Due to circumstances, today’s post, as well as next week Saturday’s post will be going up in the comments section. I will put up two blank posts now and each post will be put in the respective comment section. Posts will be posted by Khan1204.
Hanifa, this one is for you. Couldn’t believe when I saw you guessed correctly, because I didn’t even put hints! Well done! 👏💕
Have a super Saturday! 🌸
Troubled Illusioner. ❤
As narrated by Dee:
“Yeah?” asks Meez, squinting slightly against the sunlight.
I take a deep a breath, my heart racing.
“I.. urrm, you and Dayyanah…” I start, unsure how to phrase my question. “You’ve been.. in touch with her, haven’t you?”
“Yeah. I have. A little,” he replies slowly, watching me carefully.
“So.. can I.. urm, do you.. you have her number, right?” I stutter nervously.
He frowns, not answering me immediately.
“I do, yes.”
“Can I.. could you.. perhaps.. give it to me?” I ask, avoiding his gaze.
He doesn’t say anything and I glance up anxiously.
“I.. well, yeah, sure,” he says, sounding very unsure!
“I’ll forward it to you on WhatsApp, that fine?”
“Yeah,” I reply, shrugging.
“Thanks,” I add awkwardly, a moment later.
I walk back home, wondering why Meez didn’t seem so keen to fulfill my request.. wondering if I had maybe made a mistake in asking..
In life, there are some moments, which you just never forget. Like meeting a goal you’ve put your all into. Losing someone you love to death. Making your parents proud. Breaking a fear. Looking at someone and knowing you’ve found your soulmate.
And with unforgettable moments, come unforgettable feelings. Like the peace you feel when praying in solitude. The sense of accomplishment you feel on achieving what you strove for. The darkness of depression you feel at knowing that you will never see someone you love again. The stabbing feeling of betrayal, knowing that your sister, your own blood, wants nothing to do with you.
“Dee, I hate to be the one to say it to you…”
“She said that she doesn’t want anything to do with you…”
Meez’s voice rings in my ears, full of apology, for what is not even his fault.
The words are loud and clear, as if he is standing right next to me and speaking.
And now too, such a long time later, what I feel, as it sinks in, is betrayal.
Raw, unfiltered betrayal.
Does she really?? Does my sister, my twin sister, really not want anything to do with me?? After all we’ve been through together??
Unable to swallow the bitter pill, I find myself right back at square one.
The blame game.
It’s my fault.
I ruined our relationship.
Of course she doesn’t want anything to do with me.
Who would, anyway?
I end up standing under the shower for a little longer than usual. Partially to rejuvenate myself after this mornings run, and partially because I’d been lost in thought.
After eventually shutting off the water (and my thoughts), I get dressed and make my bed.
I yell at Amz to hurry up in the shower before heading downstairs to make myself some breakfast.
Before long Uncle Ismaeel is hooting outside and we’re rushing out.
“Dee, your geography book is on the chair,” Amz yells from the dining room.
“I don’t have geog today,” I yell back. “I’ve got your lunch bag with me.”
Amz exits the house a second later, locking up behind her.
We climb into the car, greeting.
“So what did you bribe him with, Deeyanah?” Uncle Ismaeel asks after replying our greeting.
“Huh?” I ask, confused.
“Heard you took Rameez on a run this morning,” says Uncle Ismaeel.
“Ohhh!” I reply, grinning.
Meez rolls his eyes.
“I didn’t bribe him,” I reply truthfully.
“Maybe he’s not well,” Uncle Ismaeel muses seriously.
I laugh and Meez rolls his eyes again.
“I’m never going on a run again if you’ll going to give me this much grief about it!” grumbles Meez.
We pick up Zee and Sumayya and finally make our way to school.
“See you’ll in a bit,” waves Sumayya, heading off to her tourism class.
We wave back and make our way to the science lab for biology.
Walking a little slower, Zee and I fall behind Amz and Meez.
“Let me carry these for you,” offers Zee, taking my file and lunch bag from me.
“Thank you,” I say to him, smiling.
He smiles back, his eyes shining.
“How was the run?” asks Zee.
“A bit tiring, but good. I feel like I’ve been up since 5 hours already but it’s just been 3,” I say.
“Did you sleep well last night?”
“The usual,” I reply with a sigh.
“Give it some time,” says Zee.
