Sister Amatullah2013, on behalf of all of us, please start your own blog. You don’t even have to look outside, your own life is filled with so many lessons, experiences and pearls of wisdom. We can all learn and benefit from them inshaAllah…
For those of you wondering what I’m on about, go and read her comments on my previous posts. An amazing person subhanallah!❤
It was Friday today, my favourite day of the week. Firstly because it was the blessed day of jumuah so that automatically made it special. And secondly because it was the day I went to my parents house. I did pop in whenever I could during the week but on Fridays I went there straight after school to have lunch and spend the day. And supper was the usual family get together which was always loads of fun. I hummed softly to myself as I made my way down the stairs to make breakfast. Suddenly a strong pair of hands grabbed me. I gasped as I was whirled round and round before being released, making me crash dizzily into a hard male chest.
“Happy today, are we?” Ahmed teased, grinning down at me.
“Of course. It’s the blessed day of jumuah,” I replied primly.
“Uhuh. And because you get to spend it with your family?” Ahmed waggled his brows teasingly.
“Well, of course. There’s that too. And the lovely family get together at night…” it was my turn to tease him.
Ahmed rolled his eyes. “That crazy bunch! Now I know why you’re like this. It runs in the family. Hey!” He laughed and tried to duck out of the way when I threw a spoon at him. He didn’t quite manage and it hit his forehead with a satisfying thunk. “Ouch! That hurt!” He complained, holding his forehead dramatically. I laughed and held out my arms.
“Awwww, poor baby. Come here, let me kiss it better for you.”
We finally sat down to a breakfast of nutella on toast, leftover scones from the day before and tea. I enjoyed this meal the most, it being the only meal Ahmed and I could have alone, though the other meals were pleasant as well these days, with light hearted chatter and bursts of laughter in between. But the biggest surprise was daddy. He had turned out to be a very sweet man; stern and reserved on the outside but with a soft centre that only people close to him saw. And I had drawn closer to him in the past few weeks. He saw me trying my best to keep peace and happiness in the family and saw as well that it wasn’t easy for me always so he tried to do his part in smoothing things over time and again. He had started asking me to sit with him in his study in the mornings, after Ahmed left for work. He was an early riser, going jogging after fajr then retiring to his study till around eight. He didn’t have breakfast with us, preferring to have a quiet cup of tea in his study instead. One day, as I had taken his cup of tea to him he had waved me into the seat opposite him. I had obeyed with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, only to be pleasantly surprised when, instead of diving into a version of the Spanish Inquisition as I had feared, he had launched into some light conversation instead. And that had stuck somehow. After having breakfast with Ahmed and bidding him farewell I took daddy his tea then sat and talked to him about anything and everything. He seemed to enjoy my stories, even the silly ones, laughing at the more hilarious ones, listening gravely at the more serious ones. And he in turn told me stories of his own childhood and youth, of his marriage and kids…of his wife. Her childhood and youth. I guess he was trying to make me understand from another angle…
Nilofar Ismail. The laat lammetjie of the Ismail family. Born after three boys, all of whom were in their teens by then. Born to parents who had wished with all their heart for a girl for the twenty years they had been married, and who doted on their little girl when she finally arrived. She was brought up like a true princess. Any wish of hers was immediately fulfilled, whether as minor as a new dress or as major as wanting to go study in Australia, and wanting to go for a world tour with her friends after she graduated. Nothing was denied her. And even outside her house she got her way. She wanted the best. She was the best. From wealth to beauty to friends, male and female, to becoming the prom queen, she had it all. Girls tagged along wherever she went, all eager to be part of her clique. Guys bent over backwards to please her, all wanting the honour of being the one to win her over. And so did Imtiaz Cassim. From the moment he saw her at a function in Sydney he was bowled over. He tried for over a year to win her over, going as far as getting transferred to the same prestigious university she attended in Sydney just to be close to her, and was ecstatic when she finally agreed to go out with him. After a whirlwind romance which spanned several countries and continents, from New Zealand to Malaysia, from Singapore to Oman, from Turkey to Sweden, from Italy to Ireland, from Canada to Venezuela, from Puerto Rico to Morocco, they finally ended up back in South Africa, newly engaged and head over heels in love. He knew how she was, had seen glimpses of her true nature in the year they were engaged but he was in too deep to back out…to even want to back out. And then, after they got married, he learnt…how to keep the peace, how to avoid arguments and tantrums. It was really very simple. Keep his mouth shut and let her have her way. He smiled as he said this, his eyes holding a wisdom born of decades of experience.
I liked those mornings I spent with him in his study and I knew he enjoyed them as well. Sometimes I felt he was more free with me than with Humi or Ahmed. Ahmed was too different and had never bonded well with his father and Humi was in her own world. Dalia was different in another way, so soft and sweet she brought a smile to everyone’s face the minute she walked into a room. But she was too young to have a proper conversation with. Maybe I was the only person he could really talk to. I never asked and he never let on his real reason for initiating those meetings as well. But he became a mentor of sorts and those conversations soothed me somewhat after walking on tenterhooks all the time.
For a while no one knew what was going on except Ahmed, whom I had told that first day. His look had been almost comical. “You and daddy?? Becoming all chummy?? How on earth did that happen??”
