Sunday, December 28

Contrasting Realities 9

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent.

I could recognize it anywhere. Even when I was unconscious.

I opened my eyes and the very first thing I saw was M7ammad’s face as pale as Casper’s. Apprehension filled his piercing blue eyes. The brown M7 bottle was in one of his hands, and the other was supporting my head that was lying on his thigh. His lips were moving, but I couldn’t hear anything for a few moments.

My hearing slowly came back to me.

“Haya…Haya reddy 3ly”


“Haya…can you hear me?”

I tried to move my head to get up, but his grip tightened. He put the M7 bottle on the floor and put his hand on my cheek.

“Haya…Haya can you hear me?”

“Ee ee kany mako shay” my baby voice said.

I looked around to see lots of people gathered around me. Cold british bitch was also there, her face nearly as pale as M7ammad’s.

The moment I saw her face, I instantly knew what had happened. I had fainted out of anger again. I was generally a calm person, but once I lost my cool, there was no going back. I had visited several doctors about this, who all came to the conclusion that I simply had exaggerated response to anger. Apparently, it was quite a common problem, so all they did was advice me to try and control my anger, as well as not bottle up my feelings. No matter how much I tried, though, I could never do that last one.

I tried to get up. M7ammad gave me his one hand, and supported my back with the other.

A man in the crowd spoke.

“Miss, are you okay?”

You mean apart from the throbbing headache that will split my head up into pieces? I thought.

“Yeah yeah I’m gonna be fine, don’t worry”

“Would you like us to call a doctor or an ambulance to take you to the hospital?” said cold british bitch. Her concerned tone of voice forced me to drop the bitch part from her nickname.

“No, no. I’m gonna be fine. This has happened to me before. I know how to deal with it. I just need to relax for a while”

“Are you sure?” said someone else from the crowd.

“Yeah yeah. Don’t worry.”

The people started clearing the scene slowly. The cold british receptionist kneeled down to M7ammad and whispered in his ears, handing him a key in the process. When they cleared the place, I got up to my feet with M7ammad’s help. Once I was on my feet, I tried walking, but my legs couldn’t contain me. I was too weak.

“Zain ge3day erta7y shway”

“Laa laa I’m fine…I just need to –“

My muscles were becoming weaker and weaker and they wouldn’t support my weight anymore. I was losing my balance. In a split second, M7ammad put one of his arms underneath my knees and the other underneath my back and literally swept me off my feet.

“May9eer chithee! You’re stressing yourself out too much. I’m taking you upstairs so you can get some sleep”

“M7ammad I can walk ma feeny shay”

“Haya, no arguments please” His voice was shaking ever-so-slightly.

He carried me all the way to the elevator and into the suite, with the concierge following him with our luggage.

Awkward? Yes.

Comfortable? You have no idea.

I had never noticed before that M7ammad’s tall figure was well-built. The ease with which he carried me was impressive. With my arms around his neck, and me in his arms entering through the suite’s door, any girl in my position melt to the ground instantly. I had to remind myself how much I disliked this guy, but as much as I tried, why I hated him just wouldn’t come back to me.

His M7 filled my every last one of my five senses.

My feelings were quickly getting the best of me, and I was too weak to fight them.

He entered the double bedroom, and laid me on the bed, gently taking off my shoes and covering me with the blanket. I was still weak, but there were too many things to take care of and my mind was on overdrive mode. I had to keep moving.

“Abeech tnameen shway oo terta7ain”

“M7ammad I’m fine ma feeny shay wallah”. My voice was weak from between the throbs in my head. It felt like a construction yard up there.

“Haya please…ana wala mara 6labt mnch shay, so please la tredeeny eb awwal 6alab a6leba mnch”

“Bs ana –“

“Please Haya”.This time, the tremor in his voice was more pronounced.

I sighed. I was too tired to argue.


As my anger subsided, all that was left was the muscle weakness, the headache and an overwhelming feeling of dizziness - the latter increasing by the second. My eyes were trying to follow M7ammad as he wandered around the room, saying something that I couldn’t quite grasp.

After a few minutes, he came back to the bed with a bottle of water in his hands. He placed it by my side.



“Tabeen shay thany?”


I heard his words, but I had no energy to move my tongue and reply to them. Then his image left my eyes as I closed them. He said something else, but all I heard were incomprehendable mumbles. I fell asleep.

But I could swear I felt a kiss on my head before I did.

I guess I started dreaming earlier than I thought…

Wednesday, December 24

Contrasting Realities 8



“Haya…we’re here already”

“Mabyyy…bs banam”


“Haya, we’re here”

“Mabyyyy bs banam” I said, as I made my head comfortable in its position. I sunk into my pillow a bit more.


“Haya we need to go”


“Ya7lailech etwanseen!”

Wait a minute…who said that?

I opened my eyes slowly, trying to adjust to the bright lights. The first thing I saw was the rain stained window infront of me and the white building through that.

Still not fully awake, I stretched my neck and spine, feeling a little crack as I did. But the crack sounded a bit muffled, not as loud as I usually hear it. Like I was resting against something soft, not a seat full of air.

I looked up, and that’s when I was speechless.

My head was perfectly fitted in the groove between his arm and shoulder. The piercing blue eyes were staring down at me.

I could swear I saw a smile - the happy type that is. I dismissed the thought just as quickly as it came. This is M7ammad. He doesn’t do happy smiles. He does sly, mysterious smiles.

“Noum el3awafy”

I blushed, pulling away from my position awkwardly. How the hell did I end up sleeping on his shoulder?! Where did the arm rest go?

“Allah e3afeek…I can’t believe I slept through the whole flight. I never do that.”

“You nearly woke up at some point. You were turning and your hand hit the arm rest so hard that the sound actually woke me up from my sleep, so I removed it 3shan you sleep more comfortably”

“9ij? Kilish ma 7assait eb shay…but that explains why it hurts hehe”

His smile was widening.

“Shfeek teth7aaaak?”

“You sound so adorable when you’re sleepy...awal mara asma3 this tone of voice mennich….9ayra 7addich dalooo3a”

Oh, crap…

I remembered 3abdallah commented about my sleepy voice several times before. After waking me up from sleep once, he just couldn’t get over how soft and baby-like my voice is when I’ve just woken up. He always told me that it would put angels to shame.

I tried to clear my throat and speak properly. The incomplete wakefulness state I was in only managed to worsen things.

“M7amaaaad….la teth7aaaak…bs 3aaaad”

He smiled again. I thought I saw a twinkle in his eye, but again, I dismissed the thought just as quickly as it came. I needed coffee. I was seeing things.

“Zain yala yal dalooo3a we’re here” he said as he got up, offering me his hand. He helped me up and I let out a little cry of pain as he did.

“Sorry Haya, wallah I completely forgot about your hand. I think I know how to fix it. Do you mind?”

erm…mind what bethabt? I thought with my hand still in his.


He massaged my palm to and fro, applying more pressure at the joints. It hurt for a few seconds, then suddenly the pain went away. He then stopped massaging my hands, but he didn’t let go of it.


“Ee wayed…how did you do that?”

“It’s this little trick I know…I tend to move a lot when I sleep too”

We started moving out of the plane and into the airport. As we walked in the long corridor connecting the terminal to passport control, I looked out through the glass. It was a sunny day, but there were big white clouds that looked like thick cotton candy. The rain was very mild, but I knew that it was heavy earlier when I saw the glistening green fields. It was yet another beautiful day in London, and all I wanted to do was spend it walking around Hyde Park, enjoying the weather and reading a good book.