“It’s been almost a whole week,” I point out bitterly.
“It’s understandably going to take longer. You seen your mother and then, unexpectedly, Dayy the next day.”
“I guess,” I say, shrugging.
“Speaking of Dayy…” I hesitantly add a moment later, lowering my tone.
“I need advice.”
“But, not now,” I continue, glancing at Meez walking further in front of us.
Zee frowns questioningly.
“I’ll explain,” I say. “After school.”
“I… I want to make amends. I want to make up for all the mistakes I’ve made. I.. I’m not.. content. I’m not at peace with myself.. my past. But.. I want to be. And, I.. I just feel.. that this is what I need to do. This is the next step I need to take…”
“But.. after that day..” I trail off, remembering how Dayy had turned on her heel and fled the moment I moved towards her.
Zee and I are sitting together under the large tree in his backyard. Despite being in the shade, we’re not safe from the blistering heat.
A plate of chicken and avocado wraps sits between us, next to a jug of cold water and two glasses.
I pull at the strands of grass in front of me, keeping my gaze cast downward, too anxious to meet Zee’s watchful eyes.
“That’s what’s stopping you, right?” Zee asks quietly. “The possible rejection.”
I look up. Our gazes lock and for a long moment I can’t seem to look away.
But then a bird flies down from the tree, getting my attention.
I turn to glance at it briefly, nodding my head in way of answer to Zee’s question.
“Well, you’ll never know until you try it,” Zee says in a quirky way, trying to lighten the mood.
I give him a half-smile and add, “And there is no time like the present… to eat!”
Zee rolls his eyes, grins, and reaches for a wrap.
My hands are shaking uncontrollably, my heart pounding against my rib cage.
Taking a deep breath, trying to calm down, I tap the call button.
It takes everything in me to patiently listen to the ringing tone and not cut the call.
My heart races as it rings..
A tiny part of me prays that she doesn’t pick up, that we don’t have to go through with this call, but a greater part begs her to answer, to give me one more chance. Just one more chance. To fix up. To mend what I’ve broken.
I try again, and then again, but she doesn’t pick up.
‘Maybe she’s busy…’ I comfort myself.
‘Or maybe she’s just not picking up…’ says the voice in my head.
Disappointment closing in on me, I shove my phone under my pillow and head downstairs to do my homework.
Later that night, as I lay in bed, troubled illusions filling my mind and making it difficult to sleep, I reach for my phone.
‘I’ll just try one more time..’ I tell myself.
Trying not to get my hopes up, I put my phone to my ear.
But once again it simply rings.
And then, just as I’m about to disconnect, a voice comes through.
*To reread the post in which Meez told Dee about Dayy click here.
MEEZ: Ok I’ll consider and let you know tomorrow morning
ME: Your head you’ll “consider”
ME: We’re going
ME: Make sure you up and ready
MEEZ: You’re the worst gym partner ever 😭😂
ME: I know 😝
The next day – 5:30 am.
Cupping my hands under the flowing water, I let the water collect before washing my face thoroughly.
The blissful hot water caresses my arms next, and finally my feet.
After completing my wudhu, I dry my limbs before laying out my musalla (prayer mat).
I perform my Fajr Salaah (early morning prayer) and raise my hands.
With an aching heart, my mind still fresh with images of a nightmare that had just passed, I pray.
I pray for Paapa.. for his forgiveness.
I pray for Maama.. for her health – mental, physical, emotional.
I pray for Dayyanah.. for her safety – unsure as to whether she sleeps under a roof at night or not.
I pray for Daanyaal.. that his future be a bright and beautiful one.
I pray for myself.. for happiness, true happiness, unlimited happiness.
And then, as I fold up my musalla, I push it all away.
The sight of Maama’s tired black eyes, burning into mine, silently begging me to think rationally. The image of her shaking hands as they try to grab me, to stop me..
Daanyaal’s soft whimpers of fear, the sight of his eyes, shining with fear that no child his age should ever have to feel..
Dayyanah’s silence, so loud that it pierces my eardrums and splits my heart, the unfiltered emotions in her eyes, pleading with me, beseeching me, almost daring me to leave..
The sound of the front door slamming, the stark terror that overtakes me, and then the blinding feeling to run.. Just run.
Dayyanah is right behind me as I step out into the blackness of the night.
“You’re going to regret this all your life, Deeyanah,” she says.
