As narrated by Arshad:
We walked like kids throughout the aquarium. As though we had never seen an aquarium before! I had a lot on my mind…I needed to tell my parents about Zainab…I know it was still early days but I was dead serious about our relationship! If only life were a little simpler…now I would have to tell my parents, then go to her parents then plan an engagement then a wedding then a walima…it would be a never ending saga before I got to actually spend my life with the woman I loved.*sigh*I watched Zainab as she ran her fingers across the glass tanks…stopping sometimes to let the fish seemingly come towards her finger and then she would smile softly and spread her fingers…causing the fish to disperse. I walked towards her and impulsively put my hand over hers as she placed her hand on the glass once again..and we released our fingers together…again and again. It was a very childish thing to do but this moment was ours….and ours alone.
Everyone else had split up into their own little groups. Riza and Laeeka, Maariah,my parents,Zoheb and Nemo, Aara and her three cousins. Aara’s cousins were leaving back for Durban the next day so no one really minded that she was spending almost all of her time with them.
Riza: Hey Nemo there’s you! (Shouting from across the passage and pointing at a clownfish aka Nemo)
Nemo: clownfish for a reason I guess(he said with a straight face and stared blankly at the tank infront of him)
Aara: but the cutest of them all! ( Squeezing her way inbetween Nemo and my mother…and she smiled as she pointed out the other clown fish hiding behind the rocks)
Nemo: you think so?
Aara: Nemo! I gave you that name so ofcourse I think so…except for the big nose..you are quite cute!
Nemo: hey why are you always after my nose!
Aara: (trying to suppress a smile by biting her lip) just saying…here (handing Nemo something)
Nemo: oh no you didn’t! Where did you find this from?
Aara: I didn’t Uzair did…he’s as addicted to it as we are so he gave me whatever he had left in his bag
Nemo: how many do you have?
Aara: enough for both of us…shhhh…we’ll eat it quietly later
Obviously I heard every word she said even though she tried to be subtle about it, but I wasn’t going to say anything. Aara and Nemo were Aara and Nemo after all. I had bigger fish to fry…err no offence to you Nemo :-p
The girls had all bunched up together and us guys were just trailing behind…
Laeeka: every day gone is another day gone…we need to make a plan and tell Aunty Sawleha about Zai and Arshoo!
Maariah: I knowww and she’s so sweet I don’t think she’ll disagree to them…she might just tighten the leash on leaving them anywhere alone though…on this trip that is
Aara: naa…I don’t think so but we need to find a way for sure! Call Arshoo!
Laeeka: Arshad come here…(But all the guys followed)..errr not all of you we only need him
Riza: don’t be rude love you can’t chase us away
Maariah: but we don’t need all of you we aren’t having a khatam here!
All the guys burst out laughing!
Riza: well we are here now so you girls might as well tell us what’s going on
My parents were nowhere in sight, Ridhwaan and Ismaeel were off on their own as well, so the 9 of us made ourselves comfortable on the four benches facing each other and surrounded by the huge glass tanks.
Laeeka: we need to tell Arshoo’s parents about Zai and Arshad..or Arshoo needs to tell them its better we do it while we are on holiday and everyone is the holiday mood!
Riza: hmmmm Arshad, what do you want to do?
Me: I really want to tell them but I really don’t know how
Zoheb: how about just sit them down and tell them?
Riza: how about Uzair tell her in guji since he’s so good at it and she’s so chaffed with him?
Uzair: errr no (running his fingers through his hair) this is a personal thing between Arshad and his parents, he should be the one to tell them
Zoheb: I agree with Uzair…Arshad come on now man up and tell them already!
Me: ok….I will
Me: soon soon
Zoheb: nauh Arshad..now or never…when?
Me: okay okay….tonight!
Zoheb: done deal?
Me: done deal!
Zoheb: there you go Zai…get ready we’re going to do moo mittu tomorrow for you 🙂
Zainab was all smiles and for the second time ( the first being the day I told her that I loved her) I felt as though I was doing something right!
Aara: hey how do you know about moo mittu?
Zoheb: *winking at Aara* oh you’d be surprised by what I know
Aara: really now?
Zoheb: yes Aaroo reaaaly
Uzair: *whispering to Aara* I like him!
Aara: Zoheb, Uzair likes you!
Uzair: *choking on his fanta grape* she’s lying dude!
Zoheb: oh so you don’t like me?
Uzair: I do like you but..
Aara: *busting* what did I tell you?
Uzair: ignore please…this woman is losing her marbles!
Aara: wait wait (and she stood up and pulled her phone out of her pocket) all of you guys sit together!
Riza: family photo?
Aara: yessss brother
And Riza,Nemo,Zoheb,Uzair and I sat together on the one bench.
Aara: now all of you run your fingers through your hair Uzzi style!
Uzair: are you making fun of me?
Aara: I would never do that Gorgeous…just teaching these shreks over here a thing or two
Nemo: first Nemo now shrek?
Zoheb: I aint no shrek!
Riza: me neither!
Me: I don’t think I’m Shrek too!
Uzair(chuckling to himself): well she called me Gorgeous..so in that case…
Aara: come on guys!
And everyone complied! *click*
Aara: this is one moment I’m going to cherish forever…my best guys all in one pic!
And we slowly walked towards the exit of the aquarium…
Later on that night: as narrated by Maariah
Me: o my God Aunty Sawleha! These are devine! Where did you buy them from?
Aunty Sawleha: this old man was selling it not far from here…he said its health muffins…go green muffins or something
Me: delicious!! (Motioning Aara and Arshad who had just walked in to the kitchen, to come taste it too)
Aara: (taking a bite) ooh nice!
Arshad: (gobbling a whole one) maa…I’m not calling the others these are ours!!!
An hour later….when Riza and Nemo walked into the kitchen(as narrated by Riza)
Me: guys…what’s going on? (Noticing everyone laughing like idiots)
Arshad: nothing is “going on” (and Arshad got off his chair and stumbled onto the ground)
Nemo: (helping Arshad up) woahhh easy now dude…
Arshad: I am a dude! I’m the coolest dude! (And he started dancing in a really weird way)
Nemo and I looked at each other and then at Aunty Sawleha who started singing a really golden goldie…a song we had never ever heard of!!
Me: (picking up the last muffin and smelling it) what is this????
Aara: (hiccup) its a muffin are you blind? (Hiccup)
Nemo: (examining the muffin as well) shit! Shit! Shit! Where did you get this from???
Aunty Sawleha: (raising her hand) I bought it! And we didn’t want to share it with you hahaha!
Nemo: Reez…this muffin is…
Me: a space muffin….I know (shaking his head)
Nemo: Aara come with me, its time for you to go to bed…all of you! In the bed now!
Maariah: NO! No bed!
Me: how many did you all eat?
Aunty Sawleha: five!
Maariah: five also! (And she high fived Aunty Sawleha)
Aara: I also had six and I want the last one…(Reaching out for the muffin)
Nemo: no Aara no..(Pulling the muffin away)
Aara: you always don’t give me what I want!!! Why??? (Grabbing Nemo by his collar)
Nemo: Aara…you aren’t in your senses
Aara: I don’t want to be in my senses….(Grabbing Nemo’s collar harder) I want to go outside (letting Nemo go…holding Arshad’s hand and stumbling towards the terrace)
Aunty Sawleha and Maariah followed!
Nemo: (looking at me) Run!
And we rushed outside….everyone was stunned to see these four in the condition that they were in!
Zoheb: what’s going on?
Me: they ate a whole lot of space muffins…
And Arshad fell off his chair and started singing….O BOY!