As narrated by Sumayya:
“I will not allow you to wear that, Sumayya!” admonishes mummy. “How could you have even bought such a besharam (immodest) dress! Have I not taught you better?!”
“I don’t see what’s immodest about this!” I argue, twirling the hanger around and looking at the dress.
“It’s so tight, Sumayya!”
“That’s the style, ma!! That’s why it’s called a mermaid dress!” I groan.
“I don’t care what it’s called, Sumayya. You are not allowed to wear that. You will go with Hamza and return it. And let me just warn you, you come home with another dress of this nature, I will make you wear a plain abaya for the wedding!”
“I don’t understand what’s so wrong with this dress!” I yell, close to tears. “Everyone else will be wearing dresses off the catwalk and you want me to wear a stupid plain cloak!”
I turn at the sound of Hamza’s stern tone and see him entering my room.
“I’m not saying you have to wear a cloak. I’m saying that you must wear something modest,” says mummy, ignoring Hamza. “Now stop being difficult and go lay the dastarkhaan (tablecloth) for supper!”
Saying that, she walks out.
“Gosh! Mummy is so old-fashioned!” I say, clucking my tongue in annoyance.
“You really shouldn’t speak like that to mummy,” Hamza says seriously, sitting down on my bed. “What’s the matter?”
“Apparently my dress is to ‘besharam’,” I say scornfully, throwing the dress onto the bed.
“Well it does look pretty narrow. Are you sure you bought the right size?” he asks, eyeing the dress.
I narrow my eyes at him.
“What are you implying?” I ask threw gritted teeth.
He looks up in surprise.
“Huh? Oh. No, no! I’m not saying you’re fat!” Hamza says in a rush.
“Did you try it on?” he asks.
“Seriously?! Are you dumb?! Obviously I tried it on!!” I say throwing my hands up in exasperation.
“Well, is it tight?”
“Yessss! My god! It suppose to be tight!” I say.
“Oh. So why did you buy it then?” asks Hamza, looking confused.
“Oh my god! Just get out, please!” I say, pointing to the door.
Turning my back to him, I take the beautiful dress of the hanger, fold it up and put it back into the box.
“Sumayya,” calls Tayyibah. “Mummy said you must come and lay the table.”
“I’m coming!” I yell indignantly.
Plugging my phone into the charger, I place it on the floor and head to the kitchen.
After helping with the supper dishes, I go back to my room.
Feeling tired after a long day of shopping, I decide to have an early night.
I take a long, hot shower and then change into my pajamas.
Taking out the book I’m currently reading, I read for a while with Tybalt curled up on my lap.
After a while I decide to phone Shakirah. She and her fiance were suppose to go buy their rings today.
Getting off my bed I go to fetch my phone from the charger, but, to my surprise, it’s not there.
Frowning I check on my pedestal and then inside the pedestal drawers.
Unsuccessful, I check around in my room, but it’s nowhere to be found.
“Did anyone see my phone?” I ask loudly, exiting my room.
“Nooo!” comes Tayyibah’s reply from her room.
“Hamzaaaa?!” I call.
I head to the lounge where he’s learning his sabaq.
He looks up briefly but doesn’t pause.
“Do you know where’s my phone?”
He nods yes whilst still reading.
“Where is it?” I ask immediately.
I wait impatiently as he carries on reading, ignoring me.
“Hamza! Where’s my phone?” I ask, after a couple of seconds.
He finishes the verse before closing his Qur’aan partially and finally looking up.
“What?” he asks, slightly annoyed. “I’m learning.”
“Where’s my Qur’aan?!” I ask crossly.
“I mean my phone!” I say, correcting myself.
“Oh,” says Hamza. “Your phone?”
“Yes, Hamza,” I drawl, getting irritated.
What’s his problem?!
“Your phone, dear sister, is by me,” he says, after a moment.
Did he just say….
“What?” I ask hesitantly.
“I. have. your. phone,” repeats Hamza, pausing after each word, a slight smirk on his face. “Now can you stop disturbing me? I’m trying to learn in case you haven’t noticed.”
Hamza has my phone…
Hamza has my.. phone!! Crap, crap, crap!! Did I clear my history? Is my Instagram account logged in? Oh shit, what if Faraaz replied my messages? Do I have my YouTube history paused?
“Can I have it please?” I ask as calmly as I can.
Hamza, having started reciting again, shakes his head at me.
Pausing, he looks up at me again.
“Don’t ask me again because I’m not giving it to you,” he says.
“Seriously?” I say, rolling my eyes, trying to appear unbothered. “Stop being childish.”
“You..” he starts, his tone solemn. “..have some explaining to do.”
Oh damn. Time to dig my grave.
“I know you’re not asleep,” says Hamza, quietly shutting my room door.
I ignore him, breathing slightly more heavily.