The cab ride to the hotel was quiet. I was so absorbed by my surroundings that I forgot why I was here, with who I was here and what I left behind. I saw the pedestrians waiting by the traffic lights. I saw the men in suits walking down the streets. I saw the squirrels jumping around the trees. I saw the two story buses. I saw the old couple sipping their coffee.

And I saw Big Ben!

We arrived at the hotel at around 3pm. It was the closest hotel to the university’s campus that Rana could find since all the hotels were fully booked because of the course. We were told there were delegates from more than 100 different countries from around the globe were attending.

I took out the printed hotel vouchers from Rana’s email attachment and walked towards the reception. After taking our passports and necessary documentation, she handed us one key.

“You’ll be in Suite 506 on the fifth floor. We wish you a pleasant stay with us”

“I’m sorry, did you say suite?

“Yes. Is there a problem?” she said in a condescending tone.

“There kind of is. We booked a double room and a triple room, not a suite”

She punches in something in the computer, mumbling underneath her breath.

“Your reservation says that you’ve asked for a suite for five people”

“I think I know what I asked for”. I was slowly running out of patience.

She punches some more things in the computer.

“But this reservation wasn’t made by you in the first place”

I looked at her dead in the eye for a few moments.

And that’s when it clicked.

That bitch Rana!!

I think M7ammad saw the anger slowly creeping up on me, so he tried to resolve the situation.

“Is there any way you can change the suite to a double and a triple? Or even singles?”

“I’m sorry sir, but we’re fully booked because of the holidays as well as a few other things happening around town. There’s also the University of –“

“I’m here for the freaking course; I know its freaking busy!! But you can’t expect me to deal with this setting!!” I said, my voice full of anger.

The cold bitch looked at me and said, not even flinching “That’s the best we’ve got. Feel free to move to another hotel, but I can tell you, you won’t find any better deals”

“Could you just give us a few moments?” M7ammad said, pulling me away from the gaze I was holding with cold british bitch.

He took me to a sofa in the corner of the hotel’s lobby and sat me down.

“What the hell?? What the hell?? Hathy Rana mn 9ijha ya3ny? What the hell is her problem? Madree ana madree bs a7ad efahemny what the hell is her problem??”

“Haya relax shway ehdy please. 3abdallah mo hnee yhadeech oo 9ara7a ana a5tere3 lman ashoofich m3a9ba”

I got up from my seat.

“Shino ya3ny ehdy?! Shino tabeeny asawy ‘3air eny a3a9eb?! Ent gooly shino elnormal reaction in a situation like this?! I’m sorry ana mo barda nafsk oo kil shay 3ndy bhdo2, especially lman akoon metwahga b maw8ef chithy…hathy l 7mara shino agool 7g 3abdallah al7en?! Kint ga3da m3 elreyayel for 10 days makla sharba nayma ma3ahom!! Tell me shagoola!!”

I was screaming now. A tremendous amount of heat was radiating from my face. I could feel every artery in my face pulsating. I started getting short of breath. My hands started shaking. Then the shaking went through my whole body.

I felt the world go white.



Then there was black.

Saturday, December 20

Contrasting Realities 7

I know you guys asked for a long part, bs I've got an exam tomorrow oo I barely got this one finished. Please sam7oony if its not as good as it should be - I wrote it as fast as i could =(

So I promise I'll post another one sooner than i usually do! I'll start writing it the moment i get back home from my exam! Fair enough?? =D

Bs waroony hemmatkom bl comments bser3a bser3a 3shan a3aref your feedback before I start writing it =)

ps: I'll get back to your comment as soon as I'm finished with my exam

pps: ed3oooooooly! I need it! Given I'm here writing you guys a post instead of studying! bs shasawy ba3ad?! a7ebkooooooom ;**


My alarm went off at 5.30am. Unlike every other day, I woke up instantaneously. Infact, I didn’t really sleep. I was thinking about Dr. Nasser and how he had high expectations from us from this trip. The least I could do to this great man was to return the favors that he has paid me, but I really wasn’t sure if I was up for it. It was a very frustrating feeling.

I did my last minute preparations and said goodbye to my parents while waiting for 3abdallah to pick me up. He had insisted to drop me to the airport last night, and after letting him down the way I did yesterday, I didn’t have the nerve to say no.

We arrived at the airport at 6.45am and met up with M7ammad at Starbucks while waiting for the others. With two Venti paper cups sitting next to him, he admitted that he had stayed up all night in fear of missing the flight incase he overslept.

He was wearing a black turtle-neck and jeans. The black shirt accentuated his blue eyes, and the turtle-neck only served to add more temptation to the neck that lay underneath it.

He looked hot.

The three of us talked until the time was 7.30am. There was less than an hour left for boarding, and they still weren’t here yet. I called Layla and she told me that Rana had informed her that the plane was at 10am and not 9. When M7ammad talked to Waleed and Khalid, they said the same thing.

M7ammad and I looked at the tickets in confusion.

Where did the 10am come from?

“Ymkn she got the timings wrong” M7ammad said, ever-so-coolly.

“Shino got the timings wrong! She sent me an email with everything! I was on the phone with her! What do you mean she got it wrong? Hatha wagt ma yu7tamal fee a’3al6!”

“May5alef Hayoo bs calm down el3a9abiya ma ra7 tenfa3 al7en…just call her and find out what happened” 3abdallah said, as he squeezed my hand in failed attempts to control my temper.

To say that I was furious when I called Rana would be the understatement of the century.

She didn’t pick up.



Three times.

After the forth missed call, she picks up.


“Hala Rana, shlonich?”

Fucking formalities...

“El7amdella Haya, enty keefik?”

Haya 7af ya zbala?!

I tried to control my breathing.

“Rana, tawny a7achy Layla oo elbajeen oo galooly you told them the plane is at 10?”

“Okay, and?”

There was something about her voice, but I couldn’t tell what it was.

“The plane is at 9…oo entay gelteely ana oo M7ammad hal 7achy bl email el dazzaity…entay mo dazzatlhom the email wla shlon?”

“Eh barke ana b3atellon email la7alon 2elt 3shan ma a7e6 kil tfaseel elsafra 3endon”

It didn’t make sense to me, but I let it go. She didn’t comment about the conflicting timings.

“Oo laish you told them the flight is at 10?”

“Elzaher eny nseet el7aky b3d lma b3atelkon…sho ya3ny fee mshekleh?”

3abdallah put his hand on my face. I was surprised by the gesture, but I understood what was going on when I saw the disheveled look in M7ammad’s eyes. I looked at my reflection in the mirror on Starbucks’ counter. My face was cherry red in fury.

I started screaming.

“Fee mesheklah? Eh fee meshekleh!! Elmshekleh enich a5arteehom oo ohma lel7een eb bait-hom oo they’re barely gonna make the flight…hatha if they make it at all!! If you can’t get the freaking job done, ba6lay 7aljich instead of ruining everything the way you did”

“Layke manna meshekle…enty ro7y m3 esthaz M7ammad halla2…w henne by7a9lookum”

She paused for a second, then lowered her voice and whispered mischievously.

“Haya, kilna bna3ref enik ma kteer btebla3y la M7ammad, bs layke matwa2a3 btkon mshekleh eza et7amalty bs tayosalo elba2een. This is business after all.”

I could see the evil victorious smile forming on her face from the tone of her voice.

“Hathy elsalfa ma r7 tmer mroor elkeram Rana…oo bas ared, bykon lee 7achy thany m3 Dr. Nasser”

“Oo shu baddek t2eleelo? Eny 3melt haik 2essa on purpose? It's an honest mistake. Ana ma 3melet shi”

I wasn’t sure if her voice was more cool or frozen, but I was more inclined to attribute it to the frozen side. I felt like I was going to rupture an artery in my head. The world around me went white. I couldn’t see or comprehend. The anger was clouding all five of my senses.

