Saturday, January 31

Contrasting Realities 14

missed you guys ;**
extra long post since i've been away for so long =)

It took a lot of effort on my behalf to keep my eyes in their sockets for the next few moments. I sat there with my butter knife in one hand and my toast slice in the other, assuming that my jaw was wide open but still, having no power to close it whatsoever.

“It’ll look nice in your hair. It goes with what you’re wearing” he said, after what seemed like an eternity of silence.

I swallowed loudly.

“So you got this for me?”

“Well, I saved it for you. It came with breakfast actually” he said while pointing to the empty vase on the side of the tray and holding my gaze, making sure his eyes never left mine.

I exhaled deeply. As the air escaped forcefully from my lungs, I felt my heart slow down and the sweat forming on my forehead evaporate. Once more, I regained control over my jaw muscles and closed the entrance to my mouth.

“Thanks” I said with a grateful smile. I wanted to tell him that his sweet little gesture made so much difference in my pathetic excuse of a day. I didn’t though, because it meant that I would have to explain to him why it was a pathetic excuse of a day.

“Let me help you with that” he said, reaching into my hair and fitting it nicely into the side of my head.

“There we go. Yala 3ad, now that you look all pretty, lets get out of here gabl la net2a5ar” he said as he looked back at me, with my now fitted rose. He flashed me one of his smiles.

Was that a twinkle I saw in his eyes?

We walked together down the street leading to university, chatting a little about how gloomy the weather was. Even though I was enjoying his company, that little voice in my head kept telling me that this day wasn’t going to continue running so smoothly. I ignored the feeling, though, as I trotted happily towards the lecture hall.

On our way, I called Layla, who told me that she will be arriving tomorrow afternoon. I was happy to hear that until she told me that she was coming alone because the other couldn’t find any flight reservations. I told her about what had happened with the hotel as well, so she can tell her husband, but he didn’t seem to mind, knowing that we were sharing the suite with M7ammad, his best friend.

Even though we had arrived 15 minutes before the session started, the lecture hall that accommodated 500 people was packed. The only place we managed to find was one big enough for one overweight person. We had no other choice but to squeeze into it, after politely asking everyone to make as much space for us as they could.

I understood the true meaning of the words dangerously close as I sat next to him in that space. Our bodies were practically glued. Every time his arm casually brushed against mine, goosebumps made their way down my spine and throughout my body. It didn’t help at all when he put his arm on the bench behind my back. Since we were squeezed into a very small area, the moment he removed his arm, my body rapidly slid across the space that it had occupied. His arm was now literally around me, though not touching me at all, and fixed on the top of my bench the whole time.

I was relieved when the session was over, and practically jumped out of my seat. Looking around me, though, at the people who couldn’t find a seat and were sitting on the floor, the closeness didn’t seem to matter too much. But even after we got up, his M7 still lingered in my head.

The right side of my body immediately felt cold when I stood, since it was practically lodged into his side when we were seated. I realized I was actually disappointed that I was no longer connected to him physically, telling myself it was because he had kept me warm, but not entirely believing myself. Naturally, I assumed that was why I caught my body involuntarily (and subconsciously) brushing against his as I walked by his side.

This is not going to be a good day…

By the time we finished our sessions and got out registration papers sorted, it was nearly 7pm. We left the university’s campus and headed for lunch (or rather dinner). M7ammad suggested a nice Italian place near Piccadilly, so we took the tube to get there. To my luck, there was some vandalism at the station we’re stopping at, and we were stuck on the train for hours. M7ammad left me to stare at the floor and ceiling while he slept through it all. I was lost in my own chain of thoughts when his head fell on my shoulders while he was asleep. I looked at him.

And I couldn’t take my eyes off him…

Even though I couldn’t see his most striking feature, the absence of his piercing blue eyes added so much serenity to his face. His M7 was now mixed with the fresh minty smell coming out of his hair. He had the most subtle smile on his face. Not a sly one, not a mysterious one – one that you saw on the faces of newborns, when their lips form the faintest curved line. He looked like an angel.

His head was starting to fall off my shoulders to the front. I lightly held it and put it back on, but it fell again. So, once again, I put his head on my shoulder, but this time left my palm on the side of his face to fix it there. A few minutes later, his body sank a little more into my side and his head sank a little more into my shoulder. He lifted his hand and rubbed his eye a little, while his mouth went on chewing what I presumed to be air, before forming a wide smile.

Then, unpreceeded and unannounced, his hand fell from his face onto my thigh.

This is not going to be a good day…

Electric currents zoomed throughout my body, going up and down, left and right, inside and out. I froze and my body became rigid. I stopped breathing. When I could finally gather my thoughts, I looked back at his face to find him still fast asleep. I wanted to move his hand from my thigh, but decided to leave it there because I didn’t want to wake him up and wonder why it was there in the first place. He left me with my own train of thoughts until I woke him up when we had to leave.

We arrived at the restaurant at nearly 10pm, relieved to find that it was still open while the rest of the city lay in dead silence. Our meal was eaten in silence, partly out of exhaustion and partly out of hunger. Before we left the restaurant, I excused myself to go to the bathroom. As I went through the contents of my purse, my hands made it to my phone.

