“But that puzzle piece doesn’t fit. Let’s try another one.” Amaan said as he reached over for a small piece of colourful cardboard. “There we go! See, this piece fits properly.”
Hasana studied the half-made puzzle and squinted. She couldn’t quite figure out what they were making and Uncle Amaan had hidden the box from her. “Can I at least get a hint, please?” She asked, flashing him a smile.
“Your father said you’re a genius kid so now we have to prove him right. Come on, I think you can do it.”
With a huff and a puff, Hasana agreed. Turning all her attention towards the puzzle pieces she played around with them until finally, she had one remaining puzzle piece left.
“There! I did it!” And she had. Staring back at her was a whale made of 100 puzzle pieces.
“Well done sweetheart. It looks really good.” Waseem said, planting a swift kiss on his daughter’s head. “And well done Amaan. Would you like a medal?”
“Ooo yes please!” Amaan replied in a chirpy voice, causing Hasana and Waseem to laugh.
The atmosphere in the Ahmed house had been upbeat and joyous ever since the guest of honour stepped foot into it. Though he had arrived mere hours ago, they had already unpacked presents, taken a drive to a nearby park, eaten dinner and obviously completed a 100 piece puzzle.
“I’m going to make myself a cup of tea. You guys want anything?”
Waseem shook his head no, whilst Hasana shook her head yes. “Hot chocolate please!”
Amaan shot her a smile. “Coming right up!”
Putting the kettle to boil, he rummaged around for mugs, milk, hot chocolate and sugar when Waseem walked into the kitchen.
“I thought you said you didn’t want anything?” Amaan asked.
“I don’t, but I sent Hasana up for a shower, and since this might be one of the few times she isn’t around, I thought we could talk.”
Amaan glanced at his friend. “Why? Whats going on?”
Waseem let out a breath, long and slow. He rubbed his forehead and folded his arms over his chest. “I got a job offer. In Canada.”
Silence, there was dead silence as Amaan’s facial expressions changed rapidly. “Canada? Canada, like the place on the other side of the world?”
“Says the guy who lives in Australia.”
“Yeah, I know that but… Canada? How?”
And so as Amaan busied himself, Waseem told him about the life-changing offer he received. It was whilst he was filming with his crew in Cape Town a month ago. As every other local business trip he had gone on, this started out the same. Nothing new, nothing exciting. Same old, same old. That was until the filming crew collaborated with a Canadian media company they met whilst working.
One week spent with the foreigners and Waseem had them wrapped around his finger with his charm and skill, to the extent that the manager asked to see his previous work. Obliging, he showcased his online portfolio and they were impressed.
“So they just offered you a job? Right there and then?” Amaan asked, cutting Waseem off.
“No, they wanted to see what I had done before. I never expected it to turn into a job offer.”
Fast forward two weeks when Waseem had arrived back in Durban and when the Canadians left the Southern tip of Africa, Waseem received an email, a very long detailed email outlining a job offer the manager thought he would be interested in. The project, in Waseem’s words, looked beyond amazing. He would still be a videographer, but instead of filming the landscapes of South Africa, he would be venturing into Canadian territory.
“It’s a great opportunity. The pay and perks are great too but- I can’t act on a whim Amaan. I have to take Hasana into account, my parents, their lives here. What do I do man?”
“I mean- I don’t know Waseem. I don’t know what that responsibility is like but take it from someone who has moved away from home, it’s not as scary as it looks. I know people talk about how far it is, and they’re right. But the experience is just phenomenal. And Canada, I mean come on the opportunity there is ripe. And worst comes to worst if you hate it, you can move back after a year.”
Waseem put his head in his hands. “But what about Hasana? Can I really just uproot her life? And how in the world am I going to convince my parents to let me take her?”
“I think you sometimes forget that you are her father-”
“No, I know that. Its just hard to make big decisions like this when I’m so dependent on my parents, you know?”
Amaan nodded. Nobody ever expected for Waseem to still be living with his parents at the age of 32. He and Aasia did rent a place of their own when they got married. It was a small apartment with only the necessities. But Aasia found a way to make it cosy. It was the only other place Waseem had lived in, other than his parent’s house.
“If you’re serious about moving, or you’re seriously thinking about it, talk to Hasana. I know she’s young but the girl is blessed with wisdom beyond her years. Maybe don’t bring it up bluntly, but try and ask her how she would feel.”
Waseem opened his mouth, ready to formulate a response when all of a sudden his daughter came skipping into the kitchen.
“Did you wash your hair?”
“Washed behind your ears?”
“Belly button too?”
“What? I’m just making sure.”
Amaan smiled as he handed Hasana her mug of hot chocolate. He watched as she and his best friend continued to talk and bicker and laugh. His heart melted and then broke as an image of Aasia flashed through his mind.
Waseem was not a perfect father, but Amaan knew that Aasia would have been thrilled with the way he loved and took care of Hasana. That, he was sure of.
Ah, I teared up writing the end of this post.
Senti moments… excuse me as I get a tissue.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the read. I know I said I won’t have a set schedule of when I will post, but I think once every ten days or every two weeks will work for me.
Again, apologies for always disappearing on you guys. I just have so much going on with university and assignments and extra stuff I’m a part of.
So yeah, hope you guys all have a great weekend!