"Bhai! I am ready." I shouted standing near the main entrance.
"You're going to Mehmood's house?" Papa asked eating his breakfast.
"Yes, Kanwal needs me and" I paused, "who knows, maybe Ahad won't let us meet again." The thought of not seeing her made me sad and angry at the same time.
"Mahnoor you shouldn't talk about your elders like that." Ami scolded.
"Oh for God's sake Ami why are you guys behaving like before? He is not the Ahad Bhai my friend engaged to, he is a criminal, a killer." I nearly shouted.
I don't they get my point...
"Lower your voice, Mano. You're talking to your parents." Bhai said politely, putting a hand on my head. His gesture indicating that I had stepped out of line and must apologize now.
That's his way of pointing my mistakes. We are only five years apart, but for me, he is like my second father. Well I love papa too and he is a great father but Bhai's always one step ahead of him.
"Sorry Ami, sorry Papa." I apologized.
"It's fine." Papa said quickly.
See what I meant when I said papa is a great father. He always takes my side. I smiled at them.
"Okay Ami, Papa, we are leaving." I said, turning to leave.
"Allah Hafiz." I heard Bhai saying, already out of the house and I ran behind him shouting ''Allah Hafiz''.
She hasn't mutter a single word since she dressed, as a bride. Ahad sent beauticians to get her ready. Her red and purple dress looked beautiful on her and after makeup, she looked stunning. Everything about her seemed perfect, except for her eyes. Those orbs held fear and sadness. I had so desperately tried to take her mind off things, but who was I kidding. She was dressed as Ahad's bride.
Ami came early and brought me a formal dress to wear. I had this urge to throw the dress away, but I didn't, I couldn't. If I lose my calm, let's just say things won't go right, not forgetting the lectures I would get and besides it wouldn't change anything. Except for making me look like a bigger idiot. So I kept quiet, I changed my dress but didn't bother to put on any sort jewelry or makeup.
Going back to the bride I tried, once again to cheer her up but the result was like before... nothing. Giving her some time to herself I started helping Auntie.
I was literally stomping all over the house, thinking it might help me keep my mouth shut. I am not the type of person who kept their feelings bottled up inside. If I have something to say, I will say it. But right now my gut feelings were telling me it was wise to stay silent. For Kanwal's sake. She was already devastated and I did not want to make her already messed up life more miserable by voicing out my thoughts. To be honest, the tiny little ounce of faith that I had in Ahad, had vanished, he was forcing my friend to marry him, how can I believe he won't do anything wrong to her.
"Mahnoor?" I snapped out of my thoughts when I heard someone calling me.
"Han? yes. What is it Ami?" I replied quickly.
"Qazi Sahab is here for Nikah, inform Kanwal." She looked to be in a hurry, but I had questions and I needed answers.
"Nikah?" I asked, shocked.
"Ami they are here?" I grabbed her arm, not wanting to let her go until she answers my questions.
"Yes, were you sleeping before?" She frowned.
I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I didn't notice anything. Ignoring her question, I continued, "Ami who else came with Ahad, his family?"
She sighed before answering me, "His family had cut all their ties with him long ago. But there are few men with him. I guess they are gang members too."
"Oh!" I didn't say anything else and I didn't feel a bit sorry for him, at all.
"And listen, don't come outside. You and Alina are the only girls here. Kanwal's cousins didn't come, there are mostly men and four ladies including me, Kanwal's mother and her sisters, so you better stay here."
"WHAT?" I almost shouted. "I cannot meet her after Nikah?" I whispered the last part.
She sighed again, "I will call you when they will leave, okay? Now go inform Kanwal."
I told Kanwal about Qazi Sahab, for a moment I felt her soul left her body and she looked like a dolled up corpse. Soon Qazi Sahab came in and her tears start dripping. At the time of Nikah, I stood behind her in silence, watching her trembling hands signing her faith. After the Nikah, she didn't cry, not even a single tear. She was taken out, while Alina and I sat in her room in complete silence.
At the time of leaving, both of us went to say our goodbyes. She hugged me tightly, muttering 'I love you' before she let me go, giving a kiss on my cheek. I looked at Ahad, who was standing near the driver seat, he gave me a victorious smile and waved at me. His action caught the attention of every gang member standing there. It startled me and I rushed inside the house only to bump into something hard or should I say, someone. I quickly looked up and found a tall man staring at me. I mumbled a 'sorry' and ran upstairs like the world was on fire.
Before I could reach Kanwal's room Alina grabbed my hand and dragged me to the roof. We both stood there and watched her saying farewell to everyone. She sat in the car before Ahad as he was talking to the same tall man I had bumped into. Later, that man gave a brotherly hug to Ahad and walked away.
He must be one of his friends...
"Alina?" I looked over at Alina, she was physically here but mentally she was far, far away.
"Hm?" She replied like I had woke her up.
"Who was the man talking to Ahad just now?" I questioned. She looked at them and replied, this time making me pale.
"His leader. Moosa Khan." My eyes widened at the realization.
Did I bump into Moosa Khan?
Was that man Moosa Khan?
Could this day be anymore crappier?
I looked at his direction and found him looking at me.
I quickly took several steps back to disappear from view.