The American

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CHAPTER 6

It’s been a few hours since I left Ethan’s house. I still can’t believe I agreed to fix our relationship. I don’t even know how that’s going to happen. I literally don’t have a single idea to how I am going to do that. I am watching tv in the living room when Khloe walks in with her hands filled with shopping bags.

“How was your day at the mall,” I say to her once she drops all her stuff down.

“It was fun, and I got a few things for you. I know you are going to love them” Khloe says smiling while she goes through the bags and brings out a few shirts that I instantly fall in love with

“They are nice, thank you,” I say taking them from her hands. They are lovely shirts.

“I know, and once I saw them, I knew I had to get them for you.”

“Thank you.”

“You are welcome and what’s troubling you. You looked troubled when I walked in” Khloe says, noticing my earlier mood.

“I won’t say I am troubled. I was just thinking of how I am going to amend Ethan and I’s relationship.”

“Oh, that.”

“Yes, that.”

“Do you know I actually thought you guys were going to become friends while working on your project?”

“Yeah, I remember you saying it but we all know how that went.”

“You guys only grew more hatred for one another.”

“Yes, we did.”

“Then what if you don’t,” Khloe says, confusing me.

“How do you mean.”

“You know the reason why you guys fight all the time is because you both dislike each other. What if you try not to dislike him anymore?”

“That could have worked if the reason I disliked him was not because of the way he treats me. The only reason Ethan and I’s relationship is the way it is. Is because he thinks I am trash and I live to correct him” I say smiling

“Hmmmmm there is really no hope for both of you. I give up.”

“I know,” I say wondering maybe I should not have promised Grace something that was impossible, but then nothing is actually impossible in this world.

Monday came and the day for Ethan and I to present our project came too. We presented, and it was beautiful, every single person that saw our project loved it. I was so happy it went well. And like Monday came so as Friday is here. I just finished my last class of the day, and I am driving back home. I arrive home to find my roommate getting ready for a party.

“Finally you are back, don’t oversleep and answer my call when I need you to pick me up,” Khloe says while putting on her earrings

“You need to start paying me for picking you up,” I say, sitting down on the couch. Anytime Khloe goes to a party, I always pick her up after she is done partying, because she would be too drunk to drive, and does not like the idea of a stranger taking her home while she is drunk.

“My love for you is enough payment,” Khloe says blowing me a kiss

“I wish it was and have fun at your party, bye,” I say to Khloe before she walks out the door

“Bye,” She says walking out the door

After she leaves I take a bath, eat, pray and watch TV series. I watch a few episodes of the Neighbourhood before going to bed. I don’t sleep for long hours before my phone starts ringing and Khloe is the one calling. I groan and answer the call from Khloe.

“Just send your location, and I will be there shortly,” I say once I answer the call

“I love you bye,” Khloe says, sounding extra excited, which could only mean she is already drunk.

I stand up from my bed and change from my nightgown into a pair of black jeans and a sweatshirt. I cover my hair with a black veil and wear black fluffy slippers. I step out of my room and walk outside the house to be on my way.

Alhamdulillah finding her location with the help of Google map was not difficult, but right now I can’t seem to find her. I tried calling her phone to let her know I am here, but she is not picking up her phone. I have been looking for her for the past 20 minutes, and it feels like I am looking for a ghost. Everyone I ask is either too drunk to answer me or does not know where she is.

I am about to try her number again when something horrific happens before my eyes. I don’t know how it happened, but I watch as Ethan falls from the upstairs balcony, not before hitting his head hard on a tree branch before falling into the pool. He is totally unconscious and is drowning. Almost everyone here is drunk and has not noticed him in the pool. How did he even fall from the balcony? I don’t think about that right now. I quickly run towards the pool and jump in to save him. I use all of my strength to drag his body out of the pool.

Ya Allah I just hope I was not too late. Ethan’s body is not moving. I start to perform CPR on him, praying dearly he wakes up. I don’t get a response after what feels like hours to me, but I don’t stop. I continue, please don’t die; I can’t bear to live with the fact that I watched you die. I place my ears to his heart, and I can hear his heartbeat, but it’s faint. I keep doing the CPR, and what seems like an endless circle of me pressing my palms on Ethan’s chest, he finally coughs out the water in his lungs. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Thank you so much, Allah, for saving him.

“Why are you hovering over me,” Ethan says once he stops coughing

“I was so scared that you were dead. Alhamdulillah, you are alive.”

“What are you talking about?” Ethan says, confused. I am about to answer him when Ethan’s friends gather him asking him what happened and checking if he is okay.

I did not know all this while I was doing CPR for Ethan people were watching us. Someone even called 911; they arrived soon after Ethan woke up. I was so surprised by how I did not notice anything happening around me while I was trying to save his life. Most people who knew Ethan and I’s relationship would be surprised with the effort I put into saving his life, but I am not. Ethan is a human being, and I might not like his rude personality, but I could never wish death upon him. Alhamdulillah, I was able to save him.

I am on my way to pick up my brother from the airport. He was meant to come last two weeks, but he had to change his arrival date. I don’t have to wait long at the airport before he arrives. I spot him without difficulty among people.

“As salamu alaykum,” I say hugging my brother

“Wa alaykumu salam,” Usman says hugging me back

“I missed you,” I say taking one of his luggage from his hand

“I missed you too, and you have grown since I last saw you,” Usman says looking at me from head to toe

“You saw me last year, of course, I have grown,” I say chuckling

“That’s good and how are you feeling. Amina told me what happened last night. I hope you are not still traumatised” Usman says sounding very concerned about my health

“I have never seen someone almost die in front of me, but I am fine. In Shaa Allah with time that moment will be in a blur” I say smiling assuredly

“That’s good and In Shaa Allah you will.”