“Breathe Haya breathe”

“7beebty calm down its okay”

“Haya kil shay yen7al don’t worry”

The sound of his voice and his hand rubbing mine to and fro finally forced me to snap out of my rage. He looked at me with a genuinely concerned look on his face, leaning towards me as he squeezed my palm. The call on my cell phone was disconnected.

M7ammad was staring at me, with his wide blue eyes nearly protruding. His face was expressionless. He had never seen me angry before.

After I calmed down, 3abdallah explained to me and M7ammad that the best possible option was that I leave with M7ammad as planned, and wish that the others would make it on time. If they didn’t, they would catch the next flight to London two days later. I agreed reluctantly; I didn’t like the idea of giving that bitch Rana what she wanted in the end, especially when she had all this planned just to get back at me.

After we checked our luggage in, we moved towards passport control, which was the point where we and 3abdallah had to part. M7ammad and 3abdallah shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.

“Ma awa9eek 3la Haya…deer balek 3laiha”

“La t7aty Bo Najem”

M7ammad then gave us a few moments to say our goodbyes, and moved away. 3abdallah looked at him as he headed towards the queue. When M7ammad wasn’t within hearing distance, 3abdallah spoke.

“Hayoo…tgdreen tet7amalaina layn yo9loon elbajeen?”

“I hope so…3asa bs la y6awloon. I don’t know how long I can stand this spoilt brat”

“Adree 7ayaty…bs promise me ena etha 9ar ayshay, you’ll go to him without hesitating. I know you don’t like him very much, but I know he’s a reliable guy when things get down to it”

I pulled a puppy face.

“Bs 3abboud…wallah ma at7amala ybe6 chabdy. Mabyyyy!!”

“Please? That’s all I ask”. He put his hand on my cheek.

I smiled.

“Tamer amr 7beeby”

“Oo etha ba’3aity ay shay, let me know oo I’ll be there before you know it”

“I know sweetie”

“Oo la tensain 3la6ool t6amneeny…call me anytime or sms me, oo don’t worry about the time difference”

“7ather 7beeby”

M7ammad signaled for me to come when he reached the bottom of the queue. 3abdallah kissed my forehead, then looked deep into my eyes.

“I’m gonna miss Hayooyty…la elaha ella Allah”

“Mu7ammad rasool Allah. I love you.”

I walked towards M7ammad, watching 3abdallah’s eyes following me from the corner of mine. I was already missing him, despite all the feelings I felt yesterday – despite all the feelings I’ve been feeling for the past couple of months. I wanted to go back so badly - I wanted to run back as fast as my legs could carry me. I wanted to feel his arms around me and feel his lips on top of my head. I wanted to put my head against his chest and hear his heart beating. I wanted to hear his voice in my ears, telling me that everything was going to be fine.

But I didn't.

Instead, I walked silently by M7ammad side, using all my might to keep the moisture in my eyes from turning into a vigorously flowing waterfall. I assumed M7ammad was saving his energy to stay awake rather than talk.

We got on the plane without much hope that the others will make it, and sure enough they didn’t. M7ammad lay his chair back and fell asleep straight away. I hated that he just dozed off like that. I was never a fan of long flights; I needed someone to kill time with since I rarely fell asleep.

Before takeoff, though, 3abdallah sent me a message that drew a wide smile across my face and put me to sleep like a baby.

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
It’s not warm when she’s away
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And she’s always gone too long
Anytime she goes away

Wonder this time where she’s gone
Wonder if she’s gonna stay
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime she goes away

Thursday, December 18

dear readers

i just thought id let you know that my laptop has gone crazy, so its gonne be a few more days before i fix it and post the next part. Please bear with me and be patient =)

ps: im sorry i couldnt send out any email notifications because the list, like the post, is on my laptop =(

Love you guys =D

Saturday, December 13

Contrasting Realities 6

After calling Layla, Khalid and Waleed, I went downstairs to the main reception and stepped out of the building to call 3abdallah. I stood amidst the wind and took it all in. Then, I scrolled down to his number and sighed. I really didn’t want to do this.

Calling 3abboud...

My stomach churns.

He picks up.

“Aloo”. He sounded agitated.

”Hala 3abboud, shlonk?”

His voice instantly cleared up.

“Hala wallah b3yoon 3abboud, shlonich ya gumar?”

Do you ever feel like there are certain things you get tired of hearing?

“El7amdella,ent shlonk?”

“A7es nafsy ba6eer mn elfara7 3gb ma sema3t 9otich...I don’t even remember the last time you called me t9ab7een 3ly…killa ana eli adeg 3laich”

I felt a huge lump forming in my throat.

Awkward silence.

“Mo dagga bs 3shan t9ab7een 3ly, 9a7? Fee shay 9ayer…”

I forced out a nervous laugh. It sounded more like a shriek though.

“May5alef...if that’s what it takes 3shan asma3 9otich, then so be it...what’s up?”

His voice didn’t even seem the least bit upset. If only I could go back to being overly cheerful to having found this guy again. Why did things have to change? Where have all those feelings gone? I miss the days when I couldn’t wait to hear his voice and was overjoyed when he called me 7beebty.

“Hayoo, are you still there?”

“Huh? ee ee 7beeby kani”

“Hayoo sh9ayer? Laish mo 3la ba3thich? You're freaking me out!!”

“7beeby 3ndy safra London bacher for work”

“How long?”

“10 days”

“Great! Ana ma 3ndy shay this week”

Laa laaa laaa 7addk fahem '3ala6…

That shreiky nervous laugh again.

“3abboud...erm, you see the thing is...”

Awkward silence.

“…’s just that...”

“Hayooo, ma tabeeny ayee weyach?”

Awkward silence.

“7beebty, just tell me tra its okay...I’ll understand”


He sounded heartbroken, but he was trying to hide it. He would’ve been doing a pretty good job do if I didn’t know him as well as I did.

“Ee ee 7beebty I understand ena you need to keep a portion of your life 7aggich entay, mo kil shay you do with me. Etha btro7een bro7ich then 3la ra7tich 7beebty, oo etha tabeeny weyach ahed eldenya kilha 7aggich. I’m not going to pressure you to do anything”

I smiled. I knew 3abboud was one of a kind. I loved him, but why I coudnt be in love with him was beyond me.

“9ij 3abboud? Ya3ny you really don’t mind?”

“Yes 7beebty...may9eer kil shay we do it together...or else ra7 tmleen menny 9a7?”

I melted a little inside. This guy was as perfect as a guy will ever get.

If only I didn’t have to lie about what I was going to say next.

“Ana 3mry ma amel mennak 3abboud”

“Raja2an! Esmy 3abboudich, mo bas ay 3abboud!!”

I giggled.

“Where would I be without you?”

“Probably happily eating the food I steal from you whenever we go out to eat...which reminds me, you wanna go out for lunch elyom?”

“Atwa8a3 ma agdar cz I’ll be busy arranging everything”

He fell silent for a few minutes.

“I’m sorry sweetie”

“Laa shda3wa I know you’re busy...zain btro7een mkan wla ga3da bl shareka all day?”

“La ma atwa8a3 ena I’ll leave”

“Zain 3ady amrch lma a5ale9 dawam ag3ad m3 7beebty shway gabl la tsafer?”

Mabyyyyyyyy is what I thought.

“Ee sure, just let me know lman t5ale9”
is what I said.

