Bismillahi 'rahmani araheem
The honor of your presence is requested
at the marriage of
Sarah Iman Mahmoud
Muhammad Ibrahim Yusuf
Saturday, the seventeenth of July,
at five thirty in the evening
At the residence of Haroon Sultan Yusuf
700 Lakeview Road
Mystic Lake, Indiana
The couple requests donations
to Islamic Relief USA
in lieu of gifts
THURSDAY, JULY 15
WEDDING PREP DAY
__ Chill while waiting for Nuah to arrive tomorrow
__ Go meet Mom at her hotel
I'm in the water. Floating on my back, staring at the bluest sky there must have ever been in the history of blue skies.
My burkini, almost all four yards of it, swells up around me and serves as a flotation device. I'm buoyed, but—secret smile—it's not only because of the burkini.
Nuah's coming tomorrow—for the entire weekend.
And I have a plan.
Now that I'm finished with school and will be starting college in the fall, I'm ready to actually tell Nuah that... that... well, I guess, that we can be a thing? I don't know what else to call it when you say yes, I like you back to someone like Nuah, who's interested in me, but also interested in following Islam.
Which means there are rules—but the rules will still lead to us being together.
I spread my arms out in the lake and let my secret smile take over my face, remembering the words of the scholar and spiritual poet Rumi.
"Rumi said, 'Only from the heart can you touch the sky,'" I tell the sky, my eyes probing the blue expanse, my left hand pulling up my burkini pants, which are beginning to ride low again, their waistline weathered from overuse. "And I believe him."
"Janna, are you talking to yourself again?"
I don't need to lift my head to know that it's my brother Muhammad. And that he's on the dock, throwing our two little half brothers into the lake, one by one, each time they scramble back onto the dock in turn saying, "Again!"
He's giddy, my big brother.
In exactly two days he's getting married to the love of his life, Sarah. And it's all happening on the grounds of this lakeside estate house right here that Dad bought and renovated last summer in grand fashion.
I mean, there's even a perfect white gazebo by the water. Dad had wanted it to be his wife Linda's "sanctuary" space—with white couches and some kind of tulle hanging off the entire structure, doing double duty as a practical mosquito net and an ethereal fantasy thing.
But Linda is more of a chasing-after-the-kids-in-her-leggings person, so the gazebo is a neglected thing of beauty, lying in wait for its moment to shine.