“Because I don’t keep to myself and answer in monosyllables like some people,” I had teased. Ahmed had simply rolled his eyes in response.
Mummy’s and Humi’s reactions were less pleasant, especially Humi’s.
“What do you two jabber about everyday?” mummy asked, frowning. Daddy simply laughed and brushed it off. I caught Humi glaring at me and shot her a sweet smile before turning away.
“What now? Sucking up to daddy?? Just ’cause mummy is too sharp and sees right through you?” She hissed at me later on.
“Are you saying daddy isn’t sharp enough to ‘see right through me’?” I drew quotation marks in the air and raised my eyebrows at her.
“Stop putting words in my mouth! I didn’t say anything like that! But daddy is soft. Maybe he thinks you’re nice ’cause of all your plastic smiles and nauseating sweet act! You better back off before I go and tell him how you really are!”
I sighed. “I’m not putting on any act. Daddy likes spending time with me because I actually sit and talk to him. Maybe you should try that. Come and sit with us if you want,” personally I hoped she didn’t, “you can also spend time with daddy that way and you can see that we just talk about random things. I don’t put on any act.”
Humi rolled her eyes. “I’m not stupid enough to sacrifice my sleep for kak like that. You two got too much time on your hands!”
“It’s up to you. But then don’t hate on me when I spend time with daddy and you don’t.” I shrugged and walked away before she could say anything else. This girl really knew how to spoil my mood!
“Assalamu alaykum,” I greeted loudly as I entered my parents house. There was a squeal and Han came bounding down the stairs, followed by Sumi…and Zee. Soon I was engulfed in hugs and excited exclamations and pats on my stomach along with the usual query of whether there was any good news today…that from Zee of course.
“No, Zee, there isn’t. As I told you just yesterday,” I replied, rolling my eyes, “why do pregnant people want the whole world to be pregnant with them??” Zee looked like a round, cute gym ball, seven months along with number two. She grinned at me, her cheeks flushed a healthy pink colour. She was glowing these days which made me laughingly say more than once that she was getting a boy. Laaibah’s time she was bent over the toilet and looking green half the time.
“Because it would just be so cute! Just imagine it! Us giving birth at around the same time, having babies around the same age. Maybe they can be best friends like us!”
I burst out laughing. “You’re seven months along already incase you haven’t noticed. Even if I’m pregnant I would still be in my initial stages. So how would we give birth together, hmmm?”
“Oh ya, I didn’t think of that. Never mind, so I can come help you out with your baby since mines will be a little older by then. But it will still be so cute man!”
“Don’t worry, we’ll plan it together, okay? My number one, your number three. As soon as you pop this one out start preparing for your next one,” I ducked to avoid Zee’s fist and ran away laughingly to go meet mum.
Lunch was delicious, dhall and rice with papar and yoghurt on the side. We sat and chilled afterwards, talking about things or obliging Laaibah when she ran up to us, demanding that we should play house house with her faceless dolls. I found it amusing how Zee had stitched small pieces of cloth over the dolls’ faces, making them literally faceless. They looked hilarious but Laaibah didn’t find anything wrong with them and loved them to bits, carrying them around wherever she went. We played for a while with her then Zee went home at asr time and we went to pray salah then start getting ready to go to Amira’s house where our weekly braai was this week.
“Fazzuuu! Hannuuu! You’ll are here finally!!!”
I wondered why girls always had to squeal out greetings to each other. I was sure I’d be half deaf at this rate by the time I reached middle age. And much thinner as well, since said girls also liked squeezing the life out of me every time they saw me.
“Chill, babes, we only met like one week ago. Missed me much, hey?” I winked at them slowly.
“Pfffttt, look at her! We came to meet your sweet mum. Rabia Chachi, how you, darling??”
I laughed and followed Aliyah to where the ladies were in the kitchen. It was full of activity and I moved around, helping wherever I could before going to chill with my cousins. I caught sight of Ahmed outside as I was walking out of the kitchen and smiled. He stood leaning against the pillar, watching as Ibu, Immy, Ridu, Asif and Tahir stood around the braai bin, tossing back drinks. They tipped their heads back and held the bottles as high as they could above their mouths, aiming the fizzy liquid into their mouths. Two of them missed, making the liquid splatter onto their faces, causing the rest to jeer at them and hoot with laughter. Then suddenly Ibu came up to Ahmed and dragged him to the circle, shoving a drink in his hand. From their gestures I knew what they wanted him to do. I saw Ahmed open the drink with flourish, tip his head back and pour it in with perfect aim, not missing at all. The others laughed and clapped him on the back. I shook my head, smiling, and carried on to the lounge. Guys never grew up!
A couple of hours later I was sitting around the braai bin with the rest of the girls. The men had all gone for isha and we were making the most of their absence. We each had skewers in our hands with marshmallows speared on them, toasting them on the braai bin. In front of us on plates were Graham crackers and chunks of chocolate on them. As soon as the marshmallows turned golden, we shoved them between the chocolate and crackers, drizzled toffee sauce on them then crammed them into our mouths. Sauce dribbled down our chins and we laughed, swiping it with our fingers then licking them clean. Girls never grew up either!!!