As narrated by Aara:
I stopped a few metres before our campsite…and breathed in and out. I needed to run…I needed to run so badly.
Fair enough, we already knew about Maariah thanks to her accidental recording, but face to face was something else altogether. I was feeling so hot…it was as though my insides were boiling!!
What makes you and what breaks you…why the hell did she have to open her mouth now?? I looked at the scar on my elbow and put my hands on my hips. What the hell was going on??
This was 3 years old…we moved past it..we grew up. Did I over react?
I sat down on a rock and stared at the ground. While some may say that it isn’t good to remember the past…sometimes by looking back we put our present into perspective. I shook my head…always the raw end of the deal.
That’s it…I can’t think I need to run! I went back to the campsite where Ziyaad was busy making his tea.
Me: hey Zee boy…question
Zee: yes Aarooo
Me: I need to go for a run…suggestion please..quickly (warming up)
Zee: (grinning at me) you’re one of those huh
And Zee gave me an easy route for a 3km run. Short, but it would do the job. I tied my jacket around my waist, threw my phone to Ziyaad and took off.
The wind against my face and me against the world…so high up. What a run does for me..no amount of coffee or redbull could ever do…
As narrated by Laeeka:
The way back down was just as scary as the way we came up! And to think we had another proper climb to do!
But there was something else…the air was thick with it. Something was up. I noticed Maariah’s puffy eyes and even Aara had her sunglasses on even when there was no sun! This was going on for a while…I had noticed, I just didn’t say anything. But I wasn’t going to let it go either…
We made the climb- Mount Aux Sources and it was beyond awesome! It was going to be one tiring drive to Durban and I was just looking forward to sleeping all the way;)
After a walk through bits of the Tugela gorge, our legs were finished. And still two hours to go before we reached Zee’s mansion!
Me: Mari are you okay?
Mari: hmmm…not really. Don’t feel so good
Me: did something happen?
Mari: no…I think I’m coming down with the flu
She was lying through her teeth!
Me: okay when we get back to the house I’ll give you some meds…sleep all the way to Durbs
and you’ll feel much better tomorrow
Mari: I think I want to go back to Jhb..I don’t think I’m going to make it to Durban
Me: what nonsense!
Mari: Laeeks…drop it please…
Me: whatever is going on I WILL find out!
And I stomped off towards Riza…and Riza was talking to Aara, best way to find out- I walked silently behind them. They were practically whispering and I strained to hear them…
Riza: so now?
Aara: now I don’t know
This was harder than I thought…there was something about a birthday party and about Nemo…oh man this wasn’t working out! I was about to tap Riza on his shoulder when someone tapped me on mine!
Me: (turning around) Zoheb!
Zoheb: (grinning) and what are you doing madam?
Me:(whispering) eavesdropping..but don’t tell anyone
Zoheb: (laughing) you’re too honest for your own good!
Me: (sitting down on a rock while the group carried on walking) something’s up Zoheb…Mari wants to go back home..I can see that she’s been crying…Aara is super quiet..and I know its been carrying on for a while because I’ve noticed it!
Zoheb: (sitting infront of me) I’m sure they’d tell you if it was important Laeeks
Me: my two friends ignoring each other is not important?
Zoheb: I didn’t mean it like that..
Me: why won’t they tell me! Even Riza isn’t saying anything…(And I took a deep breath in…I need my medication) I just don’t understand! (Taking a deep breath again)
Zoheb: (worriedly) Laeeks are you okay (opening his water bottle and making me drink)
Me: I’m fine…(But my breathing became a little more erratic)
Zoheb: I’m calling Riza!
And he was about to shout when I held his hand..
Me: I just need my medication…I’ll be fine…small compartment on the top of my bag please
And Zoheb hurriedly took out my medication and I popped it into my mouth…breathe in…breathe out…
Zoheb: what medication is this? Laeeks what’s going on??
Me: (my breathing was now fine…) Relax…I’m okay
Zoheb: should you be climbing mountains Laeeka?
Me: now you sound like a teacher!
Zoheb: I’m being serious
I stood up..Zoheb insisted on carrying my backpack. We were about to turn around and leave when Riza and Aara came running back.
Riza: (holding my face) are you okay?? Your face looks very flushed
Me: I’m fine..
Aara: Laeeka…Riza is right…your face looks very flushed..do you need your..
Me: (cutting her off) I’m okay Aara I’m okay
Zoheb was about to say something when I stopped him..