“Ok 3yal I’ll see you later then...a7bch Hayooya”

“Me too 7beeby…yala ciao”

I hung up feeling a million different feelings at once. I was happy and sad. I was relaxed and angry. I was satisfied and wanting more. They were the same feelings I’ve been feeling around 3abboud lately after all the rush of us being together went away. He was the ultra-sweet guy in my life that I felt nothing more for. I just didn’t have the nerve to tell him that to his face.

Or maybe it was because I just lacked the justification for myself. After all, what more did I want? What more could I possibly ask for?

I spent my working day as usual, but with more coordination with Rana, who wasn’t exactly very pleasant with me. Especially after she heard M7ammad’s voice in my office in the afternoon when she called to inform me that everything has been taken care of.

I, ofcourse, put in a little extra effort to be extra feminine when I was addressing him when she was on the phone with me. I don’t know why, but it gave me pleasure to annoy her after the way she treated me infront of him in the morning.

When M7ammad came over, we looked over the course’s schedule and allocated tasks to each member. By the time everything got sorted, we were exhausted and drained, and it was nearly 6pm. I was half-lying in my chair and M7ammad was sitting on top of my desk.

“Ana bamoot mn elyoo3…entay makla shay?”

“Laa wallah mn el9b7 oo ana 3la halga3da…just gulping down mugs and mugs of coffee”

“You wanna order something till we wrap everything up?”

“Ee sure, what do you have in mind?”

There was a knock on the door of my office. I wondered who would be visiting me now, after-hours. I asked the person to come in.

It was 3abdallah. He had a bag from Paul in one hand and a bouquet of my favorite blue lilies in the other.

I sat up straight instantly. M7ammad got off my desk. It was a strange reaction and I don’t know why either of us did it.

“Sorry Hayoo ma kint adree ena lel7een you’re working”

“Laa laa we’re not working…t3al 7beeby…you remember M7ammad from our employees camp a few months ago, right?”

“Who doesn’t remember M7ammad? Shlonk Bu Jassem?”. He put everything on the coffee table and they shook hands.

“Halla wallah…shlonk Bu Najem?”

“Kint zain lain Haya galatly enkom bta5thoonha menny”

I blushed. M7ammad laughed.

“Yuba ay na5eth’ha menk…she’s just going shopping la t9adegha wayed”

“You guys are mean!”

“Yala 5al amshy ana bamoot mn elta3ab” M7ammad said as he proceeded to pack his laptop.

“Laish ma takel weyana Bu Jassem?”

“Mo yo3an wallah…oo I have things to do…bl3afya 3laikom”

“Allah e3afeek”

“Oo Haya, la tensain bacher you have to be in the airport at 7am”

“That’s not going to be a problem for me M7ammad, but it may be for you” I teased.

He said goodbye and left, leaving me behind with 3abdallah.

“What’s all this?”

“I figured if you can’t come to lunch, lunch will come to you” he said as he kissed my head.

“7beeby that’s so sweet!”

“Ba3ad shasawy? Magdar akel bedoon Haya”

We had lunch together, and we talked about nothing in particular. Before I knew it, it was 10pm and I had to head home to start packing and sleep. I was really enjoying his company and I didn’t want to leave until he started talking about how much he’ll miss me and how much he loves me. That’s when I started feeling uncomfortable and I felt like I needed to get out of there sooner before later.

I hated the way I was feeling towards 3abdallah. I loved him one moment, and hated him the next. I wanted him with me one moment and avoided him the next. I yearned for him one moment, and was repelled by the thought of my brother the next.

It was a rollercoaster ride, and it was eating me up from the inside day after day. But the most overwhelming feeling was not being able to fall head over heels for this guy, despite everything he is.

Before I went to sleep, I got my usual goodnight message from him.

Good night ya a7la Haya bldenya ;**

Just like every other day, it sent me off to sleep feeling a mountain of guilt about not being able to feel the same way towards him.

But today, it was guilt with a sprinkle of optimism. I had high hopes that my trip to London and my time away from 3abdallah would change the way I’m feeling towards him right now.

Little did I know, that would be the least of my worries 10 days later.

Monday, December 8

Contrasting Realities 5

Exactly two days later, I called 5alty um-3abdallah.

“Bashray Hayooo”

“I like your suggestion 5alty”


“Bs 3ndy shar6 wa7ed”

“Tamreen amr 7beebty”

“I won’t do anything gabl la ag3ad m3 3aballah face to face and have a serious conversation about this with him”

“Oo laish tgoleenly ana hal7achy o ma gelteela oho?”

“L2ana oho 7achach entay mo ana 5alty”

She sighed.

“9ar 7beebty”

That night, 3abdallah called me, asking me if we can go out for dinner together. He was to pick me up at 7pm, and we were going to LeNotre. After hours of staring at my closet, trying to dress appropriately for the ‘occasion’, I settled for my black strapless dress from that day.

I knew that was an excellent choice the moment I opened my house’s door and saw the look he gave me. His eyes widened and his smile broadened. He froze.

I walked towards him, till I got to the passenger door of the Khaki CLS that he was leaning against. His eyes were following me all the way, but he still hadn’t moved an inch.

“Shlon? Bnro7 wla hawant? Tra ana yo3ana!” I teased.

He blinked quickly, then looked deep into my eyes. I could feel myself blush.

“Tekfain bas yalmafjoo3a mo tro7een tfashleena hnak oo tathrbeen bl 5ams…adree feech ma t3arfeen weldch 7azzat el2akel” he said, as he opened the door for me.

I got into the seat and started buckling my seatbelt, assuming he’s moving to the driver’s seat. Suddenly, he bent down till his lips were only centimeters apart from my right ear. He whispered.

“You look stunning”

He stopped there for a few moments, breathing into my ear and down the nape of my neck. His breath in my ears tickled me. His breath down my neck left me intoxicated. When he finally moved away, I exhaled deeply. Then I smiled. It was a smile that I first used with my first crush back in 5th grade. It was the smile that proved to me that 3abdallah could be more than just my brother.

During dinner, we sat in the veranda and caught up on the past two years when we haven’t been very close. The more I talked to him, the more I imagined me and him together. I guess his mother was right; all I had to do was give him a chance and think outside the box.

It was nearly 10pm now, and we had had our dinner, our dessert and our coffee. Still, 3abdallah hadn’t managed to utter a single word about the topic we were here for. My back was aching and my legs were in pain, so I suggested we leave.

The moment we stepped out of LeNotre, a chilly breeze swept by us. I stopped, and let the wind blow through my hair and my dress. I let out a little shriek of delight.

“Ambaih! 3abboud eljaw mo 9ij!”

I stood infront of LeNotre and closed my eyes. Almost instantly, I detached myself from the world I lived in. I let the sound fill my ears and I let the flow feel every last piece of my skin. I felt the wind and I breathed the wind and I lived the wind.

“Haya...” he whispered again in my ears.

I opened my eyes and looked at him. His fingers reached to my face as he moved my flying hair out of it. With his palm still on my cheek, he looked deep into my eyes and smiled. I felt my insides turn into mush.

“Lail7een you like to walk?” he whispered again.

“Always” I giggled.

“Shrayech ntmasha shway b hal jaw?” he said, and he held his hand out for me to hold.

Standing there in the wind, looking at his outstretched hand, I couldn’t help but think about how I’ve wasted a year of my life without this perfect guy. The guy I knew inside out. The guy I knew would treat me right and put me before anything else.

I put my palm in his, and he squeezed it tightly, still looking into my eyes and smiling. We walked in silence, enjoying each others company and the beautiful weather. As the time became later, the temperature continued to drop. Suddenly, he stopped.

“Hayoo your hands are freezing!”