My heart sank when I saw that the only missed call was from my dad and nothing from 3abboud. For some reasons, I made my way to the inbox and read the first message there. The one I got from him this morning. I didn’t realize how emotional I was until I saw a tear fall on my screen. I looked back to the mirror infront of me, and the pained expression on my face just killed me.

This is not going to be a good day…

“Kaifa” I said out loud, “If he wants to be that way, so be it. Ana ma sawwaitla shay” I told myself reassuringly. Somehow, my words made me feel better, and forced the tears in my eyes to dry up. While texting my dad, I forced any thought of him to the back of my head as I stepped out of the bathroom to find M7ammad waiting for me so we can head back to the hotel.

“Shall we?” he said, as he held the door open for me.

We walked back to the underground station, only to find out that it was still closed. Having not found a taxi in sight, we decided to walk until we did. I came to find out that, like me, M7ammad was a big fan of walking, and that he walked for several hours everyday. I, on the other hand, was in severe pain given the 10cm heels I was wearing. But I was enjoying his company too much to complain, even though we were just chit-chatting about nothing in particular. It was soothing to have someone to talk to after the hectic day I’ve had. He was taking my mind off a lot of things that I didn’t want to think about.

After walking for quite a few hours, we realized that we had gotten too close to the hotel. We were amazed at home time flew by while we were wrapped up in our own conversations. Passing by a small grocery store, we decided to buy some drinks until we got back to the hotel. As we were leaving, M7ammad asked the owner for directions back to our hotel. The owner stepped out of the store with M7ammad and towards the street, showing him exactly where to go. Walking behind them, I saw three men outside wanting to step in as well. They stopped in their way, though, and signaled for me to exit before them. Realizing that their breaths reeked of alcohol, I didn’t make any eye contact with them and did as I was told.

Once I was within the narrow doorframe, one of the men quickly stepped up into the narrow entrance, and I felt his entire body against mine. I felt his hands grabbing my butt and squeezing it tightly. He whispered something into my ear as his neck came into contact with mine, but amidst the horror and his thick British accent, the only signals that made their way into my brain were the smell of the alcohol that nauseated me, and his hand still on my bottom.

Even though this whole scenario only lasted the split second that it would take any normal person to step out of a door, time was moving very very slowly. In the beginning, I simply froze, not believing what was happening and not knowing what to do. Then, I prayed to God to just help me move my muscles and get out of that forsaken narrow entrance. When I did regain control over my muscles, I stepped out as fast as I could, violently pushing him away and watching him fall back into the street in the process. The two men behind him had dangerous smiles plastered to their faces, despite the fact that they couldn’t even stand upright while they were drunk.

After I stepped out, I stopped midway in my step. Partly because I was too shocked and frightened, and partly because I didn’t know what to do. Even though I wasn’t looking at him, I felt M7ammad walking towards me. I thought he had found the way, but the closer he got to me, the more I felt angry vibes coming out of him. When he got to where I was, he didn’t stop and continued his way towards the drunken man. When he walked past me though, I felt heat radiating out of his body and I heard him breathing louder and faster.

This is not going to be a good day…

I came back to my senses.

“M7ammad, la tsawy salfa he’s drunk”

“Well, well, well…looks like we’ve got a bunch of Muhammad-loving terrorists down here. Whatcha gonna do, big guy?”

M7ammad’s face turned into the deepest shade of crimson, and I saw his hands turn into fists. I ran over to him and held his hand, pulling him back.

“M7ammad, he’s drunk. Please la tsawy salfa, lets just walk away”

“Entay ma shefty shsawa!!” he yelled, looking at me with eyes that signaled rage. He slipped his hand out of mine. I quickly stepped infront of him and watched the sweat flowing down his face like it was a river.

“M7ammad, look at me. Just let it go. Tekfa, please just let it go” I said, looking into his deep blue eyes.

“Haya, mo mn 9ijich!! Ana ma agdar asket 3la hal ma95ara” he screamed while looking directly into my eyes. He was scaring me.

“What’s the matter, Muhammed? Need somebody to hold us down, now do we?”

I felt his entire body shake, even though I was standing quite a distance away from him. His face became redder, and his eyes looked menacing. His now-fisted hands were rising, as if in slow motion, and making their way to the drunken man’s face.

“M7ammad tekfa 3shany” I begged him with tears flowing down my face.

Upon hearing my breaking voice, his fist took a detour and collided with the wall that the drunken man was leaning against, only centimeters away from his face. I was breathing heavily and tears were streaming down my face. The taunting expression on the drunken man’s face disappeared when he saw the indentation of M7amamd’s fist in the wall, and the blood mixing with the cement as he pulled his fist away.

I pulled some tissue out of my purse and slowly, even hesitantly, walked towards M7ammad. I put my arm around his, and put my other hand on his fist, trying to pull it into the tissue. It was difficult to move it though – his entire body seemed to be molded in that position.

This is not going to be a good day…

“M7ammad walk with me. Yala please tekfa. Tra ga3d t3awerly eedy M7ammad”

It took a while for his body to follow through with his arm that I was holding. I felt his tense muscles and his hot body. I could even feel his rapid pulse with my arms wrapped so tightly against his. As we walked away, I tried to make conversation to calm him down, but in the back of my head, I was just praying that the night would end at this. He never replied to me; he just kept walking forward with his fist still clenched in the tissue paper in my palm.

I had lost all sensation of time and place when he suddenly stopped in the middle of an empty street.

