Thursday, 18 September 2014

Should have said yes... or maybe not.

I sat on the empty table in the lawn of my college, far from all the other tables in the area. My friends looked at me, and gave me an expectant look for me to join them, but I ignored it. I took out the novel I was reading, and took out the book mark, and started to read from where I had left it .More like, trying to read. Who was I kidding; reading was at that moment my only escape. If I had been sitting idle, someone would have definitely sat next to me. It was just not someone, it was 'them'
  I had been sitting in that same place, for more than an hour, and every time the door opened, I prayed to god to that it was not them. And thankfully, it wasn't them. But i guess, there is a limit to god accepting your stupid prayers too.
"Why are you sitting alone here, like the loner of the century?" I looked up, and saw Ahad standing over my head. He was smiling, the same childish smile he always wore around. His grey eyes shined with excitement. Crap, he again had some story that he wanted to tell me. I showed him my novel, that was my way of telling him to leave me alone, but it was Ahad, he never took a no from me. Or maybe he just knew, that I would never give him a no. He slid the chair out, making as much noise as he could. He sat and looked at me, making pouts idiotically. I pursed my lips, and sighed. I was about to get back to my reading when he said "Oh c'mon, is your 'Zahir' more important than your best friend?"
"Err, yeah. My 'Zahir'' while showing off the book in his face” is more important than you, it keeps me company, when you ditch me every now and then"
"Awwh, I am sorry for that. You do know that I never do it on purpose, right?" I rolled my eyes at him, and I knew it wasn't his fault. But I missed him, I missed our talks. Him listening to me all the time, I liked how he liked me more than any girl around, and then came Malika, his current girlfriend. I was staring at him, while he blabbered on, and on about how Malika wasn't talking to him. And every time he took her name, it stung me. His voice used to get so soft, every time he mentioned her. That is why I always try to hide, when I see them both, because, I always worry that I might lose it in front of them, more importantly in front of him.
  He still went on, asking about how to make it up to her. And I, as always was giving him ideas. He threw up his hand in defeat, when he didn't know what to do anything. I smiled at him, as warmly as I could. I kept my novel aside, and talked to him. I knew that later I would regret it, but seeing him this way was unbearable to me. While talking to me, I caught Sayma's eye, my other best friend. She looked at me and mouthed 'You are pathetic' and I smiled apologetically because half an hour from now, I would go to her and cry my heart out.
"Wormy, you have got to help me, all right? It's been twenty-five hours, since I last talked to her. And, and in the morning, when I went to greet her she walked pass me as if I was talking to her locker"
"Well, you should do something really special for her"
"Wow, that was such a big help" he stuck his tongue out at me "you know what, you should read less of these novels, This, Paulo person has messed up your head" I hit his head with the back of my novel, which he tried to dodge.
"Let me finish, you impatient idiot." Ahad straightened up, and crossed his hands across his chest and looked straight into my eyes "Don't do that eye thingie, ok?"
"What? I was trying to be attentive"
"Whatever. So what I was thinking was that you are a really good sketcher, right?" he proudly nodded "You should sketch something for her, something that would mean a lot to her." a smile dawned his face and that hurt. You got your idea, now please leave me alone so I can cry, and remind myself of how stupid I am.
"Wormy, you are so brilliant. If you were a guy, I'd hug you."
"You'll never stop being an idiot,no?"
"Nope. Well, I should probably go and start on the sketch, and leave you with your boyfriend aka your book"
"Go away!" he stood up, and was about to leave when I asked him what he'll sketch for her, and I wish I had never asked
"Isn't it obvious? " he smiled and waved goodbye. I held back my tears, when I made sure I saw him go inside the school building, and as soon as he was out my sight I buried my face inside my novel.
"You never stop, do you?" Sayma said while sitting next to me, she wrapped her arms around me in comfort "hey, don't cry" she tried to hush me.
"It is so stupid." my voice sounded so thick.
"I am sorry."
"Sayma, I can't do this anymore. It hurts, I know it’s sad but it does." I looked up to her, at her strained face.
"Then stop, don't do it. You are not obliged to help him every time he gets into a fight with Malika." she said after staying quiet. "Zaina, this was your decision, remember? You were the one who said no when he asked you out.
"Should have said yes...or maybe not" I said in a small voice, wishing she didn't hear me.
"It was the right decision, and you know it." I couldn't argue with her, because I knew she was right. I made the decision, I weighed my answer and I made it. "You don't like seeing him with anybody else, that is the only problem." I looked down, partly because I was ashamed of the truth that ringed so strongly in her words, also because my puffy eyes had started to attract attention towards us. "Zaina, I know it is hard, but you have got to let it go. He wasn't going to wait for you forever, you know he did. For three years, and that is not a short time, and you were the one who pushed him to move one. And now when he has, you have to stand by your decision." I wiped my tears off, and took a deep breath. "Come, let's go somewhere, shop and eat. We can go to the park, and make fun of other people?" I laughed, as much as I dis-liked her complete logical answers, I loved her for being there every time I broke under my own pressure
"I would really like that, making fun of the miserable couples sitting there."
"Yeah, now move you lazy person, we have to get going."
"Ohkay, just let me get my stuff."
"Don't worry about that, I got it for you when you were being all 'I am miss ideas'"
"I love you."
"Shut up and start walking"
"Where are we going by the way, to eat?"
"I don't know, we'll decide once we get going." she said, while grabbing me from my elbow and wheeling me towards the college gate. I looked at her, and wondered, what would I ever do without her? But even then, my mind lingered on his answer isn't it obvious? I am going to sketch her. And I knew, even Sayma couldn't help me out of my miserable mind.
"Lets go to Food and Books. We could eat, and you can check out the latest books too.
"Lets.." I replied, while looking at my shoes.
"It’s okay buddy, you'll get through this and if you don't, I will push, until you are through with this." she said while patting my back
"I know" I said while smiling "That is the only thing that keeps me from going off the edge." And with that, I let go off that sadness that spread inside me. Move on. Have fun, read books and don't think about him. You have to have fun now that is it. I slung my arm around her, and walked towards the café she suggested, my favourite café.

written by: Mahal Khattak

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