As narrated by Maaherah :
The entire ambiance of this whole setup was surprisingly overwhelming. It wasn’t as though I wasn’t used to classy functions but I never expected it from Zainab. ..oh no. I stared at her from where I sat, as she smiled and posed for her designer photographs with a now good looking Arshad. He looked light years away from his geeky campus getup! He was now a sophisticated gentleman and Zainab, who was once a mousy and quiet nerd,had transformed into a Cosmopolitan model!
Life really does change, and how too! I was quite amused when Zoheb insisted that I come along for this engagement. Zainab, might I add had especially asked him to bring me and Zoheb ofcourse hoped that I would apologize for my past actions as Zainab took her first steps into a new phase of her life.
I had no issues with wishing her all the best but apologize. ..lol…that was never going to happen. My brother was too naive for his own good, too trusting and too soft. I had thought that this would turn out to be a dull evening…until I met the groom. ..
I was distracted from my phone by her sudden appearance at our table, as she took a seat in between Laeeka and Nemo.
This was going to be interesting. Very interesting. Because even though the world knew their story. ..there was something else that had been kept from everyone. Aara’s coldness towards me could be seen not just by me,but by everyone. I guess some things don’t change after all.
“So,when do you go back home? “,Laeeka asked me, finally breaking the silence
“Next week I think”,I answered
“Did you enjoy your stay? “,she asked
“Tremendously. ..I went for my friends engagement in Durbs and well now, unbelievably I’m at my ex boyfriend’s engagement”,I laughed
Everyone turned to look at me. Bingo. Exactly what I wanted.
I noticed the shock on all of their faces, even Aara looked up at me.
“What? …oh he didn’t tell you all? “..I said with a small grin
“I suppose it couldn’t have been serious. ..I mean no offence but if it was, then that would have been you up there and not Zainab”, Nemo said candidly as he took a sip of his tea.
I forced a little smile as I looked at him.
“It wasn’t serious at all no but I was just saying. ..” I said as I began to fiddle with my earing
” I see”, he said, slightly grinning
Riza also had a smug look on his face. I have never liked these people and even though I knew Riza from the time that we were kids, we never got along.
As luck would have it, I noticed my brother making his way towards our table so I continued. ..
“But look at the two of you”,I gushed at Nemo, putting on a big smile “still together after all these years!”
“I would never have thought! I mean Aara (and Aara lifted her head and looked at me ) you guys had this major fallout and Nemo swore that he hated you!”
Yes, I was there too that night.
“Oh man these two were always fighting back then and they still do it now. ..it’s really nothing new”,Laeeka chuckled
“No Laeeka”,I continued as I noticed Riza’s discomfort as he looked at Aara and Nemo ” not the cute little fights. ..that big nasty fight where everyone thought that Nemo and Aara were done! ..Riza…you were there too right?…yesss you were because this idiot Nemo actually lifted his hand to hit Aara and I remember that you had come in between in the nick of time! ”
“What is she. ..”, Laeeka asked Riza but before he could say anything, Zoheb took a seat next to me
“Come on Laeeka don’t tell me that you didn’t wonder what happened? “,I continued, enjoying watching the colour drain out of their faces
“What happened where? “,Zoheb asked me as he glanced at Aara.
“I was just telling them how great it is to see Nemo and Aara together after so many years even after that huge fight that they had where Nemo wanted to hit Aara and Riza saved her… I heard that Nemo even went to Durban for a year!…. “…I said with a small side smile
“Enough! “,Riza said before I could complete my sentence
He grinded his teeth as he spoke and I noticed that everyone had gotten rather tense as Laeeka turned to look at each of them questioningly and waited for an answer. Those few seconds felt like hours as Aara, Nemo and Riza tried to make her believe that it wasn’t anything serious but she wasn’t buying any of it.
“I always wondered why Nemo wasn’t there. ..why eventually all four of you were never ever together at once and one of you always seemed to be missing. ..” She said as she tried not to cry.
“We are together now Laeeks and we were immature… we had our misunderstandings. ..”,Nemo tried to explain
“Oh but Nemo it wasn’t at all like that. ..”,I said trying to add more fuel to the fire
“Maaherah, you are crossing your limits. ..you’re a guest here and you better start acting like one!”,Zoheb said taking me by surprise
He had a glint of anger in his eyes and tried not to show it.
“I don’t know what Zainab was thinking calling you here! “,Aara said suddenly
Nemo quickly put his hand over hers and my brother noticed it…
“Aara. ..”,he said trying to calm her
“Maybe it’s good that she came otherwise I would never know how much of secrets my best friends keep from me”,Laeeka whispered as she quickly wiped away a tear.
“You’re going to believe her over us?”,Riza asked in disbelief
“Well why don’t you tell me the truth then Riza? “, she asked
Riza looked at me before he answered Laeeka “not here and not not now babe…”
Laeeka was silent. I had hoped that she would throw a huge tantrum and ruin this perfect engagement but no. Never mind, as long as the seeds of doubt were planted my job was done. And the thing with doubt is, you don’t need to water it in order for it to grow, oh no, every little thing from now on would nourish it on it’s own.
