Forty Five

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

So, I know I usually put my extra 10 cents at the end of the post, buuuut before you read this post, I’d like you’ll to know that this is the last post of Season 1.

Massive thank you to each and every one of you for coming this far with me. You are amazing and I hope you stay for the rest of the journey. 🙂

Keep spreading the word, liking, sharing and commenting. 

Also, I’ve updated the ‘Character Profiles’ page so check that out. Top left corner. Give it a like while you are there 😉

As to when Season 2 will commence, I’m not hundred percent sure at the moment, so the best way to make sure you don’t miss it when it does start, is to follow the blog. 

For now though, here’s Forty Five. 

Enjoy! ❤


As narrated by Dee:

First day back to school was nothing extraordinary. Being with my friends throughout the holiday, it wasn’t like I had looked forward to getting back to see them.

A few new rules and changes were made, as usual.

The grades were now separated into 3 classes, no more two. The worst part is that we are all together except for Meez!

There are two new additions to the Grade 10 class. Two boys. And they’re complete opposites. One seems to be the really studious and outgoing type. Nerdy glasses and all! The other dude has freckles and he is really shy. I don’t know much because they’re not in the same class as me and I usually just keep to myself at school.

As he does every single year, Zee didn’t attend. I don’t blame him though, this year he has a valid reason. He flew in late last night, from what I read on the group chat, and I’m pretty sure he needed extra sleep.

The tuck shop has also finally started selling sour jellybeans, and from the work load, I’m pretty sure it is the only thing that’s going to help me through this academic year.

All in all it was just a normal ‘first day’. Sure, there were the over dramatic holiday stories, the injuries, family additions, family deaths, but that’s all normal, isn’t it? And of course there were the super rich kids’ extravagant holiday narrations, because after all, deny it all you want, but everything in high school is about competition.

Scratch that, everything in life is about competition!

Everyone just wants to be better than the next person. And yet our Nabi (SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised us to look at those who have less and not those who have more, to be humble, to be simple, because we are merely travellers in this temporary world. If Allah has blessed someone else with more, so be it. Be happy for that person. Be happy for yourself, you will have less to answer to Allah!

When we got back home, after performing our Salaah, Amz and I ate lunch and then sat down to cover books and sort out other school related stuff.

Just as we are putting away our things, having completed, the doorbell rings. Amz looks at me.

“Uh, uh, I’m not getting it,” I say, shaking my head.

“I checked last time,” she replies.

The bell rings again, incessantly.

Oh, that’s either Meez or Zee, for sure! Only they ring the bell like that!

Excited to tease Zee about how sun burnt he is, I get up.

“‘Ello” I answer the intercom, even though I know it’s one of them.

“Hi, is this the book covering house?” asks a voice.

Zee! He’s marvelous at changing his voice, but he gave himself away by ringing the bell 500 times!

Playing along, I say, “No, I’m sorry. I think it’s number 13. The ladies name is Miss Jane.”

“Aaah, sorry about that, I must have confused number 3 and 13. Thank you for your help, ma’am.”

“That’s okay. Good luck with finding her though, because there isn’t even a number 13 in this complex,” I say before putting the intercom down and bursting into a fit of laughter.

Amaani walks over, frowning.

“What’s so funny?” she asks. “Is it the boys?”

“I think it’s only Zee,” I reply through my laughter. “He wants his books covered, but he’s playing a little prank.”

“What’d he say?” she asks, smiling.

As I’m telling her what happens, the bell sounds again.

“Wait, wait, let me get it this time,” Amz says excitedly.

Amaani: (changing her voice) Hello?

Amaani: Yes, this is Deeyanah. How may I help you?

Amaani: Yes, we do sell pizza, but only on Sunday nights.

I mouth to her, “Only vegetarian.”

Amaani: And only vegetarian pizzas.

When she doesn’t say anything for a long time, I raise an eyebrow at her.

Covering the mouth piece, grinning, she whispers, “Oupa.”