Me: if they can keep secrets so can I
Zoheb: but Laeeka..
Me: don’t say anything!
Riza: (he looked as though he was about to cry) don’t do this please…
Aara: (taking Riza’s backpack off) Riza…do it
And Riza lifted me up into his arms despite my protests and carried me. Aara dragged Riza’s backpack along.
How could I ever be mad at these two? But if they would only stop being so protective! As Riza carried me and walked silently…I looked up at his face…I drifted back to when I had gotten really sick. Every time I had opened my eyes…one of them were by my side. Drained, tired…but there.
Zainab was off on her own beat out of town…Maariah was there…Arshad was there…but Nemo had come to see me once only. I knew all along that they were hiding something…something big…and no one ever told me.
Nemo vanished…and when I asked about him they said he had gone to Durban. But what boggled me was…for almost a full year..we were all never ever together all at once. If Aara was with me then Arshad and Riza weren’t. If Riza was with me then Aara and Arshad weren’t. And whenever I saw them, they always appeared tired. Aara was disappearing. She had lost so much of weight and the once she came to see me she had a slight limp. She said she had hurt her ankle while playing squash but refused to let me have a look. And whenever I asked about Nemo they would say that they had spoken to him and he was fine but…Nemo never called me.
But then things became normal again and I didn’t see the need to bring it up. But today felt a little like back then all over again..
Riza…my strength, my love…I didn’t want to see him worried.
Me: I’m ok Riza…please don’t panic
Riza: did you have an attack?
Me: (shaking my head) no…my breathing just became a little erratic…I think it’s the altitude or maybe this thing that’s going on between Aara and Maariah
Riza looked away…I knew it!! There definitely was something and I was going to find out!
When we had gotten back to the house…everyone busied themselves with showering, packing etc etc. We were leaving for Durbs that night and would all be staying at Aara’s house. I walked passed Maariah’s room when I heard her crying…and she was booking a ticket back to Jhb! No, this was going to stop now!
I stomped off to our room and flung the door open startling Aara while she dried her hair.
Aara: what’s wrong?
Me: you tell me!
Aara: errr…I’m lost Laeeks what’s the problem?
Me: Mari is booking a ticket back home!
Aara: what? Why?
Me: you’re asking me why?? You know why! She’s crying , your eyes are puffy what is going on? It’s so clear that you both had a fight!
Aara: I don’t want to talk about it..if she wants to go let her go what must I do
Aara: (blocking her ears) will you stop shouting please
And then someone knocked on the door..
Both of us: WHAT!
Zoheb: (coming inside) is everything okay?
Aara turned around and carried on packing..
Me: no everything isn’t okay (and I told Zoheb everything)
Zoheb: (walking over to Aara) Aara…
Aara: (backing up) not you too
And he walked over to her and hugged her and I think he whispered something into her ear..
Laeeka: why are you whispering???
Zoheb: Laeeka…calm down…Mari won’t go anywhere
Laeeka: my two best friends fighting on a holiday! Aara you…you should know better!
Aara: (on the verge of tears) dammit!
She walked out…and I followed
Aara headed straight to Maariah’s room where Immy was trying to convince her not to go
Aara: what’s your reservation number?
Aara: what’s your reservation number?
And Mari gave it to her..
Aara whipped out her cellphone and cancelled Maariah’s booking
Aara: when the shit hits the fan, you work on fixing things you DON’T run away!
Mari burst out crying…
Me: what happened???? Gawwwd will someone please tell me!!!
As narrated by Aara:
How nice was my life? Maariah confesses in the morning and I get the grilling of my life from Laeeka in the afternoon. “I should know better”. If only you knew Laeeka…
But that’s the thing…she couldn’t know…she could never know…I promised Riza that I would never tell her about Maariah..and Arshad and I promised him never to tell her about Nemo. She would never be able to handle it and the three of us were strong enough to handle it on our own I mean we did it didn’t we?
But now a little bit of Immy seemed to have rubbed off onto Laeeka and SHE was playing detective!
What worried me though, was that she had trouble breathing on our way back…and now with Mari and her “booking a bus ticket to go home” drama it seemed to add to it because Laeeka was on the verge of becoming hysterical. I wanted to give Maariah a hard slap…running away is so easy.
Laeeka: don’t ignore me Aara!
Me: (snapping out of it) I’m not ignoring you…you are really over reacting!
Laeeka: I’m over reacting???
