The minute the stores opened the next morning, I was up and outta bed. With an idea in mind I now needed the resources to make the idea come to life.
Skipping breakfast, I called a taxi and made my way towards a craft store I googled because I had no clue where craft stores were in Dubai.
I thought about asking Yasmeen but she would ask too many questions and I wanted this to be a surprise.
After getting what I needed from a huge store that had way too many craft things, I went back to the hotel room to get my creative side going. Really, I owed Aara a lot because the idea came from her.
After many attempts with cursive and fancy fonts, I finally nailed my writing and I was happy with the way my boards looked.
Satisfied with my efforts, I carried the boards under my arm as I strode through the hotel lobby and hailed a cab.
Now was the time to call Yasmeen. As much as I dreaded it, she had information that I needed.
She answered on the fifth try…
Uzair: Finally! You answer your phone!
Yasmeen: Uzair, I’m asleep and right now Zaheer is giving me quizzical looks regarding why you’re calling me at this hour!
Uzair: Believe me, I wouldn’t call you for no reason. I need a favour.
Yasmeen: Hmm, what favour?
Uzair: I need an address.
Yasmeen: Let me guess. The address you need is for a girl whose name starts with an A and ends in SHLEY!
I could hear both Yasmeen and Zaheer laughing.Mature, very mature.
Uzair: You guessed correct. Now will I have to beg for it or will you be kind and give it to me, no questions asked?
Yasmeen: Considering its still in the AM and I want to go back to sleep, I’ll be kind and wont ask questions… yet! But I expect answers later on.
Uzair: Yeah yeah, Ill tell you everything later! Just watsapp me the address please. Thanks Yas
And the line went dead. A few seconds later my phone beeped with a message,and I read out the address to the taxi driver.
The entire drive to Ashley’s house I had to stay calm. I had to stop my hands from getting clammy and stop my stomach from feeling like I was going to throw up!
Finally, the nerve wrecking drive came to an end and we arrived at a huge villa.
I paid the taxi driver and thanked him, then got out of the car and proceeded towards the front door of this grand house.
But something stopped me.
A light bulb went on inside my head and I pulled my phone out of my pocket and dialled away.
‘Hello.’ Came her sophisticated sleepy voice on the other end of the line.
Uzair: Hey Ash. Look, please don’t cut the call I have a lot of explaining to do but first…
I sorted out the boards I had wrote on and held them above my head.
Uzair: Come out onto your balcony… Please.
The line went silent but not dead. I could hear Ashley shuffling around and I heard a door being unlocked.
And then, there she was standing on her balcony dressed in a grey satin gown, a scarf draped over her head.
Suddenly, I remembered the purpose of my visit and I stood up straighter, holding the boards even higher so that her attention would be turned to it.
The first board read…
The second one said…
‘I’m sorry for last night.’
The third one read…
‘Forgive me, please.’
Even though she was standing quite a distance away from me, I could see tears well up in her eyes and ever so slightly I saw her head nod as if she was saying ‘Yes, I do forgive you.’
But still she said nothing. So that was when I held the fourth board high above my head for Ashley to see, for the world to see!
It read ‘You’re Perfect.’
And then I did something very uncharacteristic of me, I shouted out loud.
Uzair: YOU’RE PERFECT! AND YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT! EVERYBODY SHOULD KNOW THAT!
The smile on her face stretched from one end of her face to the other and it made me smile.
And then, she disappeared from sight.
Was that not enough?
Was my apology not enough for her?
The doubts started running through my mind before I could stop them but luckily they came to an end when the front door swung open, and there stood Ashley, still dressed in her grey satin gown.
She walked towards me, slowly, in her fluffy white slippers that I think were meant to look like rabbits.
I couldn’t help my self and I began to laugh.
When Ashley followed my gaze to see I was staring at her slippers she too laughed.
Ashley: They were a gift from my little sister!
Uzair: Well you have a very adorable little sister.
She just looked at me while I stared back into her mysterious eyes.
Ashley: What are you doing here Uzzi?
Uzair: I… I’m here to apologise for last night.
