As narrated by Dee:
“Are you going to tell me what’s bothering you?” Amz asks quietly as she sits down on the floor next to me.
I look away, fixing my gaze on the countless city lights outside.
“Nothing is bothering me,” I lie, leaning my forehead against the cold glass of my window.
I hear Amz sigh softly next to me, knowing better.
A blinking red light in the black cloudy sky catches my attention, and for a moment I wish that I was aboard that plane, flying off to a destination I did not even know… just flying away.
Away, I just want to get away..
‘Always the coward, aren’t we, Deeyanah?’ my mind taunts me. ‘Running away from your problems instead of facing them.’
A wave of frustrating uneasiness washes over me. And as a bolt of lightning flashes far off in the distance, a bolt of pain strikes inside me. It’s so sudden, so sharp, that for a moment I forget to breath..
But then it’s gone.. as quick as it came. I close my eyes, inhaling deeply.
The darkness of the room is broken every so often as lightning splits the sky. I lean my head against Amz’s shoulder, watching the approaching storm.
We sit in silence; comfortable silence. As the darkness wraps its gentle arms around me, I let go of the thoughts weighing me down. I give them to my best friend, for I know, that with her, and only with her, they are safe.
“Maama wants to see us,” I say quietly.
Amz is silent, waiting for me to continue.
“Danyaal, Dayyanah, and I.”
I sit up straight, lifting my knees, and resting my chin thereon.
Lightning explodes again, closer this time.. bright jagged lines of white hot electricity adorning the vast, pitch black canvas; the sky.
I wait for the rumble of thunder to quieten before continuing.
“That’s what Uncle Rashid called to tell me yesterday.”
“I can’t go Amz, I can’t.”
“Why not?” she asks quietly, already knowing the answer.
“I can’t,” I repeat in anguish.
“She’s you mother, Dee. No matter what, she loves you.”
I shake my head, covering my ears with my knees.
“Don’t. Please don’t give me false hope,” I say, my voice shaking.
“You need to go, Dee. You have to. It will help you move on. It will help all of you’ll move on.”
I shake my head again.
“I can’t. I’ve done nothing but cause her pain.”
It’s quiet for a long time, only the rumble of thunder sounding now and again.
“Do you want to change that?” Amz asks eventually.
“Huh?” I ask, turning to look at her.
“Do you want to change that?” she asks again.
“I.. yes. Yes, of course I do,” I answer.
“Well how are you going to do that if you hide away? How are you going to relieve your mother of her pain when you drown yourself in yours? How are you to help her move on when you’re still living in the past?”
“Dee, your mother is alive. Cherish her presence, stock up your rewards that come with having a mother while she’s around. Make amends before it’s too late…”
She trails off, her voice growing unsteady. I squeeze her shoulder gently.
I don’t say anything… I don’t have anything to say.
Her words hit home.
“You need to learn to accept. You keep on telling yourself that you have accepted everything, but you haven’t.”
A loud boom of thunder causes my heart to jump. And then it begins to rain.
“You must go see your mother, Deeyanah. It’s the only way you’ll move on.”
Amz gets up and I hear her feet treading lightly against the floor as she walks away.
Standing up, I open my window and lean my head out.
Cool air hits my face, as I watch the storm unleash its beauty through the city.
I think about what Amz said.
She’s right. I know she’s right, but it’s so, so difficult..
As narrated by Amz:
I go downstairs to the kitchen and put the kettle on to boil. The rain plummets down, drowning out its sound.
Taking out two mugs, I begin preparing the ultimate hot chocolate for this weather.
My mind whirls with thoughts about what Dee just told me.
I find it so confusing as to why she doesn’t want to see her mother.
I do understand to a certain extent her reasoning, but at the end of the day, our situations are different and a part of me finds it so difficult to understand how she has her mother, yet she’s not treasuring that.
Losing someone makes you realize the important role they play in your life…
It’s too late then, though.
We’re so ignorant in the way we live… as if this life in this world will not end one day. We ill treat our parents, never giving them their due right, as if we will not be accountable for it on the day of reckoning.
With a heavy heart, I make a silent prayer for my parents. It doesn’t really get easier. The void they leave never really fills up again.
Sighing inaudibly, I drop a couple of mini marshmallows into the mugs and then carry them upstairs.
Dee is standing by the window, head out.
I shake my head.
“Yeah?” she replies, turning around.
“You made hot chocolate?” she asks, seeing the mugs in my hand, a small smile appearing on her face.
“Yepp,” I answer, grinning.
Handing her a mug, I get comfy on her bed, while she she sits down by the window.
Dee could waste a whole day just watching a storm!
“Hey Amz, did you ask Zee about the message yesterday?” she asks, after a moment of silence.
“Yeah, he said the same things you told me,” I say, sipping my hot chocolate.
“Did he say who he thinks it is?”
“No. He said he can’t think of anyone who could be doing it.”
“I think I know who it could be though,” I add.
“Really? Who is it??” she asks curiously.
“I don’t know for sure,” I say quickly. “But.. the only person I can think of who could be behind it, is Fuaad.”
“Oh my goodness, I didn’t even think of him!” exclaims Dee.
“How’d he get Zee’s number though? And why not message Meez and Sumayya??”
“I have no idea, Dee. I just hope it’s some stupid game and nothing major.”
“So far that’s what it has been,” says Dee.
It’s quiet for a while, both us deep in thought.
“Nauh Amz, it doesn’t really add up,” says Dee, breaking the silence.
“What do you mean?”
“It can’t be Fuaad. Pass my phone, please.”
I hand her her phone, eager to see where she’s going with this.
“Consider the message, right? It says we’re standing in the way… but we’re not. I mean look, we live alone. Zee isn’t your bodyguard or something. And if it was Fuaad, surely he’d think overthrowing me, to get to you, is a piece of cake. To be honest, not much is standing in this person’s way.”
Her eyes widen as she herself realizes what she’s saying.
“Holy… smurfs,” she whispers, looking at me worriedly.
“Amz, this could be more serious than we thought!”