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"Wow, that's a ... really profound outlook, Syakirah. I wish all teachers have such a perspective...what a good place a school would be...".
"Are you saying that it is a too unrealistic view, Mr. Imran?", she asked feeling annoyed about his statement. Yasmin was watching Syakirah now. She had never seen her friend acting like this. Syakirah would never care less about what other people think about her teaching perspective. What she always cared was the teaching itself. That was more important to her and for her students. Yasmin looked at her watch. It was 10 minutes after 4 p.m. Now it was her who wished this was over.
"I'm sorry if I've offended you. I just thought....", before he could finish his sentence, his cell phone rang. "I'm sorry again, I have to take this. Excuse me". He left the table and went to the foyer.
Syakirah felt relief and less tense but still very much disturbed. She was not sure why she felt ticked off so easily. She thought it could be because she was trying so hard to get 'the proof'. She was wondering what Imran was going to say. She looked at Yasmin who then gave her a "just forget about it" look.
Saleha was feeling uncomfortable herself. She has never seen Imran treating someone, not to mention a woman, like he just did. "Maybe it was nothing", she said to herself to brush away the thought.
"Would you like to have some more coffee, Syakirah...Yasmin?", Ani asked to break the silence.
"I'm fine, no ...thank you", Yasmin replied politely. Syakirah did the same. Just then they heard someone calling Saleha's name. They turned and there was Dr. Norman. Saleha got up. Syakirah noticed a surprised look on Saleha's face. He greeted both Saleha and Ani. Saleha was worried Imran might come. She glanced to the foyer and saw Imran was still on the phone. Saleha invited Dr. Norman for a drink with them but he could not stay long.
"What brought you here Dr. Norman?", Saleha asked
"Oh, I'm meeting a friend". And you two?", Dr. Norman asked looking at both Saleha and Ani.
"I came to send my son back to college, Pine College. We drove here this morning. I came with my other son. You've just missed him".
"So, is one of these young ladies your son's fiancee ? I remember you telling me that".
Saleha was unsure and wondering at the same time what made the doctor ask that question. "Uhh..yeah...Syakirah. And this is her friend Yasmin". Syakirah was trying to hide her disbelief.
"Nice to meet you Miss Syakirah, Miss Yasmin".
"Mrs. Yasmin" "I'm sorry, Mrs. Yasmin".
"So, you'll be staying here tonight, Puan Saleha?"
"Yes. We're leaving tomorrow morning".
"Well, then I could invite you to my house. I'm giving a small party tonight…a thanksgiving party. I'd be honored if you could come", addressing to all of the women.
"Thank you, Dr. Norman. I'll have to talk to my son first", Saleha was glad Imran wasn't there. She hoped Dr. Norman wouldn't say anything about her health.
"Do come. It's a pleasure to have more friends over and that includes you too Mrs. Yasmin and Miss Syakirah...I don't have to mention....you're coming of course with Puan Saleha, right? That is if she accepted my invitation". Saleha smiled at the kind doctor, still praying he would not mention about her real status to him.
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