She was sitting comfortably on her office chair, going through a patient's file when she heard a soft knock on the door. "Come in," she says while still going through the file. He walked in and majestically sat on the chair provided for patients. "Hope I am not disturbing," he started. That was when she raised her head up to look at him. "Oh Yaya Mujahid." She stood up and sat back down. He could tell she was nervous by the way she kept blinking and breathing heavily. He smirked looking at her face.

"I decided to pay you a visit today and also talk about something important."

His voice was deep, whenever he spoke, every head in the room would turn. He had that rich, silky tone. He speaks as if he controls the world, his experience seeping through. He would remind her of a stormy day. A nice one.

"Uhmm I... okay," she chuckles nervously. "I would like to take you on date if you don't mind. I want to start things fresh because I feel like there's a strong connection between us." He saw the shock register on her face before she could hide it. A small smile played on her lips. It wasn't what he said though, his words were like vanilla pudding, sweet in their ordinary sort of way, it was the richness of his tones – luxurious and warm.

He gave her a questioning look, waiting for an answer. She swallowed hard and nodded, "yes, yes sounds lovely." She nodded again. He smiled softly staring at her. "Good. Tomorrow, 7pm?" He asks and she nodded again.

He stood up, still smiling. "I'll take my leave now, Doc. Till we meet tomorrow," he says and winks at her. Her skin tingle when he smiles at her and her heart beat erratically in her chest so hard that she thought it might fly out. There were butterflies - no, lions - in her chest, but it felt good.

She finally admits to herself what she knew all along, but was too afraid to admit it: She liked him. A lot. And She wanted to be with him.

She rested her head back smiling. Could that day get any better? She's getting what she wanted. It's happening, her dreams are coming true. She tried to call mahmud but his phone wasn't going through. She heaved a sigh and kept the phone a side. It's been four days now since they last spoke.

She finished the rest of her work in a good mood that day. The moment she got home, she went straight to her mother's bedroom. She met her arranging daddy's clothes in a suitcase. "Mommy, good evening." She plumps down on the bed sighing. "How was work maryam? Have you eaten?" She asked. "I just got back now. Daddy is traveling?" She asked. "Yes dear, but he will be back in a week."

"So mommy... tomorrow after I'm back from work..." she scratched the back of her head nervously. Mommy smiled folding her arms on her chest, "tell me, what is it?"

"I'm going out with Yaya Mujahid," she murmured, avoiding her mother's gaze. Mommy chuckled and continued her work. "So is that why you're acting like you killed someone? All I can say is be careful, think wisely. And pray," mommy advised. Maryam nodded slowly. She chit chatted a bit with her mother before going to her room.

• •

She does a little twirl, the sheer layers of the dress spins around her. "How do I look?" She asked nervously. "Perfect," aydah replied looking at her dress. Maryam heaved a sigh looking at herself in the mirror. "I hope it goes well," she murmured. Aydah stood up from Maryam's bed, taking her handbag. "I'm leaving now before he comes. You guys have fun," she said hugging Maryam.

She sat on the bed, checking the time on her phone. It was past 7. 'Why isn't he here?' She wondered. Did he cancel? Or he changed his mind? Or is he not into her like she thought? Or should she give him a call?

The buzzer of the phone went off like an annoyed rattlesnake. Maryam sighed and scooped it up, she listened for a moment, "I'll be out in a minute," she replies and cut the call. She went to mommy's bedroom and informed her before heading out.

He stood there in the aristocratic cutting lines of a great tailor, one who could take his under-exercised and over-indulged form and make him a figure of power. "You look lovely tonight." He gave her a sly smile and opened the front door for her. She thanked him and entered. She looked out the window and trying to control emotions.

Pin-drop silence... How is that remotely possible with her heart somersaulting and with him sitting dangerously close to her, his hair whipping haphazardly in a way she has come to adore and his cerulean eyes locking her in a trance with such intensity; looking away is unthinkable. His almond shaped eyes constrict as he winked at her, unaware of the repercussions. The dimples that indent in the corners of his embellished skin is her last coherent thought as she sighed looking at the street. All she knows is that she's falling for him. Hard.

He parked the car and they both hopped out. The door was opened for them and the receptionist there gave them a warm welcome and directed them to their table. They ordered their dinner and waited. He looked at her for brief seconds and looked away. "So I see that you’re a doctor now, just like your father," he said fetching his phone from his pocket. She watched as he kept it on the table. She nodded, smiling, "Yes, just like daddy. You are an architect right?" She spoke while rubbing her sweaty palms on her dress. "Hmm." He nodded. "And I love my job," he replied.

