The next morning i awoke to a hundred messages from people congratulating me. Ignoring the rest, i opened the one from Zaahid. Zaahid was my best guy friend and also a distant cousin.
Zaahid: Eight As! Who are you, even?? Well done Miss Vee!👏
Me: Hey hey! Thanks a lot!😊 couldn’t have done it without your support!
Zaahid: Oh please. This was all you.. You’re going places Missy😎
Me: Keep your fingers crossed! But right now, the only place i’m going to is the kitchen! I’m starving! Chat later😊
Atiyyah was already up and having breakfast when i walked into the kitchen. My mother walked in with the phone in her hand. “Its been ringing nonstop since seven this morning. Everyone is calling to congratulate you.” Just then the phone ran again. My mother answered it, then handed me the phone. “It’s Aunty Bhen from Joburg.”
I pulled a face. “But Mum! I’m having breakfast”
“Rather you than me, sweety.” She handed me the phone, kissed my forehead and ran out before i could say anything.
Sighing, i picked up the phone. “Hello”
“Hello slamlaykum. How you Zahraa?”
“Wa-alykumu-salaam I’m okay and you?”
“Eyy not too good. This daughter in law of mine.. But leave all that! Heard you got eight As”
“But you know, my Ammaarah got nine! Im soooo proud of her.”
(Yes Aunty, that’s because your Ammaarah did maths lit, tourism, art, and consumer studies)
Out loud i said,”Oh so nice, tell her i said congratulations.”
“Ya huh. She’s so clever that one. But never mind, i suppose eight A’s is okay for some people. Anyways let me go. Give daddy my salaams”
I put the phone down and burst out laughing. Some people were just too much!
After breakfast Atiyyah and I got dressed and went out. Our friends were having a get together at the beach, so we headed there.
“Hey look! Its the two geniuses!” Nabeel, my friend from school, shouted.
Smiling, we joined the group and the conversations carried on. After a while, i saw a familiar face coming out of the water. As he walked towards us, i noticed his green eyes. I sat there trying to figure out who he was, when it clicked. Zaahids friend, Zaheer.. Or was it Aslam? No wait! Azhar.. Yes that’s it! Azhar something. I vaguely recall an encounter with him at Zaahids house once, but i never got his surname. I realised, with start, that he was walking directly towards me. Okay no scratch that.. He walked past me and reached into the bag behind me. Lifting a curious eyebrow in Atiyyah’s direction, she mouthed,”Saffiyas cousin.”
I mouthed back, “Zaahids friend.. UCT.”
Her eyes widened with comprehension. I had told her about my brief encounter with him.
He turned around and stared at me before asking hesitantly, “Hey, do i know you from somewhere?”
“Uhm yeah.. I’m Zaahids friend, we met at his house. Well actually, i bumped into you at his house.”
“Oh yes, i remember you!” Laughing, he went on, “You’re the one who walked straight into me!”
Blushing a bit, i replied, “Yep that was me.”
“I’m sorry but i didn’t get your name that day.”
“Zahraa Vawda” then, not wanting him to know that i had asked Ziyaads sister about him, i asked, “And yours?”