Package At My Door

As Salam Alaekum Warahmattullah Wabarakahtuhu Dearest Readers, It's been almost three months since I wrote to you, I am so sorry! But it's been really busy up here. Work has been a bit hectic but I must confess that it was not really work that kept me away all these while. The past couple of weeks have been nothing short of miraculous. Remember Idris? The little kid that ran towards me and called me "mama" at the airport on my way from Kenya a couple of months ago? Well that child got my maternal instincts running overtime. According to his dad - Abubakar, he had become quite shy since his mom died, so him running towards me at the airport that day was completely out of character for him. I truly bonded with that kid on the flight from London to DC, I even carried and rocked him to sleep when I heard him fussing at some point during the flight. Let's just say that he was not the only one crying by the time we parted ways at the airport in DC. He wanted me to come home with them and I so badly wanted to take him with me. Honestly, I could not explain how such a bond could be formed so quickly and so unexpectedly. Just before we parted ways, Idris' grandma asked for my phone number, she wanted to keep in touch and call to check that I got home safely. I gave it tobher and collected Abubakar's home number so that I could check on grandma and Idris later on as well. There was no need to collect Abubakar's cell phone number because we barely exchanged up to 5 sentences all through the strange but nice encounter with his son. I must confess that I found him attractive but the fact that he barely looked at me the entire time killed any butterflies that could have tried to run around my head. But Allah, the best of all planners had pleasant surprises in store for me! Two weeks after our arrival in DC, an unfamiliar number called my cell phone and when I picked up the phone, I recognized the calm voice on the other line to be Abubakar's. He gave me salaams and after I asked after Idris and his mom, he said: "Niyah, I know you are quite busy so it's totally okay if you can't do this, but Idris keeps asking after you and I have given him all the excuses in the world but he just won't forget about you. I was wondering  if we could visit you. I promise to make it brief and I will figure out a way to detach him after this visit." He suddenly went quiet and I realized that was because I hadn't said a word since he started making this pitch. If only he knew this was like music to my ears. I had missed Idris too, but just didn't know how to call to "beg" for a chance to see him again. We arranged a visit for the following Saturday. By the time I opened my front door to let Idris and Abubakar in on Saturday, I knew one thing for sure - Idris wasn't the only one I had missed, I had also missed his Dad too. The 30 seconds of awkwardness when our eyes met and spoke volumes was quickly interrupted by Idris hearty scream of "mama." I wrapped him into my arms and kissed him lovingly. He chuckled and chatted with so much excitement. Abubakar had apparently kept the visit a surprise so he had no idea they were coming to see me. When I asked why he had kept it a surprise he said he wasn't sure if he would still remember and be drawn to me, and if that had been the case, weaning him would have been so much easier. They spent over 4 hours in my house that day, Idris spent over half of that time on my laps mumbling everything he had in mind. Unlike the plane ride, Abubakar and I had a great conversation that day. We talked about work, family, politics, Africa and everything under the son, of course with plenty interruptions from Idris. Some of those interruptions were welcome because I could feel some tension when we discussed his late wife and my single status. After so much excitement and activity, Idris slept off and Abubakar recognized that as an opportunity for them to take their leave. I hated to see them leave but couldn't let him know how I felt. As he settled Idris safely in his car seat, he turned to me and said the words that almost seemed to good to be true. Looking slightly away from me, he said: "Niyah, I know I said I would free you from this whole Idris situation after this visit, but I honestly don't think I can. Niyah, Idris was not the only one who missed you, I missed you too. Truth is, I felt a sense of calmness and a strong connection to you the first time I saw you. It's something I can't explain, something I haven't felt since my wife died." He paused to look at my teary eyes and continued: "Niyah, I want to see you again and again if that's okay with you. May be we can meet tomorrow, this time without Idris?" I opened my mouth but no words came out, all I could manage was a nod and a few tears. He said - I'd better leave now before I do something that's haraam. And we both laughed. "Good night Niyah," he said. "Good night Abubakar, please let me know when you get home," I said. Our eyes met one last time just before he drove away and I knew it. Allah had sent me my knight in shinning armor, and he even included an extra bonus - Idris in the package. Alhamdulillah! As-Salam Alaekum Warahmattullah Wabarakahtuhu Niyah  

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