CHAPTER 9 (continued)

Posted: May 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

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CHAPTER 9 (continued)

A bad feeling is just your instinct trying to warn you.

 

I am upstairs in the playroom clearing up the children’s toys and trying to create designated spaces for constructive play. There is a doll house corner with Jameelas kitchen set and dolls, as well as many new additions she received as birthday gifts. I have put paints, crayons and clay in the creative art corner. Bilals blocks and toolset together with the ever increasing collection of toy cars are in another corner. I really don’t see the need for so many cars. I’m pretty sure Yusuf sneaks in here to admire the collection of tiny replica luxury sports cars. There are Corvettes, Bugattis, McClarens and of course you cannot have enough Ferraris. On the far end of the room there is a shelf filled with puzzles and games. A table and play mat fill the centre of the room. Now if it could just stay that way, I sigh. I must remember to tell Elizabeth what goes where. Just as I finish I hear the phones ring. We added a line extension so there’s one phone upstairs and one downstairs. I head to my bedroom to answer.

“Assalamu Alaikum” I answer anticipating Yusuf’s voice. The only other person who has our landline number was my mother-in-law and she never calls me during the day.

“Wa Alaikumus Salaam, How are you, Hasina” comes the serious voice of my eldest brother.

“What a surprise, Waseem, Alhamdulillah , I am well” I respond. “How are you and the family?” the conversation is rather formal. I don’t often speak to my brother over the phone.

“we are all well” he responds with the same amount of formality. “The kids had a lot of fun at the party. I hope Jameela liked her present.”

“Yes, Jazakallah, she loves the pottery set. She made me take it out immediately and started playing.”

“im glad” his remark is followed by a serious silence. I hear him take a breath on the other end, and I wait for whatever ominous news he has for me. “I phoned Yusuf and he gave me the house number” he says determined. “I wanted to talk to you about a few things but I think it will be better if I come over there and speak” not waiting for a response he asks, “Is Friday ok? I would like to do it as soon as possible, Shaheeda’s cousin is getting married this weekend so we wont be available on the weekend.

I try to digest all the information he spat at me. “Er, ya, sure. Is everything ok? What do you want to talk about?” I ask, my voice uncertain.

“There’s just a few things” he says telling me nothing, “Im going to ask Suhail to come also” he says .

“oh, ok” i say wondering what this could all be about.

“Right”, he says definitively, “I better go, Ill see you next week , Insha Allah” he says.

“jee, Give salaams to Shaheeda”

“I will, Salaam”

“Wa a laykum Salaam” I say and then hear the click of the receiver. I try to think about what he needs to talk about. I hold on to the phone hearing the long beep tone of a disconnected line, beep , beep, beep, like an ICU machine , mimicking a pulse, trying to keep the conversation alive. But it’s no use. The call is dead.

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