“Shit! Haya you’re shaking like a leaf!”

I snapped back to reality to realize that both my hands were still wrapped tightly around his arm that his suit jacket was now creased. I could even feel the indentation I left on his arm underneath his shirt. When I loosened my grip, I realized I wasn’t just shaking, I was practically vibrating.

“Wayhech mafee loun. You’re as pale as a ghost!” he said in a panicking voice.

I suddenly burst into tears. I don’t know why it came now, but it was like the pickle on the top of the giant crap sandwich that was my day.

“I don’t like drunk people! I dont like racist people! I don’t like people eli kil youm eb 7al! I don’t understand why everything has to keep going wrong for me. I just want today to ymer 3la 5air. Is that too much to ask? Why cant today just simply be over? Tell me am I asking for a lot?!” I said in a high pitched tone - the high pitched tone that I use when my frustration exceeds its limits. I wept and wept and wept, feeling my make-up running across my face and not caring. I just wanted to cry.

“Shhhhhh...its gonna be okay. I know its been a very tough day for you. I’m so sorry. It’s gonna be okay” he said, as he took me into his arms and held me tight. I cried on his shoulders for what seemed like an eternity. I knew this had nothing to do with today. It was about my confusion with 3abboud, my worry about Dr. Nasser, Rana’s attitude and the new side of M7ammad I was seeing. It was like a big cocktail of feelings. Things were piling up and I was simply too overwhelmed to know how to act.

When the sobbing finally stopped, I pulled away from M7ammad’s arms and looked at the wet part on his jacket that contained all my tears. Realizing what had just happened, I looked to the ground in shame. He pulled my chin up with one hand, and gently wiped my tears with the other. He smiled; a happy smile. This time, he held it there, giving me a chance to take it all in. I couldn’t stop staring at his face that was lit up so beautifully by the simple curve of his lips.

Just like I thought the first time I saw it, it took my breath away.

“I wanna see your beautiful smile. Tra ma buga shay belyoom; cham sa3a oo e5ale9 oo bacher nabdy youm ydeed” he said ever-so-gently.

Tears continued running down my face.

“Yala 3ad la yshoofch a7ad mn elshareka al7en oo tfashleenna” he said, imitating Dr. Nasser’s voice.

I laughed a little. I tasted my tears as my mouth parted.

“3afya 3laich. Don’t worry Haya, everything will be okay”. Saying that, he put my head on his shoulder and his head on top of mine. He then wrapped his arms around me so tightly that it actually hurt, and we started walking again. As I sunk my head into his chest, I felt safe and protected for the first time today. We walked back to the hotel like that in silence.

When we got to the suite’s door, he removed his arms from around me to open the door. I suddenly felt cold, even though we were indoors. Even after we entered, I felt like there was something missing with his arms not around me. I felt vulnerable.

“Are you feeling better now?” he said, looking at me, and giving me his real smile again. It was even more captivating now that I saw it in the light. It was strange to see it twice in the same day.

“Ee much.”

“Tabeen takleen shay?”

“La2 7addy ta3bana…I think I’ll just sleep”

“7atan ana wayed ta3ban. Its been a long hectic day, hasn’t it?”

I nodded.

“Tabeen shay?”


“Allah ysalmich. T9b7een 3la 5air.”

Even though I entered my room with a million thoughts in my head, I could swear I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.

With a huge smile on my face too…

Saturday, January 17

Contrasting Realities 13

I know I'm supposed to be away, bs here's another post! =D

I know its not too long, but its the best I could do given my hectic schedule =\

3ad halmarra 9ij I'm gonna be away for a while =\

See you in 2 weeks I guess =(
I'll miss you guys ;**


I looked deep into my eyes in the reflection, and spoke to myself.

“No crying Haya. Ma7ad yestahal dmoo3ich. La tabcheen”

This is not going to be a good day…

“May5alef, it wont be a good day, bs hamm ma ra7 nabchy..shino entay awwal wa7da ymer 3aleha a bad day? Wla hatha your first bad day aslan?”

I knew I made sense, but I still couldn’t fight any of the tears flowing from my eyes. Every time I remembered 3abdallah’s tone of voice and his harsh words, I cried more. Every time I remembered how much I missed my 3abboudy, I cried more. Every time I looked up at my face in the mirror, and saw the pain in my eyes, I cried more.

And every time I saw myself crying more, I cried more...

After what seemed like an eternity, I somehow managed to stop crying. Even though I kept telling myself it was because I finally could gather up all my strength, I knew deep down inside that it was because I ran out of tears. Realizing that I was staring into space, I looked at my face to see that the only item of make-up that I had applied this morning, my mascara, was forming millions of blotches around my puffy eyes and irregular streams across my face.

Even when I tried to give myself an encouraging smile, I couldn’t. My skin was too stiff to move owing to the droplets, salt and mascara that lay dry on top of it.

I forced the smile through, though. Watching the scales peel off my face, I felt like I could break through this ugly day, just like I managed to break the dry film on my skin. Feeling a tiny hint of optimism, I skipped to the bathroom and washed my face with hot water, then lightly dabbed it dry. Taking out my make-up kit, I opted for adding a little more make-up around my eyes to hide my red, swollen eyes. For even more camouflage, I released my loose bun and finger-brushed my hair with my head upside down. When I put my head back up, my long brown curls fell on my grey jacket, hiding the wet black spots that had formed on it.