I clutch my stomach, laughter making my sides ache.


As narrated by Amaani:

I strain my ears to hear what’s going on.

I hear Meez tell Oupa, the security guard, to ask me why I’m not letting them in.

Oupa: Armarnee, why you not letting your boys in?

Me: Haai Oupa, what boys? That’s an old man asking me if I sell pizza! How he’s going to eat it with his false teeth, I don’t know! But he’s asking for pizza. Steak plus!

I hear them laugh in the background.

Me: I’m opening guys, but I ain’t got pizza!

“And we’re not covering books for you guys,” Dee yells next to me.

The afternoon passes quickly. Zee tells us about his extra week in Durban while I cover his books for him. Covering books isn’t my favourite thing but he has no idea how to cover a book neatly and it’ll only save his grandparents the trouble. Meez is surprisingly quiet, texting away on his phone. I remind myself to ask him if everything is okay.

By 6 o’clock, the boys leave. I warn Zee not to miss school again and as I intended, I manage to ask Meez is everything is okay without the others knowing. As I expected, he brushed it off and said that it’s nothing too serious. Little did we both know, had he told me, I might have been a little more prepared for Uncle Rashid’s call that night.

Dee was in the shower when I heard her phone ring. I didn’t answer the first time, seeing that it was her Uncle and I wasn’t sure as to why he was calling. However, after trying Dee’s cell 4 times, he called me.

Dee’s uncle has only ever called me, like, twice! And in both cases, only out of emergency. Slightly worried now, I answer hesitantly.

Me: Assalaamualaikum.

Uncle Rashid: Wa’alaykum Salaam. Is this Amaani?

Me: Jee it is.

Uncle Rashid: Is Deeyanah there? I tried calling her but she isn’t picking up. (Why is he talking so fast?)

Me: Jee, she’s just in the shower, is it anything important? (My heart is suddenly pounding and I’m not sure if I want to hear his reply.)

Uncle Rashid: You might want to tell her to hurry up in the shower.. (A feeling of dread washes over me)

Me: What’s going on? Is everything okay?

Uncle Rashid: It’s Daanyaal.

No, no, no!

Uncle Rashid: He’s just been admitted into hospital.

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Forty Four

As narrated by Zee:

I’m rudely awakened at 11:00 am by my 9 year old brother, Muaaz, jumping on my bed.

“Muaaazooo,” I groan, pulling the duvet over my head.

“Ziyaaadooo,” he laughs excitedly. “Time to wake up.”

Sticking my hand out from under the duvet, I grab his leg.

He falls on top of me with a humph.

“Wanna wrestle, lighty?” I  ask, tackling him.

And just as I expected, he goes for my hair.

“Muaaaaz! Not my hair!” I scream, trying to move his hands away.

“1..2..3,” he counts, hitting the pillow my head rests on.

“Yaaaaaass!” he screams. “I win!”

“No, you broke the rules! So I win,” I say, running my fingers through my hair in an attempt to neaten it.

“You’re such a girl,” he says, laughing hysterically.

I smile then. As annoying as he is, I love this kid.

“Can you hurry up and get out of bed so we can play FIFA?” asks Muaaz.

I groan, hiding my head under my pillow.

“Okay, I’m coming just now,” I lie.

A knock on the door sounds and Humairah walks in.

I pull my duvet higher, covering myself properly. Probably should have worn a T-shirt!

Ever since we haven’t been staying together, when we are around each other, we’re a lot more self conscious and respectful. I just feel that if she’s taking the effort to dress decently in front of me, I should play my part correctly too. And it’s not like we’re little kids anymore.

“Salaaaam brother bear,” she greets with a smile, opening the curtains and windows.

I shoot her an annoyed look. “Do you have to?!” I grumble.

“It’s like half past 11 and you’re still in bed!” she says.

“It’s only 11,” I mumble.

“Your breakfast is getting cold,” she points out.

