As narrated by Zoheb :
I had taken my seat at one of these fancy tables and looked around for her. She had declined to come to the venue with me and went with Aunty Sawleha and Uncle Irshaad instead.
She wasn’t talking to me much but she still wore the bracelet that I had gifted her. But that’s the thing about the heart. Once it attaches itself to someone, no matter what happens. ..it remains attached. And it was for this very reason that I was in this fix…and for this very reason that we were where we stood today. Aara at the center, looking at me, Nemo standing beside her looking at her and me…I was also standing beside her. ..but I was looking away.
It was nothing short of an ironic situation as I recalled the picture from our Cape Town album where the roles in a particular picture were some what reversed.
I finally spotted her standing alone in front of one of the bigger pillars right at the back of the tent and I couldn’t help myself as I whispered into her ear, while standing behind her…”What are you doing here all by yourself?”
Those few seconds of silence that followed seemed to hang in a loop of time…
Aara finally answered softly, ” I’m thinking about my life”
” Do you want to go for a walk?”, I asked her, hoping that she would say yes.
She turned around to face me, with a look of disbelief on her face..” The engagement has barely just begun Zoheb, it would look really rude if we had to disappear!”
”Okay…”, I said as I smiled at her. She did make sense after all!
And we stood together in silence and watched Arshad and Zainab exchange rings after a short but touching welcome speech by Zainab’s sister.
I handed Aara my handkerchief as a lump built up in my throat watching silent tears fall from her eyes. She smiled at the couple of the moment as Arshad blinked at her in response.
I didn’t have to guess what was probably going through her mind as we finally took that walk together and it killed me to know that I was responsible for it.
She fiddled with her ring as we reached the very end of this huge garden, with no where else to go except turning back and that would actually be a little silly right now.
I had to break the silence because Aara was clearly not going to.
” You look really beautiful tonight”, I said as I put both my hands into my pockets.
”Thank you”…was all that she said as she continued to look away from me.
” Why were you in such deep thoughts earlier?”, I asked trying to make small talk. That’s how much we had grown apart in this one week and I was desperate to talk to her.
Aara shrugged her shoulders and answered ” I told you…I was thinking about my life and just….looking at everyone else and trying to figure out exactly where am I headed”
“Why…”, I whispered
Aara suddenly looked up at me with a look that threatened to immediately disarm me. Her big brown eyes had a mixture of different emotions filled in it and even through her tears, it showed…
Her calm tone changed to one of anger..” You’re asking me why?? Seriously?? What is this? What are We? Because one week ago it definitely wasn’t like this!”
I was stumped. I knew that these questions were in her mind but I didn’t expect her to throw them at me all at once.
”Is there even a ‘We’ Zoheb because from where I’m standing it doesn’t look that way!”, she said through her tears
I reached out to hold her arm as i tried to reason with her..”What? Aara no it’s not like that, you’ve been busy, I’ve been busy and with all these functions it’s just been pretty hectic”
”Go and play someone else for a fool Zoheb Patel because I certainly wasn’t born yesterday!”, she said as she shrugged my hand away from hers.
I tried to say something but she cut me off. ..
” I am so disappointed Zoheb…you are hurting me…you are hurting me so much and I didn’t expect this, atleast not from you!”, she sobbed
My heart shattered into innumerable little pieces as I tried to speak to her ….” I’m so sorry Aara….I didn’t…”
“Didn’t what?? I may not have been in a relationship before but I do know this much…that it doesn’t work at all like this!….Everything was fine in Durban but ever since we’re back it’s as though you’ve become someone else!”, she shot back at me.
Tears flowed from her eyes continuously as she continued to vent at me. I stood silently, looking down and just listened. I deserved everything that she said.
”This entire week, all you’ve done is ignore me….have I done something wrong Zoheb?”
”No….you’ve done nothing wrong Aara….I’m sorry for acting like such a jerk”, I replied, still not meeting her eyes.
All I wanted to do was to hold her and tell her that I loved her and that everything would be okay. ..
” Where does it leave us?”, she asked as she cried harder
I didn’t have the courage to look at her as a tear fell from my eye…
”I miss you”, she whispered as she closed her eyes and swallowed hard…”I miss your stupid jokes and I miss the way that you call me Applepie…I miss the Zoheb who asked me to give him the chance of a lifetime, I miss those dimples smiling back at me”
She paused…and looked at me, maybe for an answer, maybe for an explanation.
”You know what, forget it, I’m going back inside and when you know what to say then you can tell me because I am not that kind of girl who jumps from one guy to the next!”, she said as she turned around to walk away.
I silently walked beside her, to walk back with her when she held her hand out in front of me. ..blocking my way
”I don’t think we should go in together. I don’t want my parents thinking anything because we haven’t given them anything to think about”, she said as she wiped her tears with both her hands and walked away.
That comment stung badly because she indirectly told me that she was ready for the next step…but so was I.
I stood alone and closed my eyes. ..
”Do you remember the last engagement?”, she said as she ran her finger across my jawline
“How can I forget?”, I answered as I held her free hand
”The chance of a lifetime…”, she whispered, her face turning pink
”I thought that it was the best chance that I ever took, but I was wrong…”, I whispered back trying to suppress my smile as I caught a glimpse of her ‘caught off guard’ reaction
”What do you mean?”, she frowned
”What I mean, my love, is that…there would actually be a chance better than this”, I said as I pulled her closer
I didn’t give her a chance to say anything as I held her hand forward and twirled her out as I said the words that I have been dying to say for so long now. ..
”Will you marry me and be mine forever Aara. ..”
She smiled at me for a few seconds before I felt her grip on my hand loosen, …and then she slowly started walking backwards until she was out of sight.
I snapped out of my daydream and fell to my knees as I called out her name in despair. ..tears rolled down my cheeks as my worst realization dawned upon me…..
Salaaaaaaams and a Big Hello to Everyone!
I seriously hope that you’re all well because I don’t hear from most of you anymore *tear*…
Let me know if you’re still alive please;)
Have a rocking weekend!