Something’s still missing…

I paced around the bathroom for a while, trying to recollect whatever it is that I was looking for. Then, it clicked.

I ran back to the room and opened my bag. I ran my hand through it left and right, until my palm felt the velvety texture of the cold bottle. I took it out and, unlike my usual habit, heavily sprayed the Deep Red by Hugo on my clothes, my hair, and lastly, the nape of my neck. I took a deep breath, allowing my favorite perfume to fill every last piece of my lungs.

Carefully, I placed my laptop bag on my shoulder and headed to the door. Before I walked out, though, I looked at myself in the mirror. My now lit-up face and my flowing hair, combined with the confident smile I gave myself, made me feel like I was on top of the world as I stepped out of my room.

M7ammad was sitting on the sofa, with breakfast on the table where our legs were the night before. He was nicely dressed in a navy blue suit, a baby blue shirt and a silk tie the same color as his eyes. He looked like he’s just walked off a catwalk.

I was still angry at him, and I made sure my face said it all. Without looking at him, I headed for the door of the suite.


I turned around not saying anything. I was giving him the silent treatment. My eyes gave him the shtabee look, but my heart was skipping beats as I silently drooled over the CK model sitting on the sofa in my suite.

“I ordered breakfast”

“Thanks maby” I said and started turning again towards the door.

“Bs I ordered for you”

“I didn’t ask you to” I replied rudely.

He got up to his feet and walked towards me. The suit accentuated his tall, well-built physique. The colors accentuated his eyes. He was wearing another one of his smiles. He stood infront of me.

Possibly a little too close…

He took a deep breath and, if I didn’t know any better, I would’ve though he was taking in my smell.

But I knew better…

“I’m sorry about this morning. I know I was very rude, bs wallah I’m always like this when I wake up”

I continued looking into his eyes, not flinching.

“I’m not trying to justify myself and I know it’s not an excuse, bs I just wanted to apologize for my behavior”

His apology seemed sincere, but I wasn’t going to let him go that easily. He needs to realize that there are limits. Just because I asked him to stay here doesn’t mean I’m his slave now.

“Oo etha tadree ena you’re like that, why did you ask me to wake you up? Why didn’t you set your alarm? I don’t understand ya3ny, you knew you’re gonna be rude to me if I woke you up, bs you asked me to do it anyway?”

“No, its not like that. I thought I’d wake up 3la6ool; I didn’t realize I was so tired. I was afraid I’d oversleep. Oo honestly, waking up because of an alarm is very impersonal and just ruins my day. I’d rather a human being woke me up. Does that explain to you why I never show up to work early?”

I couldn’t help the smile that formed on my face.

“Zain, bs la t3eed’ha please”

“I promise I won’t" he said giving me a wide smile that displayed his flawless pearly teeth, "Now yallah, lets have breakfast 3shan yamdeena nro7 oo la net2a5ar”

He took the laptop bag off my shoulder and placed it on the floor next to the sofa. Just like last night, we sat infront of the TV, except there was butter, jam and toast instead of the burger and salad. M7ammad handed me a slice of toast and placed a coffee mug infront of me.


“Two please”

He leaned over to get the sugar from the far end of the table. I put some butter on my toast, and tried to spread it. It was too difficult to do that though; the butter and toast were too cold and, now, hard. As I squeezed the knife deeper into the toast, it started breaking in my hands and falling on my skirt and the floor. A shred of butter slowly started melting on my skirt, leaving a tiny pin-head stain on it.

This is not going to be a good day…

Realizing that there was no time for me to change into anything else, I quickly brushed the bread crumbs away from my skirt and onto the floor before more butter stains made their way through. I let out a sigh of relief when I couldn’t even tell where the tiny stain was now that the bread crumbs were gone.

Silently swearing at the stupid toast and butter that ruined my outfit, I finally looked up from the bread crumb-filled floor.

M7ammad’s outstretched hand was holding a freshly picked red rose and handing it to me.

This is not going to be a good day…

Saturday, January 10

Contrasting Realities 12

Another long post! =)
I wont be posting for a while because I have exams =(



The dark, gloomy sky made it very difficult for me to wake up the following day. With Dr. Nasser’s words in the back of my head, though, I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed, in fears of being late for what I was here for.

I walked towards the window and looked at the outside world. The streets were wet and the sun was nowhere to be seen. The only signs of life were the moving tree branches, owing to the cold lifeless wind shuffling through them.

This is not going to be a good day…

The room was silent except for the sound of my breathing and the shuffle of my walking. I walked out into the living room to find the suite in pin-drop silence. I headed towards M7ammad’s room and eavesdropped for a few moments. All I could hear was the sound of my breath.

It was 8.10 and he hadn’t woken up yet, which only meant one thing.

I had to wake him up.

I don’t really like waking people up…

I knocked on the door.





Zain oo b3dain?

I knocked harder.

“M7ammad…wake up”


I knocked harder and more often. I was getting irritated. Why doesn’t he have an alarm set?

“M7ammad yala 3ad!! Warana she’3l!! We need to go oo ra7 net2a5ar chithee!”. My voice was loud and high pitched. Combined with the continuous knocking, I was starting to give myself a headache.

I finally heard some movements inside the room. Actually, I just heard the bed sqeaking. It was a good sign, nonetheless. It meant that he wasn’t dead.