“I’m coming,” I reply as she walks out.

“What time does Naani wake you up?” asks Muaaz, sitting at the foot of my bed.

“She doesn’t,” I reply, smiling. “I can wake up whatever time I want to.”

“Bet you somma just sleep through the whole weekend in that case,” he says.

“If I didn’t have to wake up for food, I probably would do that!” I say, laughing.

“And Salaah,” he points out.

Wow, they’re training this lil guy well. 

“Yeah buddy,  that’s the main,” I say, stretching my hand out to him for a high five.

“Ziyaaaad, Muaaaz,” my mum calls.

“Jeeee?” we call back.

“Breakfast is getting cold,” she says.

“Comiiing,” we reply in unison.

After brushing my teeth, I make my bed and then go to the kitchen for breakfast.

Greeting my mum, I sit down at the table.

“Woooow, like, I know I eat a lot but you guys made enough breakfast to feed me for breakfast, lunch and supper!” I say.

“That’s the whole point,” says Humairah.

“Is this how you guys do Sundays?” I ask, slightly horrified. “Make a huge breakfast and then no food for the rest of the day?”

“I wish it was that easy, but with the way your brother and father eat, we have no choice but to cook 3 full meals!” mum says, laughing.

“Bro, you’re a little young for that, don’t you think?” I ask, winking at him.

He grins at me, his mouth stuffed with chocolate pancake.

After a hearty breakfast, I shower and get dressed.

As I promised, I play FIFA with Muaaz till Zuhr.

Together, we then go to the Masjid for Jamaat. I get to meet some of Muaaz’s friends and I am pretty impressed. These kids seem to have their lives in more order than I do! Simple ouz, no fancy hairstyles, all dressed in kurtas.

After lunch, Humairah offered to take us out but mum had things to do and I wasn’t too keen myself. My flight was tonight and I just wanted to take today easy and spend as much quality time as I could with my family.

I played soccer with Muaaz, baked cupcakes and messed around in the kitchen with Humairah, packed my bags with mum, and when dad came home from work, we all played board games together.

And at 10:00 pm when it was time to leave, I felt a mixture of contentment and sadness.

Although you could tell that he was super tired, Muaaz insisted on coming to the airport with Dad.

After gratefully accepting the advice dad always gives me, I pull Muaaz into a fierce hug. I remind him to look after Humairah and not to trouble mum and dad. Wishing me luck with Grade 10, he tells me one thing, “Be good.”

“Yeah, yeah, big bro,” I laugh, giving him one last hug.

Dad did an online check in for me, so now I just have to kill time till the flight. Grabbing a coffee, I pull out my phone.

WhatsApp Group Chat:

Me: On my way hoooome, losers.

Sumayya: Wat tyms ur flyt?

Me: 11:10

Meez: u at the airport bro?

Me: Yeah, w8in for flight

Meez: Cool, see u in while

Me: u guyz coming airport?

Sumayya: I’m out at d momnt but I’ll let u knw

Meez: yeah im coming with ur grandad

Me: where u loafing S?

Me: Thanks buddy

Sumayya: Bowling with the bro 

Sumayya: *Picture*

Me: Have fun 🙂

Amz: Travel safe Zee. We’ll see u tmrw, going to lala land now. Dee is already asleep.

Me: Okay sweet dreams 🙂

*Ding!* Attention. This is a pre-boarding announcement for flight 67F, Kulula airlines. We are now inviting those passengers with small children, and any passengers requiring special assistance, to begin boarding at this time. Please have your boarding pass and identification ready. Regular boarding will begin in approximately ten minutes time. Thank you.

15 minutes later, having finally boarded, I snap the view from my window and send it to Humairah along with a text, ‘Boarded Alhmdl.’

She replies immediately, “Alhmdl. Read your duaas.”

Smiling, I do as she says, fasten my seat belt, and watch the hive of important activity through the window.

Popping a gum into my mouth, I wait anxiously for take off.

