The engagement – Part 1…
As narrated by Dee:
“I need clothes! Amz! I don’t have anything to wear! Get up!” I exclaim, all in one breath.
A giggle erupts from under the duvets and I scowl.
“What’s so funny?!” I huff, tugging at the duvet to reveal a grinning Amz.
“What do you mean you have nothing to wear?” asks Amz, sitting up and pulling the duvet around her.
Moving away from the bed, I fling open my cupboard doors and look pointedly at Amz.
“Those blue jeans you usually wear with that white T looks good,” she remarks, picking up her phone.
“Are you mad?!” I gasp in horror. “I can’t wear that in front of Aunty Fahmida! It’s so tight!”
“Stop it!” I shout, when she tries to stifle her laughter unsuccessfully once again.
“Sorry, sorry!” she says, turning serious “How about that green jumper?”
“No way! It’s so short!” I exclaim, placing it against my body to show her.
“All your stuff is around that length,” Amz says thoughtfully, frowning.
“Exactly! So what am I going to wear?!” I ask.
Amz lips twitch.
“NOTHING IS FUNNY! STOP LAUGHING!” I yell, flinging the jumper onto the bed.
Amz dissolves into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.
“Oh god,” I mumble, feeling tears prick my eyes.
Sliding against the cupboard door, I sit down heavily, dropping my head into my hands.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” laughs Amz.
I hear her get up and walk towards me.
“It’s just so funny,” says Amz, sitting down next to me and squeezing my shoulder. “How you’re freaking out. It’s just Zee’s family! You’ve known them since forever, it’s going to be fine! You need to chill!”
“You are not helping,” I say, looking up and glaring at her.
“Hey! Don’t cry!” she gasps, seeing my teary eyes. “I’m sorry. I won’t laugh anymore. It’s just funny because 3 days ago you couldn’t be bothered about what to wear and now you’re freaking out – for the same people!”
“Yeah well that time it was different,” I mutter, wiping my eyes.
That time Zee was just my friend. Aunty Fahmida was simply my friend’s mother. Humairah was my friend’s sister.
Now there was a whole new dimension to it!
“I should have went shopping!” I say in regret, looking through my clothes again. “What am I going to do?!”
“Let me wash and brush and I’ll come see what we can do,” says Amz, squeezing my shoulder gently again before getting up.
I retie the strings of my toweling gown and reach for my phone.
Tapping in my password, I open WhatsApp and read through my messages, then scroll for a bit through my social media.
5 minutes later, Amz walks out of the bathroom, looking much fresher.
“I thought you’d have my coffee ready by now,” she jokes, pulling her long brown hair into a messy bun.
“I’m thinking.. Sumayya and you are the same size, isn’t?” says Amz, picking up her phone.
“Yeah, more or less,” I say.
“Maybe you can borrow something of hers?” suggests Amz.
“Okay, let me call her and see while you get your coffee,” I say.
Amz exists the room and I ring up Sumayya.
“Assalamu Alaykum,” greets her sleepy voice.
“You’re sleeping?!” I gasp. “Wa Alaykum Salaam. You need to get up right now. I have a dilemma.”
“What happened? Are you fine?” she asks instantly, much more awake now.
Despite not knowing her for as many years as Amz, often I find myself realizing just how much I love Sumayya.
“I’m fine, just at the end of my nerves thinking about this afternoon,” I say.
“Oh thank goodness!” she breathes. “What’s the dilemma then? I’m guessing you need shoes?”
“Worse,” I groan. “I need clothes.”
“Ooh, do I get to dress you for your engagement?!” she asks excitedly, all traces of sleep now gone.
“Yeah, but you need to bring clothes too, please,” I say. “Whatever you think will suit me. Not something too fancy but like -”
“Yeah, yeah, I know! I’ve got you sorted, don’t stress,” she says with a yawn. “Can you give me half an hour?”
I glance at the time.
“Yeah that should be good,” I say.
“Perfect, see you then.”
“Yes, yes, yes! This one! You look amazing!” squeals Sumayya, clapping her hands in glee as I slip into what seems like the hundredth outfit, which happens to be a dress.
“Are you sure?” I ask, eyeing myself from every angle possible in front of the mirror, unconvinced.
“Amz!” hollers Sumayya. “I think we’ve got it.”
I hear Amz footsteps as they draw closer.
She enters the room and then stops abruptly, spotting me.
“Oh my god, yes!” she gasps, her eyes shining. “You look amazing!”
“Who knew Dee could rock a dress!” she teases.
“I know right,” says Sumayya, beaming. “I’m not taking this one back. It looks better on her than it does on me!”
“Oh shush you guys,” I say, suddenly feeling shy. “Are you sure I don’t look too…”
“Too what?” they ask in unison.
“I don’t know,” I shrug, surveying myself in the mirror again. “Too.. like..”
“Gorgeous?” asks Sumayya. “Hell yeah. You do look too gorgeous!”
“Sumayyyaaaa!” I exclaim.
“Too… different,” I say a moment later, finally finding the right word.
“You do,” says Amz truthfully. “But good different.”
“Come on now, we’re not completely done! You need shoes! And your hair! What are we doing with your hair?”
“Urm, did you bring shoes? I don’t own sandals.. nor pumps,” I admit, wincing slightly.
“You are ridiculous, honestly!” says Sumayya, opening a bag containing a couple of shoes. “I hope something fits!”
Another half an hour later, and I’m fully ready – top to toe.
“Right, now you can look,” says Sumayya, steering me by my shoulders to the mirror.
I lift my gaze and stare in surprise, the girl in the mirror someone I barely recognize.
The reality of everything hits me.. subtly, gently.
“Oh my god guys. Whose idea was this?” I ask in a whisper.
“Your heart’s,” Amz replies, just as softly. “And it was a damn good idea.”