8. Picture Perfect

COARIN

Roses are red
Voilets are blue
Snot is green
and I have the flu

But the roses have wilted
The voilets are dead
My stomach is churning 
And so is my head

Wednesday morning found me tossing and turning trying to find a cool spot in bed. The air-conditioning was blasting but it was just so hot. Papa had left for work already so I was home alone with only the housekeeper for company.

My stomach was killing me and I couldn’t breathe properly because my nose was so stuffy plus my eyes felt like needles were poking me. A coarse groan squeezed past my lips when my stomach twisted and I forced myself to propel my body out of bed and rush to the bathroom. That took all the energy left in me so all I could do after that was sit and struggle to breathe as my stomach…

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7. Picture Perfect

COARIN

Roses Are Red
Violets are blue
Man, was I a fool
For trusting you

But now I have to smile
Coz the tables have turned
Revenge is sweet
I'll make sure you get burned

Walking into school on Monday, my chest swelled just a little when most of the school populace hurried to get out of my way. All that effort had paid of. Even the seniors knew not to mess with me.

As expected, Amy was waiting for me at my locker attempting to wait on me hand and foot and hanging onto my every word.

Pathetic! Did she really think sucking up to me would help her?

After ditching me at the club like that which led to the whole debacle with my papa and ‘matron‘, she seriously had hell to pay for. She deserved no mercy.

It was amusing how desperate she was to please…

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6. Picture Perfect

COARIN

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet 
And so are you

But the roses have wilted
The violets are decayed
The sugar bowl's empty
And I'm on a midnight raid

Papa, I didn’t.. I haven’t… I would never touch drugs. I promise. Please believe me,” I pleaded. The palpable uncertainty that surrounded him made my heart feel heavy, as if someone had dumped a watermelon on it. A huge, round, heavy watermelon.

I waited patiently, waiting for him to say that he believed me but.. 1 minute passed….another.. a third, before Apa Aaisha broke through the thick suffocating silence, “Haalah, we really hope you are speaking the truth, I really do but it’s just that all tangible evidence points to the opposite, so can you see the dilemma we’re facing?”

Annoyance surged through me like a crashing wave as I answered her, “Fine! You really want to know?…

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5. Picture Perfect

COARIN


Roses are red Voilets are blue Sugar is sweetAnd so are youBut the roses are wiltedThe voilets are deceasedMy thoughts are all over the place And my heart is miseased

“Enough of your dilly-dallying. Call your father now Haalah,” she commanded determinedly.

Despite all my hoping that she’d forget about it, she made sure that she returned. She first came at six ‘o clock and I was delighted to tell her that papa was still at work but unfortunately, she pitched up again now, 2 hours later, and papa was home. I couldn’t even lie about it as his car was very evidently parked in the driveway.

Now acceding to her request, I nodded demurely. From the corner of my eye, I saw her posture relax slightly, she had been expecting me to put up a fight.

Timing myself perfectly, I spun around abruptly and yanked her niqaab…

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4. Picture Perfect

COARIN

Roses are red Violets are blue Sugar is sweet And so are you But the roses have wilted The violets are deadThis woman's becoming a bother I don't get why she's even cared

My spirits dropped even lower as we approached my house. I spoke now in a low tone, for the first time since she caught my act, “Don’t ring the bell, I have keys.” The only indication she gave that she heard me was a curt nod, as she pulled into the driveway. I got out of the car, unsure whether I should thank her for giving me a ride, when to my surprise she got out too. I stared at here in shock, “You’re coming in?”

“Yes,”she said abruptly. “But…but.. You can’t!” I stammered out. “I can’t?” she questioned snarkily, “or you don’t want me to?”

“No, it’s just that it’s so late and Papa will be…

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A/N

Assalaamu Alaikum to all my readers.

Sorry for going awol on y’all. I was busy setting up my new blog. Picture perfect will be moved to there, so pls check it out.

https://confessionsofarebelinniqaab.wordpress.com

Do go and check it out, I’m sure you’ll love it. COARIN is a collection of stories interwined by one thread, snail mail. Yep you heard right, pen pals are the focus of this blog. Cute, isn’t it. All further posts will be blogged there.

For those of you who asked for a posting schedule, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that I’ll be posting weekly.

So go ahead and click on it for a whirlwind of emotions, adventure, friendship and trials.

https://confessionsofarebelinniqaab.wordpress.com

 

3. Disillusioned

***Aaisha***

Okay, she was good, really good. Or it could be that I was losing my touch. She really had me there. And here I thought I was too smart to get hoodwinked. I glanced over to the girl sitting in my passenger seat. Haalah Adams, who would have ever thought we’d meet again and that too, under such circumstances? The state she was in, the condition I’d found her in, was enough to bring tears to my eyes. I was terrified that I wouldn’t handle the situation right but informing her father of her less than savoury activities seemed like the best solution right now.

I sighed and checked the time on the dashboard, 2:48 AM, on a normal night I would be fast asleep at this time. I sometimes wondered why I did things like this, why did I care so much? But then I remembered that these where MY students, MY children, by being their Apa even for a short while, I felt a sense of responsibility over them.

