Monday, February 23

dear readers,

I'm taking a short break, so sam7oony etha I dont post very often (if I do post at all) in these few coming weeks.

I'm very very sorry, bs I'm going through a really tough time, so bear with me.

For more details, click here.

Will miss you alot =(

Tuesday, February 17

Contrasting Realities 18

tra ana bamoot men elta3ab!
like literally bamoot!

bs adree 9ayra 7addy mo shay, oo I haven't posted for a while, so metfashla menkom oo '3a9abt 3la nafsy akteb =(

oh, and one more thing I noticed, it seems that I get more followers and comments kil ma i go away for a while =\

so a5aleeha 3ada eni a6awel wla shlon? ;Pp
ela a6awel ya3ny 3shan you follow oo comment? ;Pp

tra I like your feedback, la ta7remoony menna =(

hope you like it! =D


I woke up to find that all the tears that had escaped my eyes as I cried myself to sleep had dried up on my pillow. The sky outside was dark, informing me that night has fallen. I turned over to my side to find that Layla’s bed was empty, but her luggage still lay where she had left it.

I quickly scanned the room for my bag that I had thrown on the floor once I had entered. Amidst all the body aches and pain, I tried to reach my bag with my hands, without actually getting out of bed. I needed to find my mobile. I needed my mobile screen to read 3abboud so desperately. I needed to talk to my best friend.

Then the door sprang open and Layla walked in. I had to shield my eyes from the lights coming from the outside.

“Noum el3awafi” she said. Her facial expression was strange, but I assumed that it was all in my half-awaken head.

“Lilly 7abeebty” I said with my baby voice.

“Awww! 7abeebat Lilly entay wallah!” She sat next to me on the bed and put my head on her thigh. “Ashoofich nayma eb malabsich ma badaltay” she said as she gently stroked my hair.

I looked down at my jeans and sweater.

“Yeah, kint 7addny ta3bana I guess”. I tried to change the subject. “What time is it anyway?”

“Nearly 10pm. 9ayratly sleeping beauty entay ya3ny 3shan 7abeeb elgalb mo hnee?” she teased.

My heart ached upon his mention. “La bas sleeping, bedoon beauty”

“Shaklich you haven’t had the best day”

“I havent had the best week wenty el9ajja”

“Come, tell Lilly all about it” she said as I fixed myself into her teddy bear arms. I sunk into her chest, closing my eyes and wishing they were 3abboud’s. The knowledge that they weren’t, though, made my eyes fill up with tears. “But lets do that over a mug of hot chocolate, shrayech? Lets go order mn room service”

“I’m not going out there” I said sharply as I pulled away from her embrace.

She sighed, and gently stroked my back.

“Adree ena 7mar”

“That’s an understatement Lilly”

She laughed.

“Kesarty 5a6ry wallah. 9arlich cham youm bro7cih met7amleta chithy?”

“That’s just it!” I snapped, “He wasn’t like this at all. He was all sweet and nice, eli ana en9edamt. I thought eny kint thalmeta all this time! Bs al7en madree shfee! Faj2a out of the blue, he decides to act all crazy and freak-like! What the hell is his problem?! Better yet, what the hell is stuck up his ass?” I said, speaking a little too fast.

She sighed once more, giving me a nervous little laugh. I thought there was some acknowledgment underneath it, but I wasn’t too sure.

“Adree 7abeebty, wallah adree.”

“La2 ma tadreen Layla! He was acting so unbelievably sweet those past few days. I felt terrible ena I’d formed such a nasty image of him before. 7asait myself way too judgemental oo oho ma kan mga9er weyay wallah. Bs al7en…” I let out a painful sigh, “I just don’t know what the hell is wrong with all the testosterone-containing creatures in the world!”

“All of them?” she said as she hugged me tighter.

“All of them” I said with a sulky voice, and fell back into her arms.

“Shfee el2a5 elthany ba3ad?”

“They’ve all gone crazy, I tell you. It must be something in the air…or maybe its boy-gone-crazy season or something” I said, as I proceeded to tell her about 3abboud’s attitude earlier.

“I’ll make a deal with you, zain?”

“Sounds good to me”

“I can fix one of those problems, bs you have to promise me ena you won’t ask any questions. Just trust me and I’ll make it go away”



I turned around and looked at her. Her eyes gave me a sympathetic look. I knew my misfortunes were breaking her heart.


“Just go out and act like this morning ever happened”

I stared at her blankly. I only spoke when I realized that my stare was inducing no reaction from her whatsoever.