Holidays are officially over.

Forty Three

As narrated by Sumayya:

School starts tomorrow.

After the roadtrip though, I just want to, like, be on holiday for the rest of my life! We returned a week ago so I can’t really complain about needing sleep or anything.

Grade 10 feels like, Oh, I’m finally getting somewhere, only three more years to pass. But, it also feels like a really good time to give up. Like, my brain is finished!

Thing is, with Grade 10, since you get to choose subjects, it’s like you’re partially doing what you want to. And my parents are pretty chilled. They said I could take whatever subjects I wanted to.

Being the traveller that I am, I obviously went for Tourism, along with Geography and History.

I always enjoyed Science but after seeing what Hamza goes through, having taken Physical Sciences and Life Sciences, I was like nope! Definitely not putting myself into that!

Speaking of Hamza, he’s doing matric this year. However, if you met him, or even just spoke to him for that matter, you’d never think so.

I guess the relaxed, calm genes just run in our family. And yeah, that sometimes becomes a problem!

My parents have also decided that I should start going to madrassah during the afternoon. I’m still not too happy about that but I don’t have much of a choice. Mum said it’ll only do me good, so I guess I should change my mindset.

Another thing I really need to start doing is disciplining myself and going to the gym regularly. Having broken a collarbone and a wrist, as well as fracturing my leg, all in only 14 years mind you, the doctors keep on telling me how important it is to restrengthen and keep my muscles working, or else they’ll get lazy which will result in dormant muscles and unnecessary pain when I need to use them. So, I seriously need to make a plan about that.

I think the only reason my muscles haven’t become dormant is because I travel so much. Being out and about, climbing mountains, hiking to the top of waterfalls, that’s all exercise. But, I usually come back with a new injury, so gym really is the best idea right now!

I was really, like, getting into the whole resolution things this year. I even went to the extent of researching ways to keep up your new year resolutions! Believe it or not, some of the suggestions were actually really good. I really liked the one that said, “Plan realistically.” It almost made me drop the gym thought, because I mean, seriously, me? At the gym? Doesn’t sound very realistic, does it?!

It’s crazy though, isn’t it, how at the beginning of the year, we make so many resolutions, with so much of determination, positive energy and bravery. Come February and it’s all gone down the drain, usually washed away by laziness, stress, lack of motivation and sometimes just a ‘no-care’ attitude.

But I am going to try, because at the end of the day, I believe that effort does count.


As narrated by Hamza:

You know how on the last day of the holidays, your parents give you that ‘prep talk’ for the year ahead and they tell you to go to bed at 10:00 pm latest so that you can wake up easily at 6:00 am the next day for school? Well, my parents do that. And obviously, like most children , we do the complete opposite! I mean, c’mon! It is the last day of the holidays after all.

Sumayya needed a few books for school that she still hadn’t got, so, using that as an excuse, we went out at around 9:30 pm.

After buying what she needed (and quite a few other unnecessary things!), we stopped at Mug & Bean for coffee. A conversation of much needed brother-sister catch up flowed. It felt good talking to Sumayya about things I didn’t feel comfortable talking to friends about. The only thing is, because she’s so dramatic, we sometimes attract weird stares. But it’s cool because she’s awesome like that. I mean, she’s my sister after all! 😉

We then went bowling which was super awesome. And yeah, Sumayya beat me. If you play with Sumayya, you don’t really stand a chance of winning. Unless you’re Rameez Varachia!

We only ended up going home at 11:00 pm! After helping Sumayya cover her books that she bought, we parted ways to our own bedrooms.

Climbing into bed, the realization hit me full force.

Tomorrow, I start my matric year.

Forty Two

As narrated by Amaani:

Our week in Durban flew by.

Ushaka Marine World.. Gateway.. Ice skating.. Horseriding.. we’d done it all. Too soon however, we found ourselves readying our things to return to Jo’burg. And not only did we cart back much more luggage, we left with many new memories too.

