The Gift (Part-69)



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

Ani told him they would meet Syakirah at Hillview the coming week. It would be a trip to KL to visit Hidayat but end with a meeting with Syakirah. After their talk at the restaurant, Ani had Imran agree to let her talk to his mother. At first Imran was reluctant to agree to pretend not knowing about his mother's condition. He wanted to be honest with his mother and asked Ani to proceed with the plan with his mother knowing that he knew the truth. Ani asked him what would Saleha feel if he suddenly agreed to marry Shakirah. He said it would make Saleha feel as if she had pressured him into the marriage. With that in mind, he said he would go along with Ani's plan. Ani promised to talk to him after talking to his mother.

Shakirah was not home when Ani called her on Sunday, a day after her talk with Imran. Shakirah had gone out with Yasmin. When she got home her housemate told her about the call. Yasmin who had stopped by to pick up some books was there.

"Why do you think she called?", Yasmin asked.
"I don't know but I have a feeling I'm about to make my life complicated ", Shakirah answered.
"It's still not too late to back out, right?", Yasmin asked again.
"I already gave my words".
"She'd understand, Syira".
"No. I've made my promise and I'm going to keep it. And it's not just a matter of keeping a promise, Min. I want to do this. And I’ve been doing Istikharah prayer since. Though the plan scares me a little, I feel at peace with the decision I’m making". She remembered her mother who wanted so much to see her get married but never did. She could help avoid, if Alah willing, the same thing from happening to Saleha. She put her trust in Allah for the good intention she felt within her.

“And put thy trust in Allah and enough is Allah (SWT) as a Disposer of affairs” (Al-Ahzab: 3)

Syakirah had just finished her Isya' prayer when Ani called her. Ani told her about Imran's agreement. Now, she just needed to talk to Saleha.

"Aunt Ani, we all know that Imran and I are against arranged marriage. Do you think she would believe if we both suddenly change our minds?", Shakirah asked.

"InsyaAllah. But the next part will involve you", Ani answered. Then she told Shakirah that she and Saleha were coming to K.L on Tuesday. She was going to tell Saleha to take another chance at the matchmaking. Since the three of them knew about Saleha, Shakirah would have to make Saleha believe that her agreement was not pressured. "Can you do this, Syira?", Ani asked.

Agreeing to the question would mean she had to act in another meeting with the man she had been having problem dealing with. Shakirah felt her blood rushing to her face in a flash. She knew what ever that was going to happen would be her decision.

"Syira, are you there?", Ani asked after a long paused from Shakirah. "Are you okay, Syira?".
"Yes..", shereplied short. In her mind there was herself who wanted to help a woman who was dying but there was also a man who she could not tolerate with.

"Syira, like I said, as much as I need you in this, I don't want to force you into it if you don't want to", Ani said wanting to reconfirm and to see that Syakirah was truly sure of her decision.

"I do want to help her. So, yes, In sya Allah, I will do my best to be believable, Aunt Ani", responded Syakirah. In her heart she was repeating the du’a taught by the Imam at the mosque nearby her house.

“…And whoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things” (Al-Talaq: 3)

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