I snapped back to the real world and realized that I had lost all sensations in my skin. My strapless dress was not helping at all. I had left my cardigan back in his car, not thinking that the night would end up this way.

“Laa 3ady…I’ll be fine” I smiled.

“Ma7ad fine!”

He took of his jacket and put it on my shoulders. The jacket still smelled like his Polo Black by Ralph Lauren - the jacket still smelled like him. I took a deep breath and let it all in. I looked at him and smiled, but he was looking beyond me.

“Hayooo, entay la7ath-tay e7na wain we9alna?”

I looked around me. We were at Carino’s. We had walked all the way from LeNotre to Carino’s. To say that time flew by would be the understatement of the millennium. I giggled.

“Shaklk kint meshtehy Carino’s o yebtna hnee nakel mara thanya” I winked.

“Zain shbinsawy al7en?”

“Na3oodo mn 7aitho ataiyna?”

“Feech shadda tamsheen 3gb kil hatha?”


“3la ra7tich 7beebty…ana ma 3ndy mane3”

The word slipped out of his mouth involuntarily. His facial expression changed suddenly and he lowered his gaze to the floor. Even in the dark, I could see he was blushing.

He looked so cute!

“Ra7at 7beebtk ehya ra7tk”. I waited for him to look up. I needed to look into his eyes. He didn’t though.

"Now yala 3ad tra ma a7eb ogaf wayed…5al namshy!” I started walking again, with his hand still in mine.

But he didn’t move as I started walking away. His grip made me bounce back to where I was standing, and our bodies were now inches apart. We didn’t say a word – with my hand in his, our eyes did all the talking. We stood there for what seemed like an eternity but was more like minutes, if not seconds.

I smiled.

He put his arm around me, and we started walking again. Never did I feel so safe in someone’s arms before. Never did I feel such warmth radiating from someone before. I felt like there was nothing in the world that can bring me down from the clouds I was on top of.


“3yoon oo galb oo roo7 3abboudich”

“Can I ask you something that will possibly ruin this moment?”

“Nothing can ruin this moment 7beebty”

“Why didn’t you ever tell me directly that you were interested in me?”

He answered in a split second. He had obviously prepared for this before we met me. What can I say? I guess he knew me a little too well.

“Because I knew you would say no in the beginning, and would probably think I’m a sick freak and would never ever give me another chance again”

“Fair enough, but what made you think I’ll say yes in the end?”

“You keep forgetting that I know you inside out Haya. Because I knew you’re stubborn. Because I knew you needed to think about it before you dismiss it. Because I knew that once you thought about it logically, you’d realize it actually might work out. But most importantly, because I knew you’re worth the wait”

I felt butterflies in my tummy and I smiled. He kissed my forehead. Then we continued our walk back to LeNotre in silence.

When we arrived to my house, it was nearly 11.30pm. He stopped the engine and spoke.

“Had fun?”

“You have no idea”


“So is that a yes, no or maybe?”

“Agoolk wla ared 7g 5alty 5abar?” I teased.

“Yala 3ad Haya…ana mn 9iji ga3d at7acha!”

“That’s a maybe…with very high yes likelihood”

The sparkle in his eyes made me melt. Then, he suddenly put his hand on my belly.

“T’haigan meta ra7 atres hal ba6n 3yal?”

I felt heat radiating from my face.

“When the time is right” I said as I put my hand on his. I left it there for a few moments, then removed it to open my door, but he held on to my other hand. He kissed it.

“Haya, thank you for the most amazing night of my life”

My face grew accustomed to all the redness. I was running out of replies.

“No 3abboudy, thank you”

I squeezed his hand one last time before I let go. Then I walked into my house. My mom was asleep on the couch next to the door and my dad was sitting next to her reading the paper. She woke up to the sound of the door squeaking.

“Hayooo wayed te2a5arty…I was worried sick about you! Kint badeg 3laich oo obooch gal fechy 3anha shwaya”

Dad looked at me, and he just knew.

“It’s a yes, isn’t it?”

“Baba, it’s a tired-and-wanna-sleep!! Mo al7en” I exclaimed.

“Hayooo atleast goleelna sh9ar?” mom said.

Dad cut her off.

“5alas 5alas, 5alha tro7 tnam al7en…b3dain we talk about it”

“T9b7on 3la 5air ya a7la parents bldenya” I said, and kissed them both before I left.

I went to my room upstairs and lay on my bed without changing my clothes, thinking about how magical this day had been. I pinched myself a couple of times just to make sure I wasn’t asleep.

But it was only when my mobile beeped that I truly believed I wasn’t dreaming.


From: 3abboud

I am the luckiest man alive. Sweet dreams yaly ma5tha 3agl 3abboud weyach elyom ;**

I replied.

T9b7 3la 5air ya a7la 3abboud bldenya…3abboudy ana broo7y ;**

Saturday, December 6

Contrasting Realities 4

To say I was stunned would be the understatement of the millennium. Never in a million years did I imagine that 3abdallah would think of me like that. We’ve been talking nearly everyday for the past 2 years, and he never even made a gesture that implied he was interested. I mean, he was like my brother and I was like his sister.

My facial expression changed instantly and mom saw it.

“What’s wrong Hayoo? I thought you’d be overjoyed! I thought you liked 3abboud”

“I love 3abboud mama, bs mo chithee. He’s like my brother and I can’t think of him any other way”

“Hayoo, are you trying to convince me ena kil hal 7achy oo elga3dat m3 ba3ath oo wla mara ba6al halmawthoo3 weyach?”

“Mama loo kan mba6l elmawthoo3 ma3ay, chan ana geltla la2 oo elmawthoo3 ma w9alch a9lan!”

Mom sighed.

“Zain o 3abdallah shfee ya3ny mo 3ajbch? Wala fee a7ad thany eb balech?”

“Yumma mako a7ad thany oo mafee shay l9bay mashallah 3aleh eyanen bs not for me. I just can’t think of him like that. He’s my brother oo you know that more than anyone else. Oo b3dain, ana a9lan mo 7a6a eb baly zawaj or anything al7en, maly 5elg halswalef, lail7eeny 9’3eera”

“Haya, you’re 23, shkether btan6reen ya3ny? Oo b3dain l9bay t3arfeena, oo a5la8a 3alya oo ahala eyanenoon oo met3alem oo open-minded…shtabeen zyada?”

I paused for a second and tried to contemplate the idea. But I couldn’t. The thought of me and 3abdallah – of me and my brother – disgusted me.

“Mama please, I’ve made up my mind. I don’t wanna talk about this anymore”

I tried to minimize talking to 3abdallah after this incident and avoiding him. I also noticed that he stopped calling me and messaging me like he used to before. He never actually talked to me about it or opened the subject with me – it was like nothing ever happened.

Things were awkward and uncomfortable, but the worst part was losing him a second time and missing him so badly.

Three months later, mom came and talked to me again because he had asked his mother to give it one more shot. I refused once more. Two months later, the same conversation went on with mom, and I was still sticking to my decision.

And it went on and on and on. They went back and forth to my mom four times in two years, until the last time about six months ago. It was about a month before I started working for my current company.

“Hayoo, Um-3abdallah taby t7acheech 3n 3abdallah”

“Shlon ya3ny taby t7acheeny 3n 3abdallah?”

“Ya3ny she wants to know why you keep saying no constantly, l2ana tgool she knows you too well oo she wants to know shino salfitich”

“Mama mako salfa you know that! I’m not with anyone else oo there’s nothing wrong with 3abdallah! I just don’t want him! Can’t I make my own decisions?!”

