"Aaliyah wake up, you’re going to be late for school," Aunt Tricia says rushing into my room. I groan and pull my blanket over my head.
"Be downstairs in 10 minutes," she says rushing out of my room, she was probably running late. I turn around facing away from the sun that was slowly starting to peak into my window.
"Aaliyah, we're going to be late," Waliyah says coming into my room ready for school.
"I don't feel good," I say. I felt warm and disgusting.
"I'll tell Dad, Mum left for work," Waliyah says calling Uncle Yasser. I lie in bed for a few minutes before Uncle Yasser comes and sits down on my bed, putting his hand on my forehead.
"You do feel warm, Waliyah get the thermometer," he says. I pull the blanket of my face and look at Uncle Yasser who was in some sweats and a T-Shirt.
"Do I have to go to school?" I ask hopping his answer will be a no.
"We'll find out," he says putting the thermometer in my mouth. Waliyha stood at the foot of my bed telling Safaa to go downstairs and eat her breakfast.
"100.1," Uncle Yasser reads the thermometer. "You're staying home." Yes! No school!
"Do you want me to get your homework for you?'' Waliyah asks.
"Sure," I say sitting up in my bed. Uncle Yasser told me to go back to sleep and Waliyah and Safaa ran out the door since they were late. I sleep for only an hour before I get up and decide to take a shower.
"Ready for breakfast?" Uncle Yasser asks when I enter the living room. I nod and sit down on the stool in front of the counter. I eat up my scramble eggs and drink my orange juice.
"I have a little bit of work to do why don’t you watch the teley I'll be upstairs if you need anything," Uncle Yasser says ruffling my still wet hair and going upstairs.
I lie on the coach with my blanket pulled up to my chin and watch Disney Channel until I fall asleep in the middle of Austin and Ally. When I wake up the teley is off and Uncle Yasser is still upstairs doing his work. I climb the stairs to the bathroom and wash my face and fix my hair. I stop by Uncle Yasser room on the way to my room.
"I'm almost done with my work," he says as I sit down on one of the chairs sitting in the room. "We could do something if you want."
"Like what?" I ask.
"Something big," he says looking up from his laptop.
"We could finish the picture," I say quietly.
He gives me a small smile, "we can do that." I pull up my rolling chair into my closet and take down the roll of paper and all my art supplies that were sitting on top shelf of my closet. I stack everything up and take it downstairs. I put the art supplies on the coffee table and spread out the never ending roll of paper. It starts from one end of the house and goes all the way to the front door. I place a few books at the end of the paper so it doesn’t roll back up. I look at the banner that was covered with drawings that were half colored. The memories come flooding back, I can’t help but smile.
"How about we make the longest picture ever," Dad says placing my lunch in front of me.
"I have a really big banner we could do it on that," I say excitedly.
"Yes that would work. What do you want to put on it?" Dad asks sitting down next to me a smile on his face.
"We could put whole England on it, every place we have been and places we're going to go."
"I'll get your art supplies and the banner and we'll start," Dad says getting up and getting everything we'll need. I finish my lunch and we spread out the whole banner. Dad starts drawing London Bridge and I start drawing Big Ben. We spend the rest of the day drawing everything on the banner and we started coloring it.
"We just need to color it," Uncle Yasser says bringing me back into reality.
"A lot of coloring," I say opening my 72 pastel chalk and 150 prismacolor coloring pencils. We start coloring and I put on Pandora.
"You and Omar did a lot," Uncle Yasser says after a little while.
"We were going to hang up it up in my room once we finished," I say coloring the grass different shades of green.
"We can hang it up once we finish," Uncle Yasser says. We were both lying on the floor coloring the never ending picture. "Did you check your temperature?"
"It's almost normal."
"Do you want more green tea?"
"I'll drink some later."
We spend hours coloring the whole banner, from the beginning to the end. Waliyah, Safaa, Doniya, Aunt Tricia had all came home. Waliyah and Safaa were doing their homework. Doniya and Aunt Tricia were making dinner while Uncle Yasser and I colored the banner. I'm pretty sure I had chalk pastel marks over my face. I had them on my Jack Will's hoodie and black yoga pants. Waliyah had given me my homework, there wasn't much and I finished it quickly. The doorbell rang and Aunt Tricia and Uncle Yasser's face lit up.
