Safa was finalizing the last-minute details for her party with her two best friends Yusra and Reem. Her mom was helping her arrange things for her ‘Welcome Spring’ themed play date. This past winter had been hard and snowy, so her friends were very excited to get together after a long time!
Safa had so many activities planned with her friends! First they would bake cookies. Then they would all help her mom make and eat their favorite dishes together – Taco Salad, and Chicken Parmesan casserole! After that they would decorate their cookies! And then they would all plant their own herbs in little pots to take home to celebrate the start of spring! Her mom said if they had time they could even watch a movie. Safa was really looking forward to this party with her two very best friends!
The food prep was done, the soil and herbs were ready, and the table was set. Safa kept looking at the clock to see if it was 1 pm already!
‘Oh Safa honey, I totally forgot to tell you. I saw our new neighbors this morning when I went to get the mail, and I invited their daughter to come for your party too. I told her you wouldn’t mind at all. Remember we met them last week when they were moving in? The girl who is your age and her name is Maryam? Her mom said she was feeling very homesick, so I thought it might do her good to make some new friends.’, announced her mother.
Safa stopped what she was doing and turned to look at her mother. She was a teeny bit upset about her mother inviting a stranger, but the girl had seemed nice when she met her last week. ‘ Hmm I guess that’s okay mom, I just hope she likes the stuff I’ve planned. I don’t know her at all, you know. But I’m glad we thought to buy a couple of extra pots and herbs!’
Her mother smiled and gave her a kiss on her head. ‘Thanks sweety, I’m glad you’re being so good about this.’
Just then the door bell rang. The first guest to show up was the new neighbor Maryam. ‘Salam alaikum’, she said shyly. ‘Thanks for having me over. It is so sweet of you. I wasn’t sure what your plans are for the party, but if you like we can play this board game. I brought my favorite game – Taboo- have you played it?’
‘No I haven’t’, replied Safa looking at the game. ‘Come on in, show me how it’s played’. Safa led Maryam into the living room and they sat down to look at the game. A few minutes later Safa’s other two friends arrived. The three of them hugged and talked excitedly at the same time. Safa introduced her new neighbor to Yusra and Reem.
‘Salam alaikum! Nice to meet you.’, they both said to Maryam. Maryam smiled and greeted them. She was so happy to be here!
Soon everyone was baking cookies and helping Safa’s mom chop veggies for the dinner, and chatting away a mile a minute. A few minutes later Maryam excused herself to go to the bathroom.
Maryam seemed to be gone for a while, and nobody really noticed except Safa’s mom. ‘Safa, where’s Maryam? Is she still in the bathroom? Can you go see if everything is okay?’, asked her mother worriedly.
Maryam wasn’t in the bathroom. Safa found her in the living room, looking at her board game quietly.
‘Hey what’re you doing here Maryam? The cookies are almost cool enough to decorate, come on!’, said Safa.
‘I think I’ll just stay here. I know you wanted to have a fun party with your best friends, and I kind of intruded. I would’ve never come if my mom hadn’t forced me to Safa. I’m sorry for ruining your party.’, Maryam said sadly.
‘What’re you talking about, Maryam?’, asked Safa. She was confused. She thought the party had been going on pretty well until now.
Her mom and the other girls heard them talking and came to see what was going on. ‘Maryam honey, are you alright? Why are you so sad?’, asked Safa’s mother.
Maryam burst into tears. The three girls looked perplexed. They had no idea what just happened. Safa asked her if she wanted to call her parents, but Maryam shook her head. Yusra brought her some tissues, Reem got her a cup of water, and Safa gave Maryam a hug. ‘Can you tell us what’s wrong now?’, Safa asked gently.
Maryam took a deep breath. She wiped her tears and drank some water. ‘I felt like I was intruding your party. I only just met you guys so I know I’m not a part of your group, and I don’t really understand some of the stuff you were talking about so I came to sit here until I was feeling better’.
The three girls looked at her, not sure what to do. Reem gave Maryam a hug, and said, ‘ I’m sorry we got caught up in our talking, and didn’t include you. We really didn’t mean to.’
‘Yeah, we tend to get lost in our conversations when we start chatting, we’re so sorry you felt left out.’, consoled Reem.
‘Are you feeling better now Maryam?’, asked Safa. Maryam nodded.
‘Thank you for making me feel better guys. And I’m sorry I just left without saying anything. How about we go decorate those cookies, and dig in some dirt now?’, she said grinning.
All the girls laughed and headed to the kitchen. They ate their dinner and decorated their yummy cookies. They planted their little seedlings and even had time for a fun new game of Taboo! Soon it was time for the girls to go home. They hugged each other goodbye, and made plans to meet again soon.
‘You know, Mama, I’m glad that you invited Maryam. She’s pretty great. And now I have a brand new friend right across the street! How awesome is that?!’, exclaimed Safa.
‘Pretty awesome alright’, agreed her mother smiling, and they both set out to clear up the kitchen.
Story Inspiration : The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “If you were three, then do not whisper between the two of you ignoring the third till the number increases. This is because whispering will sadden him.” (Bukhari, Muslim)