I finally met the notorious Faheem, the one that Aneesa had been drooling about for ages. He has this sort of bad boy streak. Not your James Dean types, he looked like your typical Bollywood superstar, hair combed back and leather jacket.
Shaheen and I were then left alone. Like every girl who has a crush your brain stops working and you start babbling nonsense.
“Hey you, good to see you out of school. But I guess all good girls are house bound.” said Shaheen.
“Well umm school is very important…” I murmured.
Like I said bad case of non-functioning brain.
Shaheen went on talking about his plans after matric. He wanted to become a lawyer. He told me how he has to get out of this small town and not end up like his elder brother in the family business. The need to make a name for himself really stood out.
“So Fatima, what do you plan on doing after matric?” he asked.
“Well (brain stops functioning yet again) umm I really haven’t given it much thought, I mean I have thought about it and the truth is I want to become a Doctor, you know how cool it is.”
Looking at me puzzled, I then realized how dumb I sounded and explained
“What I meant was, I’ve been provisionally been accepted into medical school and this is a dream come true since I really want to help people. Let’s face it, seeing what goes on in the human body is exceptionally interesting!”
After chatting for a while we exchanged numbers and parted ways. Aneesa on the other hand was no where in sight and maghrib (after sunset prayer) was fast approaching. Her cellphone was switched off but I assumed that she must be ok and walked home. I still sent her an sms thinking she would reply once she’s home.
ME: “Salaams, can’t seem to get hold of you. I had to rush home for maghrib salaah. Are you ok or do you need me to come back. I tried calling about 9 times hope you are ok.”
Aneesa: “doll sorry was busy, yip im fine heading home as im typing this out. Call you later alligator.”
I spent the rest of the night thinking about how dreamy Shaheen is and how perfect it would be to marry him till the point where I even picked out the names of our children. Don’t judge, we all do that at some point.
Around 10pm I get a call from Aneesa to confirm that in the morning her dad would take us to Joburg to stay at her aunt’s house. Faheem seemed so perfect and I was happy for her until she told me that he wanted her to change the way that she dresses. He called her dressing old fashion, “maybe lose the scarf as well” he added. I was so mad at her for taking it into consideration, she was no subservient being to him. She was Aneesa, the girl who fought the school so we could wear our scarf and pants with the school uniform. And now this!
Then she tells me that Faheem wants to get married to her after finals. He is much older than her and the need to have a wife now has sunk in.
I sat there thinking OMG is she really going to give up her life this young and be a wife and all the rest. I quickly asked her what about studying. She replied saying that studying is not for women and that a woman’s job is to stay at home and raise the kids.
I honestly could not comprehend, I was just too disappointed! Is that really a woman’s job, nothing more?
“Fati, you and I have been friends since forever, you know boys of today want the perfect arm candy. Faheem’s right, I dress too old fashioned to be with him. Fati you have to be happy for me, I love him so much and he treats me well. Plus he’s coming with his parents to my house next weekend.”
I was still in shock and all I could say to her was “Fine Aneesa, as long as you are happy I am.”
I was far from happy for her. This was heading into disaster lane way too fast.
Eventually we were on our way to Joburg, the city of gold, the city of dreams.
We reached Aneesa’s aunt’s place in Sandton. The mansion was spectacular what dreams are made of. This woman is living the fairytale life. Her social life is one to envy. Trust me, no function is glam until Layha and Aslam are there. They are the Jones of the Indian society and every one looks at them with envy. They recently got married, Layha who refused to be called aunty is only 30, and Aslam her charming king 39. The wedding was one made in the movies and their love was also much to envy. Wherever they went people would stop and stare.
Layha greets us at the front door wearing an elegant green dress. Her brown eyes stood out and they were enchanting.
Rolling her eyes as soon as her dear brother left.
“Well girls, dressed like that it’s actually embarrassing. But you’re not my kids so I can only tell you that a man wants the perfect looking wife. Look at me girls, big house, nice car, dream holidays and whatever I desire. All I have to do is look good and look the other way when I’m not happy with something.” snided Layha.
Didn’t know what she meant look the other way, but that was not my issue.
As we got settled in I was waiting to talk to Aneesa about the proposal and the dressing issue, infact about everything that she spoke of.
Aneesa tells me to calm down and not go all 911 on her. She then takes out a joint from her pocket. A freaking joint I tell you! The Nerve!
“Fati, before you jump, it’s just to have fun! Try it out and relax. Faheem said it’s worth a try and you know we always joked about trying it,” she explained.
I was very hesitant, we lit it up and began smoking in the back yard. The first few minutes the feeling was amazing then it was like a horror story, talk about mixed emotions. The sense of calmness it gave me became amazing, I fell in love with the feeling.
Aneesa and I spoke until we were called for supper. We were so hungry, we ate and ate and ate. Layha wasn’t worried about how much we ate until she remarked
“Girls, really you’re going to get fat and no one likes fat people so stop stuffing your face for the sake of your future.”
Aneesa looked at me and we both ended up giggling at her. After that the rest was pretty boring because I frankly can’t remember anymore.
That small little joint that was for fun would be the moment I would regret for the rest of my life.