Recap: Diamonds & Pearls (21)-You Are Never Alone

 Daleela excels in her training with Cole and Rafiq. She and Cole share a cute moment but the burden of the information she finds on an audio clip from Cole’s necklace weighs heavy on her mind.

 Daleela meets Cole’s mother when she comes to pick up Clover and immediately gains a dislike for her.

 Missing Zayan, Daleela goes into his room for the first time since he’s left. Rafiq finds her and they have a heart to heart conversation. He opens up about spiraling out of control while living in Europe as well as how much he misses Aiken. As Rafiq mourns his death, Daleela reminds him of Allah. Rafiq admits that he thinks Cole and Daleela would make a cool couple if he ever accepted Islam.

 Cole is invited over by Daleela’s mom. He meets Daleela’s parents and they bond over dinner with a few awkward moments. Cole enjoys her family a lot and opens up a lot easier than Daleela thought he would. Daleela finally gathers the courage to tell Cole about his mother’s betrayal and he takes it badly.

 Cole destroys his USB necklace, getting rid of all gathered evidence against the Howards.

 Daleela receives a strange stream of text messages offering her assistance. Suspicious of these anonymous texts, Daleela shrugs them off and tells the person not to text her again.

Diamonds & Pearls

Before You Read: Hey guys! Quick reminder here! If you're delaying a prayer right now to read this story, stop whatever you're doing and go pray! Don't let anything take you away from Allah. Especially not this story. Now if you're all prayed up, go ahead and enjoy this chapter.

 CHAPTER TWENTY TWO-The Bitter Taste of Betrayal

 I sat at lunch alone. I needed time to myself, away from everything and everyone. That’s why I spent the whole time just focusing on my school assignments. My mind slowly but surely filled with the content of my textbooks. I wrote and finished assignments until my hands were tingling as they began to go numb. Amazingly, by the end of lunch I’d finished everything I’d been assigned. For the first time in my life I wished I had more work to do, that way my mind would stay clear of the worries and anxieties that had been haunting me for days.

I got up with my bag and hurried to go pray Thuhr. It had been thirty minutes since the prayer had come in and I’d completely forgotten. I needed a lot more focus than I’d been having lately because if I didn’t focus, I’d forget about things that were very important to me. Prime example; my prayers may Allah forbid. I sighed and emptied my bag into my locker, taking only the books I’d need for the last two periods. I made my way to the storage closet I normally prayed in. I left the door half open as usual. I always did things like this without giving it a second thought. Very small, closed off areas always caused me to freak out but as long as the door was open a little and I could feel a breeze, I was okay. Completely weird, I know. It’s a long story made for another time.

I started my prayer and put all of the focus I could muster into it. Soon enough I was relaxed enough to only think about Allah. I was no longer in the crowded storage closet. I was standing in front of Allah alone in that moment. I prayed that my sincerity was accepted. I asked for forgiveness. I begged for guidance as well. All I wanted was for everything to be okay. That’s all. I only asked for Allah to find me worthy of his love. My heart tingled at the thought of Allah loving me. As I finished my prayer, I felt an ease spread through me. I made thikr and raised my hands in du’aa.

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