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Author Topic: Everything I could ever ask for  (Read 305 times)

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Offline Gloria Girl

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Episode 1

"Ikram."I heard my mum shout my name. I was in the parlour watching TV with my siblings. I quickly stood up and went to her room.

"Na'am Mama kin kira ni."(yes mum you called for me)

"Come and sit next to me."she said.

I went over and sat next to her.I studied my mother's face. She had that kind of beauty that was really rare.With her big warm brown eyes that I inherited from her. My younger sister was always jealous of the way I looked so much like my mum. Some people even mistake my mum and I for sisters.

I snapped out of my momentarily trance and noticed my mum was intently looking at me. Now I was worried,she never looked at me that way unless she had important news to break to me.

I remember quite well when she wanted to break the news of my uncle's death to me.My uncle usman and I were really close.You could imagine the shock I got when I heard of his death. I was in denial for a week untill I accepted that he was in a better place in sha Allah (if God wills).

So now that my mum was watching me with that same expression,I couldn't help but start getting the jitters. My mind started going to the worst of places. Was it my dad?did something happen to him? My dad travelled to his hometown katsina to visit my ill grandmother. As if my mum knew my mind was going elsewhere she spoke.

"Stop over thinking, it's nothing serious."She told me.

I relaxed a little bit. I couldn't help but ask her. My mind was going haywire . I couldn't handle curiosity. My elder brother Ahmad always tells me my curiosity will land me in trouble one day. So I built up courage and asked my mum.

"Mama then what's the problem?"

"Ikram,you know you aren't getting any younger..."

As she said that, my heart began hammering. This wasn't about marriage was it?

"And you know Uncle Abdul's son Kabir has shown an interest in you,why don't you give him a chance and see how this goes."

I looked at my mum with shock. She said Kabir fa. No no no way.I can't marry Kabir. Kabir was the son of my dad's friend. He was a very spoilt brat. Every time he comes to our house ,he always talks about his mum and all the materialistic things he had. No offence but he was too grown-up to keep clinging to his mum like that. I looked at my mum and said.

"Mama,you know how Kabir behaves." I whined. Displeasure written all over my face.

"Enlighten me please. How does Kabir behave? He's such a good boy."

Kabir. Good boy? Mama clearly doesn't know how things worked.

"Mama you know he behaves childishly,and how he's obsessed with material things. I don't like his character. And let me not add how he clings to mum for everything. How do you think someone like that is ready for marriage when he can't even take care of himself."

She looked at me and shook her head.

"Never really noticed those things about him. But what do you want me to do. You're not bringing any suitors."

"Mama,you know everything has its time. Just keep praying for me,the right person will come in sha Allah"

"Ikram kenan." Mama said.

I lowered my head,praying she doesn't talk about the issue anymore.

"Toh shikenan, Allah ya kawo nagari." (May Allah grant you the best of husbands)

"Ameen Ameen. Thank you Mama."

"It's nothing my dear. Go and boil my tea for me."

"Okay mama." I replied and stood up.

Mama was a diabetic patient and the tea she usually took was cinnamon tea. My grandfather told her to be taking it regularly because it helps decrease her sugar level. I really loved my mum and I couldn't imagine anything happening to her. I left her room and went over to the kitchen and caught Khadija taking meat from the pot. With her bare hand even. I fumed with anger.

"Khadija,what are you doing?!"

She looked really scared. She knew how I get when I lose my temper. That's right shiver in fear.

"Ya Ikram, I'm so-sorry." She said stuttering.

"Which sorry,even if you want to carry meat can't you use spoon? If this soup spoils, it's you and Mama and I'll make sure you're going to finish it. Leave this kitchen now."

I watched as she ran to the toilet banging the door knowing too well she wasn't coming out anytime soon. That girl is 13 and she doesn't want to grow up.smh. I took a pot and washed it then added the dry cinnamon and water and some green tea bags. I took my phone to check my messages as I was waiting for the tea to boil.

I started going through my messages. Most of the messages were from groups. I didn't really have much friends and I prefer it that way.

That's when I saw a message from Kabir. Talk about the devil. He was asking me to meet up with him. He already knew my answer why bother asking. I just rolled my eyes and left him on read. I noticed the pot boiling and quickly turned it off. Then I poured the tea in a flask and called Khadija to take it to Mama.

"Aren't you the one mama assigned?" She said stubbornly.

This girl is really getting on my nerves.

"Do I look like I'm joking with you? Come on collect this flask and take it to mama."

She was still frowning her face looking at me.

"If you don't collect this flask now I'll tell Mama what you did few minutes ago."

She continued frowning at me. I know she doesn't like me using things against her but she's so stubborn. She collected the flask and with that stupid frown in her face, took the flask to Mama's room grumbling. I face palmed. "Urgghh siblings."

To be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 2
Baba is coming back today. I really miss him. My baba,my world.

Every body in the house is busy preparing for baba's arrival. Khadija and Najmin our last born are dusting the furniture. Mama doesn't like employing maids. She believes that we'll become lazy. Besides our house isn't that big. Just a three bedroom apartment. But sha it made us better people. Najmin is just ten years old can already cook. I'm proud of the way mama and baba raised us.

I was just setting the trays for baba's food when I heard Khadija and Najmin shouting. Turns out baba has already arrived. Oh how I miss my hero.

"Assalamu Alaikum." I heard baba's voice

"Wa alaikumus salaam." I replied. Then ran to hug my baba with whom Khadija and Najmin are already clinging to. Yeah yeah I know I'm all grown up to run over like that ,but don't judge me. It's my dad we're talking about.

"Baba, sannu da zuwa. Ya hanya?"(welcome baba. How was your journey?)

"Alhamdullilah Ik Ik." Baba said with his personal nickname for me.

"Khadija and Najmin,oya leave baba to rest."

Khadija gave me her signature frown and Najmin didn't even pay me attention. These girls.

"Ina mamanku?"(where's your mum)

"She's prayi...."

Before I completed my sentence,Mama came in.

"Darling, yakike?(how are you )I missed you,the people in the village weren't taking care of me the way you do." Baba said smiling.

Mama was standing there blushing. My parents have been married for almost 30 years but they still act like they just got married. Aww goals?

"Lafiya lau Baban Ahmad. Ya su Hajiya da mutanen katsina?"(Fine Ahmad's father,how's your mother and the people of katsina)

"They're all fine Alhamdullilah. They send their utmost regards. That reminds me, where's Ahmad?"

"He went to the mosque." I replied.

"Okay toh, yalla you girls should go and pray."

I called both Najmin and Khadija and they reluctantly left baba's side. As if they're the only ones that have father. I rolled my eyes.

"You go first."

"No,you go first."

I heard Ikram and Najmin arguing. Argh,who wanna buy siblings. Siblings for sale.

"Before I count 5,one of you should go and perform ablution."

"Haba mana ya Ikram, tell Najmin to go first ,she's the youngest."

"Me dai I've told you guys. 3,4,5."

Before I could speak, they both ran to the bathroom.After waiting for them to finish. I entered the bathroom and performed my ablution and got ready to pray.

After praying, I raised my hand and prayed to Allah for guidance in all my affairs. And also a righteous husband.

I folded my praying mat then went to the parlour. Turns out ya Ahmad has come back. All of them were listening intently to a story baba was telling them. I stood by the curtain and smiled. I really love my family. Alhamdullilah.

I strolled over and ruffled ya Ahamd's hair. He glared at me then I sticked my tongue out.

"Mama, kin ga Ikram koh?" Ya Ahmad was saying to mama. Ya Ahmad will never grow up.

"Ikram,stop looking for your brother's trouble."

Now it was his turn to stick his tongue out to me. I rolled my eyes. Such childishness.

I zoned out completely from their conversation and started thinking about the direction my life is going. I'm just eighteen years old but I'm already expected to bring a husband home. Ya Allah,where do I find one. I have to stop thinking about marriage now and concentrate on my studies. Studying archaeology is kinda difficult but hey,which course isn't difficult? Ya Ahmad always teases me about my course. Whatever ,I love it. I love learning about ancient stuffs and history. Going to museums ,travelling around to discover new and interesting things.I'm in my second year at Nile University. The fees is kinda expensive and I feel bad for baba. I know we aren't that rich,but he insists on giving us the best,he says we deserve nothing less. Did I mention I love this man? Oh yeah I did. May Allah keep him for me. Ameen.

"Earth to Ikky." Khadija snapped her finger around my face.

"Uh-what were you saying?"

Everybody including my baba was laughing at me. I laughed awkwardly with them too.

"What were you thinking about?" Mama asked.

"Bakomai mama (nothing), just school stuffs."

"Anya,I don't believe you." Baba's cue.

"Wallahi baba,what could I possibly be thinking of?" I said with my most innocent face.

"Toh shikenan,if you say so."

Technically I didn't lie. I was thinking about school and erm..marriage.But they don't need to know that. Ya Ahmad will scar me for life and I'm not looking forward to that at all.

Whoops...I have to concentrate on their conversation,they're talking about where Ya Ahmad is going for his masters. Lucky him. He graduated this year from Bayero University Kano. He studied International relations or something like that. Can't remember. Hey!don't blame me. I just have a lot on my mind lately.

"I still have to do my NYSC." Ya Ahmad was telling baba.

"It's better to prepare early. Have you bought your NYSC form?" Baba asked him.

"No,but I'll buy it tomorrow in sha Allah after I drop Ikram and the rest in school."

"Okay,Allah ya kaimu."

"Ameen." We all chorused.

I excused myself and went to the room to speak with my best friend Zahra. Me and Zahra are total opposites. While I'm the calm,cool and collected person. She's a bubbling babe,talkative and a 100% extrovert. We met on our first day in the university. I can remember our first meeting vividly.

?Flash back?
It was my first day at Nile University. Baba and Ya Ahmad just left after they helped me finish my registration process. Immediately they left,I felt alone and nervous. Even though I know I wouldn't be staying on campus and I'll be going home in the next maybe five hours,that realization did nothing to calm me down. I looked at the map of the school trying to figure out where my lecture room is, but I just couldn't . I turned and turned the map,but it was just useless. I felt frustrated and wanted to cry when someone walked up to me.

"Hey,are you okay?"

I looked up and saw a girl my age. She was really beautiful. She had big round eyeballs and from the way she dressed, she screamed MONEY. I noticed she was looking at me ,then I remembered she asked me something.

"Yeah I'm fine I guess."

"You don't seem fine to me. Do you need help with anything?"

To be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 3

She seemed nice.

"Yeah actually, its my first day here and I can't locate my lecture room and this school map isn't helping at all." I poured out my frustrations to the girl standing before me.

She took my hand and said. "Come on,let's go. I'll take you."

"Really? Thank you. I'm having history now. Any ideas?"

"History? I'm having history too." She grinned from ear to ear,clearly pleased. I smiled back at her.

"Are you studying archaeology ?" I asked her.

"Yeah,what about you?"

"Me too." I squealed.

She laughed. I can see us becoming great friends.

"Oops I forgot to tell you my name. I'm Fatima Zahra by the way. But you can call me Zahra."

"Nice to meet you Zahra. I'm Ikram."

"What a beautiful name."

"Thank you." I said smiling at her.

We were so caught up in our conversation that we didn't notice we've reached the lecture hall. We quickly made our way to some empty seats. The lecturer came in just in time. He started by introducing himself as Mr Richard Collins. Then went on and gave us the scheme of work for the semester.The whole class introduced themselves and he dismissed us for the day.

We exchanged numbers with Zahra and promised to meet up in school the next day. And the rest is history.
?End of flash back?

"Hey Zahra'u, what's up." I know she doesn't like me calling her Zahra'u but she knows better that when she tells me not to do something, that's exactly when I want to do it to provoke her.

"Ikram,how many times have I told you to stop calling me that. You make me feel old. Say it with some class gurl." I chuckled. There she goes again.

We spoke for some while,mainly about school. After we finished our surutu (chattering ). I said goodbye and promised to meet her in school tomorrow in sha Allah.

Argh. That reminds me ,school. Can't wait to just finish once and for all.I didn't even notice when Khadija and Najmin came inside an were soundly sleeping. I changed into my spongebob PJ's. I'm a big fan of spongebob. I then went over to mama and baba's room to tell them goodnight. After telling them goodnight. I hopped onto my bed,prayed and then fell into a deep slumber.

*

I heard the buzzing of my alarm. The time showed 4:30am. I set the alarm to wake up for tahajjud. What better time to pray when you need guidance from Allah. I felt reluctant to wake up, but shaitan won't have his way. I said the prayers for waking up and went to the bathroom to perform ablution. After performing my ablution, I laid down my praying mat,took my maroon hijab and started praying.

In my last sujood, I took my time and prayed fervently to Allah. I prayed for my parents,my siblings,my studies,a good husband and righteous kids and for all the people in the world suffering from any kind of misfortune. I concluded my prayer and felt a kind of inner peace. Like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulder.

I heard the call for the subhi prayer and I rose to make my salah. After praying, I took my Qur'an and recited for like thirty minutes before I stood up to start the home chores. Since there's nobody to do it for me. I shook Khadija and Najmin to wake up for prayer and start preparing for school. They didn't even budge. Ya Allah. I spanked Khadija and she quickly sat up.

Start from the beginning
"Yalla,stand up and pray. You have school today. When you come out of the bathroom,wake Najmin up,kin ji?"

She nodded sleepily and made a move to lie back down but I spanked her again. Now she was giving me her full attention.

"I said go and pray koh?"

This time she stood up. That's my life urgh. I have to deal with waking these two up every week day.

Alhamdullilah my class is by 11. So I don't need to rush. I went to the kitchen to start preparing breakfast. I decided to just fry yam and egg sauce.

I peeled the yam and cut it into pieces. Then went further to put it inside the already hot oil.

I started slicing the onions and pepper for the sauce. Then I proceeded to make the sauce. By the time the sauce was almost done, the yam was already ready so I served it and went back to serve the sauce too.

Wow. I didn't notice when time went by. It's already after seven. I went to the room to call Khadija and Najmin so that they can eat and go to school. Phew. Thank God they're all ready.

Ya Ahmad too was already eating. Mama and Baba still sleeping. So I guess I'll cook their's for them later. Besides,since mama is diabetic,she doesn't eat much carbohydrates,so I'd probably cook something else for them. Khadija and Najmin waved me and off they went.

