As narrated by Riza:
Nemo and I met Zoheb and Aara at the police station where Immy was already waiting. Arshad had an early morning appointment else he would have been there too.
Aadil was pushing his luck a bit too far…
Immy: okay so we managed to trace the call but this guy’s sharp, he used an internet number from an internet cafe which he hacked through several different computers, we checked the surveillance footage from the internet cafe as well and nothing.
He’s good and he knows what he’s doing
Nemo: he “contacted” me as well
Immy: what do you mean?
Nemo: I got this yesterday
And he threw a small envelope onto the table.. and a note “for old times sake”
Immy: I’ll check these for fingerprints
Aara: is this..
Nemo: cocaine yes and no I didn’t take any
Aara: I didn’t say that…
Me: how did you get this Nemo?
Nemo: it was outside my door when I got home
Zoheb: the b****** has access to your building entrance!!
Nemo: I know..that’s what’s freaky because my building is a mini fort knox!
Immy: we have got to find another way to find this guy
Aara: there is only one way Immy…he wants us and we’ve got to let him have us else it’s just going to go on and on
Zoheb: are you feeling alright?
Aara: Zoheb I can’t take the risk of him going after anyone else…Aadil doesn’t have any grudge against the rest of you..and when is it going to stop? How many of us have the time in the day to watch each others back when our own lives are so busy?
Nemo: you’re out of your mind woman..if anything at all, he wants to get back at me, so whatever it is has to be done by me
Aara: listen Nemo..
Nemo: no you listen, let me handle this
Zoheb: I’m with Nemo on this one Aara
Aara looked at me and I threw my hands up in the air
Aara: you guys don’t even know what I’m going to say and you’re already jumping to conclusions!
Immy: guys guys hear her out…she has a point
Nemo: she’s crazy don’t listen to her
Immy: Nemo please…Aara is right, what she’s trying to say is, give him some bait reel him in. We’ll have our backup nothing will happen
Aara: (sitting back against her chair) thank you!
Zoheb and Nemo were both glaring at Aara..thank goodness I wasn’t her right now!
Me: so what do we do?
Aara: for now, nothing. No sudden moves. We’ll plot and plan on our trip and put it into action when we are back
Nemo: you still want to go? After all this?
Aara: why not? And besides I’ve got something to take care of in Durbs
Nemo: don’t tell me you’re working!
Aara looked at Immy knowingly…
Aara: no it’s not work it’s personal
As we walked out of the police station, Aara linked her arm in mine
Me: hmmm someone needs something? Or someones mind is too full?
Aara: (chuckling to herself) you know me too well..although I need to stop doing this (freeing her hand)
I burst out laughing!
Me: o fuggoff let them look neither Zoheb nor Nemo can ever pick a fight with me
Aara: hmmm so you see..
Me: yes me AND the rest of the world
Aara: stop iiiiit Reez
Me: what stop it how long do you think you’re gonna hide it for?
Aara: not much longer but…
Aara: (biting her lip) is this what it feels like?
Me: this my dearest is just the tip of the iceberg..
Aara: (breaking out into a broad smile)really?
Me: (smiling upon seeing her smiling) yesssss reallyy!
Aara: (suddenly standing infront of me and grabbing both my hands)Riza!
Oh goody gosh…I knew where this was going…but right here and right now?? Aah what the hell!
Me: Remember if anyone asks…
Aara: I’m deaf and you don’t speak english!
Me: (grinning) one…
Aara: (laughing) two…
And I held onto her hands tightly as we both jumped up and down!
Aara and I: aaaaAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAaaaaaaAaaaaaAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
I swear I saw two cops reach for their guns! Relax dudes it’s not a terrorist attack it’s just my sister and I going a little crazy :-p
I saw happiness flicker in Aara’s eyes…her smile told a story on its own…the colour on her cheeks gave it away. The jumping up and down thing had its roots in campus…the day we had gotten our results during first year…and also the day I told Aara that I was going to propose to Laeeka.
Me: (hugging Aara) I’m so proud of you..for everything that you’ve achieved and for everything that you’ve become…and I’m so happy for you too on your newfound uhm uhm
She laughed and said her goodbyes as she hopped past Immy and Nemo who looked at her questioningly and Zoheb who already knew why she was hopping and smiling :-p
“I’m also so scared for you Aara…” I whispered to myself as I watched her drive away…
As narrated by Arshad:
Date night was at my place tonight. My parents were at Zainab’s place, discussing our upcoming engagement and probably trying to answer each others questions about how and why we needed to go to Durban on another road trip!
My wifey to be had organized everything for our date night. Everything was laid out, flowers (why we needed them I still didn’t know), the food and the desserts , courtesy of my credit card. Yep my credit felt it the hardest. Not that I minded. Well not that much anyway.
Zainab: love, did you get those purple serviettes that I asked for?
Shux I had forgotten!