“Mn 9ijich Lilly? Ba3ad eli sawwa feeny, tabeeny I act like nothing ever happened”

“Haya! Ma etafa8na chithee! Gelna no questions!”

“Bs Lilly – “

“You promised!”

“That’s just it. I don’t think I can do it, like I don’t have the ability to do it a9lan. I would do it if I could, but I don’t know what I’ll do if I saw him again”

She got up and pulled me to my feet.

“Nothing” she said as she wrapped her arm around mine tightly and walked towards the door, “We’re just a couple of girlies eli meshtahyeen hot chocolate…” she continued as she opened the door, ”…oo ray7een na6leb mn room service and maybe watch a little TV”. She finished her sentence as we stood in the living room, overlooking at the sofa where M7ammad was plastered infront of the TV.

“Noum el3awafy” he said with a bright smile.

“Allah e3afeek” I replied quietly.

“3ad 6afich elyom kan mu6ar mo 6abee3y lma raddain ana oo Layla”, he continued, not taking his eyes off of me. “I hope we don’t catch any colds soon”

I nodded expressionlessly.

“We were craving hot chocolate M7ammad, taby weyana?” she said as she sat on the other sofa, but placed a pile of magazines on the other seat. She looked at me and nudged me to sit next to M7ammad.

“Hot chocolate! 3ad I was just thinking the same thing, bs gelt akeed all the cafes are closed now”. He picked up the phone and placed an order.

I glanced towards Layla, and she gave me an approving nod.

“Haya they have Addicted To Love on TV. I know you’re a fan of Meg Ryan. Tabeena?” he said as he winked to me.

“Sure…etha ma taboon shay thany ya3ny”

He picked up the remote and put the movie on.

“Tadreen Layla? It turns out Haya has really good taste in movies” he said as he elbowed me.

“Ee adree…5athatny cinema weyaha a few times” she said with a wide smile.

I blushed. Not at her remark or his, but at the sudden change of surroundings. I don’t know what the hell she did, but I liked it. I was getting the best of all the M7ammad’s I knew: not the incredibly seductive M7ammad, and not the incredibly vicious M7ammad. The incredibly fun M7ammad. The incredibly cozy M7ammad. The incredibly misjudged M7ammad.

Our drinks came later on, and we sat their sipping them while making conversation. M7ammad was acting normal again. I wasn’t uncomfortable around seductive M7ammad as I was in the past few days, and I wasn’t hurt by the incredibly vicious M7ammad as I was this morning. and I couldn’t be happier to have Layla around. I finally felt in place, for the first time since I left Kuwait.

The next thing I knew was me awoken by Layla’s voice as she woke M7ammad up from next to me. With my eyes still closed, I realized that his arm was around me as my head lay on his chest, listening to his heart beating very, very slowly. The rhythmic movements of his chest underneath my chest as he was breathing felt like a mother rocking her child to sleep. The warmth of his body and his arm wrapping me up was making me warm. The scent of his M7 was my sedative. The serenity of it all made me unable to move any muscles, including the ones that would open my closed eyes.

Layla was talking to M7ammad and they were saying something in mere whispers, but I couldn’t hear them as I lay on his chest, indulged in his heart beats. I felt M7ammad removing his hands from around me and placing it to his side.

“Haya goomay namy da5el 7beebty” came Layla’s soothing voice and she gently shook me awake.

With his hands no longer engulfing me, I regained control over my muscles. I opened my eyes and smiled at her. Getting up from my position, I looked to my side to see that M7amamd was still asleep. He had a distressed look on his face, like he was having a bad dream or someone just woke him up.

I never knew grumpy could look so cute on anyone…

“Ana aga3da al7en. Entay dishay namy. You’ve had a long day”

I nodded.

“Good night 7beebty”

“Good night Lilly” I said as I gave her a tight hug. I didn’t want to let her go. “Thanks. I don’t know how else to put it”

I walked back to my room and, for the second time today, collapsed on my bed without changing my clothes.

Before I slept, my brain had one little thing to tell the little voice in my head.

I told you so…

Wednesday, February 11

Contrasting Realities 17

We were just about to grab a bite when M7ammad’s phone rang. He put it on speaker when he saw it was Layla.


“Hallah wallah eb Lilly! We9altay?”

“Ee I just got into a taxi and am heading to the hotel now”

“7amdella 3asalama. 6ab3an ma yebty A7madooo weyach?”

