Chapter 13

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Ayan was utterly shocked when he saw that name. He didn't double check because he knew that was her. He never wished bad for her but he was astonished on how Allah caught the one who did wrong to others. He felt no contentment on seeing her name there, rather he felt genuinely sorry for her. That's how a true Muslim is, forgiving and wishing well for others behind their back.

' Sir, If you are done, May i take the file away?' Asked sister Romana.
Ayan was brought out of his bubble of thoughts by her voice. He handed over the file to her and went to see the room she was staying in. He could not walk, he felt as if his feet were confined to one place but he gathered all his strength and went to the room.

The window was open. One could easily see Sara, looking elegant in a neatly done Hijab and eastern clothes, chatting happily with Halima Bi.
Indeed, establishing a connection with Allah gives peace and solace to the soul.
Ayan was surprised, amazed and happy at the same time. Surprised to see her in a shelter home, amazed to see a positive change in her and happy on her connection with Allah SWT. Ayan kept standing near the window for a good five minutes until Sara finally looked up and their eyes met.

Both of them immediately lowered their gaze. Sara was shocked to see him again. Not that she hated him anymore, but she was so sorry about her mistakes and blunders that she couldn't gather the courage to confront him. She didn't hate him before, marrying Shehroze was out of her stubbornness, because according to her Ayan was turning out to be a wannabe Mullah.

Sara's heartbeat increased and she started looking here and there in panic. Beads of sweat were clearly visible on her forehead. Sensing the tension in Sara's body language, Ayan immediately left from there and went outside to get some fresh air, and also to comprehend the course of events that had happened in a short span of time.

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" Hania betey, atleast listen to me. He is a good boy. Very responsible, extremely respectful and religious as well." said Mrs. Taimoor, trying to calm her outraged daughter down.

" Ma, how could he send a proposal like this. I mean he knows what I want to do. He is well aware of my circumstances. He knows why I wanted that job. Still he's only thinking about himself." said Hania.

" Beta do you know what he's been through? Do you know how he has gathered his broken pieces? NO! So if you don't want to marry him, I won't force you. I know you do like him and i understand your ambition and all but please, don't call that selfless man selfish again. Please, never judge a book by it's cover.

Hania was calm after hearing her mother's reply in which she agreed not to force her. But one corner of her heart was restless, it was worried about that guy. She wanted to know what he had been through. She wanted to share his pain and his suffering. But she herself was not letting her do it. Sara stood up and walked towards the washroom. The restlessness was evident on her face.

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Mr. Khan's health was deteriorating with every passing day. While Ayan was out of town, he was managing his health and the house with a great deal of difficulty but not for once did he disturb Ayan because he did not want to give him more pain.

That's how a father's love is.
Selfless.

Mr. Khan was lying down on the bed after he had just come back from the doctor. The doctor had told him that he had no more than two weeks left to live.
He wasn't worried about himself. The only person he was worried about was his son. Not that he was a child Anymore, but still he wanted to see him happy and settled before he breathed his last.
Suddenly, his phone rang and he immediately picked it up.
" Assalam o Alaikum, who's this?' Asked Mr. Khan in a feeble voice.
" Mr. Khan, this is me, Mrs. Taimoor."
After the cordial greetings and customary talks, Mrs. Taimoor began,
" Mr Khan, i will cut it short because I'm unable to find the words to talk to you. I want to let you know that Hania is not ready for marriage yet, I'm so sorry. But in future, I'm sure the person she would marry would be your son. But, please give them time."

Mr. Khan was heartbroken at the reply. He said, " Time is the only thing i lack."
And without giving her a chance to inquire, he cut the call.

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As Ayan went outside to get some fresh air. Sara asked Halima Bi, " What is he doing here?"
Halima Bi replied, " You don't know him? He is the owner/ CEO of this shelter home and a son to many homeless people like me. He is such a good boy Mashallah. I want him to be happy for the rest of his life."

Sara was completely silent. Ayan had proved to be an angel in disguise yet again. She needed and wanted to speak to him. It was long overdue. She got up and took long strides towards the ground Ayan was in and stood right in front of him. She didn't know where this strength had come from. But it had, and she did not regret it.

" Assalamo Alaikum, Ayan."
" Walaikum Assalam, Sara,"
" Glad that you still remember my name."
" The people who made me incredibly happy and the people who made me incredibly sad, their names and engraved on my heart."
" I belong to the latter one, i suppose."
" Ah- Actually you're a mixture of both."
Both smiled at this. The smiles were genuine. But the pain in his eyes wasn't hidden either. Sara could sense that. The expressions on Sara's face changed to very serious instantly.

" Ayan, I am no one to you now, I know. But I want to ask for your forgiveness. I have done so wrong to you. I left you because of my own ignorance. The path you were walking on was the most beautiful one. I have experienced it myself only a couple of days ago and I can say that with surety. Ayan please, i beg you for your forgiveness. If you won't forgive me, Allah will not forgive me as well. Please Ayan, please."

A silent sob escaped her mouth. Ayan said, " Sara the pain you've caused was out of your ignorance so I do not blame you for that. I had forgiven you long back when I had established this strong realtionship with the Almighty. I had forgiven you years ago when You hadn't even asked for it."

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