I went to the room so I could start preparing for my own school. I took my bath and dressed up in a plain but beautiful abaya. I then put my books in my bag and decided to go and cook for mama and Baba. I guess they're awake by now.

It was already 10:30 when I finished mama and baba's food. Served them and got ready to go to school. I waved my parents and hopped into the car to wait for ya Ahmad. He appeared and off we went.

The car ride was silent. A comfortable silence. I decided to break the silence

"Ya Ahmad, what time are you coming to pick me?"

"I don't think I can make it. You know I have to go to the NYSC head office."

"Alright no problem. I guess I'll catch a ride with Zahra."

Did I mention me and Zahra lived kinda closeby?

"Hmm..Zahra?" He said deep in thought.

"Yeah Zahra. What's the problem?"

"Nothing." He quickly replied. I was suspicious but I just decided to drop it.

We arrived at the school gate and that's when I saw Zahra's family car. I wonder why she didn't come with her's. While ya Ahmad was looking for a place to park. I noticed a tall,fair,handsome guy come out from Zahra's family car after her. They were having a deep conversation and I wondered who it was.

Zahra noticed me and jogged over and gave me a bone crushing hug.

"I..can't....breathe." I wheezed.

She rolled her eyes at me.

"Stop being overdramtic." She said.

"Who's the overdramtic one?"

We continued bickering before we heard someone clear their throat. It was that same guy I saw with Zahra. He looks kinda familiar. Where do I know him from?He was drop dead gorgeous. OMG. I was shamelessly checking him out,before Zahra nudged me. She was smirking. That look.

"Ikram,meet my elder brother that I've been telling you about,Adnan. And ya Adnan,meet my best human in the world."

"Salam Alaikum." I greeted.

"Wa alaikumus salaam." He answered with a bored expression on his face.

That's when ya Ahmad cleared his throat. I totally forgot he was there. He and Adnan did the bro handshake and Ya Ahmad left.

"Zahra,I'll be here by 3 sharp. Don't keep me waiting."

"Whatever. Bye"

He turned and left without acknowledging me anymore. How rude. I turned and noticed Zahra smirking at me.

"Your crushhh is baccck." She said in a high pitched voice. I shushed her and made sure Adnan was out of hearing range before I turned to look at her and said.

"Young lady, you have a lot of explaining to do."

To be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 4

"How can you do this to me Zahra'u. I feel so betrayed. Why didn't you tell me Ya Adnan was back." I said frustrated.

We just finished our first lecture and were sitting in the school cafeteria.

"Ha'an, I'm sorry. I just wanted to surprise you."

When I first met Zahra,she told me all about her brother. He was schooling in the UK. When I first saw his picture, I had a die hard crush on him. And the way he treated me today, I don't think he feels the same way. Urgh who am I kidding? I'm just plain old me.

I ignored her and asked my next question. "Yaushe ya dawo?"(When did he come back)

"The day before yesterday."

I gasped. I know I'm over reacting but hey he's my crush.

"And I'm just knowing?" I cast her an annoyed look.

"How many times do you want me to apologize? Just fashi it girl. Let's talk business. Did you see the way he looked at you?" She wiggled her eyebrows at me.

"Nah..don't play jokes with me. He was even kind of rude. Left without saying goodbye." I said.

"Don't mind him,that's how he is. But you have to bear with him. He's not used to interacting much with the opposite sex because of....." she quickly clamped her mouth shut as if she said too much. Now that piqued my curiosity up.

"Because of what?"
 
She shook her head. "Not my story to tell."

"What happened to us being best friends and never hiding anything from each other?" I raised a brow at her.

She sighed. "Sorry best frenn. I can tell you anything but this."

I noticed the atmosphere was tense so I decided to divert the topic.

"No problem Zahra'u." I then stretched and said. "And to think ya Ahmad asked about you today." I sighed and was painting my nails with an invisible nail polish.

That got her attention straight up. She has a huge crush on ya Ahmad just like I had on ya Adnan. We always joked on how we are gonna be in laws and marry each other's brother.

"Tell me tell me. What did he say?"

I smirked at her and replied. "Not my story to tell."

"My words right back at me,huh?" She smiled.

I nodded and stuck my tongue out childishly. Being the disturber that she is. She kept insisting and I had no choice but to tell her.

"Oh my Allah." She exclaimed after I finished telling her. She looked like someone who just won a lottery.

I laughed. "Sis in-law speechless much?"

A wide grin spread on her face. Even though it wasn't much she sees it as some kind of progress.

"For this great news. I must do everything in my power to make sure ya Adnan notices you."

Now it was my turn to smile widely.

"Oh thank you thank you Zahra'u,what can I do without you." I said and hugged her.

Yes we were childish like that.

She laughed and hugged me back. We continued talking about random things before it was time for our next lecture. We were having Field Archaeology I . One of my best courses.

After an hour, the lecturer dismissed us. But not without an assignment. I love the course but damn I hate assignments.

We gathered our books and went to the parking lot to wait for Adnan.
"I can't wait to see ya Ahmad when he comes to pick you." She said excitedly.

"Oops,I forgot to mention that he isn't coming. You guys are taking me home."

"Awww." She pouted. But then she immediately plastered a smile.

"At least ,you'll spend some time at my house koh?  And then I'll begin 'operation get Adnan to fall for Ikram'. " She sighed dreamily.

I laughed. "Where did that come from? But sha I won't stay long,you know I have chores to do."

She wanted to protest but decided against it. Good. Just on cue, A shiny black BMW drove and parked in front of us. The window was rolled down and surprise surprise it was Adnan. He was wearing a black polo shirt with a face cap. He looked handsome as always. He caught me staring and I lowered my gaze blushing slightly.

Zahra made me sit in the front seat and and she sat at the back. Singing loudly to Alessia cara's scars to your beautiful. I mentally groaned. She's too loud.

"Zahra, please keep quiet or lower your voice." Adnan spoke. Turns out I'm not the only one cringing at her loud voice.

Of course she didn't and even raised her voice more if possible.Typical Zahra.So we both decided to ignore her.

I was uncomfortable with the silence so I decided to make small talk with Adnan.

"So..you're finally done with your studies?" I asked. Then realized what a stupid question it was. Of course he's done. My subconscious rolled her eyes at me.

He just nodded without bothering to look at me. How rude. I wanted to talk more but I decided it was best I keep my mouth shut.

"Where is your house?" He asked without even sparing me a glance.

"Uhm..I'm actually going to your house to spend some time with Zahra." I replied.

He gave me a curt nod and continued driving. What's with him and nods?

We arrived at the Mammanur's mansion. Yeah it's literally a mansion. I never get used to gaping at the house. It had that simple yet stylish look with modern decor. I was lost in my thoughts admiring the mansion when Zahra'u knocked on my window. Turns out Adnan has even left the car without me noticing.

"You're always in a trance every single time you come over,which is most of the time and you are yet to get used to it?" She shook her head and opened the door for me.

"Hey,it's not my fault you have such a beautiful home."

She didn't even bother to reply me.

We walked in to their house and went straight to the kitchen. I saw umma,her mum cooking. Yum smells delicious.

"Zahra'u kun dawo ne?"(you are already back?) Ha'a who am I seeing? Ikram how are you. It's been long that you visited."

"Umma ina wuni (good evening). I'm fine Alhamdullilah. Wallahi umma ba haka bane (it's not like that). You know mama is not feeling too well that's why I rarely come."

"Ayya. No problem. How is her health?"

"She's getting much better Alhamdullilah."

"Okay greet her for me when you get back kin ji?"

"In sha Allah umma."

That's when Zahra decided to but in the conversation. This girl sef. She can be talkative but she can also be invisible that you don't even know she's there. Is my best friend bipolar or something? I always tease her about it.
Start from the beginning
"Umma what's cooking?" Zahra asked.

"Your favourite. Tuwon shinkafa da miyan  yakuwa."

"Aww Umma. I'm so hungry."

"Where's Adnan?I didn't see him come in." Umma asked.

The way my heart raced when I heard his name. This thing I'm feeling is escalating from a crush to God knows what. Seeing him in real life and not in a picture brought out things I've never ever dreamt of feeling. It was ecstatic. It was pure. Something out of the world. If only he'd give me a second glance. If only...

Umma told the maid to serve us our food. We sat on the dining table waiting for her. Adnan walked in and sat down on the chair facing mine. My heart skipped a beat. He wore a grey sweatpants and a white t-shirt that hugged his chest. I was busy checking him out that I didn't notice the food was served. When I raised my head,our eyes met. I quickly put my head down and blushed. Throughout the meal I could feel his gaze on me. Though it was uncomfortable, I felt like I was finally making some progress with him. At least he was looking at me.

After the meal, Zahra and I went to her room. We did our assignments and when we were done, we decided to chat a little before I go home.

"Did you see the way my brother was looking at you at the dining table?" She squealed. Not again.

"I don't think so. Don't give me false hope." I pretended not to have noticed.

"You sef. Instead of you to be happy that he's shown a slight interest in you. You are busy telling me you don't think so. I just don't understand you." She said  rolling her eyes at me.

I sighed."I'm trying not to get my hopes up."

"Get all your hopes up young lady because I'll make sure you and my brother end up together just as I'll end up with Ahmad." She sighed dreamily.

"Oh, so this is what it's about koh? You're only helping so I could help you with Ya Ahmad." I fake hurt.

She laughed. "You know it's not like that. Besides we are doing each other a favor, don't you think?" She winked or rather tried to.

I laughed with her. "Sha it's true. I hope we both get what we want. And let what we want be what's best for us."

"Ameen."

We made small talk before I realized it was getting really late. And I'm kinda scared of walking home alone.

"Zahra,lemme start going home. It's getting late."

"Haba mana. So soon?" She pouted.

"Yeah."

She sighed. "Now I'm gonna be so bored. And I know ya Adnan won't even keep me company."

As Zahra was the last born,she always feels lonely and I always felt bad for her. I wish we can trade places and she can have my annoying siblings.

"Don't worry,we'll meet up in school tomorrow in sha Allah."

She smiled."Can't wait."

I went to the living room where I saw umma and Adnan watching TV. I bade Umma farewell when she stopped me.

"Are you going back alone?"

"Yes Umma. Ai the house is not far."

"No haba. It's already late. Adnan tashi ka kaita gida da mota."(Stand up and take her home with the car)

"Umma I'm tired." Adnan replied. I could hear the displeasure in his voice.

"No it's okay Umma. I can go by myself. No need to disturb ya Adnan."

But Umma was not having any of it.

"No,you can't go home alone by this time. It's too dangerous. Adnan ba magana na ke maka ba?(Am I not talking to you)

He grudgingly stood up. Carried the car keys and went outside.

I thanked Umma and Zahra escorted me outside. Not before giving me her famous wink and knowing smile.

I just shrugged because I know he wouldn't even glance at me.

She just smirked and left. I entered the car and off we went. The silence was so awkward I decided once more to break the silence.

"Thanks for..uh..giving me a ride." I mange to stutter.

Silence. Silence. And more silence.

I decided to let it go. Everything needs time I tried to reassure myself.

We arrived at my place and I muttered a thank you and bye and exited the car without waiting for a response I'd never get.

I went inside and went straight to greet mama. I was really tired but I've got to cook. I went  to the kitchen and started preparing Jollof rice.

When I was done, I called Najmin to take the coolers to the dining table. Surprisingly she did without nagging.  I wasn't really hungry so I prayed maghrib and Isha then just went straight to bed. Immediately my head touched the pillow. I went to dream land. Dreaming of a certain some one.

To be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Episode 5

Adnan's POV

  It's safe to say that I'm kinda scared of girls. They are like this fragile piece of china that you're scared to hold too tight to. Because if they're held too tight,they're gonna break. The only females I could stand was Umma, Zahra and her.

Her. It's been long I thought of her. After that incident four years ago. I shut her out of my mind. But seeing Zahra's friend yesterday,what was her name again? Ilham or what? Ikram, yeah Ikram reminded me of her. They were so alike that for a moment there I thought it was her. But I know it couldn't be her. She...

"Ya Adnan, Abba is calling you." Zahra's annoying voice interrupted my thoughts.

"Okay,I'll be right there." I told her.

I stood up and went to Abba's room. I saw Zahra and Umma all seated. Was something wrong?

"Abba,Umma ina wuni." I greeted.

"Lafiya lau." They answered

I sat on the floor next to Umma and asked Abba why he called for me.

"Abba ka kirani."

"Yes Adnan, I called for you. You know I'm getting older now and this office work is really stressing me out. And since you studied business administration,I would like to hand over the company over to you."

I exhaled a deep breath I didn't know I was holding. I thought it was something serious.

"Okay Abba,no problem. I'll do my best and not let you down."

"But,there's a problem." Abba said.

The tone in his voice was kinda scary. It was like you have to do it and you have no choice. I tried to keep my face neutral.

"Abba,what's the problem?"

"I spoke with my business partners but they all disagreed. They said you are too young to look after the company."

"But Abba,I have all the experience."

"Yes I know but they feel that you're still not responsible. So I decided to get you married and they all agreed."

At that all the blood in my face drained. My body ran cold. I wasn't listening to what he was saying again. My mind just went blank. I looked over to Umma. She gave me a sad smile. Zahra's face was pale,why was she even affected. I'm the one who's gonna be forced to get married.

"But Abba..I'm not. .."

"No buts." Abba interrupted me.

"I give you a month to bring a bride home. If not,I'll marry you off to Baba Danjuma's daughter in the village."

I couldn't even speak. I nodded my head and excused myself from the room.

Many things were running in my head. Marriage. I'm not ready for marriage. I don't even date. I can't stand women. How can I live with a woman for the rest of my life. Ya Allah. Where do I get a bride from?

How can those business associates dictate that I'm not responsible. I don't need a wife to prove I'm responsible. Now they've ruined my future.

*

It's been two weeks since Abba dropped the bombshell of me getting married. Throughout these past weeks, I haven't even been eating well. I was depressed. Every single day Umma comes in and console me but I don't even spare her a glance. I know what I'm doing is wrong. Isolating myself from my family,but their presence alone annoys me.

I haven't spoken to Abba since that day. I've been avoiding him like the plague. What bothers me the most is that if I don't bring a wife ,he'll get me married to a village girl. I cringed even imagining that. A whole me,getting married to a local girl. Not happening. I really don't know what to do.

I decided to call and confide in my only friend Waleed. Waleed and I have been friends since we were little. He knows everything about me. He's the only one I can stand right now. I called and he picked in two rings.

