Chapter 11

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“So how is work going?”

Amir gave Kareem’s swing another push, and smiled as the baby shrieked with laughter, before he looked at Hisham, who was pushing Mohammad next to him.

“Alhamdulillah it’s been going well. I’ve been working shorter shifts lately as Yusra has been really sick and needs help with Kareem.”

Hisham frowned slightly.

“What’s wrong? I thought her treatment had been working for the past few years?”

Amir ran a hand through his hair, and sighed. “They were, but the doctor said that sometimes the body becomes immune and you have to try something else. We are just waiting for approval from the insurance and she is going to start a new treatment. She has to go to the hospital three times a week for the next three months so we are trying to rush to find somewhere to put the baby during that time as she can’t drive so I will take her.”

“Hey man let us know what we can do! I know Ilham has her hands filled with the kids but – LAYLA GET OFF OF THERE – we will do all that we can.” Hisham said and Amir smiled at him.

“Barak Allahu Feek bro. How are things at work going?”

“Good Alhamdulillah. Amu Abu Houssam has split his patients with me. I think he might make me partner!” He said excitedly and Amir smiled broadly.

“That’s great man! Mabrook!”

“Well it hasn’t happened yet but InshaAllah!” Hisham said with a grin before turning around to yell at Dawud who was attempting to jump from the top of the slide.

“Here comes Mustafa!” Amir exclaimed smiling as his brother trudged towards them, his seven year old son Hamza running to join Dawud on the playground, and his three year old daughter, Hawa, on his hip.

“Salaam everyone. I’m here for daddy day!” he said sarcastically, and as he hoisted Hawa into the swing next to Kareem, he yawned widely before bending to kiss his nephew on the head. ‘Daddy day’ was a day set aside each week for the men to go out with their children. It was a time for them to bond with their kids and each other, but mostly it gave Yusra, Ilham, and Sarah much needed time to themselves.

“Rough night?” Hisham asked in amusement, and Mustafa glared at him before yawning again.

“Seriously. I was on call the entire night and then at about two this morning I had to go in for emergency surgery! Why didn’t I stay a physical therapist!?” he grumbled, and Amir and Hisham laughed. Mustafa had gone back to school to finish his medical training and he was now a doctor.

“Baba!” Kareem exclaimed and as Amir bent to see what his son wanted, Hamza and Dawud rushed over to show their fathers something, and a few minutes later once the three dads had resumed pushing the swings, Hisham decided to just put out his promise to Ilham.

“So how is Houssam doing?” he asked, and Amir smiled.

“He’s good Alhamdulillah! He actually is going to be here in half an hour, he was just having lunch with some of the boys. He is trying to go out as much as possible before the ‘vultures’ find him. His word not mine.”

Hisham laughed, and paused to wipe Mohammad’s face before resuming his pushing.

“Did you hear about the new mission Yusra and Ilham are on?”

“Aw man yeah she told me yesterday!” Amir said with a groan.

“What? What mission!?” Mustafa exclaimed, and Hisham laughed.

“They are determined to get Houssam married.”

“Does Houssam want to get married?” Mustafa asked, and Amir shrugged

“I don’t think he would be against it honestly. It’s just he hasn’t found the right person and you know Houssam’s personality. He would need someone who could handle him. Who would be able to take his jokes in stride, but at the same time be someone he could be serious with. Someone who is patient and wouldn’t be scared off by his fame. Someone who would support him and love him. Houssam might joke a lot and be goofy but in the end of the day he just wants someone to care for him.”

“Amir! Stop being so sappy!” Mustafa exclaimed, and Hisham laughed.

“So I know this will sound kind of weird, but know I am only asking this because I promised Ilham I would.”

“What is it?” Amir asked curiously, and Hisham gave a sheepish grin.

“What about Hana?”

“What about her?” Amir asked after a moment of silence.

“You know for Houssam.”

“Isn’t she like eighteen?” Mustafa asked, and Hisham shook his head.

“Twenty three.”

“Oh.”

“So what do you think?” Hisham asked, and Amir leaned against the swing pole thoughtfully, pushing Kareem with one hand.

“What do you think?” Amir asked, and Hisham laughed before shrugging slightly.

“I love Houssam. He is like my brother and is one of my best friends. I would be absolutely thrilled to have him marry my sister. I would know that she would be well taken care of emotionally and financially, and would be marrying into an awesome family!”

“The very best.” Amir said with a smile.

“Do we know if either one of them have feelings for each other?” Mustafa asked, and Hisham shook his head.

“Nope. But that’s kinda why I’m talking to Amir.”

“You want me to ask him!?” Amir asked in astonishment.

“Um, Ilham wants you to ask him. As for Hana I don’t know what they plan on doing, but she and Yusra have a whole plan. You just have to suggest it to Houssam.”

“Baba I’m hungry!” Layla exclaimed rushing over to her dad, and Hisham patted her on the head before pulling Mohammad out of the swing. Amir and Mustafa did the same for their kids, and soon their little group was gathered at the benches and after making sure each child had a sandwich and a juice box, they came back to their conversation.

“So what do you think Amir? Are you gonna talk to Houssam.”

Amir shifted a bit uncomfortably, and put a spoon of baby food into Kareem’s mouth.

“What would I even say? How would I bring it up?”

“Ask him first about how he feels about Ilham and Yusra ambushing him, and if he doesn’t seem too put off by the idea, suggest her!” Mustafa exclaimed and Amir looked at him in amusement.

“Why don’t you do it Mustafa?!”

Mustafa snorted, and poked the straw into the juice box before handing it to his daughter.

“He’s your brother Amir!”

 “Well are you going to do it?” Hisham asked and Amir shook his head with a laugh.

“I can’t believe I am agreeing to this, but fine. I will.”

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