The Gift (Part-6)



To read the previous part of this story, click here.

Imran was driving home when he remembered what his mother and Umar had said that day. He had heard that many times before. Even when his father was alive, he used to tease Imran every time he mentioned a woman's name he was dealing business with. But today was the first time he had heard it this year. This year would be 10 years since he lost her. He looked at his watch. It was almost 6 p.m. The sun would set soon.

Imran decided to drive to the beach. He liked coming to the beach. The beach had captured a lot of happy moments of his life with her and his own family. He left his car and barefooted he headed for the beach.

It was peaceful here he thought. The beauty of Allah's creation made him so small. Surrendering to the glory of the Creator, he whispered, "SubhanAllah". He walked along the beach. He could see the sun was setting. It reminded him of the last time she watched one beside him. His wife would have loved this place. He closed his eyes and pictured her face. Her eyes, her beautiful, soulful eyes. He had been lost in them so many times. Her smile. He loved her smile. He would steal the moon if he could just see her smiling at him just one more time. The wind swept around him and he remembered why...why she was no longer in his life. Then he remembered what his mother said to him a long time ago. "Fight, Imran. Use my strength to fight. And remember "To Allah we belong and to Him is our return (2: 156)". He felt tears rolling on his cheeks. As he slowly wiped them, he whispered to himself, "Ya Allah, why can't I let Kaira go?".

A black Suzuki Vitara pulled into the parking lot of the Language Center at Pine College. A young woman wearing a dark blue long dress with a light gray hijab came out. She was about 5" 4' with a slender body. Her fair complexion stood out in the color of her dress. Her dark thin brows matched her Asian looking eyes with a straight nose and full-lip mouth. They accentuated her fair beauty. Her young facial features made her look 5 years younger than her age but her matured expression overshadowed it. Taking her books and a briefcase from the back seat, she headed towards the Language Center. On her way, she met a couple of students who greeted her with a salam. As she was climbing the stairs to the office of the Language Center, she bumped into her colleague Yasmin.

"Assalamualaikum, Syira".
"Min…waalaikumussalam", Syakirah returned the salam with a tired voice.
"Hey! What's with you? You sound exhausted. And today is only Tuesday", Yasmin said.
"Yeah, I'm wiped out. I stayed up late last night trying to finish marking those test papers".
"I thought you were almost done yesterday afternoon. I saw only a few left before we went home".

"True but I didn't get to continue it until about 11.30 last night. By the time I finished, it was almost 12.30. Actually, there was an neighbor...her son fell off the stairs and her husband was out of town. So, she asked for my help to take him to the hospital...12 stitches on the back of his head. I waited in the ER and brought them back home".

Yasmin was not surprised to hear this. She knew her friend well. Syakirah was someone whom you could count on when in time of need. Her kind heart especially with children was known among her close friends.

"I see. Well, our classes won't start until 9.00, so why don't we go and get some caffeine", Yasmin said with a small laugh. Syakirah agreed.

As they were walking together to the main office, they stopped at the notice board. There was a flyer posted by the Language Center about the upcoming Language Camp.

"I heard we're opening it to more students to participate this time", Syakirah said.

"Yeah. I think it's because the last one was quite successful. The head of the Students Affairs Department, Mr. Johan, was impressed", Yasmin explained.

"Alhamdulillah. Last time some students were disappointed because they could not participate. But we won't know for sure yet, right?", Syakirah asked.

"I'm hoping to learn about it in our meeting today with Mr. Azmi because then maybe we could have a meeting with the committee members this Friday", Yasmin said.

"Yeah. That would be great because then the committee would have plenty of time to plan on the details of the activities. Last time was a short notice but Alhamdulillah the whole thing turned out great!", expressed Syakirah. They reached the cafe and had their coffee.

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