He knocked softly on her door and few seconds later, he heard her voice giving him permission to come in. Her attention was still on the file she was going through. She thought it was Amanda or another patient but his voice came and she briskly raised her head up. Their eyes locked. "Can we talk, please?" He pleaded. She shook her head, "I'm busy," she retorted. She had finally given up and was fed up with him.
"At least let me apologize for being a coward to you. It was so foolish of me to ignore you for what you had no fault in." Her heart softened. She couldn't stay mad at him no matter what. She sighed and looked up. He gently sat on the chair, facing her.
"Sometimes things take a drastic turn, and we really can't do much about it. Same thing had happened that day. Things were not right, so I told you something which caused so much hurt to you. I won't tell you that it was not my mistake. I admit it was my fault that I told you so many things. I know it's not easy to come out of such a mind frame. When you are hurt, you really can't trust anyone. I know you may not trust me now. But, believe me I am saying this to you because I truly feel that what I did was wrong. And, I am asking for forgiveness from you. I want that you forgive me cause I am really feeling the same pain as you are. I am really sorry!"
The way her lips lifted upward. The way her dimples crinkles. The way her teeth are perfectly aligned. The warm glow her happiness gives. Her smile is a ray of sunshine. "Apology accepted, well, right after you buy me a box of my favorite chocolate cake slice."
"Agreed." He beamed. Before he could speak again she stood up and punched him hard on his shoulder. "Ohh! I deserved that." He grimaced in pain. "Okay! That is really painful," he said massaging the place. "You're welcome," she replied, smiling. "You know why I chose you to be my best friend?" He asked and she shook her head.
"It's because you're so kindhearted, forgiving, you care a lot about me, you love me wholeheartedly. You're funny and fun to be around with. And lastly, you're so damn beautiful."
She chuckled shaking her head. "Are you trying to bribe me? My cake slice is what I won't forget. So you better stop trying."
The door being opened was what stopped him from speaking. They all turned their attention to him. Mujahid closed his eyes and sighed, massaging his temple. He was fed up with them. Absolutely nothing would separate them. “What are you doing here?" He asked annoyingly. "That is none of your business, Mujahid." He coldly replied standing up. He looked at her and smiled, "I'll see you tomorrow."
As soon as he left, Mujahid went behind her office table and grabbed her arm firmly. She yelp in pain. "Yaya Mujahid, let go!" He furiously grabbed her neck and pushed her to the wall. "Why do you like disobeying me Maryam? Don't you love me?" He spoke as if he wasn't doing anything wrong. She grabbed his wrist with her both hand, gasping for air.
He let go and she fell down, trying to catch her breath. He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her up. "What brought him here? Huh!" He looked into her eyes. Tears rolled down her fair cheeks. "He just came to apologize that's all. I didn't know he was coming, I swear."
He smirked and hugged her. He patted her back slowly, "I believe you babe, just don't allow me to see you with him again. At least not just the two of you in one room, okay?" He placed a soft kiss on her lips. She nodded while he wiped her tears and kissed her again. She pushed him away and left the office.
She massaged her neck, walking down the stairs. Aydah was in the kitchen with Maryam’s mother, talking. Maryam smiled and hugged her friend. Aydah smiled at mommy before they left the kitchen to the living room. "What's up with you? You look so gloomy," Aydah asked worriedly. Maryam wondered if it was right to tell her or not. She was afraid of what might happen next. Mahmud was the only person she shares her worries without feeling fearful.
"It's nothing... I had a little misunderstanding with Yaya Mujahid," she shrugged. She took the remote control and turned the tv to avoid Aydah's questions. She snatched the remote and turned off the tv. "Mommy told me you came back from work yesterday crying."
"I told you, I had a fight with Yaya Mujahid, but everything's okay now. I promise." She shrugged her shoulders. The last thing she'd want is someone blaming Mujahid or seeing any bad in him. Aydah shook her head and let things slide, not because she wanted to. She could see that her step brother was hurting her friend, but she still wanted to stay. 'Why?' Is what aydah wondered.
"Salamu Alaikum," he greeted, entering the living room. Aydah left the house after some minutes while Mahmud stayed with Maryam. He stared at her, carefully observing some changes about her. She had lost a little bit of weight. She looked pale all the time. She was no longer talkative but always quiet. She looked sad but when he asked her, she pretended nothing was wrong when deep down something was bothering her. 'I told you so.' Is what she's afraid of hearing.
