fake!married yousana (because I’m a sucker for that trope and needed that with Yousef and Sana)- set sometime in the relatively near future
and I got a little carried away so there’s that
“S.O.S. Come ASAP” and an address added to the message.
That is what Elias has sent both Yousef and Sana. Both of them immediately left to go to the given address. Sana was about to leave the Uni when the text arrived her and Yousef was chilling at home; it was his free day after all. Neither of them is aware that they took the same train to get to Elias until they leave the train at the same station.
“Sana?”, Yousef shouts after her because she is walking a few meters in front of him. She quickly turns around and as soon as she sees Yousef her frown turns into a small smile. Yousef jogs up to her and asks if she’s also going to see Elias. She just nods and they start walking side by side. For a while they walk in silence until Sana gathers the strength to ask Yousef something that wouldn’t let her go the whole way there.
“Do you think he’s in trouble?” Yousef quickly looks at Sana and his gaze falls on the worry line between her eyebrows. As always when he sees it, he wants to reach out and straighten that worry line out. But he knows now is not the time.
To lighten the mood he shakes his head as if he was a hundred percent sure and answers: “No, he probably just got stuck in a revolving door and can’t get out.” This makes Sana laugh out loud and she rolls her eyes but keeps looking at Yousef while they walk in a pretty fast pace.
“You do know that he actually got stuck in a revolving door when we were younger, right?”, she asks him obviously very amused recalling the memory and forgetting that Elias may as well be in actual trouble now. But that’s not something either Sana or Yousef want to believe until they arrive and meet Elias.
Yousef nods and laughs when imagining a small Elias get stuck in a revolving door: “Yeah, you told me once and it’s still the funniest thing I can imagine.”
They turn around a corner and both sets of eyes fall on Elias. He’s standing outside of a house, leaning on the wall and is preoccupied with his phone. He doesn’t look stressed or in trouble at all. While Sana is relieved, she’s also wondering why the hell her brother would send her a text like that when everything is fine.
“Elias?”, she says. Yousef and her are still a few meters away but Elias hears his sister and looks up from his phone to grin at her. Sana narrows her eyes at him. She feels like she worried too much and there is nothing wrong at all. Yousef next to her just looks at his best friend and waits for him to say something.
Elias puts his phone in the pocket of his jeans and smiles at his sister and best friend. “Good, you’re here and you came together, perfect.”
“We met on the train.”, Sana says unfazed and keeps looking at her brother, obviously waiting for an explanation. “What is the emergency? We rushed here as fast as possible.”
Elias looks at the two people standing in front of him and grins guiltily. Yousef and Sana look at each other, thinking the same thing. Should we just turn around and go? Elias doesn’t know what they are thinking exactly but he can imagine. It’s the worst when the two of them team up against him.
“Nothing bad, I promise.”, Elias smiles at them broadly and hopes it influences them to listen before they decide to leave. “Well, I decided to move out, now that I’m a responsible adult with a good job.” Sana and Yousef roll their eyes at the same time and even Elias knows how funny that sounds. Sure, he is an adult and he has a good job but responsible? Most of the time he still doesn’t know what he’s doing. Being an adult is hard, man.
“Great. You’re moving out, we knew you thought about this but why am I here right now?”, Sana says. She loves her brother but she had a very very long day. Before she got the text from Elias she had planned on going home and just watching a movie and going to bed after that.
“Because you love me.”, Elias exclaims and notices that Sana tries to hide her smile but he knows her too well to not see her lips quirk up.
Finally Yousef decides to contribute something to the conversation to get an answer: “Elias, tell us what you need from us, please.”
“Alright, alright. But I need you to promise me that you won’t say No without hearing me out, okay?”
“You’re not making this easier for yourself. Just tell us.”, Yousef says and puts his hands into the pockets of his jacket. He knows Elias for many years now but sometimes he doesn’t know why he decided to befriend him at all. He’s glad he did but he wonders sometimes. “We’re already here, aren’t we?”
Yousef looks at Sana, who looks from Elias to Yousef and just nods. She seems tired. Yousef didn’t notice before because she seemed so worried but now that that is cleared up, it’s more obvious.
“Okay. The thing is: I found this flat on the Internet and it’s perfect for me. It’s small but I don’t need too much space, I’m alone anyway.”
Yousef pats Elias’ shoulder and overdramatically says: “Aww, Elias. You’re not alone, you have us.” Sana laughs quietly but Elias just rolls his eyes and says: “Dude, shut up. Let me explain.”
“Like I said before I was rudely interrupted..”, Elias glares at Yousef who just shrugs, “It seems perfect for me. But the estate agent prioritises newly-wed couples to look at the flat. So I made an appointment for you two and thought that during the tour of the flat you could drop hints that the flat wouldn’t fit you but rather me. That way I would already have introduced myself to the estate agent and made a good impression and maybe she’d consider renting to me.”
