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Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

My reality, at the time...

Perfectly set tie. Check.

Matching matt belt. Check.

Tom Ford Oud. Wow. Check.

Hair looking cool. Duh. Check.

I glanced at the mirror, slightly dissatisfied with what I saw. Something wasn’t right.

Fitted jeans or tailored pants? I was torn. I was wearing my new 5 grand shoes, and just couldn’t decide which pants set better on them.

I shrugged, deciding not to make it an issue. Either way, I would still look like a boss. Girls needed to think that I didn’t really make much of an effort. Not that I did anyway. I had plenty of suits but I had decided against wearing one today. I was taking it easy. Everyone would be in a suit. I wanted to be different.

“Where’re you goin’?”

I swung around, only to see Waseem watching me. It looked like he was probably standing there for a while.

He still had that weird, far-fetched look in his eyes. I just hoped he was going to snap out of it soon enough.

It was already one long week of his crap that we had to go through. I hesitated to tell him about our matric dance ‘do’. I didn’t want to kill the buzz, with him being a wet blanket.

“Out,” I replied, being evasive. “Like normal people. Remember?”

He nodded, moving his head slowly.

“Keep it clean, bru.”

He had a warning tone in his voice and I almost wanted to laugh. Keep it clean? Like Waseem knew how to keep it clean. What was that saying? Practise what you preach? The pot calling the kettle black.

“Yeah yeah,” I replied, indifferently, turning my attention back to the mirror.

This was going to be the night. Instagram would witness the beginning, as I snapped a shot. I had asked one of the hottest chics to the dance, and it was on. And I was seriously not going to let anything break my flow.

I literally raced down the stainless steel staircase, checking my pockets for my M3 key. The love of my life. For now.

Dad had bought it for me after exams were over. It had a sleek, white leather interior, and it was a real draw-card for me with everyone. I was always popular in school, but this made me a real boss. And I loved my new cab.

“MO-OM,” I screamed from the doorway, not finding the key or spotting it on the front key hook. She always did this. Moved the damn keys around so I could never find them.

“No need to shout, Zi,” a voice said. “Watch how you speak.”

Waseem again. That was the crap I was talking about. Always trying to fix everyone.

“I need my keys,” I said sharply. “She always does this. So freakin’ annoying.”

My mind blocked out anything that Waseem was trying to say. Like, what was up with him? I didn’t need someone picking my brains.

Racing down the passage again, I didn’t bother to pause at the lounge, where I could quite clearly hear Muhammed and my father having it out.

“You can’t do that, Dad. The property looks like shit. Raising the rent would be completely unnecessary… Not to mention, greedy.”

“Greedy?! GREEDY?” My father was shouting now. “Let’s talk about who’s being greedy, why don’t we?!”

There was a series of swear words, and I took that as a cue to turn a deaf ear. It was a common occurrence, and like always, I ignored them both. I didn’t even greet Muhammed, who I hadn’t seen in over two weeks.

I admired my Dad. He knew what he had wanted out of life, and had worked hard to get there. My eldest brother, though, was more my kind of person than anyone. He was more like what I always wanted to be like, but I didn’t have time to give him attention right now, leave alone nod a greeting. I was late.

After muttering to myself continuously about my mother’s annoying habits, I finally located my keys in my room. The top shelf. Where I had left them.

I only felt the minutest bit of guilt as I started my car. The night ahead was consuming my mind. It was going to be the perfect opportunity to kick-back and unwind. I drove, speedily, down the road, music blaring to set the mood. I needed to be in the right ‘zone’.

Nothing calmed me more than the sound of my favourite song. Track 5 on folder 2 on my latest mp3. The beat resonated from the brand new sound system, taking me into another world. I had asked Dad to tweak the standard system, giving me the most awesome surround sound. It felt like I was already in the club, and I felt myself looking forward to tonight. The after party.

It was only seconds after that, when I pulled up outside her house, hooting twice to announce my arrival. I had thought about going and buzzing, but no-one really did that.

I turned my attention to my phone as I waited, skimming through text messages from friends. And Waseem.

“Haraam satisfaction is only temporary.”

What the…? I chuckled to myself, only slightly taken aback. He was a real cracker.

“Hey, you,” a familiar voice said, slightly drowned by the music.

I stopped chuckling as the door opened, and my beautiful date entered the car.

Of course, I couldn’t help but stare. I was mesmerised by her. Her perfume, I was sure, the Jo Malone I had bought her last week, was completely consuming. I was utterly fixated.

It felt like I was rooted to the spot, as she leaned forward, her hands locking around my taut shoulders, lips just brushing my cheek.

I wasn’t a shy guy, but I felt just slightly awakened to my senses, as she pulled back and I put the car into gear again. I pressed down on the accelerator, releasing the handbrake, hearing the chipped exhaust popping with the backfire of petrol.

The lyrics to the song were blaring, and I felt more comfortable as I let them sink in, and control my emotions.

This was what it was all about. Tonight was going to be great. The night was still young.