As narrated by Aara:
One of the many things that I missed about home was the beach! This was one of the very few places where I could find peace, where I could think clearly and where I could just unwind without a care in the world. So while I sent my friends off on a nutty and exhausting race…here I was chilling on a secluded part of Umhlanga beach with my favorite cousin. After a mouthwatering breakfast of hot waffles and chocachinos, a nice long walk along the shore and an awesome parasailing experience, we just lay on the deck chairs and relaxed. Ziyaad and Ebie kept us updated on the crews progress and we knew that they would soon be arriving. I had called in a favour from an uncle of mine, who owned this beautiful holiday home in Umhlanga, and he was only too happy to let us use it for the day. And to think, that tomorrow this time I’ll be well on my way back to the urban jungle of Johannesburg!
Uzair: (looking through the binoculars) well that’s something you don’t see everyday! Your past and your future hanging from the same parachute and coming right at you!
Me: (looking through my binoculars) past and future huh…(Laughing to myself) maybe we should let them go for another round? As payback…the past for the past and the future well…for his lack of speed
Uzair: (laughing) Oh Aara. Never thought I’d see the day where you’re eager to get hitched
Me: (grinning to myself) wait…(Phoning the guy driving the speedboat and instructing him to keep them out there for a little longer) and done..and no and yes…not eager to get married I mean I won’t die if I don’t but…eager for a commitment you know
Uzair: Aaroo, Zoo is besotted with you, infatuated, in love. I think that is some sort of commitment don’t you?
Me: yeah yeah take his part it’s okay
Uzair: (chuckling) I’m always on your side jaan
Me: awww well this jaan has a jaan threatening problem…(Laughing) wait I always have a problem!
Uzair: You mean you ARE the problem? Poor zoo, he has to deal with you!
Me: uhuh..(Resting my head back against the chair) I think initially I was just shocked but now it’s a little bit of a worry…my mother the great has asked Nemo to marry me! Or well, I don’t know exactly how she worded it but that’s what she wants and she spoke to him already
Uzair: Your mother is just like you, thinks she knows everything !
Me: (erupting into a fit of laughter) hey everyone says that I’m a “carbon copy” of her anyway
Uzair: And I don’t think anything is wrong with that (putting his arm around my shoulder)
Me: hmmm in a way…but I’ll tell you one thing, people like me have a way of attracting disasters (laughing again) sometimes it’s wise just to shut up and sit put!
Uzair: Orr you get up and don’t shut up and speak your mind. Like you!
Me: haha…been there done that got the t shirt…now my dear I’m just going to bask in the sunshine of confusion or..or…orrr I’m going to go away just like you
Uzair: Na uhh! Going away suits me. It doesn’t suit you. You, you need to be here for all of these people.
Me: (eyeing Uzair emotionally) you know, I tried hard to understand why you chose to go away and perhaps a part of me will never completely accept it but the other part does…if I had to sit outside of myself and think about it I feel as though…I owe it to myself to try and do something and when I’m around my friends I feel as though this is my test in life, just being there for them
Uzair: Don’t eye me with pity madame! I’m very happy let me tell you that! Its just I needed a change of scenery, change of place, change of routine.
Me: (pinching Uzair) oh please man it isn’t pity! I could never pity you Bobat like never everrrrr….and very nice, change of scenery, change of place, change of routine but I must stay here? Be so kind and say come my dearest cousin come with meeee
Uzair: (laughing) I’ve told you this before, my life and you would not mesh well together.
Me: bleh (putting my sunglasses back on) yes yes my life is like khurie kitchrie with the works and extra chillies on the side!
Uzair: Gurrl how are we related?!
Me: (winking at him) you know what they say…you can’t choose your family
Uzair: Unfortunately… If I did I would DEFINITELY not have chosen you (squeezing me to his side)
Me: (shocked face) that’s the second time today that you’re being mean!
Uzair: You know what they say… Umm, meanness is the way to the heart?
Me: (laughing out loud) never heard of it before!
Uzair: Guess its a new thing then?
Me: maybe in your world :-p …before these ones (pointing at Nemo,Zoheb,Immy and Mari) start getting dizzy and also lose their lead…I need to ask you something…
Me: do you think that I should speak to Nemo about what my mother and him spoke about? Or should I wait and see if he tells me? Because I’m really feeling uncomfortable and I shouldn’t feel this way because he’s my best friend
Uzair: (running his fingers through his hair) You feel uncomfortable, tell me why?Has he tried telling you anything?
