As narrated by Laeeka :
When a girl is born, she is born a daughter. A piece of her parents heart that she captures the very second that they lay their eyes on her, a piece that she keeps with her forever.
She takes another piece when she becomes a bride…and leaves a big piece of her own, behind.
She hopes to become a good wife, and one day become a good mother.
She hopes that the hand that she has given her hand in, is one that is strong and firm, yet gentle and comforting. She hopes that this hand will hold hers tight enough on their long road to Paradise.
She carries butterfly dreams on her shoulders and aspirations as soft as rose petals , in eagerness and excitement, in happiness and yet uncertainty..when she takes these first steps forward towards the rest of her life.
I am not the first girl to be married. Many have walked this path before me. But the feeling of being a bride and that especially singular feeling of being a bride to a man who truly is a one in six billion, makes me feel like the luckiest woman alive.
All these thoughts walked softly through my mind as I ran my fingers across the tiny stones on my wedding dress, touching them gently and familiarly. Each stone held a few moments of my life in it , as I stitched every single one of them on my own. Lost in my personal little bubble of oblivion…I didn’t even hear any of the girls tell me that I had a visitor. I don’t even know for how long she was standing in front of me, but when I finally looked up, fear slowly crept up my spine as I remembered her “performance ” on the night before our engagement.
I looked slowly at Aara and Maariah and they too had the same worried look on their faces…
Was all her recent goodness all an act?
Was she going to be mean to me when Riza wasn’t around ?
Did she still think that I wasn’t good enough for him ?
“Girls I’d like to have a word with Laeeka alone please? “, she said with an expression that I couldn’t read
I noticed Aara’s mouth opening, to protest, I guess, but just as quickly,Maariah held her hand .
“We’ll be outside if you need us”, they said softly, closing the door behind them
Aunty Maseeha seemed to want to get straight to the point as she pulled a chair in front of me.
To say that I was terrified, would be the understatement of my life!
“Look at you ” , she said blankly, ” all dressed up and ready to be my son’s bride…”
I swallowed hard.
“From today you will become a part of my family , a part of our lives, a huge part of my son’s life and…”
Oh no! Not again!
” If you thought for a second that everything would be perfect, then you are very much mistaken ”
I felt a silent tear roll down my cheek. This was supposed to be the happiest day of my life yet…
And then it felt as though time had paused momentarily, as Aunty Maseeha took my hand in hers…
” because life is not about perfection isn’t it . ..life is a learning curve. That is why my darling, I can’t promise you perfection in your new life, but I can promise you that I will try my hardest to ensure that you and Riza are perfectly happy together ”
I was beyond shocked! This was so not what I was expecting!
Tears rolled down both our cheeks…
” Please forgive me Laeeka, you are the best girl for my Riza, and the best girl for our family..and I had to come and tell you this before the nikah because I don’t want you coming into our family with any reservations at all…I am going to be so proud to call you my daughter”
I couldn’t hold myself back, and leaped forward and hugged her. Yes , she has been great ever since her apology at the hospital, but I desperately needed to hear her words of acceptance today. And the fact that she left her house to come and see me when I am sure that she had mountains of things to do,meant the world to me.
“No more crying “, she smiled, “it’s going to be all smiles from now on…now if you will excuse me…It need to get back home….I’ve got a beautiful daughter to welcome soon ”
This was it. This is what I wanted . How could I ever truly be happy with Riza if his mother didn’t like me??
Aunty Maseeha hugged me and as soon as she had turned the handle on the door, Aara and Maariah almost tumbled in…Each of them with an empty glass in their hands…lol!
“You rock Aunty Maseeha! “, Aara said with a guilty smile on her face
“I know ” , she winked and left the room
“What did she smoke???”, Maariah laughed
“Whatever it was , she should send some of it to New Zealand “, Aara grinned
“I cannot believe that you both were actually listening in!…ok no actually I can believe it” , I said heartily, ” I’m SO stunned but soooooo grateful at the same time”
Maariah and Aara watched on amused as I got up quickly and asked them to straighten my dress and check my hijaab.
“What happened to the nerves?”, Mari teased
“What nerves?? “, I grinned as I lifted my dress a little, “I’m getting married!”
And with that , I made a mad dash for the door, leaving my two friends shocked out of their wits!
As narrated by Riza :
Laeeka and I had been together for so long that I think everyone expected us to be super chilled at our wedding, but it was the total opposite! I’m not sure about Laeeka yet, but I was a bundle of nerves!
