10. Picture Perfect

I lifted the piece of black cloth from the drawer where I’d stashed it and held it up. I felt a twinge of guilt at the thought that it might be considered stolen. It was the same Niqaab that I’d snatched from Apa Aaisha.

I bit my lip as I remembered learning as a child that even if you took something from your siblings etc, it was still considered stealing. But it wasn’t like she asked for it back right? She knew I had it. Brushing of my conscience, I held it up to my face and tied it.

I couldn’t help but stare for a few moments in shock at the person reflected in the mirror in front of me. I looked completely different, even I didn’t recognise myself so there was no way that Mrs. Frere would. I stuffed a bunch of pillows and placed a wig at the top and now ready to put my plan in motion I called out loudly, “Mrs Frere, my friend is coming down, please let her out.”

Then I made a quick call and walked down to the exit, without a second glance, Mrs. Frere let me out.

Smirking, I fist pumped the air as I settled down on the side-walk. Was I good or what! I didn’t have to wait long before Parker pulled up. Smiling demurely at him I thanked him for picking me up. “Hey, anything for you. I told you, whenever you need anything just give me a call.” He stared at me earnestly, “Seriously Haaloo, I’d do anything for you!”

I flinched slightly, only Mama called me that ever.”Hey, what’s wrong?” “Calling me Haaloo is completely unacceptable! It sounds terrible” “Aww! But I like it, I think its cute,” he responded. I resisted the urge to gag! Could he get any more desperate? We weren’t anywhere close to in a relation and he was trying to give me pet names? “I said don’t call me that so don’t try it ever,” I retorted flatly, “Especially if you value your life.”

“Of course, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realise you didn’t like it so much. Please forgive me. What can I do to make it up?” he mumbled, attempting a puppy dog face. To say it was pathetic was an understatement. But it wasn’t as pathetic as he was.

I shouldn’t complain though, it was nice having my own personal lap-dog. I knew though that if I wanted to keep this bunch of boys eating out the palm of my hand, there was no way I could laugh straight in their faces, no matter how much I was tempted to.

We reached the club and I was about to exit the car when Parker cleared his throat, I turned to see him pointedly staring at my clothing. I flushed realising the enormity of what I’d almost done. I’d ditched the niqaab a long time ago but now I almost walked into a nightclub with an Abaya!

Quickly slipping out of it, I pushed it into my tote before walking into the club. A wave of euphoria hit me as the sounds of laughing, squealing and beats covered my ears. Sure a small part of me did feel a little guilty for going against papa’s rules but it was a very small part.

I have no idea why Muslim parents overreact so greatly for such simple things. It was legal, this club specifically catered to teens. The way they were carrying on you’d think I took drugs or was drinking or something.  Pushing away all these unnecessary thoughts, I smirk and stepped up, heart pumping at the thought of some decent fun after so long. All I could think was, ‘Why didn’t I try sneaking out earlier’.

Returning after so long brought back memories of the first time I’d been here and I sighed as wave after wave of nostalgia hit me as I remembered about Anne. She was my ‘mentor’ I suppose you could call it. I still remember the first time I met her..

(A/N: uh, it’s come to my notice that there are young children as well reading this blog, and while that’s not a bad thing, i don’t think the content in rest of this chapter and the next is exactly appropriate for anyone under 12. So if you fit into that age category please skip from here till the end of this chapter as well as the next. Chapter 12 will continue as normal, and you wouldnt have missed out anything major.)

**Flashback**

I was bunking class for the first time. I would have never done it on an ordianary day but today was an exception. At recess, I’d seen the teacher smack her child. I never knew the reason but at that time, it hit a little too close to home and my own heartache so I vowed that I won’t attend that teachers lesson.

Wandering aimlessly around the school, I only stopped when I spied another girl hanging out in the garden. I strolled up to her and stared straight into her eyes. “You shouldn’t smoke! It bad for your health.” She laughed humourlessly, “You’re bunking class and you want to lecture me about smoking? Oh you’re a funny ‘un.”

“Yeah well smoking is damaging your liver, kidneys and who know what else plus its toxic for your body. Bunking class, well its a stupid class with a stupid teacher so I’m not losing out on much. If anything, I’m doing myself a favour as research has proven that to sit inactive for long periods of time, staring at books and boards can actually be detrimental for your health. So if you look at it objectively, you will realise that I’m actually aiding my health while you’re damaging yours,” I sassed.

I stared curiously as she threw her head back and laughed. She looked gorgeous, honestly. The bleak, lost look in her eyes vanished and her entire face seemed to light up.

“I like you,” she muttered when she calmed down. And ever since then she had my back.

My next encounter with her was a few weeks later when someone invited me to join them at Calla and although hesitant, I jumped at the opportunity. With Papa in hospital and only Mrs Frere for company, home was the last place I wanted to be.

Not knowing what to expect, I was reasonably nervous but my nervousness turned into terror when someone from behind me yanked my shoulders and dragged me off. I opened my mouth to scream but a tiny hand came clamping down over my lips. “Don’t be such a drama queen! It’s not like I’m mugging you.”

