Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
“How long do you think you can go on like this?” He was asking. “Did you even hear me?!”
It’s all not as awesome as it seems. All that glitter’s is not gold.
That’s what he was trying to say. Erm. I didn’t get it.
He continued, despite my confusion.
“Lemme guess. Feeling like crap?”
I sighed, unaffected by whatever Waseem was trying to tell me. I wasn’t even fully alert. I was feeling kind of good now. I had switched off emotions and I really, really didn’t need his righteous attitude right then.
“Girls, clubs, drugs,” he started, as if he was lecturing me. Again. “It won’t be this good forever. It all passes. And when you come down and the high is gone, when all the owkes have moved on… Think. What are you left with? Who’s gonna have your back?”
I immediately got defensive.
“I’m no addict, Waseem!” I retorted. “I know how to handle myself! Once in a while I just need to chill out. That’s all.”
Why the hell was everyone on my case about this stuff? I needed to have a good time once in a while. Everybody does it.
“That’s where you wrong.”
Huh? What was he on about now?
“Zi, you’ll be shocked if you just get your head above the water. Some people don’t live the life we do,” Waseem was saying, sounding a tad bit serious for my liking.
The life that we live? Or the way we live? I knew that. I knew we were probably better off than some people, but most of the people in my crowd were alright.
No-one I knew was really suffering or anything. I really didn’t care much about what I heard about in remote corners of the world. My life was pretty cool.
“It’s not my fault that people in the world are getting killed and starving,” I said callously. “Get off my case, dude!”
I was annoyed with Waseem’s condescending attitude. Did he really forget just how caught up in the high-life he was, like just two weeks ago?
It’s not like he was born a damn saint. He was actually far from it. Notches in the bed post and all of it. I had even witnessed him in action a few times, and it was pretty hectic.
There was a good few minutes of silence, and I reached out to put my sound system back on. I needed to drown out my inner conscience… And Waseem’s annoying banter.
He grabbed my hand before I could get the remote, roughly pushing me back.
I was suddenly enraged. For some reason, probably to do with my mood, I just couldn’t stand not having things my way.
“What the-,” I swore, lunging forward at him, but Waseem was too fast for me. He held my arms down relentlessly, disabling me immediately. He was almost twice my size, and I couldn’t over-power him. Especially not today.
“Lil bro,” he said seriously, literally breathing down my ear. “Be careful. You may think no-one is watching you, but there’ll come a time when you’re going to be accountable for every single thing you do, and everything you own.”
I tried to turn my head to snarl at him, thinking it so ironic, but he grabbed me even more fiercely. I was certain that I was going to start tearing with the pain.
I hated being in a fight with Waseem. Most times I felt certain he was close to hurting me really badly. He was relentless.
“Remember,” he continued sternly, still adamant. “The only thing you leave here with is what you’ve eaten to nourish yourself. This world will make you think that it’s at your feet, when in reality, bru, you’re just getting played.”
The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing). (Qur’an 3:185)
He let go of me, and the pressure siezed. My arms felt close to normal once again. I slouched back on my recliner, feeling totally defeated, staring into space.
I knew I got a bit hectic last night… But Waseem was getting too heavy for me. I got the feeling he was talking about death, and it was a bit far-fetched for me. Actually, quite a lot.
I raised my eyes to finally focus on his face, as he leaned against my desk, watching me back.
He looked different. My eyes moved down to his ankles. The jeans he wore were folded at the bottom. I couldn’t imagine why. It wasn’t a Friday. My eyes moved up and scanned his face again, to see his usually clean-shaven face now sporting a little more stubble.
I had a feeling that he was going to say something important, but before he could, his phone rang. Thank goodness.
I took the opportunity to look at my phone. No messages. I was already feeling like I needed another diversion.
“That chic you’re with,” Waseem said, all of a sudden, closing his phone and cutting his call. “When you mess her around… And you know you will…. Your father will finish you. Her father is one of Dad’s suppliers, so I suggest you just leave her alone. Clean up your mess. Try something new. Go study. Ask Dad. Get a job.”
Now he had gone too far. I narrowed my eyes at him, not having energy to do anything more.
Who the hell did Waseem even think he was, rattling me like that? Even my father didn’t give a damn. I always did whatever I felt like. And it was always cool.
I knew that whatever efforts he had tried today were probably wasted ones. I was the way I was, and I liked it. I wasn’t going to change for anyone. Nothing he had said, by then, had even stirred within me, to create any kind of awakening. He was wasting his time.
“Look at your eyes. You’re broken, Zee,” he finally said, with just a little compassion. stepping forward, hopefully to leave.
I was intent on turning a deaf ear, but something about the way he said his next words just made me look up at him.
“Listen,” his whole tone changed now, and it caught me completely unaware.
“One more thing, Zee” he said, stopping in the doorway, still watching me. “Instead of chasing all this stuff… Temporary stuff…”
‘Temporary’ stuff? My ears pricked up, just slightly.
“Why don’t you try finding the real gold?”