The Gift (Part-33)



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It was 4.00 p. m when Imran got home. Saleha was in the kitchen with Mak Jah. Imran went to them and asked where Hidayat was. His mother said Hidayat was in his room with Alan who came an hour before. She was preparing tea for all of them. Imran excused himself to get clean and do his solat before the game. As Imran left, Saleha felt relief because Imran didn't seem like the way he was that morning. She assumed everything was fine then.

On his way to his room, Imran poked his head into Hidayat's room. He greeted Alan and reminded Hidayat about the game. Hidayat said he would be ready by the time his brother finished his Asr prayer. Half an hour later they all gathered around the dining table having tea. After tea, Alan asked to leave. Ten minutes after that, Hidayat and Imran left for the game.

Imran explained why Umar couldn't make it. He told Hidayat that Dato' Annuar and Melissa were playing the game with them instead. Imran told him about these people.

"So, how long have you known Miss Melissa?", Hidayat asked Imran.
"I've met her twice before. Once was during one of my meetings with Dato' Annuar and the second time when I was having lunch with Umar. How come you're interested in her, Hidayat?", Imran teased her brother.

"Me? Why? I'm not...I'm just wondering because it's not like always I get to see you in public know", Hidayat escaped the tease and eyed his brother curiously.
Imran laughed at his brother. "With whom,... a woman? Of course you haven't because I that’s not me. Well may be a couple of times but they were business colleagues. Anyway how do I have the time for that. I would bore a nice woman with my business talks".

Hidayat laughed with his brother. "But it would be nice for a change. One of these days you're going to meet someone and I'll have another sister-in-law besides Kak Marina".

They waited fifteen minutes for Dato' Annuar and Melissa. Then they decided to start playing. Ten minutes later Melissa came alone. She apologized for coming late and told them her father could not come. He had to stay because his old friend came over. Imran introduced her to Hidayat.

"You look a lot like your other brother", Melissa said to Hidayat.
"You've met Iskandar?", Hidayat asked curiously
" dinner last week with my father. The one Imran missed", she replied smiling at Imran. "So, we're short of one player".
"It's okay, we can take turn. You two go ahead first", Hidayat suggested with a smile.
Melissa beat Imran in the first game. Hidayat won in the second game with Melissa but lost to Imran in the third game. They decided to stop for drinks before leaving the court.

Sipping her drink, Melissa jokingly said, "Were you being modest and let me win, Imran?".
"You weren't bad yourself. I haven't played quite a while...a bit out of shape I guess. But my brother here....".

"It didn't look like that at all just now", Melissa interrupted referring to the last game. "But, Imran's right, you were quick at picking up the speed of the game, Hidayat".

"Well, I've been playing a lot at the college when I have time".
"Where do you go to school Hidayat?", Melissa asked.
"Pine College, KL. I'm going back this Sunday".
"That's a good college, I've heard".

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