As narrated by Immy
Zoheb Patel. Now here was a genuinely nice guy…he had come in this morning to fill in the formalities for a restraining order against an Aadil Langry with supporting statements from Naeem,Riza,Arshad and Aara.
Why did Naeem Moola ring a bell? Why did Aara’s face look so familiar whenever I saw her? My memory almost always never lets me down…but now…Naeem Moola…Aara Ismail…Naeem Moola….Aara Ismail…I just can’t seem to put my finger on it…
Later that night-Zoo Lake-Everyone sitting on their car bonnets
As narrated by Maariah:
Arshad: my parents are meeting Zai’s parents tomorrow night…duas duas please people
Aara: that is such good news!!
Zoheb: all the best to you both…another wedding up soon *winking at Arshoo*
Arshad: i’m so nervous!
Zai: I’m supposed to be nervous not you!
Nemo(sitting next to Riza on his car bonnet): chill man Zai..and Arshoo everything will be OK breathe and relax bro..right..ok so Date night it is then…we have a surprise for all of you!
Aara(sitting next to me on Zoheb’s bonnet): my place…AND I’m cooking so lay your demands down now..what do you guys feel like eating?
Riza: Aara supper can be anything but I’m dying for that Ferrero cake that you made for Eid *batting his eyelashes*
Arshad(sitting next to Zoheb on his car bonnet) : me too me too!! Please make that for us!
Aara: (laughing to herself)ok done…next
Nemo: how about some cheddarmelt steak with the works?my mouth is already mmmm watering for it
Aara: done! Next
Laeeka:(sitting with Zai on Nemo’s car bonnet) I’m with Nemo on the steak anyday!
Zainab: I’m not fussy but…
Aara: (ℓ☺ℓ!) But…
Zainab: can we have that chicken and samoosa pur casserole thing please?
Aara: done*winking* next!
Me: since you’re being soooo generous…how about some stuffed mushrooms and that yummy veggie casserole?
Aara: (laughing) oh my…okay done …that leaves you Zoheb?
Zoheb: (smiling softly) I’ll just try a little of everything I don’t need anything special made for me
Arshad: bro…don’t..she doesn’t offer often!
Aara: ey don’t lie Arshoo!
Arshad: I promise it’s the truth..she probably has some memon blood in her :-p
Aara: very funny…seriously dimples…what do you feel like eating?
Zoheb: the steak, the chicken,the mushrooms and the ferrero cake *winking *
Aara: *sighing* fine!
Riza: (chuckling to himself) I have an idea…
Nemo: oh no…
Riza: wait man…taking out a little notebook from his pocket and tearing pieces of paper….right….any four famous movie couples that comes to mind?
Nemo: ummm how abt Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones? Zorrrrrro!
And Reez noted it down
Riza: Nemo pick any of the ladies names
Nemo: Aara 🙂
And Reez noted down that and folded the piece of paper
Laeeka: Shrek and Fiona? Does that count?
Riza: ofcourse babe…pick a guys name
Riza: eh you think of me when you think of Shrek?!
Laeeka: (laughing) yaww
Zoheb: Grease Styling *winking at Aara*
Zainab: ooh I like!!
Zoheb: then Zainab’s name Reez
Riza: done…one more?
Aara: hmmm would Twilight count?
Immy: (appearing out of no where)slmz guys
Nemo: hey Immy
Riza: (chuckling to himself) it does now!!
And Bella Swan is…Maariah
Immy: maaf I hope I’m not disturbing you guys I saw you all and thought to come over to make salaam
Aara: perfect timing! Immy you’re invited to our date night on Wednesday night
Immy: no man…really its fine
Me: yeah don’t force him Aara
Aara(nudging me): I insist
Immy smiled a really sweet smile…hmmm
Immy: ok that will be great thanks
Aara: err Immy what’s your favourite food?
Immy: hands down…butter chicken..why?
Aara: naa just asking
Riza: right listen up…immy you pick the first one
Immy: oh..kay (taking a piece of paper)
Riza: before you open it…pick any of the guys and girls names here
Immy: okay let’s go for you Riza and Laeeka (and he opened the paper) Shrek and Fiona?
Nemo fell backwards laughing!!!!
Nemo: bro you’re meant to be Shrek!!
Immy: I don’t quite follow…
Riza: you’ll see …just now…Nemo pick a paper and a guy and girls name
Nemo: let’s go for Nemo and Aara?
Riza: you’re picking yourself?
Nemo: well I’ve never been paired with my best friend ever in any of these things so I’m taking my chances (and he opened his paper and jumped down) Zorrrrrro baby!! Sweetheart…my senorita…it’s you and me!!
I couldn’t help but notice Zoheb looking a little uneasy…
Aara: oh calm down will you(shushing Nemo away)
Riza: right…Zoheb your pick
Zoheb: it has to be a guys name only….so Arshad (and he opened the paper) Grease Arshoo!! Oh this is going to be supercool!
Arshad: hey…john travolta…me????
Nemo: yeah Arshoo we know…we are also in trauma over that :-p
Zainab: (throwing a chips packet on Nemo) don’t be mean!
Riza: (laughing like a mad man) that leaves us with Immy,Zoheb and Mari-the Twilight trio!! Okay Immy the thing is, we randomly chose and selected four movie couples and on date night…you’re going to have to dress the part..no acting or anything of the sort but we just have a different way of creating memories
Aara: a weird way you mean?
Riza: ya ya
Aara:(smirking) so who’s Edward and who’s Jacob?
Zoheb: I’m not going to be Edward uh uh
Aara: You can! You can wear the jacket!! It would suit the part perfectly!
Zainab: errr what jacket?
