When I had first entered the restaurant, I had received weird looks from my cousins, thus I had sat with mere, oh well, more like she’d made me sit with her. Now as I made my way towards them, I braced myself. I knew that I might have to stand up for myself due to their teasing. I also knew that they would just tease and wouldn’t actually mind or think bad of my decision to wear niqaab.
I fiddled with the string of my niqab, removing it. I didn’t understand why mere hadn’t allowed me to remove it, even while eating. It was only my family. I usually didn’t even wear cloak in front of them.
I reached my cousins table just as I uncovered my face. I smiled brightly and greeted. “Bonjour.” A second later there was war going on between them.
“See I told y’all that its Saadiqah but no y’all won’t listen.”
“Yeah, yeah, carry on lying, you know I told you that but you said no, now when you see its her then suddenly you say that’s what you said!”
“No, I saw her eyes and recognised her immediately, I just didn’t want to spoil the girls’ discussion.”
“Carry on wishing,” one of the girls said, as a few of them stood up to go get something, leaving only Asif, Aadila and Safwaan. Laughing at them, I turned to my cousin Aadila.
“Hey Aadi, what was the girls discussion?” I asked. Before she could answer her brother Aasif butted in,
“They thought that you’re an arabian princess, visiting your mere.”
I looked at then, clearly confused. “But mere is from South Africa, not Saudi Arabia!”
“And I told you that, but again y’all didn’t listen.” Asif answered. I pulled up a chair and sat down next to Aadila.
“Errrm Asif,” I said slowly.”if you recognised me through my eyes……” I paused looking down so that he couldn’t see my eyes, “what colour are my eyes?” I finished.
“Uhhm they’re uhh brown.” he guessed.
“Describe what kind of brown.” Aadila commanded, knowing that I sometimes let my eye colour pass as brown though it wasn’t exactly brown.
“Uhhmm a very……. Uhhm twinkly brown?” he tried.
Aadila laughed,”Her eyes aren’t even brown idiot, they’re hazel.
Just then Safwaan who had been sitting quietly spoke up.
“Are y’all going to sit there bickering all night or do y’all want dessert.” He held up a plate of delicious looking brownies.
I was just about to dig into my delicious dessert when daadi called me. You’re probably wondering why I call her daadi and not grand-mere or memere. The truth is I visited my mom’s family in South Africa when I was little. I was fascinated by the fact that they called their grandmother ‘daadi’. So, I decided to call my grandmom daadi also and the name just stuck.
I went over to her to check what she wanted.
“Ma chere, aren’t you feeling hot?” she asked. I smiled, not answering. “Why don’t you take out your scarf, you must be feeling so hot in it.” I grinned and a minute later my scarf as well as my cloak was off. I felt a little guilty for not listening to mere but I pushed it away, not like she was ever gonna know.
When I joined the table again, the rest of my cousins had rejoined it also. Zuleikha, Isma’il, Isma’ils little sister Aatikah and Zuleikha’s adorable little brother Zaahid.
After an enjoyable dessert, it was time to go. I had replaced my cloak and scarf and was tying my niqaab when Asif decided to snatch it from me. Tying it on he turned to look at himself in the mirror while I yelled at him to stop it before he creased it. He however refused to. Zuleikha whispered something in my ear and a grin spread over my face. This should be easy, I turned around and covered my face with my hands. Seconds later there were real tears flowing down my cheeks. I had learnt to fake cry a long time ago, but I rarely did it. I imitated sobbing and a second later Aasif was next to me.
“Saadiqah, I’m so sorry,” he muttered softly placing it in my hands. “I didn’t mean to, I’m so sorry.”
I knew he probably thought of me as a cry baby by now and slowly uncovering my face, I stopped my tears.I looked up at his relieved face and couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing, destroying my act. Holding tightly onto my purda,I stuck my tongue out at him before turning to follow daadi out the hall. Asif caught my hand and pulled me back.
“Were you seriously faking it?” he asked.
I studied his face, noticing the gleam in his eyes. “Of course,” I answered truthfully,”you didn’t think I’d cry like that for nothing did you?”
“No,” he admitted, “but you should join the after school drama, you’d be quite good at it.” I rolled my eyes at him, greeting everybody before I left.
My parents were there when I got home. After asking about what I had did after they left My father insisted on doing ta’leem before I went to bed. I sat down as he picked up a kitaab and started reading.
“Nabi salalahu alayhi wa sallam said: It is great treachery that you should tell your brother something and have him believe you when you are lying.”
The words hit home as I realized what I had just done. It seemed like my wrong concept if fun had led me to do something worse, I had done wrong by disobeying them and I had lied to my parents.