I knocked harder and screamed louder, more irritated.

“M7ammad yalla! Ma 9arat! I’m starting to get a headache oo ent lel7een kil hatha ma teg3ad?”



“kaa shm mmmm”

“M7ammad shet5arbe6?! I cant understand anything!”


“M7ammad! Tekfa la tyaneny please!”

“Kaani kaani”. I could barely make out what he was saying.


“Eee kaani”. His voice became lower and more muffled once more.

“M7ammad mo tnam mara thanya! I’m going to go take a shower oo etha ma kint ga3ed by the time I’m done, baroo7 broo7y!”

“Yuba ga3ed wallah…bs 5alas thelfay…9ar feeny 9da3 bsebetich”


“Elsharha 3ly eny a9lan ga3da aga3dk!” I exclaimed before angrily stomping off to my room.

I got into the shower feeling anger radiating from my entire body. Didn’t he ask me to wake him up? Didn’t I try waking him up nicely? Wasn’t he the one who wouldn’t freaking bulge? If I didn’t feel funny about walking into his room, I would’ve spilled some ice-cold water on his face right there and then.

I suddenly and abruptly pulled away from the water, feeling a sharp painful sensation covering my entire body. Seconds later, that sensation proved itself to be pain. Burning pain. Standing there and thinking about how rude M7ammad was to me, I had been standing underneath the hot water for a while now, forgetting to turn on the cold water.

The little voice in my head didn’t understand why I was so surprised though. After all, if I didn’t expect this kind of attitude coming out of M7ammad, then who would it come out of? Surely after last night, I thought I had been too tough on the guy and was even starting to think I had the wrong image of him in my head all this time, but he fortified the world-revolves-around-me attitude today to new extents I didn’t think possible.

I should’ve let him sleep on the streets…

After my shower, I changed into a crimson pencil skirt and its matching grey jacket suit. I put my hair up in a loose bun, allowing a few strands to flow freely around my face and applied only the most basic of makeup. While putting on my heels, I started setting the contents of my bag and came across my mobile.

8 Missed calls.

3abboud (8)

3 New Messages.

From: 3abboud
7amdella 3asalama 7beebty ;**
I was worried sick about you ams =(
I’m sorry I fell asleep, bs mn kithr ma kint a7ateech, 7assait nafsy bayen!
Oo ra8am M7ammad mo 3ndy, ma gedart adeg 3aleh!
Call me when you wake up
ps: I miss you wayed

From: Dad
7amdella 3asalama =)
3abboud called me this morning oo told me about your message. Was really worried about you ams. Call us when you get the chance
ps: ommich msawya ma2sa bl bait cz you’re not here ;)

From: 3abboud
Lel7een ma ge3adty?
9a7 elnoum, sleepy-head! ;Pp
Call me!

From: 3abboud
Yallllaaaaah Haya ge3day!

I dialed his number, this time yearning to hear his voice.

“Hayaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”. He screamed so loudly that I had to pull the phone away from my ear.

“Please don’t tell me you did that in your office infront of everyone”

He laughed.

“laa laa ana blsayara mzareg mn eldawam…shlonich yal ga63aaaa! I miss you wayed!”

“Ma medany aroo7 a9lan! Shlon medak you miss me?” I teased him.

“Laish? You don’t miss me ya3ny?”

“La2” I lied. I missed him like crazy.

“Chathaba! Cham marra agoolich loo bt’chathbeen, chathbay 3adel or goolay el9ij akramlch”

“I still don’t miss you…not even shwaya”

“I still don’t believe you. So, how’s London? How’s M7ammad?”

“London is cool, bs M7ammad ylawe3 elchabd!”

“Laiiiish bs 7beebty, sh9ar? Entaw mo kil wa7ed eb 7ala?”

I told him about the reservations and how I was stuck sharing a suite with M7ammad. I told him how I was starting to like M7ammad after yesterday, but how, after today, all I wanted to do was now choke him and watch till his face turned the same color as his eyes.

He was generally very supportive, telling me I’ve made the right decision by asking him to stay, and asking me to be patient with his attitude problems until the others arrived tomorrow.

Until I told him that I passed out the night before. That’s when he flipped out.

“Entay mn 9ijich?! Haya may9eer chithee! This is why I should’ve been there with you! Ballah 9ar feech shay, shino kan ra7 e9eer 7azzat’ha? Who would’ve taken care of you?”

Listening to him practically screaming on the phone, I decided to omit the part where M7ammad carried me and took care of me. Partly because I wanted him to believe he was the only person who took care of me, but mostly because I didn’t want him to get a good impression about M7ammad.

“3abboud ma 9ar shay. It was nothing serious as always. I just overreacted oo I’m fine now”

“Shino ya3ny overreacted?! Shino ya3ny fine now? Kan elmafrooth ayee weyach bs killa bsebat rasech elyabes hatha”. Once again, I had to remove the phone from my ears. This time, though, it was because he was screaming so loudly.

“3abboud la t9are5 please. Ana feeny eli mkafeeny oo mo nag9a. Please la tzeed 3ly. I'm already having a crappy day.”

“Shino ya3ny mo nag9a? Tabeeny asma3 ena entay 9ar feech shay oo ana mo weyach oo agool ok? What do you want me to do Haya?”