As narrated by Immy
Amid all this drama from Zoheb’s sister. ..Aara forwarded another text message. This was now the third one this evening.
“Your perfect group is not so perfect after all”
” I will destroy all of you from the inside out. ..slowly but surely”
“The devil, as you call me Aara, has many helpers and I may not be right there but someone else is doing a pretty good job”
I had texted Aara back and asked her to try not to react to Maaherah because discord is exactly what he wanted. We were bigger than that, by a very long shot.
I was thankful that Maariah was with Arshad and Zainab and not here at our table…
Laeeka was hurt and she eventually left the table, with Riza behind her. Aara, although her head was down, her hand was clenched into a fist so tight that her knuckles had turned white. Thankfully, our table was right at the back and the table next to us wasn’t even occupied so there were no eyes on us.
Nobody had spoken for the last few minutes. …it was awkward and very tense. This Maaherah was a nasty piece of work. Zoheb and her were total opposites! While he was kind and compassionate, she was mean and spiteful. Although one thing seemed to bug me at the back of my mind…what was her purpose behind this? Why would she want to create differences between friends after so many years?
“Seems like I offended you guys….I’m so sorry I mean you all are doing so well and are so close I would never have thought that there were secrets…I should never have opened my big mouth”, Maaherah said suddenly
” You’re not sorry and you and I both know it”, Aara shot back angrily
”No Aara no”….I said in my head
“Look Aara, whatever problem it is that you have with me. ..”, Maaherah continued
” Whatever problem it is???”, Aara laughed sarcastically as she cut Maaherah off ” you know what the problem is but I am Aara not Maaherah and I don’t blurt out people’s secrets in public so don’t worry…but do yourself and all of us a favour and get out. ..you’re not wanted here no matter who it is that you are”
I bit my lip nervously as I watched Aara stand up. Like me, she too felt that we were missing something, so I quietly followed the instructions of her last text message to me and recorded….
Zoheb was clearly very embarrassed because he didn’t look at anyone of us as he asked his sister to get ready and he would drop her home.
“No,” she protested as she refused to budge ” I was invited here and besides I haven’t met the star couple yet!”
“What do you want to meet them for? So you can try and create a problem for them too? ?”,Aara said as she poured herself a tall glass of juice.
“Maaherah I am going to get the car and I want you to meet me outside in five minutes! “,Zoheb said as he walked away
Zoheb and Aara weren’t interacting. .something was definitely amiss.
“I have no reason to leave”,Maaherah said as she looked at Aara walking towards her sipping her juice
“Sure you do…your dress is messed!”, Aara said as she walked around the table
”Err nice try Aara but that’s quite lame coming from you”, Maaherah grinned as she turned to look towards Zainab and Arshad at the main table.
” Still lame?”, Aara replied as she poured the glass of juice down the back of Maaherah’s dress
Holy Cow!!!!! Did that just happen!!! I thought that scenes like this existed in the movies only!!!!
Maaherah flinched in shock as the ice cold juice trickled down her back and wet even the chair covers! I had absolutely no words.
Nemo burst out laughing and shook his head.
“How dare you! !!!”, she said as she stood up and tried to wipe herself quickly
“Don’t you ever, for one second think that you will come here and say and do as you please and think that I won’t leave you because if that’s what you thought then you’ve damn well got it all wrong! “, Aara said softly but firmly
“I will see to it that my brother never marries you!!, Maaherah hissed back
“That is not in your hands or mine”,Aara replied calmly
“But you know what is in my hands Aara? …the secret behind Amreen Vawda”,Maaherah smirked
It’s as though she had totally forgotten that her dress was messed because the cunning glint in her eyes returned.
“What about her ?”, Nemo asked with a hint of concern in his voice
” What about her??…you know Naeem as much as you put up this act of being so good, what you did will always remain there and it eventually catches up with you!”, she said to Nemo angrily
“Get out Maaherah! and while you’re at it, ask Aadil which part of ‘I’m not scared of him”, doesn’t he understand!”, Aara said..cutting Maaherah off
She tried to hide the shock on her face, very unsuccessfully and fumbled with her words.
“I…I…I don’t know what…”, Maaherah mumbled
” Neither did I, but it was worth the shot!”, Aara retorted and nodded at me. It was confirmed, Maaherah was definitely linked to Aadil somehow.
” Given”, Maaherah said as she grabbed her purse, ” Aadil or not, you still have Amreen Vawda’s blood on your hands Naeem…and this time you’re going down!”
”Amreen Vawda’s blood on my hands???’, Nemo said in a daze, as Maaherah walked away hurriedly…” What does she mean??”
”What it means, Nemo”, I said as I put my phone back into my pocket, ” is that, we have some digging to do…and sooner than later”
I looked at Aara worriedly, as much as we thought that things were within our grasp…the truth was, that it wasn’t and slowly but surely we were being exposed to something bigger and presumably more dangerous than we had thought.
Maaherah had succeeded in causing a rift in our group, but the question that remained was…will we rise above it…or will we sink beneath it?
I would just like to say thank you to everyone who commented on the last post. Your support and kind words really mean alot to me…
I am glad that you understand where it is that I am coming from, and that my intention never was to hurt or offend anyone.
Have a rocking weekend:)