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"He loves and respects you. You're his mother Sal. How could he possibly react?", asked Ani trying to put the matter into perspective.
"I guess I think too much. It's just that ...it's been a long time since I last spoke to him about marriage... Am I being selfish, Ani?". The question left a sad look on Saleha’s face.
"No, you're not And even if you are, it's for his own good. We're not going to force him, Sal. We're just going to suggest this to him. Then if he's okay with it, we'll go and meet Syakirah, In sha Allah". Ani faced Saleha directly. Her friend’s face seemd relaxed when she said this.
"Are you sure Maria won't mind?", asked Saleha looking a little hopeful.
"Well, Maria said she's willing if Syakirah is", answered Ani with a smile.
"How will we know Syakirah is willing too?"
"Just leave that to me, In sha Allah. We need to hear what Imran thinks first." Imran went to the living room and joined the women. He decided not to say anything until they began first.
"Tea, dear?", offered Saleha.
"Yes, thanks, Mom". Imran smiled at his mother and sat on the couch. They all talked for a while about his work. Then Ani said, "Imran, can I ask something personal?".
"How personal, Auntie?".
"Well, I've known you since you were small. I watched you grew up from a little boy to a successful businessman. So, there's one more thing I 'd like to see...".
"Let me guess...see me get married...am I right?". Imran smiled at his mother and Ani.
Saleha replied, "Imran, your aunt Ani is not the only one who wants to see that. I know this is not your favorite subject but I really would like to see you get married."
"Mom, I know but I think I want to see Hanim get married and Hidayat graduated first", explained Imran which sounded like an excuse to the elder women.
"But there's nothing wrong if you get married before all those happen".
"I'm not sure if I'm ready for it...", replied Imran politely with a smile.
Ani saw a disappointed look on Saleha's face. She knew that Saleha was trying her very best not to upset Imran. She also knew that Saleha would not ask for anything from Imran for herself.
"Imran, what if I said I have found someone nice for you", Ani said with a smile.
"Ahh...playing a matchmaker, huh, Auntie?" Imran replied with a small laugh. "And who could this unfortunate girl be, In sha Allah?", he continued with a question.
"The girl would be fortunate enough to have you...or maybe you would be unfortunate for not having her...In sha Allah", Ani said casually but with a hope in her heart.
"Ohhh, I see...so this must be some girl, then...Anyone I know, Mom?", asked Imran smilingly to his mother.
"The question is would you like to meet her?", Ani cut in.
"As much as I don't like the idea, I guess I'll play along as long as no one is going to force me into anything that I don't like". Imran cracked a smile.
"So, is that a 'yes', Imran?", Saleha asked and gave an anxious look to her son and her best friend.
"For my mother and you too Aunt Ani, I'd do anything...In sha Allah, but I won't promise anything...".
"Alhamdulillah. Fair enough...", responded Ani and they all laughed. Saleha was relief. She felt a little bit awkward for asking Ani do most of the talking. But she thought this would make Imran see how much this meant to her. "I'll set the date and we'll see, In sha Allah."
"Okay Aunt Matchmaker. Whatever that makes my mother happy, In sha Allah", Imran responded. "You still haven't told me who she is".
"Her name is Syakirah Sulaiman. That's all I'm telling you for now", Ani responded. Imran just smiled at both women.
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