Once everyone left Dubai, I finally had time on my hands to spend with my family. My mother was ecstatic when I phoned to tell her that Zaheer and I would stay our final few nights in Dubai with her at home.
Home! It was good to be in my mother’s house. Which daughter could complain about spending extra time with their mother once they’re married?!
Its like I began to appreciate my mother so much more after I was married. The little time we’d have together during my trips to Dubai or South Africa, I would treasure it!
On our second last day in Dubai, Zaheer told me that Tariq was back in town, and said he was going to meet him for breakfast.
Yasmeen: Why doesn’t he come home for supper tonight?
Zaheer: You’re cooking?
Yasmeen: Well… I’ll be ‘helping’ with the cooking.
Zaheer smiled a smile that said he knew me too well.
Zaheer: I can translate that to ‘your mother will do the cooking and you’ll just sit on the counter top and look pretty.’
Yasmeen: Aww, you think I’m pretty?
I raised an eyebrow; I loved the playful side of Zaheer.
Zaheer: Good heavens no!
And the playful side was replaced with mean Zaheer.
I stuck my tongue out and turned my back on him.
He wrapped his arms around my waist from behind and whispered into my ear.
Zaheer: I think you’re beautiful, out of this world, and stunning in your own way. Pretty would not do justice to describe you.
I smiled and gave him a kiss on his cheek.
Yasmeen: Thats more like it!
He laughed and hugged me before leaving to see Tariq.
Then it was just my mother and I. Armaan was out enjoying his final few weeks of freedom before it was onto the life of a university student.
Yasmeen: So mother, what do you want to do today?
Mummy: I want to catch up with my stranger of a daughter.
Yasmeen: You’re exaggerating. I haven’t been a stranger…
My mother raised an eyebrow at me.
Yasmeen: Okay fine, I’ll admit I have been slightly busy with the whole wedding and whatever. I’m sorry…
Mummy: Its okay, but to make it up to me, tell me all about wedding week.
So my mother and I sat cuddled on the couch while I told her all about the days leading up to the wedding, the wedding itself and of course I didn’t leave out the parts about Uzair and Aishah.
Mummy: Oh my word! Why didn’t you tell me sooner about Ashley? I mean Aishah! Thats wonderful news.
Yasmeen: I was so caught up I forgot to tell you but yeah, its really very exciting!
Mummy: I better phone Aunty Salma and congratulate her! I know she has been so worried about Uzair and his future.
Yasmeen: Well she can worry no more, for cupid Yasmeen solved the problem and brought two hearts together.
Mummy: Okay my dear, now you can get your head out of the clouds.
We talked a while longer before my phone rang. It was Zaheer.
Yasmeen: Dooo you miss me already?
Zaheer: Desperately! I phoned to tell you Tariq agreed to dinner for tonight.
Yasmeen: Why wouldn’t he? Everyone wants to taste my cooking.
Zaheer: You mean your mother’s cooking!
Yasmeen: Ha ha. Would you like to sleep on the couch tonight smart mouth?
Zaheer: Err, I’d much rather prefer the comfort of a bed next to my wife.
Yasmeen: Thats what I thought… You on your way home?
Zaheer: Yeah but I’m passing a supermarket. Do you need anything?
Yasmeen: One second.
I placed a hand over the mouth piece and spoke to my mother.
Yasmeen: Mummy, Zaheer’s friend is coming for supper. Do you need anything from the supermarket?
Mummy: You rather take his friend out for dinner. Save you and I a day slaving in the kitchen.
Yasmeen: Good point!
I returned back to my phone call with my husband.
Yasmeen: New plan! We’re eating out.
Zaheer: What? Why?
Yasmeen: Because my mother’s too lazy to cook.
Zaheer: Babes, why don’t you cook?
Yasmeen: Because I cook the rest of the year and right now I’m on holiday, and I’m enjoying my no cooking time here in Dubai.
Zaheer: Fine fine. I’ll tell Tariq.
And he cut the call. I could tell he was slightly annoyed, but I was seriously in no mood to cook.