“Madree galolek we’re here on a holiday for M7ammad & his bestie?”

“Afaaa!! Kint agoola la t5aleeha tsafer broo7ha...geltla adree murtek bs ana maly she’3l feeha…ent ta3al deer balek 3aleha”

“9ij? Ya3ny moo ta3al eg3ad weyay 5al ngezz eb London?”

“Meno? Ana? Gazz?”

“Ee ee mskeen ent wallah mathloom. Loo ent sha59eyan ma tyee oo tgooly 3n swalfek kan momken a9adeg” she said teasingly.

He gave her a nervous laugh and blushed just a little.

“Balash fadaye7 odam elnas!” he said in the funniest Egyptian accent I’ve ever heard.

“Nas meen? Haya?”

“7amdella 3asalama Lilly”

“Allah ysalmch 7beebty. I tried calling your phone bas madree shfee! You forced me eny anazel mn mostaway oo adeg 3la hal ahbal” she teased.

“Zain 7eshayy mn waray mo che ashkara eb wayhy!! Bagool 7ag a7madooo!”

“5al ashofk bs al7en oo nshoof shino bngool 7ag a7madooo!” she said in an evil voice, “entaw wainkom?”

“Tawwna m5al9een oo we were gonna go for lunch. Bs damich hnee, we’ll meet you in the hotel oo we go eat together”

“5alas ashoofkom hnak 3ayal”

We made our way back to the hotel to meet up with Layla. It was around 5pm now. We both changed into jeans and sweaters, and sat infront of the muted TV, making conversation.

“Tadreen this sofa ma ra7 tkafeena lma Layla tyee”

“Ee wallah 9ij. Lazem a7ad yeg3ad on the floor.” I teased.

“Orrrr…” he said as he picked up the phone, “…we could just call the reception and ask them to bring another one in”

Why didn’t I think of that earlier?!

Better yet, why didn’t he think of that earlier?

My thoughts were interrupted by the knock on our door.

“That was fast” he said as he opened the door. Layla stood in the doorway with her luggage. “Nawwar l suite!! Hala eb Layla eli yaya bdoon A7madooo”

“Ennas tgool 7amdella 3asalama” she said as she elbowed him, pushing him aside. The concierge followed her with the luggage. “Haya! Ambaih eldawam bedoonich mo shay!” she came over to me and gave me a big, warm teddy bear hug.

I hugged her back tightly. Even though Layla and I weren’t very close off-hours, she was my favorite colleague during work. When I first started in our company, she was the single most helpful person in the company. She made sure I knew exactly how things were and that I was comfortable all the time. As time progressed, our relationship got stronger and we managed to become closer. We would go out to eat, or go shopping if we had nothing to do at work.

But somehow, we rarely made it past working hours. Partly because I was too wrapped up in 3abboud after-hours, and partly because she was too wrapped up with her husband, too. She did invite us a couple of times for get-togethers at her place, but I always managed to make up an excuse since I couldn’t stand the thought of seeing M7ammad, her husband’s childhood friend, when I didn't absolutely have to.

She finally let go of me.

“I’d kiss you bs I know you’re not a big fan of that”

“You know me too well, Lilly” I winked.

“So how’s everything been? How have you guys been?”

“Wallah all good el7amdella. How are things back in Kuwait?”

“Not so good wallah. Nasser is really struggling with everything. I hope things turn out well” she paused for a moment. ”Enough with that, 5anroo7 nakel! I slept throughout my flight oo mo metrayga!”

“Wain tabeen?” M7ammad asked her, not looking at me.

“Wherever, I just really need to eat right now”

M7ammad rushed towards the door, and we followed behind him. He held the door open for Layla as he spoke to her.

“So shlon A7madooo?” he said, stepping infront of me as soon as she stepped out of the door, unannounced. I stopped in the middle of my step to allow him through. It didn’t help that he didn’t hold the door for me after he walked through.

What the hell was that?

As we walked towards the Chinese place at the end of the street, I noticed that M7ammad didn't do so much as look at me, or direct any of his conversation towards me. It looked as if he was completely sucked into her world, paying attention to every little thing she said. I’ve never seen him act this way around her before. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought he had a thing for her, but I knew that was just about as logical as flying pigs.

When we got to the restaurant, M7ammad quickly sat next to Layla, leaving only the seat opposite hers for me to sit in. He sat there discussing what they would have with her, completely ignoring my presence. When Layla would talk to me, he would just lodge his face in the menu. Eventually, when the waiter came, he asked Layla what she wanted to have, then told him their orders.

