Haniyyah POV“Oh my god, would you stop” I yelled at Ilyaas. “Never!” he exclaimed, running around the kitchen and throwing handfuls of flour into the air. “Let it snowww” Hannah sang as she rolled around in the flour which had turned my mothers’ kitchen into a white wonderland. “What in the world...” my sister trailed off as she entered the kitchen. She ran a hand through her wet curls and looked up at me, waiting for an explanation.
“Don’t even ask” I muttered as I turned around and continued kneading the dough I was making.
“Did you remember to add salt this time and not sugar?" Maariyah asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes, I did. It was one time” I said, exasperated. She nodded and laughed.
“Ilyaas and Hannah, lets clean up, alright?” Maariyah said.
“No” was Ilyaas’ answer and Hannah stood next to him, her chubby face and hair decorated with flour, “Nuh-uh,” she said as she folded her arms and shook her head, pouting.
“Mums gonna be home in five minutes” I gasped, pretending to read a message from my phone.
“Oh no!” Ilyaas exclaimed and dashed over to the broom while Maariyah picked up Hannah and rushed upstairs.
“Hurry hurry hurry!” squealed Hannah, laughing and clutching onto Maariyah’s shirt.
Ilyaas rushed up and down with the dustpan as he filled it up with flour and emptied it into the bin.
“And if Mum has to open the bin?” I asked, innocently.
“Aaaah!” he groaned as he picked up the bin packet out of its place and tied it up. “I’ll dump it outside” he mumbled.
I laughed as I watched him drag out the packet, muttering to himself all the way.
Maariyah laughed as she stood next to me, watching him through the window. “Hannah is all sorted. I’m going to dry my hair” she said.
“What? you were supposed to help me with this” I said, pointing towards the Pizza dough.
“Fine” she muttered and took out a tray from the cupboard. “I’ll roll it out and put the sauces, then you can do the rest”
“Right. And right now, I’m going for a shower” I said.
I walked up to the stairs and entered our room. On the right side were two single beds with pedestals separating them. Opposite the beds was a dressing table with a large mirror with an intricate silver border. To say that place was a mess, would be an understatement. There were almost two of everything scattered over it. Two hairbrushes, jewelry boxes, perfumes, multiple rubber bands and two large cosmetic bags that were filled with makeup. Well, the makeup was lying scattered across the table instead of in the bag. I sighed and started packing all the items into their respective places. Even though Hannah had not yet moved into our room, she was always here playing with our things and it seemed like the phrase “Put it away when you’re done playing” which we repeated many times a day, was French to her.
I walked towards the left side of the room where our closet was and opened the doors. Up until today, I still can’t believe that my father had built us a walk-in-closet. It was the stuff of dreams.
I smiled goofily as I walked in and picked out jeans and a striped shirt, which had a breast pocket with two fluffy bunny ears sticking out.
I came out and stepped right, into our bathroom. I brushed my hair as I looked in the mirror.
I studied the pimple which had just popped up under my eye, today and groaned. My hair was extremely knotty, but that’s nothing new for a curly-haired girl. The struggle.
Leaning in closer, I studied my face looking for any other blemishes.
I had dark brown hair and bright blue eyes, the only two things about me that were different from my twin sister. Maariyah had black hair and eyes such a deep green, they bordered onto hazel.
That was just the outward differences. We couldn’t be more different when it came to our personalities. I was a book lover, I preferred comfort over style and I was what you would call 'straightforward'.
She loved painting, dressing up and had a tendency to strike up a conversation with people she didn’t even know while I would just smile and turn back to my book.
As I jumped out of the shower, I groaned as I remembered that we were getting visitors tonight.
Yeah, I’m not a peoples person. At all.
“Is everything set?” Mum asked as she shuffled around, adding a few last-minute additions.
“Jee, I think,” Maariyah said as she adjusted her scarf in the dining room mirror.
Just as I buttoned up the last button on my cloak, the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it” shouted Hannah and Ilyaas in unison.
Ilyaas reached the door first and threw it open.
“Isa!” he exclaimed.
Maariyah turned towards me slowly. She bit her lip and smiled mischievously as Isa and Ilyaas, Ridwaan, who was Isa’s father, three other men who I didn’t recognize and our father, Salmaan, entered.
I ran into the kitchen and helped my mother and Maariyah to carry out the dishes and lay them onto the table.
“These are my other two daughters” My father smiled as he motioned towards us, as Hannah threw her arms around his waist.
“Girls, this is Aasim, Yahya and Zubair,” he said pointing to the three men.
Aasim was tall and well built, with thinning black hair and dark eyes. The opposite of Yahya, who clearly enjoyed eating and was completely bald. Despite that, he seemed like a very jolly person.
Zubair was tall and muscular, his biceps straining against his shirt. He had long curly hair and grey eyes. When he looked my way as I set the salad on the table, a chill went through me.
“Bhen, could you please bring a glass of water for Uncle Zubair” my father smiled.
I nodded and walked towards the kitchen. When I entered I found Maariyah and our mother whispering and laughing.
“There she is,” my mother said as I entered.
“What about me?” I asked, taking a glass from the cupboard.
“Isa,” My mother said and smiled broadly.
“Well, don’t you think he looks handsome tonight?”
“Mhmm” I mumbled as I filled the glass with water and rushed out the kitchen before they could say anything else.
I handed the glass to my father who passed it to Zubair, who smiled at me. Again, I felt a shiver run up my spine.
As I turned to go back to the kitchen, I saw him shove a few pills in his mouth and gulp down the water.
As I entered the kitchen and sat next to my mother and Maariyah, I forgot all about him and instead turned my thoughts toward Isa.
“You should marry him,” Mum said as I took a bite of the Pizza.
“Yes!” Maariyah exclaimed, clapping her hands.
“No,” I said as I rolled my eyes. This had been the topic of conversation for the past few years now at the supper table.
“Oh, what dress would you wear?” Maariyah asked
“How about the one I wore for my wedding?” Mum suggested.
I zoned out as they discussed my wedding. There was a new version nearly every two days.
Maariyah, Hannah and I walked upstairs towards our bedroom as the guests began to leave.
“Who’s tucking her in?” I asked
“I want Maariyah” Hannah yawned.
“Okay honey, let’s go” Maariyah took her hand and walked her towards the room Hannah shared with Ilyaas, until we got a bed for her in our room, and did a bit of renovation.
I walked into my room, switched on the light, and entered the bathroom.
I brushed my teeth, made wudhu and applied a special ointment onto the pimple, that was still there.
Walking out of the bathroom, I began mentally planning what I had to do tomorrow.
I put on my Burqah, set out my Musallah and began reading my Isha salaah.
As I was somewhere in my third Rakaat, Maariyah entered the room and sat on the bed behind me.
Just as I made my second salaam, she switched off the light.
“What-” I began as I turned towards the bed. Suddenly a hand covered my mouth. The other hand grabbed my kaftan and pulled me up.
I struggled against him- assuming it was a man- but he was stronger. I bit down on my attackers’ fingers and I heard a curse. It was a man. I opened my mouth and just as I was about to scream, something came crashing down on my head and I fell, unconscious.