New post: Apologies about the post error on Saturday.. I’ve deleted that post and combined other content to progress in the story-line. Will try and post this week again. Sorry for the confusion!
Happy Reading 🤍
“That’s an insightful suggestion. I’ll forward it to the board.”
I mean, in any normal circumstance, I would have been jumping for joy to hear words like that from our boss, who was two feet away from me with a sincerely impressed expression on his usually expressionless face.
I had nearly missed the mail in my inbox that was sent the previous Thursday, thinking it was some bulk mail that was sent to the entire floor. But when I realized that I was singled out and that feeling of elation had dissolved, I had immediately started working on what would impress the board and improve my chances as a sole candidate for the big incentive and promotion that was still weeks away.
And now, after all that effort and hard work over the weekend thinking up all kinds of solutions… I mean, Faadil actually said something good about my ideas and complimented them. I mean, this has to count for something, right? I should have been over the moon. But…
The words had little effect on me. Whatsoever. I was up in arms, confused and consumed about what exactly had gone on to cause the mayhem that I was feeling so guilty about.
And it was just that earlier afternoon when I was very busy minding my own business when I noticed Hamzah looking up in panic as the office doors remained closed. In fact, I kind of wished that he would calm down and stop his ridiculous behavior because even I was getting more and more edgy as he sat there, wondering what was going on before I just couldn’t stand it anymore and went up to ask him.
“What’s happened?” I said, trying not to look too concerned.
For the first time since I’ve known him, in all his prankish and inappropriate behavior, Hamzah’s eyes were riddled with worry. I don’t think I’d actually ever seen him looking so serious before. It was like a completely different person.
“It’s Liyaket,” he said, not even focusing on me as he spoke. He was looking extremely distracted. Edgy. “He’s got a hearing with the Big Boss.”
The big boss. A hearing. That was one even more senior than Faadil. And a hearing usually wasn’t good news.
“What’s it about?” I was trying to keep my voice low and moving a bit closer. I could see Lesley hanging around, trying to figure out what we were talking about.
She was extremely distracted, in fact, bordering on ADD. How she did her work, I didn’t understand. Anything and everyone’s business became hers.
“It’s to do with Layyanah,” he almost whispered, and I sucked my breath in as my heart beat a little faster.
Did they find out about the two of them in the office? Was there indecent exposure? Inappropriate behavior? Like what were the real rules even?
“I’m not sure if you knew this,” he said quietly, running his hands through his hair nervously and not even noticing my own anxiety levels heightening. “But Layyanah got the job here because of her father’s contacts. Looks like those contacts are pretty strong ones and they got some inside information. They the same ones who want Liyaket out.”
His voice was riddled with worry and I could feel my heart hammering in my chest.
No. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t have been my mistake. It couldn’t have been my stupid story that I told Maahira. She was all the way in London. What could she do?
And then of course, my legs just kind of caved in as they turned to something that resembled jelly.
And then of course, the feelings that surfaced thereafter were likes waves and waves, almost knocking me over, just as I started grappling around trying to find my feet.
I think as a default there has to come a point in life when you look back at your past and regret the things you’ve done that might have made someone else’s life a misery. And then there’s that point in life, where I was right then, when you shamefully look at your present self and realize that what you are and have become, actually makes you sick to your stomach.
So maybe I shouldn’t have opened my mouth and spilled the beans about office gossip but the opportunity to make my life sound exciting was a sickness that I couldn’t cure. I loved having something juicy and interesting to share, especially with Maahira, who was all the way over in London and seemingly out of touch with everything that was happening back home. I mean, what were the odds of it spinning out of control? What harm can it really do?
The truth was that I had become extremely selfish and self-focused, not even considering how this may actually cause someone’s to experience a real loss.
Apart from that, when a person is filled with such vanity and conceit that his ego tricks him into thinking that the entire world is simply dying to share every moment of his mundane life with him, and thus he cannot see past his own face, how is he supposed to see the majesty and glory of Allah Ta‘ala? How is he or she even supposed to remember that Allah is always aware of what we do?
And I would like to say that at some point my Nafs had been trampled and common sense kicked in, but the problem was that through my obsession with social media and keeping everyone ‘up to date’, my own character and demeanor was just becoming not just inappropriate, but simply unacceptable. I was addicted to making myself feel important.
And yes, at that point, I was a little further gone than I thought. My mind was full of work, gossip and worldly pursuits. The only thing that was putting a spanner in the works were those five words that I had heard that previous week.
“Not everything’s about the big bucks.”
And it should have been a bigger whistle-blower. But it wasn’t, because the way I had allowed myself to been wired in the past few months was the opposite. Everything was about the money. Our entire work day was based on finances. Every meeting we had discussed it. Our paycheques at the end of the month would prove it.
I would like to say that my day carried on as normal from that point onward, but to tell the truth, the sinking feeling in my tummy just got deeper and deeper.
And when it got to a point when I couldn’t deal, it was only after work on the drive home when my mind was feeling the full impact of the consequences that I couldn’t really fix. And when I finally got home and crashed in the lounge couch out of sheer exhaustion while Nani eyed out my work attire from where she sat, that was the first time I could focus. I knew that I had to message Maahira and ask her exactly why she was needling me for information last week.
I had to know for sure.
Nani’s eyes were peeping over her glasses but she looked away when I looked back at her, and kicked off my shoes so I could get comfortable. The least I deserved were some rested feet.
Her reply took a few minutes, but at least I had her attention once she did.
Ws. Well n u, my crazy friend? How’s it going that side?
I took a minute before typing out a reply.
All well. Works been a killer. Just checking in. you busy?
She took a few minutes again.
Nah. Just knocked off work. Heading home.