I looked at the girl sitting next to me with her hair tumbling down her shoulders in perfect curls, her slim top which revealed just a slight hint of her cleavage paired with black jeggings and tried to reconcile her with the Haalah that I had known, The sweet, slightly bashful, bubbly kid. I just couldn’t though, even her facial feature seemed different now that they were covered with face powder, foundation and only Allah knows what else. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined dragging her out of a club!

Okay, not actually from inside the club but picking her up from the club entrance was just as bad. The worst part though was that this wasn’t the first time it had happened. The exact same thing had occurred 2 months ago when I’d received a call from Diana, a waitress at the club, that there was a ‘Moslem’ girl here at the club and they were closing so she didn’t know what to do with her. She offered to put her into a taxi and send her home but she needed someone to pay the taxi fare. Besides, she didn’t even know the girls address and the girl was quite incoherent.

All of this at two in the morning when even I couldn’t think coherently so I downed  cup of strong coffee, suppressed the urge to crawl back into my warm inviting bed and braving the weather elements, stepped into my car and drove to the club. There, I picked up the girl and wondered how on earth did Diana know she was Muslim because I seriously couldn’t make the distinction. Not knowing what to do then, I took her to my apartment and stayed up with her until she could tell me her name and where she lived. To say I was shocked was an understatement and I would have done something then but my tiredness, her pleas and her promises to never do it again made me drop it. Besides, I didn’t exactly want to be someone who pokes her nose into others’ businesses and it was quite late, no make that quite early in the morning.

So you can imagine my surprise when I received another call from Diana today telling me the same girl was there, they were closing up and someone needed to pick her up. Deja vu much? This time though, I wasn’t going to turn a blind eye and let her of the hook so easily. How could I witness such blatant self-destruction and turn a blind eye? I just couldn’t especially when it was by someone who was my student, okay former student but same thing. My mind had difficulty comprehending that a Muslim girl could behave like this and do things like this. I’ve heard a lot about the condition of the Ummah today and how Muslims didn’t actually behave like Muslims anymore but coming face-to-face with it, actually witnessing it with my own eyes was something else.

I blinked as I realised the enormity of what I was about to do. I was about to shatter the perfect illusion that her father had of his darling daughter. Did I really have it in me to do this? Did I really have it in me to blemish the picture perfect image of their lives?

2. Caught!

I purposely remained silent for the next few minutes, trying to unnerve her. I knew it was working when she kept glancing over at me to check if I was fine. I however didn’t even look up, but the next time she looked at me I forced my lip to wobble just a little bit. I’d sworn of crying for good after the events that happened 3 years ago, that no one would ever cause me to spill my tears again because no one was worth it, but  it looked like I’d have to make an exception. I mean, it was for a good cause. Her eyes softened after that, barely perceptibly, but it did.

 

I didn’t give in though, I needed to wait for the perfect moment. When it came I was ready for it, “Haalah, is something wrong?” And perfectly on cue, I let loose a torrent of tears. Her countenance softened considerably after that. I kept up the act, forcing out huge sobs until she pulled up at the side of the road. She then did something I really didn’t expect, she pulled me into a hug and began to soothingly rub my back. The gesture was so motherly and unexpected, that I involuntarily stiffened due to the unforeseen emotions that bubbled up in me. When was the last time someone hugged me, was it sad that I couldn’t remember? If I were to guess, I’d say maybe 4 or 5 years ago. When was the last time that someone even just.. . I forced down this unexpected torrent of emotion that she caused to rise in me and if it weren’t for the fact that doing so would ruin my plan, I would definitely have pulled away immediately.

 

I remained in her embrace for a little while longer, secretly loving it but hating myself for loving it. I gave one more sob for good measure before pulling away, and wiping away the tears. “Want to talk about it?” she offered gently. Shaking my head vehemently, I tearfully spoke, “No, it’s just that… That I made a mistake, and .. and now papa’s going to hate me and… I can’t bear that he’ll be disappointed in me and… I promise I’ll never do it again..  Please don’t do this to me.”

 

“Sshh Haalah, it’s okay. I wont, just calm down,” she soothed. I was all teary-faced on the outside but inside, I was jumping for joy, She took the bait. I was saved. “It will all be fine, Haalah, I’ll come in with you and help break the news gently and I’ll make sure your dad doesn’t do anything too drastic.” What! No no no! This can’t be happening. Anger surged in me. Who was she to poke her nose into my business? She cannot tell papa. She can’t destroy the perfect image he has of me. She can’t, I thought desperately. I needed to find another way to stop her. I was snapped out of my panicked musings when the car jerked back onto the road

“Wow! You should apply for the Oscars,” she said angrily, “Way to control the tears.”

It was only then that I registered what I had done. In my shock, I’d dropped the act. How did I not realise that. I was caught! As the enormity of what I had done hit, so did despair. I was running out of options and had absolutely nothing to fall back on. Someone please help me out of this mess…

1. Destroyer or Destroyed?

“Please don’t do it, I’m begging you,” I pleaded. “I’ll do anything, give you anything, just leave me alone, please,” I begged.

