think that I really meant it when I said I was coming. Aara’s parents were out of town and Sahal had fractured his foot so we were stuck. I hired a car and dropped Aara home. Her home always brought back such happy memories for me. Even though Maa and Papa weren’t there, seeing Sahal and Badi Maa (Aara’s eldest aunt who was babysitting Sahal ℓ☺ℓ ) made me feel like a million bucks…until I reached the Moola residence. A house I used to get lost in as a kid and where many memories of sadness lay buried…
The yard was full of cars..and thankfully the security guard at the gate recognised me otherwise I would have had to wait until he called my mum to confirm my presence there. I walked into the house with my bag and a gift for Ammarah in hand…awkward. Imagine a house full of people yet no one notices you…
I was scared to even walk in and make myself “comfortable”. The last time I was here was just over a year ago…
I even spent Eid last year with Arshad’s family to avoid coming home.
I stood in the doorway for what seemed like an eternity…why did I fool myself into thinking I’d be given a grand welcome.
“O my gosh Naeem!” A voice said from somewhere above me. And I looked up into the familiar face of my cousin Suhaifah. She came running down the stairs and squeeled as she hugged me tight. “It’s so good to see you after so long” she said. Sue was my mother’s brother’s daughter and probably the only person in my family and my entire extended family who actually cared about me. She had a busy life too but she made it a point to keep in touch every now and then.
Sue: how are you? (Holding my hands)
Me: good as always..I missed you (hugging her..I was genuinely happy to see her)
Sue: why are you standing here? Come let’s go meet everyone
And she dragged me into the lounge and screamed “Guys look who’s home” and everyone turned to look at me. It was actually quite a funny sight because everyone had “shock” written all over their faces! Epic moment for sure!
“Well well look at what the cat dragged in”,said my brother with a smirk on his face.
Me: its good to see you too Nuzayh ( if ever I hated anyone it was him! And his wife wasn’t far behind either)
“Naeem..you came!”..my mum said happily and she hugged me.
“Good performance Mrs.Moola” I said to myself..
And I proceeded to meet the rest of the uncles and aunties in the lounge. my dad and my sisters were nowhere to be seen.
Me: where’s Ammarah and Aaliya?
Sue: getting their mehndi done..come,let’s go there
Me: you’re my lifesaver you know that
Sue: (smile) I’m just glad you came, I am so proud of you
And we entered the huge dining room where all the youngsters were chilling while most of the girls had mehndi applied to their hands. I made salaam to everyone and my elder sister Aaliya hugged me and told me how happy she was to see me. *sigh* she would give my mother a run for her money with her acting skills for sure! I should atleast give Nuzayh some credit for not putting up a show infront of me. I sat down next to Ammarah who was having her mehndi done. She was younger than me and we sometimes got along when we were kids.
Amy: thanks Naeem
Me: so, who’s this guy you’re getting engaged to?
Amy: his name is Fahad Jeewa, he’s a doctor
Me: nice! Arranged or love?
Amy: (small smile) a bit of both I guess
Me: are you happy?
Amy: yeah…how about you? What are you doing these days?
Amy: wow that’s nice..I’m happy for you
“At last you’re here Naeem” a voice said behind me…that sounded like…
My dad: (hugging me) I’m so happy that you came son
Me: thanks dad
My dad: come with me I want to introduce you to some people
And I left Ammarah’s gift on the table next to her and followed my dad out onto the verandah.
There were so many people in that house so naturally I couldn’t notice everyone! And even if I had seen her I wouldn’t know who she was…yet. But all along her eyes had been stuck on to me like a hawk!
“He’s here again”, Samaira whispered.
I looked up towards table no.9 and sure enough he was here again!
“Did he order anything?”, I asked
“The usual” she said ..” Bottomless coffee..”
This has been going on for about two weeks now. This guy just comes in and stays for hours! Doesn’t he have a job! He sits here with a book but doesn’t seem to be reading it much because everytime I look in his direction, he’s already staring right back at me!
I thought of calling one of my friends to confront him but Nemo was in Durban, Riza was at Laeeka”s with his parents, Zoheb well I didn’t know him well enough to call a favour and Arshad well, he would probably start reading the guys book for him! I mustered up all of my courage and walked towards him..he didn’t look like a shady character but hey looks can be very deceiving!
” Can I have a word with you?”, I asked him. That’s it Mari I kept telling myself..calm and straight forward.
He put down his book,looked up at me,smiled and softly said…” I thought you’d never ask”
Fast Track Adz in association with LLD will be including ads after each post from tomorrow onwards. All the sisters in the home industry are invited to use this opportunity to market your home business by inviting Fast Track Adz on 27AB635Efirstname.lastname@example.org for more information on packages. Category advertising will also be included in the form of Laeeka and Riza’s wedding, Maariah’s restaurant etc. However, no ads will interfere with the posts so as to not deviate from the story.
Shazia (Author LLD)