The American

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CHAPTER 3

It’s been two weeks since Ethan and I started working together or rather tried to work together with no progress. We still have not settled on anything for the project, and I can’t believe it’s due in two weeks. I just finished performing Dhuhr (Afternoon) prayer, and I am getting ready for class. I did not have lectures in the morning; that’s why I am still at home. I put on my outfit, which consists of a black crop sweater with green plaid pants and black ankle boots. I am about to step out of the house when I receive a call from one of my loved ones.

“As salamu alaykum” My elder brother, Usman says once I answer his call. Usman is 6’3 feet’s tall, has a solid build, with dark brown eyes, has a tan skin tone that he gets from my dad while I got my dark skin tone from my mom. My brother is a very handsome man.

“Wa alaykumu salam.”

“You are not a good sister,” Usman says while shaking his head dramatically through the FaceTime call

“You are also not a good brother,” I say shaking my head in the same dramatical way he did and we both end up laughing

“How are you doing sis,” Usman says smiling

“Am doing great, and you.”

“I am also doing great. I wanted to tell you I will be coming to California next week. I hope you will have time to spare for your brother.”

“I will always have time to spare for you if you are coming with my amazing nephew,” I say while missing my nephew dearly. Usman is married with a child.

“I knew you were going to say that because it’s only my son you care about, and he won’t be able to come with me.”

“I have cared about you enough. It’s time I move the love to your son, and why won’t he be able to come with you.”

“Because I would be going to school, auntie,” My handsome nephew says, coming into my line of view. Hassan is three years old and has his mother’s features and looks cute as ever. He has the same fair skin tone as her, her beautiful big brown eyes and the same round face. He is the cutest three years old out there to me.

“Oh, that’s sad my cutie pie, but how are you doing?”

“I am doing great auntie. You need to see all the things I have coloured” He says showing me his textbooks with drawings and his excellent colouring skills

“They are so beautiful, my love.”

“Thank you, auntie; mummy said the same thing too,” He says with a beautiful bright smile on his face

“Really, is mummy close by so I could say hi to her?”

“I am here, Adina; how are you doing?” My sister-in-law says, coming into my line of view. Amina is a fair-skinned lady, 5’6 feet tall and has a beautiful heart.

“Don’t ask me how I am doing. Go and reply to my messages” I say to my best friend. Amina and I went to the same secondary school and have been best friends ever since. Marrying my elder brother only brought us closer than ever.

“You know the reason I have not replied your messages is because of these two guys in my life. They are keeping me preoccupied” Amina says, and I am about to reply when my brother cuts me short

“You guys can continue your conversation later. I did not call Adina for you guys to talk” Usman says taking back his phone from his wife

“You know I could simply end the call with you and call her.”

“I know you can, but don’t try it.”

“Better for you,” I say smiling

“I don’t blame you, but anyway as I was saying, I am coming to California next week In Shaa Allah, so be expecting me,”

“Alright I will, bye, and see you next week In Shaa Allah,” I say and end the call after he says, Ameen

I walk outside into my car and drive to school. I arrive at the university, and on my way to class; I am stopped in the hallway by Ethan. I see Ethan’s face every single day, and I don’t like it one bit.

“Good afternoon, how may I be of help,” I say wanting to know what he wants quickly

“Meet me today at the cafe by 6 p.m.”

“And why should I do that.”

“Because I said so.”

“Because you said so, who are you to tell me what to do without reason.”

“Can’t you do something I say without asking why?” Ethan says sounding irritated

“No, so tell me why.”

“I want to discuss something about our project, so meet me there on time, 6.p.m sharp” Ethan says and walks away, not caring to know if I would be able to make it or not. Alhamdulillah, I don’t have anything planned after my last class. I walk to my first class of the day and drown myself in knowledge.

I just finished having my last lecture for the day. I am about to walk out of the class when Mr Jacob calls Ethan and I to his desk. The question he asks both of us is the question I was praying dearly he won’t ask, but I knew it was coming anyway.

“So, how is the project coming up,” Mr Jacob says

“It’s going wonderful,” I say with a fake smile while Ethan just nods his head because we both know it’s far from wonderful.

“That’s good, so what are you guys working on.”

“A search engine,” I say what Ethan wanted us to do last time. So it would be the same thing he would say, but he said something different

“An app,” Ethan says what I wanted us to do which I was not expecting him to say. There is no way Mr Jacob is not going to find out we have not started our project.

“Wow I can really see how the project is going wonderful,” Mr Jacob says

“Sir, we have not started anything yet, but I promise you by the end of next month. We will have something mind-blowing for you” Ethan says with so much confidence in his voice like he already has something planned which I know nothing about.

“Yes, sir, we promise,” I say going with the flow because even though Ethan might just be talking without having any idea. We still need to come up with something great and fast.

