As narrated by Riza:
“Three days and you’re calling me now only!”, Laeeka scowled
“It’s the time difference that makes me forget Laeeks… you know that I loooove you”, Aara chuckled
Laeeka rolled her eyes dramatically at Aara’s declaration and I couldn’t help but laugh! Aara looked so happy, her face was glowing!
“So how’s Hana and how’s everything going there?”
“Aah she’s okay alhamdulillah and well…everything is going okay too shukr”, Aara smiled, ” I went to his parents house yesterday and the ice is breaking, I mean I know that it’s not going to be a walk in the park but it felt really good yesterday”
I swallowed the lump in my throat as I thought about Aara’s reason for going and Laeeka’s moment of silence told me that she was probably thinking the same thing too. We had discouraged her decision, afraid of how they would treat her, afraid because of how emotionally fragile she had become, afraid because we knew what she had lost..
“They have this AMAZING daffodil garden, even Zoheb’s description of it didn’t do justice to the way that it actually is”, she beamed happily,” and Reez, Maaherah’s gone into pardah!”
I was shocked!! I mean this WAS Maaherah we were talking about here…
“She has completely changed like completely completely changed she’s like a whole different person…oh wait wait Arshad is also online”
“Ey lower your camera a little Arshoo we can see right inside your nose”, I laughed
“Oops” was all that Arshoo thought necessary to say and Laeeka laughed until she had to waddle to the loo!
“Nice to see you so happy Arshoo”, Aara smiled, “what’s up?”
“Zainab emailed me that’s what”, Arshad grinned
“You didn’t tell me”, I scowled
“Sorry papar I was so excited that I forgot and besides you keep distracting all of us with all your ridiculous food cravings!”, Arshad laughed, “He’s still on the whole tomato sandwich addiction Aara and it is disgusting!”
Aara scrunched her face at the sound of that and I wanted to smack the both of them!
“One day I will make it for you and then you will know exactly what you’re missing out on!’
“No thanks”, both of them said immediately
How damn rude! But before I could say anything else, another incoming request grabbed my attention and within minutes Immy and Maariah’s faces were also squashed onto our screens!
“How’s the cravings today Reez”, Immy asked solemnly while Maariah hid her face to hide her laughter
“It’s not funny you know it’s actually a condition and a bloody rare one too!”, I protested
And another incoming call…
Nemo looked like he had just woken up because his hair stood in all different directions on his head and he rubbed his eyes a few times before he finally looked at any of us!
“Aara how are you?”, he asked..conveniently ignoring the rest of us
“I’m good.. why do you look like a bus hit you?”
“Because I feel like a bus hit me”, Nemo groaned, “early morning sinus”
“It’s Sunday, go back to sleep”, Immy said
“Family picnic today boss”, Nemo grinned
“Say what?”, Arshad asked wide eyed, “the Moolla’s know what a picnic is??”
I chuckled to myself at the thought. Nemo’s family was so stuck up that they’d probably wear formal clothes to a picnic!
“What did I miss?”, Laeeka asked sweetly, as she sat in front of the screen again
” A bus hit Nemo and he’s going for a family picnic!”, Arshad said before any of us could say anything
He was on a roll today!
“Exactly what did Zainab say in her email?”, Maariah grinned, knowing full well that that was the main reason why Arshoo looked and sounded like the old Arshoo that we all knew and loved
“She said that she’s okay and that she really misses me but she had to do this and that she’s glad that she did this because she now finally knows what she wants”, he smiled
A look passed between the girls..a look that said that they knew more than they let on..
“That’s great bro”, Immy nodded, “did she say when she’d be back?”
“Nope”, and Arshad looked down…”but it’s a start, you know?”
Immy nodded again
“What’s up with you today Noddy?”
And I burst out laughing! Nemo had noticed it too!
Immy nodded again! But this time with a huge grin on his face..
“I errr..I think I sprained my neck”, he admitted
He looked at Maariah with a guilty smile and we didn’t wanna know. Not at all!
“Oh stop it you guys”, Maariah laughed, “he was riding Uthmaan’s bike yesterday..or trying to ride it rather and he fell in a rather awkward position!”
“Oh my God”, Aara laughed, “he’s 4 years old..it’s like a dinosaur trying to ride an ant’s bike!”
Immy’s mouth fell open in shock and Arshad disappeared from in front of his screen and then woke up again quickly…confirming our doubt that yes, he did fall of his chair!
“She called me a dinosaur!”, Immy said, pointing at Aara
“You are a dinosaur”, Maariah chuckled, “guys he broke the bike by the way”
“That is no surprise”, Laeeka laughed, ” once, Riza’s hand got stuck in Yahya’s boxing glove!”
And now it was Immy’s turn to laugh!
“Boys will be boys?”, Laeeka grinned , looking at me
“Always”, I smiled and pecked her on her cheek
While they continued their conversation, I excused myself to make something to eat quickly, but I could still hear them. Nemo was telling them about his few disastrous samoosa runs, Aara protested that he wasn’t giving it a fair chance, Maariah mentioned that they would be going to Durban next weekend and Laeeka gushed abut Isa and how his physio was finally making such a huge difference. I smiled at that…my boy was truly special.
I could hear Aara telling them about Zoheb’s mother and how she was starting to warm up to her, but that his father still refused to talk to her. She would be checking out of her hotel tomorrow to stay with his Nani so that she could be closer to Zoheb’s parents. It really warmed my heart to see her like this. She sounded a lot like herself, forcing me to admit that New Zealand was good for her, this decision was good for her.
“Salaams guys!”, I heard an unfamiliar voice say..and I edged towards the laptop to see who it was
All of them were silenced for a second before they responded to his greeting
“How are you all doing? And Aara how are you and how’s Hana?Where is she , I don’t see her? Nemo misses her like crazy!”, he said all at once
Arshad gulped slowly…lol!
“10 hours ahead of you here Nuzayh, she’s asleep”, Aara said with a confused smile on her face
“And Riza “, he said, spotting me trying to peep at the screen…”congratulations bro!”
I thought I was going to have a hernia! Was something wrong with this guy??? He’s always behaved as though he had something stuck up his ass..now the sudden friendliness shocked me! This was like flip to a horror movie man!
Nemo had a smug grin on his face as Nuzayh spoke to Immy and Arshad. Even Aara kept biting her lip trying to hide her grin! WHAT was happening!! First Maaherah now Nuzayh! Was it like a full moon or something??
“Anyway lemme run nice catching up with you guys..here this is for you”, he said to Nemo, ” for the sinus”
All of us watched him go and when he shut the door everyone asked in unison…
“WHAT THE FUDGE????”
“Don’t asked”, Nemo laughed, “I’m equally shocked!..ever since I’m here he’s this totally different and polite person and I could actually get used to this”
“Ladies and gentlemen, the world is changing..the villains are turning positive!”, Arshad clapped
Something was seriously wrong with this one!
I settled back in front of the screen and took a giant bite of my salmon and peanut butter sandwich with balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes, oblivious to the death stares and all the “ewwwws” and “you’re disgusting” comments that flew my way.
With my mouth full, I looked up at them and smiled. Weirdness has always been our forte’, no matter how old we get, no matter where we are…we are…and that’s what mattered. We go together like oreo and milk! We go together like guns and ammo..lol..hell we go together like copy and paste;)