We touched down in London and I shook Zaheer in an attempt to wake him up.
Yasmeen: Zah, I know you’re awake, now haul butt and wake up!
His one eye opened as a smile spread across his face.
Zaheer: Haul butt?! Who are you and what have you done with my wife?
Yasmeen: Yeah, haul butt! I would say the other word but theres a little girl sitting next to me and…
Zaheer: Motherly instinct kicking in I see. Already watching your language and you don’t even have a kid.
I gave him my best fake smile.
Yasmeen: Just wake up already!
Zaheer: I’m awake I’m awake! Geez, someones excited to be back in London.
Yasmeen: Surprisingly, I am! I missed my bed and my clothes and the lady at the cashier at the supermarket down the road.
Its true! That little old lady was one of the nicest people I had ever met! She was in her late sixties yet she ‘hauled butt’ and worked everyday at a small supermarket close to our house.
We went through passport control, gathered our luggage and hailed a taxi. It was midnight yet the weather was quite warm. It was a summers evening after all!
I snuggled up to Zaheer in the taxi and he kissed the top of my head.
Zaheer: Home sweet home.
After offloading our bags, we paid the driver and made our way into our house.
I know I complain a lot about moving and about lack of space and bottom line I complain about a lot of things. But truth be told, our house was magnificent! It had a vintage charm to it and I loved it.
Practicality wise, it was no environment for a baby to be raised in, but we still had time to think about baby proof homes and all that came with that!
Zaheer and I collapsed onto the bed the minute we changed out of our clothes. We caught up on all the sleep we were lacking and awoke the next morning with fresh faces and smiles.
We lay in bed the entire morning talking, about our trip to Dubai, about Durban, about baby Rayaan, about Uzair and Ashley, about our future children…
Zaheer: But I want a son…
Yasmeen: Zaheer! You cant say that! You have to say you want a healthy baby!
Zaheer: Well of course I want a healthy baby… just a baby boy!
I shook my head, giving up with this man.
I fired up my laptop and decided that a Sunday afternoon skype call to South Africa was just what I needed.
Hafsa’s face was what greeted me!
Yasmeen: Hafsoooo! My jaan, you are growing so big!
She began to smile and laugh as I spoke to her in baby talk. After a minute or so I was talking to her mother.
Yasmeen: Hey heyy!
Fathima: Where is your salaam?!
Yasmeen: Oh chill mama Fathima. I must say Hafsa is looking like a little madame today.
Fathima: That’s because we’re all at a brunch my darling. Got to dress fancay!
Yasmeen: A brunch, how ‘fancay’.
Fathima: Mmm.. indeed it is. Its in honour of Uzair’s fiancée. And since all the parents have given the go ahead, I can finally refer to her as his fiancée.
Yasmeen: Hmm.. I think you just like saying the word ‘fiancée.
Fathima: Mm… maybe.
Yasmeen: Better not let Uzair hear you say that. He’ll get into one long argument about how that term doesn’t apply to him!
Fathima: That’s so true!! Nevermind now! He’s the centre of attention whether he likes it or not, he and his fiancée!
I shook my head! Fathima always loved french sounding words. Too bad her french accent was more amusing than accurate.
Yasmeen: Right, so where are you exactly?
Fathima: The garden of Aunty Salma’s house. The house was a bit too noisy for a skype call so I came outside.
Yasmeen: Ah I see. Well can I trouble you? I want to congratulate Aunty Salma. Mind going inside for me?
Fathima: Ah, the things I do for you!
A few minutes later I was speaking to Uzair’s mother.
Yasmeen: Aunty Salmaaa! Mabrook on becoming a soon to be mother in law!
Aunty Salma: Oh thank you Yasmeen! I heard you were quite the cupid in Dubai?
Yasmeen: Oh you know me, I try! But you have to admit, I did a pretty good job.
She laughed and shook her head.
Aunty Salma: You haven’t changed a bit. How are you my dear? Are you back in London so soon?
Yasmeen: Yeah, we arrived last night and I said I had to skype Fathima because I knew Zaheer and I were missing out on whatevers happening there.
