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Joined: 06 February 2013
Joined: 30 March 2013
"The Contractor shall comply with the property management and procedures detailed in 40 CFR part 31.32 and 40 CFR 31.33. Property purchased..." Why can't I concentrate? I have been reading the same paragraph for the past ten minutes. I got up and paced around my office.
Why would Tanveer lie about the factory? Why would someone try to kill Zoya? How could anyone benefit from it? No one here knows her, has nothing to do with her. The girl couldn't hurt a fly much less a person. Are the two linked, does Tanveer want Zoya dead?
I hope and pray that it is not true, she's my best friend. Actually, was my best friend. A best friend is the first person you think about when you make plans. Zoya. They are the first people you go to when you need someone to talk to. Zoya, and well Ammi too. When you're sad they will try their hardest to cheer you up. Zoya. They give the best hugs in the world. Definetely Zoya. They are the shoulder to cry on, because you know that they truly care about you. Zoya. This girl had taken over my life, I could not imagine a life without her, without my... fiance.
That is what she was in all senses, my fiance. I wish I could tell her, tell her that I meant it. But is that what she really wants? To spend her life with me, someone who would probably only ever give her pain. Would I be able to give her what she wanted in her life? Her little fairytale life?
But I couldn't let her go, that thought broke my heart. It made me want to scream, to hold her and never let go and kill anyone that go in our way. Never, never did I think that I would fall in love with someone, especially someone like Zoya. She is the exact opposite of what I wanted but she's perfect. So perfect.
But does she feel the same for me? Could I be perfect for her? I'd be able to protect her, I know that. I could give her anything she wants, but what does she want?
My phone brought me out of my thoughts, I picked it up to see Zoya's name on the screen. I picked it up in a haste.
"Zoya, are you okay? Is anything wrong? Should I come home?" I said gathering my papers.
"Calm down Mr. Khan. Kuch nahi hua! I was just calling to tell you that phuphi called to say that she's going to her friend's house and will be late coming home. Najma is with her too! So I wanted to know what you wanted for dinner?" She said happily. I sat down breathing in relief.
"Okay Ms. Farouqi. You don't have to bother, I'll pick up something on my way home, I'd rather the house not burn down." I said.
"How mean Mr. Khan! It's not a bother, I want to make something for my hubby." she said laughing. Hearing her laughter made me smile. "You know what, I'll surprise you." She continued. "See you later...hubby."
I hung up and sighed, this girl is going to be the death of me. I sat back down at my desk. No point in trying to get any work done here today, it's not going to work. I should just take my work home, maybe I'll be able to concentrate if I can see that Zoya is safe with my own eyes. I packed up my stuff, informed my secretary and headed home.
As soon as I opened the front door I saw Zoya get startled and fall...off a ladder.
"ZOYA!" I screamed dropping all my stuff and running towards her. There was no way I could catch her in time but I held my hand out to brace her head against the fall.
"Owww." she groaned.
"Zoya, are you okay? Should I call the doctor?" I said checking her face frantically.
"Calm down! I am fine, just a little cut here." She said holding out her arm. "this is all your fault you know, you scared me when you walked in. Why didn't you call to tell me you were coming home huh?" This girl, I swear she has some kind of mental problem.
"Miss. Farouqi, when have I ever called anyone before coming home. What were you doing up there anyway?" I said helping her up to the sofa and sitting her down. "Don't move." I grabbed the first aid kit from the drawer in the side table.
"I hooked up cameras all around the house." she said proudly.
"Are you stupid? Why? That's evading people's privacy." What if someone is...well, and it gets caught on camera.
"Chill Mr. Khan, I only put them up in the hallways and the kitchen so we can catch any suspicious activity. And you are the only besharam one that walks around without a shirt."
"You are the one who barges into my room without knocking. You do it on purpose don't you, just to stare at me."
"Oh, puh-lzz! It's not my fault that you roam around shirtless and don't lock your door."
"That's why you stare at me like there is no tomorrow? I wouldn't be surprised if you put up a camera in my room."
