As narrated by Aara :
It was just dead end after dead end. It seemed as though everyone who was linked to Amreen Vawda had fallen off the face of the earth without a trace. Aadil’s calls and messages were getting more and more frequent…time seemed to be slipping right through our fingers. We needed to find out…to put an end to this.
This could just possibly be our last chance and my patience was wearing thin. It had been almost two hours that the four of us had been sitting in Immy’s car, outside the Springs Civic Theatre, in the hope that Immy’s colleague’s investigation had yielded fruitful results.
I slumped back into my seat and put my head on Zainab’s shoulder and she impulsively gave me a comforting pat. The backseat was decorated with way too many take-out packets. Sitting in the car for a few hours every day for a good few days had forced us to indulge in every kind of fast food one could think of, and those long drives that turned out to be wild goose chases didn’t help either because the longer the distance- the more the food!
These stakeouts seriously had to end soon!
“Don’t lose hope. ..we will find out whatever it is that we need to find out ” she said reassuringly
” I didn’t do anything I promise! “, Nemo said suddenly as he turned around and looked at both of us “What difference will looking for her do? Will it change anything Aara? ”
I knew what he meant.
” Ofcourse it won’t”,I said honestly
“That’s all that matters to me then”
“We might have something guys”, Immy said before I could say anything and pointed at a man standing next to an old grey BMW
I sat up quickly and looked at the picture in my hand.
“That’s him”, I said excitedly as I opened the door of the car
Finally a break through!
I quickly walked towards who I was sure was Yusuf Kadwa
“Yusuf Kadwa? ”
“Depends who’s asking”,he winked
Under normal circumstances I would have laughed out loud at the cheesiness of his line but these weren’t normal circumstances. ..
“Aara Ismail”,I answered ” I was hoping that you would be able to help me with something”
He eyed me questioningly as Zainab, Immy and Nemo stood next to me.
“I don’t know any of you. ..”, Yusuf said stoically
“We know. ..but we need to ask you a few questions”, Immy said as he produced his badge
The sight of Immy’s badge made Yusuf tense up immediately
“Look Boss…if this is about that incident in Braamies last week..”
” We need some information on Amreen Vawda”,Immy said sternly
Yusuf immediately looked at Nemo and then looked down
“I don’t know any Amreen”, he lied
“According to our records both of you are related”, Immy prodded on as the rest of us looked on in anticipation
“Well the Kadwas and Vawdas are a large bunch. ..so maybe. ..maybe not” he sniggered
And as it turns out, Immy actually did have a limit to his patience…
”Listen here my friend, cut the bullshit now..we either do this my way or the hard way, the choice is yours”
As quickly as Yusuf had changed from creepy flirty to obnoxious rude, he changed just as fast to apologetic and humble.
‘I wish that I could talk to you now but I really have to go, I have an appointment that I cannot miss’ and as Immy took a step forward, Yusuf quickly took out his card and placed it in Immy’s hand.
‘ I can meet you guys on Sunday..that’s the earliest’, he said as he took a step backwards
‘Do you think that we are fools?’, Immy asked him angrily
‘Boss kassum I’m telling you it’s nothing like that…I will answer all of your questions but it’s very urgent for me to leave right now’
‘Fine’, Immy answered and raised his hand to call someone towards us. As he lifted his hand, Yusuf ducked! He thought that Immy was going to hit him ;-p
‘Ben I want you to follow this guy until I say so’, Immy said to this big burly man, who by now I understood was probably back-up. Smooth Immy, very smooth.
Yusuf looked at us in disbelief, as Immy gave Ben all the details right infront of him.
Well, along with Yusuf we had learnt something new today—don’t underestimate Immy 😉
As we got into the car, Immy reminded us about lunch tomorrow for the fiftieth time..
”And don’t forget, lunch is at Maariah’s tomorrow and don’t forget to put in leave for the rest of the day”
”What’s happening after lunch?”, Zainab asked curiously
‘Yeah you’re like…very, very comfortable there now I see’, Nemo said with a grin
”Well…Zoheb is leaving tomorrow so I thought that we could all spend some time together”, he said as he looked at me in the rear view mirror
I hadn’t forgotten….how could I?
It was a relief that my parents were still here, so there was no chance of any random visits from Zoheb. I didn’t take his calls nor did I reply to his messages. Not because I didn’t want to but because he didn’t have any answers to my questions.
And even though the wound was still wide open…somehow the pain was decreasing. Perhaps in my numbness and silence, I had found a weird sense of comfort. I went from day to day with an outer vigor but an inner hollow, and it had gotten deeper everyday. A hollow in my own soul that echoed confusion, despair, anguish and a tinge of fear but what I projected outwards was the total opposite.
I kicked Nemo’s seat from behind…
But I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders. And for the first time ever, Nemo looked at me in the same way that I would look at him when he was at his worst. For the first time, I felt as though my best friend was looking into my heart and not just my eyes, for the first time I felt as though it was the other way around…
This was it….this was finally it!!! Immy told me that he reminded everyone a zillion times yesterday about today, so I’m sure that they were probably still on their way and I was panicking unnecessarily!
‘Do you think that they will be upset?’, I asked him again
‘Shocked…but not upset’, Immy whispered reassuringly as we heard the sound of the first car coming up the driveway, followed by the second and finally the third…
Whew….now I was surrounded, by all 7 of my friends
‘I thought that lunch was just us’, Laeeka said as she eyed the other cars parked in my parents yard
‘Aah well, as long as there’s biryani I don’t care who’s here’, Riza laughed
But before I could tell them what I have been dying to tell them…my father did the honours as he came to greet everyone outside
”Boys, start moving we don’t want to be late for the Nikaah”
”Who’s Nikaah?”…all of them asked at once
Errrr ya…..about that..