As narrated by Zoheb:
Ziyaad’s words rang over and over in my head. It probably shouldn’t have but it did!
Aara stood next to me silently, after apologizing so many times.
Me: it’s okay will you relax now..if you want to talk about it, we can talk about it later but now…there’s just too many people around
Why did I snap at her????
And before she could say anything, Riza joined us
Riza: how’s it going bro…I’m starving!
Me: almost done
Riza: for a moment there I lost my appetite seeing that room and that “body” but I guess we get our motivation for food from our food queen here (winking at Aara) what say Aaaroooo!
But Aara was in her own world…
Riza: earth to Aara?
Aara: sorry what?
Riza: you’re dreaming again!!
Laeeka: I’m super starving! Can we eat?
Me: (small smile) pass me that platter over there please Laeeks ( and I filled it with steak and wors)
Aara looked at me again, her eyes trying to say something…and I looked away. I wasn’t trying to avoid her but it’s just…agh nevermind.
Everyone sat around this huge round table under this huge gazebo…I waited for everyone else to be seated before I sat on the only remaining chair- that being inbetween Riza and Immy. Aara sat directly across me inbetween Zai and Ziyaad. I won’t lie…it was a bit awkward because throughout supper, I caught her looking at me so many times. My heart broke…but I looked away..
After supper…Zee gathered everyone around the bonfire. Here too…everyone had a beanbag thing to sit on and I waited for everyone else to sit and then I sat- now inbetween Arshad and Laeeka…Aara yet again was across me…inbetween Nemo and Maariah. Looking at the two of them sitting together…made me wonder yet again.
Zee: Drakensberg…The Dragon mountains…anyone knows why it was given this name?
Laeeka: because its ragged peaks resemble the back of a dragon…the afrikaners gave it this name
Zee: yes…and no..
Laeeka: what do you mean?
Zee: the other reason it’s called the drakensberg is because the kingdom is surrounded by no less than thirteen,which by the way is a prime moon number of, representations of reptiles, and a tail of five of these snakes off into the eastern cape mountains..this(making a circular motion in the air with his hand) is the first ring of power surrounding the shrine where the AbaTegati still perform their rituals to this day…most of the drakensberg within lesotho has never fully been explored by western scientific means, but if they were, this second concentric rings of power would be found…according to a researcher
Arshad: yeah right..
Zee: I’m serious bro..this is a very interesting story, which not only talks about sacrifice to reptiles, but also of a subterranean network under the drakensberg mountains, centering around a cult of reptile worshippers. Some of it relates to water demons and dragons of the drakensberg, evidence of water serpent worship, and evidence of sacrifice of people to these serpents has actually been found
Zee: children of Naron and Auen Khoisan tribes play a game whereby a line of children form a chain and move towards a ‘lake’. one child pretends to be a water serpent, and they all sing a song of such antiquity that the words are no longer understood. they circle the lake until the water serpent ‘catches’ one of them and ‘swallows’ him or her. the game ends with this mock sacrifice. in addition, the Auen also practise self inoculation to snake bites, something found in snake cults all over the world. Something else found in the Citrusdal district,a very powerful energy centre for the Khoisan, is a picture of a human headed serpent. this image is linked with the then libyan “head” Erichthonious, son of Neith/Athena. he is also known as the son of the Heather, interesting because erica or heather, grows as much in this region as it does on the mediterranean coast. Apparently these people were taught how to use silver for their “practices” what is interesting about this is that the region where this picture is found is in one of the few regions in southern africa where silver was mined, leading researchers to believe that his cult may have originated in southern africa can you believe!!
Mari: well myth and legends are in any place really..
Zee: no I know I mean come on we don’t believe in this crap right..but when I went deep into the mountains on a 5 day trek…the natives actually do this! Its scary and shocking! In the days of the initial white settlers, they also believed that a huge dragon lived deep in the drakensberg mountains and as legend goes, human sacrifices were made to it..AND..it is said that the souls of the people sacrificed to this dragon roamed freely on the night of a full moon…and tonight is a FULL MOON night!
Everyone was silent…except for the crackling of the bonfire…and the occasional cry of an owl nearby…it was silent.
Zee: I have an idea…(And he gave us each a page) write down your worst fear or worst best whatever horror movie scene that totally freaked you out,on this paper and read it out aloud..then burn it! And come on be creative even if you have to lie;)
This guy really was a few cents short of a rand!
