As narrated by Aara :
These times with Nemo was nothing short of enjoyable! It meant a lot to me that he was going the extra mile just to make me a little happy. The years that I had once yearned for were suddenly becoming a fast reality in quick succession. ..as though he was fighting against time and I knew that he would never admit it.
We had spent the entire day together and he had called me over to say that he would be coming over shortly and that he had something very important to tell me. ….
As narrated by Zoheb :
Life had turned dark almost instantly. ..from the very moment that she walked away from me at the airport.
Deep in my heart, I had faith in our relationship but also a fear that I may end up losing her…
Maaherah was true to her word…that she would have her say, and she succeeded in turning my parents against the idea of me marrying Aara by painting an awful picture of her character and by bringing up her relationship with Nemo. Atleast one good thing came out from all of this, my parents actually spoke to me for longer than five minutes!
” Zoheb under no circumstances will you marry this girl, she is unfit for this family and unfit to be called a daughter in law of my house”, my mother said coolly as she looked at her perfectly manicured nails
“May I ask why? “,I replied
” Your sister has told us all about Aara Ismail and A.K Moolla’s son, and Riza’s mother didn’t exactly have very good things to say about her either”, my father chipped in
I laughed as I shook my head
” You would trust this woman (pointing at Maaherah) to give you a character reference for someone that your son loves, when she herself is characterless”
“How dare you call me characterless!!!”, Maaherah shouted
” If the cap fits, it’s best to just wear it Maaherah”
“Enough! “, my mother said “I will not tolerate any differences in our family because of some cheap girl”
I clenched my fist in anger. ..but my Nani restrained me silently by putting her hand over mines
“Family? I last saw you two years ago mother, you don’t call or care. You aren’t even concerned about the fact that I love someone, you just need a high class, heartless, younger version of you to show off to your friends! and let me tell you that Aara is a self sufficient, independent career woman. Both she and her family are well off and are not interested in your money”
“Love today and forget tomorrow. ..our answer is no and will always be no”, my father said bluntly
Maaherah grinned at me with a selfish look of victory and I wished that I could smack it right off her face.
“As a child, you chose what sport I would play and which friends I could join. ..you attended every school function but never looked at me once and never congratulated me..it was all about making a social appearance. As I grew older you began to care even less. ..but would gloat amongst your fake friends about my achievements. ..when I graduated and started my first job it was almost as though you had washed your hands off me because now I was old enough to take care of myself. I pushed myself to get your attention because that’s the only time that you would turn your face in my direction even if was just to gloat. ..I fell in love with the wrong girl. .I was betrayed and became a man who even I didn’t know. You wouldn’t know, because you were not there. You were never there. And then I met Aara, and she has filled my life with so much of happiness that it overflowed into my empty hollow years and is more than my heart can contain. ..and still , you cannot see that your son is happy. I will not elaborate on Maaherah but if you don’t keep an eye on her she will probably end up in a red light district somewhere. ..her ways are taking her there”
“Zoheb mind your tongue my boy”, my father said angrily
” I came here with a little hope that my family would be happy for me and support me in my decision. ..I was wrong. But, your words don’t deter me” I said as I stood up
My mother’s expression as expected, didn’t change either. My heart broke. ..
” You speak of family but you also don’t give a damn, I have an architectural firm but your cousins are running it, not you, because you had to make a name for yourself and as usual prove a point to us so don’t lecture me on family because you don’t have the slightest clue what family is about”, my father said angrily
” I do…”, I whispered as I thought of Aara and our friends..and just the thought of them brought a smile to my face, “I do, and they accept me for who I am and not for what they want me to be”
” If you marry her, you will be completely disowned and we will break all ties with you. ..nobody from this family will even attend your wedding”, my father said as he gritted his teeth and probably because he sensed that he was losing this battle…
Why did I ever come here. …
” I will come and I will give you my blessing my baby”, my Nani said as she too stood up
I kissed her hand as tears filled my eyes
“Mummy! “,my mother said in disbelief
” Both of you have forgotten where you came from and in your greed you have always made this child pay the price for it, let’s go outside Zoheb”, she said as she waved her finger in their faces
We sat next to the pool and Nani advised me calmly. I was truly so lucky to have her in my life. I showed her a picture of Aara, and Nani in typical Nani style did something around Aara’s photo and then broke her knuckles against her head. Apparently she was taking out ‘nazr’ hmmmmm….
” Small problem though Nani”
And I told her about my “deal” with Nemo
She had a shocked look on her face
” You both should never have done that! If Aara is the way that you say she is then baby. ..it’s going to go all wrong. You should go back immediately and tell her what you have done, explain it to her nicely both you and Naeem. ..she is going to get hurt a million times more than the both of you ”
Nani was right. I was wrong. I should have just told Aara and let her decide. In trying to be fair to Nemo, I had been unfair to Aara. I had already hurt her immensely. I had avoided her calls and emails, I left without giving her a proper reason for this. I couldn’t bear seeing her cry, yet I was responsible for her tears..
I could feel my head getting hotter as I walked through the lounge where everyone was still seated and as I was about to go up the staircase I overheard my mother tell my father that Riza’s wedding was on the verge of being called off because Laeeka could never have children. What?????
I quickly got into my room and started packing my bag when my eyes fell upon the still sealed white envelope that Aara had given me. ..I had hesitated to open it all this while because I knew that had I done that, I would never have left Jhb. I wouldn’t open it now either. I kissed the letter as I put it into my coat pocket and tried calling Nemo -but without any luck.
My mind was made up, after I leave Nani in Wellington tomorrow, I was going home…I was going back to her. ..I was going to make her mine…