Tahir and Nur were supposed to go and do some voluntary work in the mosque helping children with disablilities that afternoon. They had planned it together yesterday.
Nur was getting ready, she was just tying on her flowery pink hijab when her phone rang. It was Tahir. She said,
“Listen, Nur, I can’t come with you today.” She sounded sad.
“Why? What’s wrong, Tahir?” Nur asked, concerned for her friend.
Tahir replied, “Well, my cousin was involved in an accident recently so we’re going to check on him.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Nur said.
After they hung up, Nur didn’t even feel like going for their voluntary work alone. Just then, it was time for Aswr. She prayed and she made dua to Allah to help her because she didn’t know what to do. Her father’s mind wasn’t going to change. He was set on marrying the evil Jessica. Nur sighed.
Oumed was in his room and he had his hand bandaged. He was recovering. He drew skulls on the white bandage and threw the black pen down the floor. Just then, his mother called to him through the door,
“Your aunt and cousin are here to see you, son.”
Oumed grunted. “Argh, tell them I’m sleeping, I don’t wanna see them!”
“Oumed, you must be kind to your relatives, kinship is a ve-”
“Yeah, well I’m not much of a family person.” Oumed cut in coarsely. “Anyway, I’ll be down in a few - ”
But Oumed didn’t have to go down at all. His bubbly cousin came bursting through the door.
Oumed jumped out of his bed. “Hey, there’s something called privacy?!!!”
His cousin laughed out. “Haha, yes and there’s also something called coming down and greeting your relatives,” she said cheekily.
Then she looked at Oumed’s red hair, “You forgot to wash your hair after the accident?”
Oumed was fuming. He had a vicious look on his face as he stared at his cousin.
“Eheheh” His aunt gave a nervous laugh as she saw Oumed’s expression. “Tahir’s just joking, Oumed …”
She placed a huge bouquet of flowers near Oumed’s bedside. “Now, you get some rest, okay?”
“Yep, and don’t go around smashing into trees in the middle of the night, okay?” Tahir added with a grin.
“Get. Out. Now.” Oumed said in a dark voice to his playful cousin.
“Gee, Oumed you sure are kind!” Tahir said cheerily as she skipped out of his room.
A few days later in school, Tahir could see Nur was feeling down.
“Come on, Nur, tell me, what’s going on?”
Nur quickly said, “Nothing!”
She wasn’t used to really saying her feelings out. Besides she didn’t want to talk about her father’s plans to marry Jessica. She was mad about it but also embarrassed that her father could do such a thing.
Nur tried to change the topic. “Hey did you finish the assignment on the harmful effects of smoking?” She asked.
Tahir said, “Not yet. But who even needs to research on that topic. It’s obvious smoking is very dangerous.”
Then Tahir suddenly remembered. “Nur remember my cousin I told you about, who had an accident?”
Nur remembered, “Yeah...”
“Well, they found out he was drunk when he crashed into a tree. And he’s only 16! Can you believe him?! And he’s in our school too…. "
Tahir went on and on.
Nur couldn't concentrate on what she was saying. She was thinking other things. Her eyes had a faraway look.… But Tahir hadn't noticed.
She went on, "Look, there he is!"
She pointed to a laughing red haired boy who was carelessly joking around with his friends. Girls were surrounding the lunch table where he was sitting.
Tahir shook her head, "I can't believe him! His brother and his parents are so good..."
But Nur wasn’t listening. Her eyes had drifted off far away as she thought about life…..
Tahir looked closely at Nur, her eyes ha a dreamy look. “Nur! Your daydreaming, again! Were you even listening to me?!”
Nur snapped out of her usual daydreams, “Oh… yeah, say something?”
But it was late to remind her, the bell had rung for the next period.
Oumed was sitting in History class, he was tapping his fingers impatiently on the desk. He didn’t have the guts for History. He thought it was far too boring for people like him. The teacher dragged on about the World War and all the crappy soldiers and blah. Interestingly enough, his friend threw a note to him.
It read : Pssst….Let’s skip next class…. He looked at his friend wearily and said in a low tone, “Whatever…” He probably expected a much better note…
Meanwhile, two best friends were sitting not far from each other in the middle of the class, taking notes and listening intently. Nur was thinking, Maybe if I get the first rank, dad will think about his decision……. Tahir on the other hand, was also thinking of impressing her parents with colourful grades…..
Oumed was bored stiff. He cracked his neck and angrily looked at the time ticking ever so slowly. This long period of History was enough to give him aches. He got out his calculator and started calculating the sums he'd memorised last class. Math was the only thing that worked for him. But time was going ever so slowly that history class as their teacher went on about long ago's great heroes. What's the big point? They're all dead, anyway! He smirked as he looked away.
He looked around the class, his eyes caught a yellow scarf. Tahir caught his eyes too and waved at him cheekily. He glared angrily at his naughty cousin. Arrggh…he thought as he remembered what she had said the other day, that had pissed him off…..
But he looked closer to see the other girl who Tahir was always hanging out with. She was the one who brought him his calculator. And was answering most questions like a whiz kid and he was feeling a tinge of jealously spark in his heart.
“Get into your discussion groups, class!” the teacher abruptly said, disrupting Oumed’s thoughts.
Oumed watched as the two got up and moved to their group, while he was stuck with his friends. All they ever did in their group was talk and laugh about something far from History. He took a quick look at the two and shifted.
Tahir and Nur were three in their group, Jeremy was part of it. The three of them were having a great time laughing together.
Oumed in the corner watched them, Oumed felt a bit jealous to see that, but shook red head trying to shoo away his random thoughts and carried on like nothing ever happened.