As narrated by Zainab
Wavelength. A single word with a million strings attached to it. Something that was imperative to the mutual coexisting of two people. It was simple. You needed to be on the same wavelength, the same frequency. You needed to want similar goals, you needed to see similar dreams, you needed to be on the same road, side by side.
But Arshad and I had walked in different directions long ago. In the beginning it was great, fantastic, fabulous. But as reality sunk in, the realization of just how different we were , sunk in too.
He was content with little things and didn’t look beyond the horizon while I wanted to touch the sky. And I wanted to touch it with him.
Of course I loved him, and I missed him too but so much had changed that just saying those words wouldn’t change anything.
I was stuck yet again, without direction. I felt as though I wanted to drift off once more and find what I was actually looking for. It scared me more than I wanted to admit because what if I became stuck again in another 10 years? Would I live with regret, would I wish to turn back the clock when it was too late?
But right now in this moment, all that I wanted to do was find something. Something that would complete the missing part of me and even though I didn’t really know where to begin, I knew that it couldn’t be “together”. I know that Arshad was probably laying the blame on my new friends but I am an adult, I am responsible for my own actions. I can’t blame someone else for something that I wanted to do.
When I joined them, I began to enjoy their lifestyle not just because it was different from what we were used to but also because it made me realise how caged our lives were. There was still so much to the world and while I loved my family and friends, I could no longer find any contentment in weekend picnics at the lake or random banter with distant relatives. My life lacked meaning and substance, I had nothing to achieve, nothing to look forward to and it made me feel like the old me again, the old me who ran away from campus and came back as a whole different person. I wanted to feel the way that I did when I felt that camera in my hands for the first time, I wanted to feel that rush in my veins when I could just drop everything and lose myself in a piece of art somewhere. I had lost that feeling somewhere in between getting married and being the perfect wife to being the perfect mother. I had gained alot but lost alot too. I felt numb.
To say that I was frustrated was an understatement. Because once again, because of everyone else’s opinions, I had to put my life on hold when all that I wanted to do was to move on.
No amount of arguing would convince anyone to change this stupid arrangement. Nemo, who was now legally representing Arshad and my father’s attorney who was representing me had both defiantly said that there was no way around it and evaded all logic . how Indian law would apply and actually hold any ground in South Africa to the point where it would override it, made no sense to me at all. And I was married to Arshad for five years , surely I would know if he had such a rigorous family law thing going on for him all the way in India!
Now matter how far fetched this sounded, my father had sold out on me. He insisted that I go through with it or he would cut me off! And at this point in my confused life, I didn’t want to lose my parents too…
All these thoughts buzzed through my mind as I made my way to my new home for the next six months. Nemo’s home. How convenient.
Adnaan ran off into the apartment while I pulled my luggage behind slowly. Arshad was already there and so were both our attorneys.
Something was different though… Arshad acknowledged me by a slight nod and continued talking to Adnaan. It was as though I wasn’t even standing in the room! Maybe it’s better that way, perhaps he has accepted it.
“Zai lemme show you around”, Nemo said as he took a bag off my hands
” I think it’s very unfair what you’re doing Nemo”, I said to him once we were halfway down the long passage
“What am I doing? “, he asked, with an annoying look on his bearded face
“You’re taking sides and you said that you never would”
“Woah”, Nemo chuckled, ” I am being paid for my services woman… If you had approached me first I would have been your lawyer ”
I didn’t quite buy that…
“Whaaat..”, he continued,” strictly business, that’s what it is and besides you both want the same thing so what difference does it make? The faster these six months get over, the faster Arshad can get married”, he said quickly
That didn’t register as fast as it should have but when it did.. Nemo made a u-turn back towards Arshad!
As narrated by Riza:
I was smiling to myself for the past ten minutes as I thought back to last night when Immy and I were busy helping Nemo ” sort” his flat out.
We had loaded the bed from his guest room and both his two-seater couches into a friends van and shipped it off to Aara’s garage for storage. Leaving behind only single seater couches in his lounge. He left behind only ONE plate in his kitchen cupboard, he had borrowed a cot from us for Adnaan yet Adnaan normally sleeps on a bed, he made us bolt all his bedroom cupboards except for one- that Arshad and Zainab would have no choice but to share.. And he photocopied his own legal document stating that no other furniture or utensil could be brought into his flat, nor could anything be moved around or it would be a breach of contract and legal action would be taken immediately-and he stuck it on the back of his front door, on a kitchen cupboard and on the bathroom mirror!
Immy had broke out into random fits of laughter while we were doing these “renovations” because I mean come on, it was so wacko! He was using every old fashioned move he could think of to get these two together, to make them sort of “clash” and I really wish that I could have been a fly on one of those walls because it would have been the first time that a fly laughed! Wait, flies don’t laugh right…or do they?
