“Errr…why?” Ahmed asked, confusion evident in his voice.
Humi shrugged. “Just. I’m tired I guess. The travelling bug that bit me is long gone,” she smiled slightly, “I’m missing home now. I wanna go back and settle down with Numair…”
“Hmmm…okay, fair enough. Faz and I will drop you off then carry on…”
“No need to do that,” Humi interrupted, “you’ll are supposed to leave tomorrow anyways so carry on. I’ll stay back few days then go back home.”
“You can’t stay by yourself…” Ahmed began.
Humi rolled her eyes. “Please Ahmed, I’m not a kid. I can handle myself for a few days and one single flight. Just book me a direct flight so I don’t have any stop overs.”
Ahmed reluctantly gave in after Humi would not be budged and made all the necessary arrangements for her.
“You’ll stay with mummy and daddy?” I asked her later on as the thought struck me.
Humi winced. “Not if I can help it. I’d rather rent a flat. I was hoping I can find one on short notice, otherwise I’ll have to ask daddy to help out.”
“You can stay at my house till you find a place of your own,” I offered.
Humi flashed me a grateful, relieved smile. “Thanks, Faz. That’s a good idea. I think I’ll do that.”
Our last day in Madinah and especially our last salaami was so heartbreaking. I was crying as I left the masjid for the last time, making fervent dua that Allah brings me back again and again to this beloved place. My eyes clung to the green dome as I slowly walked out of the courtyard, craning my head as I tried to keep it in sight for as long as I could.
Nana and nani were also leaving on the same day but on a different flight. After bidding them a tearful farewell as well Ahmed and I left for the airport. I actually envied Humi for being able to stay on in Madinah for a few more days and part of me wished I could stay back with her. We were headed for Jordan for a few days though we hadn’t decided on where to go from there.
Jordan was beautiful and despite it feeling weird to not have Humi and Numair around, I enjoyed our time there. For the first time on this whole trip it was just the two of us and we made the most of it. It was like another honeymoon all over again. Late nights, quiet, lazy mornings, long walks and romantic dinners…Ahmed also went all out and it made our days there magical. We grew so close together, almost inseparable, barely apart for even an hour at a time.
Time flew as it always does when we’re having a great time and soon it was time for us to plan our next move.
“India,” I said with a grin, scanning through the countries on google maps.
Ahmed made a face. “Why India of all the places?”
“Why? Must be nice, neh. I’ve never been so it will be a different experience.”
“Well, I’ve been there and let me tell you, it stinks!” Ahmed took the phone from me and started scanning the countries himself, “maybe Thailand. Or Malaysia…Singapore…”
“Wait a minute. Who said India stinks?” I raised my eyebrows at him and took my phone back, “Aliyah and them went just last year and she said it was beautiful!”
“I’ve been there myself so I would know…”
“But I also wanna go there and see for myself,” I pouted, “will you deprive me of seeing my mother country just because you say it stinks?”
Ahmed burst out laughing. “Mother country? Your mother was born in S.A so that’s your mother country.”
“Fine, my ancestral country,” I said, still pouting, “I want to experience it and I thought this whole trip was about experiencing different things…”
“Fine, we’ll go. Stop looking at me like that,” Ahmed said with a sigh of resignation.
I hid my grin of victory and smiled demurely at him instead. “Great. So that’s our next stop?”
“Yeah, I guess. Let me look it up first.”
“Okay, while you do that I’m going for coffee downstairs. Unless you wanna come with me?”
Ahmed shook his head and waved me away. “Nah, you go ahead. I’ll do some research.” He threw my phone at me which I deftly catched and pulled out his laptop. By the time I left the room he was already engrossed in whatever he was looking at.
I sat in the cafe, sipping coffee and making some calls. I called mum and Han and them since I hadn’t spoken to them in a while. Then I called Zee and caught up with her which took a good thirty minutes of excited chatter interspersed with bursts of laughter. I was glad I had taken a corner table otherwise people would be wondering if I’d lost my mind! Then I even called Khadija and Asiyah, both of whom were at the same place so I could talk to them at the same time. By that time my third cup of coffee was gone along with a huge slice of cake and the crowd in the cafe had started to dwindle.
When I got back to the room Ahmed was smiling. “I guess India doesn’t sound so bad after all. I found some nice places we could go to. Come and see.”
We browsed through sites, seeing different places. Ahmed was right, some of them were beautiful! Southern India looked really scenic and so did northern Kashmir. I oohed and aahed over pictures of Goa and Kerala.
“Look, gorgeous beaches! We have to go there!”
A few minutes later I came across pictures of Kashmir and was left wonderstruck.
“I’d love to go to Kashmir,” I said wistfully, “it looks so gorgeous!”
Ahmed laughed. “India is huge, my dear. You can’t be all over the place at once. Let’s see what we can manage.”
By the time we finished discussing our plans it was late so we closed the laptop and went for supper, intending to finalise our plans and book the following day.
However, late that night Ahmed got a call that would change everything.
DISCLAIMER:- It is NOT permissible for women to travel without a mahram so please don’t pull a Humi move and always travel safar distances (80kms or more) with a mahram male🙂