“That will be all, thank you” he said, signaling for the waiter to leave.

My jaw dropped open as I stared at him.

“M7ammad shfeek? Haya didn’t order”

“Ee 9a7, chenny nesait’ha. Tabeen anadeeh, wla t3arfeen tnadeenah bro7ich?” he said, with his head still in the menu.

Layla looked at him, clearly more surprised than I was. I was too frozen to even react, never mind speak. Layla tried to fix things.

Hatha mn 9ijja?

“Shino tnadeeh ehya? Ma7soub 3alena rayyal enta? Nadeeh yala bser3a!”

“You know, Layla, I’m not feeling well. I think I’ll just head back to the hotel and get some sleep”

“Haya! Shfeech entay elthanya?! Ge3day weyay tawny wa9la oo b3dain redday namy weyay 7ata ana ta3bana oo bared anam. Say something M7ammad”

“Kaifha. Etha ta3bana, 5atroo7 tnam,” he said, looking at Layla and waving his hands in my direction, as if to tell me that I’m leaving, “she knows the way”

I felt my tears forming. I had to get out before he saw them.

“I’m so sorry Layla wallah. I promise to make it up to you soon. Bs baroo7 arta7 shway oo b3dain e9eer 5air” I said as I stood up and grabbed my bag.

“Ne6ray bas – “

I didn’t. I made my way to the door as fast as I could. As I moved, I saw Layla smacking M7ammad on his head and saying something, as he moved to sit infront of her, where I was sitting only moments earlier.

Once I was out the door, I took a deep breath and inhaled all the air that my lungs could hold. Why was he acting so rude? What was all that about in the morning? What the hell happened between now and the morning? Why did Layla’s arrival make so much of a difference to his attitude?

That was the M7ammad I knew. That was the M7ammad I've been working with. That the M7ammad I hated and despised.

I felt my tears running down my face, but I quickly wiped them off as they fell, worried that either of them might be coming behind me at any moment.

No one ever did.

Saturday, February 7

Contrasting Realities 16

adree btethb7oony, bs I'm gonna be busy over the next week, so I wont have time to post =/
So here's an extra-long part to keep you entertained till then!
Read it slowly ;)


Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the door, interrupting…everything.

“This must be room service. I ordered breakfast”

I exhaled.

“Zain…erm…ent elbes…3shan…erm…you know…la net2a5ar. I’ll take care of…hatha…shesma…breakfast”

I walked out of the room and closed the door behind me. But I realized that I had to lean back on it for a few moments and breathe before I could move again. I tried to make another move for the door but my brain wasn’t sending any signals to move my legs. It was occupied with thousands of thoughts and images of M7ammad.

A second knock on the door finally initiated my leg movements. As I walked towards it, I started thinking of why I felt so nervous around him. It could be the way he looked, like he’d just walked out off the red carpet. It could be the way he’d caught me by surprise while I was totally unprepared for it. It could be the unbelievable amount of confidence he carried around. But that was no reason to feel this way. I hated M7ammad. M7ammad hated me. What’s wrong with me? Nothing changed – he was the slamming hottie with attitude problems.

Nothing changed... I thought to myself.

I hate M7ammad…I thought to myself.

He has attitude problems…I thought to myself.

I kept repeating those to myself until I reached the door and took our breakfast. I sat opposite the tray and reached for the blueberry jam, and proceeded to stuff myself with it like there was no tomorrow. Unlike my usual self, I was eating like a pig and I knew it. I had no intentions of slowing down, though. The sugar rush was keeping my mind off…things.

A little while later, M7ammad walked out of the door, in his olive green suit and the shirt I had just ironed. His tie was placed loosely around his neck.

“Someone’s hungry” he winked, and pointed to the dab of jam on the side of my chin.

I gave him a nervous smile, then went back to my sugar-filled jam, intentionally not wiping the jam off my face.

“Bl3afya” he said again. I looked at the huge grin he had on his face as he was watching me eat.

“Allah e3afeek” I said after I swallowed. I wiped the jam off my chin.

Now can you please leave me alone with my soothing sugary food?

“Adree athaitech Haya, bs ba6lb mennch ba3ad 6alab”

Ma 7abbait 6alabatk M7ammad!! I thought to myself.

“Erm…ee sure”

“Mo gader I tie my tie…can you do it for me please?”

“Erm…bs I don’t know how to tie a tie” I lied.

“I’ll teach you then! Yala ta3aly!”

