Chapter 13

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“Sorry we had to go all incognito, but better safe than finding a very unflattering picture of yourself plastered across the internet tomorrow.”

Amir laughed, and slid into the booth across from his brother, removing the hat and sunglasses Houssam had made him wear. They had borrowed Mustafa’s car to throw off the paparazzi, though, as Amir pointed out, both of them being over six feet, it would be pretty hard for them to not draw attention. Nonetheless Houssam had insisted they take the precautions, and thankfully they had made it to the restaurant without coming across any of the ‘vultures’.

“Man I am starving! What do you feel like eating?” Houssam asked, and Amir picked up one of the menus, scanning down the page.

“I’m in the mood for a burger honestly. What about you?”

“Burgers sound good!” Houssam exclaimed and once they had placed their orders, Houssam took a long sip from his Pepsi before looking up at Amir with a grin.

“Do you realize we have not had a just the two of us bros dinner in like two years!?”

Amir laughed.

“Well you’ve been off across the United States playing games and being famous.”

“And you’re a daddy now.” Houssam said a bit wistfully. “MashaAllah.”

Amir smiled.

“What’s on your mind little bro?”

Houssam laughed and picked up his straw wrapper.

“Lately I have been having these…thoughts.”

Amir regarded him for a few seconds before picking up his own cup.

“About what?”

“About my life.”

“What about it?”

“Where I am. My accomplishments, my goals for the future. I feel like I haven’t done anything.”

Amir’s eyebrow raised slightly.

“You haven’t accomplished anything!? Bro, you have done amazing! You have won MVP six times in your career, and you were the second youngest person ever to be drafted in the NBA, and your career is still going strong MashaAllah!”

“So!? What do I have to show for that?! Six pins that in all honestly I don’t even remember where they are!” He raked a hand through his hair in frustration before tying the wrapper into a knot.

“Well what do you feel is missing?”

Houssam hesitated for a second before shrugging.

“I want what you and Hisham have. I want a wife to come home to and little children to take to the park for daddy day,” he gave a deep sigh, “I want a family.”

Amir smiled, and took a sip from his glass before putting a hand to his chin, and leaning forward.

“So then you aren’t against Yusra and Ilham’s master plan to get you married?”

Houssam laughed, tightening the knot in the straw wrapper.

“While they are annoying, I guess they have connections that could help me.”

“Did anybody that they list catch your interest?” Amir asked with a smile.

“No,” Houssam said shaking his head, “not yet.”

“Yusra had over thirty girls on her list last night! You are saying not a single one of them would work?!” Amir exclaimed, and Houssam shrugged.

“Nope.”

Amir stared at him for a few seconds, but before he could say anything, their food came, and it was silent at the table as they both started to eat their burgers.

“What about Hana?” Amir asked after a few minutes, and Houssam paused, the hamburger halfway up to his mouth.

“What about her?”

“You know, as an option.”

“Wait for me? As in marriage!?” Houssam asked in astonishment, and Amir nodded.

“Yeah.”

Houssam put his hamburger down.

“Um, wow Amir. I mean she’s a nice girl and she’s a cutie and all but I mean no thanks.”

“Why not?”

“I dunno,” Houssam said with a shrug, “she’s just not right for me. I mean I thought she was like seven years younger than she really is when I first met her!”

“Didn’t you go to high school together!?”

Houssam laughed.

“Yeah apparently I don’t really pay attention. Which just proves that she isn’t my type.”

“You have a type?” Amir asked with a raised eyebrow, and Houssam smiled sheepishly.

“Okay so I’m not sure what my type is but it’s not her.”

“How could you possibly know that?”

“Just from the time I spent with her. She’s too shy and quiet. I mean you know me, how would I fare with a wife who blushes every time someone talks to her?! I need someone who can challenge me and makes me think, and can argue with me and remind me of my place. She is just too nice and sweet for that.”

“For what?”

“You know. She lets people step on her. Don’t get me wrong I like her, I do. But not like that. She's more like the little sister I never had.”

“Hmm, okay.”

“Why do you ask?”

“Just curious.” Amir said with a shrug, and for a second Houssam debated pushing his brother for more details but he really wanted to get dessert, and if they wanted to make Isha at the Masjid, they needed to order now.

As the waiter came back to take their dessert order, it was quiet between them, both of the men deep in thought. Houssam, wondering what he was wanted to do with his life, and Amir wondering how he was going to break it to Hisham that his best friend had absolutely zero interest in his little sister. 

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