“3abboud please calm down. La t9are5 3ly chithee, zain?”

“Don’t you tell me what I can and can’t do, Haya. Don’t you even think about telling me about what I can and can’t do. Bas tadreen shino? Elsharha mo 3laich entay, elsharha 3ly ana. Ana m36eech wayh zyada 3an elezoom”

His loud voice piercing my eardrums didn’t cause any significant pain as compared to his harsh words that felt like daggers through my heart.

But even those daggers felt like nothing compared to the feeling that crept up on me when I heard the line go dead.

His anger was justified.

That's not what ripped me apart and killed me from the inside.

It was the first time he had ever gotten mad at me. It was the first time he had ever raised his voice at me. It was the first time he had ever hung up on me.

I looked at my face in the mirror. No matter how much I tried to hold them back, tears started flowing from my eyes and fell down on my face and on my grey jacket, turning its color underneath them into black. I’ve only been awake for less than an hour, and I was already on bad terms with my roommate and my fiancée to-be.

This is not going to be a good day…

Monday, January 5

Contrasting Realities 11

Hope you enjoy!
Mat3oob 3aleh tra! ;)


“French kiss…the movie…Meg Ryan…tawwk marrait 3aleha on channel 2” I clarified.

What the hell was he thinking?

“Oh, I haven’t seen that before”
he said, blinking quickly and shifting his eyes away from mine, returning them to the TV. “Is it any good?”

“It’s a really nice movie, bs its kind of a chick flick, so I doubt you’ll enjoy it”

“There’s nothing else on TV, so why don’t we watch it? Atleast I’ll get to know what your taste in movies is like. I’m finding out a lot of new things about you today Haya”

“Ee wallah…same here”

“Are they all bad?”

“Not nearly half as bad as I thought actually” I said, giving him a wide smile.

“That’s a good thing, right?”

“I think so…I mean, everyone knows I highly dislike you, but you’ve been proving me wrong today”. I made sure I kept the smile on my face.

“Ahhhhh! I’m not all that bad wallah. You just need to get to know me better” he said, giving me another one of his smiles.

“I guess hatha eli ga3d y9eer now” I said.

He was just about to say something we heard a knock on the door, signaling that the food was here. He walked towards the door and I turned my attention to the movie. Moments later, he came back with a tray in his hands.

“Btakleen hnee?”

“Ya3ny ent shrayek?” I teased.

He set the tray down and threw his tired body onto the seat next to me, missing my lap only by a few inches. Then, he handed me my salad and, before touching his burger, politely offered me some.

“Laa thanks maby”

“Are you sure?”

“ee bl3afya 3alaik…I would offer you some of my salad bs a7esek bt6egny”

“Bl3aks I’m a big salad fan”

“9ij? Then 7ayyak!” I said enthusiastically, ashamed about not offering him any.

“Bs they only have one fork”

“You can use mine…3ady ma tloo3 chabdy” I said, still feeling guilty about how rude I was earlier.

He took a bite of my salad, then let out a little moan of delight.

“You have excellent taste” he said as he enjoyed my salad.

We sat there, side by side, making silly comments throughout the movie and laughing at the funny parts. When the commercials came on, he excused himself to go to the bathroom, and came back minutes later with a blanket.

“Mo bardana?”

“Ya3ny shway”

He put the blanket over me and my legs that were now outstretched on the coffee table. Then, he started moving again.

“ wain raye7?”

“Bayeebly blanket ana ba3ad bardan”

He went into the room again and got another blanket. While trying to fix his blanket over himself as he sat, somehow my long brown locks became tangled with his big steel Armani watch.

I screamed.

“Aww Aww Aww!! M7ammad M7ammad eeedkkkkk”

He looked over to see my head pulled in the direction of his outstretched hand, with my hair wrapped around his wrist.

“Ambaih Haya I’m soo sorry” he said, his hand suddenly becoming as rigid as a pipe.

I tried to turn my head to untangle the watch, but my hair wasn’t that long.

“Entay hold still bas..i’ll fix it”

For the next 15 minutes or so, my head was pulled to the right infront of my body, while he tried to untangle it.

“M7ammad just cut it! Its not a big strand anyway”

“Laa laa I’ll fix it entay bas hold still”

“Thahry 3awarny mn hal hold still wallah I said through alot of neck and back pain.

“Choofay, ana I untangled most of it. There are a couple more that I think I can undo, bs I think I’m gonna have to come out a few single hairs. That’s better than cutting out a whole lock 9a7?”

A few more minutes later, he spoke once again, on top of Kevin Kline’s voice still playing in the background.

“Yeeby eedch”

“Huh?” I inquired, but did as I was told anyway.

He pulled my palm towards him and put his watch that he had taken off inside it.

“Meskay hathee…baroo7 adawer scissors bl drawers akeed ako sewing kit eb mkan hnee”

He checked in the drawers under the TV cabinet and found one. He came back and sat on the floor on both knees, taking his watch from my palm in the process. Carefully, he cut each tangled hair out. I could feel each strand becoming loose. When he was done, his fingers pulled the hair, that was now infront of my face and tucked it gently behind my ear.

“As good as new”. With his fingers still behind me ear, he used the bottom of his palm to push my head to its normal position on top of my head. My neck gave a loud crack as he did.

He laughed, and removed his hand.

“ee eth7ak ba3ad…that was painful” I said, irritated and a little self-conscious.

