3. Picture Perfect

Roses are red
Voilets are blue
Sugar is sweet 
And so are you

But the roses have wilted
The voilets are dead
I don't know why but
I believed what she said

***Aaisha***

Okay, she was good, really good. Or it could be that I was losing my touch. She really had me there. And here I thought I was too smart to get hoodwinked. I glanced over to the girl sitting in my passenger seat. Haalah Adams, who would have ever thought we’d meet again and that too, under such circumstances? The state she was in, the condition I’d found her in, was enough to bring tears to my eyes. I was terrified that I wouldn’t handle the situation right, but informing her father of her less than savoury activities seemed like the best solution right now.

I sighed and checked the time on the dashboard, 2:48 AM, on a normal night I would be fast asleep at this time. I sometimes wondered why I did things like this, why did I care so much? But then I remembered that these where MY students, MY children, by being their Apa even for a short while, I felt a sense of responsibility over them.

I looked at the girl sitting next to me with her hair tumbling down her shoulders in perfect curls, her slim top which revealed just a slight hint of her cleavage paired with black jeggings and tried to reconcile her with the Haalah that I had known, The sweet, slightly bashful, bubbly kid. I just couldn’t though, even her facial feature seemed different now that they were covered with face powder, foundation and only Allah knows what else. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined dragging her out of a club!

Okay, not actually from inside the club but picking her up from the club entrance was just as bad. The worst part though was that this wasn’t the first time it had happened. The exact same thing had occurred 2 months ago when I’d received a call from Diana, a waitress at the club, that there was a ‘Moslem’ girl here at the club and they were closing so she didn’t know what to do with her. She offered to put her into a taxi and send her home but she needed someone to pay the taxi fare. Besides, she didn’t even know the girls address and the girl was quite incoherent.

All of this at two in the morning when even I couldn’t think coherently so I downed a cup of strong coffee, suppressed the urge to crawl back into my warm inviting bed and braving the weather elements, stepped into my car and drove to the club. There, I picked up the girl and wondered how on earth did Diana know she was Muslim because I seriously couldn’t make the distinction. Not knowing what to do then, I took her to my apartment and stayed up with her until she could tell me her name and where she lived. To say I was shocked was an understatement and I would have done something then but my tiredness, her pleas and her promises to never do it again made me drop it. Besides, I didn’t exactly want to be someone who pokes her nose into others’ businesses and it was quite late, no make that quite early in the morning.

So you can imagine my surprise when I received another call from Diana today, telling me that the same girl was there, they were closing up and someone needed to pick her up. Deja vu much? This time though, I wasn’t going to turn a blind eye and let her of the hook so easily. How could I witness such blatant self-destruction and turn a blind eye? I just couldn’t especially when it was by someone who was my student, okay former student but same thing. My mind had difficulty comprehending that a Muslim girl could behave like this and do things like this. I’ve heard a lot about the condition of the Ummah today and how Muslims didn’t actually behave like Muslims anymore, but coming face-to-face with it and actually witnessing it with my own eyes, was something else.

I blinked as I realised the enormity of what I was about to do. I was about to shatter the perfect illusion that her father had of his darling daughter. Did I really have it in me to do this? Did I really have it in me to blemish the picture perfect image of their lives?

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