CHAPTER 35

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Today is a new day, Alhmdulillah. But it isn't just a normal day I'm gonna visit mum. I'm not going alone, Jake desperately begged to go with me. What happened yesterday kept replaying in my mind. I thought of my life before I met my friends back to the days I was severely bullied by Jake. I compared the mean, bully, evil and arrogant Jake then to the sweet, caring and kind Jake now. They are two different people and it feels like the former Jake never existed.

"Yasmin! get down here, your food will get cold." Aisha's loud and sharp voice echoed in the room.
"Coming." I replied and examined my dressing and my face devoid of makeup, put on my glasses headed downstairs. Dad was eating in silence. Aisha has eyes glued to her phone and Abubakar, watching a soccer match as usual. This is the routine when mum was on morning or night shift and this was the same routine since mum was admitted into the hospital. I said Bismillah(In the name of Allah) before I started eating I tried to focus on the match or at least pretend to watch, but it was hard nut.

Mum's visit caused me goosebumps. How will she not react if I brought the boy who once bullied me? Its not like she knows anything about it. I didn't realize that the match was over and everyone had finished eating.

I kissed dad on the forehead before I left the house. It was agreed that Jake would pick me up by 2:00pm but I left home early, maybe too early. It's only 10:00am but I'm already heading to Jake's house. I don't know what got into me but I wanted nothing but to meet his family. He met Aisha, its only fair that I meet at least one of his family.

"What if his mother doesn't like me? "
"What if his mum thinks that I'm a terrorist? "
"An evil person?"
Out of fear, I stopped and changed my routine, walking back home. I stopped again,  turned, heading to Jake's. I reached for the doorbell and pressed it, footsteps are approaching me. The door opened revealing a young and beautiful girl. She is a splitting image of Jake but in a girly way.
"Hello, please is Jake home?"
"He is and you are?"
"Oh I'm Yasmin's, we are friends with Jake."

"Yasmin Ahmad right?"
"Yeah."
She giggled."You must be his Muslim girl."
"I'm his friend not his girl."
"What's the difference? You can come in." She opened the door  and led me in.
"I'm Lisa, jake's sister."

A gorgeous woman in her late 50s walked into the living room with an apron tied on her waist. She walked in with a tray of biscuits. She had Jake's brown eyes bushy eyebrows and her smile is the same as Jake's.

"Hello dear, I made some biscuits, do you want some?" She smiled friendly.
"Mum! You can't ask someone you just met if she wants biscuits." Lisa complained.
"I am only being nice, we hardly get guests." She gave her a soft look.
"No thank you ma'am." I kindly refused. She is nothing like I expected.
"Call me Elizabeth, I don't take no for an answer." She walked to me with the tray and I picked two biscuits and thanked her.
"Are you a friend of lisa?" She asked.
"I'm a friend of jake."
"Wow! Jake's upstairs."
I wished he comes downstairs but I couldn't just say, "Do you mind calling him downstairs."

I have no choice but to go to his room. getting upstairs, I got confused.
There are two doors!
Which one is his room. I knocked on the door on my right and waited.

"Come in." His voice rang.

I slowly opened the door and walked in but I was struck with a half naked Jake. I should probably close my eyes but one part of me doesn't and that part's my eyes. My gaze slowly lowered to his upper back. He has tattoos! They are wings and in the middle was a writing.

When you can't fight.
FIGHT HARDER

when you can't stand
STAND TALLER

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