No Matter What: Chapter Eight

4:07 PM

Fajr returned home to her siblings. She was the third eldest in a family of orphans. Both her parents passed away in different times of her life. She counted her elder brother who was ten years older as her father figure. She always turned to him for help whenever she felt distressed and astray, so she went to him and talked about what was troubling her. 'I still can't believe a family can do that' she said angrily. 'How do you know they did so?' her brother questioned her judgment. 'I know everything about Noor's family' she answered him firmly as her fingers crawled into her palm and punched the arm chair. 'If that wasn't enough, I've been getting updates on Noor through our gardener' she replied all certain and stubborn as her forehead crumbled into a line of wrinkles while fumes absconded her now widened nostrils. The process of Fajr checking on her friend is a chain reaction which involves a maid, a nanny, a barber, a shopkeeper and finally their gardener.  It starts from Noor’s housemaid who tells the nanny right next door. The nanny then complains to her love interest, the barber, on the injustice of Noor’s family and how they have been ill treating her. The barber who is acquaintances with the shopkeeper informs him on the happenings of Noor’s family household every time one of her brothers or her father walk in for a haircut or shave. Since the shopkeeper and Fajr's family gardener were siblings, the family gardener would then pass on the news to Fajr. 

'God bless foreign workers' her brother laughed making fun of Fajr's witty methods. 'How sure are you that they don't add up more spice to the whole update?' her brother asked her while trying to hold his amusement from the whole affair. 'I don't care all I know is that she isn't happy or coping well with what her family is doing to her' she said as she stormed out gnashing her teeth from anger. Her brother felt guilty for making fun of her when all Fajr was doing was keeping tabs on her now alienated lonely friend. He followed Fajr to her room in hopes of cheering her up. 'I will pray for her problems to vanish and disappear. Trust me she is always in everyone's prayers' he sat next to his sister on the edge of her huge waterbed. ‘Thanks’ she said as she smiled lightly while looking down at her feet. ‘I really hope it goes away’ she said in a very low voice that resembled a whisper. All he could do then was say nothing but hug his sister and comfort her. Fajr felt calm and composed as she rested in her brother’s arms. Holding on to his shirt tight, she secretly wished if she could turn back time; when the definition of life was their laughs, giggles and smiles. She closed her eyes and remembered when it was her friend's gibberish stupid talk that soothed her soul; when it was all sunshine, the beach and love fueling their verve and existence.

He woke up with a jolt, unable to breathe and coughing. 'NOOR' he called out her name. He sensed something was wrong. He always took a siesta nap like everyone else did at home. His heart was racing as he reached to his phone to call her. Dialing her number, it hit him that he couldn't hear her voice. There was no way to know about her, whether she was okay or not. But he still dialed in hopes he may get a dosage of her angelic voice he has been craving for. ‘The number you are calling is out of reach’ was what his ears listened to instead. He hated his inability to do nothing when she was his everything. He wished he took her pain away like he always kept on promising her day in and out. He loathed the fact he couldn’t keep his word. His pinkie pledge was null and void. ‘I promise to keep you safe and sound. I promise to love and cherish. I promise to keep you away from harm’s way. I promise from this day onwards, you will never see pain. I promise to always make you smile’ those words haunted him. The words Shihab said to her on one rainy day as she left the school premises for the very last time. Reaching out his pinkie to hers while his other hand held his loose open turban over their heads, the snapshot of the image jogged into his memory. Her chuckle and shy flushed face as they pinkie swore and wiping her tears, he remembered. A rough day she was going through that day, where her job as a teacher came to an end. A day that marked her as an official prisoner in a place people called home. She bid farewell to the only last thing she had going on for her, her fervor and passion. Only because the male testosterone in the family said so; mixing with men was impermissible and them knowing that she mingled with them in conferences and workshops made her brothers boil and demand for her to quit. ‘Shihab' she paused as she called out his name. Her hand shaking as she held his tightly, she gazed straight into his honey eyes. 'I Love You’ those three words blurted out of her mouth as the thunder added an extra upshot to the moment. The moment Noor first confessed her love to him. 

‘It’s not possible to get in touch with…’ he threw his phone away in frustration and put his hands on his head trying to push out those crazy thoughts he has of Noor being hurt. His thoughts wandered off to even deeper thoughts. He squeezed his head, and closed his eyes shut as he screamed in agony. Abruptly standing up, he rushed to his computer desk and started writing. 'I hope you are okay. I have these crazy thoughts and a deep feeling inside that is similar to a loud thud. Something is not right, my senses and heart is telling me this. But this notepad is just calming me down. I am just panicking you know, after all you are my moon and sun. My sunshine and rain, my breath and water; I am you and you are me.  You are alright and all happy I’m sure; feeling great, smiling, and of course writing to me. I’m just imagining you and your cute chubby cheeks which I'm sure are chubbier since the last time I saw you, that reflection is enough to make me feel at peace.' Shihab finally felt at ease seeing that his heart stopped racing and his breathing pace slowed down. Taking a deep sigh he continued.

'I didn't know how much I'd miss you until you were gone. They say that distance makes a bond stronger and able to conquer everything, and it’s true. I thought I forgot how love was being away from you. But on the contrary, writing to you just made me realize how much I care for you. I thought I forgot what love was and how it would be, how a loving palpating heartbeat sounded, how my distressed heart was saved by you. I thought love was a word on a paper which you write today and erase it the next day. But now, I know I haven’t forgotten, and I know what it means to be in love with you. You are my dream and reality. I love you now more than ever. Hope you are better Noori*’

*An Arabic phrase meaning my light.

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  1. one of my best chapters :D ! i love shihabs personality, still wandering wt happened to noor >.< !

  2. 2 chapters in 2 days, that's a dream come true. Like Ck, I adore this chapter since Shihab's personality isn't as obscure as it was before.

  3. Wow I wrote this in such a hurry that I thought I'd get bad feedback on it. But I'm glad you love it <3

    Another chapter coming up soon.


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