Elias explains his plan as if it was the most normal thing to do when trying to rent a new place. Sana looks at him with her eyebrows raised and the most sceptical look Elias has seen from her in a while. “You’re unbelievable, Elias. I thought something bad had happened and then it’s just this stupid plan.”
“Hey, my plan is not stupid. I’m sure it will work.”, Elias defends his plan and looks at Sana and Yousef with the most hopeful puppy-eyed look he can give them.
Yousef thinks it’s important to mention one thing: “You seem to forget that we’re not married.”, and points to Sana. His eyes are drawn back to her and he catches her watching him talk. But she doesn’t look away as if she didn’t look in the first place. Yousef knows they are over that.
Elias laughs and shrugs: “The estate agent doesn’t need to know that.”
“Why didn’t you ask Jamilla and Yasin (my name for the eldest Bakkoush sibling)? They are actually married and would play along, I’m sure.” Sana can’t help but to throw that into the conversation. Elias’ plan seems very flawed and she is a little annoyed that he send her an ominous text message that made her worry more than it was necessary.
Elias looks at is phone and then up at the two people standing in front of him who he hopes will help him. “They’re not newly-wed and they wouldn’t play along like you two can.” Elias thinks to himself that Sana and Yousef act like they are a married couple most of the time. Elias is not exactly sure what it is that is going on between them but it’s more than them being just friends. They never were just friends and Elias knows that. “You’re even dressed perfectly for this.” Confused about this, Sana and Yousef first look down at themselves and then at the other. And Elias is right. Sana is wearing a long army green blouse with black jeans and Yousef is wearing arm green pants and a black Hoodie. They both have their hoods up. After they’re done inspecting themselves and the other, their eyes meet and for a few seconds they just look at each other smilingly.
Elias’ eyes fall on the display of his phone one more time and when he looks up again, he sees the estate agent walk towards them, from where Sana and Yousef came before. Elias quickly looks at his sister and best friend and whisper-shouts: “She’s coming right now. Behind you. Please play along. Please, please, please. Love you both.”, and smiles at them before the estate agents arrives to stand next to them. She asks if one the three is Yousef Acar. Yousef sends one more look towards his best friend and then looks at Sana to see if she’s okay with this. She just nods at him and he raises his hand lightly.
The estate agent introduces herself and then leads the way to the flat. Elias walks behind her, a little too eager for his plan of first acting like this wouldn’t be his flat. Lastly Sana and Yousef walk through the door. Yousef looks at Sana who smiles lightly and laughs about the eagerness of her brother. She’s wearing a light pink hijab he has not seen her wearing for a while but appreciates how it suits her.
Yousef bumps his shoulder lightly into hers which makes her look at him. Grinning he tells her: “At least he’s not stuck in a revolving door.”
Sana laughs about that and nods but doesn’t get the chance to reply because Elias, who is a few steps ahead of them, turns around and glares at them: “Are you gossiping about me again?”
“We didn’t say your name.”, Yousef says at the same time Sana says, “That’s the least you owe us right now.”
Before they enter the flat, which is on the third floor, Yousef and Sana stop for a second and look at each as if to say What did Elias get us into? It’s too late to back down now. Yousef holds his hand up, for Sana to take it if she wants to. They’re supposed to be a newly-wed couple and those are usually very in love. It won’t be hard for Yousef to ‘act’ like that. He’s not sure what it is that Sana and him have, but it’s definitely going in the right direction of what he hoped for a long time. He has been hanging out with Sana quite a lot. Sometimes it felt like a date when they hung out, sometimes not at all but it felt good all the time. Sana looks from his hand to him and then takes his hand and intertwines their fingers together. Yousef bites on his lip to not grin too much but the look Sana gives him makes it very hard. She’s smiling, showing her dimples but then pressing her lips together. Yousef’s eyes follow that movement.
Sana says: “Well, it’s not Elias stuck in a door but this can be a lot of fun.” Yousef agrees. He definitely agrees. Acting like he’s married to Sana doesn’t sound bad at all.
The flat has a bedroom, a living room, a small kitchen and a bathroom. The first room they go into is the kitchen. The estate agent talks about how great this kitchen is because whoever moves in can keep everything that’s already in here. The stove, fridge, and all that.
Sana and Yousef are supposed to make Elias look like the best possible tenant. They can do that. They’re still holding hands and Sana leans a little bit more into Yousef’s side, when she goes to answer the estate agent’s question of how they like the kitchen.
