“Uhh.. Okay yeah sure, i guess..”
“Great, bro we’ll see you there in ten.” Zaahid cut the call and stared at me. “Why are you gone red?”
“Am I? Maybe it’s the heat.”
“Yeah.. From one sizzling guy that goes by the name of Azhar Paruk,” Atiyyah snickered under her breath.
Glaring at her, I hopped into the car.
The drive there took ages. Unconsciously I began jiggling my leg.
“You okay?” Zaahid asked.
“Yeah i’m fine.. Just pins and needles.”
“She’s getting poked by Cupids arrows!” Atiyyah burst laughing.
“Well now, aren’t you the comedian today.” I glared her.
Zaahid shot us a confused look. “Wait what am I missing?”
“Nothing. You just drive.”
When we got to Mugg&Bean Zaahid switched off the car and looked at me. “You sure you’re okay?”
Nodding, I smiled at him. “Yep.”
He gave me a long look before he jumped out. “Well okay then. Let’s go.”
Azhar was already sitting in a booth when we walked in. Zaahid slid in next to him and they did this weird high five thing. Atiyyah and I sat opposite them.
“Heyy” Azhar smiled at us.
“Hey yourself,” I greeted.
“Hi! I’m not sure we introduced ourselves before.. I’m Atiyyah, Zahraa’s friend.”
“Azhar.. Azhar Paruk.”
Tilting my head to the side, I looked at him. “Do you always introduce yourself like that? ‘Azhar..Azhar Paruk'”
Atiyyah laughed. “What are you, a James Bond fan or something?”
Smirking, he responded, “Something like that. Only, i’m way cooler.”
“I’m serious! Bond only gets the girls because he puts the bad guys away.. Me? All i do is throw the girl into the water and she comes swimming into my arms.” Turning to me, and in the same breath, he asked, “Oh hey Zahraa how are you after that tumble you took?”
I turned red, Atiyyah choked on her water and poor Zaahid just looked as confused as ever. “Wait what am I missing now?”
Just then the waitress brought our coffee. “Nothing. Just drink your coffee,” I said, gulping down mine and scorching my throat in the process.
Atiyyah glared at him. “Oh good heavens! Are you blind? Can’t you see it??” She gestured at Azhar and I.
Recognition dawned on his face. “Ohhhh. Oh. I see. So that’s what the whole thing in the car was ab- ouch!”
I kicked him under the table and turned to Atiyyah. “Okay seriously now! What did you smoke whilst you were shoe shopping?”
Azhar interrupted. “What happened in the car?”
“Nothing! Just drink your coffee.”
“Is that the only answer she knows?” he asked Atiyyah.
“Only when she’s nervous.”
“Why is she nervous?”
“Well its not Zaahid and I sooo its probably you,” she shrugged.
Turning to her, I smacked the back of her head. “Stop. Talking.”
The three of them burst out laughing and I blushed. Azhar smiled. “I make you nervous?”
“Just coz,” I focused on tearing up the sugar sachet into tiny pieces.
Zaahid, sensing my discomfort, changed the topic. “So when is your new car coming bro?”
I smiled gratefully at him. Thankfully, the rest of the conversation didn’t steer towards touchy topics, and I found myself enjoying Azhars company. He was full of jokes and had us in stitches. What amazed me more than anything, was that Atiyyah seemed to like him too. And that says a lot because she’s never liked any of the previous guys in my life.
We headed home after two hours and Zaahid stuck around for supper. Yes, supper, because we were hungry again.
My father shook his head at me. “With the amount of food this family and your friends eat, you’ll are going to leave me bankrupt.”
After supper Zaahid left and Atiyyah and I wore our new outfits to show my mother. My mother pointed at Atiyyahs heels. “I like those.”
“Zaahid chose them, Mum.” I smirked.
“Oh.. Is that so?” My mother lifted a questioning eyebrow at Atiyyah.
“No no Aunty Ayesh, it’s nothing like that.”
“I didn’t even say anything.”
My mother and I just smiled at each other. After the little fashion show was over, we decided to call it a night. We were both exhausted and I had a pounding headache.
“I’d say it was a good day today,” Atiyyah yawned. “Azhar seems nice.”
“Hmm.” Then, before she could say anything else, I added, “I’ve got such a headache, we’ll talk in the morning okay?” I was too tired to discuss this whole Azhar story. It made my head spin. I fell asleep dreaming of a green-eyed James Bond selling candyfloss at the beach…