“Goleelha entay hal7achy tra entay 7addich mfashlatny wiyaha”

“Mama I can’t tell her maby weldch chithee eb wayeha! I like her too much to do that wallah may9eer”

“Oo ana magdar agoolaha la t7acheenha Hayoo…ana already mtfashla menha bsebetch, oo they’ve been nothing but extremely civilized and patient with your unreasonable head! Wallah loo 3abboud weldy chan segta 6rag ena lel7een m36eech wayh a9lan. Deggy 3laiha oo 7acheeha”

“Bs mama – “

“Mako bas…ana dala3tich zyada 3n elezoom”

Reluctantly, I called her up. After exchanging formalities, she went straight to the point.

“Haya 7abeebty, shfeech 3la 3abboud?”

I sighed.

“5alty wallah ma feeny shay bs 3abboud nafs o5oy, I cant think of him like that…wallah mo 8a9dy shay, ana adree oho 5osh 9bay oo entay 5osh 5alah, bs I just can’t imagine it in my head”

She paused for a second, then spoke.

“I know what you mean”

“You do? Shlon? Etha a9lan my own mother thinks I’m crazy!!”

“Hayoo, ana adree feech 7beebty…tadreen loo 3ndy bnaya entay btkoneen agrablee menha. I know what you mean exactly. Entay oo 3baid metrabyeen m3 ba3ath oo akthar mn e5wan, so I understand that things feel awkward. That’s why ana ma e3taratht lma 3baid gal se2looha mara oo athnain oo thalath. Rabby el3alem loo someone else chan shino sawwait fee”

She took a breath, then continued.

“Hayoo, ana ban967ch n9ee7a chenna entay eli bnty oo oho mo weldy…l9bay shareech shareech shareech, you have no idea. Oo methl ma gelty, mo nag9a shay. So shino bte5sreen if you give it a try? Ymkn oho ma ya3jeba elwath3 oo he walks out, ymkn ma tetaf8oon…enty shdarach?”

“Ee bs 5alty – “

“Sm3eeny lel2a5er Hayoo. If I was in your shoes, I would agree to taking things slow, very very slow…la 5e6ba wala ya7zanoon oo a7e6 7g nafsy time limit mu3ayan to make a decision b3dain. Eb hal time limit, think of 3abdallah in a non-brother kind of way, oo see how you’re gonna react to it. In the beginning, it won’t be easy…bs ba3dain, you’ll find it really easy to make a decision, be it you accept his proposal or reject it. Oo ana geltlch eli 3ndy Hayoo, fakkray blmawthoo3 oo reddy 3ly”

“5alty ana – “

“Hayoo…7beebty…I don’t want an answer now, bs I expect you to call me in a couple of days…oo I expect good news from you – whether for the good of weldy 3baid or benty Hayoo is up to you…oo entay tadreen ana shkether a7ebich ya gumar no matter what your decision will be…etfa8na?”

“Inshallah 5alty”

Monday, December 1

Contrasting Realities 3

Wa ma adraka ma 3abdallah?

I’ve known 3abdallah since…ever. His mother and mine were best friends in college. When I was born, I used to spend the vast majority of my time with him since I was an only child. We went to the same school together, did our homeworks together, played together, and slept over at each others houses on the weekends. He was the brother I never had. His parents also treated me like their own daughter since they only had four sons.

When we finished Year 7, 3abdallah’s dad was assigned as a diplomat for the Kuwaity Embassy in the USA. 3abdallah and I were devastated; we couldn’t imagine ourselves apart. The day before they left, I locked myself in my room and pretended to be asleep because I knew the goodbye was going to be too hard. Ironically, he didn’t even come with his family to say goodbye.

The day they left, I lost my ability to speak. The doctor said that it was a common psychological manifestation to traumatizing events, and that I would eventually recover from it. Three weeks later, I did. What I didn’t recover from, though, was the fact that he picked up and moved on just like that, without even bidding me farewell.

His family moved back three years later, but 3abdallah stayed behind for high school and college. He was away for more than 10 years, and the only things I knew about him were the stories 5alty um-3abdallah told us about. Even when he would come back to Kuwait for vacations, he didn’t try to contact me, and neither did I him. We were never in touch.

I had lost my brother – my only brother.

About four years ago, 3abdallah finally came back home after getting his Engineering degree. His mom had a huge isti8bal to celebrate his return, and had invited all her friends.

I still remember that day like it was yesterday. His mom asked me to go and get her mobile phone that she had forgotten upstairs. I went upstairs to get the phone, but I couldn’t find it. So I called it from my cell phone to try to trace the sound. I followed it into the corridor with all the bedrooms, and tried to localize where it was coming from, but it wasn’t easy with all the music in the background.

I stood still infront of one of the closed rooms in the middle of the corridor with my eyes closed, trying to follow the sound. Suddenly, I felt something furry creeping up my legs towards my short dress.

What happened next is a bit of a blur to me, but all I know is that there was some screaming, there was a white Persian cat, there was some jumping and there was a door opening. Then, there was me in someone’s big broad shoulders, with my arms tightly clenched behind his back, and his arms completely surrounding me.

One moment of awkward silence.
Two moments of awkward silence.
Three moments of awkward silence.

I looked up, with tears of fear still in my eyes.

Looking down at me were dark brown eyes, with thick lashes. Looking down at me was a face filled with concern and sincerity.

Looking down at me was a smile more genuine than any smile I had ever seen.

Even though I hadn’t seen him in nearly 10 years, I knew that the person looking down at me was 3abdallah: the little boy I spent hours on the buggy with, the little boy I chased cats with all around the neighborhood, the little boy whom I missed tremendously when he was gone.

He finally broke the silence.

“Esmella 3laich…inshallah feeny oo mo feech” he said as he wiped the tears off my face.

“3abdallah?” I asked, still not breaking loose from him.

“Egolooon”. He winked.

I was staring at him, and still holding on tightly.

“3ad omy galatly Hayoo is all grown up and pretty now, bs ma galatly ennich 9rty gumar chithee”

I felt my face go red, and I let go of him. I couldn’t speak out of shock and embarrassment.

“Wain l bnaya eli kint afajer weyaha gwa6y elKDD ta7t sayarat oboy? Eli kanat tyee ten7ash bdary lman omha kanat tdawerha 3shan tmashe6laha sha3rha oo t9are5 lman eyeebonlaha nafnoof? Eli kan kil l9bayan blfreej ye5tar3oon oo yen7ashoun menha?”

I smiled, still speechless.

“Its not physically possible enna the brown-haired, hazel-eyed, perfectly polished slammin’ hottie in this strapless black dress jeddamy is the same person. Tekfain, shysawoon 9bayan lfreej al7en?”

“Ma kint m’3azel before you left 3abboud. Malat 3laik, fashaltny”

He elbowed me.

“Agool yal baree2a, 7aseseeny enna wa7da gumar methlich mo sam3a halkalam mn gabl”

From that day on, 3adballah and I spent a lot of time together whether in family gatherings or on the phone or on msn or smsing. I had missed him a lot, and it was great catching up with him after so long. We talked for hours everyday in our garden, in his garden, while driving and before we slept. Basically at any given time, I was reconnecting with my long lost brother.

About two years ago, and also about two years since I had reconnected with 3abdallah, my mom came into my room and sat on my bed, with a huge smile on her face.

“Hayoo, 5altch Um-3abdallah called...etgool she has some good news for you”

“5air mama sh9ayer?”

“Etgool 3abdalla yaby eyee ya56bch”

Wednesday, November 26

Contrasting Realities 2

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent.

I could recognize it anywhere - even when it was mixed with such a strong stench of cigarettes. But it was too strong not to be recognized anyway; he’d obviously just sprayed it before he left his car.

