I hate exams. Honestly who doesn’t? I had four papers this semester, and though it seemed it wouldn’t end, it finally did. Thank god! Shahid and I decided to watch a movie. I wanted to watch a romantic comedy and Shahid wanted to watch ‘Fast and Furious 7′. We finally decided to watch the latter and headed towards the theatre. The movie had prequels which were equally popular but the reason behind the success of this particular one was due to the death of one of the main actors, it was kind of like a tribute for him. After grabbing tickets and my favorite butter-flavored popcorn we sat on our respective seats. Shahid briefly explained the prequels. Honestly, it was a very ‘guy movie’ and I never cared to watch it.
“You know how the guy died?” Shahid asked
“Umm yeah I guess it was an accident?” I said, unsure.
“Yeah he died because of speeding. But that’s not the point! He died doing what he loved the most, apparently you die as you live.” he said tossing a popcorn in his mouth.
“Man, that’s deep, I can see Adele rolling in it!” I said laughing.
“Shut up.” he said rolling his eyes.
The movie was indeed very emotional and almost everyone was crying. I felt bad too, I hated death, because I feared it. I was not ready to meet my Maker. The movie ended and the lights lit up.
“Awesome right.” Shahid said.
“Yeah” I replied.
“Let’s have lunch? Do you want to head to McDonald’s?”
“I’m starving, come on let’s go.”
After placing the order we sat down on our table to eat.
“I have to tell you something, Shurooq.” Shahid said. I could see a weird look on his face.
“Go on, what is it?”
“Shurooq, my parents are getting a divorce.” he said seriously.
“Oh my god Shahid. I’m sorry, don’t worry everything will be fine.” I said softly.
He burst into laughter and said, “God you’re so naïve.”
“That wasn’t funny.” I said clearly angered.
“Sorry, I just wanted to ask if it was okay if you would hang out at my place? I mean we could watch movies and eat pizza” he said with a wink.
“Watching movies and eating pizza? Sounds like heaven.”
After a little window shopping we headed towards Shahid’s home, it was very close to the mall and we reached within no time. He rang the bell and his mom opened the door “Hey mom this is Shurooq.” he said gesturing towards me.
“Shurooq, this is my mom.”
“Hi aunty, nice to meet you.” I said politely.
“Nice to meet you too dear.” she said sweetly.
The house was a little small, his room was under the stairs, he opened the white door and gestured me to come in.
“So the rumors are true?!” I said breaking of silence.
“Umm what do you mean?” he nervously asked.
“You’re the boy who lived, show me your scar.” I said grinning. Shahid chuckled and showed me a birth mark on his hand.
“Wicked.” I said winking.
“Ok make yourself comfortable I’ll get something for us to drink.” Shahid announced before leaving the room.
His laptop was switched on and his Facebook account was logged in, suddenly a beeping sound came from the laptop. Though I didn’t mean to and I knew I should not look, but I did. To my shock it was by Sara, and it read ‘so, anything new?’. It didn’t sound that she was messaging him for the first time. Suddenly Shahid entered and I quickly looked away.
“I brought some coke and juice, drink whatever you feel like.” he said placing the drinks on the table.
“Shahid I didn’t mean to look, but why is Sara messaging you.” I asked him quite bluntly.
“Umm, yeah she keeps messaging me, but I don’t reply.”
“It seems like the conversation was going on for a long time, nobody starts their conversation by ‘so anything new!?’”
“Seriously do you think I would ever do something like that behind your back? The fact that you don’t trust me is just…” he said very angrily.
“Ok I’m sorry I didn’t mean to hurt you or anything, I was just curious. I trust you, obviously.” I said trying to calm him down.
“You really mean a lot to me Shurooq. I can’t even begin to explain how much.” he said seriously.
“Thank you, I feel the same too.” I said smiling.
“So tell me something that you haven’t told anyone?” he said changing the subject.
“LOL, that’s a weird question but seriously it’s not like I’m batman. So I really don’t have any such secrets.” I said shrugging.
“Come on, any issues or maybe family problems stuff?”
“Well, my mom and dad aren’t close. They’re just living under the same roof, because I believe they think if they got separated my marriage would get difficult.” I said
“Oh that is crazy. I’m so sorry.”
“Ok, now your turn.”
“I love you” he blurted out.
“Wait! What?” I asked shocked. ‘Yes it’s true, I am in love with you since quite some time now” he said nervously.