"So tell me Maryam..." the way he called her name melted her heart. "Do you have a boyfriend?" He asked. She was never expecting that question but she recalled aydah telling her whenever a guy asks such question, he's interested in you. "No," she said and bit her lower lip; a thing she does whenever she's nervous or doing what she loves. He smiled and raised a brow, "really? Why?" He asked. "Uhmm cause... I..." she chuckled nervously. "I don't even know why, probably cause I'm busy with work."

"Or maybe cause I haven't found my mr right," she joked. He chuckled softly. "I understand," he replied. The waiter arranged their orders on the table and left. They ate in complete silence. Sometimes glance at each other and smile. He couldn't wait to tell her what was on his mind and in his heart. He knew getting her would not be a problem because he noticed that she was into him. She wasn’t very good at hiding her feelings.

Immediately after they were done, he ordered the waiter to clear the table. He cleared his throat, "tell me, what do you want in a relationship."

"Uhh well... I want something serious. I want to have years not months. I want to give my all without looking dumb. I want to know that person is never leaving and he's willing to marry me. I want to be able to claim him and call him mine not look stupid. That's what I want."

"Okay I don't know how you're going to take this but, I'm in love with you, I'm like deeply in love with you and I wish to be that person that makes you happy and make you feel important important. I want to be that person you think of and smile. That person that will support you in any possible way. So what do you say Maryam? Will you be my girlfriend? Wait... let's scratch that, will you be my wife?"

There was a delicious moment where Maryam's face washed blank with confusion, like her brain cogs couldn't turn fast enough to take in the information from her wide eyes. Every muscle of her body just froze before a beautiful grin crept onto her face, it soon stretched from one side to the other showing every single tooth. "Are you serious?" She bit her lip. "You know I am. You're my type and I hope that I'm your type. I can't afford to lose such a beautiful and independent woman like you, Maryam."

"Wow, this is... wow," she chuckled nervously, looking down at her bracelet. She opened her mouth to talk but nothing was coming out. "You need some time?" He asked and she nodded without raising her head. He smirked and nodded. "Let me take you home, okay?" She nodded again. He paid the bills and they left. He dropped her home and went home as well.

She entered her room humming. After 15 years of crushing and adoring him, he had finally made her dreams to come true. Her answer was yes obviously but she had to act cool, not desperate. She dropped her bag on her bed and jumped on the bed, squealing. "Haaaa finally," she said, satisfied. Her phone buzzes and she quickly sat down and fetched out the phone from her bag.

"Manha, hey. I'm so sorry I haven't been calling you for a while now. How have you been doing?"

She smiled softly, "You want to know how to always be in a good mood? Simple. Cut yourself off from "the news," don't watch things that scare you and surround yourself with caring and positive people. Do something you love, even if it's not how you earn your keep. Try to make a positive difference in the world. Care. Really care about others and the planet. Then you'll feel good inside and have a wonderful environment. Not so simple? Sure it is. Maybe not when you're a child, but it's quite doable for an adult. Choose your friends wisely and hang in there, it only gets better."

"Uhhh, Manha what did you take?" He laughed. "You sound happy which I wish I'd know why but I have to go now cause we're about to fly to Malibu now, pray for me." And he cut the call. She hissed and threw the phone on the bed. She wanted him to be the first person to know about it. She took the phone and dialed on Aydah's number. Two rings and she picked up. "Hey girl, how was the date?" She asks. "Unbelievable, he asked me to be his wifeeeee," she sang happily. "O... M... G are you kidding me? For real? He did?" She screamed.

“That was my same reaction when he asked me, well in my mind. So I told him I was going to think about it and get back to him. I... I don’t even know what to say. I’m just so happy,” she said emotionally. “If he’s the one that you love, then I say you go for it. I wish you all the happiness in the world cause you deserve it,” Aydah spoke even though that was not what she wanted. She wanted her to be with Mahmud. He was the perfect guy for her but she dares not to argue with her, especially when she’s in love.

The next day, she had a free day, no work. She spent most her times with her mother. They went shopping and visited her father’s parents. It was a bit after Maghrib when they arrived home. She took another bath and offered her prayer. She was on the prayer mat doing her azkhar when her phone buzzed. “Salamu Alaikum,” she said in a low voice. “Wa’alaikumus Salam, good evening maryam. How was your day?” He speaks. His husky deep voice making her heart to beat fast.

“It was great Alhamdulillah. How are you?” She asked. “I’ll be fine if you say yes to me,” he said with a little sigh. “Uhmmm...” she chuckled. “Just say yes and I’ll make you the happiest girl on earth.

“Yes, let’s build a future together.

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