The Blue Carpet

Inviting guests over is common and it is basically saying you are a part of our family now. And refusing the invitation is considered rude and offensive specially in the Arab households. So he did not want to disappoint his friend when he invited him over for dinner at his place. Adam knew a little bit over the top about Rashid’s family but Rashid told him not to be nervous and assured he would be treated well. Rashid had two sisters who were twins as well who were doing their masters in a nearby university.

Adam was very nervous for some reason that evening. He wanted to impress Rashid’s parents because he wanted to gain their respect but he felt like he was missing something. He checked the mirror 50 times before leaving and over his shoulders to put on a finger on what exactly this tingling feeling was.

Adam reached on time on the dot with a honey cake wrapped in really nice packaging. His dad welcomed Adam first before anyone could even say a word the drinks were brought out, Adam noticed the really nice blue carpet which held the room into a cloud and comfortable seating area to relax. Adam was treated in the most hospitable way ever in his whole life. Rashid’s sisters came out to say hello but they did not hug or shake hands as they are Muslims and they usually maintain their distance around any man, which Adam found was very enlightening; he was impressed all in all. The usual small talks about the weather, studies, work and the usual politics were brought up and Adam was very eager to know more about Rashid’s dads opinion on everything there is.

The food was served with the most amazing aroma Adam has ever experienced and he found it odd that Rashid’s father was helping his wife to bring the dishes in and serve everyone, as many men from the middle east don’t even lift a finger is what Adam had known. And there was another increased amount of respect for Rashid’s dad in that instance when he said man or woman both have to help in the house as our beloved Prophet Muhammad.

After the hearty dinner with not a single cell in Adams body left hungry Rashid’s sisters brought out tea, it was simple with just a hint of mint and sugar, not overpowering the taste of tea and spices. Adam was so overwhelmed in the gracious moves of Rashid’s sister Leena on how she poured the tea for everyone; left him in awe. Adam’s hands shook a bit when he collected the tea from Leena and for the first time he glanced closely at her. She has really round eyes that felt like it was looking at your soul every time she glanced over and the bridge of her nose was just a little to the left but it fit her face like a perfect painting. Her hijab was loosely wrapped around her head but you could see her beautiful hair that was struggling to jump out of it.

In this slow moment which felt like forever the tea slipped his hands onto the blue carpet, Adam felt shocked but he just realised what he was missing. It came to him in that moment, the feeling of butterflies in his stomach, the feeling of everything is going to be ok and the comfort of the most beautiful shocking eyes staring at him asking if he was alright.

After assuring that Adam was okay Leena rushed to get the kitchen tissues to wipe the tea off the blue carpet and Adam felt so embarrassed to make such a mess of the house of the family that has been very hospitable to him. He rushed to get the tissues himself off the table but Rashid stopped him and took the task on. Leena came back to see Rashid trying to clean the tea, she mentioned that it was a carpet given to their family by one of their dads old friends during Eid (Islamic Festival).

Adam apologised for the mess and vowed to pay for the cleaning or get them a new one and Leena jokingly suggested they wanted to get a new one anyway so Adam just made the job easier for her. Adam left the house thinking of those big round eyes that kept him in awe from the moment she poured the tea. He didn’t even think about the hospitality that was given to him because he finally realised what the missing feeling was. It was like destiny playing a game and informing him on the back of his head that today is the day you will find your other half. Adam had a long walk to his apartment and he chose to walk rather than taking the bus because he wanted that feeling of the chilly cold night with the warmth of the feeling of her eyes as he walked, it felt like he was in a blanket tucked just in the right way.

Rashid called him the next day asking if Adam wanted to join him at the farmers market where they would buy a new carpet as well. Adam immediately jumped at the chance and said yes hoping Leena would be there and deeply praying in his heart to get to see those round eyes.

The farmers market was busy that day as it was a weekend and it was bustling with colours snd sounds from all different ethnicities, cuisines and culture. Adam loved coming to the farmers market for that fresh off the oven cheese bread every weekend. But today it was a new feeling with Leena; wandering around to see what she can bargain on and what she couldn’t. They reached the carpet shop and Adams eyes automatically searched for blue, a blue carpet would magically help him he thought. They went through a few and most of them were way above the budget and the shop keeper would not agree to any bargain. But Adam’s eyes shifted toward Leena from time to time hoping to catch a little bit of those eyes. She knew something was happening between them but she never had this feeling ever so she put it aside like any other weird feeling.

She had her heart set on one carpet but the stubborn shop keeper would not go down without a fight for bargain, she tried her best and then told Rashid to move to another shop. Adam couldn’t just let her leave without having this blue carpet that Leena had her eyes on for the past 15 minutes. Being embarrassed for his mistakes of the previous night he brought the carpet for Rashid and his family but most of all for Leena. That was the moment she fully fixated those round eyes at Adam and he knew what exactly those eyes meant now.

Did destiny just bring 2 people together over a blue carpet? Fate works in mysterious ways but Leena knew this is the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. The blue carpet was a symbol of their love finally finding each other to fill each other with content, peace and love.

Shaheeka Shariff

A muddled woman in the middle east with a lot to say and do, trying to find time for books and pens.


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