As narrated by Immy
Watching the mountains become smaller and smaller made me feel a little sad. I thoroughly enjoyed the Drakensberg. And I thoroughly enjoyed the company.
I never would have thought that through the two people I had once followed, hoping that one of them would slip up somewhere, I would meet the love of my life and be integrated into such a wonderful group of friends.
Aara and Nemo have grown so much since the very first time I had seen them.
And Riza also.
I slumped back into my seat and looked at Maariah as she stared out the window…
Would I be able to give her a good life? All of them had families…all of them had someone to call their own.
I had no family at all…my parents passed away when I was 3 years old, my adoptive parents passed away when I was 18. No siblings, no aunts and uncles. Just me.
Now here I was, no longer alone and surrounded by these amazing people. Riza,headstrong and honest. Laeeka, sweet and simple. Zoheb,kind and very calm, Aara another headstrong character and completely wacked. I laughed to myself. Nemo…a very genuine guy, very soft and full of shit. Arshad, quiet and trustworthy ,Zainab…lol..a little Kardashian:-p and Maariah..deep and beautiful. She’s also been through a lot and she isn’t perfect, but none of us are. I was so proud of her for coming clean with Aara, and although Aara came down on her like a ton of bricks I knew she would come around soon and forgive Maariah. Infact, a part of me believes that she already has. If she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have pointed me in the right direction with Maariah’s likes and dislikes and offer to help me plan what I wanted to do.
These guys and girls had something good going here, the kind of friendship that not everyone is lucky to have.
I smiled as I stared at Maariah looking out the window and I reached forward and moved the few strands of hair that were blocking my view of her a little.
Me: (smiling) that’s better
And she blushed…making my heart do a complete 360 degree spin!
Maariah: ( trying to hide her smile) what are you…
Me:(smiling at her and shaking my head slightly) nothing..
Maariah frowned and looked away again and I reached out and held her baby finger…making her look at me again. And then I wrote in the air with my finger.
I felt a flutter in my tummy as we continued…because we couldn’t say it out loud..
This went on for the next hour…until Riza seemed to have noticed
Riza: (laughing to himself) having fun Immy and Mari?
And we immediately stopped.
Laeeka: (turning around) what are you both doing…
We didn’t say a word…except smiled
Riza: (chuckling to himself and he started singing)pyar deewana hota hai mastana hota hai…har khushi se har gham se begaana hota hai
Now I couldn’t hold it in and I burst out laughing!
Me: Reez spending too much time with Zoheb are we?
Laeeka: (also laughing) ohhhh no Immy….Riza sings for me all the time except..
Riza: (frowning) except what?
Laeeka: except….(Laughing again) he sings very badly!
Riza: aaaaah Laeeka!
Now Maariah was also laughing…it felt good to see her laugh again.
Laeeka: they were all acting innocent when Aara said that Zoheb sang for her but let me tell you Immy you haven’t seen Nemo and Riza in action yet!
Me: no ways Laeeks! Nemo too????
Laeeka: Nemo too (and she took out her phone and conference called Nemo, Aara and Arshad and put it on speaker)
Nemo: yes Mrs Ahmed
Aara: yessss Laeekaaa
Arshad: Riza, Immy and Mari are that boring that you wanted to conference call?
Laeeka: Nemo sing for us!
Nemo: errr…right…Reez is she feeling okay?
Riza: (busting) well apparently I’m a bad singer bro…hey Zoheb looks like we have to come to you for lessons mate
Zoheb: you guys are never going to make me forget it aren’t you?
Aara: (chipping in) why would you want to forget it?
Zee: eyyyyy Aarooo you made the man stand on the car and sing! What did you expect him to be proud of it?
Zoheb: Zee uh uh don’t key her up
Laeeka: hello…I called remember!
Nemo: you sing! Or put your radio on!
Laeeka: please man…I just told Immy now how you and Riza can bring the house down and now you’re letting me down!
Nemo: you. are. mad
Laeeka: ok come on…everyone together
Zai: gawwwd Laeeka…don’t tell me its THAT song!
Riza: yebo yes Zai I presume it is THAT song!
Ebie: would someone please just sing already!
Laeeka: okay Riza,Nemo,Aara,Zai,Arshoo,Mari on the count of 3 and the rest of you if you know the words you can join in okay?
Everyone: (laughing) ok done!
And nobody except Laeeka sang! I was so ripped!
Laeeka: not fair!!!