He just never gives up, does he?

I swallowed the last spoonful of jam loudly as I looked at his piercing blue eyes and his alluring smile. As if I was hypnotized, I found myself walking towards him with slow steps.

For the second time today, our bodies were once again only inches apart. I held both ends of the tie with both of my hands.

“Now what?”

“Wa9lay the thin end of the tie layn the third button mn foug”

With my hands on his chest, I did as I was told.

“Al7en leffy hathy hnee bs mn foug…o b3dain wrap it around this side”


“Ee…you’re doing great. Al7en put this mn ta7at…wrap this around one more time”


"La2 la2 mo chithee" he held my hand and showed me how to wrap it, “al7en the big part, pass it through el lafa hathy eli bln9 o pull up”

I did as I was told, and pulled the tie up towards his neck.

“3ady if your top button is undone?”

“Laa please gedart asakra hamm”

Here I was, staring at the nape of his neck and pretending it didn’t take all my might to keep my hands off it. I tried to close his top button, but I couldn’t because he was looking down at me.

“Zain erfa3 rask shway I can’t close it like this”

“Tamreen amr” he whispered , lifting his head only slightly.

I tried leaning in a bit and stood on my tiptoes to see but I still couldn’t. So I lightly pushed his chin up and only then could I close it. Then, I pulled his tie up. Only then did I come to the conclusion that he sprayed his M7 on the nape of his neck. I held my breath.

When I reached his neck, he was looking at me straight in the eye. I tried to focus on making his tie straight, but his stare was making me edgy. My palm that was resting on his chest and the fact that I could feel his heart beating was doing more harm than good to my mental status.

For a few moments, the world seemed to revolve around the sounds.

The sound of his heart beating.
And the sound of his lungs breathing.

When I was done with his tie, I proceeded to move away without looking at him.

“Wait“ he said, holding my arm. I turned around to find myself held in his gaze. Once again I was out of words. There was silence for what seemed like an eternity.

“Can you also fit in my tie pin and cuff-links?” he said, handing me his silver Givenchy pin and cuff-links

“Ee sure”

I tried to fit the pin with one hand only, to minimize the physical contact that was driving me crazy, but I couldn’t. Again, I put my palm against his beating heart and tried to fit it.

For another few moments, the world seemed to revolve around the sounds.

The sound of his heart beating.
And the sound of his lungs breathing.

I fitted the pin and raised his hands to fit in his cuff-links. I could see him staring at me and wearing a sly smile from the corner of my eye. As I fitted his cuff links, I also came to the conclusion that he sprayed his M7 on his wrists, which probably explained the fact that I smelled his perfume nearly everytime he moved his hands.

I walked back towards the breakfast table, finally allowing myself to breathe. He didn’t move behind me. He just stood there.

“Ma ra7 takel?”

“Laa mo yo3an…ana 6alba 7aggich entay”

“Oh okay” I said, suddenly aware of how much I’ve eaten. “Well, I’m done anyway. Emsh 5anroo7” I said.

The walk to the campus today was much better than yesterday’s. The sun was shining and the birds were singing as I walked in my comfy ballerinas. Once again, I seemed to enjoy his company, possibly a little more than I should.

During the seesions, however, I seemed to be a little more at ease with M7ammad’s closeness. The goosebumps only came once, when his foot accidentally touched my leg as he was crossing his legs under the bench. He quickly yanked it away though, apologizing thoroughly in the process.

After our sessions, we decided to go for lunch since Layla was going to be arriving in quite a few hours. We didn’t feel like eating anywhere in particular, so we decided to walk around and enjoy the beautiful weather until we decided.

As we walked past one of the numerous shops, M7ammad stopped suddenly as I walked past him. A few moments later, I realized he was still behind me. I walked back to him to see him staring at the mannequin. It was wearing a deep strapless and flowing silk purple dress with a black ribbon across the waist.

“Ee lefat nathary ana ba3ad…bs maly 5elg shopping elyom”

“My sister 3endaha 3ers oo mwa9yatny ashtereelha nafnoof ana oo radd…o I think this is as perfect as it gets”

“It is quite something”

“May5alef ndesh nshoofa?”

“Ee sure”

We walked into the store, and he asked the saleswoman to get him the dress. When she did, though, he looked at it, clearly disgusted.

“Shakla mo 7elo chithee...kan a7la 3al mannequin”

“Is this your first time shopping for dresses?”

“Evening dresses, yes”

I smiled.

