Sitting in the Black Eagles private jet, Ahad glanced down at the city, which will soon disappear from his view. It was unlike him to change his mind about something and step back from the decision he once made. It took a great effort for him to do so, but he managed to stop himself, he had to. Abducting Kanwal from her house might satisfy his ego for the time being, but then what? Would he be able to hold himself back from approaching her? Or will he be able to control himself after knowing that she rejected him?
The answer was a big 'no'. Kanwal's presences near him would only provoke him and remind him of his one-sided feelings. Ahad fears that his stubbornness and anger won't bring any good and the fact that his and Kanwal's family are acquainted, made Ahad refrain himself.
Or maybe I just love her too much...
Therefore, giving her a few more months of freedom, Ahad flew away from his home once again, but the thought of coming back for Kanwal won't be leaving him for sure.
"You will always be mine, Kanwal...." Ahad murmured, recalling the image of Kanwal on their engagement night, as she smiled looking at the ring on her finger.
"Kanwal, you are going to be late again." Kanwal heard her mother's voice coming from the kitchen.
"Tell Papa to wait a minute, I am coming." She shouted as she quickly stuffs her notebooks in her bag.
It has almost become her daily habit to stay up late at night, struggling to find the solution of how to put her life and her mind back on track again. In doing so, she ends up getting late for college. Since the meeting with Ahad a month ago, Kanwal never saw him again. The news of him going back to Dubai reached her and she successfully hides the pain she felt on hearing the news. Kanwal pretends to stay normal before her family, her classmates, and everyone else except Mahnoor, who glares at her whenever she tries to put up a fake attitude before her. Despite having a childish nature, Mahnoor is sensitive in matters concerning Kanwal as she knows her very well than others. Maybe that's why she never asked Kanwal about what happened that night and Kanwal didn't bring up the topic either. It is left hanging in mid-air and Kanwal is planning to leave it that way forever.
"Kanwal, your Papa is also going to be late!" Her mother shouted again.
"Coming, coming." Kanwal grabbed her bad and dashed out of her room towards the exit.
"Kanwal, wait. Your breakfast." She heard her Ami's voice and turns to see her coming towards her.
"Ami, I don't have time for-" Before she could complete her sentence, her Ami held out a sandwich before her face.
A wide smile spread on Kanwal's face, "Love you, Ami." She abruptly kissed her Ami's cheek and ran outside.
Saying farewell to Ahad wasn't easy for Kanwal, but she doesn't regret her decision, not even once. The love she had for her parents was stronger than the feelings she has for Ahad and she is happy that she could obey her parents without any lingering thoughts that she and others might misunderstand the situation of Ahad. But now, everything is clear as day, the Ahad she loved is gone, lost, never to be with her again. She has to move on, for the people who care for her and for herself too.
"Sorry, Papa." Kanwal said, hopping into the car.
"Should we pick Mahnoor up too?" Her father inquired while starting the car.
"No, she will be going with Hammad Bhai." Kanwal answered before taking a bite of her sandwich.
"Tomorrow I will be seeing you eating breakfast on the table." He said in a rather strict tone and Kanwal nodded in response.
"When is your tournament?" He asked after a while.
"The day after tomorrow, but we have a warm-up match today too with our seniors."
Kanwal was a typical eastern girl with a love for sports. She used to watch matches with her father. At first, she just joins him to merely accompany him but gradually, her interest in sports began to develop and she ended up being a part of the college's volleyball team. Her father is very happy about it and he always encouraged her, unlike her mother who is always worried about her skin might get damaged for being under the sun too long.
The college started and ended like a blink. At the end of the day, Kanwal finds herself to be in a much better state than yesterday. Playing volleyball helped her a lot in releasing her mental stress.
Kanwal barely managed to function well till dinner. Afterwards, she quickly prayed Isha namaz and sneaks into bed. Sleep engulfed her as soon as her head felt the presence of her pillow and it took her to a place where Kanwal might meet the person she had missed dearly.
With each passing day, Kanwal was growing more silent and serious. Everyone noticed it, how Kanwal's personality has changed after breaking off her engagement. Kanwal's parents had started getting worried whenever they see the emptiness in their daughter's eyes, the forced smiles she puts up for others and the painful expression, whenever something reminds her of Ahad. It is an unbearable pain for them to see their kid in such a condition. Therefore, at the end of Kanwal's examination, they all went on a vacation, to her Khala (Mother's sister) Ishrat's home.
Although Kanwal had gotten bored of their house, upon understanding the concern of her family towards her, she agreed to it.
On their arrival at the house, Saima, wife of Ishrat's eldest son, greeted Kanwal warmly and kept her company for almost every second. Whether it is shopping or a simple walk in the park, Saima was always there by her side. Still, Kanwal found it hard to go back to her old self. She is trying her best to get over the fact that the chapter of Ahad is closed but to no avail.
Saima has liked Kanwal from the day she came into the family after marrying Haseeb. Kanwal's caring and loving nature attracted her so much that she talked to her mother about Kanwal for her brother Abdul Rafay, but after knowing that Kanwal is already engaged, she silenced her intention.
Now that Kanwal's engagement is called off, the little hope she had of Kanwal being the bride of her brother is lit up in her heart again and she told her mother on the first chance she got, but her mother is utterly against the idea.
"You have lost your mind, Saima. Who would want to marry an ex-fiancée of a gangster?!" Saima's mother frowned.