As planned, Zee stayed behind at his family’s home and did not travel back with us. And yes, the journey was amazing! 😉 He would return by flight in a few days time.

We all slept for most of the journey, exhaustion finally overtaking us.

Back home now, I unpacked my suitcases and then started on Dee’s.

How Dee manages to fit all her things in one suitcase is beyond my understanding! But hey, I’m not complaining, because I usually have to unpack for her or it will never get done!

Just as I finish unpacking, the doorbell rings.

Yes! Pizza is here!

A few minutes later, it sounds again.

“DEE, GET THE DOOR!” I yell from upstairs, zipping up the bags.

No answer.

“DEEYANAAAH?!”

The bell sounds for a third time.

Oh for goodness sake!  

I rush downstairs, hoping the delivery man is still there.

Thankfully, he is, and our pizza hasn’t decomposed yet.

I collect the order and close the door behind me.

The warm box in my hand and the appetizing aroma escaping from it makes my stomach grumble.

I am so ready to eat this!

But first..

“DEEYANAH MAHO-”

She walks in then, headphones over her ears, eyes glued to her phone screen, not even glancing my way.

Well, she obviously didn’t come because she heard me yelling.

Smirking, I pick up the box of pizza, wave at her and walk towards the stairs, heading for my room.

Now madam seems to notice me!

Pausing her video, she pulls off her headphones and follows me.

“Did you order pizza?” asks Dee.

“Only for myself, yes,” I reply, taking the stairs two at a time.

“What do you mean only for yourself?! There’s two of us in this house!” she says.

“Doesn’t seem like that when the bell rings,” I point out.

I close my room door but she sticks her foot in the way before I can shut it fully.

“Go away, I’m not sharing,” I say, pushing against the door from the inside.

But she remains standing there.

“My pizza is getting cold,” I complain.

“It will help both of us if you’d just let me come in and eat with you,” she says, faking a sweet smile.

“No, go away!” I reply. “Would have helped me if you got the bell when it rang but I didn’t see you do that.”

“Fine! Eat yourself! Get fat by yourself! I don’t care!” she says, exasperated.

She moves her foot and I lock the door.

Haha. She is so annoyed!

Sitting down on my bed, I put my phone on the pedestal and open the box of pizza.

Oooh yum!


As narrated by Dee:

Notice how ‘Amaani’ and ‘Annoying’ both start with A? Coincidence? I think not!

Flopping down on my bed, I speed dial Meez.

Voicemail.

Well, that’s just great!

I get up and go to the window.

Leaning my head against the thick glass, I look out at the brightly lit dark night.

My eyes scan the horizon. I watch people walk, robots change, cars move.

“BOO!”

My heart jumps, a scream escaping my mouth.

“What is wrong with you?!” I yell, turning around.

Successfully scaring the crap out of me, Amz is now on the floor, laughing uncontrollably.

“Oh my word, that was SO good!” she says before bursting into a another streak of mad laughter.

I roll my eyes and walk out of my room.

I’m usually the one scaring Amaani and it’s irresistible because you barely ever fail.

But I’ll give it to her this time. She got me good.

Smiling to myself, I go downstairs. I still haven’t had supper and I’m starving!

Flipping the switch on the kettle, I take out a mug to make myself some coffee.

“Coffee isn’t supper,” Amaani says, walking into the kitchen with the box of pizza.

“Would have been nice if you shared your pizza,” I mutter.

“I’m just doing what you do to me, like every day,” she says, smirking.

I roll my eyes, helping myself to a piece of pizza.

“It’s cold now,” I say irritably, putting it back into the box.

Amz puts it onto a plate and warms it in the microwave.

After I eat, we wash out the few dishes, switch off the lights, and head upstairs.

Even though I slept most of the way back, I’m exhausted and decide to call it a night.

Once under my duvet, I check my phone as of habit.

3 new messages from Zee.

1 new message from Meez.

I open Meez’s message first.

