I sped back to the hotel room halfway through the wedding.
The night had started off well.
Ismaeel was getting married, it was a joyous occasion. We were all together. The atmosphere was enjoyable and calm
But as soon as I saw Ashley I became a bundle of nerves.
She was talking to Yasmeen but then she saw me.
I watched as she made her way towards me and suddenly it felt like the room had become a lot hotter.
I was so busy straightening up my tie that it took me a moment to register that there was something different about Ashley.
My eyes went wide as I realised she was wearing scarf.
Was all I could say as she approached me.
She flushed a little.
Uzair: I’m sorry you’re just… wow.
I wasn’t helping my self by continuously saying wow. I was making a fool of my self.
Ashley: You’ve said that twice already.
Uzair: Its just that, wow!
She began to laugh which gave me a moment to think, a moment I desperately needed so that I could conjour up a sentence!
Uzair: Sorry, for the over ‘wowwing’. I’m just blown away, your scarf, you…
She gave me half a smile.
Ashley: I actually wanted to tell you something.
Oh god. Why was this making me even more nervous?
Uzair: Yeah? Is it to do with the scarf on your head?
I said it as a half hearted joke but suddenly Ashley’s face turned serious.
Ashley: Actually yes, it is to do with that.
Uzair: Well go on, I’m all ears.
She took a deep breathe in and closed her eyes.
She opened them and exhaled slowly.
Ashley: I- I I’m. God why is this so hard to say. I did it!
Uzair: Did what?
Ashley: I embraced Islam.
Her words left a huge impact on me.
I was shocked, speechless.
Its not that it was out of the blue because I knew Ashley was interested in Islam.
But I felt like this now changed things.
Everything was going too fast and it scared me.
It scared me so much that instead of saying anything, instead of telling her that she was the bravest woman I knew, instead of telling her I was here if she needed my support, instead of looking her in the eye, I turned around and left the building.
I wasn’t use to this. I had been out of the courting game for many years but I knew that it was very odd to feel what I felt for Ashley in one week.
In one week a lot had happened and I needed to speak to someone. I needed someone to advise me!
Its times like this when I’m completely stumped and when my closest guy cousins are of no use, that I could use a females opinion.
As soon as I got back to my hotel room, I logged onto Skype and called Aara, praying she would be awake.
I needed some advice on matters of the heart and who better to ask than Aara!
She answered on the third ring.
Aara : Assalaamualaikum! Uzzzzaaaaaiiiirrrr!!!!(waving her good hand at me.) You thought of me at this hour, I am so honoured! How are you handsome?
Uzair: Where are you? Are you still in hospital? AARA!
Aara : (With a huge contagious grin.) Yep… one more week to go and then I’m outta here! Thank you for your letter by the way, and for visiting while I was still in limbo.
Uzair: Well you look well Aara. Very happy too. Have you succeeded in what my letter advised you to do?
Aara : Succeeding slowly and loving it! How’d the wedding go? Shouldn’t you probably be… (Suddenly staring at me while her lips formed a small “o”) Waaait a second… is that a sparkle that I see in your eyes Bobat?
Uzair: I’m a guy Aara! Our eyes don’t sparkle. Mines definitely don’t. But I would be lying if I said I hadn’t met someone…
Aara : Well hello , you should take a look at yourself in the mirror because those green eyes of yours are definitely sparkling! (Side smile ) Of course Uzair. ..you meet people every day..so (trying not to laugh ) Why are you saying that you met someone as though it’s the first time you know. ..that you met someone?
Uzair: Oh I see you haven’t lost your sense of humour. Ha ha ha. You know what I mean! I met someone and you probably think, why am I making a big deal out of this, but someone from the past has come back and I’m in a pickle and I need your help.
Aara : Uz the fact that the situation you’re in is bothering you, makes it a big deal. Spill! Tell me everything right from the beginning.
So I explained to Aara how I met Ashley at the desert and how we automatically clicked. Then I told her about my Yasmin encounter in Dubai Mall, including what Yasmin had said to me.
