Roses are red Voilets are blue Sugar is sweet And so are you But the roses are wilted The voilets are deceased My thoughts are all over the place And my heart is miseased
“Enough of your dilly-dallying. Call your father now Haalah,” she commanded determinedly.
Despite all my hoping that she’d forget about it, she made sure that she returned. She first came at six ‘o clock and I was delighted to tell her that papa was still at work but unfortunately, she pitched up again now, 2 hours later, and papa was home. I couldn’t even lie about it as his car was very evidently parked in the driveway.
Now acceding to her request, I nodded demurely. From the corner of my eye, I saw her posture relax slightly, she had been expecting me to put up a fight.
Timing myself perfectly, I spun around abruptly and yanked her niqaab of her head.
She stared at me simply stunned before primly asking, “What are you doing Haalah?”
Folding my arms, I glared down at her obstinately and said, “There! Now you can’t speak to Abba.” Unfazed, she picked up her handbag and took out another niqaab and calmly tied it.
Exasperation built up in me and I stared at her quizzically. How was it that she was always so unbothered? Nothing seemed to faze her. Anyone else would be running for the hills. Add to that the fact that she was so short and petite that I towered over her, I just can’t understand how she was so composed all the time. Even mama never used to be able keep up with..
Stop it Haalah, I chide myself, clamping down on the thought. You don’t want to go there. She’s not worth thinking about.
To distract my mind, I turned to Apa Aaisha and demanded, “How did you..?” I felt a twinge of guilt at speaking to her like that, the old Haalah would never ever be disrespectful to any Apa like this. Respect for Apas was ingrained in her. But I guess time’s change and now I don’t actually give a crap.
Understanding what I was asking, she replied, “I always carry a spare niqaab, you never know when you’ll need it. Now. Go. And. Call. Your. Father.” Unflinchingly, she stared me in the eye, clearly enunciating every word. She really meant business.
I racked my brains for another plan, but besides throwing her out which was out of the question, there was nothing I could do.
Still trying to come up with a plan, I froze when a voice rang out, “Haalah! Everything okay there? Why don’t you take your friend up to your room.”
Before I could do anything, Apa Aaisha spoke up, “Actually Mr Adams, I’m not you daughter’s friend. I’m here to speak to you, that is if you can lend me a few minutes.” I stared at her wonderingly, her voice now sounded surprisingly gruff and she spoke in a formal, almost stilted tone.
As the papa’s heavy footfalls got louder, I yanked my nails out of my mouth staring at them in disgust, I thought I had gotten rid of my onychophagia for good.
Papa entered the room glancing at me, “What’s going on Haalah?” My throat seized panickedly and I swallowed compulsively, finding it difficult to speak. Apa Aaisha either saved me or got me into trouble by speaking up instead, “Mr Adam, I’ve requested to speak to you because I thought it fit to inform you of your daughter’s less than savoury night activities. You may not know, but two months ago, and again last night, I mean this morning,” she corrected, “I picked her up from a club and brought her home in the early hours of the morning.”
Papa turned to me with clear disappointment in his eyes, “Halaah, is this true?”
I struggle to answer, whatever I say, I know he’ll take my word for it. But I also know that I could never lie to him, to anyone else I would do it without blinking an eye but not Papa. Not after all that I had done to him.
Nodding slowly, my heart felt like it was shattering into a million pieces when I saw the look of defeat in his eyes.In that moment I wished I could go back and undo my actions just so that I could erase that look.
But as he gave me a small sad smile, I saw that he understood. He understood what no one else ever would, what could never be explained to anyone. It was the inexplicable bond between a father and a daughter.
“One more thing Mr Adams,” Apa Aaisha interrupted, “before I go, I think you also need to know that one of those times, Haalah was incoherent and it’s probable that she’s drug abusing.”
Rage surged through me like crashing waves and I felt like throttling her. Not only had she ruined a perfect moment but she’d also just thrown me into a deep bucket of horse poo.
I vehemently started denying it but my heart sank as I saw the blatant disbelief on both of their faces. They didn’t believe me. It was fine. It didn’t matter, I tried convincing myself. But why were my eyes burning so much?