Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“A little more to the left.”

I looked at Ahmed, frowning a little. The sun’s rays were shining directly in my face, and my vision was obscured. Seeing accurately was easier said than done.

“Left, left!” He said again, moving closer to the target to reiterate. I focused a little more, trying to go as left as I can whilst still keep my eye on the target.


I released the butterfly sword in my hand, watching it glide through the air and just miss Ahmed’s face.

He jerked back and looked at me in shock. I couldn’t help it. I immediately started giggling.

His thunderous face didn’t change as he stared me down, probably thinking I had done it intentionally.

My brothers olive skin had gotten deeper from all the hours spent on the roof garden in the sun. He was looking older and a little more fierce too.

“Are you crazy? You have to focus, Khawlah,” he said, his face losing its rage slightly. “Focus!”

Normally in situations like this, even the strongest of warriors get nervous, but she being a tigress, took a knights armor and covered her face with a green scarf. She mastered the technique of sword-fighting and battle when she was just a young girl, and fought the enemy bravely with some soldiers. She took hold of the reins and steered herself straight into the raging battle. She fought so valiantly that muslim soliders thought that she was the great commander Khalid Bin Walid himself. It was only when she revealed her identity they found out that she was a woman. And what a brave one at that.

Her father’s name is either Malik or Tareq Bin Awse. Al Azwar was his nickname. Her brother, Derar, was the knight and poet of his tribe, and was well known as well for his wisdom. His love for his sister and confidence in her capabilities were legendary. In fact, the brother and sister were so attached to each other that she was his companion wherever he went. He trained her in all arts of swordsmanship and she also became a knight. Besides that, Khawlah RA was a poet who mastered that noble art. She was said to be tall and of great beauthy.

Ahmed was rattling about something that Abba had told him, and I zoned out for a few minutes, wondering when the time will come when I’d have to truly show my courage.

He had been training me well. It was like Abba had taught him some kind of martial arts all these years, and we had no idea about it.

Why? Maybe Abba knew. Maybe Abba knew that something might happen to him and we needed to be prepared.

It had been a few weeks. I had gotten snippets of information from Ahmed. Abba was still alive. He had basically been kidnapped by a mob who wanted money.

“Money. That’s all it’s about,” Ahmed said, like it was so simple. “Money makes the world go round.”

I let him have it when he said that. I let him hear the parts about money that people didn’t like. Like how it breaks up families. Like how it leads to substance abuse. Like how no family who has money knows unity.

Amr ibn Awf (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah, (SAW), said, “By Allah, it is not poverty I fear for you, but rather I fear you will be given the wealth of the world just as it was given to those before you. You will compete for it just as they competed for it and it will destroy you just as it destroyed them.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2988, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2961

I wished, with all my heart, that we never became like that. That it never destroyed us.

The worst part of it now was that it had become public news, so now everyone thought we as kids had lots of money at our disposal too. They didn’t know that none of us actually had access to Abba’s accounts, since we were all still minors.

The unwanted attention I was getting at school was getting stifling. I blocked all thoughts out as I aimed the pistol at the target for a last round, finding a certain solace in the “Whoosh” sound of its suppressor.

It was still pretty loud, just not ear shattering… thankfully, it was still beyond noticeable for the occupants of our house. Foi Nani would have probably have had a heart attack if she knew what was going on.

Money. It was such an illusion. It was the single most evil force that this world held. It was the root to every pain and misery that existed. As I grew up I had began to hate it. Wealth and luxury had only brought with it hurt and anguish. When we had little, we had so much.

What people didn’t understand though was that money was not the end and be all of it all. No matter how much money people had, it all came down to one thing. Barakah. Barakah in sustenance is what we all need to asking for. Barakah is what carried a family through even with a meager salary of one person. Barakah is what made just a little seem like so much more.

I breathed out as Ahmed turned his back to me, signaling it was the end of the drilling session. Although things had eased up for me at school, I didn’t like the attention that was coming my way. Faaiza had now latched on to me as her own stregnth against the former mean girls… who actually weren’t that man anymore.

It was amazing how people treated you if they found out something about you that they may like… even teachers had changed. Most unnerving though, was the weird vibe I wa getting from my former arch enemy. Mishka was behaving most unusually.

Of course I made effort to be good to everyone, regardless of what had happened in the past. I remembered Mama always saying that it’s best we treat people the way we would like to be treated.

“Khawlah, may I speak to u?”

I spun around as I heard myself being addressed, completely unexpectedly. Mishka’s expression was neutral. I looked at her, a little confused. Did she really want to talk to me?

I nodded, still feeling perplexed.

“Later,” I said vaguely, hearing the bell for the next lesson start, and not wanting to appear too eager as well. What on earth did this girl want from me anyway?

Later never came that day, and although I glimpsed Mishka in the second break, I didn’t go out of my way to meet her. I was actually a little weary of what she would want from me, and I would say back to her. I heard Faaiza say that maybe she wanted to apologize, but I thought that unlikely.

When the last bell for the day sounded, I dashed away as fast as I can, feeling instantly relieved when I saw Aunty Rahima’s car waiting for me at the gate. Although things had gotten better at school, I didn’t exactly enjoy it. I wished silently for Abba to come back home soon. I wished to see his face, and as I entered the house with my key and caught a glimpse of his cost hanging behind the door, my heart ached with a yearning that  I couldn’t bear.

