As narrated by Arshad:
The evening seemed to have zoomed by so quickly…too quickly infact and in the excitement of getting engaged to Zainab, I had even forgotten that Maaherah was here.
Maaherah was one of those hard to get girls and even though I am a decent guy, I am a guy nonetheless. I had ended up at a house party in my first year of campus and barely just a few weeks before I had met Riza. So anyway, here I was just keeping to myself and feeling as uncomfortable as ever. ..when I saw her. She really was very beautiful. For whatever reason, she started making conversation with me and over the next few days she clung to me and would refer to us as a couple. I couldn’t believe my luck and it seemed so perfect. First year med student and a beautiful girl on my arm. ..but both didn’t last very long. Maaherah had found her footing within a few days and suddenly pretended that I didn’t exist. That’s when I realised that I had been used.
It didn’t really bother me though, because I had heard soon after that about her notorious behavior and even worse personality, so I was glad that it didn’t last long. And well, med school didn’t last long either. ..
I was snapped back into reality by the click of Zainab’s heels on the porcelain tiles of her mother’s kitchen.
“Laeeka is gone home. ..Reez says that she wasn’t feeling well”,she sighed as she continued. .”but all of them are so quiet. ..do you think something happened? ”
“They are probably tired”,I said as I wrapped my arms around her waist, enjoying the fact that we were finally alone.
“Maybe”,she said with a small smile…”but…I don’t know…”
“Zainab. ..don’t think too much…it’s our night”,I persisted
“Someone could just possibly walk in here any moment now. ..you do know that”,she giggled
“I know”,I said as I kissed her on her forehead
Now I know how Riza felt when he said that he had wished that he had gotten married instead of engaged. I just hoped that Zainab’s family wouldn’t prolong our engagement because I really couldn’t wait to wake up next to her for the rest of my life. …
And as we basked in the glory of our new found happiness..both of us didn’t hear the beep of Zainab’s phone….’1 New Message”….one that would shake this happiness even if just for a short while. A little dent, a tiny crack, if not tended to in time…will do nothing except spread
As narrated by Nemo :
And so apparently, I messed up. ..again.
It’s not that I didn’t remember doing anything. ..I know that I didn’t do anything. And especially something that involved me getting someone’s blood on my hands! Uhuh! Yes, Amreen Vawda was once a part of my life. ..a very brief part of my life. I remember her as a happy go lucky, quiet and sweet girl. Not the kind of girl who would take her own life
Well, that was what we had understood from what Maaherah said. Let’s hope that Zoheb would be able to get something out of his crazy sister.
I tapped my steering wheel as I thought about where we had come and what we were doing. Everything was so upside down. I felt horrible and even though I wanted this chance, I didn’t want it at anyone’s expense. And especially not Zoheb, because yes, I admit that after getting to know him better over the past week or so I realised that he really is a genuine guy and he truly meant every word that he said. He wouldn’t let me let it go though. ..he just said that we needed to know once and for all so that all of us could move forward without any regrets.
I couldn’t help but remember the look on Aara’s face when she moved away from Laeeka’s car. ..those two were very close and now there was this “thing” in between. And it was because of me. ..
“Time to set things right bachoo”,I said to myself as I parked my car. I loosened my tie and neatened my hair as I made my way across the street and towards Laeeka’s house.
While it is true that we don’t think before doing the wrong thing and always hesitate before doing the right thing…this wasn’t one of those times.
“Nemo leave it out please. ..she isn’t willing to listen to anyone”
That voice took me by surprise so badly that I nearly jumped into Laeeka’s mothers flower patch!
“Riza! Dude do NOT do that again please you nearly gave me a heart attack! !”, I said trying to balance myself and catch my breath at the same time.
Riza grinned at me for a second before he put his head down. It wasn’t a wonder that I didn’t see him sitting here on the ground!
“Bro go home. ..get some sleep it’s been a heavy week for everyone”, I said as I patted him on his shoulder.
“How can I leave? “, he asked in disbelief
“Are you going to sit here the entire night? “,I asked
“If I have to”,he shrugged
“Dude this is Joburg not Dubai. ..go home Reez”, I said
After many attempts by Riza to make me understand why he needed to be here, I finally got him to leave.