"Hey niggurh,what's up. You decided to remember your homie today right?" Waleed's loud voice boomed from the speaker that I had to tilt my head to the side.

"Bro,it's not like that. I got myself in deep shit."

"Who did you kill? Ya Allah. I can't help you hide any dead body. I don't wanna spend life in prison." He joked

I rolled my eyes.

"The only dead body we'll be hiding is yours if you don't help me."

He laughed. "So man what's up? Your voice says you're anything but fine

I explained everything to him. When I was done, he burst out laughing. I swear I felt like wringing his neck.

"Waleed this is no laughing matter. If you were in my shoes,you wouldn't even think of laughing." I said annoyed.

"I'm sorry man. It's just so funny. I can't imagine you marrying a village chick. But seriously,there's nothing I can do. Say lemme come over to your place and we'll discuss it."

I sighed. "Okay,till you come."

A few minutes later,I heard the doorbell and went straight to open the door thinking it was Waleed. But turns out it was that friend of Zahra's.

When she saw that it was me,she started blushing. What the ...? Just at that moment Waleed came. I invited him in and we went over to my room leaving the girl by the door. But not before Waleed said Salam to her.

I plopped down on my bed and waited for Waleed to start talking.

"Man that was rude. You didn't even say Salam to the girl."

"You know I have no tolerance for all that shit right?"

"Well,you better start getting used to it because sooner or later,you'll be living with that shit as you call it. Who is she by the way?"

"Zahra's friend." I simply replied. "Enough about her. We are supposed to be talking about me remember?"

He sighed. "That's your problem. The way you treat ladies isn't right. I can understand with what happened years ago but you've got to move on and be happy."

I growled. "Don't. Ever. Talk. About. Her. Again." I emphasized every word.

"Whoa man, easy there. Just trying to help." He raised his hands in mock surrender.

I calmed down. "But help me get a wife,you have connections. Just get me anyone." I said desperately. Time wasn't on my side.

"Dude,that's not how it works. You gotta change your way of feeling. Try to tolerate women. Because if you don't learn,no matter who you get married to, you'll never be happy."

I let what he said sink in and sighed.

"I'll think about it."

"You better do. Bye. I have things to do. See you later man."

I saw him out and watched as he drove away. I turned and was about going back into the house when I bumped into someone.

"Ouch." The person said

I looked up and realised it was Zahra's friend. I keep on forgetting her name.

When she saw that it was me. She began stuttering.

"I'm. ..I'm...sor..sorry."

I just looked at her. I'm not a person who notices things about people but her big round eyes captivated me. But they looked almost dull? As if she's going through something.

I realized I was staring too much then I turned my face and nodded.

"It's okay."

Then I left her standing by the door once again.

I went back to my room. Deep in thought when I finally found a solution. I know who I was gonna marry. But that wife to be of mine should be ready,'cause  we're in for a long ride.

So who do you think Adnan has in mind?

What do you think of him? Comment your thoughts.

To be continued

Offline Gloria Girl

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Episode 6

Ikram's POV

Something's wrong. I can feel it. I don't know what it is but I can't shake off the feeling. It scares me as much as it excites me. I don't want to dwell much on it because right now I have a bigger problem at hand. Zahra my best friend. She has been avoiding me. I don't know what I did. At school,imemediately a lecture is over, she hurriedly excuses herself and says something's up. I haven't had a proper conversation with her for almost two weeks. I don't know what's wrong that's why I'm on my way to her house now. I don't mind that I haven't called to inform her that I'm coming because she might just give me an excuse and I'm not taking no for an answer today. She'll have to explain herself.

I took my time walking. I decided to walk because their house is just a trekking distance from ours. Besides it's healthy and I could admire the nature around me all day.

I arrived at their house and knocked at their gate. Their gate man, Mallam Musa opened the gate. I greeted him and asked if Zahra was around and he replied with the affirmative.

I walked inside admiring their mansion. The fountain in the middle of the large compound. Rows of cars were parked at one side. They had so many cars. Unlike us that have three. One for Baba, one for Mama and the last one for Ya Ahmad. Yep I don't own a car yet. But Baba promised me he'll get me one very soon. Although I told him it's fine and that I don't really mind. He insisted. I love this man. Have I mentioned that? Oh yeah I have.

I went up to their front door and pressed the doorbell. The door was opened in a flash and there before me stood Adnan. He looked disappointed as if he was expecting someone and that person definitely ain't me. He was staring at me so I lowered my head and blushed. God. Why does he always make me blush?

Just at that moment a young handsome guy who I'm guessing is Adnan's friend came. He said a quick salaam to me and Adnan ushered him in,leaving me standing my the door without even a glance.

I sighed and went up to Zahra's room. I knocked before I heard her shout come in. I went inside and found her lying on her bed playing temple run on her iPhone7. She didn't even raise her head to acknowledge whoever came in. I cleared my throat and announced my presence. The look on her face was priceless. I wanted to laugh but just kept it in because I came to talk about something serious.

"Surprised seeing your abandoned BFF?" I said almost irritably.

She looked as if she wanted to cry and I almost went over to her but I held my myself.

"Cat got your tongue?" I said annoyed. I know I'm being mean but I felt really hurt.

"I'm so sorry Ikram." She sobbed. "Please don't think I've been avoiding you for no reason at all."

"Then what's the reason? You finally got tired of me? Or is it because you realized I'm not worth your time anymore?" I was really angry. All the pent up emotions that I've been holding back came pouring. I know what I said was a low blow but I was too upset to think of them.

"How can you say that?" She said angrily. Oh now she's the one being angry. "You so badly want to know why I've been avoiding you? Well I was ashamed to face you." I was now confused.

"I was ashamed because I broke a promise I made to you." She continued. "You see, Abba wants Ya Adnan to get married so he can take over the company and he told ya Adnan to bring a wife in just one month or else he'll get him married to a village girl."

I was shocked and zoned out completely. I wasn't listening to her anymore. My heart was beating at an irregular pace. Adnan..marriage...in a month's time or rather 2 weeks now. So this is what heartbreak feels like. The kind of heartbreak where you haven't even fallen in love,the type where the other party doesn't even know you exist. It was a pain that sliced through me and made me numb.
"I've lost him..I've lost him..." I kept mumbling.

That's when Zahra noticed I wasn't even paying attention to her. She stopped and she looked at me with so much pity that I felt disgusted with myself. Who was I kidding? Why am I even letting this affect me? From the start, I always knew that I didn't have a chance but a tiny part of me told me I could try my luck and look where that brought me. Unnecessary heartbreak and pain.

"I'm sorry Zahra, I didn't know. Thanks for looking out for me though." I said my face void of any emotion.

"Wait Ikram,there's something I can do,don't lose hope. I promised and I'll make sure I keep my promise. Please talk to me."

"It's okay. We weren't meant to be." I said flatly.

"Let me start going home. Mama would be looking for me." I said and made my way out of the room.

"Ikram...dan Allah..." she pleaded.

I just waved her off and gave her a sad smile. "I'm okay,don't worry about me. I'll get over it."

She didn't say anything. I took that as my cue to leave. I went downstairs, my head lowered when I bumped into something or rather someone.

"Ouch." I said.

I looked up and realized it was Adnan.

"I'm...I'm...sor..sorry." I stuttered. What's wrong with me. Why does he always have this effect on me?

He was staring so hard at me that I felt really uncomfortable. He was looking into my eyes as though he was searching for something. My heart constricted at the thought that he'll never be mine. I think he finally realized he was staring too much. He moved his head away and uttered something I barely caught.

"It's okay." He said and left me standing by the door the second time today. Those two simple words he uttered seemed like he was telling me everything was gonna be fine. But I doubt it. I just need to hold my gears tightly and move on from this sorta crush.

I left their house and walked back home. As I entered the house. I noticed we had visitors. I think they are Baba's visitors. I went to the parlour and was about to greet them when I noticed it was Kabir and his dad. Great,this day couldn't get any worse.

I greeted Baba and Uncle Abdul then said a little salaam to Kabir and was about to go the room when Baba stopped me.

"Ikram,wajan ki suka zo."(they came to see you.)

I swear my breath stopped for a moment. This isn't what I was thinking was it?

I think the confusion showed on my face that's why uncle Abdul decided to speak up.

"My daughter,as you know,Kabir here has an interest in you and would like to court you. No it's not marriage,don't panic. We came to ask for your dad's permission and he refused to give us an answer. He said he wants to let you decide,so here we are now, what do you think?" I exhaled a breath I didn't know I was holding when he said it wasn't marriage. But immediately it dawned on me that Kabir wants to court me. No no no way.

I didn't know what to say. Kabir was there blushing like an idiot. Oh how I feel like wiping that smile off his face.

It's not that I don't have an answer. I do. I just don't want to make Baba look bad in front of his friend. I noticed they were all staring at me so I decided to respond.

"Uhm. .I don't know. Zan nema shawaran mama tukunna."(I'll ask for mum's opinion first)

Kabir clearly looked displeased. Even if his dad was,he didn't show it. He smiled and said. "No problem. Till we hear from you. Hoping to gain a positive response from you. I'll like to strengthen the bond between your father and I." He said.

I nodded and said. "I'll think about it in sha Allah" I said politely but deep down. I already have an answer.

They stood up and left with Baba seeing them off. I went over to the room and lay down on the bed flat on my stomach. I remembered the events of today and I felt like crying when mama came inside.

"Ikram,lafiya? Are you okay?" My mum asked worriedly.

"Yes mama I'm fine." I simply replied. I didn't want to bother her.

"I know when my daughter is not okay. Talk to me."

I contemplated telling Mama and decided to tell her. I told her everything from when I fiirst met Adnan to where Zahra started avoiding me up till this present moment.

She listened attentively. Then replied.

"Ikram,patience is a virtue. Know that whatever is meant for you will always reach you even if all the world is against it and whatever that is not meant for you is not for you and you'll never get it even if the whole world was to be on your side. Don't let any of these setbacks pull you down. You're your own person. Don't let Adnan bring you down. If he's meant for you,he'll come for you. Just go with the flow of life. And about Kabir, I'll talk to your father. Don't worry about it. Kin ji di ya ta?"(Have you heard my daughter)

With everything mama said I felt like crying but it made me feel good about myself. It made me content that whatever that's meant to be for me will always reach me.

I hugged mama and thanked her. I felt like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulder.

"You've had a long day. Rest up. Khadija and Najmin will cook dinner." Mama said.

"Okay Mama."

Mama left the room and I laid down. Just resting. No sleep in sight. I remembered I haven't prayed asr. So I stood up and performed ablution. After praying, I asked Allah for guidance because He is the best of guiders. I folded up my mat and was about to go the kitchen when my phone rang. It was Zahra. I picked.

"Hey Zahra I said I'm fine. Don't worry about ...."

I didn't get to finish when she gave me the news that could change my life forever.

To be continued
******

Do you think Ikram overreacted when she heard the news from Zahra? Since it's not like they were together or anything.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Episode 7

Zahra's POV

I've got to make things right. I made a promise and I would keep it. Seeing the way Ikram left with no emotions in her eyes,it broke me. She had so much hope and the news I gave her shattered every ounce of hope she had.

I prayed Asr and decided to take matters in my own hand. I strolled over to Ya Adnan's room and entered without even bothering to knock.

"How many times do I have to tell you to knock before entering?" He said without looking up from his laptop.

"Whatever. I'm your sis and I can barge in whenever I like."

"Suit yourself." He said without even glancing at me. My brother is an asshole. I rolled my eyes.

"We need to talk." I said in my most serious voice.

"We've got nothing to talk about sis. So please can you just leave me alone. I'm trying to concentrate on a movie here."

"It's about your so called marriage. I think I can help you out."

That got his attention and I smirked. He quickly put his neutral face and replied as if he didn't care.

"And what about my so called marriage? How can you help. I doubt you can get a wife for me in the next two weeks."

I smirked. "And what if I can?"

"Zahra stop playing games with me."

I rolled my eyes. "Do I look like someone who's playing games?"

I got tired of standing and went to sit beside him on his king sized bed. He was watching 'La La Land'. I wanted to mock him but decided against it.

"And who gave you the permission to sit on my bed?"

"Duh! I'm your sister. What's yours is mine."

He shrugged. "You were saying?"

"Aha. It's pretty obvious that you aren't ready for marriage. So I decided to make an offer to you."

"Do you have a wife for me or not?" He asked impatiently.

"Just hear me out,okay? And with this attitude of yours I feel bad for her."

"Who's her?"

I ignored him and continued. "So as I was saying, I can talk to Abba to postpone your wedding. Let's say to six months?"

He laughed bitterly." I doubt that. He wants me to bring a wife and I still haven't. So please if you're done wasting my time, can you leave my room?"

God. He's so annoying. I'm trying to help him here.

"I did not say I was done. But of course you'd have a bride. I'll convince him that you guys need to get to know each other better."

"Hmm..." He looked deep in thought.

A smile crept on my face. I'm starting to get through him.

"But that doesn't mean I want to get married." He said and my face fell.

"And who's the girl in question?"

"Ikram." I said simply.

"And who is Ikram?"

I felt like blowing up his head and feeding him to the vultures.

"My friend that I introduced you to the other day. Her parents too want her to get married soon. So I think you guys are the perfect match for each other." I said enthusiastically.

"Oh..her." The way he said it made me angry.

"Yes, her." I replied curtly.

"What's with the change of mood?" He asked completely oblivious.
I ignored him and said. "So what do you think?"

"Did she agree to it?"

"No. I haven't spoken to her about it yet. And since when did you care what others think?" I asked suspiciously.

Of course he ignored me. "And how sure are you she's fine with it?"

"Oh trust me, she's gonna be more than fine with it." I said with a sly smile.

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"Nothing Nothing. So what do you say?"

"Fine. Do whatever you want. But if Abba does not agree, toh." He said.

"You have so much faith in me big brother." I said sarcastically.

"Whatever. Now can you leave my room?"

"But you have to tell Abba that you've got a girl. I'll be there,then I'll suggest the six month thing,ka ji?"(you hear?)

"Yeah yeah,now leave my room."

I went back to my room smiling like a Cheshire cat. Mission accomplished. Now to break the news to the person in question.

I dialled Ikram's number and she picked on the first ring.

"Hey Zahra I said I'm fine,don't worry about..." I didn't allow her to complete her sentence.