Her voice is low, but I hear each word clearly, as they tattoo themselves into my mind.
That’s the last thing I hear Dayyanah say, before the sound of my feet pounding against the ground reaches my ears.
But the further I go, the faster I run, it does nothing to take away her words, it does nothing to erase the image of Maama’s pleading eyes, it does nothing to silence Daanyaal’s cries, and it does nothing to wipe away my fear.
Slowly, carefully, not wanting to hurt myself further, I collect them, each moment, each memory, and place them inside a box. Then, I shut the lid, turn the key and bury it deep into the crevices of my mind.
Taking a deep breath, I place my steel armour around my heart and say to myself, “Today is going to be a good day.”
I tie up my shoes, grab a sunhat, my phone, and the empty bottle on my pedestal.
I peek in on Amz before switching off the alarm and going downstairs.
After filling the empty water bottle, I put it into the fridge and take out an already cold one. Grabbing two energy bars and an apple, I take my keys off the hook and head out.
The early morning spring air, warm at the approach of summer days, instantly makes me feel completely awake. There’s something about early morning spring air that’s just so beautiful!
Chirping birds all around me, I make my way towards Meez’s place, hoping his up and ready!
But of course, when I call him 8 minutes later, he’s only waking up.
“‘lo,” answers his sleepy voice.
“Goooood morning sleepy head! You have 3 minutes to get your self outside. Time starts now.”
“Huh?” comes his confused reply.
Shaking my head, I cut the call and ring him back.
“Oh god, we’re really going on a run?” he groans, sounding a little more awake this time.
“Yes we are! Hurry up! I’m waiting outside your house,” I say to him.
“Oh don’t be daft! You can come in, you know.”
“Actually, you know what,” he grumbles a second later. “Stay outside. I’m not opening for you. Might as well go back home!”
“Come onnn, Meez!” I laugh. “You don’t have to let me in, but just get your self out.”
“Do I have to?” he asks, yawning.
“Yes!! Make it snappy! Time is going!” I say impatiently.
“Alright, alright,” he mumbles. “This better be worth it.”
While I wait for Meez, I text Amz, remembering that I had forgotten to tell her I’d be going out.
I scroll through my social media for while before checking the time.
I’ll give him three more minutes…
7 minutes (and lots of complaining from Meez) later, we’re on the run.
Earphones plugged in, feet pounding against the asphalt, we take a turn onto a quieter road which apparently eventually leads to an open field, according to google maps!
Running together for the first time, our pace doesn’t match and we’re totally out of sync. But we don’t bother to fix that just yet.
Before long, my muscles are screaming and my breath is laboured.
I slow down before stopping completely.
Meez runs past me without pause.
“Unfit slug!” he shouts over his shoulder, smirking.
I roll my eyes.
The open field is up ahead and taking a deep breath I make it my goal.
However, not wanting to overexert myself, I go at a light jog instead of a run.
“Who’s coming to fetch us?” asks Meez, squinting up at me from where he lays on the grass.
Laughing, I collapse on the grass next to him.
“No one,” I reply, drinking my water.
“Great!” mutters Meez.
Grinning, I toss him an energy bar and unwrap my own one.
We sit in silence for a while, neither of us saying anything.
The sun has come up and its rays shine through the clouds creating a beautiful effect.
“I’ve got an apple too, if you’d like,” I offer.
“Nah, I’m good. Thanks,” he says, sitting up.
He checks the time on his phone before laying back down on the grass.
“Imagine, I could have been sleeping in my warm, soft bed right now,” Meez says lazily.
I roll my eyes and lay down on the grass too, looking up at the cloudy sky.
“How’s the emotions?” Meez asks after a moment. “Settling?”
“Hmmm..” I reply, placing my sunhat over my face. “Not really..”
Every single damn night.
“Hmm..” I reply again. “Expected it, though.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asks gently.
“No,” I reply automatically.
“Have you talked about it?”
“Well Amz had to wake me up couple times soo… yeah, guess I kinda did..” I reply.
“You still haven’t given me a good reason as to why you won’t see a psychologist, you know?”
He turns onto his side and pulls my cap off my face.
“Hey!” I protest, sitting up.
Meez sits up too, facing me.
“I’m going to get sunburn,” I say, looking at my cap in his hand.
“The sun’s not even up yet,” replies Meez, rolling his eyes.
