I ate, prayed fajr and tossed and turned until dhuhr. I awoke unrested and grouchy before absent mindedly walking into the kitchen, I scratched my stomach as I realised and turned towards my computer. Sitting infront of it waiting for windows to open, my mind wandered to how things looked so different today than they had yesterday. This time yesterday I was at the mosque, awaiting the ground to open up and swallow me, then I met Nasser and was connected with his family in ways I only imagined or saw in films.
Today I was going to relax, wake up properly and enjoy the day. Windows kicked in as I walked out of the room and stepped into the shower, I let the water relax me and wake me at the same time. Soaped my hair and was grateful for the workouts that I had pushed myself into from a younger age. Stopped myself from shaving and stepped out the bathroom with a towel around my waist to bump into someone I wasnt expecting. My sister! we didnt get on very well, she had always been jealous of me and got me into a lot of trouble when I was smaller. However, I was a grown man now and I was also aware of the islamic etiquette when it came to your family.
She smiled, which made me question her motives instantly astagfrillah... 'I bought a friend around, and somehow bumped into someone who was looking for you too' I frowned, why was she bringing a friend around here, and who would she bump into looking for me. I followed her to the living room to find her friend, an ex of mine sat on the couch, I breathed in and shot a look at my sister Lisa... God only knows why she was here, and I think she read my face too. She smiled walking over and kissed me on the cheek, I straightened at her touch remembering the reason we had finished. She sensed it too and stood back, 'I thought we could chat,' 'Id rather we didnt actually. I dont want you in my life anymore Alina we made that decision a long time ago. Ive moved on, Ive grown up and Im enjoying life now.' She laughed slyly and followed the contours of my chest muscles with her perfectly manicured finger, I stepped away from her and asked them both to leave politely. At that point I remembered the other person who Lisa had said was here, 'oh some random brown guy, hes in the kitchen' I looked around the corner to see Nasser looking out over the park infront of my building and smiled. He saw me and walked over, trusting his hand out to shake then I pulled him close for a manly hug and smiled inwardly at my comfort at doing this. 'Dude, whats with the ladies?' I rolled my eyes, 'sister & ex, dont ask!' he nodded before we heard the front door slam shut, it was then I remembered I was still wearing just a towel and then I blushed at holding my new friend so close next to bare skin. Things are changing within me, and I felt so much better for the comfort I felt in the things I was now doing.
'So I came over to remind you about tonight, I was just at the school dropping Sadia off and she wanted me to remind you' I blushed slightly and excused myself to go change while nodding my head in the afirmative motion of agreeing with him.
I looked over my wardrobe looking for something a little more dressy than my usual casual gear. In the end it took a lot longer to find something dressy than I had imagined and I made a mental note to sort my clothes and buy some nicer stuff in the future. I eventually finished with a cashmere sweater in a warm brown and a pair of baggy camel cords, thinking to finish with my my tims. Sorted, I thought quite pleased with myself as I walked out to meet Nasser in the living room. 'So what you up to today?' he asked, I shrugged and asked myself why I felt nervous around him... was it because of what he represented? who he was related to? then I shook that thought out of my head.. I couldnt think of her today, not like that, it was too early and I wasnt ready for any of this. 'Probably go down to the library and pick up some books, I need to do a bit of food shopping too. Thats it really, you?' 'Less than that,' he said laughing... 'so we still on for tonight though yeh?' I nodded. '6pm?' he agreed... 'that gives you chance to meet everyone before iftar and salah, if thats ok' 'Hey, if you arent doing anything now.. we can hang together if you want, I was going to take my camera over to the park too, if youre interested that is' He mock punched me in the arm 'youre such a geek dude.. I really dont know what these girls see in you' I laughed deeply, which shocked me when I realised I couldnt remember the last time a laugh had come that far down from inside of me. 'Its my sensitive side' I told him jokingly, 'you should try it, so you wanna come?' 'yeh, may as well.. not much else to do.'
It was amazing the bond and relationship I had formed with this guy, we had spoke briefly on the phone the night before and chatted on MSN about computer and car stuff for a few hours. The bond went further than guy stuff though, I was totally comfortable with telling him things I would never have told anyone before, muslim or non muslim. Which is why I felt ok to tell him about the break up of my relationship with Alina as I focused on the bluebells hanging over the long grass in the area behind one of the ponds in the park. Which is also why I felt ok to tell him about my curiousity and respect for his sister while focusing on the bus parked behind the grey steel fence that kept the rest of the world out of the peaceful section of grass in this busy city. He didnt seem to mind and confessed that as soon as his sister had mentioned me he could tell that Ethan wasnt like the other guys his sister mentioned meeting through the MSA. I blushed and he made fun of me... 'Dude, shes a cool girl.. but shes still my sister, and I will defend her to my last breath' I was totally awestruck at this obvious gesture of protection he felt over his sister and immediately felt bad for my own relationship with Lisa. Which is when I told him about my family and how messed up they were, then about my teenage years venting the anger and hiding the pain. I could tell he understood, I dont know how, but he knew and he allowed me to talk about what I needed to talk about. Then I confessed that I felt like I had known him for years and how it shocked me I could be this open with him. He lightened the mood by telling me 'thats my senstive side bro' we laughed as we fed the ducks (just cause we were fasting, doesnt mean they had to be!)
After all the things we talked about it was nearly time for asr and we started to walk over to the masjid on the opposite side of the park in between the skyscrapers and suits. A park in a city, i loved this city alhamdulillah