As narrated by AB Vawda:
We had already discussed everything about today in detail, and we smiled our widest smiles at each other in accordance with the roles that we were playing today. Anyone who saw us would have thought that we were one of those couples who had just started falling in love with each other and the fact that we were sort of awkward sitting here like this made it even more obvious.
I would never have thought that she would ever sit next to me let alone talk to me. But she obviously didn’t remember that, how could she when I never had the courage to come in front of her back then, even though I was one of those tough guys. And well, before I could even try…Amreen’s story started and I have always maintained that family comes first…
I looked at her while she sipped on her milkshake…it’s no wonder that Nemo loves her so much. It was pretty obvious anyway. I felt a little guilty because even though I had agreed only because of her, I was also leading her to believe a lie.
“Any message yet?”, I asked
She shook her head
“But knowing Aadil he’s probably somewhere around here “, she said after taking another sip “so remain in character ”
After 30 minutes of random chatting, looking as though we were enjoying ourselves, her phone beeped. If she showed it to me, it would foil this plan. She ignored it. It beeped again and again and still she ignored it until it finally rang….
As narrated by Aara :
“You’re ignoring my messages “, he said angrily
“Riza! !”, I said excitedly, starting to play my out my already rehearsed lines
I’m sure that Aadil caught on by now that I was “trying ” not to let AB know that I was talking to him, but AB knew obviously.
“Nemo, Zoheb and now AB Vawda…not bad Aara although I didn’t think that you would move so fast , he said sarcastically
“What to do “, I replied coolly
“So am I here to see you and AB get cute with each other? ”
“Riza…actually AB is taking me there just now..He brought me here to Fourways thinking that I’d change my mind but I need to get this done you know why ”
“Riza bro this one is too bossy for her own good “,AB chucked as he too said his lines and came closer to the phone
Aadil was silent…possibly because he was in a dilemma on whether or not he should listen to me. .
So far AB and I had played our parts perfectly. ..
“Let me talk to Riza sweets “,AB said
And it worked because Aadil quickly spoke up..
“Leave now. ..and don’t act smart. Remember if this is true, I may just grant your wish after all “, and he hung up
We sat there for another 20 minutes as planned, and then strolled out together as if we had no worry in the world. Both of us careful not to use our phones or to look at anything else besides each other and smile for no reason…basically, it had to look real.
So far, it was going as planned. I just hope that Immy and Nemo were not too far behind.
AB assured me that everything was taken care of and Yusuf was already at our destination with the girl who would pretend to be Amreen. I wanted to laugh at that part! Because crap like this only happens in the movies dammit. I sighed and shifted in my seat.
“So how long have you and Naeem been together? ”
“Ever since we were 6 years old” , I answered
“No I mean like “together” ? ”
“We aren’t “together “, not that it’s any of your business “, I snapped as I tried to block out Nemo’s confession last night
AB was silent. A little shocked maybe. But he had absolutely no right to ask me that question, I mean hello after today we probably won’t need to see him or his cronies ever again!
“Sorry. ..I shouldn’t have asked “,he said softly
“Yes you shouldn’t have but we are adults so no hard feelings okay “, I said feeling a tinge of guilt
We seemed to have been driving forever and I was starting to get a little bit worried. Too many what ifs had been running through my mind and the lack of sleep seemed to work a reverse reaction on me because I was on high alert instead of feeling even a little bit tired. Okay, maybe the several cans of red bull had something to do with that…
We were now just over 100kms out of Jhb, and after a bumpy ride on a long stretch of dirt road we finally stopped in front of a massive but old building.
“What is this place? , I asked worriedly
“A rehabilitation centre cut off from the world , AB said as he motioned for me to follow him
“You don’t have to be scared Aara, as long as you are with me I won’t let anything happen to you ”
“Yeah sure stranger , I said in my head
My heart pounded as I stepped into this place..This was finally and really happening
As narrated by Aadil:
I gritted my teeth in frustration. I had no choice but to follow her and she knew it and I hated the fact that she had suddenly taken over!
But I would do anything, absolutely anything to see Amreen again, to fix what I had broken..to be given a chance to speak to her. I would change things, I would give her the happiness that she deserved. That single awful moment of anger and frustration took away from me that which I held closest to my heart . Nobody is born a villain, circumstances make a villain become just that.
Perhaps there was some truth in Aara’s words, why else would she make me follow her to a rehabilitation centre. ..and she didn’t care about me to rehabilitate me. ..she was doing this for Nemo. ..
I pulled up my collar and put on a cap and glasses. This place had a lot of movement for something that was seemingly so hidden. I dialed Aara again
“Where are you? ”
“Second floor, third wing…I’m in the waiting room AB is inside “,she said softly
“I promise you Aara if this is a lie I will come for you , I will not leave you “,I said angrily
“Call me in five minutes, I won’t talk but you can hear everything “,she said
“Fine”,I said and cut the call
Exactly 5 minutes later, I called her and she kept to her word and let me hear everything. ..
Aara : This isn’t her…
My heart stopped…
AB: When I told you that she made it, I didn’t lie..she has had extensive plastic surgery Aara and we hid her from the world. .here look at the reports
And then I heard the sound of papers being shuffled and then the sound of a file shutting…
AB: we have helped her the best way that we could but she’s still unresponsive, it’s as though she has lost the will to live
Aara: I’m sorry. ..
My heart could have burst there and then and I wanted to barge into that room immediately.
I got into one of the staff rooms and put on a white coat, a mask and hoped that I looked convincing enough to be regarded as medical personnel and I started to make my way towards her room when something caught my eye…A not so close reflection of what looked like Maariah’s husband in one of the glass doors. I stepped back and waited for a few seconds.
I noticed Aara coming towards him from the other side and before she could talk to him, Nemo stepped out of one of the private wards. He nodded his head and then the two of them joined him back in that ward. Within minutes, they were back outside the ward and Aara stormed off to the room that AB was in. Again, just a few seconds later, both of them left the room and headed off to the room that Nemo was now in again.
Rationality told me that it was normal for Nemo to be here, after all, if Amreen was alive it would get him off the hook and they seemed to take Imraan everywhere for backup, but my gut told me that something was wrong, something was wrong somewhere. The look on Aara’s face when she exited that room with Nemo, the way Imraan and Nemo were dressed and behaved so discreetly…AB Vawda’s face when he followed Aara, Yusuf and Zubair refusing for them to re enter the room…
Something was going on. ..
With all of them busy talking to each other, I slipped into the room and with bated breath I inched closer to her…when her phone rang. I hid behind the door and listened…
“I should be here for another hour or so,my role is almost over “,she said to whoever it was on the line ” I think that Aara chick fell for my act ”
I quickly exited the room. This was not Amreen, this was either a paid actress or one of AB’s friends. This whole thing was a setup, a plan…A plan to catch me and I had almost fallen for it.
And then it hit me like a pile of bricks and I walked along with a group of nurses headed in the direction of the room that Yusuf Kadwa seemed to be guarding with his life.
After a little hesitation, he allowed the “medical team ” to enter.
My eyes fell upon the name on the room door. …
Was this another trap ? Because the name on the door meant nothing to me…
The name on the door, was Saadia Jeewa. …