I imagined his piercing blue eyes and pitch black hair. I imagined his baby skin and unshaven face. I imagined his bad boy attractiveness that I faced every morning and pretended didn’t appeal to me.

But I didn’t flinch, never mind stop.

Mally 5elga elyom.

“9ba7 el5air Haya”

Did I really think I could avoid him when he was in the elevator I was talking to the same place he’s headed? I smiled at my own stupidity. Then, I stopped and turned around to face him.

His eyes were exhausted and his hair was messy. The skin underneath his eyes was darker than the snow white rest of him. He was wearing a pair of worn out jeans and a tshirt. It was the first time I’ve seen him dressed casually, and there was something so sexy about the look he was pulling off.

I knew he would see the spark in my eyes the moment I looked at him, and I knew I would rather die before giving him that knowledge. I forced myself to think of how highly I disliked him. He looks unprofessional, clumsy, tired, exhausted, terrible – that was it, terrible!

“Dude…you look terrible.”

He smiled. That sly smile of his. The kind of smile that made you wonder what the hell he was thinking. The type that you couldn’t tell was genuine, sarcastic, bemused or simply bored his mind out.

“This is what waking up at 7 does to me. I’ll never understand how you do it day after day”

I’m not a lazy bum like you, that’s how.

“Did Nasser talk to yet?” he asked.

“Yeah. I’m headed to his office now”

I paused for a second, then continued.

“Oh, so that’s why your Excellency has graced us with your presence so early"

That smile again.

“Shisalfa Haya?”

“Wallah madree M7ammad, bs something tells me it can’t be good”

“Oo laish bs yabeena ana oo entay?”

“Madree meno galek esmy Nasser” I said sarcastically.

“Zain yala emshay 5anroo7la”
he said, signaling for me to enter the elevator. I was gazing into his eyes so intensly that I oversaw the fact that he had been holding the door open for me this entire time. When I entered, his cigarette breath got stronger and it gave me a migraine. I held my breath till we got to the CEO’s office. I grieved the waste of M7 that I could’ve been inhaling right now.

The moment the elevator door opened in the 12th floor, we were greeted by Nasser’s secretary.

Or should I say M7ammad was greeted by Nasser’s secretary?

“9aba7 elward estaz M7ammad…keefak?”

“Wallah el7amdella Rana…entay shlonich?”

“Kteer mnee7a…keef baddy 2ol ‘3air shi eza yawmy beda bshawftak?” she said, and I thought I saw her wink.

He smiled.

There was a moment of awkward silence.

I cleared my throat.

“Dector Nasser mntezrak mn sa3et elda2ait 3laik el9be7”

She got up to knock on his door, swinging her hips a little too conspicuously as she walked towards it. He checked her out, not even bothering to try and hide it infront of me

Then again, I couldn’t blame him. Nearly every female that knew M7ammad (or had heard of him for that matter) was all over him. He was the eligible bachelor in town. He came from a well-known rich family. He was educated and open-minded. He was smart and witty. To top it all, though, his mom was American, and he’d inherited his stunningly good looks from her.

Those eyes – those mesmerizing blue eyes.

I personally didn’t like M7ammad. He was a daddy’s boy who always had to get what he wanted. Whether that was a job that someone else worked really hard to get or a girl that he would later dump, none of that mattered as long as he was pleased by the end of the day. It was always him first, then the rest of the world.

He did have that charm though, the kind that left everyone on their tiptoes. I had to admit it. At some point, the little naughty boy in him even got to me. But I knew his type too well to succumb to my desires. He was the type who thought they had every right to treat people like crap just because they were superior to them. I couldn’t stand that.

But why God why did he have to smell so amazing?

Dr. Nasser was on the phone when we entered. He signaled for us to sit down, and continued what seemed to be a very distressing phone call. He looked at me a couple of times and rolled his eyes. Then he looked at M7ammad and shot himself with the gun he made out of his palm. We couldn’t help but smile.

A few minutes later, he got off the phone and looked at the sea through the window. He took a deep long breath and let it out. Then, he looked back at us and smiled. Like his smile, his eyes were tired and worn out. In these past few weeks, I’ve witnessed this young man at-heart age 50 years. The recent crashings were affecting him, the company and our customers deeply. I wished there was something I could do to help him through it.

Dr. Nasser had always been a fatherly figure to me, and had helped me many times throughout my career. Despite the fact that I was an economics major, I had always had a passion for marketing. It was Dr. Nasser who motivated me to pursue a career in marketing, and assigned me to a job with the marketing team to encourage me further. I knew I was one of his favorite employees. He always liked and supported persistent people who went to all extremes to achieve their goals.

Why he liked M7ammad though, was beyond my comprehension.

“Did he come out here straight out of bed?” he said, referring to M7ammad and looking at me.

I smiled.

“Matshoof Haya ya7lailha yaya mzaheba oo kash5a oo shakilha mayfashil elsharika etha shafha a7ad?”

“Its 7 in the morning ya3ny shatbeeny asawy?”

“I want you to explain to me why the Finance Director mo ga3d ydawem at 7am if the company lost 7.8 million KD in the last two weeks”

M7ammad lowered his gaze and looked at his Nikes in shame.

“Elmohem, ana mo yaybk hnee 3shan azefk. I know none of this is your fault. Ana yayebkom elyom mn fayer allah 3shan agoolkom 3la suggestion, oo I want you to help me decide on what to do”

M7ammad looked up at him. He continued.

“The University of London is organizing a crash course on Crisis Management because of the recent crashings starting after tomorrow and lasting 10 days. I think it might be very beneficial if you guys went there and came back with some ideas on how to save our company and maneuver through this mess. What do you think?”

I looked at M7ammad for a few moments.

“I think it might be a good idea. After all, the European markets aren’t crashing as badly as the US markets, so maybe knowing their strategies would help us here”

M7ammad nodded.

“Then you guys are headed to London tomorrow. I want the head of each department to go too. That means Layla, Waleed and Khalid. Do you think that’s enough, or do you think you should take more people?”

“I think that’s more than enough”

“Excellent. I’ll talk to Rana now so she can arrange everything for you.”

M7ammad spoke.

“Are you sure you can afford to ship us off for 10 days hal7azza? The market isn’t getting any better, you know”

“7asesny enna your presence here is making it better 7amood”
he teased.

We got up to leave. When we got to the door, Dr. Nasser called us.


We turned around.

“Things are pretty bad. I want you two to come back with good news.”

We nodded. As we left his office, we heard him on the intercom asking Rana to arrange our traveling plans.

“Sho? Baddak troo7 3a london?”

“Ee inshallah” he said

“Meen baddak ta5od ma3ak?”

“Wallah so far, ana oo Haya oo a few more people”

She looked at me from head to toe, clearly disgusted.

“Ma baddak 7adda yratblk she’3lak honeek?”

“Wallah I’ll see…ymkn a7achy my secretary tyee weyay etha kilish kilish”

Her face turned into the deepest shades of red. A broad smile made its way to my lips. I love how he caught her off-guard. That should teach her not to throw herself onto people like that.

She looked at me with flaring eyes when she saw the smile on my face. Even though everyone (including herself) knew that nothing in the world could turn me off more than the idea of me and M7ammad, the little naughty girl in me decided to make an appearance just to piss her off.

“7amood, yala tra warana ashya2 wayed…we don’t have time to waste!” I said, as I walked towards the elevator, not looking back.

As he followed me to the elevator, we talked about our travel arrangements. Given the not-so-functional state he was in, I suggested he went home and slept. I told him I would coordinate with Rana myself, and call Layla, Waleed and Khalid to tell them what was happening.

