The Unexpected Surprise

  • 24 Feb - 02 Mar, 2018
  • Ayesha Adil
  • Fiction

Arghhh! I felt like shouting at the top of my lungs. The male counterpart of the human race! Why is it always about you? You only think of your own self. This world would have been a relatively better place if women ruled it. Prettier, saner, more emotional and more caring as well. Please show her some sensitivity; don’t mock her for God’s sake.

Fawad just completely threw off my energy that day. Men like him are the reason why seeing little things in life like a female driver was so encouraging for us women. It gave us a weird satisfaction.

That day was still as afresh as today in my mind.

“You’re a woman, Saima. Of course, you remember what Fawad said to you exactly seven days ago.” My inner voice reminded me.

Well, being a woman does not always mean remembering all the mean stuff others say to her. It should also mean remembering the good stuff.

Like how Fawad had been forgetting my birthday since two years (I was totally expecting him to forget it this year too) but he always made up for it.

He made up to me last time by buying me a phone. I really needed a new one but I was from that generation which believed in using an electronic until it died. Unless and until we can’t put it on life-support, we should continue using it. My phone was just on the verge of death when he surprised me with a new one and I instantly became happy, forgiving him for all those forgotten birthdays.

I recalled how life hadn’t always been perfect; there were struggles and tears but also a lot of happiness and laughter. The most important fact was that we were on the same page; we trusted each other and were striving for a common goal.

I finally reached and was surprised to see Fawad home, folding his clothes in a neat pile.

“How come you’re home so early?” I asked, looking at the clothes confusingly.

“Because Saima you have to pack.”

My heart sank. This sounds familiar.

“Oh no, no. It’s not like the last time.”

He saw my face turn white and quickly added.

“We’re going to Lahore for the weekend.”

And with that, he started packing.

Lahore was wonderful at this time of the year. The flowers and the general air of spring was infectiously relaxing. I could immediately feel a few years younger. The air was definitely purer here. The pleasant fragrance of flowers in the air refreshed all my five senses.

“Spring is so much better here than in Karachi, isn’t it Saima?”

“Now let’s not get ahead of us Fawad. Not a single place on this Earth can beat Karachi.”

“Always the die-hard Karachiite at heart,huh? That’s what I like about you. You’re faithful to the things you love.”

“Including you!” I winked.

We were both in good spirits. This was a long overdue break for Fawad. He never got summer or winter holidays so was always working throughout the year.

Besides everything else, this was where his family lived. He hadn’t met his family in a long time. Earlier, his company regularly sent him to their office in Lahore so he could spend a number of weeks with his family. I missed him terribly during that time but I was happy to see him spending time with his parents.

But they had stopped sending him to Lahore lately so Fawad had not met his parents in a long time. His mom really missed him in particular and often cried on phone. The sacrifices parents make for their children… their struggle is real.

We finally reached home.

Fawad and I had decided not to bother his family and taken a cab from the airport instead. We were really looking forward to our time this weekend.

The entire family came out to receive us. This is what’s great about our country; we cherish relationships so much. And it’s all pure and genuine affection, nothing adulterated. I felt great greeting them. Everyone was so keen on helping us with our luggage. Fawad’s nieces and nephews spirited out of sight with all our things while the grown-ups ushered us in.

The house was immensely cosy. Lahore still exhibited the last remnants of winter and while it was mildly cold outside, I could only feel love and warmth inside. The best things in life are free, I thought smiling at the roomful of relations around me.

I saw how happy Fawad was with his parents. It gave me immense pleasure to see him like that. He loved being with me but I had never seen him laughing so whole-heartedly before.

My mother-in-law sat next to me and asked how I was, telling me how weak I had gotten from the last time she saw me. Her daughter began to set the table with some goodies and desi treats.

I got up and tried helping, only to have me stopped by my sister-in-law.

“You’re our guest. Please don’t,” she pleaded.

“No, I want to,” I insisted but it was of no avail.

“You all went out of the way,” I commented, as the food-laden dishes kept coming out of the kitchen. The aroma was tantalising. I could already feel my mouth watering.

“Of course not!” she protested.

“You’ve come home after so many years. We wanted to do something really nice for you.” She continued.

“Aww, thank you!” I felt really honoured and blessed.

I was touched. This is what life is about I felt: the good times you spend with your family.

Fawad looked at me and smiled. I smiled back joyously.

“We’re really home,” I mouthed to him.

“I know,” he mouthed back with an even bigger grin. •