"Adnan chose you. Adnan agreed to marry you." I squealed hoping she'd share my excitement. The line was silent.

"Ikky,did you hear what I said? Are you there?"

"Uhm..yeah.. Zahra stop playing jokes with me. Wallahi I don't like it." She said brokenly. She thought I was joking. OMG.

"Haba ikky,you know I'll never joke with something as serious as this,knowing how sensitive you are to the topic."

She was silent again so I had to make sure she was still on the line.

"Ikky,are you there?talk to me mana. I thought this is what you wanted. You should be excited."

"He really chose me?" She whispered as if she couldn't believe.

"Yes Yes ikky. You're gonna be my sis in law. Oh I can't wait to start planning your wedding. Your dinner gown should be Gold and black..." I kept on rambling.

"Zahra. I didn't say I agreed to the marriage." She said. Her voice uncertain.

"What? What? What did you just say? What do you mean?" I said shocked. I just don't understand this girl. One minute she's wallowing over Adnan is getting married and the next minute she's uncertain as to whether she's gonna marry him.

"Sai na nema shawaran Mama."(I have to ask for Mama's opinion first. She said quietly.

I nodded my head and realized she couldn't see me. "Okay. No problem. Let me know when you decide. But make sure your decision is centered around your happiness. And Ya Adnan is telling Abba about you later today. So maybe they'll come ask for your hand in marriage later this week. But of course,you aren't getting married right away."

"All this is overwhelming Zahra. It's just hard to believe." She said and I smiled.

"I know right! Saura ni(remaining me). Any progress with ya Ahmad?"

"Not really fa. But don't worry. Your time will come."

I sighed. Maybe I can get lucky the way she did. Who knows?

"Alright. Goodnight. Talk to you tomorrow. Love you best frenn. Dream about me."

"Night BFF. Love you too."

I hung up the phone and went to the living room to see if Abba was back. I saw him and ya Adnan watching the news. Umma was seated reading and eating some fruits. I greeted them and sat next to umma. I carried a piece of pineapple and ate it.

"Kin tambaye ni?" (Did you ask me) Umma asked.

I just rested my head on her shoulder and pouted.

She shook her head and muttered something about me refusing to grow up. I smiled.

I noticed ya Adnan was restless. His mind wasn't on the television. It's fun seeing him nervous because he never gets nervous except in the presence of Abba. I decided to pull him out of his misery.

"Abba, I think ya Adnan wants to talk to you." Ya Adnan glared at me and I smiled innocently.

"Is that so?" Abba asked.

"Uhm. .yes ..Abba." He said scratching the back of his neck nervously. Oh I need a camera to capture this moment.

"Go ahead then." Abba said

"Uhm. .well..Abba..about what you said last two weeks. I've found someone." He said clearly uncomfortable. Umma looked at me and I tried to look clueless.

"I didn't expect you to find someone this soon. Who's the girl?"

Ya Adnan looked at me for help. But I turned my head pretending to pick at my nails. He noticed I wouldn't be much help so he decided to just go on on his own.

"Well, it's Ikram. Zahra's friend." He said.

Umma looked at me confused and I smiled sheepishly.

"Toh fa. When did that one happen?" That was Umma.

"Very well then. We'll go over to their house on Friday in sha Allah." Abba said. Then ya Adnan gave me a look which said that's my cue.

"Ahem and Abba can the marriage be postponed maybe for the next six months? Because Ikram is half way in her second year. It'll be good for her to finish the remaining year. Plus it'll be good to give them both time to get to know each other." I said. Hoping he'll consider.

"Hmm.. we'll see. I'll have to confide with my associates. And I'll decide after we've spoken to her parents."

I sighed in relief. I could see the relief in Ya Adnan's face also. That went better than expected.

"Okay Abba."

Umma was still looking confused as if she just couldn't accept the fact that Ya Adnan and Ikram will be getting married. She gave me the look that says I have a lot of explaining to do. I winked at her and as typical Umma she shook her head muttering God knows what.

I bade goodnight to everyone and went straight to my room. I was stressed without really doing anything. I dozed off planning a big wedding in my head.

To be continued

Offline Gloria Girl

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Episode 8

Ikram's POV

"But are you ready to take that step? I know I've been telling you to get married but I won't force you into something you're not ready for. Ikram, go and pray isthikara (A prayer done when you want to make a decision). Your happiness is all that matters to me. And this is your decision to make. I'll go and talk to your father about it." Mama was saying after I told her everything. I was conflicted. I just wanted mama to tell me what to say but seems like she won't. She left the room probably going to speak to Baba.

After the conversation with Zahra yesterday, I couldn't get a decent sleep. I kept turning and tossing but sleep was not ready to take me. I lay awake on my bed,thinking of how my life made a drastic turn. I should be happy. This was what I wanted right? I liked him maybe not to the extent of love but I do feel something. But does that something I feel enough for me to take the big step. I sighed. I just couldn't get an answer.

I decided to take mama's advice and pray isthikara. I went over to the bathroom and performed my wudu. I spread my praying mat and prayed. On reaching my final sujood(prostration), I prayed fervently for Allah to guide me into making the right decision. I said my salaam and raised my hand to pray the Dua Istikhara.
The translation of the prayer is as follows :

'O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and by Your power I seek strength and I ask you from Your immense favour,for verily You are able while I am not and verily You know while I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah,if you know this marriage to be good for me in relation to my religion,my life,and end,then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it. And if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life,and end,then remove me from it,and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.'

I concluded the Dua and I felt at peace with myself. Indeed the saying "verily it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts do find rest" is hundred percent true. Not that I ever doubted it.

I went over to the living room and met Baba and Mama discussing. I said my salaam to them and sat close to mama's leg and lowered my head down.

"Ikram,your mum just finished informing me about the proposal we are about to receive. She also told me that you are not willing to accept Kabir."

"Yes Baba."

"So what do you think of this coming proposal. What's your decision?"

I already made up my mind but decided to play miss two goody.

"Baba,your decision is all that matters to me. If you think that this marriage is of khair to me,then so be it."

"No Ikram,this decision is yours alone. It's about your future. You're the one going to spend the rest of your life with him. So No I'm not making your decision."

"Okay, Baba. I'll accept the proposal. But Baba please let me at least finish my second year. We're already in the mid semester."

"Alhamdullilah. Ma sha Allah. That's not a problem my daughter. I'll talk to them when they arrive. May Allah bless your upcoming marriage." I blushed. "Ameen Baba." I said quietly.

Mama was smiling at me. She was clearly pleased with my decision. If my parents are happy nothing else in the world matters.

???

"Someone is all grown up. Har zata yi aure."(she's even getting married). Ya Ahmad has been teasing me since he heard the news. I mentally face palmed and ignored him.

"Amarya(new bride),talk to me na. Wait who's the guy sef. I need to have a very long talk with him."

I rolled my eyes. "Firstly,I'm not a bride. Secondly,it's Adnan,Zahra's brother." I replied blushing a little when I mentioned his name. Ya Ahmad caught me blushing and I mentally groaned. I'm doomed.

"Iyye,har da wani blushing."(she's even blushing)

I used both my hands to cover my face. He kept teasing me till Mama told him to leave me alone and go get himself a bride too. He started blushing and It was my turn to make his life miserable.

I went to our room to have a nice long siesta,but turns out luck wasn't on my side. Ikram and Najmin started their's.

"Iyye,ahn ahn,irin su ya Ikram. Har za a yi aure. Ahn ahn."(dunno how to translate it but basically,she's teasing Ikram.) Khadija started.

I used both my hands to cover my ear while they kept on blabbing. I completely zoned out and was thinking about how fate has its own ways. Here I am. Eighteen years old me. Already getting married. To my crush. Who wouldn't be happy and excited. Although I was happy,I still felt something deep inside. I couldn't explain it so I just decided to brush it off.

Khadija and Najmin were still blabbing when I stood and left them. I went to the kitchen to start preparing dinner. Time has passed without me even noticing.

Adnan's POV

Turns out as I had my plans,Zahra had her's too. I'm kinda grateful she brought it up because the person she had in mind was exactly the person I had in mind too. I had to play along with her so as not to bruise my ego. There's just something about the girl that intrigues me...

After the conversation with Abba. I felt a little relieved. I had been restless this past few weeks. They were hell for me. I just want all this to be over with. That reminds me, I need to call Waleed.

I dialled his number but it went straight to voice mail. That's odd. I tried five more times but still no response. I decided to leave a voicemail.

"Hey man what's up?You aren't one not to answer your phone. Call me as soon as you get this."

I dropped the phone and sighed. I hope he's okay. He might be a douche at times but he's one of the few human beings I really care about on this earth. Everyone else was just aimless matter occupying space for no definite reason. This life is f?cked up.

My thoughts drifted from worrying about Waleed to my so called future wife. I keep forgetting her name. Or maybe I don't, I just choose not to call the name. Why am I even thinking about her? She's just gonna be my housemate. Living with me in the same house that's all. I can't stand being too near to the other half of the generation namely women.

I wasn't always like this. But after she left. She took a piece of me with her. The compassion,the love,the kindness every fucking piece. And no matter how hard I try. I can't go back to being who I was a long time ago. I had no other ambition other than just taking over Abba's company,but those goddamn associates had to ruin my plans. Marriage was never in my agenda. Even though I knew it was inevitable. It came too soon. I wasn't ready for this big step. The responsibilities that comes with it and all. And now here I am,about to be trapped.

My phone buzzed bringing me out of my reverie. It was Waleed. About damn time he called.

"Where have you been?I've been trying to call you. Why wasn't ...."

I didn't complete my sentence because it wasn't Waleed that was on the phone.

"Hello Sir, please am I speaking to Adnan Muhammad Nur?" The female voice from the other end asked.

"Yes I'm the one. Who are you and what are you doing with Waleed's phone?" I asked impatiently with a tiny bit of dread in my voice.

"I'm sorry sir. Mr Waleed had an accident few hours ago and has been admitted to the National Hospital. We found your number in his frequently contacted list and will want you to report to the hospital immediately."

I couldn't speak. No it can't be Waleed. She's definitely mistaken. How did she get your number then? My subconscious whispered. No no. She must be mistaken. I can't lose another person. Not again. The memories wanted to resurface. I could feel myself hyperventilating. ...

"Sir are you on the line?"

I managed to slow my breathing and answered her.

"Yes..yes..I'll be..be..right there." I barely stuttered. No this isn't me I don't stutter.

This was no time to think. I grabbed my car keys from the side desk and went out in a hurry praying he was alright. Praying that nothing happens to him. I can't lose another person close to me. This will break me. I haven't even healed from the first loss,still barely gathering my pieces. No he's going to be fine. I have to be positive.

I bumped into my mum and muttered a quick sorry before dashing outside but her voice stopped me.

"Adnan where are you going to by this time? And in such a hurry. Is everything alright?"

"Umma Waleed had an accident. He's in the hospital. Umma I need to go."

"Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un."(To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return). I heard Umma mutter.

"Drive safe Adnan. Does his family know?We'll be right there with your father in sha Allah. Which hospital?"

"No I don't think they know. I'll let them know when I get to the hospital. National Hospital Umma." I said hurriedly without waiting for her reply.

I got into my car and zoomed off. All through the car ride I kept praying for him. Finally after what seemed like forever. I arrived at the hospital and went straight to the hospital. I'm sure I looked like a maniac. I went to the reception and asked the nurse for direction whilst catching my breath. She directed me and I ran to the ICU. Ya Allah. The ICU.

I went straight inside and saw a female doctor. Guessing she was the one who called me. I dashed over to her asking multiple questions at once.

"Sir please calm down. He got involved in a very ghastly accident." My breath hitched at that moment. "He has a very severe head injury but we've stabilized him at the moment." She continued. "But now all he needs are your prayers. He still hasn't woken up. We're hoping by tomorrow he'll wake up."

When she finished. I exhaled a breath I didn't know I was holding.

"Are you his family?" She asked curiously.

"Yes. He's my friend and brother." I replied simply.

"But what about his family?" She asked.

"I'll inform them."

She nodded and left me by the door of his ward. From the tiny window. I could see how pale he looked. With different tubes attached to him. This isn't the Waleed I know.

I sighed and sat at the waiting area and called his Uncle. Waleed is an orphan. He lost both of his parents in a plane crash a long time ago. He stays with his Paternal uncle. He's an only child. Waleed was family to me. My family took him as their's. My mum loved him like her's and sometimes I get jealous of the attention he received when he visited.

Uncle Sadiq said he was on his way. I put my face in my palms and just sat there. Just then I heard footsteps. It was my parents and Zahra with Uncle Sadiq right behind them. They came all looking worried asking me questions and I told them all that the doctor told me. They all sighed in relief.

"Adnan go home and rest. We'll be here Umma said.

"No Umma I'm not going anywhere. I'll stay right here till he wakes up."

Umma kept trying to convince me. When she got tired she let me be. It was getting really late so they decided to go home. I refused to go with them. I'd stay here with him because I know if I was in his position. He'd never leave my side. That's how strong out bond is. They saw no point in arguing with me because my mind was made up. They left promising to come in the morning.

I watched as they left and went to perform ablution to pray nawafil. I concluded my prayer after praying fervently for him. I still couldn't have the courage to go into his ward. Scared of memories resurfacing...

I made myself comfortable on the cold hospital chairs and drifted off to a long and restless sleep.

********to be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 9

Ikram's POV

Adnan's family were supposed to be here on Friday which is tomorrow but they probably won't make it. Zahra told me about Waleed's accident and I felt sorry for him. It had been two days and he was still in a coma. From what Zahra told me,Adnan was taking the accident really hard. He doesn't eat and he had been spending every single minute in the hospital. He hadn't left Waleed's side for a second. I really admired his loyalty to his friend. He must really mean a lot to him.

I get this crazy thoughts that I should be there for him. Wishing that I could share his pain. And whisper words of encouragement to him. But who am I kidding? I'm not even engaged to him yet. For all I know,he doesn't really care about me. Maybe I was just an easy target. It hurts me to have these thoughts wandering in my head. But I guess I should just look at the brighter side of it. Which is, I'll get a chance with someone I really like. I hope things would work out just fine.

My phone rang, bringing me out of my temporary reverie. It was Zahra. I picked up.

"Hey,how is Adnan doing?and how's Waleed?"

"Whoa whoa whoa, asking about the healthy person before the sick person and not even asking about me? Someone's whipped." I heard her chuckling.