However, my pleas fell on deaf ears, all that happened was that the grip on my wrists tightened, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse. I pleaded and begged for many more precious moments but her face just remained impassive. She didn’t even seem to register what I was saying, it was as if she couldn’t even hear my pleas.

It was only when she began dragging me to the car that despair set in. Utter desperation overcame me and I was prepared to do anything to stop her but I recognised that look in her eyes, that glint of stubbornness which indicated that her mind was set. I didn’t know her but stubbornness I knew well. I could recognise it a mile away because, lets just say stubbornness is my best friend. My strongest trait. The characteristic by which I was known by. My signature, you could call it.

Stubbornness doesn’t have a very nice ring to it though so I prefer to call it determination and if it weren’t for that, my life would have no purpose. Not that it has much use at the moment. I’m a destroyer. Destroyer of what you may ask? The happiness of all those close to me. If you’re shaking your head and murmuring soft, kind words, please don’t waste your time lying to me and yourself, I’ve accepted it. Not only have I accepted it, I’ve found a solution for it. It’s a very simple one really, an idiot could have realised it even, get close to no one, you can’t hurt anyone. It wasn’t that hard actually. If you also tend to be a someone who destroys the happiness of those around you, you’ll understand. If not, you’re probably nodding your head sympathetically pretending to understand, please stop. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s people who do that. Not that I like many people either ways. Don’t take it personally.

Now getting back to the point, did I mention that I also hate people who digress? If you know me, you’ll point out that I do it a lot but I never said I liked myself, did I. So anyways, as I was saying, it wasn’t hard to prevent people from getting close to me. I myself was surprised in fact, and I’m quite the cynic, at how quickly people drifted away from me, even people who promised in kindergarten that they’d be my best friend forever. I suppose when you’re just a destroyer of happiness, people are happy to leave you.

To all you romantics and dreamers, allow me to burst your bubble. The promise of forever is as true as is Shaytaan reading Salaah on your prayer mat if you don’t fold it.In simple terms, a huge load of utter rubbish and lies.I mean Shaytaan reading Salaah, how amazing! Maybe I should always leave my prayer mat open.

There was only one exception to the rule, one person who still stuck around and didn’t desert me, who actually still loves ME. He doesn’t verbally express it but by his actions I know he loves me. I don’t think my heart could bear it if he stopped loving me, if he stopped caring for me.

This woman was not going to take that away from me, she couldn’t. I would never let her. I might as well end my life if she does that because he was my everything. My life, my supporter, the only person who loved me, the only one blind to my numerous faults…

And it would stay that way, no matter what the consequences. I’d stopped caring about others a long time ago anyway. I’d gotten the title stubborn for a reason and that woman was going to figure it out, the hard way. Bribery or begging, tears or tantrums, coercion or compulsion, insistence or intimidation, nothing was too grave. In fact, it was all in accordance with my motto for life, “The sky is the limit…”.

Prologue

I can still remember the first time I saw her. I can remember the feel of the grass beneath me and the deep blue hue of the sky. I can remember the laughter of the children around me as they enjoyed playing on the jungle gym. I can remember gazing around in boredom at all those around me and that’s when I caught sight of her.

The first thing that drew me in was her care free nature. She seemed to be in her own world, lying on her back somewhere in the middle of the playground. She was unbothered by all the noise around her. She lay there in the middle of the playground, fast asleep. I was glad she was asleep as it gave me free rein to examine her. I envied that smile on her face wondering how someone could be so happy that they actually smiled in their sleep.

For years, I watched her from afar. She was someone special. Her quiet yet effervescent nature, her unassuming confidence and best of all, her genuine smile all drew me in, yet I knew that I never had a chance. Someone special like that will never settle for the likes of me. In fact I didn’t want that. She deserved better and I wanted her to have better. Besides, one of the main things that drew me to her was her modesty. I knew she’ll never agree to a relationship of any sort, even just friendship. Everything about her was perfect. Maybe one day, she would be mine. Even her name suited her perfectly, Haalah. She was the epitome of perfection and the girl of my dreams. Even though, deep down I knew she was unattainable.

Then suddenly, she changed completely. In the space of a week she went from being Haalah, the sweet, modest, straight-A achieving, innocent and quiet girl to Haalah the girl who attended parties, didn’t bother much about anything, least of all her grades, who spoke to everyone and anyone and who didn’t mind flaunting herself. She went from being a loner, to sitting with the ‘it’ clique. Worst of all was seeing her casually chatting to boys. Everytime this happened, it took all I had in me to stop myself from walking over to her and dragging her away by that tuft of hair ‘oh so casually’ sticking out from the front of her hijab. She had no right to do that. The only boy she should be speaking to is me.

Truthfully though, what truly set me of though was seeing her casually flirting with him. That’s when I really felt like hurting her. When she casually touched his arm or giggled at something he said, it was as if an inferno ignited inside me. Sure, he was the most popular guy in the school who all the girls were gaga over and she was on her way to becoming the most popular girl but that didn’t justify it. This was absolutely unacceptable. She was mine and mine only and soon she was going to know, realise and have to accept that. Very, very soon, no matter what it took….