"Ami, he wasn't a gangster when Kanwal got engaged to him..." Saima argued. "Come on Ami, Kanwal is a very sweet girl and it's not her fault that her fiancé got involved in crimes." She explained.
"Listen, beta (child). No matter how sweet that girl is, I cannot put my son's life in danger."
"Huh?... What danger?"
"Do you think that boy will leave Kanwal so easily? Your mother in law told me that he was interested in her. Who knows if he still is"
"Do you know that the boy recently came back? If he were so interested in her, he wouldn't leave her like this and go back. Kanwal's mother told me that he didn't even try to approach her again."
"I am not taking any risk on my only son, Saima." Her mother said sternly.
"Qasam se Ami (seriously Ami), you overthink everything." Saima got irritated.
"Han Han mera to hogaya hai dimagh kharab (yes, yes. I have lost my mind)." She replied in annoyance.
"Who has lost their mind?" Both of them turn towards the entrance of the room where a young man, looking at them questioningly.
"Your sister." Saima's mother, Razia shot a glare at her.
"What happened?" The man asked Saima with both of his brows raised, but before she could reply, her mother said to him.
"Beta, please find a suitable girl for yourself if you don't like the girls I chose for you. But don't depend on your sister for it." Saima ignored her mother, as she was busy watching her adorable brother who is coming towards her, with a slight blush on his face.
Abdul Rafay was a man in his mid-twenties and works as a civil engineer. Tanned skin, six feet tall, slender body, with light brown eyes and medium brown hairs. He is two years younger than Saima but looked as though he's older than her.
"Allah ji! My little brother is so cute." Saima shrieked and ruffles Rafay's hair, as soon as he sat next to her on the same couch. He frowned, glaring at her but didn't say anything or bothered to set his hair back. Because he knows Saima would eventually mess it up again.
"Yar Rafay, listen." Saima turned herself to her brother. "I found a girl for you, but Ami is against her."
"Don't stuff nonsense in my son's ear. I am not against her, it's her background." Her mother said, pouring tea into a mug.
"Ye hi beta hai. Mujhe to kachre key dabbe se utha lain thi aap. (He is your only child, you pick me from a garbage can)" Saima mumbled sarcastically and Rafay shook his head hopelessly.
"I heard that." Her mother said angrily, giving tea to her husband who was pretending to read the newspaper to avoid their bickering.
"Baji, stop it. Ami, you too. There is no need to increase your blood pressure. You know baji always jokes about it." Rafay said, raising his hand, then turns to his sister. "Don't do this to her, baji. You know she doesn't like it when you say that."
"Fine, won't say anything on one condition." Saima said to her brother.
"My in-laws are going to a farmhouse for a day next week, and you are coming with us."
"Huh? ...what would I do there?"
"Come on. Please... Can't you do that for your sister?" Saima pouted.
"Fine. But if it is about a girl, then I am not coming. I already told you and Ami that I am not going to engage myself in any relationship until I had done some savings for myself." His tone was firm.
"Ary, no. It's not about any girl. It's just that Haseeb's Khala's family is here and they are all girls. So it will be better if we have more men to work. His brother is also not going because of his tests and it's not nice to ask elders to help out, na." Saima made a pleading face.
"Okay." Rafay sighed and said.
When Saima's mother saw that Rafay fell into her trap, she wanted to say something but her husband stopped her, saying, "It's between Rafay and Saima. Let the kids do things in their own way."
Razia glanced at her son worriedly, who is busy watching TV, unaware of his sister's plan.
'Ya Allah! Save Rafay from Saima's stupidity....' She prayed in her head.
"Khala, where is Saima Bhabi?" Kanwal asked, coming out of the room where Alina and she were staying.
"She isn't back from her mother's house yet." Her Khala answered.
"Oh! And where are Alina and Maaz?" She asked both her mother and Khala.
"They are on the rooftop. Probably playing cricket again. Can't you hear their voices?" Kanwal's mother answered.
On mentioning the roof, Kanwal paid attention and heard Alina begging Maaz for a rematch.
Maaz and Alina? Can't he find someone of his own size to play with???
Kanwal sighed and went into the kitchen saying, "Khala, I am making tea for everyone. Khalo (Khala's husband) would be home soon."
"Khush raho, beta (bless you, child)" Kanwal heard her Khala's voice from behind and a smile appeared on her face. Within the past few days, Saima made Kanwal familiar with the kitchen. Therefore, now she can easily work in the kitchen.
Kanwal starts making tea for everyone besides Maaz and Alina. They need snacks at 6 pm, not tea. Which Khalo said he will bring while coming home. But knowing Maaz, he will definitely ask Kanwal to make something especially for him.
Maaz was three months older than Kanwal and he was also studying in the third year of his college, but his exams were still going on. Maaz wasn't a reserved type of person, but kept his distance from Kanwal, unlike Haseeb who didn't miss a single chance of teasing Kanwal. Maaz was franker with Alina and the only thing Kanwal and Maaz ever talked beside formal greetings is, what new dish Kanwal had learned to cook and when he could eat it. But this conversation also rarely took place, especially since Kanwal had learned about this habit of his. She would cook something new every time he visits their house.
Kanwal knows she will have to prepare a new type of snack for him, sooner or later. So without wasting time, she starts taking out ingredients. She was taking out breadcrumbs when her phone buzzed. Quickly wiping her hands with the kitchen napkin, which had become a habit of hers, she checks her phone and froze that instant.
It was a mail from Ahad, with an image of a gold bracelet along with a message.
'I bought it again for you and this time I will put it on your hand myself...'