“It’s nice. It is. But maybe a little small for us.”, she looks up to Yousef and smiles at him before looking back at the estate agent: “This one likes to cook a lot. And for many people. So I’m not sure if this kitchen would be ideal for us. Right?” She looks at Yousef again who couldn’t keep his eyes off of her while she was talking. He shakes his head to clear his thoughts but then quickly nods.
“Yeah, my wife is right.”, Sana’s head turns really quickly to Yousef and she looks surprised and blushes. Elias notices that but all the estate agents sees is a happy couple. Yousef is very aware of Sana’s presence next to him, by his side, and to not dwell on it too much he continues talking: “This kitchen would be perfect for someone that cooks after work, for just themselves and maybe one or two friends. Like Elias for example.” Yousef points in the direction of Elias who conveniently is smiling at the estate agent. Even when she introduced herself she seemed more interested in Elias than the 'actual couple’.
“Then let’s go the next room. Hopefully that will fit better to your needs.”
The estate agents leaves the room first, and Elias after her. But before he leaves, he turns around and shows the couple two thumbs up and grins at them. He really thinks this plan will work out.
“On to the next room.”, Sana says smiling and leads the way but doesn’t let go of Yousef’s hand.
The next room is the
bedroom. It is not too big either and Sana wonders why the estate agent would look
for newly-weds to rent this place. There’s barely room for one closet in here, let
alone two. They look at the room, Elias again a little more interested than
Yousef and Sana. In fact, Yousef’s eyes keep finding Sana, their hands still
intertwined and once in a while at Elias to see how he’s doing and what he’s
When they’re asked what they think of this room, Yousef waits for Sana to answer but she waits for him. So Yousef tries to think of anything to say. A reason why this wouldn’t work. But he can’t come up with anything. That’s why he says what he says next.
“I don’t really care much about the bedroom, so I’ll let you answer this one, babe.” At this both Bakkoush siblings in the room turn to look at Yousef but Yousef tries not to let it faze him. Sana on the other hand wasn’t prepared for him to call her Babe and is overwhelmed for a second. She gulps but turns to the estate agent and smiles at her while answering.
“To me, this is too small, I think. I noticed that a big bed plus two wardrobes wouldn’t fit in here.”, Sana says. “This is better for someone that lives alone, I think.”
Yousef, who forgets the act for a second, asks Sana: “Would we need two wardrobes though?” Elias widens his eyes at him to indicate that he shouldn’t look for anything that would make the estate agent think that they are interested. But Yousef doesn’t even realize that.
Sana raises her eyebrows and laughs. “Eh, yes! Definitely! You have so many shoes that those alone need so much space.”, she looks at the estate agent and without noticing what she does, leans more into Yousef. She’s holding his right hand with her left one and puts her right hand on his upper arm: “This one has a lot more shoes than I have and he looks after them really carefully, it’s crazy actually.”
“Hey.”, Yousef defends himself, “I don’t have that many shoes. And not too many pairs more than you have.”
Now it’s Sana’s turn to look offended. “Oh, please. I can assure you, if we went now to count them, you’d have more.”
While Yousef and Sana are bickering back and forth, the estate agent is watching them with an amused smile. All she thinks about these two is that they are such a good fit for each other. Elias uses the opportunity to make himself more sympathetic to the estate agent and comments with a nice smile: “They both have huge sneakers collections. Probably the same amount but none of them would admit that.”
And after looking at the bathroom quickly, the last room left is the living room. It is quite nice actually. Sana can see her brother living here. But not herself. Elias did really inform himself well and found a fitting flat for himself and now Sana hopes that this stupid plan will work out for him.
The living room has two big windows but rather low ceilings. She looks around for a bit, observes Elias’ reaction to the room and finally looks at Yousef who looks at her brother. He has been by her side the whole time since they stepped into the flat. Absentmindedly he strokes the back of Sana’s hand with his thumb which makes Sana smile involuntarily. From the corner of his eye, Yousef sees Sana look at him and meets her gaze. The thing in that very moment that makes him so happy is that usually both of them try to hide how much they like, no scratch that, love each other when other people are around. It makes them both, but Sana more, uncomfortable. However, when they are alone or not being watched it’s completely different and they almost communicate with their eyes. And right now, right now they don’t need nor want to hide any of the feelings because at this very moment it’s wanted and necessary because of Elias’ maybe-not-so-stupid plan.
Yousef and Sana’s little private bubble bursts when the estate agent speaks up. She gave them a few minutes to look at the room even when there is not much to look at because it is an empty room.
“Before you tell me what you think of the living room, would you mind if I asked you something private?”, she doesn’t even wait for an answer and continues to talk, “Well, you two are the cutest couple I’ve seen in a while. You’re obviously so in love. Can I ask how you proposed? And who? I’m imagining it to be something very special.”
