7. In the blink of an eye

Aziza…..What?…..Who?…..I dont……Uhhhh……What are you doing here Aziza?

Aziza: “Uhmmm I’m here with my friends, why?”

Me: “I was just asking. I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Now what do I do?……. Tell her?….. or don’t tell her?

Aziza: “So what were you saying earlier?”

Me: “uhhh…..”

Just then I spotted Zaynub, Ayesha and Hafsa walking towards us. Taking them as an excuse I said “Aziza your friends are here, can we speak at home?”

Aziza: “But isn’t this…..”

Me: “No, Aziza it’s not about anyone we know.”

Zaynub: “Assalamu alaykum, how are y’all?”

Kausar: “Wa alykumus salaam, Alhumdulillah, long time no see, where y’all lost?

Hafsa: “Nowhere, just pulling out our rescue services.” She winked.

Kausar: “Maleeha, why don’t you and Aziza take a walk? We’ll wait here for y’all.”

I looked at her questioningly and she said: “Maleeha, I know you are worried but y’all need to sort it out together.”

Slowly getting up, I beckoned to Aziza who had not heard a word of our conversation and was looking at the sea.

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Walking on the pier, I explained to her everything I had overheard, when I was done she said: “It doesn’t make sense, why would we have family and not know about it? Why would our parents not tell us anything.”

We walked back to our friends still discussing possibilities, and together we walked back to our cars.

Entering the house, we decided we were going to confront our father.

We found both our parents in the kitchen and sat down with them at the table.

After talking about random stuff for a while, I noticed Aziza getting impatient so I decided to start questioning them.

Me: ” So dad, who is Basheera?”

He looked at me with a shocked expression for a moment before asking, “Where did you hear about Basheera?”

Me: “I sort of overheard y’all talking.”

Dad sighed and then said : “She is your cousin.”

Aziza: “Our cousin?”

Me: “How is that even possible? Because it’s not like you have another sibling, well….not one we know of.”

Dad: “Ok…let me explain everything to y’all….Basheera’s mother was my sister and in case you wondering we did not break of any ties. Basheera’s mother, passed away when Basheera was only 4 years old. After about a year her father then decided to re-marry, because Basheera was still young and needed somebody to look after her. Unfortunately, he got married to a woman who refused to have anything to do with her mothers family and prevented us from seeing her. Due to this Basheera eventually forgot us.”

Me: “So then, how did you see her?”

Dad: “You do know that I went on a business trip two weeks ago….Well I went to Burgville and I met her father, It so happened that she was with her father at that time. Alhumdulillah, Basheera is niqaab, so even though I am her mahram I couldn’t speak to her, because she doesn’t know me.”

A plan forming in my head I asked: “One more thing dad, what is her fathers name?”

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Letting all of this sink in was a mission, so after listening to my father we went up to my room with the phone directory.

Luckily Burgville is a small town and there were only two Yusuf, one of them having the correct surname, Akoo.

Dialling the number, I waited impatiently for someone to answer, after a few rings someone picked up.

Me: “Assalamu alaykum, it’s Maleeha, Khalid Habeeb’s daughter speaking. Can I please speak to Basheera?”

I gasped at the answer I was given and slammed the phone down in shock…..

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