Seventy Eight

As narrated by Zee:

I run out of the kitchen, my heart pounding in my chest, my lips fervently reciting every duaa I know.

Loud maniacal laughter comes from the kitchen.

Oh my God, it’s coming for me!

“MAAAAA!!” I scream.

Where is she??!

I hear a snort of laughter. A stifled giggle follows.

And then, probably unable to keep it in any longer, an uproar of laughter erupts behind me.

I stop.

I know that laugh… I know those laughs.

Still afraid though, I turn around with trepidation, praying it is what I think it is.

And sure enough, there she is, that horrible mask now held under her arm. And standing next to her, his face flushed from trying to hold in his laughter, is the boy who probably was behind the whole idea!

“You guys are soooo funny!!” I say.

Yes, that is sarcasm you hear.

SO bloody funny!”

Yes, you’re hearing anger now.

“Zeeeee, brotherrrr bear!” Humairah says sweetly, coming towards me with open arms.

“Get that thing away from me!” I scream, turning around and running away from her.

“You’re such a giiiiirrrrl!” Muaaz teases between fits of laughter.

“And you’re such a moron!” I say to him over my shoulder still running away from Humairah and that horrible mask.

Ain’t no boy gonna listen to himself be called a girl (twice in one day, may I add), and not get angry! Mind your step, because you’ve almost stood on my ego, Muaaz! Good thing it’s not big, or you’d never have missed it!

I run straight to Ma’s room where I find her reading Salaah. I slam the door behind me, locking it.

“Zeeeee! Open the door!” whines Humairah from the other side, banging her fists on the door.

“Shut it! Ma’s reading salaah!” I yell at her.

“My, my, is that the language I taught my son?!” a disappointed voice asks.

Mum walks out of the bathroom, a towel in hand as she dries her face.

“Muuuuuum!”

I leap at her, nearly knocking her petite figure over as I embrace her in a tight hug.

She laughs and I realize how much I’ve missed hearing that sound in real life and not through a Skype call.

I bury my head in her neck as she wraps her arms around me.

“Assalaamualaikum,” she greets. “It’s good to see you, darling.”

“Wa’alaikumSalaam,” I reply. “Good to see you too mum, I’ve missed your hugs.”

“Now you miss them, when you had them you used to hate them!” says mum, pulling me into a hug again.

“That’s because you’d choose the worst times to hug me… like at school, in front of all my friends!” I complain, remembering how embarrassed I used to feel.

“What’s all the noise about?” asks Ma, who has completed her Salaah.

I step out of mum’s embrace and give Ma a hug.

“Those grandchildren of yours! Look how much noise they come and make!” I say, faking annoyance.

She smiles and hugs me back.

“How is Rameez?” asks Ma.

“He’s alright,” I say casually, hoping Ma doesn’t ask too many questions in front of mum.

“Zeeeee! I can hear you talking to Nanima, open the door!!” Humairah calls.

“First throw that ugly thing in the bin then I’ll decide,” I call back.

“Mum your children are idiots!” I grumble loud enough for Humairah and Muaaz to hear.

“You’re one of them!” shouts Muaaz.

“No, I’m Ma’s child,” I reply.

“So it’s like this now, hey!” says mum looking between Ma and I with a smile.

“Muuuum, pleeeease open the doooor!” whines Muaaz.

“Mum DON’T!” I yell.

But it’s too late.

My siblings barge into the room, Humairah still carrying that mask in her hand.

“Get away, get awaayyyy!” I scurry out of their reach.

But it’s two against one.

“Muuuuum!” I call out.

“She’s gone to read her Salaah!” taunts Humairah.

Muaaz sits on my chest, pinching my cheeks.

“Ziyaaaadooooo!”

“Get offfff!” I moan, swatting at his hands.

Humairah shoves the mask in front of my face.

I scream, pushing Muaaz off me and sittting up.

I throw the mask across the room.

Humairah and Muaaz are once again doubled over with laughter.

“It’s so funny, oh my God! You’re terrified of a mask. A mask!” says Humairah as she wipes the tears of laughter from her eyes.

“I hate you’ll! Why did you’ll even come?! Immature idiots!” I say scowling at them.

“Don’t lie to yourself!” Humairah grins hugging me. “Good to see you brotherrrr.”

“Wish I could say the same,” I mutter not hugging her back.

“Oh c’mon you can’t be thaaat annoyed!”

“I am! You guys are rude, ugly, inconsiderate humans!” I say like a small child. “Do you know how terrifying that thing is?!”

“What is this?” asks Ma, going to pick up the mask.

“Ya Allah!” she says dropping it in fright. “Who brought this shaytaan (devil) in my house?!”

I laugh at Ma’s reaction then immediately try to stifle it because ‘it’s not funny!’, but Muaaz notices.

“Seeeee, it is funny!” he grins coming to sit next to me… well, more like on top of me!

“Where do you kids get these things from?! Lahawla walaquwata illa billah! Take this shaytaan out of my house!” Ma says to Humairah.

“Only when you’re not the victim!” I whisper to Muaaz.

Humairah, who is still laughing, gets up to take away the mask as Ma continues muttering away about shaytaans and other obscenities!

That evening when we’re all gathered around a lively supper table, they explain to me that dad had some work meetings to attend and that they’d be here for a week. They thought they’d surprise me… that’s what they weren’t telling me on the phone the other day.

And even though it wasn’t a very nice surprise, it feels so good to have them around.

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Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola.πŸ˜€

A highly laid back, not much important content post today. Sorry about that, hope it at least made you smile though!

To be honest, you’ll better enjoy these lighthearted posts now because once things start going down hill…. uh oh! *Does that thing we’d do as kids- zips my lips and throws away the lock* πŸ˜‰

Much love,

Troubled Illusioner. ❀

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