My day began when my sister threw cold water on my face.

“What’s wrong?” I yelled.

“Ahmed! It’s 10 o’clock and you are still sleeping. Have you forgotten? Our cousins are coming today,” my sister reminded me.

I dragged my feet down the steps and saw everybody was busy in the welcome preparation. Mother was in the kitchen preparing scrumptious dishes, while my older sister was tidying up the house.

When the clock struck two, our doorbell rang. My father and I opened the door, I saw my cousins Umar and Ayan. I was meeting them after a long time and was very excited.

After having lunch, Umar, Ayan and I sat together and talked a bit sheepishly because it’s been ages since we last had a conversation, so it was natural for us to feel confused. Sensing our hesitation with each other, my mum intervened and suggested we should go to the park and play cricket.

“Hey Ahmed, I’m not really into cricket. How about we play a different game?” Umer suggested when we got to the park.

“I have an idea. Let’s play hide and seek. One of us can hide the ball, and the other two can search for it,” Ayan proposed.

“Great! I’ll hide the ball first, and you both will try to find it,” Umar said.

Both Ayan and I closed our eyes while Umar went off to hide the ball in the park. Afterward, he returned and exclaimed, “Okay, guys, start searching!”

Excitedly, we spread out like wolves and began searching for the ball. As we looked around, I noticed Umar kept looking at a small, bushy plant. Curious, I approached the plant and discovered the ball hidden in the middle of the bushes.

“I found it!” I exclaimed.

Both Ayan and Umar came over with smiles, and we started to have fun playing the game.

“Now it’s my turn,” I declared.

When they closed their eyes, I decided to hide the ball where nobody would think to look. So, I threw it into a big tree in the middle of the park, hoping it would get stuck in the branches. Luckily, it did. I called out to Umar and Ayan to search for the hidden ball. For more than 20 minutes they kept looking for it, so I finally revealed where it was.

But when wanted to bring the ball down to go home, it was stuck too high for us to reach. Even after throwing small stones in its direction, it remained out of reach.

“Now what?” Umar asked.

“I wish I hadn’t thrown it,” I sighed.

“Ahmed! I think we should leave it there and go back home,” Ayan said tiredly.

“No! We shouldn’t give up. Instead of wasting time, we should think about how to get it,” I insisted.

“Ahmed! Why did you throw it to such a high place where no one can even reach, let alone search?” said Ayan, as both were now tired and angry.

“Hey guys, I know I have messed up badly, I’m sorry. Let’s just focus on getting the ball down,” I said, trying to fix the situation.

As I looked around, I spotted an older boy with a catapult. He looked like he was an expert. I went close to him and asked for his help. The boy agreed and came with us to the tree. After checking out the position of the ball, he aimed carefully and tried three times, but missed the ball. On the fourth try, though, he hit it and the ball fell.

We all cheered and hugged each other before heading home.

Published in Dawn, Young World, April 27th, 2024

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