Mari: you seem to be hell bent on freaking us out!
Zee: be a sport man…here we are..high up in the mountains…alone…surrounded by myth and legend on a full moon night..
Laeeka: (getting the shivers) brrrr sounds terrible but what the hell (and she started writing) aaand done (she stood up and started reading) the whole Wrong Turn thing…and this place is eerily reminding me of it…so here’s to burning that fear of someone jumping out at me from these trees here (and she squashed her paper and threw it into the fire)
And everyone started writing as well…
Nemo: (standing up) The Exorcist!!! I never ever ever want to see that movie again and I hope I never see something like that in real life EVER (and he squashed his paper and threw it into the fire)
Zee: no shit bro that movie was freaky!!
Nemo: we watched the uncut version and Aara had her jacket on her face throughout most of the movie! (And he nudged Aara)
She just smiled a little and Nemo frowned at her..
Arshad: (standing up) my biggest fear…the fear of never finding true love..(And he squashed his paper and threw it into the fire) because I have found true love (hugging Zainab)
Laeeka:(laughing) get a room already!
Zai: (side hugging Arshad) my biggest fear…becoming the person who pushed me towards changing…(And she threw her paper into the fire) goodbye Maaherah…and thank you Zoheb..for opening my eyes (and she blinked at me)
I smiled at Zainab…she really was a sweetheart.
Riza: Maaherah that mean chick from campus?
Zai: she’s Zoheb’s sister!
Mari:(to me) Maaherah is your sister?
Nemo:…Maaherah…hey I met her recently in Jozi! At the squash court and then at the chemist..I didn’t know she was your sister
I just shrugged my shoulders…
Riza: (standing up) that horrible chucky doll! Gave me nightmares for years!(And he threw his paper into the fire)
Nemo: (busting) I’m going to buy your first child a doll just like that!!
Riza: don’t worry I’ll return the favour 😉
Immy: (standing up) the fear of not being able to save someone I love…(And he threw his paper into the fire)
In his line of work…it made sense..
Mari: (standing up) the fear of not being able to face the wrong that I’ve done…(And she threw her paper into the fire)
Zee: you and wrong …never…the fear of…walking out of the shower and coming face to face with the Scream man with that freaky mask (and he threw his paper into the fire)..
Nemo,Riza and Arshad were torn at Ziyaad’s comment :-p
Which left me…and Aara…and she showed no sign of coming forward first so I stood up..
Me: the fear of being alone for the rest of my life…(She looked at me as I threw my paper into the fire)
Laeeka: Aara…your turn babe
Aara: (standing up)will my past always be a hurdle to my future..will I be judged by the things that I’ve done…by the decisions that I made and by the choices that I live with..will I be classed by the scars on my heart..will I suffer the consequences of standing by what I felt was right…I feared all of this until…I took the chance of a lifetime…and everything changed..my once black and white life is filled with the colours of your love…I feel as though I am standing on the edge of the highest peak and I’m not afraid of falling because I know that you will catch me….Aara is also worthy of being loved..you showed me that..and the only thing that I’m afraid of is losing you…(And she threw her paper into the fire)
Zee: trust you to write an essay dude!
I was overwhelmed…she ignored what Ziyaad said and stood there with tears in her eyes as everyone else remained silent. I felt a few sets of eyes on me..as I raised my eyes to meet hers…
She wiped her tears and walked back towards her beanbag.
Zee: so Aara is afraid of losing who exactly?
Aara: ( looking at me for a few seconds) Siddharth
Nemo: who the hell is that now???
Yeah, even I wanted to know!?!?!?!
Zainab chuckled to herself…
Arshad: you know this Siddharth dude?
Zainab: yes why should I tell you?
Laaeka: ohhh…. ohhhhh I get it…(And she winked at Aara) they will never get it trust me
Aara: you asked , I answered
Who is Siddharth Aara?????? I screamed in my head…
But she wasn’t laughing…She excused herself and started to walk away.
When she was not even a few metres away from us, we noticed the lights in the house flicker…and then go off…and on…and off…and on and we heard the door bang shut!!
Aara turned around and looked at us shocked..when out of nowhere…this person appeared so fast and stood right behind her…