But it wasn’t those three calls that I dreaded. It was the one I had to make to 3abdallah that ate me from the inside out.

Saturday, November 22

Contrasting Realities 1

When you’re gone,
All the colors fade when you’re
Colors seem to fade

I toss and turn in my bed. The alarm keeps going on. I reach for my phone to shut it off without opening my eyes, but send it flying across the room instead. It stops as soon as it hit the marble floor, and I go back to sleep, sinking underneath my blanket just a little bit more.

Law betmanna t9eer jnoony
Bt9eer b lam7 elba9ar
Law baddak tes’har b3yoony
Bnes’har ta ye’3fa elsahar

“Elissa tra 7adda mo wagtich al7en…roo7ay sehray eb mukan thany oo wa5ray 3anny zain”

She doesn’t listen to me, and continues singing. I want to get up and smash my phone into tiny little chewable pieces, but I can’t move. I wait till she shuts up, and fall back asleep.

If I hate everything about you
Why do I love you?
If you hate everything about me
Why do you love me?

The bass guitar and drums pierce my ear drums. The sound of the phone vibrating against the marble floor is irritating beyond belief. I open my eyes, but quickly shut them again. Even though the curtains were pulled down, there were sunrays peeking through them. I scream from my bed.

“SHUT THE HELL UP!! Kaani g3adt!”

My third alarm keeps ringing, ignoring my angry screams. I turn to lie on my back and open my eyes to stare at the ceiling, ignoring the sunrays. I angrily, pull the blanket off my body and get up. I give myself a head rush because I got up too fast, but I continue walking towards the sound, enraged. I turn the alarm off, and stand still for a moment.

Silence is highly underestimated.

“Ya fatta7 ya 3aleem ya razza2 ya kareem…shino kil hal hate 3l9b7!!”

I put on my slippers and I swear at myself for setting such an annoying alarm. As I brush my teeth, I tell myself how I need to change it. I don’t think it’s healthy to wake up to this type of passionate hatred so early in the morning. I quickly change my mind, though, as I put on my clothes. I knew there was no other way I would get out of bed at 7am.

I get in my black SL500 and take the first exit to Gulf Street. I step on my gas.

100 km/h. 120 km/h. 140 km/h. 160 km/h.

But even while I was doing 180 km/h on an 80km/h street, I wasn’t satisfied.

This was the only positive aspect of my day - of my everyday. When I graduated from CBA as an Economics major, I never imagined that my life would end up in such a killer routine. I had always imagined I’d be a successful business woman who traveled alot, was always in a business lunch and couldn’t get off her cell phone. After working in the Ministry of Finance, several private companies and NBK, I knew that working in the stock market was as exciting as life will ever become for someone like me. I accepted that reality, along with the reality that my life ceases to be interesting after working hours.

With the top down, I realized that the weather was a bit chilly, just the way I liked it. I loved Kuwait this time of year, but I loved it even better in winter, when rain was so heavy that you couldn’t get to your car without being soaked. I’ve always been a winter person, which is a difficult trait to live with given my geographical location. But then again, I never imagined my life outside Kuwait; I lived and breathed this country, and I knew I could never leave it.

When I stopped at the traffic light, I fixed my hair that was now literally all over the place. I remembered the saying I heard in last night’s movie about a good day: elma2, wel5ethra, welwajh el7asan. I looked at the serene sea, with the trees lining it and thought to myself that’s two out of three. I was still on the lookout for elwajh el7asan though. I looked in the rearview mirror into my hazel eyes.

I guess I’ll just have to do for now.

As I drove into the parking lot, I realized that the basement is emptier than usual. I parked in my designated space and closed my top. Then I made my way to the elevator, carefully avoiding the water dripping from the ceiling. As I waited for the elevator, I looked at my car, and at my parking space.

Haya Al-Somebody
Marketing Director

I knew I was pretty successful for a 25-year old Kuwaiti female. I was the holder of an MBA and was preparing for a Master’s degree in marketing. I was working in a very prestigious company. And most importantly, I achieved this all by myself, no ass-kissing, no wastas, no daddy’s money or otherwise.

When the elevator arrived, I smiled before I got in, just like I did every other day. This is where the positivity of my day usually ends, with this image in my head. I remind myself of how lucky and successful I am and I enter the elevator. Once I got out on the third floor, I knew there would be no rest till I got back in at 5pm.

Being the company’s marketing director, I wasn’t really required to show up so early, but I did anyway since I had nothing better to do. My secretary had always hated this fact, because it meant she had to be prompt with her timings too. I saw it in her fake smile when she greeted me every morning.

But today, her smile was slightly different. There seemed to be a bit more worry in her eyes as well. That wasn’t a good sign at 7.30am.

“9ba7 el5air estatha Haya”
“9aba7 elnoor Fajer. How was your weekend?”
“El7amdella kilshay tamam. Just a bit worried about my job with the recent crashings in the market”
I smiled.
“La t7ateen, things are bound to get better soon. There’s an up after every down”
“Inshallah 5air…estatha Haya, Dr. Nasser said he wants you in his office as soon as you get here”

“Dr. Nasser? As in the CEO?”
She nodded
“Oo oho shyayba hnee hal7azza? He never shows up before 11!”
“I was here at 7 this morning and he had been here for a while. He seemed a bit worried, and he asked to see you and estath M7ammad first thing when you got here”

I left my bag in my office and headed towards the elevator. I walked in circles around the elevator’s door and, as I waited, a million thoughts crossed my head. This definitely wasn’t good news, given the state of the market recently. And why did he want me anyway? I had nothing to do with finance or accounting or what have you. I felt my tummy churning with every step I took and with every circle I completed.

But it wasn’t until I caught a good whiff of his perfume that I could hear my tummy churning.

Sunday, November 16

something along those lines...

When I first started blogging (or spilling rather), I did it to vent about life and what it decides to throw at me. Never did I think that I would get sucked into it this badly.

The more I blogged, I realized that writing was my way of escaping the harsh realities I have to face everyday. Even though everything I’ve written previously were true stories, somehow everything around me started revolving around my stories. I began to interpret and twist my everyday happenings into my writings.

Yes – I’m a firm believer of denial!

With the support of my dearest readers, I decided to create a blog that is purely dedicated to my writings and to my stories. None of this would’ve been possible without your motivation, and no, I’m not just saying that! Who knew I could write? Thanks for bearing with me along the way. I really love you guys ;**

Oh, and if you’re new here and you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you can find some samples of my writings in the spills box on the right ;)

As much as you will hate me for this, comment moderation for this blog will always be ON. I’m writing to escape my realities, not to face them! So if you think there are some things that are unacceptable in my stories, then I urge you to stop wasting your time by reading them! I know what’s right and what’s wrong, but I also know that if I can’t do something myself, then I should be atleast allowed to fantasize about it.

Again, denial – sue me!

I cannot (repeat CANNOT) promise that this blog will be updated as frequently as I would like, but I do promise to update it regularly. So far, thats once every few days. As a reader of many stories around the blogosphere, I know that that’s an eternity. But I also have another blog to take care of, and oh-so-much studying. You never know though, maybe I’ll start writing more often the more I get sucked into the story ;)

If you would like to receive email notifications when this blog is updated, please leave your emails here, and I will add you to the mailing list.

Finally, I know that once I start writing, everyone will start asking me if my stories are true. Well, as a whole, they’re not…but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t associated with certain events or inspired by certain people…or related to happenings with me or based on anecdotes that I’ve heard from others.

So I guess that makes them fictional…

or something along those lines...