People say we have choices which lead us to certain places, but I believe they are mistaken. Fate is what leads us into unexpected places at unexpected times. My past experiences in life have led me to this conclusion and maybe after hearing my story you too will believe in fate.I remember the exact moment my life began to include him in my story.
My mother called me from the kitchen, but ignoring her pleas, I jumped up from my bed, as the clock struck six in my room.
There was no force in the world which could stop me now.I rushed outside to greet my older twelve-year brother “Shehry” who would be returning from his academy.
But I allowed myself to slow down at the door as I saw the back of my brother, bent down two feet away , curdling a little grey kitten in his arm. I tip toed my way towards him in my light pink flip flops.
" Bhaiyha!” I squealed as my arms went around the back of my brother's neck. I started giggling as I stood back up and let my hands fall back to my side.
As the figure turned around my breath got caught in my throat because this was not my brother.
A new unfamiliar face stared right back at me. The stranger's deep green eyes sank into my plain brown ones. His gaze was so strong and powerful that it lit up my heart on fire without my knowledge and at that time I had no idea of the price I would pay for this in the future.
“Asalam Alikum , Liybha” My brother appeared, greeting me in arabic, ruffling my shoulder length dark hairs, breaking the tense air between me and the stranger.
Before I could moan, he presented me with my favourite cherry flavoured lollipop. I started opening the wrapper as I asked my brother,
" Who is this?” with my eight-year-old naivety.
" This is Hamid. He just moved into aunty Layla’s house.” My brother informed me.
“Come on Hamid, let’s go play the video game my dad sent from England.” My brother said to Hamid leading him into our house.
I followed them behind skipping and slurping on my lollipop. Just as we were about to enter in my brother’s room a voice rang out from behind us.
“Where do you think you are going? Without saying Salaam to me.” My mother said to Shehry.
“Asalam Alikum, Ami”
" Who’s your friend? I think I have seen him somewhere.”
“Asalam Alikum, Aunty. I think we met yesterday at the market when I was with my Aunty.” He told my mother, softly in his voice.
“Oh yes! I remember. You moved in Layla’s house with your Aunty and Uncle because your parents died.” my mother said, without any hint of sympathy.
“Ami, you can’t just say it like this,” Shehry informed Mum , annoyed at her usual harsh way of speaking.
" I was just saying the truth, and what’s this; you are spoiling your sister with lollipops; for god’s sake she’s eight, not four anymore.”
" She’s still my small sis Ami, just let it go, come on guys let’s play.” My brother led Hamid into his room and dragged me in with them.
I never understood my mother but she has always been like this, harsh not caring about what comes out of her mouth.
My brother Shehry has always been my guardian, protector. I am literally stuck to him like his shadow and he doesn’t mind at all.
My friends complain how annoying their brothers are, but I am so lucky to have a brother who never let’s me down. They started to play the sonic game on the video game my Daddy sent, while I settled on my brother’s bed.
I didn’t miss my Dad, because I hardly knew him. He was rarely around in Pakistan. I only talked to him a few times on the phone but that’s about it.
“Shehry! Go get some yogurt from the shop in the next street, I need it to make rice.” Ami yelled at my brother outside his room.
He went out groaning to get the yogurt. I sat on the bed quietly watching Hamid play the game. Sadness crept over me ,as I started thinking how unfair it was that, Hamid didn’t have his parents.
I went to throw my lollipop stick in the bin and instead of going back on the bed, I situated myself next to Hamid.
“Do you miss them?”
“Every day, they were the best, but my aunty and uncle try their best to look after me.” Hamid replied looking down at me.
“You are so bad at this game” I told him and pointed at at small TV screen.
“Okay then, pick up the controller and lets see who is really the best.” he ordered me.
This was the start of our friendship and after this the three of us were inseparable.
We use to play together and sometimes when my brother was gone to the tutions it was just the two of us. He would tell me his stories and I always snuck away treats for him from the kitchen when Ami was not looking. There was something special about this friendship, when we were together it seemed nothing existed beyond our little world we had created ourselves.
But everything changed when my Daddy came home at my ninth birthday. He told us we were moving to New Zealand permanently in a matter of days.
My whole life shattered, because the only life I knew was the one that existed around me and I could not imagine moving away from here, far from my friends, far from Hamid.
Hamid came to visit me on my birthday, gave me my favourite lollipop, but I could not bear my self to tell him the truth, turn his smile into a frown. I made Shehry promise me not to tell him until a day before we were leaving.
" I am going to take you to a park on wednesday with my Aunty. ” Hamid told me on my birthday.
But I just nodded because I knew this was not going to happen, we were leaving early on wednesday. Leaving behind most of our things, but the only thing I would miss leaving behind was my best friend.
" Are you okay Liybha?” he asked me, when we were feeding the pigeons.
“Yes” I lied to him, while my heart was crying.
On tuesday night when Shehry came back from Isha prayer his face told me the unspoken words. He had told Hamid about us leaving, and like expected he would have not taken it well.
My brother hugged me, informing me,he knew exactly how I felt. But the truth was that no one really knew how really broken I felt. Shehry didn’t leave my room until he was sure I had fallen asleep.
Next morning when I was placing my small bag in the car,green eyes pierced out from behind the the car. Finally, Hamid came out and stood in front of me.
" Really ? You were gonna leave without a goodbye?“He asked, with water glittering in his eyes, mimicking my own.
" I don’t know how to say goodbye.” I told him, shrugging.
Unexpectedly , he took me into a tight embrace.
“I am going to miss you so much.“He wisphered.
“Hey! What about me.” Bhaiyha said appearing at our side, making us all laugh.
Hamid finally let me go and hugged Shery tightly while smacking his shoulders.
As we drove away my sight never left his, until we turned and his green eyes disappeared from view. This time I could no longer hold back my tears , I let them go, replaying those special memories. But my brother was always by my side and it was only because of him I was finally able to put aside my past and take steps into the future.