“I thought you said we are friends and you don’t make friendships into a cry for a relationship?!”
“That was the plan, but it’s not my fault. It just…happened.” he said shrugging.
“Wow, uh I don’t know what to say. Sorry, I need to leave.” I said standing up.
“So, it’s a no?”
“Of course, it’s a NO- not now not ever” I said, emphasizing on the ever.
“Wait hold on, give me a reason. Why not?” He said grabbing my arm.
“Because I don’t feel anything for you and this is weird and absurd.” I said trying to leave, but Shahid would not let go of my arm.
“Oh really so this is what you think of me! Weird and absurd, huh?” he said, tightening his grip.
“Let go of me, you’re hurting me.” I started shouting
“You know Shurooq, I guess everyone was right about you- you’re a characterless, cheap, two-faced girl. Look around, you don’t have any friends- absolutely none. Even the dorkiest, nerdiest and the weirdest person has a friend, but you don’t. Doesn’t this display your horridness? Have you ever thought about why you have no friends?” he said whilst shaking me.
I don’t know if it was the pain in my arm or the invisible daggers going through my heart, but I started crying. “I thought you were my friend. We went along so well, we never had a fight and we have had the same tastes.” I said
“Agreeing to whatever you say and whatever you want isn’t friendship.” interrupted Shahid
“I never asked you to do so.” I protested.
“Are you really that stupid? Didn’t you ever notice? I have a big bunch of friends but despite having them I came to you, because I thought eventually you will fall for me and then I could prove to everybody that even I can get a girlfriend.”
“So all this was an experiment to you? I was an experiment? You’re extremely insecure, you know that.” I said
“I am NOT insecure.” he said pushing me up against the wall. My spine literally went and hit against the hard wall and I gasped in pain.
“Either you say yes or I will make your life socially impossible.” he said threateningly.
“And how do you plan do to so?”
“Rumors, babe rumors, no matter how unrealistic it sounds people eventually believe” he said with a devilish grin. The same grin he had when we first met. I never thought such a day would come when I would be stuck with my so called best friend who was hurting me.
I was petrified, I did not know what Shahid would do next and how I would escape him. I closed my eyes and begged Allah to save me, tears dropped to my cheeks. Yes this was the first time I was praying to Allah. I didn’t know what and how exactly do we pray to god. I never thought that I needed to, until now. Suddenly the door was flung open and Shahid’s mother entered.
“Is everything fine here? I could hear someone screaming!” She asked concerned. I immediately leapt towards the door and ran away from the house. I took a cab and reached my home within 5 minutes. I rang the doorbell a zillion times and my mother opened and said, “Honey why are you ringing the bell so hard?” I hugged my mom and started sobbing.
“What’s wrong dear? You’re shaking!”
“He saved me mom, He saved me” I said still sobbing
“Who? And from what?”
“Allah saved me, from everything.”
“Sit down my love, have some water.” My mother helped me sit down and gave me a glass of water.
“Thanks mom” I said giving a sigh of relief.
“Now tell me, what happened?’” my mother asked brushing my hair softly with her hands.
“Mom do not trust Shahid, if he comes or calls or whatever just do not let him in. Okay?”
“Ok dear but tell me what happened?”
“I need a little time mom, just trust me okay?” I said holding my mother’s hand
“What happened to your arm?” my mom asked placing her finger on the bruise.
“Was Shahid trying to hurt you?”
“Mom I am fine, I just need sometime, ok?” I said while heading towards my room.
I closed the door and jumped on the bed. There were plenty of messages from Shahid, all of them just contained filthy abuses followed by threatening messages. A sharp pain went through my heart. I knew what I had to do, I blocked Shahid from every application. I went through my contacts and clicked on the one which read Sara and messaged her “Hey Sara. Need to talk to you. Whenever you’re free? Please!” and sent the message. Within a fraction of a second, my phone beeped, it was from Sara and it read “if it’s important meet me in the girls’ common room around 2 pm tomorrow.” “Sure, thanks.” I started going through Facebook because I could not get my mind off the fact that no matter what, I will have to face Shahid in college tomorrow and honestly, I was very scared of him. Scrolling down I read a shared post from my school friend Amina which read,
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (Surah al-Baqarah, verse 186)
I read this and re-read this and kept on reading it until my eyes ran dry. My heart felt at peace and eventually I drifted off to sleep.
To be continued…