My face turned a light shade of red."Uhm. .anyhow.How are you? And how's Waleed and Adnan?" I rephrased.

I could picture her smirking. "Well I'm fine since you asked."

She was clearly teasing me." Uh huh. That's good."

"If you insist,Waleed just regained consciousness and Adnan is as normal as he can get."

"I didn't insist and Ma sha Allah. How's he coping?"

"Who are you talking about,because I'm clearly confused." She said. Urgh this girl.

"You know exactly who I'm talking about." I said

"No I don't."

"Yes you do."

We continued bickering before I gave up. She never gives up.

"You never give up,do you?" I said rolling my eyes even though she couldn't see me.

"Girl,you know me. You shouldn't be asking that. Aha and back to the reason I called. Abba and Adnan are coming tomorrow."

"What?!" I didn't expect that. I thought they'll postpone it.

"You heard me.I'm so excited."

I'm far from excited.Don't get me wrong. I want this but who wouldn't be nervous when your future groom will come and you guys would be official.

"Oh okay." I said.

"Oh okay. Seriously? That's all you've got to say? You're unbelievable."

I laughed nervously. "What else do you want me say?"

"Nothing at all. Bye. See you tomorrow." She said and cut the call without bothering to hear my reply. She was pissed. She took things too seriously.

I went over to Mama's room to inform her of the latest progress. I found her sitting on her praying mat and reciting the Qur'an. I sat down close to her and waited for her to finish. When she was done she looked over to me and motioned for me to state what brought me.

" Mama dama Zahra just called me. She said they're coming tomorrow." I said with my head lowered.

"I thought you said they'll postpone the meeting because of Adnan's friend."

"She said he regained consciousness today so they'll be able to make it tomorrow in sha Allah."

"Ma sha Allah. I'll inform your father."

"Okay mama." I said and stood up to leave the room when mama's voice stopped me.

"Ikram,don't be nervous." She said simply. Was it written clearly on my face that I was nervous? Ya Allah.

I nodded simply and left. I went to our room and lay on the bed. Khadija and Najmin weren't back from school yet. And we were on midsemester break. We're gonna resume by next week.

I was staring off into space when ya Ahmad came in. He looked distressed. I immediately sat up. He was like my second best friend. We never hid anything from each other.

"Ya Ahmad,is everything okay?"

He ran his hand on his soft black curly hair. I loved his hair. Back to business.

"Ya Ahmad. You're scaring me,talk to me mana!"

"Uhm. .well it's nothing serious."

I raised a brow looking at him. It had to be serious since he's withholding.

"You know you can trust me on anything right?"

"Yeah I know. Well it's about a girl.." He trailed off.

My heart sank thinking of how Zahra would react if he was into another girl.

"What about the girl?"

"I've been thinking about her lately and damn she's occupied every thought of mine. I can't get her off my mind no matter how hard I try. It's really frustrating." He said in a rushed tone.

"Wow. I'm speechless."

He looked at me clearly needing me to say something other than 'I'm speechless.'

"But first who's the girl? Anyone that I know?"

He became nervous again. Well this could either be good or equally bad.

"Don't freak out but it's Husna." He said.

What?What did I just hear him say? Husna? Husna of all people? My brother fell for my arch enemy?This must be a joke. Husna was my cousin. She was an arrogant stuck up girl. Because their family was wealthier than ours,she made sure to rub it on my face every single time they visit or vice versa.

"You didn't say anything." He said looking at me intently and gauging my reaction.

I laughed dryly. "You must be joking. You know my relationship with her isn't all rainbow and unicorns infact its storm and spears or whatever." I said fuming.

"Easy there tigress. I was just kidding. I wouldnt do that to my sweet little sis don't you think?" He said laughing,clearly amused by my reaction.

I shoved him in his side. "Don't ever do that again." I said sourly. "You aren't even in love I assume. Just pulling my legs."

At that he became nervous again. What else was he hiding?

"I'm very serious. The person is Zahra." He said

"Which Zahra?" I asked just to make sure.

"Which Zahra do you know? So please Ikky help me. Give me her number."

"Okay." I said simply.

"Just okay?" He asked suspiciously.

"Yep. What else?"

He looked genuinely confused.

"I thought you were about to give me a lecture on how I shouldn't break her heart and all. And also what you girls do. Telling me to wait till you ask her." He said

I burst out laughing. "Not every girl is like that. Beside I know you are genuine and you'll be the perfect guy for my best friend. You know what'll happen if you as much as hurt a finger of hers."

"But would she be fine with it?"

"That's for me to know and for you to find out." I smirked.

He rolled his eyes and brought out his phone and I gave him the number.

He thanked me and left me with my thoughts. Mission accomplished. I couldn't wait to see Zahra's reaction. I had no doubt that my brother would treat her right. Although I knew they weren't going to get married soon cause Zahra's father was strict on education. He told Zahra that she had to finish her University before thinking of marriage. Besides, ya Ahmad was surely not ready for that step even though I know he was really serious with her.

I was about to go to la la land when those siblings of mine came back from school. Now I've got to cook. Urgh.

*

Adnan's POV

We were at my now 'officially fiancee's' home. Abba and Uncle Sadiq just left leaving me alone to talk with my 'fiancee'. Now everything was official. There was no turning back now. The marriage was in three months instead and I wasn't looking forward to it at all.

She sat there her head lowered not saying a word. I took my time to really look at her for the first time. She wore a purple abaya with colourful stones adorning it. Her make up was just simple. I didn't want to admit it but she was really beautiful. I don't deserve her. I don't even know what was in store for both of us in this marriage because I was really not interested.

She looked up and caught me staring. Instead of me to pull my gaze away I kept staring,trying to study her. Those brown eyes. I could get lost in them. What was I thinking? I quickly tore my gaze and she lowered her head again.

I wasn't going to say anything and she was not talking. I guess we would stay that way. This was awkward as hell.

"Why me?" She whispered. I barely caught it.

"What do you mean?" I asked

"I mean why did you choose me above everyone. What did you see in me?"

Because you intrigue me. Because I get lost in those eyes of yours. You fascinate me. There's just something about you. You remind me so much of her..

"You were a just a suggestion." I said shrugging my shoulders. I could see the hurt in her face.

Tears threatened to spill and in that moment I didn't want to see her tears. Why didn't I say what was on my mind? The real reason I chose her. But I couldn't. My pride was at stake. And it doesn't really matter because I'll never fall for her. And I hope she doesn't too.

I watched as she muttered a quick bye and sauntered out of the living room. I removed my cap and face palmed. What was wrong with me? I wanted to even collect her number but I didn't get the chance. I might as well collect it from Zahra.

*

All these marriage talks distracted me from Waleed's condition. Alhamdullilah he regained consciousness yesterday. I was so relieved. I couldn't imagine anything happening to him. He was more than a best friend to me. He was like the brother I never had.

I spent two nights in the hospital without going home. I promised myself that I wouldn't leave his side. I never had courage to go into his ward but when he woke up I mustered enough courage to go in.

He looked so pale. Not the Waleed I knew. He was still in the hospital. The doctor hadn't discharged him yet saying he wasn't fit even though Waleed insisted that he was fine.

One of the greatest fear I had was for him to lose his memory. That'd be disastrous. I was so glad he was getting better.

I left Zahra's friend's house and made my way to the hospital to check on Waleed. He was disappointed that he couldn't be on my 'special day' as he called it. There was nothing special about going to ask for hand in marriage since it wasn't willingly. What a day!

**** to be continued
Adnan what is wrong with you???
It's official..who's excited? 💃💃
Sha sha...until the next chapter...

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 10

Ikram's POV

"You're just a suggestion."

Those words kept ringing in my head. The moment he said that, everything around me spun. I excused myself and ran to my room. On reaching,there was only one thing to do.Cry. And that's what I did. I let the water works loose and cried my heart out.

What had I gotten myself into? What did I do to deserve this treatment from him? I was starting to doubt my decision. Did I make the right decision? So many questions running in my head.

God,I need answers and no one is providing them.

I heard the door open and Zahra came inside. When did she get here? My head was facing the bed so she couldn't see me. I tried wiping the tears so that it'd become less visible.

"Hey,have you been crying?" She asked.

Well I guess it was still visible. There was nothing to hide anymore.

"Uhm,well not really."

"Are you saying I'm blind then. Ikky what's wrong? Is it Adnan? I swear I'll break his leg."

I giggled softly.

"No he's not the one. I'm just overwhelmed. It's just hard to believe that I'm engaged and will be getting married in three months." I lied.

Her face became soft. "Aww,don't worry. Everything's gonna work out just fine. You guys just need to loosen up get to know each other. I'm sure you guys will have one of the most powerful love story ever."

"I doubt that." I muttered.

"What did you say?"

"Nothing Nothing. And,guess what?" I said diverting the topic.

"You know I don't like these guessing games,so out with it."

I rolled my eyes. Typical Zahra.

"Ya Ahmad asked for your number." I said looking at her and guaging her reaction.

"And I gave it to him." I completed with a big smile on my face. I was trying to distract myself from my own misery by focusing on my best friend.

"What?" She asked shocked.

"Yes,isn't that amazing? You should've seen his face when he was confessing his undying love for you." I said chuckling.

"Uhh Ikram,why did you give him my number?" She asked. Her face void of emotion. I tried reading her expression. Waiting for her to start laughing and telling me this was a joke but her face expression was impassive.

A frown made its way on my face. "What do you mean by why I gave him your number?"

"Wait Ikram,are you serious right now? You took me serious when I was blabbing my nonsense. I was just joking. Yeah I have a crush on him,but that doesn't mean I'm ready to be a thing with him."

Her words were like a massive blow to me. What does she mean? She must be joking. All this while,she kept on fawning over ya Ahmad was just fake? I can't believe her right now.

"Zahra,tell me you're joking." I said still waiting for her to laugh at my face and say something like 'gotcha' but nothing came. She was really serious. God,I can't imagine ya Ahmad's reaction.

"Ikram I'm really serious. It's just a crush which will pass off like the wind."

"But Zahra,he's my brother and he loves you. You rejecting him will break him. Please Zahra give him a chance. He's never really been in a real relationship, and now that's he's serious,if you reject him he'll lose faith in love. You don't want that do you?" I pleaded with her desperately but she didn't faze.

"I'm really sorry. I just can't, we can be good friends but that's all and besides I'm not ready for any relationship. Let me get going. Bye Amaryan mu(our bride). Sai munyi magana (Till we talk). She said and left waving at me leaving me with a dumbstruck expression with one thing playing in my head. Ya Ahmad....

*

It had been a month since my engagement. And I haven't heard from Adnan since then.

Some relationship!

I didn't even have his number. Mama always asked me why my fiance doesn't come and I always give her excuses that he had been busy with the new company and he'll find time soon. Mama always leaves disappointed.

My friendship with Zahra had been on rocks since my conversation with her about ya Ahmad. At school we just exchange few words and that was all. I didn't like the way we were drifting apart. I really missed my best friend. I think I'll just suck up my pride and go meet her even though I wasn't the one at fault.

When I told ya Ahmad,his reaction wasn't what I had expected. He smiled and said he loved her and he'll woo her his own way. I was relieved. I thought he'll give up on her but I guess his feelings run deeper than that. I wish Adnan cared for me that way.

I took my phone and started checking my whatsapp messages. I saw a message from an unfamiliar number. That was strange.

Unknown: Hey Bambi!

Me: Sorry who are you? And FYI my name isn't Bambi.

The number replied almost immediately.

Unknown: Ahh my Bambi is feisty. I like that!;)

Seriously? Who was this guy? Now that I think of it. It might be Kabir. He could've changed his number because I don't reply his messages. That piece of...

Me: Kabir I thought I've made it clear that I'm not interested in you. I'm already engaged to someone and I love him so please stop disturbing me.

Unknown: Who the hell is Kabir? And you love me?

What? Ya Allah! He wasn't who I was thinking he was, was he?

God I'm so embrassed right now. Did I just indirectly tell him I loved him? I don't even know if I do. What to reply..what to reply.

Me: Adnan?

Unknown: The one and only. You didn't answer my question Bambi.

Me: Why are you calling me Bambi?

I asked hoping he won't ask me anymore questions on something I don't even have knowledge about.

Adnan: Smart. Diverting the topic aren't you? Well,I don't feel like telling you.

He replied inserting the smirk emoji. Was this guy bipolar or something? I guess it runs in the family. He hadn't spoken to me for a whole month since when he called me a suggestion and now he comes back chatting with me as if were old friends? I can't keep up with this.

Me: okay

I replied simply. Two can play at this game.

Adnan: You aren't anyone else's Bambi. You Are Mine.

He replied and went off. The message left me all fluttery inside. I wasn't his. But will be soon but I was scared for this fragile heart of mine. He had already broken it once. I don't think I could handle twice.

*
Adnan's POV

I enjoyed chatting with Bambi but I don't think I could converse with her that way physically.

Bambi...weird name to call her right? I always get lost in her eyes and she looks so innocent like a Bambi. I didn't deserve her. I was only going to break her. She doesn't need to be brought into my dark hole. I needed to keep my distance from her.

I was seated in my office at the MammanNur Corporate. I loved the feeling of being the boss. There was no need to answer to anyone.

I examined my office. No personal attachment whatsoever. Just grey. The paintings,the leather chairs, the sleek mahogany desk. Everything was just neutral. Just the way I liked it.

My office telephone rang. It was my secretary informing me that Waleed was on his way up. Good,needed to catch up with him. He was all better now.

The office doors opened and there came in Waleed wearing a white kaftan and and a black cap. His black sleek designer shoes stood out. A Rolex watch was situated on his wrist. He looked good. Always had a good taste in fashion.

He walked over and sat at one of the grey chairs facing mine and nodded at me.

"Hey man,what's up?how's your health?" I asked.

He shook his head and replied. "I told you I'm all better. Just a little headache here and there."

"Yeah you've said that almost a gazillion time. So to what do I owe this unexpected visit?" I asked as I noticed a little scar on his forehead from the accident.

"Can't I just come to see how my best guy is doing in this huge office." He said looking around. "And damn man,your office is too plain for my liking."

"No personal items,no distractions." I replied simply.

"Well,so my man is becoming a groom in what? Two months? Never thought I'd see this day. I always thought I'd get married before you, we plan but fate has a different plan for us."

I rolled my eyes."It's just marriage Waleed,nothing serious."