Uzair: So yeah Aaroo jaan. That’s my dilemma right now. On one hand I have the all too familiar Yasmin and even though I had a childhood with her and even though she says she has changed, I don’t know if I want to go down that road anymore. And then you have Ashley who I’ve only known for a week. But she is one of a kind and I say that not in a cheesy way, but because its the truth and I don’t know Aara!!! HELP!
Aara: Hmmm..wow…(exhaling a short deep breath ) I believe in second chances and in this situation it works both ways. On the one hand, Yasmin can’t be judged by her past mistakes and the same goes for Ashley, so that rules out the issue of judging because you’re a fair guy and I know that you would look at the “now” and not then. On the other hand, what’s bugging me is why did Yasmin choose now? She had just over four years to contact you and she didn’t… And now all of a sudden she sees you and sees it fit to plead her case.. Is it because of destiny or convenience. If someone truly means and intends to make amends in the hope of a second chance, they would literally go to the ends of the earth and find that person and blerrry well make amends and you’re Uzair Bobat! Your family isn’t exactly hard to find if you know what I mean. But…giving her the benefit of the doubt, and we can assume that she was on Mars all this while, we can acknowledge her as a fair contender, However, just for the record, I am not feeling it. And then we have Ashley. Unexpected Ashley. And she comes like a breath of fresh air, something that you have never quite experienced before and apart from the fact that she’s intelligent, witty, has had a somewhat tough life. .. she’s honest . And looking at the way that you’re smiling right now, I can see that it’s the honesty that’s bringing the most points home for you. (Pausing and smiling at Uzair ) You took the time out to find yourself, you dedicated years to helping people…and it doesn’t end because dawah has no end. But Uzair, the need for companionship does become overpowering at times. Its part of what makes us human. Can I ask, what is it that goes through your mind when you think of Yasmin, and what goes through your mind when you think of Ashley?
Uzair: Yasmin, my thoughts are so bitter sweet. I feel like I’m a convenience for her. Ashley, you mention her name and I just picture her face in my mind, her eyes hold this mystery. But she’s so new to me. Maybe its the new that infatuates me.
Aara : Woah, infatuation? I think not. It’s probably a little too soon to call it love but something is there for sure and it’s fine for it not to have a name right now. ..The whole Yasmin saga is what made you somewhat lose hope at that point in your life and the question is, can you see yourself living with her, being married to her and making a life with her? After Yasmin, you changed, you embraced the world and put yourself in situations that many would never have even tried to.. I’m not saying that she doesn’t deserve the chance but Uzair, do you possibly see yourself giving her this chance?
Uzair: I phoned you so that you could tell me what to do. These questions are messing with my head Aaroooo!
Aara : (whistling ) While I can’t exactly tell you what to do… (Laughing ) I think that you already have the answer! Uzair Bobat, I am pleased to tell you that you are actually starting to fall in love!
Uzair: Thank you Aara for announcing that out loud. Ah, but but but. What if its the wrong move? I’ll admit I am scared, so scared that I’m so so scared. I don’t even make sense
Aara : (Smiling from ear to ear ) Relax, no one’s here… but the nurses may have heard me! (Chuckling to herself )You have it THAT bad! Uzair has the Ashley effect! On a more serious note, if this girl does what she’s doing to you in such a short space of time, and for her to have captivated you with her brain and heart more than her physical appearance, then I think that if you go with your gut, everyday with her is going to be something new… A new challenge, a new learning experience. She’s just become a Muslim so you can teach her so much and in this itself, love will blossom. And you will get lots of sawaab too. And the intrigue aspect that comes with being in unfamiliar territory will make it even more exhilarating! But don’t wait too long Uzair, don’t prolong it at all in fact. Don’t deprive yourself of that baraka. When I last saw you in Durban, you had this look in your eyes, as though you were lost somewhere faraway, as though you were tired of searching for something. You want to know something, I don’t see that in your eyes anymore…
Uzair: Have you ever thought about becoming a psychologist? You really know how to get into my head. But what you said makes a lot of sense. In a short time all this has happened and maybe its the speed at which it happened that scares me but, you’re right. I shouldn’t prolong what feels right. Lemme sleep and tomorrow pray that Ill have the guts to do what I got to do!