Nonetheless, dinner was set for 8pm at JBR and I couldn’t complain because I loved JBR! I loved the atmosphere and the restaurants and the view.
Before going out for dinner I got to spend a little time with my brother and father. We conversed about the same old things; politics, life, Armaan’s education, my work.
Daddy: I don’t know why you didn’t apply to a university in London Armaan, I just don’t understand it.
Armaan: I like my life here. My friends are here, you and mummy are here; I’m settled.
Yasmeen: Leave him Daddy. He’s happy and thats what matters.
Armaan: We all can’t be Londoners like Yasmeen here.
And I chucked a pillow at him. Even when I came to his defence he made stupid remarks. But what to do, brothers will be brothers no matter what.
We arrived at JBR a little after eight. Luckily it was a weeknight so there was minimal traffic and plenty of parking.
Zaheer and I walked hand in hand into the restaurant and upstairs onto the balcony where Tariq was seated.
Zaheer: Sorry we’re late. She couldn’t decide what colour scarf to wear.
I narrowed my eyes at Zaheer before smiling at Tariq.
Yasmeen: Ignore the moody man next to me. He’s not in the best of spirits tonight.
Tariq: I see that. How are you Yasmeen?
Yasmeen: As well as a wife of Zaheer Mohamed can be.
I smiled hoping that my comment would make Zaheer smile and it did.
Yasmeen: What about you? Still leading the life of a bachelor?
Tariq: You say it like its a bad thing, and yes, the bachelor life for me.
Zaheer: He’s married to his business.
Tariq: I could say the same for you.
And Zaheer held up his left hand where his wedding band was sitting.
Tariq: Ah, you win that one Zee.
And the conversation carried on with light hearted remarks and comments as we all waited for our food.
Tariq: So how was the wedding Yas? Zaheer was useless when I asked him about it this morning.
Yasmeen: Well, it was fantastic! All the girls were reunited; we went on a desert safari, and the wedding was simply stunning! You should have been here, you really should have.
Tariq: You know me, work before anything else really.
Yasmeen: Well that needs to change.
Tariq: Did you guys hear about Ashley? Apparently she-
Yasmeen: Reverted to Islam?
Tariq: Yeah! I take it its true.
Yasmeen: Oh its not just true, she’s no longer Ashley but rather Aishah.
Zaheer: And as if thats not enough change, she’s due to get married to a South African Muslim boy.
Tariq: Woah, sure doesn’t sound like the Ashley I knew 6months ago…
Yasmeen: She has changed a LOT! For the better I guess but hey, she’s really happy…
Tariq: I sure as hell missed out on a lot. So when’s she getting hitched?
Yasmeen: No set date yet. I think they’ll do the Islamic part now and the white wedding event later.
Tariq took it all in.
Even though I had been away from all of my school friends in the past few years, they had all kept in touch and annually met up for reunions wherever they were, so for Tariq this came as a shock!
It had been years since I saw the likes of Dan, Rayhaan, Mustafa and Zayn. So I enquired about the well being of those crazy school boys and was shocked to find that half of them were married.
Yasmeen: They’re married and you aren’t?! Theres something seriously wrong with that.
Tariq: Its not that easy to find a real nice girl Yas. They don’t just fall from the sky.
Zaheer: Oh you’d be surprised. Yasmeen here is a miracle worker.
Tariq: Is that so?
Zaheer: Uh huh. She got Uzair and Aishah together and I mean if she can get two people from two different worlds together, she can get a workaholic like you hitched.
Tariq: Well, I’ll give it till the end of the year. If I’m still single by then, I give you full permission to find me someone.
I laughed as they made all these plans.
Yasmeen: I haven’t even agreed to any of this!
Zaheer: Please, you’d never turn down the opportunity.
Yasmeen: Well, thats true. But what if I have more important things to deal with at the end of the year?
Tariq: Like what?
Yasmeen: Like… I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get a new job? Or maybe I’ll be pregnant? You never know.
After dinner we walked Tariq back to his hotel which was in JBR. We bid him farewell with the promise of seeing him again in London. And then Zaheer and I headed home. There was a silence in the car all the way home for some reason. I couldn’t quite figure out why.