"Haaaw, are you dumb Mr. Khan? Why would I put up a camera in your room, your abs aren't THAT sexy."
"So you admit that they are sexy?"
"Allah Miaaa! What's wrong with you Mr. Khan?" She said moving her hands to her head. That is when I noticed a huge gash on her right arm.
"How is that a little cut Zoya?" I asked as she looked at her arm. I grabbed it gently and turned it on my lap. I was about to move her sleeve up when she stopped me.
"I can do it myself Mr. Khan." she said panicked.
"Zoya, shut up for once, how are you going to accomplish that?" I said pushing her sleeve up. I let out a gasp at what I saw. He arm was badly burnt. I looked up to see her eyes closed as a tear rolled down her cheek. What has this girl been through? Losing her mother, not knowing her father and now this. Why would God hurt this poor beautiful girl?
"Zoya." I whispered pulling her face up with my index finger. She finally open her eyes and they were brimming with tears. "Don't cry." I said as I wiped away her tears. She closed her eyes again. I decided to get back to work and wet a piece of cotton with antiseptic wiping away the blood from her arm. She hissed and opened her eyes.
"Shhh, it's okay." I soothed as I applied some Polysporin on her cut, rubbing it in softly to not hurt her. Her eyes were now open just staring at her arms, it bothered her, I could tell. That is why she never wore half sleeves and covered her arms. She was hiding them, she hated them.
I grabbed gauze and placed it on her cut, securing it with some medical tape. She still looked like she was going to cry any minute, I don't know why I did it but I brought her arm to my face and kissed it just above the gauze. She looked at me shocked and went to pull her sleeve down.
"There is no need to hide it Zoya, you are beautiful, just the way you are." I whispered.
"Please Mr. Khan, I don't want your pity. I know that the scars are ugly, you don't have to pretend or say anything. I am used to it." she whispered, her voice cracking with her tears as she tried to get up. I pulled her back onto the couch and forced her to face me.
"Zoya, how could they be ugly when they are a part of you. They are your battle scars, if anything they make you more beautiful, they show that you had enough strength to survive and overcome whatever was thrown at you. I won't ask you what happened and how it happened, but don't ever put yourself down because of your scars." She looked so sad, but it was my heart that was hurting. I hated to see her cry. I pulled her into a hug as I felt my own eyes tear up for this girl. She buried her face into my shirt as I put my face on top of her head. It felt perfect, like this is how we were meant to be.
And that is how Ammi found us when she walked in with Najma trailing behind her, she had the biggest smile on her face and Najma squealed happily causing Zoya to move. I felt sort of empty as she moved away, missing her touch instantly.
"Woh...actually..." Zoya started to say.
"I am glad the wedding is only 8 days away." Ammi smirked walking upstairs. "I am going to lay down for a while, I have a slight headache."
"Awww, you guys are so cute together." Najma said jumping up and down like a bunny.
"Shut up Tamatar." Zoya and I said simultaneously.
"Awww, you even speak at the same time." She cooed.
"Tamatar, don't you have to go change or something?" I asked waiting for her to leave. She laughed as she bounced up the stairs.
"I am going to go...make dinner." Zoya said rushing into the kitchen. Ammi just had to walk in when I was hugging Ms. Farouqi, how am I ever going to convince her that we can't get married now? What is wrong with me? Why can't I stay away from this girl? I got up, picked up my stuff and walked to my room to change and get some work done. I made sure to lock the door this time, remembering Ms. Farouqi's words.
Even though I'd never admit it to anyone, the thought that she was affected by my body made me dance inside and lowered my guilt of thinking of her in ways gentlemen shouldn't. But I couldn't help it, she was always so close, so warm and she smelled so good. Her almond shaped chocolate brown eyes sucked me in, her perfect pouty full lips just begged to kissed. I had lost count of how many times I'd imagined kissing her. Especially when she started yelling at me, or fell on me. It'd be the only way to shut her up.