"Aaliyah can you open the door please," Aunt Tricia says coming out of the kitchen. I get up and wipe my hands off my yoga pants an open the door. The last person I expect to see it waiting with a smile on his face.
"Zayn!" I exclaim attacking him in a hug.
"How are you?" He asks hugging me back.
"Ok I guess," I say moving aside so he could enter the house. Aunt Tricia, Uncle Yasser, and Doniya come up and hug him.
"Haven't seen this in a long time," Zayn says looking at the banner that lies by his feet.
"We're almost done," I say looking at Uncle Yasser who had a streak of chalk across his cheek.
"Zayn!" Safaa and Waliyah exclaim running down the stairs, jumping over the banner, and attacking him in a hug.
"How are you girls?" He asks giving both of them a kiss on the head.
"Good," Safaa says.
"You said you were coming home in a week," Waliyah says to Zayn.
"Couldn't ruin the surprise."
"Dinner will be ready in a few minutes," Aunt Tricia says. "Why don't you take your things upstairs and get cleaned up and come downstairs." Zayn nods and goes upstairs with his bags fallowed by Waliyah and Safaa. I go back to coloring the banner, Uncle Yasser had gone to clean up. We were almost done; there was just one more section to do. Zayn came down a few minutes later and sat down in front of me.
"Dad couldn't finish it with me," I say in a sad voice. "Uncle Yasser is like dad."
Zayn gives me a small smile, "what are going to do with when you’re done?"
"Hang it somewhere I think. Do you want to color?"
"What do you want me to color?"
"Um...there's that area that hasn't been colored yet." Zayn nods and take a colored pencil and starts coloring. Uncle Yasser joins us and starts coloring the rode under Big Ben.
"Big Ben is the last thing left," Uncle Yasser says, both him and Zayn had stopped coloring and were looking at the picture. "You started it and you should finish it." Zayn hands me the brownish color that matched Big Ben's color. I start coloring The Great Clock from bottom to the top. Once satisfied with how it looks I set the chalk down and look at the clock. The clock I got to go inside with Mum and Dad when I was little.
"We finished it," Uncle Yasser says.
"Almost," I say getting up and finding a black sharpie and signing and dating it at the bottom. I then hand the sharpie to Uncle Yasser and Zayn. Once they have signed I add one more thing that is missing. Dad ♥.
"Now it's done," I say satisfied with the banner. I stand up and look at the now finished banner pleased with it. "What are we going to do with it?"
"Hang it up," Uncle Yasser says.
"Where?" Zayn hang I say at the same time.
"Why not your room Aaliyah?" Aunt Tricia says joining us. I look at Uncle Yasser and Zayn hopping to get an answer from them.
"It will look good in your room," Zayn says agreeing with Aunt Tricia.
"We'll hang it up in Aaliyah's room," Uncle Yasser says. I nod and start picking up my art supplies, Zayn rolls up the banner, and Uncle Yasser cleans up the chalk marks we had accidently made on the floor. I put the art supplies on the top shelf where they belonged and the banner on my bed. Uncle Yasser comes in with a ladder and the hook clip things that don't damage the walls. Uncle Yasser and Zayn start hanging the banner around the top of my room.
"Looks nice," Waliyah says looking at the now hung up banner.
"Finally finished it," I say.
"Oh dinner's ready," she says remembering why she came. Uncle Yasser and Zayn fallow her out carrying the ladder back to the garage.
"You coming Aali?" Zayn asks noticing I hadn’t moved from my spot.
"Yea, I'll be down in a minute."
I gaze at the banner looking at every detail, every color. I really wished I finished it with Dad. I think Uncle Yasser knew that but finished it with me to make me happy. I look at the signatures at the bottom of the page. I look at Dad’s; I really wish he was here right now to see this. To see the finished banner.
"I miss you Dad," I whisper before going downstairs for dinner.