“Y…. Yo….you.” She stammered nervously and climbed down the bed whilst setting her dupatta properly.
“Y….ye… Yes… It’s me.” He joked to make her feel at ease. He was happy to witness the ring on her finger.
She started fidgeting with her fingers, she wasn’t aware about this meeting and so was not prepared for this predicament.
“Relax Hadiya. I’m here to meet you before I go.” He said and gestured her to sit.
She sat on the sofa and Atif followed his lead.
“Are you happy with the engagement?” This question was nagging his mind and he thought to clear this before telling her his haale dil (condition of his heart).
She nodded shyly, her cheeks turning pink with the acknowledgement of the relation between them.
Atif was enraptured by seeing the colors on her face and stars in her eye.
His gaze stilled on her face, which made her squirm on her place uncomfortably but Atif couldn’t turn away from the most beautiful sight he had ever seen.
“Atif Bhai, you have five minutes remaining.” Eishal shouted from outside bringing him out of the trance.
He grimaced at he warning and held Hadiya’s hand in his taking her off-guard.
She looked at him wide eyes.
“You will wait for me?” It was a question but it came out as order but Hadiya nodded captivated by his presence.
“I will finish my work soon and this is for you. I have saved my number. I will call you daily. OK.” He said extending a phone towards her which she took from him.
“You will not say anything?” He asked hopefully.
“Happy journey and take care.” She said making Atif smile.
He left her hand and stood up.
“I’ll miss you.” He said and went out before Eishal would come and pull him out.
“I’ll miss you too.”She mumbled and kissed her hand where he was holding her.
“Zubair, why are you doing this?”Hamna asked him sternly.
” Amma Jaan, what did I do?” He asked, acting oblivious.
” You know better.”She said with a look of disappointment and hurt.
She wanted him to get married but Zulfiquar Ali Shah had announced it that he will choose bride for Zubair Ali Shah which held back Hamna’s wish to see him married and when finally he chose one, Zubair wasn’t ready to accept.
“Amma jaan, Isra will not be able to adjust in our haweli. She has been brought up in a free environment. I don’t want her to be chained to all the oppression under the name of tradition.” Zubair sounded helpless. “You know, any stress in our relationship will cost phuppo jaan’s relation with the haweli.” He continued, now holding her mother’s hand as if requesting her to support in his decision.