22.

FRIEND OR FOE?

Faaiza and Haajira had been best friends for many years. They preferred being with each other, rather than hanging out in a big group. Things however changed when they met Nazira. She was a new girl in school, with a very loveable personality. Everyone seemed to like her, as she was funny and intelligent. Faaiza and Haajira liked her too and they soon became friends with her.

At first, things were great. They had lots of fun together. Slowly, though, Faaiza and Haajira began to like Nazira more than they liked each other. Both were determined to become her best friend so that, instead of being friends, Faaiza and Haajira were now competitors.

Nazira was quite content being friends with both of them. She was rather bewildered with all the attention they were giving her. Each of them would buy her sweets, give her presents and flatter her a lot. They were not as nice to each other though. They lost their loyalty to each other and spent their time making snide remarks regarding the other. Nazira tried to keep the peace but it was hard once the two of them started arguing.

One day, their teacher gave them a project to do for the following week. They were asked to pair up with a friend and to work as partners. It caused quite a problem as Faaiza and Haajira both wanted to be Nazira’s partner. Nazira could not choose between the two, which led to Faaiza and Haajira bickering and insulting each other. If you choose Faaiza as your partner, youll have to do all the work,Haajira said spitefully. Shes as lazy as can be.“Are you talking about me or yourself?Faaiza shot back.

This led to more insults being hurled between the two until finally Nazira couldnt stand it any more. Covering her ears with her hands, she said in a loud voice, Stop it!” Faaiza and Haajira stopped arguing and looked at her in amazement. It was very rare for Nazira to raise her voice. I cant believe youre behaving like this! Youre supposed to be friends,she scolded. She started it!both exclaimed simultaneously.

Friends are supposed to support each other and be loyal to one another,Nazira continued. If you two can turn against each other, after so many years of friendship, imagine how you will start treating me after a while. Youre exactly the kind of friends I dont want to have!Saying this, Nazira walked away, putting as much distance between them as she could.

Faaiza and Haajira were left alone feeling foolish. Their silly attempts at impressing Nazira had failed and had almost cost them their friendship. It was no wonder that Nazira was totally put off by them! It was not easy getting their friendship back to the way it had been, as they had both behaved very badly. They managed it, by apologizing to each other and patching up their differences. Each promised to be a better friend in future. They also became partners for the school project.

As for Nazira, she remained friendly with them but she also became friends with Sawlaha, a quiet girl in the class. Sawlaha didnt flatter her constantly or buy her presents very often but she had good akhlaaq and was very loyal. This pleased Nazira very much. After all, those are the best qualities anyone can find in a friend.

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