The Gift (Part-41)



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"I'm sorry, mom".
"You should feel sorry for yourself. Imran...", Saleha paused. She looked into her son's eyes and proceeded, "I know you weren't interested in meeting her. I'm upset Imran because you blew it to my face and embarrassed her in the process".
"I know, mom...I know and like I said I do feel bad about it. I shouldn't have treated her that way", Imran said. Saleha nodded. Imran continued, "Maybe...maybe I could call and apologize to her". He hoped this would make his mother feel better.

"You'd do that Imran?", Saleha asked looking a little surprised.
Saleha gave him Syakirah's number he got from Maria. "Do you think maybe we could still invite her to Dr. Norman’s thanksgiving party?", she said smilingly. Imran didn't like the idea but the happy look on Saleha's face made him agree. He would deal with his problem facing Syakirah again. At least he would be doing something for his mother to make up for the mess he did earlier. Imran left and promised to call Syakirah before the meeting.

Syakirah and Yasmin drove home without talking much in the car. At first Yasmin tried to say something about Imran but before she could even finish her sentence, Syakirah had stopped her. Yasmin understood Syakirah very well. When she was angry, nobody should try to talk her into anything until she had cooled off first.

They reached Yasmin's house and Yasmin invited her in. "I think I want to go home. I'll talk to you tomorrow, InshaAllah", Syakirah said.

"Syira, I'm sorry it turned out this way", Yasmin said.
"Me too. Such an arrogant....", Syakirah stopped herself and quickly said "Astaghfirullah" in her heart. Then she continued, "...I shouldn't have agreed to it in the first place. But, hey, what's done in done. I'll get over it, InshaAllah…like I did before when something unpleasant happened", she made an effort to smile and continued,"This is just to add to that list. Well...I'll see you tomorrow, InshaAllah! Thanks for accompanying me", Syakirah said casually. They said good bye and Syakirah left.

When she got home, her housemate, Lily, had not come back yet. Lily had told Syakirah that she might stay overnight at her friend's place because she was taking a day off the next day. She went to do solat Asar and sat on the couch afterwards. She thought about what happened at the coffeehouse. "Why did I let myself into this whole thing? Haven't I learned enough to believe he could be any better?… Astaghfirullah!… I'd never set myself for a heartbreak again!", Syakirah said to herself. She took the remote control on the television and turned the television on. She was watching the news when the telephone rang.

"Hello, may I please speak to Miss Syakirah", Imran's voice was on the other end of the line.
Syakirah did not recognize it at first and replied, "This is she. May I know who's this?". When Imran introduced himself, she almost wanted to shout at him and hang up the phone. Then, she thought to her self, "I didn't do was him who acted like a jerk…Astaghfirullah!".

"Syakirah, I apologized for my bad manners at the coffeehouse earlier", Imran began. "I know it was wrong of me to speak to you like that".

Syakirah paused before saying, "Was that what your mother told you? Or did she ask you to call me to apologize?", she responded in a cold tone.

"I understand if you're angry at me. But I speak for myself and my mother meant well with the meeting. It was me who ruined it. I'm sorry". Imran's voice sounded firm but apologetic.

Syakirah felt a little guilty for talking harsh, but she didn't want to let him get away with what he did. "I accept the apology. If there's nothing else, then Assalam...", Syakirah was interrupted by Imran.

"Actually, there is. My mother still would like you to come with us to the thanksgiving party at Dr. Norman’s house tonight", Imran said firmly and politely.

Syakirah thought to herself, "His mother again...just like the meeting, at his mother's request and look what happened". She paused.
"I'd understand if you say 'no' but it would mean a lot to her if you could come", Imran's voice sounded softer.

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