Me: (looking down) last night…he didn’t say much but he didn’t have to you know what I mean? (Sighing) first love…it’s always difficult to really forget and when you move on and suddenly there’s all these signs and your heart just feels(throwing my hands up in the air) …..who would know better than you
Uzair: First loves. I know all about them. And I also know that pain, it will always be felt and you’d know pain better than anyone. But time has healed you in ways that one could never have imagined. The Aara in front of me is so strong, so wise and so in love. And that is a beautiful thing. And Nemo will always be a part of you. Always. He has helped make you who you are. Whatever happens, you listen to your heart. If in that moment when Nemo tells you what he wants to tell you, if in that moment your heart wants him then you listen. But if it yearns for Zoheb, then you know dear Aara that your love for Zoo is stronger.
Me: (biting my lip and smiling) act on impulse…seize the moment. Easier said than done, but there’s no other way is there? The only problem is…someone’s heart will break…someone’s heart will break because of me..and I don’t know why but I just have this nagging feeling that something is going to happen…I always say that a storm is coming but Uzair…now I really feel that it is
Uzair: Life isn’t meant to be all sunshines and rainbows. Chaos will ensue, but thats what makes life, life. Yasmeen use to babble on about some book and some quote and it was something like ‘That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.’ A heart will break because it has to. Its life Aara you cant always make everyone happy
Me: the fault in our stars…yasmeen is very smart no doubt:) I know I can’t make everyone happy but( laughing softly) I’d like to try…and you know what’s boggling me even further…Zoheb! He’s not himself, he’s fine when I’m not around but when he’s with me he’s so withdrawn it’s scary
Uzair: That, I have no insight into. I don’t know why he would be like that. Nervousness? Edginess? Just how you’re thinking about the future maybe he is as well. And maybe he’s trying to envision a life with you but he’s trying to fit Nemo into the equation? I don’t really know Aaroo. Just a thought. But you should ask him. Communicate with the guy and your mind will ‘boggle’ less (nudging my shoulder)
Me: I have tried…(Winking) perhaps you could talk to him (pointing at the speedboat) seeing that they are coming our way
Uzair: Noo Aara. You. And him. Not me and you and Zoo. Im not meddling
Me: (chuckling to myself) why not..you’re like my personal shrink anyway…I’m not saying ask him outright but a little fishing never did any harm (standing up and holding the paper crowns in my hand) I’d like to see the look on their faces when they realise that they had to do all those daunting tasks for a paper crown!
Uzair: (laughing) Well if they didn’t do it, I’d want to see the look on your face. You put so much effort. And no I don’t fish!
Me: naa I knew they’d do it…they’re genuine like that (smiling broadly) my friends…you don’t fish but there’s always a first time for everything;) come on now (holding Uzairs shoulders and pushing him forward) you have to be Phil!
Zoheb, Nemo,Immy and Maariah jumped onto the little red platform that marked the end of the race.
Uzair: ( with a wide grin)Welcome to Umhlanga people. Congratulations you guys are the winners of Aara’s version of ‘ The Amazing Race Durban’
Me: (putting the paper crowns on their heads) and this is your prize! Well done!
Immy: I ate sheep brains for a paper crown???
Mari: but you were enjoying it!
Nemo: (pushing Immy aside and suddenly hugging me) I’m sorry…I just wanted to say thank you for today, it was truly overwhelming…brought back a lot of good memories
As Nemo hugged me I noticed Zoheb looking down…and I looked at Uzair. He saw it too…
Uzair: (eyeing me) Memories huh? So Zoo you were taken down their childhood memory lane?
Zoheb: (smiling a small side smile) yeah…these two have a lot of memories together, felt good being able to share in it with everyone
Uzair: Uhuh… Well I hope you don’t hate my guts too much for this whole chakkar. Aara planned the whole thing (winking at me ) including the sheep brain!
Zoheb: naa I could never hate you bro…and this did have Aara written all over it! Just curious…(Now looking at me) Why did you want us to go down your memory lane?
Mari: (chipping in) we were always curious about what their past was like…they would tell us and it sounded like they had a lot of fun so I guess Aara just wanted to show it to us
Zoheb looked at me for a few seconds with questions in his eyes…questions that I couldn’t read but there was something else…something he tried to hide… and the silence was finally broken by the sound of the other two speedboats that carried the other four…this wasn’t over…no…this was far from over
Season Three is finally reaching its end…Don’t forget to cast your vote for LLD:)
Thank you Tasmiyah (Doad & Finding Solace) for writing this post with me:) Much, much appreciated