6. Forbidden!

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم


Despite my resolution to evade Layla’s plan, I found my curiosity overcoming my apprehension when I received very queer responses from both my brothers too. I had relentlessly tossed and turned last night unable to sleep because I was so frustrated with the way everyone was carrying on. First thing this morning I phoned Layla.

Me: Fine! I agree. We are going to do this. Now what’s the plan?

Layla: Layya! What is wrong with you? WaAlaykum Salaam to you too. I have no clue what you talking about. I just woke up now. I didn’t even brush my teeth. My brains are not functioning yet and you want to talk in riddles.

Me: Oh gosh! Don’t be such a grump. I barely slept a wink last night so I have more right to be grumpy than you. Anyway, I told my brothers what happened yesterday and you know what?

Layla: Whaaat?

Me: Abbaas became a frog and Dihya looked like he was barely controlling himself from spilling something out. Before I could dig it out of him, Abbaas began dragging him away. Everyone is just being so suspicious and secretive.

Layla: Huh? A frog?

Me: He was croaking some unintelligible things.

Layla: So that makes him a frog?

Me: Ugh, whatever! I’m in on the plan. Mama is calling me now so I have to go. Phone me later when you are in a better mood and when your non-existent brain starts working. Assalaamu Alaykum.

Layla: Hey, so mean! Oh, so now you can greet. WaAlaykum Salaam.

I rolled my eyes as I cut the call. I rushed to see why Mama had called. I found her in the kitchen giving Baba breakfast. It seems like my two lazy brothers aren’t up yet. I sat down and began helping myself to the noodles.

“Mama, You needed something?”

“See what came!” Mama picked up a white envelope from the table and began waving it at me. “It’s from Canada and addressed to Layya Ma.”

I quickly gobbled down my breakfast before grabbing the letter and running to my room eager to open it. As I read it, a smile spread across my face and my heart rate began picking up.

She sounds so friendly and interesting; I just hope she doesn’t find me too boring. What if she expected me to be her age? What if she finds me too childish? What if she doesn’t like me? Only one way to find out…

I carefully took out my pencil case containing my favourite gel-pens from my drawer. I went through my stack of pretty letter papers before settling on one. Picking up a green gel-pen I recited Bismillah for luck and began writing, “Dear Saadiqah…”





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