I opened my laptop and got to work, but even now I couldn't concentrate, I felt this weird discomfort in my chest. Like something was missing. I sighed and turned off the laptop.
Something dropped in the kitchen, ZOYA! I ran out the room and stopped by the table, Zoya was picking up a pan from the floor. She looked up at me sheepishly.
"Sorry, it kind of slipped." She murmured. I walked towards her to see an array of chopped of vegetables, cheese and flour.
"What are you making?" I asked confused.
"PIZZA!" she said excitedly. "Don't say anything, I know you are going to say 'but I don't eat pizza'. It's not like your abs are going to disappear if you eat just a little. Anway, I am using fresh vegetables, whole wheat flour and reduced fat cheese! So it's healthy! It's going to be yummy too! You'll love it Mr. Khan." She was smiling so much, it made me smile too. Somewhere, I knew she was going through all this trouble for me, she is trying to make "healthy" pizza.
"Do you need any help?" I asked causing her to drop the pan again, it hit the ground with a loud thud.
"Uh, um...are you sure Mr. Khan?" she asked. "You can cook?"
"Yes, I can. I just never find the need to." I smiled sheepishly.
"Um, you can grate the cheese?" She questioned.
"Sure." I said grabbing the grater and the blocks of cheese and getting to work. We worked quietly but we moved in sync with each other. If she needed to go somewhere I moved out of her way without her asking. She kneaded the dough while I moved to get the bowl next to her. She looked up and I noticed that she had flour on her cheek.
"You have a little flour...right there." I said pointing to her cheek. She tried wiping it with her hand but got more flour on her cheek.
"Yes, wipe the flour with more flour." I laughed grabbing a napkin from the table and wetting it. "Come here." I said turning her around to face me as I wiped the flour from her cheek which was warming up by the second. I loved it when she blushed. My hands lingered on her cheek longer than necessary.
"Mhmmm-Mhmmm." I heard someone clear there throat, I jumped away from Zoya and looked towards the table to see Ammi standing there with a grin beside a very happy Tamatar.
"Aw, Bhaijaan, are you helping bhabhi with dinner?" Najma squealed.
"Bhabhi?" Zoya and I said at the same time.
"Of course, Zoya agar tum bhaijaan se shaadi karogi toh tum meri bhabhi hi hogi naa." Najma said as it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Asad, tum kitchen mein kabse kaam karne lag gaye?" Ammi asked looking at my white kurta, I looked down to see that it has strings of cheese on it.
"Woh..actually..." I started not knowing what to say, I don't really work in the kitchen. I haven't helped make dinner for years but...wait, why am I helping with dinner again?
"I see how it is, apni ammi ki toh ab kabhi madad nahi ki, lekin apni biwi ki kar rahe ho, how cute." Ammi laughed. "I knew you were perfect for him Zoya."
"What are you guys making?" Najma asked.
"Pizza!" Zoya and I said at the same time. Ammi and Tamatar looked at each other and started laughing. I quietly shredded the cheese again, why am I helping her? To spend time with her. Shut up inner voice! I finished grating the cheese and put it in the bowl and handed it to Zoya.
"Thank you." She whispered smiling.
"No problem Ms. Farouqi." I smiled and retreated to my room. As soon as I closed my room I could hear the women in my life laughing. Sometimes it sucked to be the only man living in the house. I decided to get some work done, finally. And surprisingly I did. I didn't even realize that an hour has passes until I heard a knock on my door.
"Pizza's ready!" Zoya said from outside the door, I heard her feet retreat towards the kitchen. I saved my work and made my way to the kitchen. Zoya gave everyone a plate, as she was handing Najma pizza, Tanveer walked in and I tensed. I didn't know how to act around her now. I feel bad for doubting her, but all the evidence does seem to point at her. She said hello to everyone as Zoya handed her a plate, she went to sit to the right of me but Zoya sat down as Tanveer pulled out the chair.
