The whole apartment was a mess. Opened luggage, lathers and parks lithered all over the place and they were asleep. They landed the previous afternoon. They had been cleaning and arranging all day and night. They woke up by 11:21PM, prayed asr, magrib and Isha then went back to sleep. The next day wasn't as tiring but they still had work to do. They finished cleaning and putting everything in place and slept.
It was Zainab's final year and Zinar was in her 5th year. Things were moving fast. The holiday was great except the part that every conversation ended with a suitor or husband or in-laws. Wont you send any suitors? Is that how you'll treat your husband? It was an endless parade of marital questions. They where more than due for marriage but there wasn't any sign it was happening. Zainab had more attacks since she was graduating that year and she was the first child of her parents plus she's female. She had a lot of suitors. They came from relatives, from matchmakers who thought they knew best or from family friends who wanted her to be part of their family. Zainab was tough and all but that time she let them all come. (I guess every girl wants her fairytale guy). Some she couldn't stand, some looked reasonable until they spoke. There were the choky ones, the nice ones and the ones with supremacy. She all gave them a minute in her time but no outcome.
Zinar was going through less of that drama. Her family talked a lot about it but they didn't push. Everyone was waiting for the day she finished school for him or her to really ponce. They all kept their distance because her father was against marriage before having a degree except if it was the child's decision. He knew how men treated women. How they would agree their wives would study or work but turn a deaf ear later on. And the worst part was they would refuse to provide her with her common needs. No one would like to see his or her loved ones in situations like that.
Like all girl Zinar wanted her fairy prince but she knew she wasn't ready. Mentally.
"Zainab" Zinar yelled "your phone" the phone had been ringing disturbing Zinar's movie. Zainab sprint to answer the call making Zinar to roll her eyes.
"Its Ahmad" she said almost too happy
"Really?" she asked sarcastically with a smile "please take it outside".
Ahmad Sadiq was a guy Zainab met in a bus. She helped him with change because the conductor didn't have any and so did he. They talked a little after he had thanked her. He asked her where she was coming from and where she was heading as a friendly conversation. She answered him after she openly scrutinized him. Her and Zinar still had that stranger, danger thing and he coded from the way she looked at him. Plus being nice didn't been she was friendly. They met a week later outside an event center. She had attended a wedding of she didn't know who. She just tagged along because she was bored. He approached her saying he knew her from somewhere then he remembered instantly. (Typical male approach). Apparently his friend's house was opposite the hall. They became Facebook friend and then "just friends" as Zainab puts it.
"Zinar, Ahmad Sadiq says hi" Zainab said as she took her phone charger
"ina ansawa" she replied. Zainab told Zinar about Ahmad when their calls became frequent. The first time she spoke to him she was like "bruv, what are your intensions with my girl" in a gangster voice. He didn't expect it he just kept saying "Um!".
"Really? That's what you say? Am the first order you meet before her father. So impress me" she was taking the phone off her mouth and quietly laughing. Zainab snatched her phone before he could say anything. She told Khalid two days after when they met. At first they spent almost an hour apologizing to him for not telling him they were back until he called because their Nigerian number wasn't going through. He kept on dragging it saying he couldn't believe it and how Ahmad was going to blame him. Zainab immediately stood up with a smile or rather a blush on her face when he called Ahmad. Her Ahmad was calling so she headed to the room. Zinar narrated their 'friendship' story. She asked him about Amina and he told her things where wonderful. He was planning on meeting her parent but he hadn't gathered the courage. She was finishing her internship in a few months. Khalid was hoping on meeting her parents before then. But Omar said not to wait that long, that if he liked her enough he should tell her people.
Later that day after Khalid had gone Zinar received a message from Ahmad. It was a bouquet with a note "Welcome back, hope you had pleasant flight". Zainab gushed at it and told Ahmad Sadiq about Zinar unrequited feelings for Ahmad.
"So what's wrong with him?" Ahmad Sadiq asked. Zainab eliminated the horrible boss part.
"She's not sure I think, and she's not ready" Zainab answered. She didn't even know whether she liked them together or not. Yes she knew Ahmad was a jerk and she was never a fan but it wasn't about her. She just hoped everything worked out fine for her. She was worried about her. She wasn't even giving anyone a chance, she hoped she wouldn't regret it at last, she had told Zinar that night. But she just changed the topic to Zainab's relationship with Ahmad Sadiq.
Zinar was turn between things that were right. She didn't know which way to follow. It wasn't just about Ahmad, she didn't have any feelings for him. It was about everything. The fact that sooner than later she would have to present a suitor, get married to someone she knew relatively nothing about.
"We are just friend" Zainab said trying hard not to smile.
"Does his name come with a smile or is it just part of the cheesiness that comes with love." She said teasingly and got crashed by a pillow sent by Zainab. "True talk though" she said after laughing at how Zainab was acting by the bare say of his name. He called in the middle of their conversation and she excused herself.
"Your glowing" Zinar said after Zainab came back to the room. She was grinning like a fool and she looked happy. "Crazy love. What has he said to you that is making you run mad." She looked at her weirdly "God I cant see myself like this" she finished shaking her head in disapproval.
"Yes you will" she said stilling grinning. It was like she couldn't stop herself from it.
"Yeap. I know and that day I dread" Zinar faked smile. She was never into the whole cheesy, mushy crap. She despised the way it made her feel but she was only human, many at times she found herself craving for attention or someone to talk to at night. But she hated it, the feeling. The need for someone, but again she knew that there will be a day she would fall headstrong for someone. That she dread.
"He said he loves me" she squealed. She looked very happy.
"Ya Allah" Zinar said throwing her hands in the air and dancing on the bed. "Wait. Tell me how he said it"
"He just said it in the middle of a conversation"
"What were you talking about?"
"We were talking about school, how he wants to go for his masters but his a bit lazy and I was advising him to get his act tight and go for it. And that he should pray istakara that what ever it is it's the best for him and he said "I LOVE YOU." She replied all in one breath. Those words almost made her system go offline. She went quite just listening to his faint breathing from her end of the line. He closed his eyes just waiting for her answer. He didn't plan to tell her anything but he couldn't help it. She was crazy and simple. She scolded him more times than he could count. He would tease her saying she cared about him but she would reply saying she had to do it for her own image. "Show me you friends and I will tell you who you are. So all my friends have to come off good" she told him. It was a reasonable answer she hoped the first time she used the come back.
"What did you say?" Zinar asked keen.
"I disconnected the call" she replied her eyes close feeling stupid.
"You what" Zinar yell " I cant believe you"
"I know, I know" she said covering her face with her palm. Zinar just kept looking at her with wide eyes shaking her head in disbelieve. "Don't look at me like that, if it were you what would you do"
"I..." she was determined to answer her question but realized there was a 99.9 chance she might have done the same. "Fair point"
Zainab decided to call him back and give him a reply and she did. Feelings mutual.
Zainab might have found the one😉.
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