"Aali!" My five year old cousin sequels running up to me and giving me a hug.
"Summer," I say with excitement in my voice, I hug her picking her up. "Your hair got longer."
"Yea," she says smiling and shaking her head to make her hair go flying everywhere. I set her down and go hug my aunt and uncle.
"You've grown so much," Aunt Saba says. "How are you?"
"I'm good, how are you?" I ask.
"I'm good," she says.
"There's my Aaliyah," Uncle Amir says opening his arms for a hug. I give him a smile and hug him before going into the kitchen to help Aunt Maryam.
"Could you go get the soda from the garage?" Aunt Maryam asks.
"Yea." I turn on the light in the garage and go to the small fridge in the corner. I take out two bottles of Pepsi and take them inside.
"Thank you," Aunt Maryam says as I set them down with the red plastic cups on one of the counters.
"Hey Aaliyah," my older cousin Sarah says.
"Hey," I say giving her a hug.
"How's everything?" She asks as we head to my room.
"Great," I say sitting down on my bed. We sit around talking until Aunt Maryam comes to tell us dinner is ready.
"How long are you here?" Sarah asks giving me a plate and napkin.
"For a week," I tell her. We get our food and sit down in the living room with everyone.
"How's school going?" Aunt Saba asks.
"It's ok," I say shrugging.
We finish eating dinner and I bring out the cake. I give everyone a slice then get one for myself and sit down where I had been sitting before.
"You got some icing in your hair, Aaliyah," Uncle Harris says.
"Where?" I ask feeling my hair to find it.
"Right here," he says taking a napkin and wiping it off.
"Thanks," I say finishing my cake.
"Remember when you had that spider in your hair when we went to the zoo?" Sarah asks laughing.
"I try not to," I say taking another slice of cake.
"It was huge and you started screaming and you scared everyone," Sarah says who was lying on the floor laughing.
What had happened was that we were at the zoo and there was a spider in my hair and when Summer told me a started freaking out, and shaking my head. It flew out of my hair and I sacred everyone that was around me. Both Sarah and Summer where laughing and Aunt Saba was trying not to.
"Can we please not talk about this," I say stabbing a piece of cake that was on my plate.
"Your face when Sarah told you," Summer says in between laughter.
"It wasn't funny," I say. "It was disgusting."
"You weren't the one who say it," Sarah says. I grumble and finish eating my cake. Once I finish eating my cake Sarah and I go back to my room. "Let's do something exciting!"
"Like what?" I ask flopping down on my bed.
"Prank call?" Sarah suggests.
"Ok," I agree. "But we're using your phone."
"Ok, find someone to call," she says handing me my phone. I scroll through my contacts reading them out loud. "Louis!"
"Louis?" I ask.
"Yes prank call Louis!" She exclaims. I nod and give her his number.
"You're talking," I say as the phone starts ringing.
"Hello?" Louis says into the phone.
"Are my clothes ready yet?" Sarah asks talking in a girly American accent.
"I think you have the wrong number," Louis says.
"No I don’t. Are my clothes ready?" Sarah asks. I put my hand over my mouth to stop myself from laughing.
"You have the wrong number love," Louis says.
"My clothes better be ready in an hour!" Sarah says before hanging up. I let out the laughter I had been holding in.
"Your voice," I say between laughs.
"His reaction," Sarah says laughing. "Let's call someone else." This time we call one of Sarah’s friend and I do the talking.
"Help me I'm locked in the restroom! Help me please! I can't get out “I scream into the phone when Sarah’s friend picks up.
"Where?" Sarah's friend asks.
"I don't know! But you have to help me!" I scream into the phone. Sarah lets out a laughs and quickly places a hand over her mouth to keep her from laughing out loud.
"Really?" Sarah’s friend asks when she hears Sarah laugh. "Sarah is this one of your prank calls."
"Who's Sarah?" I ask looking at Sarah for some help. Before I can say anything else her friend hangs up. "Well that went well."
"Oh my gosh Aaliyah! Locked in the restroom?!" Sarah laughs.
"It was going brilliantly until you laughed," I say laughing along with her.
"No more prank calls," Sarah says once she catches her breath.
"No more," I say getting up off the bed to get some water.
"What were you girls up to?" Aunt Maryam asks when we sit down in the living room.
"Nothing," Sarah says drinking her water.
"Nothing?" Aunt Saba asks looking at me then Sarah.
"Nothing," I say patting the spot next to me on the couch for Summer to sit down. Sarah joins in the conversation the grown up were having and Summer and I start playing hand games.
"There are some board games in the closet," Uncle Harris says watching me and Summer.
"Monopoly!" Summer exclaims getting up. I follow her to the closet down the at the end of the hall and get out the monopoly board game. We go back to the living room and set up. We play for about an hour and half before we get tired of playing. We count up our money and put the game back in the closet.
"Now which one?" I ask looking at the stack of games. Uncle Harris and I would go and buy a new board game whenever I would spend the night. After eating dinner Nani, Aunt Maryam, Uncle Yasser and I would sit down in the living room and play the game. We still did that but we didn't buy a new game every time. We had almost every board game in the closet.
"Sorry," Summer suggest. I grab a stool from the kitchen and take out Sorry; we go back to the living room and set it up. We play for an hour and I won. After packing up the game and putting it back Summer, Sarah, Aunt Saba, and Uncle Amir leave.
I help put the food back in the fridge and put the dishes in the dish washer before going and changing into my pj's. I braid my hair loosely in a side braid and go brush my teeth.
"Goodnight Nani," I say in Urdu.
"Goodnight dear," she says giving me a hug. I give her a kiss on the check before going and telling Uncle Harris and Aunt Maryam goodnight.
"Pray Isha before you go to sleep," Uncle Yasser says kissing me on the top of my head.
"I will," I say giving Aunt Maryam a hug. She reminded me so much of mum. She had the same hair, and face structure, and the same accent, and voice. Their personalities were very alike but still different. Being with Aunt Maryam kind of felt like being with mum.
"Goodnight love," Aunt Maryam says hugging me back.
"Goodnight," I say before going back to my room to pray Isha.