And she claims she isn't jealous. I tried to control the smile that was overcoming my face but Zoya noticed. I raised an eyebrow at her and she stuck her tongue out at me. How mature.
"Bhabhi, the pizza is so good!" Najma said.
"Tamatar, can you stop calling her that?" I asked.
"Asad, apni bhabhi ko woh bhabhi hi kahai gi naa, bhaijaan nahi." Ammi said laughing.
No one ever listens to me in this house since the arrival of Ms. Farouqi. For some reason, that doesn't bother me as much as it should. She made them happier, she treated my mother as her own and Najma as a sister. Najma was growing to be an independent woman just like Zoya and his Ammi.
"Lekin phuphi, Jammy Zoya sai shaadi nahi karna chahate..." Tanveer said. "Agar woh Zoya sai pyaar nahi karte toh usse shaadi kaise karenge."
Sometimes Tanveer annoyed me, her words cause the smile from Zoya's face to disappear, and I hate how she claims that she knows me well. She may have many years ago, but we had grown apart and I didn't share my feelings with her. She was still my friend so I couldn't say this to her, but Allah Miaa she needs to be quiet sometimes. Did I just say Allah Miaa?
"Tanveer, I was thinking ki tumhe apni factory phir se banani chahiye. I hate to see you not being able to do what you love." I said, hoping she would admit that she had lied, that she would redeem herself. I noticed Zoya stop eating and stare at me.
"Jammy, tum toh jante hi ho ki woh factory mere liye kitne important thi, but jabse meri zindagi ki mehnant jal kar raak ho gayi hai mujhe lagta hai ki shayad yeh ache ke liye hi hua. Shayad mujhe kuch aur hi karna chahiye." She said with despair on her face. I closed my eyes and breathed. This is the woman I trusted, the woman who I claimed was my best friend, the woman I though was a good example of how a woman should be and she is lying to me, straight through her teeth.
She is a damn good actor, but I cannot believe that she would lie to me. What else has she been lying about? I felt a warm hand grasp mine from under the table, the tingles that shot up through my arms confirmed that the hand did in fact belong to Miss Farouqi. She squeezed my hand reassuringly and just like that it was gone. I yearned to grab her hand again, to keep feeling that warmth and to have her comfort me.
"Par beta, tum karogi kya? Waise tumhare paas insurance thi?" Ammi asked her.
"Pata nahi Khala, ji insurance toh thi, lekin company keh rahi hai ki woh isse cover nahi kar sakte kyunki mere contract bas chori or accidents ko cover karta hai." She said looking sad. And the lies continue, she is even lying to Ammi.
"Hey Tanveer, maybe I could look at the contract for you and find a loophole. I did major in law after all." Zoya said.
"Bha-I mean Zoya, I thought you majored in Computer Science?" Najma asked.
"Oh I did. I have a double major in computer science and law, but I chose to do Computer Science for my masters." She explained. How does this woman get more and more amazing each day? I learn something new about her everyday and it never ceases to amaze me, she has been through so much and accomplished so much.
"Anyways, Tanveer hand over that contract to me when you have time, I'll be able to find a loophole easily as a fire is perfect grounds for accidental insurance, they'll probably reimburse you totally." Zoya explained.
"Ji..woh, mere paas ab toh contract nahi hai." Tanveer stuttured.
"No problem, just call your insurance company and they'll mail one over."
"Zoya! This pizza is so delicious, you should make it more often." Najma said.
"Thank you Tamatar! And it's healthy too! So win win for you and for Mr. Khan." Zoya laughed.
"It really is delicious Zo-Miss Farouqi." I caught myself in time, why do I always end up calling her Zoya now? Ammi is going to notice. "Excuse me." I said getting up and retreating to my room.
I sat down on my bed and processed what I had learned over dinner:
1. Tanveer was lying about the factory.
2. Tanveer may be after Zoya's life. Why? I don't know.
3. Zoya is taking over my life.
4. Zoya is way smarter than I give her credit for.
Joined: 28 November 2011
Joined: 08 April 2013
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