Ashley: There’s nothing to apol-
Uzair: No, let me finish. I was a coward yesterday and yes I do have to apologise. You trusted me last night and told me something life changing about your self and I… I deserted you at a time you needed support.
Ashley: Uzair, its oka-
Uzair: Will you ever let me finish?
She smiled and sighed, and I carried on.
Uzair: You needed me Ashley and I wanted to be there, I really did but my fear got the better of me and I ran like an absolute idiot and to answer your question… I’m here to apologise, to say I was wrong to run because believe me I want t0 be here with you to support you and help you and… and…
I smiled, grateful that I had stopped my self from saying what I wanted to say. I would only say what I wanted to say after I knew Ashley forgave me.
Uzair: Do you forgive me?
Ashley: Of course I forgive you! You came to my house at 10 in the morning with boards and dialogue and the worlds greatest apology and… and…
Ashley smirked at me.
Ashley: First you tell me your ‘and’ then I’ll tell you mine.
I ran my fingers through my hair ready to take the plunge.
Uzair: This isn’t exactly the most ideal way to tell you my ‘and’. For starters, you’re in your pyjamas and slippers and its really hot outside but here goes nothing.
I took a deep breathe and carried on my dialogue from before.
Uzair: I’m here to apologise; I was wrong to run. I want t0 be here with you, to support you and help you and… and I don’t want to be here only for this day or this week or this trip. I want to be with you for the entirety of my time on this Earth. I know this is crazy and quick, and maybe some people will say its too soon but, but it feels right. And I don’t want to delay what feels right.
Ashley didn’t say a word.
Uzair: Ash, please, say something.
And she bit her lip trying to suppress her tears.
Uzair: At least tell me if these are tears of sadness or joy?
And that seemed to do the trick, for Ashley burst out laughing.
Ashley: Of course these are tears of joy! How could I be sad right now Uzair!
Uzair: Please, say something.
She took a deep breathe in and closed her eyes; I noticed she did this often before she would say something of importance.
Ashley: For a long time I thought I wouldn’t find happiness or a guy who would see me the way you see me; you see me for me. You make me feel like I’m a whole new person, like this whole burst of light and energy has come into my life, and I don’t want it to go, I don’t want you to go.
I smiled, content that she reciprocated what I felt for her.
Ashley: And what?
Uzair: And now you say your ‘and’.
Ashley: Well… this was the world’s greatest apology, and I just can’t believe how a guy like you ends up in my life. And I was going to tell you that I was beginning to fall for you and that I didn’t want you to leave Dubai so soon, but I think I already made that quite clear.
Uzair: Indeed you did.
And we both stood there.
We just stood there glued to the spot, taking each other in.
I finally broke the silence, eager to speak my mind.
Uzair: Come to South Africa.
Uzair: Come to South Africa, please. I want you to meet my mother, my family.
She laughed a laugh of disbelief.
Ashley: South Africa… Uzaaaair-
Uzair: I was serious about every word. I don’t want to wait Ashley. If you need a little time, I can give you a day, a few days. But I’m booked to leave soon so…
Ashley: I know Uzzi. I know you dont want to delay this. Yasmeen had mentioned you don’t date and I can’t blame you. Relationships like that mess up a person, I would know.
A moment of silence passed.
I was holding my breathe, eager to hear Ashley’s answer.
Ashley: Give me a day or two Uzair, please. I need to talk to my parents
I nodded my head, understanding the position I’d put her in.
Uzair: Okay. If it makes you more comfortable, you don’t have to come to Durban with me. You can fly down a few days after, pending what your parents say of course.
Ashley: I don’t know what to say right now, except that you have made me feel like the luckiest person in the world. I know I said I wanted a few days, but even I know this feels right and even I don’t want to delay this… So if you just so happen to see me on the same flight as you, don’t be too shocked.
And she smirked and turned around before I could say anything.
So basically, if you’ve watched the movie ‘Say Anything’ picture the dude holding the boombox as Uzair holding the boards. Thats where my inspiration for this post came from… a 26 year old movie!
And if you haven’t watched that movie… go watch it!
Hope Ya’ll enjoy the weekend ahead!
Much Love, Tasmiyah x