For starters I wore the wrong pants, then I forgot my tie and I almost ended up leaving the house in my slippers! Needless to say, the boys were screaming blue murder at me when I stepped out of my room! And my mum was nowhere to be seen!
All the guys were with me and all the girls were with Laeeka. The nikah was calmer than I had expected and I was probably a replica of Arshad on his wedding day, as I too stood beaming from ear to ear!
But the road to my bride was not an easy one…because I had to face roadblocks in the form of my sister Rumaana,Aara, Maariah, Zainab, Nasley, Sabeeha, Humairah, Farah,Rezana and Aisha who refused to let me pass through the entrance of the hall without paying my dues.
“I’m sure this milkshake is laced “, Immy laughed as he sniffed at the tall glass of strawberry milkshake that I had taken from the tray that Rumaana held
“Well there’s only one way to find out isn’t it?”, Sabeeha smirked
“Zoheb will give it try won’t you Zo…”
But Zoheb and Aara were busy having a muted conversation with each other, as she mouthed something and he replied. Gosh what a majnu! He was so depressed over the fact that she was leaving the next morning for Durban, and he wouldn’t see her for a whole week. Forget the fact that you know, they are getting married next week! I guess Zoheb has just become extra protective of her ever since she awoke from her coma. I had actually meant to ask her if she had told her parents about her big surprise….she had told me and no one else, and well of course Zoheb knew.
After bribing the girls with thick sealed envelopes, I made my way towards Laeeka. They would discover soon enough that their happiness was intended to be short lived as those “thick” envelopes were thick with nothing but paan leaves! Curteousy of Nemo of course. And as much as I would have loved to have seen the looks on their faces, I was much more eager to meet my beautiful bride. …
As Narrated By Aara:
Orange is one of my favorite colours and I felt as though I had walked into an orange fairytale! Complemented by shades of gold and ivory, was cheerful and cute orange! We had even given into Laeeka’s whim of all of us matching, as Maariah, Zainab and I donned orange gowns and the guys were sporty enough to all wear orange ties!
Maariah had outdone herself once again, with an absolutely stunning wedding cake and delightful matching cupcakes to go with it. The vibrance that the colours exuberated was out of this world!
“So you decided to be corny today huh?”, Nemo asked me with a sarky smile
I rolled my eyes and sipped on my orange mocktail.
“Corny??”, Immy asked, clearly very confused
“Aara hates matching, she describes it as looking corny..and if I can remember correctly, she once said that matching reminds her of mielies all together in one big maize field”
“I look like a mielie???”, Immy asked wide eyed
I burst out laughing! I definitely remembered what Nemo was talking about, and back then, Immy wasn’t a part of our group.
“YES!”, I laughed
“Well you look like mielie too”, Immy said, amused
“I know” , I grinned
“But we’re happy mielies right?”, Arshoo chipped in
“Oh you definitely are!”, Nemo laughed, “Good to see marriage agreeing with you bro”
Nemo was right, Arshoo was beaming with happiness..so much so that his face actually shone!
“Well it isn’t over until the fat lady sings!”, Zainab said to Zoheb as they took their seats back at our table
“What fat lady?”, I asked, confused
“Looong story”, Zainab chuckled
“Well you all will be fat ladies soon enough”, Nemo said with a straight face
“Why, because we get too comfy in our married lives?”, Zainab asked, as she dug into her meringue
“No genius…because you will have babies, and you will be walking around with designer nappy bags AND you will have a curfew”
“Aah I have a simple solution Nemo”, Zainab laughed, “I’ll just leave my babies with their darling Uncle Nemo”
“Hell no you won’t”, Nemo said, shaking his head, “All of you better remember that from now..Nemo does not do babysitting because Nemo doesn’t like kids”
“Then I will bring them for sure!”, Zainab chuckled
“But you were so good with changing that baby’s diaper Nemo”, Zoheb smiled
“Bro don’t remind me…that was a nightmare!”
“I don’t think anyone is having babies anytime soon”, I shrugged, and then caught Maariah smiling at Immy….”Or is the stork landing here in a few months???”
They were completely oblivious to the rest of us and continued dreaming into each others eyes….hmmmm, a little niece or nephew would be so awesome!
“Well I’ll babysit anytime”, I smiled, and blinked at Zoheb
“More time in S.A then?”, he asked me sweetly
“What does more time in S.A mean??”, Arshoo asked, raising his eyebrows at both of us
I sighed and then took in a deep breath. I had to tell them sooner or later…so I might as well just tell them now.