The argument between Waseem and Aasia that happened weeks earlier soon fell away, and was forgotten as everyone returned to campus. And alongside the return of lectures was the return of the everyday banter the duo enjoyed.
“Guess what?” Aasia gushed, as she joined Waseem and their group of friends at their standard table in the quad.
“Hmm, you’ve finally told your parents how you feel about them and they’re kicking you out?” Amaan asked.
Aasia narrowed her eyes. “No, funny guy. Any other guesses?”
“You’re going to get rid of those god awful bangs and get a new haircut?” Taliya asked. She had been making fun of Aasia’s haircut from day one and clearly, nothing had changed.
“Wow, you guys are useless. I’ll just tell you-”
“Hey, how come I don’t get a chance to guess?” Waseem asked, cutting Aasia off.
With a sigh and a roll of her eyes, she gestured for her best friend to go on.
“Hmm, I think that you’ve finally come around and you’ve given into the idea of me being your soulmate. And now that you have, you’ve decided to tell all our friends!”
Aasia narrowed her eyes, grabbed her backpack and swung it over the top of Waseem’s head as he chuckled along with his friends. “You know what? Forget I ever said anything.” And with that Aasia stormed off before anyone could convince her otherwise.
“Nice one Waseem. You ticked off your girl.” Taliya said as she sketched in her notepad. She was an aspiring artist with incredible drawing skills, forever sketching out scenarios in front of her. She spent a few more minutes focusing intently on her notepad before turning it around to show the group. “Ta-da! Here we have Waseem the idiot and here we have Aasia the angry retro chick.”
“The accuracy of her angry facial expression is insane.” Amaan said as he studied the sketch. “Its like she only ever gets that look when Waseem says something dumb.”
“Which is all the time.” Another voice perked up, as the group all murmured in agreement.
“Come on guys, you make it seem like I’m terrible to her. She knows I’m joking. Plus the only reason she got mad was because she’s probably under a lot of stress.” Waseem reasoned, trying to get his friends to see what he saw. But they didn’t and he couldn’t blame them because they didn’t know Aasia like he did.
Ever since the flower-giving incident, she had opened up to him on a deeper level. She had always felt comfortable telling Waseem about the family drama that was forever happening within her household, but recently things had gotten worse, and Aasia had confided in her best friend, telling him about how tough it was being at home.
Suddenly, Waseem felt bad. There was his chirpy best friend who obviously had important news she wanted to share with the group, and he had ridiculed her moment. Having some free time before his next lecture, he tried to track down Aasia.
He checked all the regular places she would normally be in: empty lecture halls, the library, her favourite bench on campus, but he had no luck. He couldn’t find her anywhere. He was about to give up when something inside him told him to check one last place, his car.
And his gut had been right. Walking towards his old beat up car, he could just about make out Aasia’s figure sitting in the passenger seat.
“I’m pretty sure its illegal to break into someone else’s car.” Waseem joked as he slid into the driver’s seat.
“It’s not breaking in if the door was unlocked.” Was Aasia’s quirky reply.
Damnit, Waseem thought. How had his car not been stolen yet? With the amount of times he forgot to lock it, it was truly surprising.
“Whats on your mind?” He asked, trying to coax the good news out of her.
Aasia was quiet for a moment, contemplating if she should tell Waseem the good news. In the end, she gave in. “I got an internship.”
“Woah, thats- an internship! Aasia, thats great news!” He was all smiles as he listened to his best friend go on and on about the details of her journalism internship.
“I’ll probably be doing a lot of coffee runs and trips to the printers but if it helps me get my foot in the door, I’ll be the best coffee runner this place has ever seen!”
Waseem laughed as pure happiness radiated from Aasia. She couldn’t stop smiling as she spoke animatedly, clearly excited for this new experience in her life.
“So, what did your parents say when you told them?” It was the dreaded question, but it was one that needed to be asked.
“Obviously they were disappointed, but whats new? I told them it would be good to be in a journalistic environment and they really didn’t seem to care. At least they didn’t say no, so- I mean it could be worse.” Aasia offered Waseem a sad smile and shrug as she let out a long sigh. “This also means I’ll spend less time at home, which I am not complaining about.”
“Things are still rough between your parent?” Waseem asked in an apprehensive tone.
“Oh, you have no idea. The arguing has been kicked up a notch. I’m surprised neither one of them has left the house. Oh wait, I know why. Its because they have a certain image to uphold, of being the perfect family.” Aasia said in a mocking tone as she folded her arms protectively over her chest.
“Meh, perfection is overrated.” Was Waseem’s simple reply.
A silence settled over the pair as sounds of students shouting, cars revving and university life filtered through their windows.
“Waseem?” Aasia called out, gaining his full attention.
She gave him a smile, a soft and sincere smile. “Thanks for being such a nuisance in my life.”
He chuckled, not understanding why she would say such a thing. “What do you mean?”
“Well, you’ve caused chaos in my life from the day we met and I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not. You make my life a little more interesting, a little less orthodox.”
“Well, you’re welcome. And thanks for putting up with my nuisances. Everyone was giving me a hard time, saying I always make you mad and take things too far.” He looked up at her face to see if she agreed with what he was saying, but he was met with something else.
Shaking her head, Aasia laughed. “Don’t listen to them. You don’t always make me mad, just sometimes. And I also overreact so-”
“Understandably though. If I had to live with parents like yours, I’d be in a mental institute!”
Aasia rolled her eyes. “Typical Waseem, always the drama queen. Come on, we need to get going.”
“Where?” He asked, as he watched her get out the car and close the door behind her.
“We have class! And no, I will not bunk with you, now lets go!”
Bossy as ever, that was Aasia.
And obliging as ever was Waseem, who dutifully followed her as he no doubt would for the next few years of their lives.
Till her very last breath, Waseem would be by her side.
Happy Sunday everyone!
I hope you’re all relaxing in bed, reading this with a hot cup of tea, or hot chocolate, or whatever it is you prefer to drink.
I did not anticipate to end this chapter on such a sad note, but I thought it would intensify the emotional element of the relationship between Aasia and Waseem.
I hope you guys enjoyed the read! Leave your thoughts and comments below…
Also keep your eyes peeled for my December Diaries segment which will be posted on The Dubain Hijabi, so subscribe to that page if you have not already done so!
P.S. I absolutely love the picture below. The imagery of waves and a lighthouse and how your mind can be one, in search of the other to have the perfect mental balance, if such a thing actually exists. I don’t know but its food for thought…