The Gift (Part-15)

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

After talking for a while about work and the children, Ani left. Imran was about to leave for the study room when Saleha stopped him and sat next to him. "Imran, are you sure you want to do this?".

Imran looked at his mother lovingly and smiled. "Mom, like I said if it makes you happy, I'm okay with it. But again I can't promise anything. I know how much this means to you. If not, you wouldn't have asked Auntie Ani to do the talking. And she was good, wasn't she?", Imran added jokingly. Saleha chuckled at his remark and said:

"I'm doing what is best for you. You've done so much for the family since....and now as your mother I want to do something for you and I hope it will bring you happiness, In sha Allah". Saleha felt tears in her eyes. Imran knew what she was referring to.

Imran grasped his mother's right hand. "Having you as a mother is the best thing. Alhamdulillah. I feel blessed. We're a family and nothing makes me happier than seeing this family happy. I'll do anything for that. That was the promise I made and I intend to keep it forever, In sha Allah."

Saleha felt touched by what Imran had said. She knew he would say that. She was just worried because he was always busy with work and didn't seem to care much about his own personal future. She knew it had been almost ten years now since he lost Kaira. He had always been opened to Saleha about his personal life until his father's death. Since then he had not talked much about himself.

"Imran, can I ask one question?".
"Mom...since when do you have to ask for permission to ask me about something? You can ask me anything. We've always been opened about everything... well almost everything".

Saleha nodded and said, "Yes, but I know you very well when it comes to your personal life. You used to be very opened about it when your father was alive. But now, it's like you have shut me out of that part of your life".

"I'm sorry, Mom...I never meant to do that. The one thing that I've always remembered that you have taught me is to always be opened about your feeling...to never keep things because they can slowly eat you up from inside. It's just that since Dad had gone, I've felt like I need to be the one to shelter you, Iskandar, Hanim and Hidayat. Your feelings, well-beings and anything to do with you guys should be first in my priority list...always, In sha Allah".

"Imran, I know all that...Alhamdulillah…that is the one thing about you that reminds me the most about your father but you're not your father. You're his and my son. You're entitled to your feelings and well being too...just like Iskandar, Hanim and Hidayat do. You're being unfair to yourself by living your life for us and not including yourself in it. Or is that the only reason?".

Imran looked down at the floor and Saleha knew what he was thinking. But she needed to ask him this question. "Is it Kaira?...because if it is, you have to move on, son. You cannot bury yourself in work forever because of that. Remember, Allah determines everything for us. There are things in life that He does not want us to have…they are just not meant to be ours. But not having them doesn't mean we should deprive ourselves of other things He has reserved for us…things that we deserve to have. When your father died, there were seconds after that I thought I had lost everything. Then, I remembered Allah has given me you, Iskandar, Hanim and Hidayat. Even though I don't have your father with me, I still have a part of him in my children. It made me realize I have something beautiful and meaningful to live for. And that is a blessing from Allah".

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