And Aara had a stunned”caught off guard” look on her face as she bit her lip and put her head down. Zoheb also had a little smirk on his face…
Immy: oh..kay…I’m guessing I’m jacob then?
And everyone burst out laughing!!!
Riza: welcome to our world bro!
And eventually everyone started leaving …one by one…
Immy: can I drop you home Maariah?
Me: no thanks I’m going with Arshad and Zainab
Aara: (whispering) you’re so rude…
Arshad: I have a lot of parcels in the back seat now so sorry Mari I can’t drop you *winking at Immy*
And Arshad and Zai left. Riza and Nemo were still fiddling with something in Riza’s car and I overheard Aara whispering to Zoheb..
Aara: let’s go!
And they left before anyone probably even noticed that they were gone. Zoheb opened the passenger side door for her too! There’s something happening there that’s for sure…
As narrated by Zoheb:
Whenever I think that my hope is fading…I realise its just me and nothing else…as much as it looks otherwise sometimes…she always makes me see it differently…
Aara didn’t ask me to take her home, she told me to take her home…it’s a feeling of belonging and familiarity that made me feel warm inside.
Aara: now tell me what do you feel like eating?
Me: how many different kinds of things are you going to be cooking? By the time you’re done you will be exhausted
Aara: I don’t mind…come on tell me
Me: another time…for now I’ll just enjoy whatever you’re making for everyone else:)
Aara: don’t give me that…just TELL me!
Me: I……….no! There’s too much on your plate already
Aara: but I’m asking nicely?
Me:(suppressing my laugh) and I’m telling you nicely..
Aara: do you think that I won’t be able to cook it?
Me: awwww now I didn’t say that…would you like some ice cream?
She didn’t answer.
Still no answer
Me: my pretty pretty angel Aara?
Still no answer
Me: my mischievous,pretty pretty angel applepie chocolate milkshake Aara?
Aara: I look like an apple pie???
I burst out laughing!!
Aara: I look like a chocolate milkshake???
Me: err no
And she turned her face towards her side of the window
Me: (tickling the side of her face) madam…
She tried not to laugh and shrugged my hand away.
So I tried again…and I poked her in her sides and she jumped!!
Aara: you’re driving!
Me: you’re frowning!
Aara: you….are making me frown!
Me:(pulling into her driveway) is it really so important to you?
Aara: I wouldn’t have asked otherwise
Me: promise you won’t laugh?
Aara: as long as its not like giblets or sheeps head or ewww all those things
Me: (laughing)no no…please no..I don’t eat all of that…I know I don’t look it but I really love veggies and I would kill for some plain aalu fry and bindi…I haven’t that in ages…well not home cooked anyway
Aara: (frowning) that’s it?
Me: that’s it 🙂
Aara: are you for real?
Me: (pinching myself) I guess I am
Aara: ok (getting off my car)
Me: aren’t you going to say goodbye atleast?
Aara: for what?
Aara: dimples! Aren’t you coming up? Ice cream remember?
Grrrrrrr. This woman will eat me alive!! Gosh I love her!
Me:(sitting on Aara’s lounge carpet next to her, eating a bowl of Chocolate Milano) curiosity applepie…what is that around your neck…its never on your clothes always inside? Taweez?
Aara: (touching her neck)this…(A small smile playing on her face as she took it out and held it in her hand)…this is something that nobody gave to me and that which I didn’t take from anyone either…(Rubbing its surface)…a few years ago at the airport in Durban I remember colliding into someone really hard but I was so much in my own world that I hadn’t noticed the person or this …thing…that had gotten stuck onto my jersey. When I sat in the car that’s when Riza pointed it out to me….I would never have kept it had it not been for the engraving behind it…”Nasrun minallahi wa fathun kareeb-”
And she moved her fingers to reveal what lay in her hand…a small rectangular silver pendant…that was broken off on oneside
Aara: I always hoped to find its owner..how I don’t know…but at that point in time I was probably at my lifes lowest low….anyway so I got a little hole made into it and put a chain through it. Maybe one day I’ll find who it belongs to…until then its safe with me
I had no words. I seriously had no words.
I took out my wallet and pulled out a silver chain…with a piece of the rectangular silver pendant thing still on it…and I handed it to Aara
And I watched her…as she joined the pieces of this little silver pendant in shock
Tears filled her eyes….as she stared at this little piece of silver that had linked us once before and joined us now again…
Aara: it was you…(Wiping her tears) it was you…(Turning to face me) do you know…on the day that I found this…I was as broken as I could have possibly been…when Riza pointed out that something was stuck on my jersey I was about to throw it away when I turned it over and read the inscription….
It gave me the strength that I needed…I took it as a sign that what I was going to do was not wrong. (Tears falling out of her eyes) whenever I felt low,whenever I felt hurt I would hold this and remind myself that I was not alone…Zoheb…this belongs to you…I’m so sorry
Me: (closing her hand over the pendant) it was never meant for me….it was always yours…my Nani’s dua was meant for you Aara..
********And I remembered the day I was leaving Durban, I had come to see my Nani and she had given me this silver chain and pendant.
Me: very cute Nani…what does it mean?
My nani: “Help from Allah,and victory is near”
Me: I’ll always keep it with me…
I had never thought that it had come off when I collided with that girl that day…the airport was busy, I was on my phone…she wasn’t even looking where she was going and walked straight into me knocking both of us down
She: I’m sorry…(And she gathered her things that fell on the floor)
I couldn’t see her face past her long brown hair
Me: are you okay?
She didn’t answer and hurried off
I continued on my call thinking nothing about what had just happened…*******
A feeling of nostaligia swept over me…this was unreal……unbelievable…… unforgettable!