Somewhere around the world

"i was here even when you didn't want me around"

Third person's POV

Zachary watches as Azad takes a seat next to him.

"She was nervous and was about to run away from her speech" Azad says making him let out a stray of chuckles, because yes that sounds like something Amal would do alright. Zach's train of thoughts got cut short by Amal's name being announced.

Zach's eyes searched for her...he hadn't seen her since he left but he heard about it, he heard about how she couldn't graduate along with Sam and others due to her grades but now she is graduating as valedictorian and that's all matter's he is proud of his friend.

He watched as a girl stood up and he saw it the lavender headscarf, he watched as she started to make her way towards the stage, he watched her climb up and collect her certificate he clapped loudly ignoring the looks his body guards where sending to their boss, who never got excited about anything but right now, they can see him grinning and clapping like a proud father or in his case a proud friend.

"Hi,my name is Amal Abnan and First of All I would like say we should give a round of applause to my fellow students who are graduating today because, they have gone through the struggle of highschool and they have survived!" She says making the crowd to go wild while Zach rolls his eyes in amusement she was being dramatic again...typical Amal.

"Highschool isn't just a place where you and learn about books but, it is a place where you learn about a lot of thing like the ways of life, it is a place where you find your identity, it is a place where you are breaking and putting yourself back together as you find out the reality about life, and at the same time by which you are trying to keep your grades up,

see why I said you should clap you see why I said you survived!" Amal states making the crowd to cheer she waits for the cheer to go down before continuing her speech and Zach is intrigued with where this speech is going.

"So if your kid wasn't that good in academics still be proud of him or her because while they were here they were stuck in a war between no one but themselves." Amal purses making Zach heart to drop to his stomach was she really about to talk about IT in public.

"I mean for me highschool was like a war front or a battle field with me who had no source of protection no armors,no swords,no bulletproof nothing to protect me from racism and bullying i mean i even I got sent to the hospital twice"

"Yes, that bad" Amal says with a dry laugh that made Zach cringe

"I lost my friends,I had trust issues while in the normal world I was already dealing with another struggle from losing My dad in Syria, he was a soldier, he was fighting to save his country but instead he got killed so we migrated, me and my mom from Syria all the way to America by foot" Zach suddenly feels like a fool his heart skips a beat, he didn't know about this one, she never told him about anything about her dad, wait how is she even related to Azad?, he looks to the side to see Azad wiping at her eyes, she looks up and catches his eyes, she can see the question in his eyes so she nods and Zach gets it.

"Can you imagine the tumor by which a child to go through?, just because I wear a head scarf doesn't mean that I am a member of ISIS, i mean my dad was killed by this same people that you speak off and my dad he was also a Muslim too, first of all, what does this terrorism mean in general?"Amal pauses to look at the crowd to see that no one was saying anything they were all just staring she takes a deep breath.

"The word terrorism means " the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes" trust me I didn't just make that definition up I found it in a dictionary, does it state that a certain religion is the only terrorist out there?, no!, that's because terrorist have no religion!, if you look at all of the cases of terrorist attacks that has taken place you will see that in this incidents Muslims also get hurt in it so why stereotype I have been told to kill myself"Amal states making the crowd gasp in horror she could see her mom

"And what if I hadn't found my strength to say no, wouldn't I be remembered as the weak girl who kill herself like a coward?, yes,that's why a friend of mine use to tell me that you are way stronger than you think you are don't allow their stereotypes to drag you down he always used to tell me that stupid opinions belong in the recycle bin he always used to tell me,we need that one person to lean on both mentally and emotionally and that helped me a lot, his poetic words helped me to find my strength to get through my journey here" Amal States staring at the crowd as if she was searching for someone and Zach states at her with wide eyes he just wanted to scream that he was right here!

"I know you may All be thinking what relevance does my story have to do with this graduation ceremony?, well, i think it has a lesson we can all take as we all walk out that exit we always to follow when coming in to school,where we follow to exit,only to come back the next day God I really hated that cycle" Amal rants making the crowd to laugh even Zach couldn't hold it in

"But the good news here is that this time we are leaving for Good and what is out there may not be easy at all but, what I would like to advice everyone is that, the struggle is going to be hard and so will the hustle, but please do not ever give up no matter what, because you are stronger than you think if you feel like giving up then just remember the weird hijabi that is still very much alive after the problems life through at her, trust me,this world wasn't made to only please you it was created to break you but how long you can stand on All that matters" Amal concludes making the crowd to go crazy clapping and cheering making her eyes to widen,everyone was standing up for her and that shocked her everyone was cheering her mom looked close to tears her sister too, Zach he wanted to hug her because her speech somehow got him wiping at his eyes as secretly as he could not wanting his bodyguards to see him crying but to heck with it.

"That was a very touching speech Miss adnan congratulations to the class of 2021 the stage is yours" the principal says making the students to cheer rushing to make their way up the stage cheering and chanting Amal's name making her grin they all threw their caps in the air that marked the end of it all Amal let out a sigh in relief this was really the end.

Azad looks at the boy with questioning eyes but he just cocked his head to the side making her nod he smiles before handing her back her Ali who refused to let go of his suit jacket.

"Ali,let go" Azad whisper yelled at her child who finally let's go

"Still got spunk huh?" Azad states jokingly making Zach to laugh

"Yeah Girls just can't get enough of me" Zach jokes making her laugh

"So you are going?" Azad asks curiously

"Where?" Zach asks in confusion

"The party" Azad states

"Don't you think it is too soon?" Zach asks making azad brows to furrow

"Are you having doubts?" Azad asks making Zach brows to go up he was caught of guard by her question to be honest

"No, trust me this is not about me,I am worried about her, i mean I haven't been around for a while she wouldn't be the happiest to see me" Zach states making Azad nod in agreement well, that's true, well half of it, he also is thinking about what she had last told him, maybe he should just move on with his life and call her as soon as he does go back to normal in some days,months or even more years to come.

