It Takes Two to Tango

You’re still going shopping.

I have made up my mind to sell. I thought I had closed the deal. So I waited at the check out.

But you went pass the check out without anything.

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.
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You didn’t even turn to look at me.

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Untold Stories

#ajanstorytelling #excerptfromabookihaveyetwritten

He laughed when she told him she needs tall, huge mirror. They went shopping for their first home. She doesn’t wear make up. She doesn’t take selfies. “Why would you need it?” he said.

He laughed because it was unusually funny. She stared at him blankly. She didn’t say anything.

He bought her the mirror, anyway.

And then they got married.

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The scars run across her back. Raging red. She keeps the ointment bottles near the mirror.

They way she flinches at the slightest touch of his finger on her elbow, makes him sad.

She told him the story. He listened silently.

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Sometimes when she sits quietly and stares into space, he wonders what more of her past she keeps from him. But he never pushes. He figures he has a lifetime to learn.

And even if that lifetime might be too short, he decides that he doesn’t mind not knowing.

He loves her, anyway.

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#ajanstorytelling #excerptfromabookihaveyetwritten

Financial Freedom

“What is your definition of financial freedom?” One day, she asked me.

“When my passive income exceeds my expenses, then I am financially free.”

“No. No. What is YOUR definition of financial freedom?”

I kept quiet. Eyes straight at her. My mind was blank. I really didn’t have any answer.

“You’ve got to have YOUR own definition of financial freedom,” she continued. “You have to have a goal bigger than yourself. And your financial freedom will fuel that goal.”

“Frankly, I have never really thought of that. Can you tell me yours?”

She cleared her throat. “I am financially-free when I can comfortably spend 50% of my income for goals greater than myself.

You know me. I don’t fancy dresses, barely use handbags and I eat what I need. I don’t have much desire for things. But I set a benchmark to increase what I give to society gradually. Not only money, but my time and energy.

In another conversation, I asked, “Kak, how do you manage your income?”

“30% for the past.
30% for now.
30% for the future.”

“What does that mean?”

“30% to manage debts.
30% for me to spend.
30% to save and invest.”

‘Only 30% to spend? Oh my!’ I thought to myself.

“The other 10%?” I asked more.

“You are sharp.” She smiled. I chuckled. “10% for akhirat. That’s for causes in Allah’s name.”

She added, “I have a long way to go to reach that 50% I told you.”

Our conversations always give me something to think. Kak, you have set a very high benchmark. MasyaAllah! Now I am losing sleep, thinking about this.

May Allah grant you your dreams, kak.

Ajan,
Re-evaluating my financial goals.

#ajanstorytelling #deathbydesign #financialplanning #financialgoals #bucketlist

Love Languages

“Do I annoy you?”
“No, you don’t.”

“Do my stories bore you? Sorry.”
“No, they don’t. No sorry.”

“Are you still listening to me?”
“Yes, I am. Continue.”

It is that moment when they are eating ice cream on a bench by the beach. Only then, it occurs to her. No matter how much he dislikes beach, he is there next to her. And though he doesn’t fancy ice cream, he has one in his hand now.

His love is a different kind, but it is love, nevertheless.

That realization made her stops licking her ice cream, and looks at him from his side. Her stare breaks when he suddenly turns his head and snaps, “What?”

“I love you so much, you know.” She chuckles slightly.

He ignores her and continues admiring his ice cream.

“Thank you for being my husband.”

“Hmm.” That is the only sound that comes out of his mouth. Slightly annoyed. Slightly assuring.

And for her, that answer is everything she needs.