"Why don't we go out for ice cream now?" He broke the silence. Her eyes sparkled and she beamed. "Let me go get my hijab," she said standing up. She got ready and they went out. He bought her the cake slices he promised, a new teddy bear like she asked and the ice cream.
He parked the car in their compound and looked at her. "You May hide it from, for now, but you can't keep hiding your worries forever. I can see it in your eyes that something is definitely wrong but you're not speaking up. Just know that I'm always here whenever you need me, okay?"
She felt guilt eating her up, she wanted to tell him what his brother has been doing to her and share her problems. Seek for advice but she couldn't speak up. It was like something was holding her from saying it. She took a deep breath and exhaled. She gave him a big grin. "I'm okay. Work has been very stressful these days but I assure you that I am okay." She assured, holding her new teddy to her chest. He smiled and nodded even though he was still not convinced. She bid him goodnight and headed inside the house.
The next day, Maryam and Mahmud went out to the airport. He showed her how to fly a plane and everything about being a pilot. She watched him in so much admiration. Some might think they're married. They looked so beautiful together. She was in their office eating some snacks he bought for her while he checked some important documents in his laptop. After a bit while, she stared at him smiling, waiting to get his attention. He looked up at her and smiled back, "you need something?" He questioned, fixing his eyes back on the laptop screen.
She shook her head, "no. I was just wondering."
"About what?" He asks giving her his attention, like she wanted. "What type of girl you'd like. I mean it's high time you settle down." She closed the laptop that was in front of him. He chuckled scratching the back of his head. "You sound like Umma," he said. "Well I have someone but, hmmm! Just forget about it. I'll tell you about her some other time." He opened the laptop to continue his work. She closed it back again, "we are not done talking mister pilot." She gave him a pointed look. "Okay Manha. I don't have anyone and the girl I was talking about might get married soon and I can't do anything about it." He confessed. "Who is that girl? Why are you giving up this soon? Don't you love her?" She asked questions. "I really do manha, it's just that... she's already in love with another guy and if I try to make a move she might end up hating me, that is why I never told you about her."
He shrugged his shoulders, not interested to speak about it again. She felt glimpse of jealousy in her and at the same time a little happy he doesn't have anyone. The truth is, Maryam doesn't want to see any girl close to him. Some might call it being selfish or she might be in love with him but she calls it protection. To her; he is too perfect to get his heart broken by just any random girl.
She watched as he continued his work. He was handsome from the depth of his eyes to the gentle expressions of his voice. Maryam bit her lower lip as she observed his sharp jaw, chin, and cheekbones. On either side of his straight nose were two blazing hazel brown eyes. Spiked, warm brown fringed with smooth honey like color. His dark brows were actually graceful, but currently furrowed in a frown that he didn't even know he was doing it. All of it was framed by thick, warm dark chocolate curls. She stared at his thin light pink lips and closed her eyes, The other very small part said she should get ahold of herself. She let out a shaky sigh. He looked up at her, her eyes closed. He smiled and continued his work.
Later in the evening he dropped her home and left. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw Mujahid's car in the parking lot. He was sitting majestically in the living room. He looked at her and smiled. He stood up, hand in his pocket as always. "I was about to call you. Where are you coming from, babe?" He asked calmly. With shaky voice she tried speaking. Why was she afraid of him? "I uhmm... I went to get some ice cream with Aydah." She spoke.
They both sat down on the three seater chair. "I'm hungry," he said tiredly. "What would you like to eat babe?" She asked, saying Alhamdulillah in her mind. "Something light and won’t waste much time because I’m really hungry." He shrugged. She stood up and left while he continued watching the news.
She cooked Chili Cheese Hasselback Potatoes and made his favorite Chapman drink. He ate his meal while gisting her about a new contract he signed and he was about to travel to Sydney in few days. She smiled staring at him while he talked happily. That was the part of Mujahid she rarely gets to see. That was the part she fell for. The happy and lively part of him. She sometimes wished she could speak up to him and tell him what he does wrong but she dares not speaks about his flaws.
He held her hands and kissed it, "the moment I get back, honey I will tell My father about us, okay?" She beamed and nodded. She was happy but not like how she always imagined she'd be. All she thinks about now is Mahmud. He was nothing like that. He is gentle, sweet and caring. He only does what she wanted. Makes her smile no matter how down she was but Mujahid was actually the opposite. He let go of her hand and fixed his eyes back on the tv. She sadly looked at him. Is she ever going to be happy with him?