“It must be Uncle Hussain coming to collect some donations for the masjied,” said Mr Ismail as he lifted himself from his comfortable seat. He opened the door.
“Peace be upon you, Boeta,” greeted a mysterious yet gentle male voice from behind the door.
“Peace be upon you too, young man. Can I help you?” asked Mr Ismail.
“Yes, you can,” replied the man. Hawa was intrigued by the soothing voice of the mysterious person. The voice sounded familiar.
“I have come to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage,” he stated.
Mr Ismail’s eyes became as round as his belly. Hearing him gasp, Hafsa ran to her father’s aid and met eyes with the handsome, mysterious stranger on the other side of the door. His hands clutched a fresh batch of pink roses.
Mr Ismail sat opposite the man in the sitting room as he sized up his character. The foreign man was so nervous his cup of chai latte danced on the saucer.
“Ah Hawa, come sit,” Mr Ismail said as his daughter walked in from the kitchen, carrying a plate of biscuits. Modestly, Hawa entered the room with an awkward grin on her face.
Yusuf’s eyes rolled from side to side as his nerves took hold of his emotions. Nervous yet brave, he made his way to Hawa, and he gently placed himself in the seat opposite hers. Hawa shifted back in the seat, uncomfortable that he sat so close to her face.
Silence and nervous tension filled the room. Yusuf eventually lifted his gaze and stared intensely at Hawa. He took a sip of his chai latte before he broke his silence.
“This…this is for you,” he said with a blank expression on his face. He placed the bouquet of pink roses on the table in front of Hawa.
She looked up at Yusuf and commented, “Tremakassie, but you need to be more romantic,” without making eye contact. Yusuf stared at her with a raised eyebrow as though he conceded to the challenge.
“These are my favourite flowers. How did you know?”
Yusuf fell silent. He leaned forward for a butter biscuit.
“When I was younger, my grandmother owned a nursery. Pink roses were her favourite…” he explained.
Hawa’s concentration drifted as she quickly glanced at her proposer, Yusuf. He was tall and had a neat beard, and his eyes could change from serious to playful in a second. What she saw in them reminded her of her childhood and made her heart dance.
“And most women like flowers, so I assumed correctly?” asked Yusuf as he patiently waited for Hawa to reply.
“Oh yes, yes! I see you enjoy the chocolate biscuits the most,” noted Hawa.
A smile ran across Yusuf’s face as he let out a slight giggle, “I have a major sweet tooth.”
Really? Me too,” replied Hawa in excitement.
“What about hobbies? Do you watch movies, series, read books, visit museums?” enquired Hawa.
“I don’t watch TV,” replied Yusuf.
“TV makes you fat and lazy,” he said as his eyes quickly drifted over to Mr Ismail, who had fallen asleep on the couch, with the TV remote in hand, straddling his tummy. Hawa and Yusuf’s gaze met, and they both let out awkward giggles. The pair hit it off like a house on fire.
Tell us: What do you think of Yusuf as a match for Hawa, so far?