“Just rest it against the back of the sofa shway while you’re watching the movie, oo you’ll feel better by the time its over”

I did as I was told and we continued to watch the movie, falling silent towards the ending at the sad part. When it finished, I stretched with a huge smile on my face, surprised to find that my neck was flexible again. I looked at M7ammad to find him fast asleep next to me.

I shook his shoulder lightly.

“M7ammad goum nam da5el 3shan la y3awrk thahrk bacher”

“Ee ee” he said, turning over to my side of the sofa with his eyes still closed.

“M7ammad nam da5el…mo nam el9ob elthany” I said, keeping the tone of my voice only a little higher than a whisper. I didn’t want to wake him up.

He opened his eyes, and looked at me. A wide smile made its way to his face. A wide happy smile that is. It was the first time I’ve seen one of those from M7ammad’s lips, and even though it only made an appearance for a spilt second, it was forever imprinted in my head.

It was…breathtaking…to say the least.

“I missed the movie?”

“I don’t know at which part I lost you” I giggled. “I told you that you wouldn’t like it. It’s a girly movie”

“Hey! I liked what I saw…and if I wasn’t so exhausted from today, I would’ve seen it all” he said defensively.

“Zain yala goum 5al nam…tomorrow is going to be a long day. We need to be on campus by 9am”

“Haya bs weddy a6lb mnch 6alab, 3ady?" he said in a shy voice. It souded adorable coming out of him.

"Ee akeed shda3wa?"

"Please ga3deeny etha ma ge3adt by 8...a5af I oversleep”


He wished me goodnight before we entered our rooms. It was 11pm, and I realized I hadn’t heard from 3abboudy all day. I reached into my purse and switched on my phone.

13 New Messages

From: 3abboud
I miss you already…its only been a few hours =(
eldeera tlawe3 elchabd without you =(

From: 3abboud
7amdella 3asalama 7beebty ;**
How’s London?

From: 3abboud
Lel7een ma we9altaw?

From: 3abboud
Hayooo sh9ayer? Wainkom kil hatha?!

From: missU
You have 6 missed calls from: +96512345678 (3abboud)

From: Dad
Shlon London? Mukanich mbayen 7beebty ;**

From: 3abboud
Hayooo wainich?! Tra ana bedait a7ateech =(
Please sms me or call me as soon as you can

From: missU
You have 5 missed calls from: +96512345678 (3abboud)
You have 2 missed calls from: +96587654321 (Dad)
You have 1 missed call from: +96512121212 (Layla)

From: Layla
7amdella 3asalama =)
tried calling you but your phone was off
did Rana tell you about the new arrangements?

From: Dad
Haya 7beebty sh9ayer? Laish lel7een jehazich mu’3la8? 6amneeny 3laich 7beebty.

From: missU
You have 18 missed calls from: +96512345678 (3abboud)

From: 3abboud
Haya no matter what time it is, please get back to me as soon as you can. I’m worried sick about you. I checked with the airline oo your plane landed ages ago, laish your phone is off?

From: 3abboud
Haya ana ga3ed na6rch oo ma ra7 anam…call me when you see this oo don’t text me 3shan asma3a…I’m waiting zain?!

That last message gave him away. He was starting to fall asleep, and he set his phone to 7beebty ;** profile that only alerted him to calls from me. He never put his phone at night on silent incase I needed something, but also made sure no one else woke him up from his beauty sleep.

I smsed him just to make sure, though.

Hala 3abboudy ;**
There were a few problems hnee oo I kinda got caught up with everything here and forgot to switch my phone on. I’m so sorry 7beeby, I’ll explain later inshallah. Will call you when I get a chance, so please don’t worry if I don’t pick up. Plz 6ammen dad cz he’s worried too. I miss you like hell =(
Sweet dreams =)

Sure enough, he didn’t reply. I fell asleep hoping that tomorrow would end up being a better day.

Whether it was or wasn’t is up to you to decide...

Thursday, January 1

Contrasting Realities 10

Dear Readers,

Just wanted to wish you wonderful new year ;**

May it be filled with more joy and love than you can handle ;)


When I opened my eyes, it took me a few moments to register where I was. I looked outside and saw that the sky was now dark. I sunk underneath my blanket and stretched my muscles.

How did I end up here?

As I started getting out of bed, everything slowly came back to me. Rana, british bitch, the hotel reservations and M7ammad.

A rollercoaster of feelings came back with the thought of M7ammad. A lot of admiration with a hint of disdain. A lot of gratitude with a hint of agitation. A lot of lust with a hint of fondness.

Wait – what?

Nooo nooo nooo!

Lust is bad, Haya!

I shook my head left and right, mentally dropping that last thought out of it.

I looked at the table next to the bed, and saw that the water bottle was still there. Feeling my strength come back to me, I got out of bed and walked outside the closed door of the room. The suite outside was quiet and untouched, except for the luggage that was neatly placed next to the door of the suite. The door to the other room in the suite was closed. I called M7ammad’s name a few times, but there was no answer.

Having not found my purse along with the luggage, I decided to go back to the lobby and look for it. Once I got there, I walked towards the sofa in the corner where M7ammad and I were talking earlier.

I found my purse alright. M7ammad held it tightly in his arms as he sat up sleeping on the sofa. I sat on the chair next to him, hoping he would wake up, but he didn’t move. He looked exhausted.


