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...