I didn’t notice that Tahir was standing by the window overlooking our street, until he suddenly remarked:
‘It looks like our new neighbors are finally here. I can see a huge delivery van being allowed in by the guards.’
‘Yes, they are.’ I replied, ‘I saw them yesterday.’
‘You did? Why didn’t you say anything? I mean I ought to know what they are like. Whether they are the type we can reach out to and be friends.’ He complained.
‘I assure you that you wouldn’t want to be friends with them. I mean unless you want to end up in deep trouble, you wouldn’t even want to know what she looks like, I assure you.’ I warned.
‘So you already know the lady of the house? Amazing Bint, you just don’t waste time finding out what you wish to know, do you? But how about the gentleman of the house? Who knows whether he’s not anything like his spouse?’ Tahir asked, with a hint of humour.
‘That’s not applicable at all because there is no gentleman of the house. You see she’s a society lady who lives all alone, except for her house helps and security men.’ I explained.
‘Oh I see where you are coming from now. Someone’s getting insecure because a society lady is coming to live nearby.’ He joked.
‘No, not at all Hubby dearest. You can look her way at your own peril. She happens to be the well-known mistress of a dollar millionaire. See if you can compete with that.’ I challenged.
‘No Bint, don’t allow yourself to peddle gossip. You used to be so averse to idle gossip and always referred to it as backbiting. I’m now amazed that you engaged in it to such an extent that you willingly dug into the life of our new neighbour. And remember that what you heard might not necessarily be the truth.’ Tahir cautioned.
‘It’s not what you think hubby dearest.
So don’t jump to conclusions. You see I was standing just where you are now, yesterday afternoon, when a grand shiny car stopped at the gate opposite. I waited a while and a gorgeous lady emerged from it. She looked to the left and right but refused to go in or ask the guards to open the gate. Apparently she was waiting for someone to join her. A few minutes later another car arrived with another lady in it.
By the time the second lady exited her car, I saw that she was none other than my friend Jamila. I watched as the two of them entered the house and then left the window to continue with my chores. About an hour later, I heard the cars moving away.
I therefore texted Jamila and complained that I didn’t know she could come so close to my house and not step in to say salam. She replied that she’ll be returning later, in Sha Allah. Two hours later she fulfilled her promise and came back.
It was from her that I heard everything about our new neighbour, who incidentally is her cousin.’ I concluded.
‘And yet Jamila has no qualms about ruining her reputation? What kind of a relative is your friend?’ Tahir asked in disgust.
‘A friend who believes that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. She is not being disloyal to her cousin, she just feels I should know the truth before I reach out to her. Indeed I brought the issue up when I asked Jamila why she didn’t bring the lady over to meet me.’ I said in her defence.
To be continued.