“Oh yes! It’s not like its anything to be worried about if  someone grabs you from behind and drags you off somewhere,” I retorted in a sugary tone. “Enough with the drama, I am in fact saving you.” I raised an eyebrow and stared at here. “Okaaayyy,” I muttered doubtfully, “and I’m supposed to believe that?”

“I don’t care what you believe, all you need to do is put this,” she lifted up a bottle that looked like eye drops, “Into your eyes and we’re good to go.” I blinked, “No! Not until you tell me what it is.”

“That’s good, you not too trusting.” She nodded approvingly. “Stop trying to divert from the question, either you answer it, then I’ll decide if I want to go along with whatever you want me to do or,” I stared pointedly at the hand gripping my biceps, “You let me go.” “Fine!” She muttered clearly annoyed, “Let me ask you a question. Do you want to get hooked on drugs?”

I gaped at her. “What kind of question is that?” “A very sensible one. You see Haalah,” she leaned in closer and whispered, “I’ll let you in on a secret, not many people know but on the upper levels of this club, there are penthouses. These penthouses have windows that overlook the club as well as cameras that can monitor your every move. The minute a person walks in, the occupants of these rooms set their sights on them. If they appear clean, then every single peddlar sets their sights on them and from there, it’s a race to see who can hook the client first.

I’m only warning you because I like your sass, but to walk in there looking sober and clean is like asking for a surefire prescription to become a druggie. So do as I told you and trust no one! Any drinks you consume should be out of a sealed can and don’t leave your drink unattended for even a second. Understand?” My head was spinning with all this, and it was all I could do to nod meekly, “Right, but what is in there?” I asked nodding toward the bottle in here hands. This? Oh this is.. My own concoction you could say. You see, the first thing the peddlers look for is clear eyes. This makes your eyes glassy. Now you wasting my time. Here you can have it, I have more,” she said, tossing the bottle to me. “Really it’s your choice whether you want to use it or not. It really doesn’t affect me,” she said before exiting the restroom.

**End Of Flashback**

 

Now as I walked into Calla for the first time in a month, it reminded me of the first time I’d come here. Unlike that time though, my eyes were sufficiently glassy enough to appear that I’d had a considerable fix before coming. Words could not express how much I owed to Anne. Her advice had proven to be true as I witness every person who entered slowly become hooked. Ever since she’d graduated, we’d sorta lost contact. I made a mental note to try to contact her. Yeah, my guardian angel with a perpetual frown, that’s what Anne was. I smiled in memory of her as I stepped into the heart of the club, the dance floor.

*      *     *

*Unknown pov*

Hearing the sudden rise in noise at the entrance, I sluggishly lifted my head to see what all the hubbub was about. At the same time I signaled to the bartender to refill for me. I had been camping out here the past few weeks, waiting for her to come. And everyday that she didn’t I felt more and listless until it was all I could do to rush through the day and come to wait for here, nursing a strong drink. Sure, I saw glimpses of her at the school entrance during the week but that just further served to drive me crazy.

 

Now that I saw her, words couldn’t explain how great my desperation for her was. All I needed was the chance to prove my love for her, then she would begin to love me too. I have waited too long for fate to do its job but that wasn’t working. It seemed like I needed to take matters into my own hands. Even right now, my blood boiled as she walked in next to that dunce, Parker. He thought he was too great because he had decide to have his birthday party here at Calla. What he didn’t realise was that it didn’t give him the right to monopolize the most beautiful woman in the room. I had to restrain myself from marching over to him and starting a brawl. ‘Bide your time.’ I muttered over and over to myself like a mantra.

 

For the rest of the evening I didn’t even move my eyes of her for a second. Her constant turning uncomfortably to glance around her was an attestation to the fact that we were made for each other. Just my gaze could make her hot and bothered! “Soon my darling, soon we will be together and then you won’t have to search for me because I will be with you forever. I will never even leave your side for a single moment then!” I pledged softly, “Really soon.”

As if she could hear me, she handed her coke to her friend to hold and headed towards the restrooms. I fingered the tiny pill at the bottom of my pocket and smiled. Now all I had to do was bump into that girl… A piece of cake. Tonight Haalah Adams will be mine! Mind, body and soul!

Stealing is not allowed, no matter how small it is and from who. It doesn’t matter if the person doesn’t mind, if you take something that has been kept safely without the permission of the owner, you will be sinning.

Smoking is bad for your health and is Makrooh. Now why would anyone with a sane mind PAY for something that harms them physically and spiritually.

Too much sedentary sitting is bad for the health.

Y’all might have noticed that Haalah seem a bit hypocritical at times, it brings to mind the Hadith, “Music breeds hypocrisy just as water breeds crops.” But this is not the only harm. There are numerous harms to music. Many scholars actually say that this hypocrisy mentioned in the Hadith means that the person won’t be able to read the Kalima at the time of death!

There’s no such thing in Islaam as just a club and it’s legal. All of this is illegal according to Islaam. It’s Haraam for your own good. What goes on behind the scenes is truly beyond your worst nightmare.

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “10. Picture Perfect”

  1. It’s so sad that our Muslim youth are getting caught up in the dens of vice, may ALLAAH save us and our progenies to come from the scourge of drugs Aameen

    Liked by 1 person

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