And that thought made me laugh to myself!
I looked up at Laeeka and smiled even wider!
“I can’t get over it babes you should have seen it! ”
“Now I wish that I had”, she grinned
Laeeka settled next to me and rested her head on my shoulder..
” Do you think it will work? “, she asked softly
“I hope that it does”, I sighed
” You know, Aara and I feel that Zainab is back to where she was all those years ago and we don’t think that this forceful six month thing is exactly the right thing because she needs to find herself… ”
“Wait, Aara said that?? ”
I was quite shocked because Aara was so lost in her own world that I almost thought that she didn’t really care!
“Yeah.. She called me this morning and we had a long chat after ages.. I can see that she’s trying… something definitely changed”
“Wow” . Was all that I could muster.
“She also mentioned that she wanted to start writing again”
“I’m so glad and so relieved”, I said, squeezing Laeeka a little tighter, ” she won’t talk to any of us about her pain maybe in this way she will work through it on her own ”
“She will… I think that Aara just needed a push, some kind of a wake up call and you know that none of us can do that with the desired effect except Nemo”
“You think he spoke to her? ”
“I have a very strong feeling that he did”
“Well, as much as you may be right… Nemo had better brace himself”
Laeeka looked up at me with confusion written all over her face. It wasn’t a bad thing, but these two were two very strong personalities. There was no ying and yang here at all and they would fight tooth and nail to get what they wanted. I knew that Nemo meant well, but this time around especially…it wasn’t fun and games. It was reality. The icy cold type that freezes so thickly around your heart that candles of hope can burn next to it for days…and it still wouldn’t melt…
As narrated by Aara:
I have verbally stopped counting the number of days since you’ve gone, but my heart still whispers it every morning and every night.
I was asked to think about what I would have wanted for you had our roles been reversed, and the answer , I know now is harder to put into action than anyone can humanly imagine.
I cannot stop the crazy thoughts that go through my mind whenever it rains or whenever I eat… And I wonder… How can I eat when I don’t know in what condition you’re in? How am I indoors in a storm when you are lying in the cold earth?
Even though I know that it is not this way, and Allah knows best…
I am trying. I’m sorry that I dwindled for so long. I’m sorry that I grieved so spitefully. I wish that my words could reach you, I wish that you would know and I wish that you didn’t too.
Life is so strange. You came into it as a stranger, so suddenly, and claimed my heart. You made the five years that we shared together so beautiful. You’ve raised a bar that even I can’t reach.
What were you Zoheb? A reason, a season or a lifetime?
I held the page a little longer in my hand before setting it down on the table. My hands trembled, I had spoken my mind.
“Zoheb was all three Aara”
I looked up at Nemo with tears in my eyes and blinked a few times to make them disappear…
“It’s alright to cry… “, he whispered
I swallowed hard and nodded. I didn’t know what he was hoping to achieve by getting me to write these letters because it felt as though I had driven a knife into my own heart by reading it aloud.
We sat in silence on my lawn..or what was left of it being winter, with the wind whistling around us.
“You know, when I moved to Detroit and when I started working, I had gotten very involved with a few drug related cases and during one of those cases I had the honour of meeting a very intelligent man “, Nemo said, zipping up his jacket and tucking his hands into his pockets..” One of the ways that he used to help me was by making me write letters…although don’t get me wrong, the salad making was very therapeutic but when I wrote these letters, it somehow made me see things differently, it made acceptance a whole lot easier…because Aara when things are in our head we look at it only from our point of view, but when it’s infront of us, we look at it from different angles. When we read it over and over again, we make ourselves realise how much of pain we are in while being plugged firmly into our current reality…and when we look around us, lifting our eyes up from that piece of paper, we know that the paper is our past and that reality is where we carve our future…it takes time Aara… it won’t happen overnight… but believe me, it will be okay Insha Allah”
I looked down and absorbed what he just said, while holding the letter against my heart.
“The cure is in the pain…” , he whispered
“I know…”, I said softly, finally allowing myself to begin to accept it, finally allowing the shroud of denial to fall slowly from my being…, finally finding the courage to stand in front of a raging sea of emotions that I knew I had to swim across…”I know”
I’m really really sorry for the lack of posts but I have been really really busy to even think..and I disconnected myself from the LLD world for a while.
So, the intention is to give you guys 2 more posts before monday..remember me in your duas k:)
This post was supposed to end after Riza’s bit…but since I owe you guys a post- I added a part of the next post in it…which doesn’t mean that the next post is going to be shorter so yeah..
Ok bye now;)