I turned the key, letting the ignition die down and stepped out of my tiny, blue car. I walked up the steps to my house and opened the door. Immediately when I got inside, I knew something was going on. The delicious smell of Chicken Parmesan filled the air, my favorite food. I followed the scent into the kitchen. My mother was anxiously cutting up cucumbers for a salad. Something was definitely going on, my mom hardly ever cooked a homemade meal because she was always so busy with work.
“Hey.” I said looking around the kitchen, “What’s going on?”
“I just thought you’d like Chicken Parmesan tonight” My mom said focusing hard as she cut the last of the cucumbers and placed them in the salad bowl. “How was work, sweetie?”
Work was the same as always, boring. I worked at a small Cinema in one of the quietest parts of London. “Erm, it was the same as always.”
“Hm.” My mother thought for a moment not knowing what to say, “Dinner is almost done why don’t you go change?”
I looked down at my dirty uniform and agreed with her. I changed out of my work clothes and into a pair of leggings and an oversized off- shoulder pink sweater. Buzz.. Buzzz… I heard the familiar sound of my phone vibrating.
I hurried over to my dresser to retrieve my white iPhone. A new text message was on the screen.
Hey babe, wanna go for lunch tomorrow? I’ll pick you up at 1. ;)
A stupid smile stretched across my face as I read the message. I quickly typed a reply to my boyfriend.
Sounds good. See you tomorrow. Love you (:
- - -
“Where’s Ariel?” I asked my mom as the two of us sat down at the dining room table.
“I let your sister stay the night at her friends house” Mom explained. “I thought we could have some uh.. time alone.”
I couldn’t stand this anymore, something was going on and for some reason my mother hadn’t told me yet. This wasn’t just something. I mean, my favorite dinner, my sister leaving so that my mom and I could have ‘alone time’. This was something big.
I inhaled a deep breath. “Mom what’s going on?”
I watched her as she took a bite of her chicken and slowly chewed. She cleared her throat. “Hmm?”
My mother took a drink of her water and swallowed. “Okay, Aria. I’m just going to come right out and say this.” She glanced at me with a unreadable expression. I immediately began to worry, usually my mother was as readable as an open book. “Do you remember my old friend Tricia?” she asked unsteady.
She sighed, “Patricia Malik. Do you remember her and” She trailed off for a second, “her um.. family?”
Oh. I felt a familiar pain in my heart as Patricia’s name was mentioned. How could I not remember her? She was like my second mother. Tricia and my mom had been best friends since secondary school. They were even neighbors until my family and I left Bradford when I was sixteen because my dad got a promotion here in London.
“Of course I remember Tricia! Why?”
“We recently got in touch recently, and I guess she wants to see us soon. They actually rented a lake house for the summer and offered to let us come stay with them for a few weeks for vacation.” My mother replied.
I felt a smile stretch across my face. “Yes! Of course I want to go. I miss Tricia, Yaser and the girls so much.” I said excitedly.
My mom stared at me nervously.
It had been way too long since I had seen Doniya, Waliyha and Safaa. I couldn’t wait to catch up with them, especially Doniya. We had been pretty close before I moved. I was already making plans of all the stuff we would do once I got there, when suddenly something hit me. Why was my mom acting so weird about all of this?
“Mom, if this was what you were gonna tell me, why’d you make such a big deal and make me dinner?” I asked.
“You really don’t know?” She coughed.
I shook my head and took a small bite of salad.
“Sweetheart..” She said softly, “Zayn is going to be there.”
I just about chocked on my salad. Of course he was going to be there. I almost forgot that Zayn was Tricia’s son. I started to feel sick to my stomach, I knew there was no way I was going to that lake house with Zayn. We used to be best friends, he was the most important person in my life but-