Diamonds & Pearls

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CHAPTER EIGHT-Turbulence of the Heart

 I put on what my mother would call "one of my good jilbabs" and sighed. We were all preparing to go to the gallery where my art would be showcased alongside Xavier and Nurah's paintings. I didn't want to go. Everything in me was screaming to come up with an excuse to stay home but brother Isa had called ahead of time to confirm that I'd told my parents, which I hadn't done at the time.

"Daleela let's go!" My dad yelled up the stairs. I heard everyone hustling out the door. I sighed again and made my way downstairs. Hurrying outside, I nearly fell on my face. I groaned and got into the car. As we drove, I pressed my face against the cool glass and closed my eyes. There was something that had been bugging me to death. I felt a need to apologize to Xavier. He was trying to help me and truthfully thanks to his advice (which I'd found taped to my desk the day after I'd snapped at him), my hand was beginning to heal faster. Even though I have the urge to apologize, it doesn't mean I want to today. Why is my family setting me up for disaster?

"We're here," My father said, smiling at me through the rear-view mirror. I tried to smile back but gave up and got out of the car. As soon as I got out an arm was around my shoulder. I looked up only to see Zayan's crazy self.

"Somebody doesn't look excited at all." Zayan commented with a frown that mirrored mine.

"I'm so happy," I said lamely. Zayan shook his head.

"I'm sure you don't want me to do something stupid in order to make you laugh, especially not in front of all of these high class folks." He said gesturing to all of the rich looking people climbing the steps to enter the galleria. My mouth opened up a little.

"I thought this was gonna be a little cheap thing where people would pretend to admire my work." I said in an exasperated tone. Zayan laughed and ushered me up the stairs and inside. The galleria was decorated with simple green silk. All the pictures were framed or hidden behind curtains and people stood around chattering, laughing, and clanking their glasses together.

Isa walked up to my parents and gave them greetings. My father clapped him on the back talking about how nice the place was. My mother commented on how handsome he'd become. I looked away but then all of a sudden, I was being hugged from behind. "Daleela!" Nisa exclaimed.

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