During the elevator ride on the way up, Zaheer finally spoke.
Zaheer: Did you mean that?
Yasmeen: Did I mean what?
Zaheer: When you said you may be pregnant at the end of the year?
Yasmeen: I don’t know whats in store for me 4 months from now.
Zaheer: What I mean is, would you like that?
Yasmeen: Would I like to be pregnant?
Zaheer nodded his head and I thought long and hard about the question.
Yasmeen: I don’t know…
And that was the honest truth.
The elevator dinged and we got off at our floor. Before I could open the door to the apartment, Zaheer grabbed my hand and circled his arms around my waist.
Zaheer: I- I would like to. I mean I- We- I want to have a kid Yasmeen. I know this is not the place nor time to talk about this but-
I was shocked and all of a sudden I could see Zaheer’s lips moving, but I couldn’t really hear what he was saying.
He wanted to have a child and he didn’t tell me?
How long had he kept this from me?
Why didn’t he tell me?
I held a hand up gesturing for him to keep quiet and I silently whispered…
Yasmeen: How long? How long have you wanted this?
Zaheer: A month now. Maybe its because everyone kept asking you in Durban when are we having a baby. Or maybe its because Nuha gave birth. But all I seem to think about is having a child of our own.
I looked down at the floor biting my lip, thinking if I was ready for motherhood.
Zaheer cupped my face in his hands and tilted my head up, forcing me to look into his eyes.
Zaheer: Talk to me Yas…
Yasmeen: I don’t know what to say?
I said it so quickly that for a second, I thought Zaheer wouldn’t understand. But he did and a sad smile was on his lips.
Zaheer: How could you say such a thing? The only reason I keep thinking of having a child is because I think of what an amazing mother you’ll be. I’m sorry if I didn’t tell you sooner. Its only because I knew you felt pressurised in Durban with everyone always asking you, and I didn’t want to increase your burden.
I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat. Its not that I didn’t want to have a baby.
Of course I wanted children!
Its just that I always thought I would have my child in South Africa. I always thought we would have moved back by then so that my babies would grow up around their grandparents and aunties and uncles!
I needed Zaheer to understand that.
Yasmeen: I’ve also been thinking a lot about it but- but I’m scared. I don’t want to have children in London Zah… I know it sounds weird and it may be irrational, but I always assumed we’d have kids in Durban, back at home where we have our support system, where we have our family.
I hadn’t realised I was crying until Zaheer wiped away my tears.
He pulled me into a hug and I rested my head on his chest. I could hear his heart beating.
Then I imagined the heart beat of a little baby, a little baby of our own.
I interlocked my fingers with Zaheer as we stood there in the hallway.
Then I imagined the little fingers of a child, a child of our own.
I took a deep breathe in and let it out.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan and sometimes your wishes had to be altered in order to fulfil what the love of your life wanted.
In a barely audible whisper, I gave Zaheer an answer that would hopefully make him happy.
Yasmeen: We can try…
He didn’t know how to react and so he cautiously looked at my face.
Zaheer: Are you sure?
I nodded my head.
A huge grin spread over Zaheer’s face as he lifted me off the ground and spun me around. I felt like a teenage girl falling in love with him all over again as we laughed and felt giddy from the spinning.
Just as he put me down, the front door to the apartment opened.
Mummy: I thought I heard noises.
We followed my mother into the house, our smiles still plastered to our faces. My mother turned to look at us…
Mummy: What are you both so happy about?
Zaheer: Oh nothing. We just had a REALLY good supper!
I glanced at Zaheer.
He looked so happy and I vowed right there that I would do anything to make him this happy time and time again, even if it meant having to raise my children in London.
At the end of the day, my happiness was his happiness…
So we’re switching the focus a little on this post; more attention towards Yasmeen and Zaheer and the possible next step in their life.
And then we have Tariq the Bachelor. What kind of girl do you think Tariq would go for?
Enjoy the read, enjoy your week!
Much Love, Tasmiyah x