“If I sunburn I’ll never find a husband,” I say with fake seriousness, putting on a grave expression.
He raises an eyebrow and we both burst out laughing.
We sit for a while longer, talking about random things before Meez gets up.
“We should get going,” he says, stretching.
“It’s only half six,” I say, checking the time on my phone.
“It’ll take us 20 minutes to get back since we’re walking, not running. And not all of us can take 5 minute showers!”
“Alright,” I say idly, making no move to get up.
“Come on,” says Meez, stretching out his hand.
Shoving my phone into my pocket, I grab his hand and get up.
We reach Meez’s place some time later, and by then my body is liking the idea of a longer than 5 minute shower more!
“So, it was worth it, right?” I ask as we stop at the gate.
“Welllll… I meeeaaan…” drawls Meez.
“Oh shush! Don’t deny it!” I say, punching him lightly.
“Yeah it was great. Except the waking up and getting out of bed part!”
“I think we should run once a week for now and then split gyming over three other days of the week,” he adds thoughtfully.
“Yeah, we’ll see how it goes,” I say, a little distracted.
“Alright, I’ll see you in a bit,” greets Meez, opening the gate.
I watch as he walks off, my mind suddenly spinning.
“Sumayya, can you do my eyeliner for me, please?” asks Tayyibah, walking into my room.
“Okay madam! Just a moment,” I reply, pinning my hijab into place.
Once I’m sure it’s secure, I grab my eyeliner and make Taybs sit on my bed.
Kneeling, I doll her up a bit, before touching up my own masacara and lipstick.
After grabbing my bag and triple checking my appearance, I go Tayyibah’s room to see how she’s doing.
She walks out, dressed and ready, just as I walk in.
“How do I look?” she asks, grinning at me.
“Perrrfect!” I reply, grinning back as I adjust the flowers in her hair.
“What about me?” Hamza’s voice comes from behind me.
I turn around and scan his attire.
“You look handsome, bhai (brother)!” says Taybs.
“Please don’t come back with a bride of your own!” I laugh.
“Well Taybs is pulling off the bridesmaid thing pretty well, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind doing it again,” replies Hamza, winking at her.
She grins, happy at receiving a compliment from Hamza.
We head to the car and get in carefully, not wanting to spoil our outfits.
Thankfully there is no traffic and we get to the hall sooner than expected.
Balancing baking in one hand, I lift my dress slightly and head inside.
“Wooow!” gasps Taybs.
“Does everything look alright?” I ask.
“It looks amaaazing! Shakoo’s going to love it, oh my god!” replies Taybs, looking around.
I had offered to take the tedious task of planning everything and it had been no easy task!
Shakirah had given me her budget and then left it pretty much entirely up to me to decide everything.
I did obviously check with her as I moved along if everything was to her liking. She just hasn’t seen the final outcome. No one has, except for my parents, Shakoo’s parents, Raees, and the crew who helped me set up.
“Just make sure there’s sunflowers,” Shakirah had said. “Lots of sunflowers!”
And so that’s exactly what I’d done!
After putting all the different baking items in their respective places and checking that everything in the kitchen is in order, I grab my camera and switch roles once again. This time to photographer!
“Remind me to change my shoes!” I yell at Taybs as I rush around trying to get perfect shots before the guests start arriving.
“Tell bhai to remind you! I’m so nervous I don’t think I’d remember myself!” says Taybs.
“Oh chillax! You’re carrying on like you’re the bride!” I laugh.
“Well look at how long the carpet is!” exclaims Taybs, indicating to the red carpet lined with sunflowers.
“You’re carrying on like you’re the bride, S!” comes a deep voice from somewhere behind me.
I spin around, camera still in hand.
“Hey hey!!” I greet, spotting a grinning Raees.
“Hey hey to you too!” he greets back. “How’s you stress levels?”
“Eish, they sky-high! I think I’ll only relax once Shakoo see’s everything and is happy with it!” I reply.
“Well everything looks perfect! Including you two!” says Raees.
“Thank you thank you! You look dashing yourself!” I reply, grinning.
“Now here’s what you still have to do…” I add a second later, smirking.
“There’s still stuff to do?!” he grumbles.
I laugh before giving him the list of last minute things to do and check on.
Soon the first lot of guests arrive and the hall quickly begins filling up.