I went towards Abbas coat, holding onto its ends and letting it wrap around me, so my entire face was covered in it. The musty scent caught me unawares, and my saliva stifled my throat as the lump formed, bringing on an array of emotions that I had been holding in. Tears flowed freely as I twirled around in Abba’s long coat, gripping it firmly as if it was a piece of him. I had been so lost without him. I felt like he was near again. didn’t want to let go.

Abba. I missed him so much. So so much.

A voice from the kitchen cut through my thoughts.

“Foi Nani, there’s no big deal.”

I froze as I heard the voice, and realised it was Zuleikha in the kitchen.

“What no big deal?” Foi Nani replied. “Everything for your generation is no big deal. Your mother would want this for you. When these people come we can’t just give them tea and Marie biscuits. They’ll think what kind of upbringing you’ve had. Don’t tell me no big deal.”

I could practically hear Zuleikha rolling her eyes, but she didn’t say anything.

“Thandi, get me the sieve,” Foi Nani was saying now.

I could hear some dishes clanking in the sink. Aunty Thandi was the new helper that Abba had got on a part time basis after Aunty Agnus had left. I still missed Aunty, but it was too late. No-one knew where she was.

“The sieve!” Foi Nani said, her voice getting louder. “Not this. This is not a bloody sieve! Listen when I’m talking!”

”Foi Nani, we must talk to the helpers nicely,” Zuleikha said, and I cringed as she said it. Foi Nani didn’t like to be told she was wrong. Even when she was wrong,

Mama had always stressed on how we speak to people. Even workers. Even when it was someone who wasn’t good to us.

Sometimes when we were in a stressful situation we tend to lose ourselves. We tend to lose our manners. But we were Muslim at all times. How we act and speak was a reflection of our religion and where we come from. If we are rude and had bad attitudes, what did it say about us? 

I could hear Zuleikha and Foi Nani arguing about something else, and as I unwrapped myself from Abba’s coat, I listened vaguely to the bickering. It was when Zuleikha said something about Jameel that my ears suddenly pricked up again.

“There are only two days, and I need to get ready,” Foi Nani was saying. “These people are going to help with Abba too… so if they decide they want the Nikah quickly, we have to agree.”

My eyes widened, knowing what was meant. This Jameel boy. How was he going to help with Abba? Was Zuleikha going to marry him? I couldn’t believe that she didn’t tell me.

Instead of barging into the kitchen like I planned to, my feet were rooted to the ground. I was in limbo as I processed what was being said, and my heart was thudding. It was a mixture of fear and shock, wondering how everything was going to change.

Change. Athough I wasn’t scared of much, change was the single horrible element that scared me the most. It made me feel so lost.

I breathed in deeply, wishing I had heard wrong. Wishing that it was all a big mistake. Wishing I had made a bigger noise when I came in so that Foi Nani and Zuleikha didn’t mention all these things that my not-so-little ears weren’t supposed to hear.

I opened the door I had come in through again, wondering what I was going to do next.  It wasn’t safe to just be outside. Ahmed had warned me about that. But I couldn’t stand to be here anymore. I needed some time… I needed some space to think.

I stepped on the porch, nervously biting my lips, hoping for some kind of intervention.

I felt a surge of energy as I stood there, and I let it empower me, feeling it spur my legs into movement, and then letting it take me faster and faster through the gate of the front yard.

I passed the grassy lawn of Aunty Lucy next door, and I passed the neighbors picket fence. I passed the rickety gate of the purple house. My legs carried me through, right till I reached the familiar stepping stones that led to the garden I had sought refuge in as a little girl.

Not so little anymore, my long fingers found it’s way to the little catch that held the gate closed, releasing it and allowing it to swing open. It wasn’t locked. It never was.

I stood there, almost startled by it’s blatant audacity. I hadn’t been here in months, but it was calling. It was beckoning for me to enter… waiting for me to trample into it’s spledour. The lush green leaves immediately lifted my spirits, making me forget everything that had been on my busy mind. I let my thoughts drift into the peaceful tranquility of my surroundings.

I looked down into garden. The little sprouts were no longer there. Instead, now there were big bushes and flowering shrubs in their place. The last lot that we had planted from seed had now fruited into brightly coloured pumpkin that were almost fully grown. I sunk my bare hands into the soil, feeling the wetness on my finger tips. We hadn’t had rain for a while, so I could only imagine that someone must have been taking good care of it.

I breathed in, the soft scent of nature already soothing my anxiety. For a twelve-year old, I knew I had too many worries on my head. I really wished that everything could just be normal again. How I wished for a diversion from the reality that awaited me back home. With my fingers finding each other from time to time in the extensive earth, it’s rough texture was like the first glimpse of a long lost love. I was insatiable… besotted by its enamour.

So lost was I in the love of my life… I didn’t even hear the footsteps approach. My thoughts plummeted back to home base as the warm voice spoke out.

“Khawlah, is that you?”


9 thoughts on “Lost

  1. I just noticed… That the name of the story is lost… And the main character is Khawlah… And she’s a tomboy…

    Dynamite786 wrote a story a while back, the name was Lost… The main character was Khawlah.. And she was a tomboy…

    It’s so coincidental 💕

    Liked by 2 people

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