As narrated by Deeyanah:
After Mrs Essa’s second period with us, the morning passes by quickly.
After Zuhr Salaah, lunch and a change of clothes, Amz and I sit with our homework as per habit.
“I won’t be at home on Thursday afternoon,” says Amz, as I sit down opposite her.
“Again?” I ask, the question slipping out of my mouth before I can stop it.
“I mean yeah it’s fine and stuff, not like you have to ask me permission,” I say quickly.
“I’m not asking for permission. That was a statement. I’m going whether you allow me to or not.”
“Okay, okay, calm down!” I tease, throwing the last droplets of water in my glass at her.
She sticks our her tongue at me and rolls her eyes.
“You know…” I start.
“Hmmm??” acknowledges Amz, not looking up.
“With the amount of times you’re going out recently….”
“Hmmm??” she says again, typing away on her calculator.
“I’m starting to worry that maybe you’ve found a boyfriend or something,” I finish off, watching her carefully.
She looks up now, and bursts into a fit of laughter.
“Where’s that water?” she asks through gasps of air. “Oh my Gosh, you’re bloody hilarious sometimes you know.”
Then, noticing my serious expression, which was taking a lot of effort to hold since Amaani’s laugh is annoyingly contagious, she says, “Wait you’re actually serious?”
“Of course I’m being serious!” I answer, shaking my head.
And then she is laughing crazily again.
“Could you be ever so kind to inform me what exactly is so funny?!” I ask starting to get slightly annoyed now.
Amz fans her face with her hands exaggeratedly.
“Oh my Gosh, baaaaabe, you’re too much!”
“Ewww, don’t call me that!” I say, making a grossed out face.
Amz takes the glass from my hand and gets up to fill it.
“Especially if there’s someone else you using the same term on!” I call after her, as she walks out.
“HARAAAAM!” she yells back from the kitchen.
“No but seriously though,” I say with a straight face, as Amz walks back into the room. “Have you found your prince charming?”
“Nope,” she answers truthfully. “Just got some important things to sort out.”
“Important things like…?” I ask, trying to sound nonchalant, but I actually really want to know.
“I’ll tell you after it’s all sorted out,” she says.
“Reason I’m telling you today already is because my uncle and them might be coming…” she adds, trailing off.
“Ohh.. is everything okay?” I ask uncertainly.
“Yep,” she replies, popping the ‘p’.
I don’t push it. If she wants to talk, she’ll talk.
We finish our homework in comfortable silence. As always, I finish before Amz. After packing away my books and adjusting my bag for the next day, I head to the kitchen for a snack. Grabbing an apple, I go to my room and get comfortable on my bed.
WhatsApp Chat: Rameez.
ME: How you doing?
ME: Missed u at school today, all good??
I read my unread messages, refresh my Instagram feed, and scroll through my Twitter timeline before placing my phone on my pedestal.
“Amz, you finished?” I ask, going downstairs.
“Yeah, just checking something,” she replies, her eyes not moving away from her laptop screen.
“Do you want to come with me to see Daanyaal?” I ask, hoping she’ll say yes.
Amaani hates hospitals. I don’t blame her though, she has a good reason not to like them. But then again, who does like hospitals?
“Do you need me to?” she asks with a look that says, ‘I don’t really want to come with.’
“You don’t have to come… I just thought that since it’s his last week in hospital you might want to come along. Rehab visiting hours are much more restricted,” I say, trying to convince her.
“This week?” she asks looking up, her forehead creasing into a frown.
“Yeah, Saturday morning he’s going to Rehab,” I say, trying not to think too much about it.
“Are you sure? I remember the doctor saying next week Tuesday,” says Amz.
“Initially he said that.. but when I went yesterday his doctor was there… He said there’s no need for him to be in hospital any longer and the sooner he starts rehab the better,” I say, swallowing my sigh.
“Dee?” she asks worriedly, getting up and walking towards to me. “What aren’t you telling me?”
‘I can ask you the same thing, Amaani,’ I think, meeting her gaze without a falter.
“Nothing,” I reply honestly, my senses immediately heightening.
Don’t ask me anything. Please don’t ask me anything.
“Deeyanah? What else did the doctor say?”
“Whaaaat? I’m serious, there’s nothing I’m not telling you. Daanyaal is fine.. he’s going to be fine!” I say.
“He’s my brother after all!” I add with a smile.
She’s silent as she closes her laptop and stacks up her books. She walks past me, but just before exiting the room she turns around and says, “Dee, I will be so disappointed if you don’t pursue acting as a career once you’ve finished school.”
Her words hit me harder than she must have intended.. and that night, as I lay in bed, I once again find myself wondering if perfecting the art of not showing what I feel is really a good thing or not.