Sixty Six

As narrated by Zee:

WhatsApp Group Chat:

ME: This is a command for everyone to come around to mine at 6:30 pm

ME: Supper will be served

ME: Dessert will be sour gums

Everyone reads the messages and thumbs up. Everyone except Meez.

I send him a separate message.

ME: Make sure u come. I’ll be w8ing.

He reads the message.. doesn’t reply.

After Maghrib Salaah (Muslims 4th prayer), I help Ma set the table and then attempt to neaten my room slightly. If it had just been Meez coming over I wouldn’t have bothered, but I know too well that the girls won’t let me hear the end of it if there is so much as a sock lying on my floor!

The doorbell rings and I hear Ma calling me to open.


It’s Amz and Dee.

“Wow, what’s with all the gift bags?” I ask, looking at them enquiringly.

“Is Meez here yet?” asks Dee, totally ignoring my question.

“Nope. I’m not sure if he’s coming,” I reply. “Why?”

“He’s not coming?” asks Dee, ignoring my question again.

“I don’t know,” I reply.

I don’t elaborate but Amz next question forces me to.

“What’s up with you two, anyway?”

I shrug, sighing.

A short while later, the doorbell rings again.

Getting up, I go to open the door.

And there, standing in all his glory is Mr.Varachia himself.

“Hey, glad you came,” I say genuinely.

“I came for the food,” he says grinning at me as he comes inside.

Then, turning serious, he asks,” Bro, we good?”

“You have a lot of explaining to do,” I reply, looking at him sternly.

He doesn’t say anything but I know that he’s aware of the fact that he has messed up.

Big time.

“But yeah, we’re good,” I reply, closing the door behind me.

“Well, well, well, if it’s not the idiot himself,” says Dee, joining us, Amz close behind.

“It’s good seeing you too, Deeyanoooo,” he replies with a smirk.

Sumayya comes in not long after Meez and we all sit down for supper.

After supper we help clear up and then go to my bedroom.

“Oh my Goodness, Zee!” exclaims Amz, walking into my room. “Your room is such a mess!”

“But I neatened it just before you’ll came!!” I groan.

“Do you call this neatened?!” she asks as she piles the scattered books on my desk while Dee pulls the creases out of my linen.

“Well, it looks better than it did this afternoon!” I object.

After Amz neatens my room so that it is up to her standards, we all get comfortable.

“So tell us about the cat,” I say to Sumayya with a grin.

“Oh my Gosh, he is like, so, so, SO adorable!” she replies excitedly. “He’s super, super like, soft and furry and he gives the best cuddles!”

“What did you name him?” asks Meez.

“It was -”

“Oh my God, please say you named him CATija?!” asks Dee, cutting her off.

“That would have been aMEWsing, but I’m sure she didn’t!” adds in Meez.

“That was a PAWsome pun!” replies Dee.

Once the laughter subsides, Sumayya goes on to tell us that she’s named her cat Tybalt, he’s super fat and lazy, and he loves sleeping in her bed.

Light conversation flows, banter going back and forth.

Then Amz runs downstairs to bring the gift bags she brought.

“What ever did we do to get gifts?” I ask once she comes back up, honestly surprised but excited at the same time.

“This one’s yours,” Dee says, handing a gift bag to Sumayya.

“And this one’s yours,” says Amz handing me another gift bag.

“Thanks guys but like, really though, why are we getting gifts and everything?” asks Sumayya.

“Just because we loooove ya’ll,” sings Amz.

“And this one’s for you,” says Dee, handing Meez a bottle of Panado tablets.

He frowns in confusion, and I’m quite baffled too!

Wait, Did we get joke gifts too?

I peek into my gift bag and see grey material.

Doesn’t seem like.

“I’m sure you must be getting a lot of headaches, Meez,” says Dee, grinning away. “You know, considering your girlfriend is so annoying.”

Silence falls and Meez’s frown deepens.

“You have a girlfriend?” Sumayya asks Meez, breaking the silence.

“What girlfriend?” Meez asks Dee at the same time.

I’m confused, then surprised, but only momentarily.

I mean, sure he has a girlfriend, who else is he going to go clubbing with?!

“The same one I met this afternoon,” Dee replies, still grinning.

As narrated by Meez:

Dee knows.

Dee is coming to know everything she shouldn’t, dammit!

“But I don’t even have a girlfriend!” I say lightly, trying to ease the bubbling panic inside me and at the same time hoping to get Dee to stop pushing the subject.

“Rameez, there’s some people in life that you can’t lie to,” says Amz, looking at me seriously. “It’s not worth it, because they know when you’re lying. And I, unfortunately for you, am one of those people. So cut the denial and let’s just talk about what crap taste you have in girls.”

“Hey, she’s not crap!” I say instantly defending Nabz.

“Oh, so now there is a girlfriend?” Dee asks him, cocking her head slightly with a smirk on her face.

Oh shit! 

“Oh my God, I can’t believe you have a girlfriend!” Sumayya says dramatically.

“I don’t!” I say, getting slightly annoyed now.

“Meez!” warns Amz.

“So what if I have a girlfriend, huh?! That’s my business not yours!” I say, angrily.

“Calm down bro,” says Zee, putting his hand on my shoulder.

“Don’t tell me to calm down!” I yell at him, shrugging off his hand.

“Yeah, Meez, you’re right. It really is none of our business,” starts Dee, the grin gone from her face now. “Too bad your stupid girlfriend made it our business.”

“Don’t call her stupid!” I retort, glaring at her

“Well tell me what’s her name then, because that’s the most suitable, civilized name I can think of for her after our encounter this afternoon!” Dee replies hotly.

“That’s enough you two!” Amz commands, stopping my next words.

I exhale, trying to rid the anger inside me.

A knock sounds on the door and Aunty Shenaaz enters carrying a jar of sour gums.

“You’ll okay?” asks Aunty Shenaaz, probably noticing the tense atmosphere.

“Jee, we’re fine,” Amz replies quickly.

“There’s dessert downstairs, but Ziyaad said he promised you’ll this junk,” says Aunty Shenaaz, handing Amz the jar.

Sour Gums

“This is perfect, JazakAllah,” Amz replies with a smile.

Aunty Shenaaz leaves, and we all dig into the sour gum jar, except Dee.

Dee doesn’t like sour gums, but she’s sour enough anyway!

“So can we have a civilized conversation now?” asks Zee, looking between me and Dee.

I shrug, looking away.

Dee lays down, putting her head on the pillow next to Zee.

“You’ll can talk. I’m sure it’ll be civilized without me,” she mumbles, pulling out her phone from her pocket.

“Dee, you’re not being very nice either,” Amz points out and I feel like clapping at that.

Dee doesn’t say anything and suddenly the anger inside me vanishes, surprising me faintly, as regret sinks in.

I’m losing my friends. I’m destroying the bond we once shared, slowly but surely.

And it’s all because of my new company.

So many things wouldn’t be happening if only I could learn to say one word to Faizy and Nabz.

Just one word.



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