No Matter What: Chapter Nine

11:01 AM

The room was dark and freezing cold. The surrounding never gave off a homely cozy feel to it. It felt like a guest room when visitors feel estranged sleeping in a room they aren’t familiar with. She was always insomniac in her room. She hated the stupid green paint her mother chose against her will. It felt as if she was in a surgery ward rather than an inviting cozy bedroom. A tiny dressing table, a single bed that fits a 10 year old, an old A/C unit that kept on leaking, yellow curtains which never suited the paki green color of the room, and a two door wardrobe complimented the room which she had to share with the maid. She slept on the floor on a medical mattress she saved up money for; with a bad case of back problems, she needed it to ease her ailment. The room's fragrance was that of coconut oil, mixed with cheap knock-off perfume scents and body odor. The opening of the bathroom door was enough to let the vapor seep out. Noor was still lying on the floor; unconscious and clueless to the world. It has been a while since she passed out behind the bathroom door without anybody paying her attention. 'Heeey Baghwaaaaaaan*' the maid screamed as she opened the door and noticed Noor’s fragile petit body on the floor with only a towel wrapped around her. She ran down to the family room but then quickly went back to the room. The maid quickly picked up Noor’s praying gown to cover her bare skin and then rushed out of the room to inform Noor's brother. ‘So? Let the whore die, it would be better for all of us’ he said as his eyes twinkled with content. He felt zero remorse for his sister who, in his eyes, brought down shame and disgrace to the family. He was sure that if Noor were to meet her maker then their family status would go back to where it was before; the society of the religious elites would take them back again. Noor’s brother ignored the maid’s screams and pleas and continued playing 'Resident Evil' on his PS3. Hilal, Noor's cousin, heard the maid's begs as he was walking into the pantry right across the family room. He rushed with her upstairs only to find Noor cold to the touch.

The sun was setting and the darkening horizon was captivating. Looking out the window, the beautiful scenery bestowed peace on the onlookers. Red, orange and yellow mixed with the purple and blue. The moon crescent decorated the sky as the sun parted ways with it, sinking down deep under the sea. A volery of birds flew away while the call for prayers went off through the mega speakers of the neighborhood mosque. Fajr rushed to the kitchen to break her fast. She was fasting for an oath she took upon herself. It was when she swore to Noor that she would not allow a petty separation split them up. They would forever remain best friends; in fact Noor was the only true friend her heart would forever cherish. She vowed to fast for two weeks to prove that to her and everyone. She ate the dates that were already served on her plate and drank a glass of laban before she headed over to the bathroom to make ablution and pray.

Knock knock KNOCK...
The door was being knocked.

Bang bang BANG....
The door went on.

She shuddered and nearly slipped from how wet the bathroom tiles were. The hammering on the door freaked her out, nobody ever dared to knock on their house door in that manner before.

Slam slam SLAM...
The knocking series continued.

Fajr's heart was beating so fast she became petrified. All her brothers were at the mosque for prayers. She was all alone. She decided to ignore the scary visitor and go on praying as she still hadn't. The gardener continued knocking and ringing the bell but to no avail, he decided to leave without breaking the news about the ambulance that drove off from Noor’s house to Fajr.

'Is she okay?'
'Yes I'm sure she is'
‘Sure about that?'
'What you don't believe my words?'
'No it's just, well you know…'
'It'll be fine, just keep hold on to faith and it’ll be alright’
'Can I ask you a question?'
'It's a bit private so feel free to ignore'

A late night SMS conversation between oblivious Shihab and clueless Fajr; they were both lying on their beds with only their phone’s flashing light illuminating their bedrooms as they hold on to their mobile phones close to read each other’s correspondence. Fajr as usual had her earphones plugged in and indulged into classical music, the way she always prepped herself to sleep. While Shihab was still in a mess. Unable to figure out why he felt so nervous and afraid, his feet kept on tapping their way on the bed. Shihab still had this gut feeling that something was wrong so he chose to keep himself busy and occupied for a while, hoping that the feeling would pass and go away.

BEEP… her phone rang and vibrated

'How did you get over him?'

Shihab asked the big question. A question that struck a nerve on her soul, a question that nobody dared to ask; it was a hard question for her to answer. It has been a while since anyone mentioned him. She read it and looked away throwing her phone aside. She didn't want to recall those memories after working hard on erasing what she knew of him. She coped by having positive thoughts about her life and how it would turn out to be. Fajr feared remembering him. She dreaded that a memory of him would suck her back into that deep dark hole again.  But she owed it to her friend to make her other half feel better, so she picked up her phone from the ground and pushed the reply icon.

'I took it one day at a time' she replied short and simple.

A few minutes later:

'I don't think I can move on. I just can’t'
'But Shihab nobody is asking you to'
'It's not easy I'm sure but you had the will and power. I can’t remove her from my life. She is my all'
‘You would never forget but fond memories are what helped me get by through the day'
'So are you still in love with him?'
'I'd be lying if I said I wasn’t. I still do love him but that's in the past now'
'Sorry for keeping you up late and bringing back memories perhaps you didn't want to share'
'Not at all it's okay. Anything for Noori's Shisho ;)'
‘Have a good night Fajr'  
'Thanks you too'
'Sweet Dreams Shihab'
'Same to you J' 

She smiled as she ended the conversation and placed her phone under her pillow. She smiled as she remembered happy glimpses of her past. Fajr was older than both Noor and Fajr and by that she always acted as the loving motherly big sister to them both. Fajr learnt from her past and became an invincible figure to everyone she knew. She might still refuse the idea of love after what she went through but she never gave up on life. She experienced walking past the gardens of butterflies and floating animated hearts only for her to stumble upon poison ivy and sharp thorns. Fajr’s fairytale story was too good to be true that it soon turned to a bitter and sad ending. It was thanks to the enchanted love story she lived that taught her to live life to its fullest. In the end, 'what doesn't break a person makes a person stronger' she thought. 

* Oh My God in hindi

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  1. another great chapter :D! the phrase ( ‘So? Let the whore die, it would be better for all of us’ h) says it all on how she is treatment .. so another sad story is involved , pieces are patching up :D !

  2. Yeps you finally are getting it ;)

    Thanks cK, you rock <3

  3. Rummy, overwhelming
    I have nothing to say, its THAT good *.*


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