He looked at me with disappointment covering his features. "Adnan,marriage isn't a joke,so stop treating it as one." He sighed and continued."I really feel bad for this bride of yours."

"Why does everyone feel bad for her? I can be a good housemate." I said nonchalantly.

Waleed shook his head. "You'd be surprised how things would take a drastic turn if you don't learn to tolerate and respect women." He said. "And mind you,she's beautiful,you're lucky to have her."

I scoffed at his last sentence. "Indeed."

"So how far with the house,have you gotten any nice one?" I asked Waleed. I left him in charge of that.

"Well,yeah." He brought out his iPhone and scrolled through some pictures. He passed me his phone and showed me pictures of one of the few houses.

"I like this one. I said pointing at one that caught my attention."

"That's the most expensive of all."

"I don't care, I like it." I said.

He sighed. "Isn't this supposed to be a decision you make with your wife to be?" He asked raising a brow.

"Nah,I'm the one buying the house after all. It's mine.

"I'm tired of your shit Adnan. Better get your shit together before you go into this marriage." He said angrily and stormed out of the office.

What was wrong with him? Overreacting for just this little matter.  It was because he wasn't the one being forced to get married. I rolled my eyes and continued with the work in front of me.

********to be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 11

Adnan's POV

I woke up drenched in my sweat and startled at how the nightmare felt real. Just like all those nights I had them. I sat up and felt for something to hold on to,anything. Something to bring me fully back to reality. I switched on my bed lamp and picked up the Quran that was there. I was never a religious person but I do try. I opened the holy book and read some verses and my thumping heart started to slow down. How the Qur'an helps restless hearts,no one knows until you experience it.

I checked my phone and it was 8:30am. So I went over to the bathroom to do my business. I stared at the mini sized mirror hanging on the wall and two red rimmed eyes stared back at me. There were dark circles underneath my eyes due to lack of sleep. My hair was a disheveled mess. I really need a haircut. To sum up,the reflection looking back at me doesn't look like me. How time flies!

I opened the tap and used the water to splash my face. The water was surprisingly cold for this season. I brushed my teeth,took my bath and came out dripping wet with a towel around my waist. I have to be in the office by 9:00am and it's already 8:50am. I hurriedly dressed in blue plaid shirt and washed out denim jeans. The perks of being the boss, I don't have to dress too formal.

I went out and saw Umma setting the dining table. My stomach rumbled at the sight of the heaven before me. Wafts of pancakes were set with a chocolate syrup to top it. Too bad I'm late. I grabbed an Apple and made my way to the door when Umma stopped me.

"Young man,where do you think you're going without eating?" She asked raising her brow.

I smiled."Umma I'm late for work. I'll grab a burger or something on my way to work." I replied. Umma clearly wasn't satisfied with my answer.

"You're the boss ai,who'd hold you accountable for being late?besides eat my food while you still can because very soon I wouldn't be in charged of that." She said smirking slightly.

I groaned mentally,not wanting to cause myself a massive headache because of some so called marriage.

"Umma,but there are some papers I need to sign. You know I'd love to stay and eat your yummy food." I said ignoring her last sentence and pleading with my eyes.

"No excuses. Come and sit down right this minute. How many seconds will it take you to eat?" She asked. I reluctantly sat at one of the chairs and served myself. At least I get to eat the yummy pancakes.

I was munching my pancakes when Zahra came down the stairs from her room. I guess she's going to school. I just hope Umma wouldn't force me to drop her off because I'm seriously late. Speaking of forcing, I remember when Umma made me drop Bambi at their house. I detested her at that moment but the way destiny plays,she's now my supposedly future wife.

Zahra came and sat at the chair beside me. After serving herself,she made herself comfortable and started eating.

"Ya Adnan yaushe za a kai kayan lefe" She asked with mouth full of pancakes. I was about to snap at her when Umma cut me off. "Yes Adnan,we have to start preparing this wedding,it's getting close."

I glared at Zahra and she gave me her not so innocent look. Then I turned to Umma and said. "Umma,please I'll leave you in charge of everything,this is stress wallahi. How much do you need?"

Umma shook her head."I wonder when you'll grow up,you're getting married so you better start behaving like a man." The lecture began.I zoned off and when I snapped out of it I caught the last sentence. "......but don't worry I will. I'll send you the details later." I sighed in relief. "Thanks Umma,well I better get going,I'm already late for work. Bye." I quickly sauntered off before she brings on another lecture.

*

Ikram's POV

I woke up to loud chattering all around the house. It's weekend so no school for me,but that doesn't explain all the chattering. I climbed down from my bed and went to the main parlour to find out what's going on.

Whoa whoa whoa. Where did all these people come from? Well they're not technically strangers. I spotted Anty Salamatu,Mama's junior sister with her little toddler Ayman. Then there was the sweet Husna,note the sarcasm. I rolled my eyes. I spotted Anty Yana,Mama's senior sister,Nawal,my twelve year old cousin and also Khadija's best friend. Mama was also seated there,then I spotted my favorite cousin, Rukky. We were really close,we got along very well not like Husna and I. They were all sitting chattering excitedly about God knows what. The younger kids were all playing around the house. What's the occasion?

I cleared my throat and made salaam announcing my presence. They all stopped talking and were looking at me with goofy smiles all over their faces,well expect Husna who was giving me a death glare and the little toddlers who have no clue what's going on.

That's when I noticed the boxes all lined up in the middle of the room. They were all open with different types of laces and atamfa. There were also some set of gold necklaces and that's when it clicked. The kayan lefe.

"The bride has woken up." Husna said sarcastically. I rolled my eyes and didn't bother to reply her. Rukky came and gave me a hug. I relished in her warmth. I really missed her. It's been so long. She let me go but not before whispering in my ear that she's gonna kill me for not telling her I was getting married. I chucked and promised to fill her in on everything.

I greeted all the aunts and went to Anty Salma to collect Ayman. I still acted oblivious to the boxes sprawled around the embroiled carpet. He was sleeping. Gosh,he's so cute with his chubby little cheeks. He's just a year old. I could feel everyone's eyes on me. Then I decided to speak.

"Mama,who does all this belong to?" She looked at me as though I had grown another head.

"Yours of course,who else is getting married in a month?"

They're too much and look so extravagant. Not my kind of things but I really do appreciate. The aunts were busy checking all the clothes saying things like ma sha Allah or yarinya ta samu mai kudi (She found a rich guy) what not and what not. I saw Husna at the corner of my eye and she was looking at me with so much envy. I wanted to throw it at her face but I'm better than that,so I gave her a soft smile which she returned with a Humph. Well I don't mind. I grabbed Rukky's hand and went over to the room to tell her all about it, because honestly,those kayan lefe were suffocating me.

We sat down at the edge of my bed and I told her how everything started. I finished telling her and she frowned at the part where the marriage isn't based on love.

"You know, when we were young,you always dreamt about your Prince charming and how you guys would fall in love,but I guess that's not how things went." Rukky said.

"I know right! Such childish dreams. This is reality and there's nothing I can do about it."

She looked at me with pity in her eyes and I hated it. I hate looking vulnerable because of him,so I put on my most fake smile and brushed the topic off. Thank God she caught the groove and we continued talking about random things.

It was time for everyone to go because it's already late. So I bade all my aunts and cousins bye and went back to my room. It's been a long day. I decided to call Zahra to extend my gratitude to Umm and Adnan. Me and her are now in good terms. We sorted out our differences. She tells me how her and ya Ahmad have become really good friends. I can't help but think how he's going too woo her. Well that's his problem not mine.

I dialled her number and it kept ringing without her picking up. Just as I was about to cut the call,she picked the call.

"Hello?" She said,her voice sounding as if she just woke up from sleep.

"Zedd,it's Ikram. Don't tell me you're already sleeping." I asked using the nickname I gave her.

"Oh Ikram,yakike (how are you)? Did you see the kayan lefe? Her voice now fully awake.

"Yeah,that's what I called about. Wanted you to thank Umma and Adnan for me."

"Umma, I will but ya Adnan,you'll do it yourself. Ai you have his number."

I mentally groaned."Please mana Zedd."

"Nope,you know me, so don't bother begging. In fact goodnight,you've already deprived me of my beauty sleep." And with that,the line went dead. This girl has issues.

I reluctantly went to my whatsapp and composed a message to thank him because God knows I can't call him. I wrote and wiped and wrote and wiped but couldn't find the right words so I settled for this simple one.

Me: Assalamu Alaikum, saw the kayan lefe,thank you.

Yeah that's it. Simple and formal. Just then I heard a message ding and saw his reply.

Adnan: Wa alaikumus salaam. Why so formal Bambi? And it's my pleasure.

This guy would be the death of me. He's so charming when we chat but arrogant when we meet.

Me: I don't know you that much,so I don't know how to reply you.

Adnan: Get ready tomorrow by 5:00,we're going out.

What? Going out?

Me: To where?

I asked cautiously, where is this guy taking me to?

Adnan: Just dress casual

And with that he went offline not even giving me the chance to reply. Well tomorrow is a long day. Looking and not looking forward to it. Looking forward to it in the sense that I get to see his handsome features and not looking forward to it in the sense that he might treat me like trash. Well only one way to find out. Tomorrow, here I come.

*

A/N: who's ready for some Adnan and Ikram moment?

Where do u think Adnan is taking Ikram to? Find out, to be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 12

Ikram's POV

I just prayed zuhr and I'm still panicking. I've been panicking since I opened my eyes this beautiful morning. Note the sarcasm. In like four hours I'll be going out for the first time with Adnan. Does this mean he finally feels something for me? Or is he just trying to play my feelings. I don't know and I'm reluctant to find out. The wedding is fast approaching and I'm really distracted. I left Zahra in charge of everything because honestly,I can't deal with the stress of planning a wedding. I always dreamt of how my wedding would go,but right now,I'm not even feeling it. All I feel is dread and just the unknown. But I shouldn't be complaining,I chose this for myself. It's my choice. I shouldn't be wallowing about it. Even though I complain,I don't regret it. Yeah,that's how deep the feeling goes.

Mama came to our room and found me pacing around. She stood by the door watching me with an amused expression in her face. I stopped and greeted her,my mind far from reality.

"Ikram." She called. I turned and she now had a worried expression on her face. "I've been calling your name for the past three minutes. What's wrong? Is it about Adnan?"

"I'm sorry mama,I'm just nervous going out with him."

She smiled. "I've been in your shoes Ikram and I know how it feels. If you're this nervous on meeting him,how are you going to cope with marriage and all? Just take a deep breath and calm down."

I nodded and took a deep breath then exhaled. All mama said was true but it reduced my nerves with just a bit. Why am I even overreacting? I squared my shoulders and gave mama my most brightest fake smile. I know she didn't believe it,heck I don't believe it myself but what can I do.

"Ikram,I'm your mother. You can't lie to me. Now go and start getting ready before he comes and you keep him waiting." With that,she left the room and I plopped myself on my bed. There's still time,I told myself and then I drifted off.

*

I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing. I rubbed my sleepy eyes and saw that it was Adnan calling me. Holy shìt! I checked the time. It was 4:16pm. Wow,I really slept off and no one woke me up. I started panicking, I don't have time to get ready. Gosh!being a girl can be so freaking hard.

I picked the call and made salaam. He replied and asked if I was ready,told him I'm almost done. Said he'll be there in thirty minutes.

I jumped off my bed and opened my wardrobe. He said casual. I scanned,but nothing. I groaned frustrated. What am I going to wear.

I brought out two evening gowns and then called Khadija and Najmin to help me decide. Yup!Called the annoying siblings. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I brought out the first gown and showed them. It was a long red flay gown. The arms were sleeveless and if I had to wear it,I'd use a kimono. They both shook their heads in disagreement. I then brought out the second one. It was blue in color, sleeveless also but had a unique look. It had a bodice by the right hand side. It was simply lovely. They both nodded their heads and perfect,I've gotten a dress.

I put it on immediately then went over to my vanity mirror. I'm not a fan of make up but a little kohl will do. I applied the kohl then applied a nude lipstick to complete it. I then took my coffee brown kimono and wore it.

I tied my hair in a loose bun then rolled a silver veil with a touch of coffee brown. I guess I'm all ready. I checked the time and it was 4:45pm. I felt my nerves going up but I tried to calm myself down. Just then Najmin came to tell me that he's already here. I swallowed a lump in my throat,grabbed a small bag and sauntered off.

I went to the parlour and he was there talking with Mama. He noticed me,and I swear I saw his expression changed to something like surprise,then admiration. Before I could read into it,it vanished like it wasn't even there to begin with. Wow,I might as well have imagined it.

"Salaam Alaikum." I greeted.

He answered and said we should get going. Mama smiled at me as if telling me that everything's gonna be alright. I nodded my head trying to make myself believe those words.

As we got into his car,I started checking him out. He wore a black jeans with a blue polo shirt. Talk about twinning couples. I rolled my eyes mentally. The buttons weren't done,giving me a little glimpse of his chest. His hair was a tousled mess but he still managed to look as epic as ever. Only Adnan Muhammad Nur can pull that off effortlessly.

"Take a picture,it lasts longer." He said voice dripping with sarcasm.

I blinked rapidly trying to process what he just said and a blush crept its way to my face. Nice try ikky. And what a bad way to start.

To cover up the awkwardness I felt, I decided to ask where we're going.

"So...where are we going?"

"That's for me to know and for you to find out." He said smirking.

"Oh." I said.

I really don't understand Adnan. I always say this. He really needs to get himself checked up. When he didn't reply, I made myself comfortable on the seat and zoned off.

The car halted and he came out. I was about opening the door when he came over and opened the door for me. I blushed lightly. So he can be a gentleman. Nice. I muttered a thanks to him and he nodded. I realised I didn't know where we were till we came in front of the place. A grill restaurant called Grill in and out. The outskirts of the place was simple and lovely.

We had a choice to either stay indoors or outdoors and he chose indoors. We walked into the restaurant and the scent of grilled beef almost knocked me out. Just then my stomach grumbled,how embarrassing. I just hope he didn't hear that. The place had a homey feel to it and when we were showed to our table, I made myself comfortable. But wait,is this like a date?yeah we're basically a couple but he didn't say anything like that. I was tempted to ask him but held my tongue.

The waiter brought our menus and said he'd be back to take out orders. I collected the menu and scanned through it,but all the names were strange so I didn't know what to order.

"Have you chosen anything yet?" Adnan asked.

I shook my head. "Not really,not familiar with these dishes but anything you order is fine by me."