Aunty Salma: Shame you’ll should have stayed. It would have been so lovely.
Yasmeen: I know! It must be so nice to have a joyful atmosphere. First Nuha’s baby, now Uzair! What’s next?
Aunty Salma: Shukr, can’t complain. Nuha has a healthy baby boy and my Uzair found a lovely girl! Aishah doesn’t stop talking about you.
Yasmeen: Is Aishah there?
Aunty Salma: Yeah, hold on one second I’ll call her.
She disappeared from sight and Aishah appeared in her place.
Yasmeen: Aishaaah! By the smile on your face I take it everything is going well?
Aishah: Oh, everything is going amazingly well! Its so great! I wish you were here with me.
Yasmeen: I wish I was there too, but since I’m not fill me in on whats been happening!
And she dived into the story of her trip to South Africa with her parents so far.
They had all travelled together, the Bobat clan and Aishah’s family with the intention of all having lunch together at the Bobat household the following day.
Aishah described Uzair as the perfect gentleman; he took them to their hotel, settled them in, picked them up the next day. He was the perfect host throughout lunch, always asking if anyone needed anything.
Aishah: I think my Dad was even falling in love with him! He’s just so great, sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
Oh how I loved Aishah’s sense of humour!
Yasmeen: Oh you kill me! That’s Uzair for you, the perfect gentleman.
Aishah: I feel so lucky and happy all the time. I’ve already started the honeymoon phase and I’m not even married!
I shook my head and laughed.
Yasmeen: So how did lunch go?
Aishah: Well our parents met for the first time and they talked and talked and talked about our backgrounds, jobs, life! We were there until 2 in the morning Yas! It was insane how time flew by so quickly. My parents had a good time and so did I.
Yasmeen: Yeah Aunty Salma sounded ecstatic earlier on!
Aishah: Oh and don’t even get me started on how lovely she is! So sweet and she’s so honest about everything! I love it.
Yasmeen: I am so glad that you’re happy! Even if its a scary level of happy.
Aishah: What to do? I’m just that content! How was Dubai without me?
Yasmeen: We met up with Tariq. He was shocked when we told him about you! And then I told him its about time he gets married!
Aishah: I agree! We can cupid together for him, assess which girls he’d like.
Yasmeen: You’ll be too busy planning a wedding!
Aishah: Oh yaa… I forgot about that! But that’s not for another 4 months! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you… We decided to have the nikkah next week Friday.
Yasmeen: Wow! I knew Uzair wanted it to be soon, but I didn’t think this soon.
Aishah smiled a secret smile.
Yasmeen: I’ll pretend I didn’t just see you smile really slyly!
She burst out laughing at my honest remark!
Aishah: Oh please! Go find your husband and interrogate him and his smiles.
Yasmeen: Well he’s sitting right next to me and it seems he’s gone back to sleep… lazy thing!
Aishah: Aww, shame you both must be exhausted! I better be heading back. Miss you Yas! I might be in the UK next month. Family thing!
Yasmeen: Really? Well phone me if you’re here. Or phone me if you need anything like now or whenever!
Aishah: I will I will! Take care
And then the call was cut and all was silent, except for the quiet sound of Zaheer’s chest rising and falling…
Rising and falling…
I watched him a while longer until I began to get pins and needles.
Unable to go back to sleep I unpacked all that I could. I tidied up and made my self a cuppa tea before sinking into the couch ready to binge watch all the series I was behind on.
2 hours later a hand touched me from behind and I turned around in shock!
Yasmeen: God, you scared me!
Zaheer: What are you watching?
Yasmeen: Oh just catching up on everything!
Zaheer: Well get ready, we’re going out for dinner.
Yasmeen: Aww Zaheer man! We just got home… Can’t we order in?
Zaheer: No. Go shower and change… now!
I trudged off to our room where I reluctantly pulled out clothes to wear for dinner.
All I wanted to do was lounge around at home and binge watch suits in my really comfortable joggers, but no! My husband wanted to go out for dinner.
After taking the longest shower in the world, intentionally, I very slowly changed into a pair of jeans and a top.
