Forty Four

As narrated by Zee:

I’m rudely awakened at 11:00 am by my 9 year old brother, Muaaz, jumping on my bed.

“Muaaazooo,” I groan, pulling the duvet over my head.

“Ziyaaadooo,” he laughs excitedly. “Time to wake up.”

Sticking my hand out from under the duvet, I grab his leg.

He falls on top of me with a humph.

“Wanna wrestle, lighty?” I  ask, tackling him.

And just as I expected, he goes for my hair.

“Muaaaaz! Not my hair!” I scream, trying to move his hands away.

“1..2..3,” he counts, hitting the pillow my head rests on.

“Yaaaaaass!” he screams. “I win!”

“No, you broke the rules! So I win,” I say, running my fingers through my hair in an attempt to neaten it.

“You’re such a girl,” he says, laughing hysterically.

I smile then. As annoying as he is, I love this kid.

“Can you hurry up and get out of bed so we can play FIFA?” asks Muaaz.

I groan, hiding my head under my pillow.

“Okay, I’m coming just now,” I lie.

A knock on the door sounds and Humairah walks in.

I pull my duvet higher, covering myself properly. Probably should have worn a T-shirt!

Ever since we haven’t been staying together, when we are around each other, we’re a lot more self conscious and respectful. I just feel that if she’s taking the effort to dress decently in front of me, I should play my part correctly too. And it’s not like we’re little kids anymore.

“Salaaaam brother bear,” she greets with a smile, opening the curtains and windows.

I shoot her an annoyed look. “Do you have to?!” I grumble.

“It’s like half past 11 and you’re still in bed!” she says.

“It’s only 11,” I mumble.

“Your breakfast is getting cold,” she points out.

“I’m coming,” I reply as she walks out.

“What time does Naani wake you up?” asks Muaaz, sitting at the foot of my bed.

“She doesn’t,” I reply, smiling. “I can wake up whatever time I want to.”

“Bet you somma just sleep through the whole weekend in that case,” he says.

“If I didn’t have to wake up for food, I probably would do that!” I say, laughing.

“And Salaah,” he points out.

Wow, they’re training this lil guy well. 

“Yeah buddy,  that’s the main,” I say, stretching my hand out to him for a high five.

“Ziyaaaad, Muaaaz,” my mum calls.

“Jeeee?” we call back.

“Breakfast is getting cold,” she says.

“Comiiing,” we reply in unison.

After brushing my teeth, I make my bed and then go to the kitchen for breakfast.

Greeting my mum, I sit down at the table.

“Woooow, like, I know I eat a lot but you guys made enough breakfast to feed me for breakfast, lunch and supper!” I say.

“That’s the whole point,” says Humairah.

“Is this how you guys do Sundays?” I ask, slightly horrified. “Make a huge breakfast and then no food for the rest of the day?”

“I wish it was that easy, but with the way your brother and father eat, we have no choice but to cook 3 full meals!” mum says, laughing.

“Bro, you’re a little young for that, don’t you think?” I ask, winking at him.

He grins at me, his mouth stuffed with chocolate pancake.

After a hearty breakfast, I shower and get dressed.

As I promised, I play FIFA with Muaaz till Zuhr.

Together, we then go to the Masjid for Jamaat. I get to meet some of Muaaz’s friends and I am pretty impressed. These kids seem to have their lives in more order than I do! Simple ouz, no fancy hairstyles, all dressed in kurtas.

After lunch, Humairah offered to take us out but mum had things to do and I wasn’t too keen myself. My flight was tonight and I just wanted to take today easy and spend as much quality time as I could with my family.

I played soccer with Muaaz, baked cupcakes and messed around in the kitchen with Humairah, packed my bags with mum, and when dad came home from work, we all played board games together.

And at 10:00 pm when it was time to leave, I felt a mixture of contentment and sadness.

Although you could tell that he was super tired, Muaaz insisted on coming to the airport with Dad.

After gratefully accepting the advice dad always gives me, I pull Muaaz into a fierce hug. I remind him to look after Humairah and not to trouble mum and dad. Wishing me luck with Grade 10, he tells me one thing, “Be good.”

“Yeah, yeah, big bro,” I laugh, giving him one last hug.

Dad did an online check in for me, so now I just have to kill time till the flight. Grabbing a coffee, I pull out my phone.

WhatsApp Group Chat:

Me: On my way hoooome, losers.

Sumayya: Wat tyms ur flyt?

Me: 11:10

Meez: u at the airport bro?

Me: Yeah, w8in for flight

Meez: Cool, see u in while

Me: u guyz coming airport?

Sumayya: I’m out at d momnt but I’ll let u knw

Meez: yeah im coming with ur grandad

Me: where u loafing S?

Me: Thanks buddy

Sumayya: Bowling with the bro 

Sumayya: *Picture*

Me: Have fun 🙂

Amz: Travel safe Zee. We’ll see u tmrw, going to lala land now. Dee is already asleep.

Me: Okay sweet dreams 🙂

*Ding!* Attention. This is a pre-boarding announcement for flight 67F, Kulula airlines. We are now inviting those passengers with small children, and any passengers requiring special assistance, to begin boarding at this time. Please have your boarding pass and identification ready. Regular boarding will begin in approximately ten minutes time. Thank you.

15 minutes later, having finally boarded, I snap the view from my window and send it to Humairah along with a text, ‘Boarded Alhmdl.’

She replies immediately, “Alhmdl. Read your duaas.”

Smiling, I do as she says, fasten my seat belt, and watch the hive of important activity through the window.

Popping a gum into my mouth, I wait anxiously for take off.

Holidays are officially over.


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