Ammi gave me the job to go take Humza for a haircut yesterday. She said she would go berserk if she saw him once more with hair growing over his ears and towards his shoulders.
"I don't want to get a haircut," Humza said blatantly.
"You don't have a choice," I replied, feeling great to be in the position of authority. "And aren't you afraid of people thinking you're a girl anyway?"
Humza slammed his fist onto the dashboard. I would have been scared if he hadn't done that countless times before. It is the way he deals with anger.
"Hey, I was just teasing," I said, touching his shoulder while keeping an eye on the road ahead. He can be so unpredictable sometimes.
"I wish I was an only child," was all he said.
"I wish that sometimes too. At least I would have been spoiled," I remark, smiling.
"Is it impossible for you to be quiet for at least five minutes?"
I know he's trying to focus on spending his last minutes with his long hair. No, actually I think I'm exaggerating.
"Of course not. I'm quiet for ten minutes or even more when I pray Salaat," I pointed out.
He shook his head as if in agony. I can really be an annoying sister sometimes.
At the salon, I knew Humza would feel embarrassed if I just stood and watched him. So, I casually looked through a magazine. Airbrushed skin, gorgeous hair, impossibly long eyelashes, and nose-ticking perfume samples.
At the sight of Humza after the haircut, all I really felt like doing was hug him, but I thought I'd better not.
"Ammi will love you all over again. And I'll bake you chocolate chip cookies," I promised him while he rolled his eyebrows.
At home, Abu hardly noticed Humza's haircut. "Did anything happen to the car?" he asked me.
I returned his keys to him. "Not a single scratch. You taught me how to drive well."
"You still have to be careful," he went on, giving his safe driving lecture.
Later towards night, Abu and Humza left to go to the cemetery before heading to the masjid. It was Shab-e-Barat. Some call it Night of Freedom or Night of salvation or Night of Grace. Two of my grandparents are already deceased and buried back home in India, but some of my relatives are buried in the cemetery here.
Ammi made coffee for us both and our neighbors who were coming over to pray with us.
I can stay awake really late, especially during the summer. So, I didn't really think I needed the caffeine. But I was already yawning at 2 in the morning even with the caffeine! The devil, I tell you!
"On this auspicious night, repent to have all your past sins forgiven. Allah the Almighty will write down what will happen for the forthcoming year, decree who will be born and who will die," Nabeelah read to us from a book. She is two years older than I am and is going to madrasa to become an Alimah.
Nani, my grandmother who lives down the street, started crying softly late towards the night. I knew she was thinking of Nana and all the other loved ones that have passed away.
I tried to focus and think what it would it would be like if I was chosen to die within this coming year. What have I accomplished in these 16 or so years? I don't always take things seriously, because that is my nature, but I have to be aware that life is only temporal.
Ramadan will be arriving soon and I must think of goals to achieve during that time and beyond. Let's take every opportunity to improve and better ourselves. Ameen.
American Muslim Girl