Eid engagement and other weddings #35

COVER STORY

“Time is running out,” Hina told Sameer over the phone.

“I know,” Sameer replied. “I asked for a while before I could find a way for us to meet, remember?”

“I remember,” Hina said. “I’m just reminding you.”

“I know,” Sameer said again.

“I would rather sooner than later,” Hina said.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Sameer said. Hina laughed hearing the smile in his voice.

There was a knock on Hina’s bedroom door. “I have to go,” Hina said, ending the phone call.

– Come in, she added in a louder voice.

The door opened to reveal Gohar.

“Good timing,” Hina said, patting the side of the bed next to her. Gohar sat down, smiling brightly.

Eid engagement and other weddings #35

“I just made a sweet dish,” she said. “I hope everyone likes it at dinner.”

“Of course we’ll like it, your stuff is always good,” Hina said.

“It’s the first time I’ve done it at my in-laws, though!” Gohar clasped his hands.

“I’m sure it will be just awesome,” Hina said, patting Gohar on the arm.

“I also had a good chat with Ammi,” Gohar said.

“Friend? A nice conversation? Strange miracles are known to happen,” Hina said.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, she’s a sweetheart,” Gohar said.

“You had to go on and on about something as usual,” Hina said shaking her head.

Eid engagement and other weddings #35

“No! I just like getting into conversation, that’s all,” Gohar said.

“I wonder what you were talking about…” Hina was interrupted mid-sentence by her bedroom door being opened by a distressed Ray. He fixed his wild eyes on Hina and said breathlessly, “Just remember Hina, it’s not her fault.

“What happened?” Gohar asked as he stood up.

Hina remained seated. “What are you talking about?” she asked.

“Promise me you’ll remember,” Ray said in a shaky voice, “it’s not Gohar’s fault.”

Gohar clapped his hands over his mouth. “Did I do something wrong?” she asked. “I can apologize.”

“You don’t apologize to anyone because you didn’t do anything wrong,” Ray said. “Hina, you have to go see Ammi right away.”

Now Hina stood up. ” What is happening ? Did she ask me to go to her place? she says.

Eid engagement and other weddings #35

“Yes, and you have to hurry, it’s urgent,” Ray said, “and remember…”

“I don’t need to remember anything,” Hina said. “I will find out myself what Gohar said to Ammi.” She glanced at Gohar before leaving the room.

Ammi sat quietly alone in her room. When Hina entered, Ammi did not move or acknowledge her presence. Hina sat across from Ammi and waited. When Ammi was in a bad mood, Hina knew not to rush her.

Finally, Ammi turned to face Hina. “Give me your phone,” she said.

Hina stared at Ammi but didn’t dare ask a question. She reached out her hand with her phone in it. Ammi picked it up and put it in her arm.

“You have crossed the line of what is appropriate in this family,” Ammi said. “You went behind my back and tricked us all. I’m ashamed of you. I will talk to Sameer’s mother about this so that we can resolve this issue as soon as possible. You couldn’t maintain your commitment with dignity. I will correct your wrongs as soon as possible.

Eid engagement and other weddings #35

Hina felt her breath catch. Could Ammi be talking about…?

“I’m sorry, but I don’t see what you mean, Ammi,” Hina said.

“You did it, so don’t try to avoid admitting it,” Ammi said. “You used that” she held up Hina’s phone, “to act shamelessly with your fiancé. I didn’t allow you to talk to him alone, but you disobeyed me.

Hina’s eyes widened and she gripped the armrests of the chair she was sitting on. “I didn’t…I didn’t…” she gasped.

“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say,” Ammi said. “I will tell you very soon what we have decided about you. Go back to your room.

Ray and Gohar were still in Hina’s room when she returned. Their faces turned to her with worried looks.

“What exactly did you tell him?” Hina asked.

Eid engagement and other weddings #35

Ray and Gohar looked at each other, then Gohar turned to Hina and said, “It was my mistake, but I just mentioned how you talk to Sameer on the phone…”

“You said I had, uh, brazen attitudes with him on the phone?” Hina asked crossing her arms. Gohar just stared at her. “Did you say I didn’t hold my engagement with dignity?” Hina added.

Gohar spoke up. “No, Hina, I just mentioned in passing how you spoke on the phone with him.”

“Yeah, I thought all those words were Ammi’s own words,” Hina said. “I’m just checking.” She went to sit in the middle of Ray and Gohar. “I don’t know what Ammi will do now.”

“Everything will be fine,” Gohar said.

“The worst is over,” Ray said.

“You’re just lucky Gohar didn’t mention your involvement to Ammi,” Hina said. “Otherwise it would be the two of us on the line.”

“I thought Ammi knew you talked to Sameer,” Gohar said. “You told us so openly about it, I thought your parents knew about it.”

Eid engagement and other weddings #35

“Well, they didn’t, Gohar,” Hina said.

“I’m sorry,” Gohar said.

“I don’t know what will happen to me as a result of what you did,” Hina said.

“I said I was sorry, Hina,” Gohar said.

“You don’t have to keep apologizing,” Ray said.

“Yeah, I’m too worried about what’s going to happen next to care about you,” Hina said.

Gohar smiled weakly. ” Everything will be alright.

“What am I going to do about Sameer?” He will wonder why I am not answering his calls,” Hina said.

Eid engagement and other weddings #35

“I think Sameer will find out when Ammi calls her mom about it,” Ray said. “He will know why.”

Hina was so preoccupied the rest of the week that she barely noticed how Gohar took the time to sit with her and talk to her, and how Ray came to her room more often instead of waiting for her to knock. his door. She had trouble sleeping, and when she fell asleep, she was lost in stressful dreams. One morning, after waking up from another dream wandering through endless hallways, she thought to herself, “This waiting period should be over soon. Later in Ray’s room, Ray told him, “Ammi called Sameer’s mom, she’s just waiting for his response about something.” What could it be? Hina wondered.

As the day progressed, Hina got the feeling that Ammi had news that she was keeping to herself. She waited, and soon enough, Ammi called her to her room. Ammi fixed Hina with a stern look and said, “I spoke to Sameer’s mother and we finalized your marriage in three weeks from now.”

Hina’s mouth opened and she looked at Ammi in shock.

To be continued…

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