I drop my brother off at his hotel to rest; actually, sleep after his long trip. I go to the cinema to watch a movie, and I am going all by myself, which is sad. Khloe could not come with me, and no other friends of mine have an interest in the movie I am going to watch. I wait for a long time in the queue to buy my ticket; the film premiered today. So I am not surprised by the number of people here to watch the same movie as I. I have also gotten my popcorn and drink. I am walking towards the cinema room when I bump into someone. I didn’t see the person in front of me because I was looking at my wristwatch to be sure I was not late.

“I am sorry, I was not looking at where I was going,” I say to the person and when a particular perfume hit my nostril. I realise who it is without the person turning around.

The person turns and faces me without saying anything. Ethan just stands there staring at me, and I don’t know why he is staring at me. I also feel like this time his stare is not one out of hatred. It feels like it’s a stare out of wonder. I don’t know how I can tell the difference, but I can even with just looking at his eyes for three seconds.

“I need to talk to you,” Ethan says with no emotion in his voice. I don’t know, but he sounds colder than before. Why? Is he angry I saved his life? If he is, then he has serious issues, but I can feel it’s something more. I don’t know why today I just feel the aura around him is different. I won’t say friendly, but it’s also not dark and filled with hatred.

“Right now,” I say looking at my wristwatch, and the movie is about to start

“Yes, now,” Ethan says in a stern voice

“I can’t; the movie is about to start.”

“Really, I am being serious here, and you are telling me you will be late for your movie. To hell with your movie” Ethan says, sounding angry. Why is he mad? It’s not like I did anything wrong? What is his problem with me this evening? I usually have to say or do something to make him angry, but today he is angry at me without me doing anything.

“Ethan, I came here to watch a movie, and I am going to watch that movie whether you like it or not,” I say and start walking to my movie hall. I don’t care if he wants to speak with me. I came here to enjoy myself by watching a movie, and he is not going to ruin that

I feel Ethan steps following behind me, so I increase my steps and quickly get into the hall. Alhamdulillah, I was able to get in before he reached me. I take my seat and get comfortable to enjoy my movie when a deep familiar voice whispers in my ears.

“I need to talk to you now,” Ethan says in the seat beside me.

“Ethan I am busy right now,” I say getting frustrated with his behaviour this night

“You are not, so let’s leave,” Ethan says and is about to grab my hand when I swing it away

“Ethan don’t touch me, and no, I am not going anywhere. I came here to watch this movie, and I am going too whether you like it or not”

“Adina don’t test my patience,” Ethan says, gritting his teeth. He grabs my wrist, causing me to face him. The look in his eyes tells me how much I have pushed him to the wall. I have never seen this look on Ethan expect that day in the library. I swallow a lump in my throat and do what he wants. I don’t want to think about what he might do to me with that look in his eyes.

“Fine let’s go,” I say, crying in my heart because I won’t be able to watch my movie. I wonder what he wants to talk about so badly. Ethan can be so annoying

Ethan drags me out of the movie hall and into his car. I don’t say anything as he drives away from the cinema. I wonder where he is taking us.

After almost killing both of us with the fast way he was driving, the car finally comes to a halt. Ethan steps out, and I follow suit. I don’t know where we are, but they are a lot of trees around. I am starting to get scared because Ethan might want to do something harmful to me since no one is here to see him. I wonder where we are, or even why we are here? I don’t even get to take a step away from the car before Ethan backs me up.

“Why did you save me that night? Did you do it so that you can have leverage over me? Tell me why did you save me that night” Ethan says, shouting in my face with little space between us. Ya Allah he is dangerously close to me, I hope he does not do something inappropriate.

“What is wrong with you?” I say in a voice far too soft to sound like mine. I don’t know, but for some odd reason, I feel something is wrong with Ethan. How can he think I would save him for such a stupid reason? Something must be causing Ethan to think this way.

“What are you saying? I asked you a question, answer me” Ethan says, coming closer to my face with a lot of anger. I don’t like the way he is close to me.

“Ethan, please can you move back a bit,” I say still not caring to answer his question. I may not sound like I am terrified right now, but I am. Ethan is so angry right now that I feel any wrong word and its story they will be telling about me tomorrow. Why I have not answered him yet is because he is too close to me. This position we are in is not Islamic; he needs to move back.

“Why are you not answering?” Ethan says, shaking my whole body while roaring in my face. His hands are locked on my arms, causing little bits of pain there.

“Fine, I will. I saved you because I could not see you die that night” I say giving up all hope of him giving me my space.

“Why!”

“Because Ethan even though I dislike you more than anyone in this world. I will also save you when I see you in danger. I can’t turn a blind eye to anyone in danger.”

“That’s a lie, stop lying to me and tell me the truth,” Ethan says, making my eyes lock with his. I try to turn away, but he presses my arm to look at him. I look into his eyes, and I see a lot of emotions going through his eyes. I can tell that Ethan is in conflict with himself right now, but why.

“That is the truth, Ethan; I saved you because I couldn’t watch you die. I am human for God sake, how can I watch someone else die in front of me” I say trying to make him believe me

“Ahhhha,” Ethan says, releasing his hold on and while screaming. I don’t know why that just happened, but I think something is wrong with Ethan. Like film trick, Ethan gets into his car and drives away, leaving me there all alone, and the worst part is, I don’t even know where I am.


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