“M7ammad goum…”

He turned in the chair a bit, and held on to my bag tighter. I put my hand on his shoulder and gently shook him.

“M7ammad goum nam foug”

He opened his eyes and looked at me.



He opened his eyes wider. Then, he rubbed them and stretched a little.

“How are you feeling now?” he said in a slumberous voice.

“El7amdellah much better”

“Are you sure? How’s the headache?”

“It’s gone el7amdella…”

I thought about what he said for a few moments.

“Wait a minute – how did you know about the headache?”

“You told me you had a very bad headache…7ata geltlch I get you Panadol gelty la2”

“I don’t remember any of that hehe”

“I don’t blame you. You were in a pretty bad shape. 5ara3teeny Haya…wallah I didn’t know what to do oo 7addy twahagt”

“I’m really sorry I had to put you through all that. I just tend to overreact when I’m angry. What else did I say?”

“Madree you said a lot of things that didn’t make sense to me, so 6awwaft’hom”

He leaned forward and I heard his bones crack.

“Zain oo laish nayem hnee? Ako suite kamel fathy foug”

“I didn’t want to make you feel awkward ya3ny, oo its only been a few hours anyway, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine”

I was impressed. That was very unexpected of him. Who knew a gentleman lay beneath that exterior?

“I really appreciate that M7ammad. It was very thoughtful of you. Bs ham may9eer tnam chithee ya3ny choof al7en you’ll be in pain the whole day”

“Mo mohem ana al7en Haya…elmohem entay. You’re okay now?”

“Yea…as long as I don’t get angry, I’m fine”
I said as I gave him a wide smile.

He turned my direction, and gave me a strange laugh.

“Zain, I have some not so good news for you, bs maby agoolch oo t3a9been, ok?”

“Erm...I’ll try?”

“The hotel is fully booked”, he said, choosing his words carefully.

“Enzaiiin” I said patiently.

“Oo I asked around in the hotels nearby, oo they’re all fully booked as well”


“So ana kint ban6rch lain teg3deen 3shan a6amman 3laich, oo b3dain I’ll go check in other hotels that are further away, oo b3dain me and the guys can take the tube to the campus”

“Shda3wa tra elsalfa ma te7taj kil hatha, you guys just stay with us mako shay”

“Haya I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable or put you in an awkward situation. Don’t worry about me and the guys, we’ll be fine”

“I’ll take it personally if you guys go anywhere else. Ana ma artha tetbahdaloon over formalities chithee. E7na 3yal deera wa7da oo we’re not kids ya3ny. Plus, its the same arrangement we wanted except that we share a kitchen and a living room. Mafeeha shay”

“Haya look. I know you don’t exactly like me very much, oo I don’t wanna impose myself on you“

“Whether I like you or not has nothing to do with this situation M7ammad. Ent tetwa8a3 ena just because I don’t like you mathalan, I’ll let you sleep on the streets?”

“Bs ana maby- “

“M7ammad, elmawthoo3 mentehy” I said firmly.

He fell quiet for a few moments.

“Zain oo Layla?”

“You’re her husband’s best friend. I know she won’t mind, trust me.”

“5alas then as you please”

We headed to the suite together, discussing what we should have for dinner along the way. Given the fact that we were both too tired to move, we settled for room service. Each of us went into our rooms to change and shower.

After my shower, I put on a baby-blue Juicy Couture training suit and started drying my hair. I heard M7ammad’s muffled voice over the roaring blow-dryer and I turned it off.

“Shino?” I yelled back so he can hear me from behind my room’s closed door.

“Shino btakleen?” I could barely hear what he was saying.

Forgetting to tame my hair, I stepped out of my room and into the living room where he was sitting in the middle of the only sofa infront of the TV. He was wearing a GAP sweatshirt over tracksuit pants. His casual look only managed to add to his charisma.

“If I looked like this laman I showed up to work yesterday, then laish Nasser ye6anaz 3ly? Shfee the just-out-of-bed look?” he said, giving me one of his sly smiles again. I realized that it was the first time he’d seen me dressed casually.

“Because you looked a lot worse than this” I teased, while quickly combing my hair with my fingers.

“Zain shino btakleen?”

“Shino 3ndhom?”

“Ta3alay look at the menu” he said, as he got up from the sofa and sat on the floor.

“Oo laish halga3da ballah?”

“3shan entay ta5theen ra7tech blga3da”

I couldn't decide whether the tone of his voice was nervous or awkward. Knowin M7ammad, though, I realized that only a very few settings made him nervous. So I figured that he was just feeling awkward and he didn't know how to act in this setting.

“Goum eg3ad zain? La tnarfezny oo t5aleeny I make you sleep on the streets” I said jokingly, trying to make him feel more comfortable.

“Zain zain…la t6egeeny bas” he said, getting up to his feet and sitting at the opposite end of the sofa, as far away from me as possible. “I think I gonna have a burger”

“Ana mo wayed yo3ana…I think I’ll just have a salad”

He ordered our food, then started channel-surfing the TV while we waited for it to arrive. When he was done with all channels, he started over again from channel 1, still staring at the TV in silence.

“French kiss?”

“I beg your pardon?!” he said in a very confused tone of voice, that might have been a little hostile even. He turned his expressionless face towards me and looked me straight in the eye.