As narrated by Zoheb :
I was stunned. Uncle Farouk came up to me and told me that Maariah had specifically asked for me to be a witness at her nikaah. And if I refused, she said to tell me that it would be my wedding gift to her.
Coming back to the house with an emotional Immy taught me something new. That Allah has a greater plan for all of us, one that is bigger than we can imagine.
I sat in the garden where I could see her from a distance. I needed every ounce of strength to go today and to make me survive the next two weeks. I needed every ounce of hope and faith too that my love was strong enough to stand this test.
I took in the very sight of her as though my every breath depended on it. Watching her smile as she spoke to her parents. I so much wanted to tell her that I loved her and that there was nothing that meant more to me than to make her mine.
But I couldn’t do it. ..I was bound to my word yet tied to my belief at the same time
Life. Love. Destiny
Those few hours passed so quickly. Everyone celebrated with the newly married couple but for me, it was now time to leave. Maaherah was already on her way to the airport. After what she had done at Zainab’s engagement, and after the huge argument that we had, we hadn’t said a word to each other. It wasn’t over, that much I did know.
“I owe you a gift”, I said to Maariah after greeting almost everyone else
“You’ve already given me my gift,…you agreed to be my witness”,she smiled
I smiled and shook my head ” Don’t let Zainab hear you say that”
” Are you sure that you don’t want us to come with you to the airport? “,Nemo asked as put his arm around Arshad’s neck
“Yeah why are you being like this? “Arshad asked me
“Because…I’m a big boy. ..I’ll be fine”, I smiled
“Well, call us when you reach ok”, Laeeka said as she stuffed a container of food into my hand luggage
My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets as Riza broke out into a fit of laughter.
“You did not just do that! ”
” Yes I did and you will eat it”, Laeeka said with a grin plastered across her face
I looked around slowly without drawing any attention to me. Nope, she wasn’t here
I looked at them one last time as I walked out the door, who would have thought…I never imagined that my life would be blessed like this and I couldn’t wait to come back to them. …
As narrated by Aara :
“Get in the car”
“Why, where are we going? ”
“Aara no questions right now just please get in the car”
“I need you to meet me outside”, Riza said to someone on his phone ” It’s important…”
“Reez…What’s going on? “,I asked worriedly
“Maybe you feel that you’re old enough to handle your problems on your own or maybe in your own twisted way you think that you’re burdening me if you tell me…whatever it is I am definitely not blind”, Riza answered without looking at me
I knew better than to say anything so I just kept quiet. I had a feeling that I knew where he was taking me
“Whatever happens in life Aara, if we simply give up we will never learn and you have always fought. ..What’s happening now? ”
” Good question”
“I noticed it for a while and I waited for you to tell me but you. ..and then you disappear moments before he leaves, no fight is worth it Aara life is way too short”
‘We aren’t really even talking so what do you suppose I say to him?”, I asked cheekily
”Oh God just say bye then”
”Just go up to him and say bye?”, I said as we pulled into O.R.Tambo International
”Yes, even just one word if you must be so damn rude!”
”Riza it’s not so simple”
”It doesn’t have to be complicated either”
”This isn’t an Indian movie”
”And since when did that deter you??”
I looked at Riza as he stopped the car right in front of where Zoheb was standing
”Do what you think is right even if you feel that the timing is wrong…life stops for no one”, he said as he squeezed my hand ” Phone me when you’re done and please..he was just about to board so don’t waste these few moments fighting”
”Who’s side are you on anyway?’, I said as I shook my head at him and finally got off the car
Riza’s words echoed in my head as I walked towards Zoheb. I guess Riza asked him to wait at this particular place because it was a bit quieter.
With each step towards him, different memories of ours flashed before my eyes. I looked down as a small smile played on my lips.
I could feel his eyes on me but he remained silent…
‘Life stops for no one….’, I kept telling myself, even though I didn’t know where it was that I stood, even though I knew that these few moments wouldn’t bridge the gap between us…
I kicked off my sandals and stood on his shoes…in silence. He held my hands in the same way that he had done before, only this time there were no words, just the deafening silence of our unshed tears…
The strange thing though, was that everything was still there…I could feel it. My heart burned inside not knowing why there was this ‘thing’ between us and as I heard the final boarding call for his flight, I impulsively held onto him, as an unexplainable feeling washed over me. This felt like a goodbye, and not like an ‘until we meet again’
He softly reciprocated my hug and wiped the tears that fell from my eyes as I stepped off his shoes…
I opened his hand and gently dropped our silver chain into his palm, and closed his fingers over it
”Aara…”, he said with questions in his eyes
I took out the little white envelope from my pocket and slowly slid it into his coat pocket, took a few steps back and looked at him..
” I love you…” I whispered, from the bottom of my heart and soul
And I walked away without waiting for a reply….