“C’mon, get up,” he says. “I’m not dumb.”
A few seconds pass.
“Sumayya. Sumayya. Sumayya,” chants Hamza.
Just ignore him.
He isn’t being irritating.
You’re fast asleep.
He’ll go away just now.
“Hey Su,” he starts, and I can hear his grin.
Oh no! Oh no! He’s going to say something funny.
“Remember that time when we had guests o-”
He stops abruptly, the hand he’d been shaking me with stilling.
What is he doing?
“Oh my god. Sumayya. don’t. move.” he whispers, sounding terrified.
Dammit! Now what?!
My heart instantly starts beating faster.
“I’m going to try and get it away. Just stay very, very still.”
Panic rising inside me, I involuntarily do the exact opposite.
“Oh my god!! Sumayya you’re on the spider!!” Hamza whisper-yells. “I told you not to move!”
Did he say SPIDER?!?!
Screaming, I fling the duvet off me, and jump out of bed.
“Spider?” I gasp, my eyes wide with fear.
Hamza’s expression mirrors by own for a second before he bites his lip, straining himself to keep a straight face.
And then he starts laughing, covering his mouth to muffle it.
It takes me a couple of seconds to put two and two together.
By now Hamza is doubled over, laughing uncontrollably.
“I’m going to bloody kill you!” I hiss, glaring at him.
He jumps over the bed, moving further away from me as he laughs harder.
“I.. got you!” he says, gasping for air.
His face is gone red from laughing so much.
“You.. jumped… so fast!”
Despite trying extremely hard, watching him laugh like a crazy hyena makes it difficult for me not to laugh.
“It’s not funny!” I say, trying to sound cross but a giggle escapes my lips.
That only makes Hamza laugh harder and then, unable to control it anymore I start laughing too.
“Stop now!!!” I say to Hamza, clutching my stomach.
It takes us several minutes to calm down.
Hamza goes to my bathroom to drink water.
“Sis, you’re disgusting,” I say as he puts his hand under the tap and drinks from his hand.
“What?” he asks.
“What if there was a spider on the mouth of the tap and you just drank like that?” I point out, raising my eyebrows.
“The spider is on your bed, not the tap,” he says, sticking out his tongue.
“Idiot!” I say, throwing a pillow at him as he walks out of the bathroom.
“Rrrrrright,” he says, catching the pillow and sitting down on my bed.
“Rrrrrright,” I mimic. “I was really enjoying my sleep, so I’d greatly appreciate if you’d haul your butt right back out of my room. Thanks.”
Saying that I get back under the duvet.
“Just you hold on!” says Hamza, pulling my duvet off me. “Firstly, you were not asleep!
Hamza rolls his eyes.
“Well even if I wasn’t, I’m going to sleep now, so see yourself out,” I say.
“Nope. First you give me my answers, then you go to sleep,” says Hamza, his voice serious now.
“Where did you hide my ps controllers?” asks Hamza.
“Where did you hide my ps controllers?” repeats Hamza.
“Oh,” I say.
A great wave of relief washes over me and I release a breath I didn’t realize I’m holding.
“Oh,” I say again stupidly.
Hamza looks at me expectantly.
So that’s what this is about.. Thank god!
“If you give me my phone, I’ll tell you,” I offer, stretching out my hand.
“Nauh. You tell me where my controllers are and I’ll give you your phone,” he says. “You seriously need to stop hiding them every time you get annoyed with me. It’s plain dumb.”
“You need to stop annoying me. That is plain dumb.”
“You’re plain dumb!”
“Oh shut it! They’re in mummy’s bathroom cabinet between the towels, which obviously means you can’t get them right now because the parents are asleep,” I say, smirking. “Buuut, you have to hand over my phone since I’ve told you where they are.”
“You’re such a pest,” he grumbles, passing me my phone.
I hurriedly grab it from him before he can change his mind.
“So, you didn’t go through my phone, did you?” I ask casually.
“Well you changed your password and didn’t tell me the new one,” he points out.
“I did,” I confess. “You waste too much time going through my phone.”
“That’s because I need to make sure you’re not up to any nonsense.”
“Oh c’mon. I’m not a kid, Hamza!” I say, rolling my eyes.
“All the more reason,” he replies seriously. “So now, I have to take you shopping again tomorrow?”
“Apparently,” I huff.
“Well I should have been sleeping ages ago in that case,” he teases.
I whack him with a pillow and shoo him out of my room.
“Alright, alright. I’m going,” he laughs. “Assalaamualaykum.”
“Sleep tight, little sis,” he adds, switching off the light.
I reply his greeting, rolling my eyes at his last statement.
Sighing in contentment as my head sinks into my pillow, I close my eyes.
‘Thank goodness I changed my password..’ I think, before sleep pulls me into it’s warm embrace.