Laeeka was surprisingly not difficult at all. She had opened the door even before I rang the bell!
“So you were eavesdropping! “,I winked
” We will talk in the back ” she said as she motioned for me to follow her. She had also been crying and as much as she tried to look somewhat composed, her eyes gave it away.
I opened my mouth to say something but she cut me off. ..
“I will ask the questions and you will answer them honestly. .if you’re planning on lying to me then please leave now”,she said with no emotion
“Errr…ofcourse”…I replied softly
“Tell me everything. ..from the beginning”, she whispered
“Laeeka. ..”, I tried to explain
“I’m strong enough to handle it Nemo and I want to hear it from you! ”
As narrated by Laeeka :
I had been peeping at Riza through the lounge curtains. ..
It broke my heart to see him cry the way that he did. But if I wasn’t firm now. ..I would never know the truth. As much as it’s reassuring to know that people care about me so much that they would keep me away from any thing that could hurt me and silently go through what ever it was. ..alone. ..just so that I wouldn’t get stressed, they were forgetting one thing. ..and that was that we were friends first, we were supposed to share in each others grief not just shield each other from it.
I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw Nemo almost fall into my mother’s plants! I always had a very soft spot for Nemo, mostly because despite his cool dude attitude, inside he was really just an ordinary guy with normal dreams and a heart of gold. I was never intimidated by him, not even from the moment that he ran into our group…Nemo has always just been Nemo for me.
I also knew that he wouldn’t lie to me. …
“Tell me everything. …from the beginning “, I whispered
Laeeka. ..”, he said, as if he wanted to explain something
“I’m strong enough to handle it Nemo and I want to hear it from you! ” I said firmly
And so he began. …
I had never thought that Nemo was even capable of hurting Aara! I had never thought that he was capable of being a drug addict!
I swallowed hard as I looked up at Nemo. He had changed so much since then. ..he didn’t have that wild hairstyle anymore and was even starting to grow a beard. I sighed to myself.
“So much happened and I was oblivious to it all”, I said as I wiped away a tear
“I hope that you understand why no one told you”,he said softly
To have been through hell and back, to have been discarded by his family, to have overcome a horrible addiction and to still have the courage to sit here and come clean. …it couldn’t have been easy.
“I’m sorry Nemo for not being there for you”,I said as I held his hand “you were always so good to me and I couldn’t do anything for you”
“Heyyyy”,he said with a smile “Your other half and your alter ego did a pretty good job ”
I laughed to myself. .. I hadn’t heard that one in a while! Everyone would always joke on campus about Aara being my alter ego. They would say that Laeeka would think it but Aara would do it!
“And that cow so cleverly brought it up tonight! “,I said, suddenly remembering Maaherah’s words. “I wish I would have poured a whole jug of juice on her head! !!”
Nemo broke out into a fit of laughter as he tried to speak. ..”Now you see why we say alter ego! ”
I was confused. …did he mean? No…it can’t be!
“What do you mean. …”, I asked
” She poured a full glass of juice INTO Maaherah’s dress! “,Nemo said candidly
“What do you mean INTO????”, I asked, shocked out of my wits
“Laeeks, madam stood behind Maaherah and poured the juice into her dress”,Nemo grinned
I covered my mouth with my hand for a second before I burst out laughing! Well done Aara!
We laughed until our stomachs hurt…we laughed until tiny little tears trickled down our cheeks…we laughed until the wounds on our hearts laughed with us.
As I watched Nemo hop down our driveway and towards his car I made a resolution…I would take up Riza’s offer and start writing in his journal too. Some things in life shouldn’t be forgotten, some things were worth remembering, some phases in our lives simply had the capacity to make us relive those days again just by thinking about it.
We truly were blessed with one of life’s rarest gifts…friendship…true friendship.
I am very happy to announce that LLD made it to runner up in the Entertainment category of the S.A Blog Awards 2014. It is an overwhelming feeling to know that this blog is appreciated on another level too. Thank you to everyone who voted and for your immense support.
I’m sorry for not posting at all this week, apart from the craziness, I was also down with a really bad bout of the flu. Let’s hope that the weather softens up on us a bit;)
Wish you all a beautiful week ahead:)