"Azad it's time to go see her" Abtal says nodding at the boy who smiled at him

"Salam" Zach greets

"Walaikum, are you coming too?" Abtal asks with a friendly smile but Zach sent him a sad smile and shook his head in a no motion

"Nah I should just get going" Zach says making the other two nod they watched him walk away before they started making their way towards where Amal was standing.

Zach opened the door using the key he stared at the decorated empty house he smiled and started making his way upstairs opening the room that had a lemon green door...Amal and her love for weird things and green, she loves green but not normal green only lime green...she is weird like that but he won't change her for the world, he can see books on the shelf, typical Amal!

He looked at the walls but it was empty and painted black it was a mixture of black and purple while the angle where her bed laid, it was surrounded by what looked like a chalk board but it was the paint, it was clever that she even had doodles on the walls to make it look realistic Zach thinks to himself as he laid the envelop gently on her bed.

Zach was supposed to just drop the envelope and leave but he couldn't help but to start reading what all those little doodles were saying...

"You can make it if you believe it..."

"Smile it's sunnah" the last one said making Zach smile he couldn't help it

"SURPRISE!" Zach almost fell as he heard the scream making his eyes to widen this can only mean that they are back she cannot see him in her room, then she would refuse his graduation gift for her so Zach sneaks out slowly Checks both of the side to see that the hall way was empty before he started making his way down the stairs but then there she was, she looked like she was having an argument as she stood next to her mom typical Amal, Zach thinks to himself before he walked right past her catching Azad eyes, he nods to let her know that he was done so she nods he decides to go out.

"Zachary" a familiar voice says making Zach close his eyes in panic, he turns back to see Amal's step dad smiling at him so he smiles back

"Sir" Zach states shakily

"We have to talk" He says to Zach making the boy nod the two went over to a corner to talk

"Why are you doing all this?" Amal's dad says making Zach raise a brow doing what

"What?" Zach asks

"What are you trying to prove by doing this?" Amal's dad asks

"She deserves the best sir, she worked hard for it this is just a gift" Zach rants as if he was trying to prove something

"Are you sure that's it?" Amal's dad asks making Zach frown

"Yeah" Zach states

"Do you like my daughter?" Amal's dad asks making Zach eyes to widen in panic,oh shit he is going to die!

"From your silence I can already tell the answer" Amal's dad says

"Sir, I don't like her, but I am in love your daughter" Zach states calmly but on the inside he was losing it...he knows that he is dead who the heck tells a dad that they are in love their daughter, who they want to stay single for 40 years?

"Finally someone isn't lying, Amal refused to answer me when I asked her" Amal's dad states

"Sir" Zach starts to say but he got cut off

"If you want to ask to marry my daughter have my blessings" He says making Zach's eyes to widen yessss but marriage...not now!

"No I mean, not now" Zach stammered

"Yeah I know, I was just telling you a random fact because like I said she is not going to waste her time on meaningless relationship, if that's what you have in mind then you can walk away..." Amal's dad States sternly making Zach to send him a surprised and caught off guard look because really he wasn't expecting that talk.

"No, no i would love to, marry her I mean but we are both young, maybe it is too soon" Zach states not turning to see the look on Amal's dad's face, to he honest he was scared to look.

"Calm down boy!, my daughters happiness means a lot to me so if she likes you then i'm okay with it" Amal's dad making Zach stare at him with wide eyes.

"Thank you" Zach says, he still couldn't believe the words Amal's dad was saying but it meant more than a lot to him, almost like a he was handing more than a gazillion bucks per word.

"You're welcome but if you ever make her cry though, you will have to face me" Amal's dad states with a smile yet somehow that smile instead of making him feel at ease it made him feel scared,even more scared.

"AHHHHHH" a scream was heard before Amal was rushing down the stairs with her screaming niece in her hands.

"He started crying because I screamed i'm so sorry" Amal apologizes but her sister waves her off

"He is a crier, no need to explain but why where you screaming?"

"Because I received a letter" Amal says with a grin

"About what?"Azad asks curiously

"An admission letter! I got accepted on scholarship to Harvard university"Amal squeals in delight while her sister let's out a gasp in disbelief

"What really?" Azad says with a overly enthusiastic smile pulling her sister in for a hug, while sending her family a look for them to act surprised, she sent Zach a thumps up, he smiles before spinning around signalling his body guards to follow him he had to go.

"Yes really!, I can't believe it"Amal squeals her sister squeals along with her

"Well believe it, you worked hard for it"her dad states making Amal to grin she can't believe that her dad still thinks she tried hard in highschool when she had to repeat senior year one more time due to stress.

"Thank you daddy" she says hugging her step dad but who cares he is the dad she had that she loves that is alive.

"I guess this party was a party of two celebration then"Amal dad says embracing his step daughter... Well she is his real daughter either way Amal smiles widely accepting the compliments and congrats because her dream has started to slowly become true.

What she didn't know was that the papers in her hands had something to do with Zachary Perez let's not forget about him ...where is he somewhere around the world...his story is not over yet he is still somewhere out there.

Well he just walked out of that door with an heavy heart, promising himself to come back in a few more years, not the type of promise his father had once made to him but a real promise his promise to her and truly, he would be back either coming back for her as just a friend or as a wife that's a promise.


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