Not long thereafter, the noisy buzz of chatter dies down as the bridesmaids make their appearance.
I shoot Taybs and my two cousins a thumbs up as they gracefully walk till the stage.
Shakirah, looking breathtaking in a simple yet elegant gown, follows, Raees at her side.
And finally, her husband Salmaan and his sister.
I watch as the hired photographer takes a couple of pics before the waiters begin serving starters.
Despite mummy telling me to relax, they’re trained and know what to do, I head to the kitchen to oversee the workers.
Shakirah’s father told me how common stealing food at weddings has become and the last embarrassment you need at a wedding is not enough food! After all, that’s why people come- for the free food!
All three courses of the meal is eventually served and I head back to the hall once the food is taken away by the family men.
Not wanting to wait my turn to greet the bride, I head over to her table while she’s still nibbling at her food.
“Oh my god, guurrrl!” she exclaims, seeing me coming.
“I love you to the moon and back! It’s perfect! I am so glad I let you do everything instead of wasting money on someone who would have just given me a headache and more stress! Thanks so much, love!” she says in a rush, a huge grateful smile one her face.
“You are most welcome!” I say, hugging her. “I can’t believe its actually happening!!”
“Neither can I! Like, oh em gee, I’m married! It’s my wedding!” she squeals dramatically.
We laugh heartily.
After speaking for a while, people start coming to greet Shakirah so I decide to leave.
I head over to the tea table and fill my plate with some of the delicious looking treats.
“Sumayya, did you perform Zuhr?” asks mummy, as I sit down at our reserved table.
“Not yet,” I reply nonchalantly. “I’ll read when we get home.”
“There isn’t much time left. Go and read when finish your tea.”
“Jee,” I say despite having no intention to actually listen.
I dig into the delicacies on my plate, savoring the delectable tastes.
The time passes by quickly and before long the hall is once again empty. This time though, it’s a mess!
“Why did no one tip me off to leave early so I can escape all the work!” complains Raees.
“We just have to gather the things we brought, the caterers will sort out the rest,” I say. “And Shakirah wants the sunflowers.”
“Are we allowed to take them?” asks Hamza. “The ones on the chairs aren’t our ones.”
“Yeah the lady said we can take them,” I reply.
Exhausted, we clear up as fast as we can, packing the things in Raees’s boot and whatever doesn’t fit into Hamza’s.
“You’ll coming ’round to ours?” asks Raees.
“Think we’ll go home first, check what the parents say and we’ll see from there,” replies Hamza.
“Okay. Shot for all the help.”
We greet and part ways.
“Phew!” I exclaim. “I am so ready to not have another wedding for the next 30 years!!”
“Oh great and I got so many potential zawjatis (wives) today!” Hamza says, sighing dramatically.
I burst out laughing.
“You did not!” I gasp.
“‘Course I did!” he says, smirking.
“Well tell them they’ll have to wait thirty years! And by they won’t be potential zawjatis anymore because they’ll be grey and wrinkled!”
“Look at you talking so much. Wait thirty years and you’ll be walking with a stick, so I don’t know how you’re going to be my wedding planner!” teases Hamza.
The first thing I do when we get home is kick off my heels and undo my hijab.
Finally my hair can breathe!!
I laze around for a while before I decide to have a bath.
Telling myself that I totally deserve it, I drop in a bath bomb and watch as it diffuses into a beautiful swirl of colours.
As I soak in the hot water, my body sighing in appreciation, I realize that I had not only missed Zuhr salaah, but Asr too.
I close my eyes, brushing it aside, along with all the other sins I’d committed today, some of which I was fully aware of, others which I didn’t even realize were blackening my heart, hardening it, and placing it directly into the hands of Shaytaan.
‘I can always make it up later..’ I say to myself, sinking lower into the soothing water.
But will later come???
It’s sad, isn’t it, how little importance we give to praying our Salaah on time. How we put so much effort in temporary things of this Dunya while we neglect the important things, the everlasting things, the things for Aakhirat.
Don’t allow shaytaan to let you miss even one Salaah, because that’s how he works. That’s how it starts. You’re only missing one Salaah. No biggie. But before you know it, you’ll be missing all five without even feeling ashamed.
Don’t tell yourself that you’ll pray later, that you’ll make up your missed salaahs later, because, dear reader, what if later doesn’t come???