I slept for most of the flight, waking up only to eat and to use the bathroom. Atiyyah made friends with the little boy seated next to her and they were playing those video games on the screens. We landed in Phuket at 10am. I swear that was the scariest landing ever! The airport was right next to the sea and I promise you, I thought we were gonna go straight into the water. We collected our luggage and headed out. Daddy had mentioned something about one of his new accountants being in Phuket for the duration of the project; he was going to pick us up from the airport and accompany Atiyyah and I when we flew to Malaysia. I wasn’t very impressed by the idea of an older person cramping our style, but Daddy pointed out that he was only five years older than me and that he was only going to fly with us for safety reasons, after which we would be left to our own devices. I agreed, but only because I had to.
“So where’s this accountant-slash-chauffeur-slash-bodyguard guy of yours?” I asked my father, looking around.
Mummy whacked my arm. “Be nice young lady, otherwise you won’t be going on that holiday of yours.”
Making a face at her, I turned to Atiyyah, when my father said, “Oh there he is!”
“Hey Atti let’s-what?” I looked at her puzzled. “What’s wrong?”
Atiyyah just pointed, stuttering. “Th….he…yohh!
I turned around and saw why the cat had gotten her tongue. Daddys accountant-slash-chauffeur-slash-bodyguard guy? He was an identical copy of the actor Theo James. My mouth dropped open. “Oh.. Oh wow!” He was incredibly gorgeous. Atiyyahs nails dug into my arm. She knew how many times I watched Divergent just because I wanted to see Theo James.
Daddy was speaking. “This is my wife Ayesha, my daughter Zahraa, and her friend Atiyyah. Zahraa and Atiyyah will be on the same flight with you to Malaysia.” My mother and Atiyyah greeted but I could only nod mutely. My father continued, “Ladies, this is Mr Kadwa, my newest addition to the business.”
“Please, call me Naeem.” He said smiling. “Welcome to Phuket.”
“Okay Zahraa. Breathe. Deep breaths. You can do it.” I mentally spoke to myself. He had a killer smile. He came forward and took the trolley from me.
“Let’s go. There’s a car waiting outside.”
I was SO not expecting this. When Daddy said accountant, immediately someone in a suit with a briefcase came to mind. Naeem, on the other hand, was dressed in jeans and a black shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows.
We followed him to the car, where a car guard loaded the car. Daddy sat in the front seat, Naeem drove, and Mummy, Atiyyah and I took the backseat. I was sandwiched in the middle. Naeem spoke as he drove, informing my father of the recent updates of the orphanage and telling us about the activities we could do and the islands we could visit.
“Damn girl, stop drooling.” Atiyyah whispered, pulling me close.
“Can’t help it.” I whispered back.
“He looks so much like Theo, it’s scary!”
“It’s as if you died and now you’re in heaven right?”
We both laughed. Naeem adjusted the rearview mirror so he was looking directly at me. “Your father tells me you enjoy being outdoors and getting your hands dirty. I think you’ll enjoy working on the orphanage.”
“How far is it from the hotel?”
“Oh that’s chilled. At least we can walk there whenever we want to.”
Naeem raised one eyebrow. “Or you could just get a cab. There is one available at the hotel.”
My father laughed. “Zahraas like that. She prefers walking.”
Naeem stared ahead silently, but a small smile played on his lips.
“So where are you from?” My mother asked.
“Born in SA but grew up in London. After this project is completed, I’m moving back to Durban so that I can be part of Vawdas Consolidated.”
“In South Africa. My parents moved back there when I came here.”
I cut in. “How long have you been here?”
“Two months. Since the project started.”
My mother continued. “Are you married?”
He smiled. “No, nothing like that.”
I let out a breath that I didn’t know I was holding.
“Naeem is too busy holding fort for me here.” My father laughed.
The conversation carried on until we reached the hotel. Naeem got out and opened the back door for my mother. “I think you’ll like the hotel. The staff are extremely friendly and they have excellent facilities.”
He and my father went to check us in whilst we waited in the foyer. There was free wifi so I quickly messaged Zaahid.
Me: Hey Zaa! Howsit? I miss you! The flight was good, slept the entire time😉 we just reached the hotel now. Its 11am here. This place looks really amazing. Wish you were also here!😞 give my love to everyone back there.
Zaahid: Hey you! I miss you too😔 enjoy your holiday! Have lotsa fun😀
Me: Will do😃
Just then I spotted Naeem walking towards us.
Me: g2g. Love ya! Chat later
Naeem held out the cards that allowed us to gain access to our rooms. “You and Atiyyah are sharing a room on the sixth floor. Your parents are on the eighth.”
We headed to our room. I decided to have a short nap and shower before I went out. Entering the room I said, “Well Mr Kadwa certainly made this trip a whole lot more exciting, don’t you think?”
Laughing, Atiyyah dived onto the bed. “Well yeah. Having your celebrity crush look-alike on holiday with you is an added bonus.”
“Or added drama,” I said, looking at Zaahids last message.
Zaahid: Azhar says hi