He nodded and just then the waiter came and took our orders. Turned out he ordered something called grilled croaker fish with booli. What the hell is booli anyway?

"Anything else sir?" The waiter asked.

"Some Orange juice for me and..." he turned to me. "What do you want to drink?"

"Uhm. Orange juice is fine with me too." I replied. The waiter wrote our orders and off he went.

"You look beautiful." He said straight looking into my eyes. I blushed pretending to adjust my veil and replied. "Thank you. You don't look so bad yourself." He simply nodded. He might as well have been a lizard in his past life. Lol no offence. I didn't realize I was smiling till he asked.

"And what's so amusing?"

"Er--it's nothing really." He was about to speak when the waiter interrupted us by bringing our food. I thanked him and drooled over the meal in front of me.

I took one bite and moaned in satisfaction. This is really good. I munched my food oblivious of Adnan watching me. I raised my head and our eyes met. I held his gaze until he decided to look away and continue with his meal. I took a sip from my Orange juice and decided to talk.

"So...what's your motive behind this 'date'." I said using my fingers to air quote date. "Because I might not know you well enough, but from what I've gathered,it's not everyday you take your soon to be wife out,not that you've had any."

His jaw clenched at my last statement but then his face came back blank as if he didn't do anything. Wow.

"I like that you went straight to the point. Actually,I just wanted us to discuss some few rules before the wedding." He said nonchalantly.

I raised a brow."Rules?seriously? What kind of rules?" I said not liking where this was going.

"Yes rules and it's quite necessary."

I relaxed back on the chair and looked him straight in the eye. I don't know where all this confidence is coming from but I have a feeling it's gonna crumble off the moment he speaks. "Go ahead! I'm all ears. What are the rules?"

He assessed me trying to gauge a reaction from me but I kept my face blank knowing it wasn't half good as how his was at the moment.

"Well,Rule one,don't go through my stuffs. Rule two, don't enter my room without knocking. Rule three,Don't speak to me unless you are spoken to. Rule four,don't bring friends over to my house. And lastly Rule five,don't fall in love with me because I guarantee you,you'd get nothing more than heartbreak." He said smoothly.

When he was done,I lost my appetite for the food. I felt like throwing up. I looked at his face and couldn't imagine how such a handsome face would have such a stone heart. I kept my face as blank as I could and replied.

"I see. For your rule one,two and four,they're absolutely fine with me. Not that I have much friends to bring anyway unless you want to stop Zahra from coming to your house." I said calmly and he nodded.

"And what about rule three and five?" He asked.

"I was just getting to that. I'm not some kind of slave that you'd tell me to speak only if I'm spoken to. No you don't have the right to tell me that,bakin na mene ne dama (the mouth is for what?) I won't become a dumb person in my own matrimonial home. And for your last rule,falling in love isn't above anyone else,I should be the one warning you not to fall for me not the other way round." I said. Still not knowing where all this adrenaline is coming from. He looked almost shock at my outburst clearly not expecting me to react.

"Very well then,we'll see." I don't know what he meant by that statement but it gave me chills. Making me question my decision a hundred times over. I pushed the plate with remaining fish and told him I'm ready to go home. It's already getting late. I stood up and went out the car not caring if he followed. After about two minutes,he opened the car and I got in and he drove away.

The atmosphere in the car was tense. The conversation at the restaurant hung in the middle of our silence. So much to say but too no words could form. We reached my house and I muttered a thanks to him,just before I went inside,I looked back one more time and saw him still in the car looking back at me. He mouthed something I didn't get. I just turned and walked away.

***

[A/N]: So much disappointment,yeah?

Well who's ready for a wedding? Not good at writing weddings so be warned,but I'd try my best though.

To be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 13

"And one of His signs is that He has created for you, spouses from amongst yourselves so that you might take comfort in them and He has placed between you, love and mercy. In this there is surely evidence (of the truth) for the people who carefully think." (Surah 30, Verse 21)

Adnan's POV

The day I've been dreading is finally here. The day I'm going to get married. The day when I'll have to live with her for God knows how long. The day which brings lots of buried memories crashing to the surface wanting to burst in excitement. Trying to remind me of things I've lost and I'll never get back. The memories of her. It should be her that I'm spending a life with. It should be her that I'll be eager to meet. But because destiny has its own sick ways,because it thinks playing with my feelings for its amusement is worth my pain that it took her away from me. I don't think I'll ever love again and I really feel sorry for Bambi because I'm not the guy for her. She deserves someone much better than me. Someone who'd appreciate her unearthly beauty. Someone who'd stare into her eyes and see his world. Someone who'd knees would fall weak just because of her smile. I don't deserve her. And not lying to myself,I know that I'll never be that guy. I know that I won't treat her right,the way she deserves. She deserves to be treated like a Queen because she is. Too bad she isn't my Queen and will never be.

I snapped out of my thoughts as we arrived at the mosque. It's a Friday so after the Friday prayer, the wedding would be finalized. I came out of Waleed's Benz and we made our way to the entrance of the mosque. In his words 'Today's your day,so I'll pamper you.' Like hell I need pampering. I just want out but there's nothing I can do. We went inside the National Mosque and sat at the front row. The khutbah(sermon) was ongoing and we listened intently. I looked around for Abba and some of my relatives that came all the way from Adamawa just to witness my so called wedding but I didn't see them. Maybe they're running late.

The khutbah was concluded and it was time for prayer. I noticed Abba at the far corner of the mosque. I didn't even notice when he came.

The prayer was concluded and the time I dreaded the most came. People had started going out. The Imam called for their attention. He arranged his cap and started to speak.

"Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barkatuh." When everyone chorused the response,he continued. "We're gathered here today on this blessed Friday to join in matrimony Adnan Muhammad Nur and Ikram Sa'eed." Shouts of 'Allahu Akbar' echoed in the mosque. "I call on the groom and his guardian to come forward." I stood up slowly with all eyes on me and sat close to the Imam. I could see Abba from the corner of my eye coming forward also. Someone wake me from this nightmare.

After Abba was seated. The Imam called on the representative of the bride which was Alhaji Sa'eed her father and asked if he has accepted the proposal. With a smile on his face he replied with the affirmative. Then the Imam turned to the audience and asked if they've witnessed and they all chorused yes. The Imam turned to me with a smile on his face and finalised the wedding.

"May Allah(S.W.T) bless your marriage. May He provide you with righteous offsprings that will be raised into the Deen of Islam." The Imam prayed. I whispered an Ameen while the audience shouted Ameen. Everyone stood up and was congratulating me.

"Mabrook mabrook Adnan. Allah ya sanya alheri." That's how it continued till I got out of the mosque with Waleed beside me. The sun shone in all its glory. I looked above and squinted my eyes shut at the blazing Sun above me. Maybe this is a good sign?

I took out my phone and sent Bambi a short text. It's official. And put my phone back in my pocket.

Waleed looked over at me and smirked. "Officially a groom." I punched his shoulders lightly and said. "I still can't believe it."

"Well,you better do."

I nodded my head and whispered to myself. "I'm married."

*

Ikram's POV

I sat in front of the mirror as I watched Zahra expertly do my make up. I'm getting married today. Wow,this is all so overwhelming.

Yesterday was so stressful. Our house was bustling with activities since the call for subhi prayer. Immediately after the prayer when I was about to go back to bed,Mama called me letting me know that the henna artist just arrived and I should go get started. I looked at her in shock. It was too early. I went reluctantly and the henna artist started her work. She was really an expert. I couldn't help but admire how beautiful and intricate the designs were.

Immediately the henna was washed off, I ran to the comfort of my bed when mama called again. Time for dilka application she said. I groaned internally. Marriage is too stressful. I went and sat down and the local women started their work,rubbing the smooth yellow paste all over my body. After they were done,I left it for a few minutes and washed it off and oh my God my skin was as soft as a baby's. Subtle and glowing,what kind of magic is that?

"Oww." I cried as Zahra hit me with a brush snapping me out of my thoughts.

"Serves you right. You were moving your face anyhow and you were gonna smudge my hard work." She said scowling.

"Whatever." I said rolling my eyes. She didn't answer me and continued with the make up. We're here preparing for the dinner. The knot has finally being tied. Adnan texted me after Jumuat prayer to inform me. There's no turning back now. We agreed on just a wedding fatiha and dinner with close family and friends. Both of us didn't want an extravagant wedding and that's the only thing we agreed about without argument.

I was facing the other side of the mirror because Zahra said I'm not to see the make up until she's done. This is torture. We've been here for almost an hour and a half and the dinner is in an hour.

"Now you can look." She said making some finishing touches on my face. Finally...

I looked into the mirror and I was 'wowed' if that's even a word. This doesn't look anything like me. I kept looking at the mirror and waving my hands just to make sure that I was looking at my reflection and yes I was. She did an absolutely amazing job.

"So...what do you think?" She asked biting her lips nervously.

I stood up and hugged her real tight. "I look  absolutely beautiful,thanks Zahra'uu." I said releasing her from my grip.

She exhaled a breath. "Young lady,how many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me Zahra'u....." And the blabbing continued.

"Now here's your dress. Go get ready as soon as possible." She said handing me a bag after finishing her rant. I meekly collected it and went to Mama's room. I opened the bag and gasped at how beautiful the dress was.

It was a milk colour dress which the top was covered with a divine lace that added elegance to the look. It was simple yet beautiful. How could I ever thank Zahra enough for all she's done for me.

I wore the dress quickly and went to Zahra to tie my head gear. She took charge of getting me ready for my 'special day'.

She promised to show no emotion till I was all dolled up. She's doing a pretty good job at that. I watched as she tied the golden head gear into steps. When she was done she passed me my jewelries which were pure gold. I wore them and looked at myself at the full length mirror all ready. My reflection screamed 'Elegant' and I looked really good. I still can't believe that this is me.

When I turned to look at Zahra,she tried keeping the water works at bay but she couldn't as she burst into a fit of tears. Mumbling something I didn't quite get. I was about to join her when she gave me a death glare.

"If you dare let any tear smudge this make-up...." I didn't let her finish as I ran to hug my best friend. Who has always been there for me and I tried my very best not to let any tears fall but it's getting hard every second. She tightened her grip on me as if I could disappear if she lets go.

She finally let go. "But damn babe,you look breathtakingly beautiful." And that's how her mood changed and she's back to the normal chirpy Zahra that I know.

She decided to go back home to get dressed promising to meet me at the hotel the dinner was taking place in. I walked shyly to the parlour as the women there started yodelling and calling me.

I watched the tears that threatened to spill from mama's eyes as she looked at me but I guess everyone is keeping their emotions at bay till when I was leaving for good. Ya Allah,I'm already dreading that moment.

My eyes went over to Khadija and Najmin dressed in a peach fitted gown with their own head gear tied lightly and their necks adorned with matching jewellery. They looked sad and I know that no matter how much they tend to disrespect me or claim that they hate me,I know that deep down they love me and me leaving is gonna be a great deal for them.

I walked over to them and gave them a group hug. They hugged back tightly and Najmin being the youngest started crying.

"Ya Ikram please don't go." She said in between sobs. "I promise I'll do everything you ask. I'll always wash my clothes when I come back from school. Please ya Ikram,I don't want you to go." She cried.

Oh my heart. I didn't know how to console her. Khadija been the enclosed one refused to cry. She's good at hiding her emotions but today I could clearly see how her eyes were red. Unshed tears threatened to spill and I was holding all my power not to break down into sobs. And this isn't even the hardest part.

"Haba Naj dina(my Naj) don't cry. I'm still here and even if I go I'll come visit you every time and you can come have sleepovers at my place anytime you want if mama allows you. Don't cry autan mu (our last born) I'm not going anywhere, kin ji koh?"

She nodded but still held me tight sobbing silently.

"Yalla,it's time to go." Aunty salamatu called out. Well this is it. Do or die.

We all sauntered out. Because we were kinda much,two cars were used. Soon we arrived at the venue and I braced myself at how disastrous this dinner could go or how amazing.

*

A/N: The wedding episode was kinda long so I decided to divide it. The next episode will be up tomorrow in sha Allah, Thanks for reading. See you in the next episode and don't forget to comment.

To be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 14

Ikram's POV

We arrived at the Sheraton Hotel where the dinner was scheduled to take place. We entered into the hall and I gasped at how beautiful the hall was decorated.

It was a huge hall decorated with the simplest yet fancy decorations,the chairs were arranged accordingly. The plates,cups and cutleries were placed neatly on top of the beautifully clothed table in the right order. A bouquet of flowers on every table to make it look more assorted. The dim pink light that added a fun vibe to the hall and candles lit on each table placed magnificently. In one word,the place was absolutely and breathtakingly beautiful.

We walked inside and I was told to go and sit with Adnan at the stage while the rest of them made their way to various seats labelled with either family,VIP and so on. I was making my way to the stage and a heated gaze followed me. I looked up and it was Adnan giving me a look I wasn't comfortable with. He looked handsome in his kaftan and babban riga that I couldn't take my eyes off him.

I noticed every single thing about him. His beard had grown a little bushy but he still looked perfect. I can't believe I'm getting married to this handsome greek god. I was about to climb the stage when he stood up and gave me a hand. I reluctantly grabbed his hand and we went to sit at our designated seats. The first time I made contact with a non-mahram who isn't my brother or father. I felt the electricity that I always read in novels jolt through my whole being. Immediately we sat,I released my hand but his grip only tightened. He leaned over to my ear and whispered. "Welcome to my world Bambi." Making me shiver in God knows what. Just then I heard the 'click' of a camera. The photographer was just snapping shots of us and I just kept blushing.

The hall was full and the event began. The m.c was Uncle Ahmad,baba's younger brother and Ya Ahmad's namesake. Since the event started,I haven't got a glimpse on Zahra. I wonder where she was. Just then it was time for speeches,normally it's the best friends that give speeches but I saw ya Ahmad climb onto the stage giving me his killer smile. I smiled back and he started.