Proposing? Elias, who was chill the whole time and let the other two answer the questions, looked a little stressed out about this question. It’s a good thing he is standing behind the estate agent so that she can’t see his panicked face. Sana does though and tries not to react to it. Instead Sana tries to casually answer. She racks her brain for a good answer and then decides to say: “Well, I didn’t want to wait around until he asked me. So I was preparing something but he did propose to me first, didn’t you? Do you want to tell the story?” Now she looks up at Yousef again who is already looking at her. At the other end of the room Elias is just watching them navigate through the conversation. He thinks that they are doing better than he had imagined but he had hoped they would do well. They were the first two people that came to his mind as soon as he thought of this plan.
While he reacted to most of the questions as if he wasn’t sure how to answer, Yousef had a really good answer really fast. Like he didn’t even need to think about it.
“I did, yes. I knew that Sana deserved something better than just me getting on one knee and asking her to marry me.”, while saying that Yousef can’t look at anyone but Sana. He is supposed to talk to the estate agent but what he’s thinking about doesn’t allow him that. But he gets a grip on himself and looks at the estate agent to continue the made-up story. Usually it’s Sana that has most control over how she reacts to things and how she presents herself but in that moment she couldn’t do anything but look at Yousef.
“I got my friends, including Sana’s brother over there..”, Yousef nods in Elias’ direction and the estate agent looks over her shoulder to look at Elias for a second. “… to learn a choreography with me. I danced for almost my whole life now and the Sana caught me dancing once when we first started talking so I thought it was appropriate. We surprised her at one of her Basketball games, when she and her team came back from the break.”
While the estate agent looks really moved, she clutches her hand over her heart and smiles very broadly and seems at loss for words for a while. Sana is at loss for words too. Yes, it is a made-up story but he talked about it so quickly without thinking much about it, it amazed Sana. Imagining that really happening makes Sana want to almost cry because it is such a cute idea and she realizes she needs to get a grip on herself immediately. That doesn’t hinder her to unconsciously lean into Yousef’s side and him realizing it. After explaining the plan, which is of course only a made-up story, for now, Yousef seems a little bit bashful and looks down on the floor before being able to look anyone in the room in the eyes. It’s quiet for a few moments until the estate agent exclaims how nice of an idea that was and if they had a video of that on their phones with them. After they told her no they didn’t she asks about the room.
Without hesitating Yousef takes the questions now: “I’m really sorry but I think that wouldn’t work. Combined we have a lot of books and DVD’s that we would need to put in a tall shelf and we both have big families we would invite over all the time, so I think this wouldn’t work for us.” He looks over at Elias now and says: “But this flat would be perfect for someone who is not married yet and doesn’t need as much space as we would.”, when saying we he lifts Sana’s and his intertwined hands.
Now Sana casually contributes to the conversation, acting like she just remembered something: “Elias, didn’t you want to move soon? Wouldn’t a place like this be perfect for you?”
With that Elias and the estate agent begin to talk, this time not about Sana and Yousef but about the possibility that Elias could rent this flat. While they do that Sana and Yousef decide to leave and wait outside. They go down the stairs, still hand in hand, both not noticing because it feels so natural. Once they stand outside, they let go but stand in front of each other. Smiling and looking at each other for two minutes without saying anything verbally.
All the tiredness Sana
felt before coming here is gone, she feels really good. Yousef who wasn’t up to
doing much on his day off, after a stressful few days feels like he could go on
a run or climb a tree.
Instead he asks Sana: “You came here directly from the University, right?” She nods.
“Want to go eat something together?”, Yousef asks. Sana nods again. She looks up to the window of the flat they just looked at and then starts to say something to Yousef but gets interrupted by her phone. She reads the text she just got and smiles a little about it.
Sana looks into Yousef’s eyes and says: “That was Elias. He said that we can go without him.”
Yousef grins at her. He wouldn’t have minded having Elias with them, he is his best friend after all. But spending time alone with Sana is something completely different. “Then let’s go.” Sana falls in step next to Yousef; they walk down the street closer than they walked on the way there. So close that their hands brush against each other once or twice.
“I still would’ve loved seeing Elias stuck in a revolving door.”, Sana comments out of nowhere and makes Yousef laugh. He laughs so loud that an elderly couple in front of them turns around to look at them. But they don’t look annoyed; they just smile at Sana and Yousef.
“Me too.”, Yousef says. His gaze falls down onto Sana’s hand in his and he says: “But I’m happy about how all this turned out.”
Sana and Yousef look at each other, Sana looks at Yousef’s hand she took a few moments ago and then into Yousef’s eyes again.
“I’m pretty happy about this, too.“