Sorry for the way this chapter looks and that it's all spaced out. Wattpad is trippin' on me.

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 SEVEN-Red Mustangs, Tiger Tattoos, and Stranger Danger

            Things changed up a bit after Aiken’s big reappearance. Rafiq seemed relieved to know that Aiken was okay but he refused to open up to me about how he felt about the whole situation. As a matter of fact, he barely talked to me. I tried not to take it personally but I wasn’t used to him shutting me out for no good reason. I think he just needed time to settle his thoughts and that was completely understandable. Cole is a whole other story. We haven’t heard from him at all. Well, if Rafiq had, he didn’t say anything about it. I was worried. I know he eventually mellowed out and accepted his brother back but after the meltdown he’d had in the park, who wouldn’t be a little worried.     

            Zayan was being a complete butthole to me. Well, that was kind of harsh and not entirely true but why did he have to be so adamant about telling our parents the truth. I could see why my parents had to know but couldn’t I just tell them when the time was right for me? Zay has pestered me to no end about confessing to all the mess Rafiq and I have stirred up. Every time he sees me the first thing he asks is if I’ve told them yet. I could tell he was trying to be patient with me but it was bothering him that they didn’t know and I could see it on his face. I had to do it soon. But other than pestering me, he’d been researching colleges again. So far, he hasn’t seemed very optimistic. He’d never had the urge to attend university but he also feels like he needs to. I felt kind of bad. He was also close to landing a possible internship at some big architecture company thing. I knew he really wanted to do that instead. I didn’t really know all the details on his plan if he were to get the internship.

            Zayna has been dealing with college and has been completely swamped with work. But do you know what’s crazy? She’s happy. She is so happy with what she’s doing with her life. She’s happy to be married and she’s overjoyed to be studying at Berkeley. I was happy for my sister, no doubt, but I was also slightly envious that she knew what she wanted to do with her life. I didn’t dwell on how dim my future was probably going to be. I mostly prayed that my sister would continue to accomplish her dreams and gain success. But I couldn’t help but feel like the only failure in the family. All I seemed to be able to do was create trouble and unnecessary problems. The feeling of being deadweight is hard to shake off sometimes.

            Since everything went down, I have been completely unproductive. Sure, I’ve been doing the assignments Jade has been bringing me from school but other than that, I just eat, sleep, and pray. Pretty boring, I know. I wanted to be at school but unfortunately I ended up having to wait an extra week before my parents could talk to the principal about alternate options for my schooling during the remainder of the school year. I’d spent the entire week trying to convince my parents to change their minds but after the situation with Erik, I doubted they’d budge on their decision. On the other hand, I’ve been home alone a lot which is kind of weird. It’s not like our house is really big because it isn’t but with me being the only one around, the house seemed a lot bigger and much quieter. Especially when I woke up in the morning and realized that nobody was home but me.

            I opened my eyes slowly, the bright light shining through the window causing me to blink repetitively. I grunted and turned over in my thick comforter, causing it to tangle my legs within its folds. I closed my eyes again, trying my best to get back to that wonderful land of slumber. Then I realized it was Monday. I shot up out of my bed, my body involuntarily crashing to the floor because of my tangled legs. I detangled myself before stumbling out of my bedroom and down the stairs. I hurried down the hall to my parents’ bedroom and knocked loudly. There was no response. I knocked again before opening the door and walking inside. The bed was made and my parents were gone. They’d already left for the school.

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