Hina’s eyes widened and she gripped Ray’s arm tightly. “You know someone who can tell me about him?” she asked.
Ray nodded. “Yeah, let me show you, and you can ask all the questions about your fiancé that you like,” Ray said, heading to his room.
Hina reached Ray’s room before he did. He raised his eyebrows. “If I didn’t know that you don’t have even a shred of information about Sameer, I would have remarked at your haste.” He slid into his computer chair and powered up the screen.
Hina pulled up a chair and rolled it across the room. “You know for sure this person can tell me about him?” she asked, standing with her hands on the back of the chair.
“Sit down, you’ll see,” Ray said.
Hina frowned. “What’s about this person that you need me to sit down before you can show me anything?” she asked.
“Just sit.” Ray patted the arm of the chair. Hina, eyes narrowed, sat down and crossed her arms. Watching Ray type, she said, “Is the person you’re going to ask about him also called Sameer?”
“No,” Ray said. “Why do you ask?”
“You just did a google search on Sameer Butt,” Hina said.
Ray nodded. “Now, the problem is going to be finding which one he is out of everyone called Sameer Butt on the results page, but-”
“Ray.” Hina’s eyes narrowed.
“Hina.” Ray continued to scroll across the page of results.
“You said you knew someone who knows about him,” Hina said through clenched teeth. “This is just a Google search.”
“Oh, look here, I think I just hit the jackpot,” Ray said. “Here’s his Facebook profile.”
“I don’t want- hang on.” Hina leaned forward. “He looks...” she paused, considering. “He doesn’t look like the photo you showed me.”
“Yes, this is a different photo, apparently.” Ray said. “Now if you look more closely, we can look at whatever part of his account is public.”
Hina sat back and started to bite her fingernail. “Is this OK to look at? What if you find something ... that I shouldn’t be looking at…?”
“You need to get out more,” Ray said, “and with some people other than that friends’ group you have.” He opened the photos section. “Look here.”
“What’s that?” Hina said through the fingernail between her teeth. “It’s just more photos. Oh, I know that restaurant.” She lowered her hands from her face. “I went there with Gohar and Amani the other day.”
“Yes, yes, so both of you eat out at local restaurants,” Ray said. “Good to know.”
“This is terribly slow,” Hina said. “Why don’t you look through everything and tell me what you find?” She stood up and leaned over the computer table, peering at the screen.
“Why don’t you just take a look at...” she prodded the screen. A thumbs up sign popped up.
“I left it on touchscreen mode...” Ray said, not looking at Hina.
“So, you liked his photo?” Hina said, slowly realizing.
“No, you did,” Ray said, “but it’s my account logged in over here.”
Hina froze. “What did you just make me do?” she groaned.
“It’s just a like on a photo of a sunset,” Ray said. “It’s no big deal.”
“But he doesn’t know that we know about the engagement!” Hina threw her hands in the air.
“You’re the only one who doesn’t know,” Ray said.
“So, officially, you know that he knows that you know?” Hina asked.
“You’re making my mind run in circles,” Ray said. “Oh, look. Here’s him on a motorbike.”
“He doesn’t even have a CAR?” Hina shuddered.
“Hina...” Ray said quietly. “He has a car. Chill out.”
“Why do you know everything and you never even told me anything,” Hina said with a huff.
“Hina, is your Facebook profile public?” Ray asked.
“I don’t really know or care,” Hina said. “Why?”
Ray stared at her pointedly.
“Oh. Him. Looking at my Facebook.” Hina shrugged. “It’s full of photos of me and the girls anyway.”
“Is there any photo of you by yourself?” Ray asked suddenly.
“It’s just us girls,” Hina said.
“So, there’s no way to tell which one is you?” Ray asked.
“Why would he need to tell me apart from Gohar and Amani?” Hina crossed her arms. “Amani’s always at the front of everything anyway.”
Silence fell. Hina dug around the computer table for her phone. Picking it up, she said, “Let me know when you have something useful, alright?” she said.
“Your Facebook is all photos of Amani, isn’t it.” Ray frowned slightly.
“Good for him,” Hina said, irritated. “He can compare me to her, then.”
“I think he might just think she’s you.” Ray clicked furiously across some Facebook pages before turning back to Hina. “Are we friends on Facebook right now?”
“How am I supposed to know,” Hina replied before adding, “I think I kicked you out a few weeks ago for being annoying.”
“Again.” Ray said. “Well, I can’t see your Facebook account from here, then, but you really need to do something about this.”
“I’m supposed to do something about this situation that I wasn’t even supposed to know about?” Hina rolled her eyes.
“You know about it now,” Ray said quietly. “You should behave accordingly.”
“I don’t know about it officially, though.” Hina inspected her fingernails in a surprisingly Amani-like fashion, similar down to the bored expression on her face. Ray just stared at her.
Across the city, Sameer spread out the newspaper, coffee in hand. He was halfway through the comics section before a notification on his mother’s phone caught his eye.
“Who’s that?” he asked.
“Your girlfriend,” his mother said automatically. Both of them laughed.
“First time I heard of her,” Sameer said.
“That’s because she has to go through me first,” his mother said, swiping across the notification to dismiss it.
“Your jokes.” Sameer shook his head and returned to find the comic he had been reading.
His mother unlocked her phone and looked at the photo more carefully. “I wonder why this photo caught his eye,” she murmured to herself. It was a photo of Hina and Gohar.
To be continued...