Me: ermmm I actually forgot them babe…sorry
Zainab: Arshad..it’s the only thing missing from this perfect table..
Haha…see how fast it changed from “love” to “Arshad”!
Me: it’s just us babe…no one’s going to mind (side hugging Zai) next time I promise I won’t forget anything
Me: (sighing) let’s check in the cupboards here we should be able to find something
And I opened all of my mothers cupboards hoping to find a few purple serviettes…please mummy please have purple…and..voila! My mother was a lifesaver!!
Zai: your mother is a lifesaver!!
And she hugged me. I got a hug for finding a purple serviette. Women.Are.Weird.
Soon enough, everyone arrived. Because of the whole Aadil scare, we decided that no one was coming alone so Riza and Laeeka came together, Nemo fetched Mari and Zoheb fetched Aara. Immy has a gun so he can come alone its cool :-p
Laeeka: so pretty!! Is this a practice run for your wedding table setting?
Me: I don’t have a say Laeeks…
Zai: (nudging me) hey!! No Laeeks I just wanted to try something..
Nemo: (popping a piece of burfee into his mouth) you little liar…you just wanted to play house house in your inlaws house huh
Riza: (also digging into the plate of sweetmeats) the truth hurts Zai :-p
Zai: guys there’s a knife for cutting them please don’t use your hands!
Nemo: (deliberately annoying Zainab more and breaking another piece with his hand) its devine can’t help it..I bet you didn’t make it
Zai: yeah yeah whatever
And then Riza did the “unthinkable”. He pulled one of the purple serviettes that were neatly rolled at the side of each plate and wiped his mouth and hands!
Zainab’s mouth literally just hung open! I couldn’t take it anymore and burst out laughing!!
And zainab gave me one of those looks and I was forced to shut up…
Me: nothing… (And I burst out laughing again)
Nemo: aha…so this is the problem (pulling out another serviette from under another plate and wiping his mouth and hands)
Zainab was almost in tears…
Me: love…it’s for using isn’t it
Zainab: but not now..it’s for the main course!!
I give up..this was becoming incredibly difficult…
Laeeka: (taking Zai away) she’s stressed out Arshoo
Me: I didn’t say anything..it’s cool
Mari and Immy were so busy talking that they didn’t notice…and Aara and Zoheb were at it with my xbox and they didn’t notice either…I loved Zainab with all of my heart but…nevermind
Aara: did I miss something?
Nemo: the start of the days of our lives…and in the lead roles we have Arshad and Zainab! What were those peoples names the main characters?
Zoheb: (also pinching from the sweetmeat plate) John and Marlena
Aara: you used to watch Days of our Lives???
Zoheb: (chuckling to himself) long story
Riza: actually all of us watch soapies man it’s no big deal
Immy: (joining us) yeah but Days of Our lives…that’s just…deep
Nemo: and you (putting his arm around Aara’s neck) you watch almost all the indian soapies so you should be the last one laughing at anyone else
Aara: haha…you also watch them
Laeeka:(walking back into the dining room) Nemo!! Did you watch it last night???
Nemo: I did! I couldn’t miss it for the world!
Riza: what are you two talking about?
Nemo and Laeeka looked at each other and didn’t answer us.
Nemo: don’t you dare tell them!
Laeeka: (grinning wickedly) Nemooo…
Nemo: uh uh Laeeka..
Aara: I’d pay good money to know this one…
Nemo: no you wouldn’t..Laeeka nooo hey
Me: come on Laeeks tell us !
Laeeka: Nemo watched….
Nemo: (putting his hand over Laeeka’s mouth) nothing..come on Laeeks..
Laeeka put her hands up in the air..
Nemo: (letting go slowly) don’t say a word…
Laeeka: ok I won’t…(And as Nemo sat down) Nemo asked me to remind him to watch Legally Blonde last night!
Everyone looked at Nemo for a few seconds and burst out laughing…well not everyone…Immy had subtle grin on his face…
Mari: you too?
Immy: errr yeah…
Laeeka: errr ok…dude you have company (patting Nemo on his back)
Nemo: I’m never talking to you again!
Laeeka: don’t lie:-p
Zainab finally reappeared with supper on a large trolley…huh? I didn’t even know that we had this trolley!
Zainab: and supper is served!
Mari: wow Zai you took over Aunty Sawleha’s kitchen big time! Impressive selection!
Zainab had ordered a variety of indian dishes and breads and pickles and you name it. She prided herself on everything being perfect and the way her face lit up when everyone complimented everything- was truly priceless.
Nemo: all set for tomorrow? Ready and packed?
Everyone answered with an errrrrmmmm lol…typical
Another road trip…another bonding experience…another few pages to add to our history together..another chance to create beautiful memories that would last a lifetime….
But this time things would be different..very different..and as we sat around this table together, talking and laughing…none of us had any idea of what was going to happen very,very soon…and how our lives were going to change without our choice…