Nemo: (busting) okay okay Laeeka I’ll sing for you okay (clearing his throat) …
Nkosi sikele iafrika Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayoooooooooo
To say that everyone was torn with laughter was an understatement of the century!!!
And Ziyaad carried on with the national anthem…infact Nemo and him seemed to be enjoying themselves!
And Zainab and Ebie sang the afrikaans part of it! My tummy was so sore!
Nemo: there you happy now?
Laeeka: I’m very disappointed
Riza: Laeeekaaaaa babyyyyy
Laeeka: don’t baby me!
Aara: Laeeks I think we’re all tooooo starving to sing..how about we stop in Pietermaritzburg guys?
Arshad: yeah please man…my stomach is rumbling here!
Ebie: I knew I wasn’t just hearing things…
Nemo: Aara maa will kill us! It’s already 8pm sweetheart and you know she’s prepared supper
Aara: yeaaah but I’m hungry! Ok let’s stop at a garage?
And we did just that, we stopped and topped up on some good old junk food after which we hit the road again.
Finally! I felt like screaming when we entered Durban!
Nemo and Aara country…lol…we should have just put up a signboard at the entrance of Durbs.
Aara and I had so much planned for this trip and the group were definitely in for the time of their lives!
We reached Durban North in no time and drove straight to Aara’s. It felt so good seeing those big gates open..and I remember how as a child, the opening of those gates meant entry into a world of love, fun and laughter..the huge garden where Aara and I used to run around as kids…our little pond that Maa left as is even though she completely renovated her garden and Aara had lied to me that if you throw in a five rand and make a wish it would come true. Lol I realised later that she used to con me into throwing my money inside just so she could take it:-p.
This house held so many memories…all of them beautiful. And there she stood…Aara’s mum…waiting eagerly for us. We had gotten off our vehicles and Aara and I looked at each other for a few seconds and then darted off towards Maa.
Aara: my hug first Mummyyyyy!
And I was in the lead but…just a few steps before we reached Maa, I slowed down and let her hug her mother first.
Aara: (squishing her mum) I missed you!!
Ma: (hugging her back with tears in her eyes) I missed you too baby….(And then she looked at me) come here Naeem (and she hugged me too and whispered in my ear) thank you for letting Aara come first she would have never let you hear the end of it
Me: (I couldn’t help but laugh) missed you tooooooo much Maa
Aara: he’s lying mum
Maa: (pinching Aara’s cheek and my cheek at the same time) Aara you don’t phone me everyday but Naeem phones me every morning to make salaam
Aara: ouchhh…you do Nemo?
I nodded. I loved Maa and I couldn’t not hear her voice everyday even if it was just a quick call.
And everyone else came and greeted Maa. They all knew her anyway.
Aara: where’s Daddy and Sahal?
Maa: they will be here just now…I needed something from the shop
And supper was awesome as usual! As per my request, Maa had made haleem and a whole lot of savouries. Ebie and Ziyaad stayed for supper and I was totally ripped when Aara’s dad saw him and say “hey your’l brought this mad fellow also”.
We were dog tired and Maa showed everyone where they would be sleeping. I was crashing with Sahal (no I wasn’t going to go to my house).Zoheb and Immy were sharing, Riza and Arshad were sharing and Aara had asked her mother to bring another bed into her room because she wanted all the girls to sleep in the same room. Pyjama party without us I guess;)
And Maa was a star, at the foot of everyones bed, was the gift boxes we had couriered to her. “To” From: “Nemo & Aara”
Riza: heyy what’s this now?
As narrated by Aara’s mother:
My house was full! I loved it when it was this way:) I was so happy when Naeem and Aara told me what they were planning and I arranged everything just as they had asked. I smiled as I thought about them…how I loved them both.
Hassan: (smiling at me as he took off his watch) a penny for your thoughts?
Me: (still smiling) I’m just thinking about how wonderful it is to have all these kids here
Hassan: (chuckling to himself) you know Salma…as Aara grows older she reminds me more and more of you…she’s almost as crazy as you!
Me: (laughing) she’s my daughter after all!
Hassan: (putting his arm around me) but that’s not just it is it?
Me: (putting my head on my husbands shoulder…he knew me too well) Hassan..
Me: I want to talk to Aara and Naeem..
Me: they are 24 already…they need to settle down now
Hassan: hmm ok
Me: no Hassan…they need to settle down with each other…
I’d like to make special mention of a new blog on the block: Finding Solace…it looks very,very promising and already has me hooked! It’s very well written, with a different storyline that has me wondering each time that I read it…
Please do yourselves a favour and check it out:))))