Yasmeen: Right! I’m ready!
Zaheer eyed me up and down.
Zaheer: You’re wearing that?
Now I was beginning to get irritated.
Yasmeen: I’m not going for a fashion show! I’m going out to eat. So yeah, you’re dragging me out of the house when I’d rather stay at home. So the least you can do is let me wear whatever I want to.
This was a dumb argument.
Even I knew it was a dumb argument.
But I ranted anyway purely because I needed to vent my frustration.
The entire car ride was silent except for the sound of the radio playing. Finally we pulled up at a restaurant in a part of London that looked familiar.
Realisation washed over me as I remembered that I use to stay in this area when I was in university.
Yasmeen: What are we doing here?
Zaheer: You’ll see…
He got out of the car and came around to open the door for me.
Zaheer: This way milady.
I linked my arm through his and we walked towards a brightly lit restaurant. I gasped when I realised that I had been here before.
Yasmeen: Oh my god… Its been years since I’ve been here!
Zaheer: Its been 4 years to be precise.
Zaheer held the door open for me and even pulled out a chair for me!
Yasmeen: Okay, spill! Whats going on?
Zaheer: Nothings going on. Can’t a husband take his wife out for dinner?
Yasmeen: Of course he can! But when he starts holding doors open and starts pulling chairs out, then I know the husband is up to something.
Zaheer: I am offended you’d think such a thing! Now, less thinking more ordering!
There was no winning with him!
Giving up, I lifted the menu and browsed through the food.
It seemed that everything in this restaurant had stayed the same!
The interior, the exterior, the food! It seemed like just yesterday I was dining here.
Yasmeen: I came here to eat on the first day I moved to London. Never came back again.
When I said this, a small smile appeared on Zaheer’s face.
Yasmeen: Oooooh, I see. So thats why you brought me here. A trip down memory lane…
Zaheer put his menu down and took my hands into his.
Zaheer: Four years ago you moved to London all by yourself. This restaurant wasn’t only the place you came to on your first day of uni, its also where you gave me a second chance in your life, as your friend.
Oh Zaheer, you wanted a night out to take me down memory lane and all I did was scream at you.
Zaheer: Four years ago on this very day you and I ate in that corner table. I remember thinking I was going to get food poisoning because you chose such a dodge place to have dinner, but I ended up having the best tacos in my life!
Its true, there tacos were to die for!
Zaheer: And I’m here with you on your London Anniversary, celebrating 4 years of you being a Londoner.
I smiled at my insanely thoughtful and amazingly sweet husband. How did he remember the date I moved here when I couldn’t?
Yasmeen: I never did tell you how proud I was of you.
Zaheer gave me a perplexed look.
Yasmen: We stayed friends for those few years and you didn’t try anything on me. You understood me and respected me and I was so proud of you!
Zaheer laughed and smiled at me.
Zaheer: I couldn’t loose you again. I wasn’t going to chance it
Yasmeen: You don’t have to worry about that anymore; you’re never going to loose me Zaheer.
We sat there smiling at each other, turning seconds into minutes, minutes into hours, and hours into an unforgettable night.
We sat there like how we sat there four years ago, two people with faith, hope and love!
Faith within our selves to never give up, no matter how tough it may get.
Hope that we would get through thick and thin and everything in between, that we would grow old together still loving each other the way we had as teenagers.
But above all we had love. A Love so strong towards each other that it could shake mountains and split skies.
From 18 till 80, in that moment I knew that Zaheer and I could lose everything, yet we’d always have faith, hope and love.
Aaaaand, that brings me to the end of the Diary of a Dubain summer segment!
I know I was unsure of whether I was going to post 15 or 20 parts, but it seems that my summer is coming to an end quite rapidly, so I better tie up this segment real fast and get back to sorting out my life!
An epilogue will be out soon, that is if you readers would like that. If not then just pop me a comment saying ‘no epilogue wanted!’
Until then, take care and enjoy the read!
Much Love, Tasmiyah x
P.S. I have finally stopped altering the look of the DOAD website. I’m very happy with how it looks right now. Thank you all for the critique! Hope you like the new look…