“Alright, I will be waiting. You can leave” Mr Jacob says

I am back home after a short day of classes. I just finished praying Asr (Mid-Afternoon) prayer. I am trying to get some assignment done before I meet up with Ethan at the cafe later. It’s 5:40p.m. I leave the house and drive to the cafe.

I arrive after a few minutes of driving. I park my car and walk inside to find Ethan. I don’t have to look hard because even though the cafe is pack with people. I can still spot Ethan out even with my eyes closed. His pitch-black hair and broad shoulders will always give him out. In a way, you could say his sexy, but I won’t admire him. Even though admiring a guy is Haram (Sinful) in Islam. I still won’t admire him because of how much I dislike his rude attitude. I walk over to the table he is sitting at to find him talking to someone. They see me approaching and stop talking.

“Good thing you came on time,” Ethan says looking at his wristwatch while I take my seat

“What would you have done if I came late,” I say, taking a sit in front of Ethan, and another guy who I am yet to know who he is. He has brown hair; a lean body build and wears glasses.

“You wouldn’t want to know,” Ethan says with a deep edge to his voice that I won’t lie gave me shivers.

“Okay so why am I here,” I say changing the topic

“This is my friend Sam. Sam meet whoever she is or whatever her name is, I don’t care.” Ethan says with total disgust in his voice for me. Something I am used to by now

“Hi my name is Adina and please don’t mind our behaviour around one another, it’s nice to meet you,” I say smiling

“It’s nice to meet you too, and I must say you are a rare beauty,” Sam says smiling

“Thank you,” I say smiling at his compliment, but it’s short-lived once Ethan speaks

“You mean rare beast because that is what she is,” Ethan says with a lot of disgust and hatred

“Please tell me how it is bothering you that he complimented me,” I say finding it annoying that Ethan hates the fact I was called beautiful. Please, someone should tell me how that is his business?

“It is bothering me because I don’t like it that such a nice word like beautiful is used for a beast like you.”

“First of all, I am not a beast. Secondly, when the word beautiful is used to describe my features. It’s none of your business” I say irritated with his behaviour. Ethan is about to speak, but Sam cuts him short

“I think that’s enough between the both of you. We came here to talk about business, not to fight. So both of you should get yourselves together” Sam says to both of us like we are two kids fighting for a toy. A good minute of silence passes before Ethan speaks up.

“Sam and I are making a laptop, and I was thinking we could make an operating system for it, for our project,” Ethan says, and I am totally dumbstruck by what I hear. I have heard that Ethan is smart, but I did not know it was this good.

“Wow, that’s wonderful guys,” I say not filtering my expressions about Ethan’s accomplishment. I don’t see anything in hiding it because it won’t do me anything to say beautiful things about him. That is also one of the differences between Ethan and I. I speak the truth to him all the time even if it means complimenting him, but, Ethan would never do the same.

“I know, you don’t have to tell me,” Ethan says in a nonchalant way. ‘I wonder why I even complimented him’ I say to myself while rolling my eyes

“Thank you, Adina,” Sam says smiling

“You are welcome,” I say, smiling back at Sam. Sam is actually a nice person, too bad he has a friend like Ethan.

“So are you in or not,” Ethan says

“Of course I am in, so when do we start,” I say feeling excited to have something to do for our project finally.

“We start tomorrow after our last classes,” Ethan says

“That’s fine with me.”

“Alright since that’s settled, I will leave you guys to it, and hopefully by the end of the month we will have an operating system like no other before,” Sam says and gets up from his seat to leave

“In Shaa Allah, we will, and see you again soon.”

“Bye my beautiful black beauty,” Sam says and winks at me before leaving

“Bye,” I say smiling

“Give me your phone,” Ethan says once Sam walks away

“Why?” I ask confused

“Because I want to add my phone number to your phone.”

“Why would you want to do that?” I say getting more confused with his words

“Why does anyone have anyone’s number?” Ethan says sounding frustrated

“Because they want to be able to communicate with the person,” I say not understanding how this question answers mine

“So you actually have a brain, then why are you asking stupid questions. Give me your phone” Ethan says and takes my phone from my hand

“Give me my phone back, and for once in your life can’t you answer me like a normal human being and not insult me,” I say trying to get my phone out of his hand, but he stops me with his other hand. I give up and allow him to put his number, right after he uses my Face ID to unlock it.

“No, I can’t because you are a beast, and since I must say it out for you, I will. I want to give you my number so that we can communicate while doing our project.”

“Oh”

“Thank God your brain was able to process that and here. I will call you and tell you what time we should meet tomorrow” Ethan says, handing me back my phone.

“Alright, but I did not give you my number. So how are you going to call me.”

“Check your call log, and you would understand how,” Ethan says and walks away before I even unlock my phone. I have never met someone who can’t just say things straight out. He is always talking to me like I am sharing his mind with him and knows what he is thinking. Such a frustrating guy he is.

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