Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola. 😀
Hope you all are well.
This post went up last night, but my WordPress is playing up so I’m just re-uploading this post. It’s longer than usual to make up for the delay and it has now also been edited. Enjoy!
Troubled Illusioner. ❤
As narrated by Dee:
“So we have to make the number of ducks x,” says Amz.
“No,” argues Meez. “x will be the number of chickens, substitute the value of geese for y and then work out.”
“But how will we get the number of ducks then?” asks Amz.
“If one third are ducks… divide that by three… subtract two,” mumbles Zee, deep in concentration as he punches in digits on his calculator.
“Won’t it look like this?” Asks Sumayya, pointing to her page with her pen.
I sip my coffee silently, watching as they fervently try to solve the mathematical problem.
If there’s one thing I dislike it’s definitely school. But you know what’s worse than that? Maths. And worse than that? Exam period. But nothing is worse than a maths exam!
Reaching for a pen, I try a few calculations but a couple minutes later I find myself absent mindedly doodling.
“Got it!” exclaims Amz, smiling triumphantly.
We listen carefully as she explains the reasoning and sighs of “oohhhh” echo from all of us.
We decide to have a break before moving on and Meez gets up first to refill his bottle of water.
Zee stretches, yawning tiredly.
He catches me watching him and grins.
I smile, shaking my head at him before getting up and casually following Meez to the kitchen.
He pushes the tap close and lifts his bottle to drink.
“Why, if it’s not Iblees himself!” I say in mock horror, putting my hand to heart.
Meez chokes on his water as he tries not to laugh.
“That’s what happens when you stand and drink!” I say smirking.
“Well at least I’m not getting the cold shoulder anymore,” he says, ignoring my statement.
It’s his turn to smirk as I scowl slightly.
Turning around I reach for the fruit bowl atop the fridge and take out few apples.
“Oh, you’re not done giving me the cold shoulder?” asks Meez.
I can hear the hint of humuor in his voice and know that he is purposely probing me.
“I don’t know,” I say, looking at him over my shoulder. “Depends if you’re ready to answer my questions.”
“I’m always ready to answer your questions, darling,” he says, grinning.
“Don’t piss me off,” I say, glaring at him.
“You’re already pissed off,” he laughs, enjoying himself very much.
I wash the apples and move to leave the kitchen, but he steps in front of me.
“Meez,” I warn, my voice sharp and clearly irritated.
I try to move past him but he doesn’t allow me.
“I thought you have questions,” he says.
“Meez! Just move, dammit!” I say, my voice rising a little.
“But I’m ready to answer your questions,” he drawls.
Very much irritated I move to his right. He steps to the side to block me. Swiftly I duck and shoot past him on the left.
“Hey!” I hear him exclaim.
I hurry out of the kitchen only to run straight into Zee.
“Move!” I all but yell, as I push him aside.
“Wh- huh?” A look of confusion covers his face as he hurriedly moves out of my way.
I take the stairs two at a time, not turning back for the apple that falls out of my hand and rolls away.
Once safely in my room, I shut the door and collapse onto my bed, letting go of the apples.
“Silly idiot!” I mutter, burying my head into my pillow. “Silly maths! Silly exams! Silly hormones!”
“Silly Amz?” comes a soft a voice.
A second later I feel my bed dip slightly and then a hand rubbing my back gently.
“How do you come in so quietly?” I mumble, pushing my head further into my pillow.
“Hmm??” asks Amz, having not heard my muffled voice.
“How do you come in so quietly?” I ask again, turning ny face to the side so that she can hear me clearly.
“Who’s troubling you?” She answers my question with one of her own.
“Meez,” I grumble like a small child. “Maths. My womb.”
Her hand leaves my back and I sense her exiting the room.
My mind drifts to the impending maths exam and a sense of panic overtakes me as I realize that I haven’t studied enough.
The sound of cutlery falling down onto my wooden floor breaks through my thoughts.
“Oops,” comes Amz’s voice a second later.
I sit up slowly, turning around to lean against the headboard.
“Guess you aren’t always – oh my god!” I breathe, spotting the tub in Amz’s arms. “Is that ice cream?!”
She grins, passing it to me.
“I bloody love you,” I moan, my mouth already full.
“I know,” laughs Amz.
I glance up at her, eyebrow raised.
“I wasn’t talking to you,” I say. “I was talking to the ice cream.”
“Oh, get out!” laughs Amz, digging in with her spoon.
“Hey!” I complain, pouting.
“Sharing is caring,” says Amz.
I roll my eyes, sucking at a spoonful of ice cream.
“Amz!!” calls Zee. “Amz!!”
“Yeah??” she shouts. “I’m in Dee’s room.”
“Do you guys not have apples?” he asks, his voice getting louder as he climbs the stairs.
“It’s on top of the fridge,” says Amz.
