Chapter 16

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Ahhhhhhhhhh number 9 in Spiritual Alhamdulillah! Barak Allahu Feekum for all your support!!

Amir dabbed his paintbrush onto his palette, mixing the red he had on there with some white to make it a shade lighter. He then began to paint on the canvas in front of him, leaning forward to get the intricate details of the sun setting over the beach he was painting. He was so engrossed in his work that he didn’t notice Yusra come into the room until she was standing by his elbow.

“Oh. Hello love.” He said looking up at her with a smile, and she smiled back, bending to kiss his head.

“That looks beautiful habibi! When will you be done?” she asked, and he shrugged.

“I am not sure honestly. I am taking my time with it so InshaAllah whenever it gets done.”

“MashaAllah I cant wait to see the finished production.”

Amir smiled, and wiped his hands on his rag before turning to face her.

“What’s up love?”

Yusra leaned against the cabinet that held his art supplies, and gave him a sheepish smile.

“I was just on the phone with Ilham, and she wants to know if you talked to Houssam yet.”

Amir’s smile slid from his face, and he turned back around, fiddling with his brushes. Ilham and Yusra had been after him for a while now about if he had talked to Houssam, and he had tried to put them off for as long as possible.

“About what?”

“You know,” she said sliding her arms around his neck, “about Hana?”

Amir tensed slightly under her hold, before dabbing his brush on his rag. He had decided he wasn’t going to tell Hisham what Houssam had said. The last thing he wanted was to cause bad blood between two best friends

“Love, maybe it is best to leave it be.”

Yusra leaned over to look into her husband’s face.

“What do you mean?”

“Maybe they aren’t such a good match.”

Yusra waved her hand dismissively.

“Oh habibi they are perfect for each other! We just have to figure out the right setting to push them together! I mean babysitting Kareem and working on the newspaper is a good start, but maybe we should hold a weekly dinner or something! Oh I cant even tell you how excited I am! Ilham and I are planning on talking to Hana soon.” she exclaimed, and Amir shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

“Yusra I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

She froze slightly, before dropping her arms.

 “Why not!?”

“Because.”

She folded her arms across her chest, and glared at him. “Because why?” she pressed, and he sighed impatiently, running a hand through his hair.

“Habibti just stay out of it.”

Her eyes widened slightly.

“Just stay out of it!? That’s all you’re going to say?!”

He turned back to his canvas.

“Yes.”

“What are you keeping from me?”

There was a beat of silence in the room. Amir didn’t keep secrets from his wife, and she didn’t keep any from him. It was one of the unspoken rules in their marriage, and he knew it was one of the reasons that they had such a good relationship MashaAllah. But this was so complicated. It was much more than trying to find Houssam a wife, Hana being Hisham’s sister. If he told Yusra, she would tell Ilham who would be stuck in the awkward position between her cousin and her sister in law. Not to mention Hisham’s reaction. It was a mess, and he wished he hadn’t even agreed to talk to Houssam. At the time he hadn’t thought that the girls were in earnest in bringing the two of them together. But when both Ilham and Yusra had been badgering him for the past week, he realized his dilemma. There was no way to get out of this without feelings getting hurt, and he wasn’t willing to risk friendships being ruined because Ilham and Yusra wanted to play matchmakers.

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