"There goes my sister,the beloved bride,as she holds hands and embarks on her new life." He says looking at my direction."My emotions are at bay as I bid goodbye." He continued. I promised mama that I wouldn't cry and I'm trying to hold on to that promise. Ikram we grew up together fighting and laughing,unaware of the time passing. We were best friends since the day you were born. I admired how you always looked up to me. You said I was your role model. That you wanted to be just like me." He chuckled at the statement and I wiped the tears that started free falling from my face. "You were also my place for help,you always put me before yourself. From advice about girls,to the way I dressed and holding me when I was stressed. And now I can't believe my sister is all grown up and starting a life of her own. I pray Adnan here loves you as much as I did." He said looking at Adnan. "But I doubt he'll go 30% to how much I love you." The audience laughed but I just smiled through my tears at the irony of knowing he'll never even come close to loving me the way ya Ahmad did. "You're going into a new family and also a new home,and my prayers are always with you so you are never alone." He concluded wiping a lone tear from his face. I didnt know when I burst out crying. His little speech was so emotional that it finally hit me that I'm leaving home for good. That I'll have my own home,build my own family.

Zahra came over and consoled me warning me not to smudge my make up that she spent hours doing. I cheered up a little and asked where she's been since and she just shrugged her shoulders and said 'around'. I gave her a suspicious look and she just brushed me off and went over to make her own speech.

"So,where do I start from?we've been best friends for close to two years now and I feel like I've known you forever." She turned looking at me and smilling. "You were always there for me. Advised me when I went wrong,stood by my side at my roughest time and I don't know how I'll ever repay you. And now,from best friends we're officially sisters. Do you know how long I've been waiting for this day? I guess you don't. Let me not bore everyone." She said laughing and the audience laughed with her. "All I'm wishing for you right now is the best and the most happiest married life. May Allah s.w.t bless you and make you patient in your new life. And Adnan,no speech for you." She said laughing. "Today I look at you as the guy marrying my best friend,we'll talk later." She said winking at him and he just rolled his eyes.

Zahra finished her speech and I stood up and hugged her real tight. "Thank you Zahra'u." I whispered. "Anytime." She replied. I let go and went back to my seat. The speeches continued and I was so emotional. Everyone was just giving me sweet words and wishes. I'm so happy I have such wonderful people in my life.

The dinner came to an end around 10:00pm and all the guests came to give their wishes and went home.

*

We arrived at my new home with Mama and my siblings in the car and other close relatives. My eyes were puffy from so much crying,at some point I couldn't even breathe. Khadija was sobbing really hard now,I guess she finally figured that I was going and things were never going to be the same again. Najmin was already tired of crying I guess because she just sits quietly. She looked over at me and I gave her a small smile which she didn't return.

The other women were just chattering oblivious of the gloom atmosphere. To them it's nothing. Don't they see? Mama's eyes were red. She wasn't crying but I know she could start any minute. I never knew getting married and leaving home could bring so much pain. I know I'd see them occasionally but it'll never be the same again.

We exited the car and walked inside the house and my God how my eyes went wide. The black and white linoleum floor of the entrance glowed,obviously had been cleaned before we arrived. Stairs lay across the room,climbing toward the ceiling. A doorway was on either side of the room. One admitting you into the kitchen,the other into the living room. The walls were a dark blue with silver brush swipes crossing over it,creating a shimmer effect. The furniture were also dark blue and silver. The irony of every thing having a dark colour because the owner himself has a dark personality. Everything was so breathtaking. The chattering women continued,praising the house and Adnan. Mama led me to one of the rooms upstairs and sat me down.

The room was exquisite with a dark pink colour paint. The curtains were a lighter shade of pink with glittering silver streaks on them. There was a large walk in closet by the opposite side of the room facing the bed. A dress mirror and a bathroom. The room was beautiful. I'm guessing it's mine.

"Ikram." Mama started. "Na'am mama." I said my voice hoarse from too much crying.

"There's nothing much I can tell you if not just to be patient. Sabr my dear daughter. Aure ba wasa bane (Marriage is not a joke). There are times when things can go hard,times when you'll feel you just want to end everything but you see my daughter,all that's normal. The only thing that can keep you going is your patience and Allah. When things go bad,turn to Him alone,don't come running home every single time you have an argument. Marriage is an act of ibadah,so perform your duties diligently and seek your reward from your Lord alone. Do not  Do not raise your voice on your husband,if he raises his voice at you,reply him with a soft voice and that's better for you. Know that Allah will lift you up when you're down,He'll make you strong if you're weak and He'll guide your path when you lose your way,so have Faith in him. Allah ya sanya alheri kuma yayi muku albarka. Ameen." (May Allah bless your marriage)

Mama finished and I held her tight and cried my heart out. She patted my back and I could feel her tears which made me cry even more. I don't know how long we stood that way till Khadija and Najmin came along and joined the hug. I couldn't even say a word,I just held them tight wishing I could never let go.

Mama finally broke the embrace and said it was time for them to go. I held her veil and sobbed harder. "No mama,please stay with me,don't leave me here alone. Please mama."

She just smiled at me sadly,took both Najmin and Khadija's hand and that's how they left me all alone. The house was so silent you could hear a pin drop. Everyone was gone leaving me. I wiped my tears and and went to the bathroom to take my bath. After I was done,I opened one of my boxes and pulled out my favourite sponge bob pyjamas. I dressed and climbed on the bed and tried to sleep.

I don't know for how long I slept but a sound woke me and I opened my eyes to find Adnan walking into the room silently. I quickly closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I could feel him getting closer. He came and stood just above me.

He used his fingertips to brush a lose stray of my hair and I felt a tingle in my spine. "Do you detest me so much that even asleep you cry and look so much in pain?" He whispered and I stilled. I didn't know I was crying. I wanted to open my eyes and assure him I'm not sad because of him but I didn't. I just lay there and he continued. "I'm sorry Bambi that I can never be the man you deserve." He said and kissed my forehead then left the room. I felt a surge of emptiness wash over me as he left. I wanted to scream at him and tell him he could be the man I deserve. He is the man I deserve but I couldn't. I lay motionless till sleep overtook me.

To be continued.

Offline Gloria Girl

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Everything I could ever ask for

Episode 15

Adnan's POV

I woke up late not having to worry about going to work because I'm on leave due to my so called wedding. I insisted on going to work but Abba said I'm on two weeks leave. Like seriously?I'm the boss.

The events yesterday was tiring. Who knew a wedding could be this stressful. Even though we insisted on just a simple thing,Zahra had to make it kinda big. The nerves of this girl.

Yesterday after everything I went to Bambi's room to find her already fast asleep with streaks of tears falling down her beautiful face. My heart constricted at the thought that I'm the one causing her so much pain. I brushed a loose stray of her hair and whispered. "Do you detest me so much that you cry even asleep and look in so much pain?" I don't like seeing women cry no matter how much I can't stand their presence. "I'm sorry Bambi that I can never be the man you deserve." I said kissing her forehead then left the room.

I snapped out of my daze when I head a loud clattering coming probably from the kitchen. I didn't bother putting on a shirt and went down to check. I went into the kitchen and saw Bambi still in her pyjamas trying to rearrange cooking pots that fell from the cabinet. I stood there watching her while she was oblivious to my presence. She finished rearranging and turned and that's when our eyes met. She looked from my face down and I guess she realized I was shirtless then turned her face blushing.

"I'm sorry if I woke you up. Just trying to prepare breakfast." She explained her voice timid.

I just nodded at her and went to the living room. I heard her sigh from the kitchen. I was watching the television when she came in.

"The food's ready." She said.

I nodded again and she left. I stood up and went to the dining table and sat down. She was about to go upstairs when I stopped her.

"Where do you think you're going?"

She turned."Excuse me?"

"Aren't you having breakfast?"I asked not wanting to sit alone and kind of craving her presence.

"Uhm. .I'm not really hungry. I'll eat later." She said and turned to leave.

"Come and have breakfast with me." I said with an authoritative voice and she kind of jumped clearly scared. I slapped my head mentally congratulating myself for scaring her instead of being a loving husband.

She immediately came and sat down not making eye contact with me. I served my food which was fried chips with egg sauce. The food looks delicious though. I took my first bite and almost moaned at how such a simple food could taste so delicious. I raised my head and bambi was looking at me consciously maybe trying to see my reaction towards the food.

"Do you like the food?" She asked quietly.

"It's okay." I simply replied even though I wanted to tell her how delicious it was but something always stops me from saying what I really felt.

She nodded her head and served her food. I noticed she served just a little. Maybe like five pieces of chips. Maybe she isn't much of an eater.

"That's all you're eating?" I asked.

"Yeah,told you I'm not really hungry." She said. But from looking at her I knew she was hungry and just didn't want to eat in my presence.

I dropped my fork,went over to her side of the table and served a large serving spoonful of chips on her plate and she gasped shaking her head.

"No no no. I can't eat all that. I said I'm not hungry."

"If you don't finish it I'm going to have to feed you and we both don't want that, so now eat." I said cringing at the thought of feeding her. No offence though, not just used to that kind of stuff.

Before I could say anything more, she dived into her food and ate hungrily. I knew it,she was hungry. Maybe just nervous and I don't blame her for feeling that way.

*

Ikram's POV

I woke up the next morning confused at my environment and then it hit me,I'm married and I wouldn't be living at home anymore and this is my new home. A wave of sadness washed over me but I pushed it away and made my way to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth and could feel my stomach growling with hunger.

I didn't bother to change or wear a head scarf because my mind was just too occupied on food. I'm sure Adnan is still sleeping by now.

I went into the kitchen and my God it was very spacious and beautiful. Every woman's dream is a large kitchen and I'm one of the lucky few. I looked around for possible food materials and everything and I mean everything was available. I settled on frying potatoes and egg sauce.

I prepared the egg sauce first before frying the potatoes, while waiting for the potatoes to fry,I was looking around the cabinets to find a flask and then I mistakenly opened the cabinet which had pots and they all fell down making a loud clattering sound. I hurriedly started picking them up hoping I hadn't woken Adnan up because I planned on cooking and eating before he woke up so I didn't have to face him.

I finished rearranging the pots and turned to check the chips when my eyes met with that of Adnan. Oh great!now he's awake. I then realized he was shirtless and I quickly turned my face while a brush crept its way on my cheeks.

"I'm sorry if I woke you.Just trying to prepare breakfast." I said quietly to which he nodded in response and left the kitchen. No good morning,no nothing,just a single nod. I sighed and continued what I was doing.

The food was ready and I went to the living room to tell him,he just nodded again and I left. As I was making my way to the stairs,he stopped me.

"Where do you think you're going?" He asked with a cold voice.

I turned and replied the first word that came to my head."Excuse me?"

"Aren't you having breakfast?" He asked. With the way he's behaving, I'd think he's starting to care but who am I kidding? This is Adnan we're talking about.

"Uhm. .I'm not really hungry. I'll eat later." I replied and turned to leave.

"Come and have breakfast with me." He said in a voice that got me really scared that I had no choice than to go and sit down with him.

I watched as he served himself and took a bite of the food. I was nervous of his reaction. Maybe I added too much salt,or the pepper is too much? He raised his head and I asked. "Do you like the food?"

"It's okay." He replied and I just nodded my head and served my food. Just a little,I can't have him thinking I'm a food monger. Why am I even being this insecure? I like him,I really do but he intimidates me. I don't know what made him this way but I'm going to find out.

"That's all eating?" I heard him ask.Why does he even care?

"Yeah, told you I'm not really hungry." I said. Even though I could feel my stomach growling.

I watched as he dropped his fork and made his way over to my side,took a large serving spoonful of chips and put it on my plate. I looked at him in horror and shaking my head. "No no no. I can't eat all that. I said I'm not hungry."

"If you don't finish it I'm going to have to feed you and we both don't want that, so now eat." He didn't have to say anything more as I dived into the food and ate without a care. The thought of him feeding me appealed to me but that's gonna be as awkward as hell. And because I hate awkward situations,I just had to eat.

*

The breakfast session was over without any of us saying another word. Is this how my life is gonna be? Silence everyday. This is gonna be very difficult. I went back to my room after clearing the plates and washing them. I took my bath and dressed in a simple green and red atamfa gown. My face was still glowing even after all the crying. I tied my head tie and did a light make up even though I'm not really going anywhere,but mama adviced me to do so and mama knows best.

I was just comfortable sitting on my bed and playing with my phone when the door to my room burst open and Zahra came inside.

"You almost gave me an heart attack." I said glaring at her. She ignored me and gave me a big hug.

"I missed youuuu. Look at how you're just glowing."

I rolled my eyes. "You just saw me yesterday."

"Aren't I allowed to miss my best friend? Anyway,all that aside,how are you and how's married life treating you?"

"As you can see I'm fine and I just got married so I have no idea but so far so good,Alhamdulilah."

"So what about ya Adnan,did you guys talk?"

I filled her in on what happened this morning and she was grinning widely.

"What?What's so amusing?"

"He cares about you, can't you see?"

I rolled my eyes." You called that 'caring'. Well he sure has a weird way of showing it."

"Exactly." She said. "I know my brother and I'm sure he's starting to like you,just be patient Ikram. He still hasn't gotten over what happened years ago."

I really want to know what happened years ago that made him this way. By putting two and two together,I just know it's a girl,but who is she? And where is she?what happened? And what did she do? I wish someone can just tell me so that I can understand his behaviour and learn to tolerate it.

"What happened years ago? Please Zahra just tell me. I know you'll start saying it's not your story to tell and bla bla but I need to have an insight,I need to know something that will keep me going if he's just gonna keep treating like I'm nothing. I just need to understand, please."

She sighed and shook her head sadly."I'm sorry Ikram but I can't tell you. He'll kill me if he ever found out I said a word. He made me promise not to utter a word about her or anything relating to her and I promised. Please don't make me break a promise I made."

When she said her, my doubts were confirmed. It had to do with a girl. But what could she possibly had done. Many scenarios played in my head but I couldn't find an answer.

"So it's about a girl?" I asked.

She nodded sadly. "Okay,I'll find out my own way. How are things with ya Ahmad?still 'friends'?" I said air quoting friends.

She turned and blushed slightly. I knew something's going on that she's not telling me. "Oh em gee,you're blushing."

"No I'm not."she said trying to keep a straight face. "Of course you are. What aren't you telling me? Spill."

"Well,I'm not really hiding anything. We're just friends."

"Uh huh." I said.

She took a pillow and hit me."I'm serious just friends,nothing else."

"You know I can ask him right?"

"Don't even try it. We're kinda like close friends that's all."

"Okay oo. If you say so." I said smirking.

"Whatever. Bye,I promised Umma I'd be back early and I've spent almost two hours here. And oh I forgot,Umma wants you and ya Adnan to come for dinner tomorrow." She said and with that she left. This is going to be so awkward.

*

To be continued.


Cokoye


 

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