Part 1: The (not-so) Perfect Change

Snap. Snap.

Snap. Gotcha!

Perfect. I scrolled through the pics I had just captured. I loved them. Every single one. Now, done with the snaps- next, a reel.

Serene. Still. Swishing. So, so blue. The words were racing through my mind. Anything. Everything. Whatever would sound good as a caption. Whatever would make them pause and engage.

The capturing button on my iPhone 11 sounded softly and I looked up momentarily as I stared into the sky-blue seas ahead. It was honestly a moment that was worth ogling over but I was too busy with my image obsessing and filtering to really process it’s magnanimity. I wondered if these post likes would surpass the previous weeks post. That one had really gotten the comments rolling in.  It was a picture of the Jo’burg city skyline, taken in an early morning at work. This was one was going to be the new awesome on my Instagram feed. 

“Hey, why aren’t you in the water?”

Hamzah’s annoying voice resounded through the open air as I whipped my hijab-clad head around and frowned at him. Ugh. His head popping in from such an awkward direction just spoilt my reel.

I scrolled through my album, pressing my toes into the sand as I did so and suppressing my urge to snap at him. Hamza was approaching and my toes were the one feature of my body that I was always aware of. They had always had made me super self-conscious when they were exposed. Daily, I would glare at them, wishing that they could grow a bit longer. Thinner. More aligned. They were really and truly my most personal and self-conscious feature.

Anyway, it was enough with the toe-obsessing. Onto other things, like my default annoying company. Everyone else had gone off on their own and I really wasn’t in the mood to take any long walks.

I frowned as Hamza looked over my shoulder, smirking as I deleted the last video that he had interrupted and groaned inwardly.

Instead, I scowled outwardly and looked up at him.

“I dare you to actually go in,” he laughed, obviously knowing what he did and thinking it was funny. “Imagine if you had to post the reality of that. Chicken clucks and all.”

He clucked animatedly and I rolled my eyes at him.

“How about the fact that you didn’t even touch the water?” He pressed on with a smirk and held his hand out. “Just hand that phone over. I promise to catch all the best bits for your audience.”

I scowled at him, glancing down at the reel he spoilt and trying to do some cuts. Now that I was looking at it, there was a tiny ship in the background that now came to knowledge. I had barely noticed it but it somehow made the picture look more authentic and made me think twice about trashing it which was what my previous intention was due to Hamzah’s annoying vocals.

Oh well. With technology these days and all the edits and filters, there was nothing that you couldn’t salvage. I took a quick selfie – filters would come later to load on my stories for close friends only (my mother excluded)- before Hamzah realized what I was doing (else I would never hear the end of it) and then stashed my phone in my pocket.

He was so anti social-media that it irked me. Like, can anyone ever be living in the 21st century and not even have WhatsApp? He was clearly psychotic.

Yikes. I had just trodden into the sea.

“The water is freezing!” I squealed as I backed out of it, stepping back again.

It was the one thing that the image didn’t capture. Though stunning and inviting, I wouldn’t dare mention that I was shivering at the very prospect of taking a dip in these icy seas.

Ah well, I couldn’t help but think to myself. So much for the illusion that we live every day.

I wondered if I had given it all the attention I should have. I wondered if I had really been doing justice to my presence. To my very being. Was I really so caught up in capturing the fullest life that I could, that I wasn’t even living it?

Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise. – (Holy Quran 2:164)

Caught up in a virtual world with my head synced to my iPhone, I wasn’t quite sure of what I was missing. Maybe I didn’t understand? Or did I just not want to accept..?

The tide was high and I avoided the dose of iciness as it swept towards me again. He was just behind me and I could already feel Hamzah’s condescending smirk.

I shivered involuntarily, the breeze now chilling me more than I expected.

He gave a slight frown as he looked at me, almost as if he was trying to figure it out mathematically. The thing with Hamzah was that even though he seemed confused a lot of the time, he really wasn’t as stupid as he pretended to be. He was, by far, the sharpest grad student in our group. He just barely showed it.

“Or maybe you just bluffing,” he conceded, crossing his bulky arms over his chest and changing his expression again as he sat down about a meter away from the shoreline.

I put my hands on my hips and scowled, before picking my phone up again. I didn’t really bother about what he thought.

I tapped on my phone whilst scrolling through Instagram, ignoring him while I noticed a lady on the edge of the shore peaking at us as we squabbled. Honestly, Hamzah was most annoying, but nevertheless, I was so glad that I was a city away from home with no chance of her knowing who I was so she could spy on me for my mother.

Buzz went my phone.

Oh gosh.

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz buzz.

Only one person could be messaging like that.

Dearest Readers 

I hope that all the lovely readers are well. I know it’s been a while. It’s a new theme and a new approach but I’m hoping that the readers enjoy it..

Please let me know what you guys think.. 


A x