1: Visits and Suggestions
She picked up another fries, dipped it in her favorite peri-peri sauce, and sneaked it under her niqab without any care in the world. Her fantasy with fries and sauce was short-lived as her Best friend pointed out with an amused smile on his face,” Rania there is a sauce stain on your niqab.″ At his comment, her big brown eyes widened but then after a second she shrugged,″ I don’t care to leave it, I will just wash it when I’m done with my fries.″
Ibad rolled his eyes yet chuckled at her nonchalant behavior and her love for food.
The Khan’s and Haroon’s were gathered at Khan mansion as per their monthly ritual. Both the families share close friendships for quite some time. The firstborn of the Haroon family, Rania and the only born of the Khan family, Imad shared a best friend bond from the day they met. As for the second-born Hammad and the last and the most adorable one in the family, Bisma was also quite attached to Imad and both considered him as their big brother.
The age gap between Imad and Rania was of two years as Imad was 25 and Rania of 23. Hammad and Bisma were 20 and 12.
“For a nutritionist, you surely don’t seem like one,″ Imad remarked and Rania’s mom who was also sitting on the table along with all the other elders also nodded in approval.
Her mother sipped on her tea and said,″ That’s what I keep on saying that to her and don’t get me started on her unhealthy addiction of chips.″
Rania jumped into her defense,″ Hey!! You said a nutritionist can’t enjoy her food and it’s okay to have junk food once in a while. Apart from that, I follow pretty much everything I know.″ She sat straight proudly.
She looked at her father and uncle for backup as they both adored her to no end. They both laughed and nodded,″ Imad don’t tease Rania okay, it’s only because of her that my BP levels are in control from last year.″Mr. Khan Said warmly and her father agreed to that.
“Yeah same with my sugar.″ Rania wore a proud smile on her face and showed tongue to Imad and then laughed because she realized that she is a niqabi and Imad can’t see her face.
Imad knew her too well so he also laughed,″ You’re laughing cause you poked your tongue at me !! Right?”
Rania nodded and Imad shook his head at his best friend. She is the one who keeps these gatherings lively and chatty.
Rania has been doing niqab for the past 3 years and yes Imad also hasn’t seen her face from all this time. He respected her a lot and never made her feel uncomfortable.
“Imad beta? I forgot to ask you about Arnold’s deal. Did we get it?″Kamran asked his son.
“Yes baba we have it Alhamdulillah, tomorrow I’ll send them a contract through our lawyer.“Mr. Khan nodded and then all indulged in a series of random talks.
Kamran Khan is the CEO of Pakistan’s one of the top 10 tech companies. His company is recognized all over Pakistan. Whereas, Haroon Baig is the head manager of the company.
Haroon’s belong to the upper-middle-class while the Khan’s being a company owners were considered as Elites, yet the status difference never affected their friendship.
“Rania, How about a cup of tea? I missed your Chai whole week.″ Kamran asked Rania and like every other brown girl, Rania has excelled in her tea-making skills.
She nodded at him and asked everyone at the table if they wanna have tea, she went to the kitchen picking up the dishes with her. Farheen and Sameen, came in tow with the rest of the plates and dishes in hand, leaving the men to talk about business, politics, and all that boring stuff which ladies don’t wanna interfere in.
“Sameen? I forgot to ask earlier that why didn’t Hammad and Bisma came today?″ Farheen asked.
“Oh yeah Bhabi, Hammad has his exams coming up this Wednesday and Bisma wanted to go to her Khala’s house, so we dropped her on our way to here.”
“Oh okay !! It’s quiet since Bisma didn’t come today.″
Imad was just entering the kitchen when he heard this last line about Bisma, he butted in as he would never leave a chance to tease Rania,″ Ammi this Rania here is a chatterbox herself, that’s where bima got it too.″
Rania had her back to him, hearing his comment she placed her niqab and turned to squint her eyes at him with hands on her waist.
Both the ladies laughed,″ Well that’s what you call being social.″ She retorted. Imad made a funny face at her.
She set the cups, pouring the tea, placing the cups on the tray and taking it towards the lounge where Kamran and Haroon were watching TV.
They all settled down picking their cups and Kamran patted her head.
Rania took a seat beside her Mum, she remembered that she had to tell al the news,″ Everyone, I have news to share with you all.″
They all looked at her and nodded asking her to tell them. Imad looked at her with eyebrows raised, because he is the first person to know about anything related to Rania.
“It’s good news, the hospital at which I work has decided to give me an increment,″ Rania announced and all the elders muttered MASHA ALLAH, and Congratulations, Imad smiled at her proudly and she smiled back at him.
Imad although can’t see her face but he knew that she was smiling. After praising her, the topic shifted,″ Imad you are 25 now, when are you planning on getting married? Haroon asked.
This caught Rania’s attention and she laughed at him whereas Imad had his eye wide Rania and Imad both at the same time shouted WHAT. Both looked at each other with shock stricken expressions.
and on her laugh, he glared at her.
″Uncle, I am still young I don’t wanna get married just now,″ Imad said to Haroon.
“Beta why not you are smart, handsome, and successful. Why don’t you wanna marry?″ Mrs. Khan asked.
“That’s what I also keep asking Rania too, but she always says the same.″ Mrs. Haroon said and chuckled.
This made Rania’s laugh stop abruptly and now she knew she was also in the line of fire. Imad smirked at her now.
" I don’t know why is he being like this, we are getting old now, we want them to see him settled,″ Farheen said and Sameen also nodded in approval.
“Ammi, Who says you all are getting old, you guys are still young and smart,″ Imad said cheekily and Rania nodded supporting her best friend’s words.
“Since you both keep on rejecting other proposals, Why don’t you both just marry each other !!″ Sameen commented laughing but it seemed like the elders liked the sound of this as they all took it literally and liked the idea.
Rania and Imad looked at each other horrified and shouted WHAT at the same time.
“Why are you both acting like this? You both know each other well, understand each other so what’s the problem and you both will also look good together.″ Mrs. Haroon said and Imad looked at Rania who shakes her head asking Imad to say something.
" Ammi stop, We both can’t marry each other. We both never thought about each other that way” Imad objected.
" So think about it now,″ Farheen said.
“Both do think about it, we know Rania she is our kid, no one is pressuring you both want what is best for you both.″ Mr Khan said and Mr Haroon nodded.
“I would also be happy knowing that my daughter is married to you Imad.″
Both Rania and Imad were sitting helplessly, Rania looked at Imad in a pleading way to stop this all. Even though he can’t see her face, over the years he knows what she is trying to say just by looking in her eyes.
Imad nodded at her silently saying that don’t worry,″ Okay we will think about it.″
Rania snapped her head towards him with wide eyes saying WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING and he gestured her to relax and will talk about it later.
Imad and Rania knew better that they were not gonna leave this topic anytime soon. So Imad said that jut so they could let this topic end for now.
They all soon indulged themselves into another talk, while Rania and Imad were left with this situation and both deep in their thoughts and time to time glances of helplessness at each other. They both were thinking about how to get rid of this situation.