Yeesh. Talk about bad timing! I quickly switched off my phone, not wanting to deal with him right now. I made myself comfortable in my seat and before I knew it, Naeem was gently shaking me awake. I blinked at him confusedly, too disorientated to comprehend anything.
“Rise and shine Sleeping Beauty,” he said with a smile. “We’ve landed.”
I was eager to see my parents so I left Naeem and a grumbling Atiyyah to collect our luggage, and ran out searching for my dad. I spotted him in the crowd and raced up to him, leaping into his arms.
“Daaadddyyyyy! I missed you!”
Laughing, he ruffled my hair. “I missed you too Kiddo.”
Atiyyah and Naeem joined us and we headed to the car. As we walked out, Naeem fell into step with me.
“How come I didn’t get a greeting like that when I came to fetch you from the airport?” He murmured into my ears.
I stuck my tongue out at him and pointedly quickened my pace. Smirking, he casually strolled to the car.
I hopped into the front seat and buckled up. My father got into the drivers seat, then paused. “And now?” He asked, looking at me.
“What?” I stared back innocently.
“Shouldn’t you be sitting in the back with Atiyyah?” He nodded his head towards Naeem, who was folding his long limbs into the back seat.
“No it’s okay. I’m comfortable here.”
Shaking his head, my father started the car. “I have some good news! The orphanage is almost complete, a whole two weeks earlier than expected! Which means that we’ll be able to have the opening a lot sooner than we planned.”
I clapped my hands excitedly and Atiyyah squealed.
“That’s great news! When were you thinking of having the opening?” Naeem asked.
“I was thinking on Wednesday.”
“But Dad, that’s like three days away. How are we gonna have everything ready in such a short time?” I asked.
“I already had a team planning it so theres not much that’s left to do. And besides, the sooner we have the opening, the sooner we can go back home.”
Wait, what?? I froze. “Wha-what do you mean? I thought we were staying for another two weeks.”
“Well there’s nothing else left here that my righthand man can’t attend to,” he said, winking at Naeem. “And I have a ton of work piled up, waiting to welcome me home. I’ve booked our return flights for this Friday.”
My stomach dropped as I made eye contact with Naeem in the rearview mirror. I wasn’t ready to go home. Not yet. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t missing home as much as I normally do. And even though I kept denying it and pushing it aside, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. The reason for my change of heart was sitting in the backseat staring right at me.
Hello/Slmz to everyone! My apologies for not posting and replying to comments. Its been a hectic couple of weeks but hopefully i’ll be able to post at least twice a week from now on. Thank you for your patience and endless support.. Keep spreading the word! 🙂 xx