Aara : That is of course IF you sleep (Laughing ) Uz Uz, don’t look at the speed in a negative or different light. Look at it as if life is putting you on a fast track to happiness, because even though it’s long overdue, when the time is right, what is meant to be will always find its way!
Uzair: Your optimistic view on this situation is rubbing off on me. I’m a little less scared, less panicky, more calm. Wooooo, feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The rest of these boys are all useless with this emotional talk, so thank you Aara!
Aara : You’ve made me feel like this way too many times already soooo I’m glad to have been of service 😉 Now before you go and start rehearsing what you’re going to say tomorrow , please do that thing that you do with your hair😉
Uzair: Aara! No you making me self conscious…
Aara : (Pouting ) Pleeeease! You see I could have almost died but I didn’t but if I did then you would totally have missed this chance of doing the hair thing for me. (With the widest grin)
Uzair: Aara you are nuts.
And in an exaggerated movement I brushed my fingers through my hair.
Uzair: Are you happy madame?
Aara : (Laughing ) Very very happy thank you mwah! Wish you theeee very best of luck, not that you need it😉 If anyone deserves to be happy, it’s you..and looking at you like this, so nervous and so I don’t even know the right word for it! But it’s a mixed bag of emotions. I really am so happy for you (wiping away a tear while smiling) so shift into 5th gear and go get your girl Bobat! If it’s right it’s right don’t wait for tomorrow go now
Uzair: Calm down miss I’m in such a hurry. I’d rather plan something and do it tomorrow. You know me, calm cool and collected! And stop with the waterworks Aaroo, I’m not dying! I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it goes.
Aara: Wait wait wait, I have an idea. Just a second (and she pressed a button while grinning at me. A nurse was at her bedside within seconds) Sister, can you hold that board so that it faces the screen, just for a few seconds please?
And the nurse complied with a smile, placing the board down and leaving the room.
Aara: You’re Perfect!
Uzair: Why thank you for the compliment! But I must ask, why do you even have that at your bedside!?
Aara: Ill explain by sending you the links on this ‘Youre Perfect’ campaign created by Tarun Gidwani. We went in groups of two today and held this sign up to strangers. It was so emotionally recharging Uz! And it hit me right now, it’s SO appropriate for your Ashley scenario. Flaws and all, past and all, what matters is the here and now, what matters is the strength and determination she had to to get to where she is today. What matters is that she never chose the easy way out, what matters is that, she is perfect, just the way God created her and no one is anyone to judge. I think that you should work on this idea, because sometimes actions speak louder than words.
She smiled at me as I took in everything that she had just said.
Aara: You let me know how it goes Uzair! Wishing you lots of virtual one armed hugs! Good luck:)
Uzair: Thanks Aaroo! We’ll talk soon.
And her face vanished from the screen.
I missed Aara and I was thankful that Skype existed because if it wasn’t for the wonders of technology, imagine how hard life would be.
I would have to turn to Zayaan for advice and that would just be disastrous.
After the call, I got out of my suit, had a shower and got into bed thinking I would have an early night.
The only problem was that the minute my eyes closed, I could only see Ashley at the wedding, a hurt look in her eyes as I stood in front of her speechless.
Boy, I messed up real bad!
And there was only one way to right my wrong.
I would have to think outside the box and pull out all the stops!
It was time to pull a rabbit out of a hat in an attempt to make it up to Ashley, and Aara’s idea seemed like a good starting point…
Hey hey people! So this was a very nostalgic post, brought back memories of joint posts with Shazoo from LLD!
And for those that read LLD, you see the continuation of the ‘Youre Perfect’ campaign on DOAD. For more info on Tarun Gidwani, Shazoo’s blog has the link!
On a more DOAD note, can you believe that we’re already half way through the Summer segment!? Ah, how time flies!
Enjoy the post!
Much Love, Tasmiyah x