It reads: Sry missed ur call. was busy. call u 2mrw

Well.. o-k-a-yyy!

Ignoring the abruptness of his message, I text back: Okay, no probz 🙂 

Opening my chat with Zee, I read the messages.

Zee: Howdyoo 🙂

Zee: How you doing? 

Zee: How was the journey back?

Me: Heyy! 🙂

Me: Tired maahn, urside?

Me: Eyyyh, all I’m saying is you weren’t there soo… ;p

After a quick scroll through my Instagram timeline, I put my phone down and switch off my bedside lamp.

I’d just dozed off when I sense Amaani in the room.

“Dee,” she whispers.

“Hmm..”

“Don’t forget to read your duaas,” she says softly.

“Hmm..”

I smile.

A few minutes pass and I can still feel her presence. Opening my eyes slightly, I see her crouched at the side of my bed, watching me.

A small smile plays on her lips, but I’m too tired to notice the hint of sadness in her eyes.

She pushes my hair out of my face, I close my eyes and fall into a deep sleep.

Forty One

As narrated by Zee:

Squad is heading off home tomorrow. I’ll be spending few more days with my parents as planned. We don’t really have any plans as such. I think just to be with them is good enough and I’m in no hurry to get back, yet. I really do like it here in Durban, just not as a place to settle, to live.

We’re currently sitting at a bench outside Milky Lane, waiting for our orders. We all just ordered ice-cream so that we could go and sit on the sand and eat.

Sumayya is snap-chatting snaps of Meez but he doesn’t even seem to notice. Too busy playing Candy Crush!

Dee is simply sitting, forehead resting on the table. Wonder what’s going on in her little head..

As for Amz..! She’s listening intently to a small girl, who randomly came up to her a few minutes ago and asked her how come she’s so pretty. It was so adorable but I’m genuinely confused as to how such a small kid knows what pretty looks like.

As far as I knew, girls only start caring about what they look like when they hit two digits. Clearly not! This kid is 4 and she already knows that she wants to be pretty like Amaani!

And now she’s just casually sitting on Amaani’s lap, talking nonstop as if they’ve been best friends their whole life.

“Hey, Dee,” I whisper, pulling at the bobble of her beanie.

“Yeah?” she asks, looking up with a smile.

“You’ve been replaced.” I smirk, motioning towards Amaani and the cute kid.

“Who’s that?” she asks,  frowning.

I roll my eyes. Dee is forever in her own world!

Our ice-creams arrive and we get up to leave.

But Amaani’s new friend refuses to leave her!

Eventually, Amz bought her a kiddies waffle, even though her parents insisted she shouldn’t, gave a tight hug and we left.

I’m pretty sure if Sumayya didn’t tell the kid that, “Amaani is only so pretty because she doesn’t cry,” that kid would have thrown a full on tantrum there and then!

Amaani scolded Sumayya for saying that though. Something about how that kid is going to remember those words when she gets older and bla bla bla.

Girls and all their unnecessary drama!


As narrated by Dee:

The moon shines down brightly, lighting up the dark ocean, overpowering the various huge wattage lights all around.

I close my eyes, the sound of the crashing waves calming me as I sink my toes a little deeper into the soft sand. A gentle breeze blows, shaking the leaves of huge palm trees as it moves through them.

We sit in silence, comfortable silence, each of us in our own little world.  It’s just us – Meez, Zee, Sumayya, Amz, and myself.

And although the beach is bustling around us, I feel an enigmatic feeling.. a feeling of what I would think is freedom

Growing up in a house with an abusive, alcoholic father, freedom is a rare feeling.. You constantly feel at edge because you never know what’s about to happen.

You can never tell when the intoxicants will take over, when rage will flow from the lips.. the hands.. the feet.. of the man who should look after you, the man who should love you,  who should protect you..

You never know when you will be on the receiving side of that rage.

And so, some live in constant fear, never daring to be at ease.

And others, like me..

run.