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Chapter 56

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~Iman’s P.O.V~

  Youssef had been locking himself in his room all day since Ayman talked to him two days ago. It’s scaring me how he is isolating himself again. What if he runs away again? This time Zayn is not here to have his back.

  I tried talking to him but all I got back was one-worded answers. He was wrong for lying and ditching the meetings, I knew that but at the same time my heart ached at the sight of him so down.

  Ayman was going to take him to the tattoo laser removal appointment tomorrow morning making Youssef one gloomy boy all day. I wanted more than to let him just go hang out with his friends but I knew better. It’s just the fact that he literally gets punished every other week and then he does something worse and I don’t know what we are doing wrong with him.

  We want to give him everything, to see him happy and smiling but not on the expense of having him lose his way for his temporary needs.

  With everything going on here, the last thing I wanted to do was go out with Mazen but it was Hala’s welcome home party and he insisted I come. I know I’m going to be pre-occupied leaving Youssef home alone in that state.

  Sighing, I just got up from my seat when Mazen rang me. I grabbed my keys and purse before going out to the drive way where Mazen’s car was parked.

  “Al Salam Alykum.” I mumbled with a polite smile once I got inside the car. 

  “W Alykum Al Salam.” Mazen smiled widely making my cheeks heat a little.

  Mazen stopped covering his feelings behind politeness a long time ago. He usually smile a little wider, talk a little sweater, call for a little longer and it just all makes me flattered from the inside. I’m not used to this kind of treatment and from Mazen specially. I’m happy by all his gestures and all his affection and try my best to make an appropriate respond to show my feelings but my mind just works differently, I guess.

  “How was your day?” Mazen broke the silence I didn’t realize filled the car.

  “It was alright I guess. Just dragged a little,” I shrugged, “How was yours?”

  “Hectic. Amira got me and Ahmed working like slaves making decorations, buying food, making sure Hala’s baby room was set up.” Mazen ranted a little and I listened. He liked telling me about his day with details, a feature I once again didn’t share with him but I was happy he felt comfortable enough around me to tell me everything.

  “It’s all going to be worth it though. I’m sure the party is going to be fun.” I mustered up a smile.

  Mazen talked again about things Amira had him doing all week long for Hala but I got a little distracted with my own thoughts, once again worrying about Youssef. Would he go down for dinner when I’m not home or would he refuse to be alone with Ayman only having Yasmin in the middle?

  Maybe Yasmin would take his dinner up to his room? I hope she does. She’s been as worried as I was these last couple of days. She talked to Ayman a few times but he was too stubborn although I know from his looks that he’s thinking of what she was saying.

 She knew how to handle Ayman better than I ever had and Ayman accepted her ways better than mine, if I talked to him like that or tried to change his mind in any way I would get a scolding of a life time.

  “Iman? Are you listening?” Mazen snapped me out of my daze and my cheeks heated from embarrassment. How rude was I to just ignore him when he was talking to me?

  “Sorry, I got a little distracted. Go on.” I tried to mask my embarrassment but Mazen wasn’t fazed. He seemed worried somewhat.

  “What’s on your mind, Iman?” Mazen asked worriedly but keeping his eyes on the road.

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