“I checked -” he stops abruptly as he enters the room. “Oh my word, you guys better not be eating ice cream alone!”
I look at the tub of ice cream, then at him, then back at the ice cream.
Quickly shoving it behind my back, I clear my throat.
“Urm, well, of course not!” I say, smiling innocently.
“How dare you!” he gasps lunging for the tub.
“No! No! Not my ice cream! Get off!” I shout as he tries to tackle the tub out of hands.
“Amz! Tickle him!” I yell, despite knowing he isn’t very ticklish.
“He isn’t ticklish,” laughs Amz, trying to pull him away.
“I don’t care – give it back! Tickle him, Amz! Zeeee!”
Ice cream in his hands now, Zee jumps up and moves to get off the bed.
But, not seeing the apples, he places his foot directly on one, and slides right off the bed!
The ice cream tub flies out of his hand and lands upside on the floor.
Amz hurriedly gets up to pick it up but the mess is made.
The three of us look at each other.
And then, we burst out laughing.
The maths paper goes a little better than expected. Happy knowing that I’ll score a B at least, I sit down at our spot in the cafeteria and wait for the others.
Meez joins me first.
“How was the paper?” he asks, sitting down across me.
“Not too bad,” I reply. “For you?”
“Same. That geometry figure got me.”
“Oh my god, it got me too!” exclaims Sumayya, plopping down next to me on the bench.
Amz and Zee join us a couple minutes later and we discuss the paper, groaning at where we went wrong.
“Okay, okay, everyone shush!” Sumayya says eventually. “This is giving me too much stress! Let’s eat!”
We eat, sharing lunch and chatting away, lighthearted banter going back and forth.
The shrill ringing of the bell indicates the end of break.
We gather our things and head back to our classroom for the study session before the next paper.
Meez, Zee and I walk a little behind Sumayya and Amz.
“So, have you two sorted out your issues?” asks Zee.
“We not have issues!” we say at the same time, in the same clipped tone.
“Well, clearly you’ll haven’t!” Zee laughs as I glare at him.
“Just shut up please,” Meez says irritably.
“Oh jeez, even you pms-ing now!” says Zee.
He ducks as Meez throws a punch his way.
Laughing he joins Amz and Sumayya, leaving Meez and I to walk together.
“He’s such an ass,” mutters Meez.
“You’re the same,” I mutter back.
“I know. But at least I’m a charming ass,” smirks Meez.
“Egoistic much!” I laugh, shoving him lightly.
“So,” he says after a short moment of silence. “Explain to me the saga.”
“Now?” I ask, a little surprised.
“Sure,” shrugs Meez. “Why not?”
“There’s so many people….” I say, trailing off.
“Come over to mines after school then,” he offers.
“I have to study,” I say. “After gym??”
“Yeah, that’s okay,” replies Meez.
Our conversation ends as we enter the classroom full of students, some studying, some messing around.
“So basically, some girl named Nuwaylah answered. Said she doesn’t know of any Dayyanah, and she’s gonna report me if I call her again,” I explain to Meez.
“I honestly have no idea who Nuwaylah is. But the number I gave you is Dayyanah’s, I swear.”
“Here, look,” he says, reaching for his phone.
I briefly read through their WhatsApp chats.
“So you guys met up more than once?” I ask, frowning.
“Only twice. The first time we didn’t really meet up, like, we didn’t plan -“
“The first time you saw her in a club?” I ask, cutting him off.
“Yeah,” he replies, avoiding my gaze.
“But she’s a kid. How did she get in?” I ask. “Even you. Don’t you have to be a certain age or something?”
“Look, don’t ask too many questions. I don’t know about her, but I have my ways,” Meez replies curtly, his mood changing slightly.
“Sorry,” I apologize. “So the second time -“
“The second time I met her to tell her about… about your dad’s passing.”
I inhale sharply.
“She knows?” I ask watching Meez intently.
“Yeah, I told her,” replies Meez.
“What did she say?” I ask, trying to keep my voice steady.
He doesn’t reply immediately.
“Meez?” I probe.
“She didn’t say anything… I don’t think… I don’t think,” he says eventually. “I don’t know, never mind.”
I watch him silently for a long time.
“What aren’t you telling me?” I ask finally.
He’s quiet for a long time.
“Please, Meez,” I plead with him, hoping he speaks.
He takes a deep breath, pauses, then says..
“She’s not who you remember, Dee. She’s not Dayyanah with the same hair length and bracelet on her wrist as you. She’s no longer the sister you ran from. I know you want to make up for your mistakes and rebuild your bond with her, but you must understand, she’s changed. In every single way, Dee. You’re not going to get the Dayyanah you know back. It might sound like unfeeling advice, but mine is, stay away. Stay away from her rather, Dee. Because the more you get to know the new her, the more your heart will break.”