As narrated by Zoheb:
I settled myself on the sand and allowed the grains to “take over my toes”, as Aara put it once. And the view was breathtaking…For in front of me, albeit a few meters away, writing away on the sand…was her. Smiling to herself, and occasionally lifting her eyes to look at me…
And with every single glance that she cast my way, waves of happiness covered the barren shores of my heart…
“I can’t tell you how weird yet awesome it is to see you this way!”, my cousin Shaakirah said, as she sat down next to me
“Life is full of surprises Shakoo”, I smiled,
“Hmmm…I bet even you didn’t picture yourself like this did you?”, she teased
“Not in a million years”, I laughed..”I can’t believe it even now that she’s legally and officially mine”
“Well she’s wonderful and I adore her..she’s… she’s just amazing..not that you’re any less either Zoheb”
I looked at Shaakirah emotionally…”You know I just wish that my mum and dad could have been here, I wish that they would accept her..If only they knew how much life she would bring into our family..”
Shaakirah squeezed my shoulder gently. She knew my parents all too well. They were the type who would overlook a person’s kindness for their own stubbornness. And I didn’t want them to hurt her next week the way that I knew they would.
“Insha Allah it will go well for you guys…and you know, Allah tests his best soldiers..and even if it doesn’t go well, it’s the reward that you will still get”
“What would I do without you and your inspiration”, I smiled, and pulled her cheeks
“Shurrup…I was always good”, Shaakirah laughed, knocking me lightly
“One day, I hope to have my own children..and I will be to them what my parents never were to me…I hope to be there not just for a worldly milestone but for every smile, every tear, every time they lose a tooth, every time they hit a cricket ball through the kitchen window, every time that they bring insects and bugs into the house..and for every single “why”…I want to be there Shakoo..I don’t want my children growing up with my kind of childhood”
“And Insha Allah you will be…today is only the start of that new life”, Shakoo smiled warmly, ” So get up and go to her because she’s already walking towards us!”
I looked up to Aara’s smiling face, as she ran towards me. An image that would stay with me for the rest of my life.
I hugged Shakoo, woke up and started walking towards Aara. Yes, I’m pretty sure that Shaakirah was grinning and shaking her head at me!
We joined everyone else on the shore, wetting our feet in the welcoming waters of a familiar beach. Holding our arms out to the wind and allowing that sense of calm to wash over us. My mind lingered back to the first time that Aara and I sat on these shores, falling in love with her has surely been the highlight of my life.
I wrapped my arms around her. This is where I wanted to be…forever.
As narrated by Riza : (Please note that this is a continuation of last season’s Footsteps)
That night was a night that we would remember for the rest of our lives. Gliding across the ocean in a stunning white yacht , reminiscing old memories. Eating, laughing, cracking jokes, enjoying each others company. Celebrating the new relationships that we had made with our new friends…Yazeed, Zaeem, Nasley, Sabeeha, Humairah, Farah, Shaakirah and Aisha. Rezana and Ayaaz were missing in action, being unable to attend the wedding, but we made sure to send them loads of pictures.
It was so good to see Uzair settled in marital bliss, and Aara and him indulged us with quite a few hilarious childhood memories!
And finally, the moment that I had been waiting for had arrived. It was time to light those lanterns and set them free!
“So the thing is…it’s two to one lantern right, think of something that you want to let go off, close your eyes and let it go..” , I said excitedly
Needless to say, my statement was met with many expressions of disbelief but everyone complied anyway.
No one said a thing as they let go of their lanterns. The entire yacht had fallen silent.
I looked up into the night sky, at the regrets, hopes and fears of my friends and watched it disappear into the darkness. And I prayed that that would be it. It would be gone. As simple as that.
But life isn’t a fairytale, it isn’t supposed to be.
Life is a test, and we have to endure it patiently, no matter how painful or difficult it may be.
I still remember looking at all of their faces at that very moment , while they stared happily at sky. I remember being content, because everyone was happy.
I remember the sound of the sea, and the way that the waves lapped against the yacht gently . It was beautiful.
But we had forgotten one thing.
We had forgotten that the waters of life never remain the same and that the tide will change.
We had forgotten that those gentle waves will rise higher, and that their calmness would eventually turn rough.
We had forgotten that even if we knew how to swim, there was always a chance of drowning in those depths.
We had forgotten that our lives, as strong and beautiful as this yacht, could hit that iceberg anytime, and nothing would remain.
What was solid today, could be broken tomorrow. Relationships that fought against everything to be together, could sink down to the depths of the ocean of life with a single crack.
What was broken today, could be mended tomorrow. A broken heart could set sail once again, stronger than before. The question was, would that mended ship follow it’s course or turn back towards a familiar shore?
We didn’t know what was in store for us, how could we..
While some relationships stood the test of time, like the ship and the lighthouse guiding the other through the storm, some didn’t….
Perhaps they weren’t strong enough, perhaps they didn’t have anything to hold on to, perhaps they didn’t have anything to hold on for…perhaps it wasn’t even their choice.
But on that night, who knew what the future held. It was a night of love, a night of celebration, a night of friendship. Friends who no matter how wounded they were or how broken they were…They were there. And even if I never saw them again, every time true friends would meet, anywhere around the world…I knew that our stories would stay alive.
I wiped away my tears when I heard that familiar hooter, and she had heard it too, as she came darting down the passage. The only little princess in our solid group of little boys. We enjoyed babysitting her whenever the opportunity arose and Laeeka and my Yahya and Isa adored their little cousin.
“Pappa is here! , she screamed happily, tugging at me to open the gate faster
“Okay little Aara I’m opening it quickly ” , I laughed
“Not Aara” , she pouted, ” Pappa’s babyyy”
She was just as bossy as her mother and it was absolutely adorable!
“Pappaaaaaa!!!” ,she laughed delightfully , as she leaped into her father’s arms, ” love you Papa ”
And Nemo responded with just as much happiness, tickling her face with his beard, kissing her cheeks and pulling out little treats from his kurta pocket all at once..”Pappa loves you too my angel, Pappa loves you too”
OF SEASON FIVE 😉
Thank you to everyone who commented and emailed, I am sorry for not replying, as I was trying to wrap up this season badly. I will Insha Allah, respond to all your comments and emails soon.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the authors who co-wrote with me:
Finding Solace, Taking My Life As It Comes, Diary of Confessions, Zaakira’s Simple Yet Complex Life, Surti Diaries, Badboy Billionaire, Journey to Changes, Life Through My Eyes
I never imagined, when I had initially approached many bloggers with the invitation to be a part of the wedding posts, that I would end up with such wonderful friends. You guys are fantastic, and I am honored to have you as a part of my life. Love You All!
To Rums and Fati..for the wedding planning and all the great ideas, thank you so very much! You outdid yourselves!
To Fati, for sitting up with me till the wee hours of the morning, hunting for the right pictures and putting up with all my nonsense…you deserve an award! Lol! I truly, truly appreciate everything that you did…you really are a one in a million:)))
If you would like a little bit of promoting for your blog, the Blog Roll will be up by Friday Insha Alah. Please email your blog links to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To all you wonderful readers, thank you very much for your continued support along this journey..it means the world to me:)
I have no idea when I will be back, I need a break from writing but when the urge does hit, you can rest assured that you will find that new post waiting in your inbox probably sooner than expected:)
That said, have a fantastic week ahead, smile, love, be happy..life is too short for a “what if”