Knocked off? She was already using British English. How cool. But that was beside the point. I had to cut to the chase.
I typed. Next message:
Did you happen to mention the office news to anyone?
I didn’t mention romance. I just said news, to be general. But she didn’t bite. I waited a few minutes, but there was no reply. I waited another ten minutes, and when she still didn’t reply, that was when I knew for sure.
Guilty as predicted.
And how amazing was it that she had replied so efficiently prior to that… but when asked a question she didn’t like, well… I was just left on a ‘Read’. And I knew the tactic because that was precisely what I did to Ma and Jameela when they annoyed me with their nosy questions on WhatsApp.
Ghuh. I hated new age technology. It was just so transparent and just made you feel more crap when people purposely ignored you. I missed the good old days when your SMS might have got stuck somewhere between Vodacom and Jupiter and you would just pick up the phone to call them.
No-one did that in the 21st century without feeling socially awkward. No-one had time to pick up the phone and call. What was more amazing was that when I went onro Instagram, she was showing online, which further reinforced how she was just avoiding me and facing up to what she had probably said or done. But I got it, right? No-one had time to engage. To be real. Only time to sit and scroll through a useless feed where every second person was also a ‘MUA’ or had their own Novelty Cakery.
And then of course, the cherry on top, while I was busy cyber stalking Maahira and sending her more messages, was Nani, who was sitting a few feet away, watching me with her cat-like eyes.
And just so you know… let me tell you something, in case you hadn’t guessed yet. There is a very valid reason that I haven’t gotten married, and no, it’s not because I haven’t found my perfect match or anything. No. You know how they say that your spouse is the one person who knows you so well that he or she will pick out all your faults without even blinking.
Well, there we are. That’s Nani for me. I don’t need a husband because Nani had it covered from day one. Even when I may seem like the most Haari poiree to the world, to Nani I was the most rotten ‘Beh sharam‘ that earthlings have ever seen.
“Hand only stuck to that phone,” she was scolding in Gujarati as she watched me.
I rolled my eyes.
”Nani, it’s important,” I tried to reason with her.
This was bloody important, but I couldn’t explain to her why without incriminating myself, could I?
“Looking whole day at screen,” she continued. “Now again, more phone. Azaan will go, sitting on phone. Namaaz waqt, sitting on phone. Sleep time also, sitting on phone. So much Shaytaan on that thing, it’s no wonder you are not already turned into one yourself.”
The call to prayer for Maghrib had just started and I sighed and put the phone down. I had to give it that little bit of respect. I had to at least try. Sometimes it was so hard to kick that habit, but I’ve heard stories of evil people who were given Paradise just due to one sincere act and maybe… well, maybe this was mine?
So, for once in my life, I fought the urge. I wanted to cackle at the irony. It wasn’t like Nani didn’t have a phone, and when she got stuck on the phone it was really the most extraordinary sight. The entire world gets blindsided. She sees nothing and no one, besides that screen, and here she was, blaming me as if I was the only phone addict in the room. But then again, we are always so quick to point fingers at everyone. And yes, Nani and I had a lot of tension due to unmentionable reasons for things that had happened in the recent past but I just couldn’t admit to myself that maybe she was right.
That maybe it It had to start somewhere. Maybe this was the reason I had gotten into this situation in the first place. Maybe some deep introspection was due and I had to face up to it.
And to prove Nani a point, I switched my phone to silent, put it on the side board and sat and stared at her for a good ten minutes. I was just doing it to annoy her, but she didn’t seem to notice. I read my namaaz and then sat and stared at her for another few minutes whilst she read all her Surahs, morning an evening Duáas AND her Salaat and Salaam. How old people did it every night without fail was beyond me, but at least it kept her off my back and she barely noticed when I picked my phone up again and snuck back to my room.
And of course, I couldn’t help but check to see if Maahira replied. I even checked Instagram to see if she maybe didn’t say anything there, but the girl was as good as swiped off the planet earth for now. If she lived here, I knew nothing would have stopped me from going over to her house and squeezing and answer out of her but taking a flight for that reason just seemed unreasonable. And then of course, when I realised exactly how many issues I had possibly caused, and how Liyaket may actually be out of a job because of me, something within me started to stir.
It was a rising within my chest that started from that little feeling in my gut, and as it went higher and higher, my conscience could not simply dissolve that feeling. I knew that I had to do something before I snapped.
I had to at least tell someone, and I knew exactly who I needed to tell first.
Mission Sunnah revival! A beautiful Sunnah:
We should remember the famous saying, “If you do not have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Nabi (Sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say good or remain silent.”
An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…
Hahaha.. Nani is amazing.. I know how truly they ‘annoy’ but they love you as much.. and they not afraid to tssskkk when needed in any situation.. lovely post Masha Allah..
LikeLiked by 2 people
Lol, that’s so true. Their annoyance is a sign of their love, he he
Shukran dear sister 🤍
LikeLiked by 1 person
This post … great ماشاء الله.
Love how the pennies start falling for mohsina, can’t wait to see where her introspection takes her.
Hope liyaket gets to keep his job and eagerly awaiting hamza’s story to unfold.
Shukran sister for it always being so amazing
LikeLiked by 2 people
Yes, it’s taking her a bit longer… but she is definitely getting there! I’m sure the readers are happy with this and we are expecting that there’s a bigger change soon 🤍
Aw, Shukran sister, really appreciate the comments ✨
LikeLiked by 1 person
Just a suggestion
can u number ur
post as it is easier when looking for a post e t c
LikeLiked by 2 people
Jhee, good idea, will number them soon InshaAllah
LikeLiked by 1 person
❤جزاك الله خيرا و احسن الجزاء
LikeLiked by 2 people