Me: hey…why are you only looking at me? Just because I’m loud it doesn’t mean I’m always responsible for everything
Immy let out an unexpected chuckle and that made Laeeka even angrier!
Laeeka: this is funny to you Immy?
Immy: no no…it’s just…okay what Aara said was funny I didn’t mean to laugh out loud though..sorry
Laeeka: everything is a big joke around here! (And she started crying) and you both are going to go to Durban fussed up??
Aara: I am NOT fussed up relax will you
Laeeka: and my name isn’t Laeeka
Aara: fine shoot me I give up (my hands up in the air)
Maariah: (chipping in) Laeeka…Aara is not to be blamed for anything. It’s my fault, I’m the one who’s wrong not her
Laeeka: so tell me then!!!
And then it started again…her breathing became shorter and faster..
Zoheb ran out of the room and came running back with Laeeka’s medication
Laeeka: (pushing his hand away) I don’t want it!
Me: stop being stubborn!
Mari: Laeeka please..
Laeeka: I don’t want it! What is happening here????
Me: will you just take your medication already?!
Laeeka: (gasping) NO!
By now Nemo and Riza came rushing into the room also..
Nemo: what’s happening?
Laeeka: ask them! (Pointing at me and Mari)
Riza: baby please take your medication please I’m begging you
Laeeka: (crying) no Riza I don’t want it (breathing faster )
Nemo looked at Maariah as she wiped her tears and started walking towards Laeeka.
Ohhh no you don’t! She was still clearly very much so in confession mode…and as much as I simply couldn’t stand her right now…my love for Laeeka and Riza exceeded any amount of pain that I felt right now.
Maariah: 3 years ago…I did…
Me: (cutting her off) don’t drag Laeeks into it…it was a stupid argument I’m sorry okay…you need to stop being such a drama queen though Mari…
Mari: (looking at me confused) but Aara..you don’t have to be sorry..you didn’t..
Laeeka: both of you are lying!!
Me: seriously…we aren’t lying ..there was this…..(Thinking) stupid prank that we pulled on Mari 3 years ago…and it came up this morning when we went for a walk..and we ended up having an argument…I scolded her and she got upset…tell her Nemo!
Nemo: (with a straight face) she’s right Laeeka…I was with them…and you know these two always bickering over something
Me: (sarcastically) yeah and I didn’t think Mari would get so emotional I mean…she’s a plotter and planner herself so…
Nemo gave me the shut up look.
Me: but..whatever I mean we’re grown up..so apologies to everyone especially to you Mari I’m so sorry
Riza eyed me overwhelmingly and Zoheb looked as though he might start crying!
Me: okay now will you please take your medication?
Laeeka stood up and sighed.
Laeeka: don’t need it…didn’t need it now anyway
Me: Laeeka…you lied? You lied???
Me: (feeling as though my heart were about to burst) don’t ever do that again (and I hugged her)
Laeeka: (starting to cry…) I love youuuu and I love you too Mari…I’m sorry but I can’t see us splitting up and and and this roadtrip is for all of us…you can’t just leave Maariah! I’m sorry for acting but I didn’t have a choice…
Mari: (standing next to Laeeka) I’m an idiot…I’m sorry Laeeks (and she hugged Laeeka)
Zai: (barging in) hug without me!!
And Zai came in for a group hug..
Nemo: sorry guys I know these are your chicks or vrous or whatever but they are my girls first
And Nemo put his arms around all four of us and hugged us..
Laeeka: this feels like campus!
Campus days…that did it for me and I broke free from the hug , citing suffocation as an excuse.
Laeeka, Zainab, Immy and Riza left the room after a few minutes and then she turned to me…
Mari: (tears in her eyes) Aara..I’m really so sorry
I wasn’t in the mood for this
And I walked out.
Arshad’s voice seemed to echo throughout this entire mansion as he hollered for all of us to come downstairs immediately…he was going through all the pictures that we had taken over these past 2 days…
Arshad: you guys are not going to believe what I saw in some of these pictures!
Nemo: us, us and us! Who else?
Arshad: no bro…not just us…
A very big thank you to all of who commented on LLD Memories. You guys have touched my heart and soul *tight hugz*
I have decided to set days for posting. Don’t take out your guns yet:-p
Wednesday and Saturday…you will Insha Allah have yourselves an LLD post. If for whatever reason, there are changes, I will notify you guys on the blog. When I get a chance to post more than twice a week I definitely will