“That’s why. 3ady y9eer shaklhom chithee. Ohma ma ybaynoon ‘3air 3al lebs”

He held the dress with both hands infront of him, and tilted his head to the left and right.

“Still mo 3ajebny…ra’3m enna barra kan 7elo” he said with the cutest pouty face.

I giggled.

“Zain Haya...adree 6alabaty 9ayra wayed elyom…bs ana e5ty ta8reeban the same size as you. Do you mind trying it on for me…3shan ashoofa?”

“Ee 3ady mo mshkela. I was thinking of trying it on anyway l2ana wayed 3ajabny ba3ad”

He asked the saleswoman to find my size and then, she guided me into the fitting room. On our way, we passed by the shoes section, and she picked a pair of purple velvety stilettos with strauss.

“These would look amazing with it” she said.

As I was putting on the dress, my bun was undone. My loose curls that still smelled like fruits from my shower this morning fell on my shoulders lightly. I realized it would be pointless to fix it back now, considering it would fall again when I took the dress off. I finger-combed my hair, put on the stilettos and walked out.

He was sitting on the sofa opposite the fitting room when I walked out. When his eyes fell onto me, he gasped. Literally.

After a few moments of eye-bulging and attempts at breath regulation, he was still silent. I spoke.


“Madree shagool Haya…its…breath-taking…to say the least”

I blushed.

“Bta5tha ya3ny?”

“Honestly, I don’t think sis can pull it off the way you do”

I could now feel my red face radiating with heat. He was still gazing at me, and breathing heavily.
Was that sweat on his forehead?

“Zain shlon ya3ny?”

“E5thee entay. You’d be an idiot if you didn’t. You look...i don’t know…I just don’t even know what to say”

I laughed nervously. My stomach was doing flips.

I wonder why?

“Bs I don’t really feel like shopping today” I lied. I had left my credit card in the hotel and only had cash on me. I didn’t think we’d go shopping today with Layla arriving and all.

“Haya, hatha ma yet6awaf”

“This is one of the very few times that people try to talk me into shopping and not out of it, you know?”

He got up and walked towards me. For the third time today, our bodies were nearly touching. He raised both his arms, and slowly, they made their way past my waist, past my chest and past my shoulders. As they went up higher towards my neck and face, they stopped suddenly and went back down. He grabbed me from both my arms and turned me around to face the mirror behind me.

“Hatha…”, he emphasized, then took a deep breath “ma yet6awaf…Haya”

With his arms on my shoulder, I could see that he was gazing at me through the mirror as I gazed at myself. He seemed to be gripping me tighter and tighter by the second. I was slowly becoming uncomfortable.

Not wanting to insult him, I pulled away from his grip and walked towards the mirror, pretending to look at the dress. Even though I never looked at him, I could feel him burying holes in my back.

“I’ll think about it. We’re still here for a few more days” I said, as I headed back to the fitting room to change.

Once I entered my cubicle into the fitting room, I locked the door and stood behind it. Once again, I was trying very hard to regulate my breathing. I was trying very hard to regulate my feelings.

Despite the fact that everything he’s done today proves it, I still couldn’t believe the fact that M7ammad was interested in me. It just didn’t seem logical. I wasn’t his type. I wasn’t his style. I wasn’t his interest.

But most importantly, I wasn’t his.

I was someone else’s. I was 3abboud’s. I loved 3abboud. My 3abboudy.

Yet standing there behind that door, I came to realize that I have been in denial about my feelings for the past few days. 7amood gave me a rush that I haven’t felt in a long time; one that I don't think I’d ever felt before for that matter.

Why was I so tense around him? Why does my heart beat faster when I’m close him? Why does breathing become such an incredibly difficult task when I smell his scent?

And most importantly, why do I glow when he compliments me? I thought to myself as I looked at my glowing face in the mirror.

No no NO!!

This just isn’t possible! He can’t be interested in me!

As I took off the dress, a million conflicts were going on in my head. My brain was asking the little voice in my head to explain all the things that M7ammad has done for me so far. The little voice in my head simply said that they were coincidences, or that my brain was simply misunderstanding since it had grown to hate M7ammad for a long time and was finding it hard to believe that there could be a nice guy that lay underneath.

By the time I fixed my hair, though, they had reached a compromise. If M7ammad did one more thing today that my brain would interpret as flirting, only then would the little voice admit that he was interested.

Other than that, said the little voice in my head to my brain, you’re just looking for trouble…

Tuesday, February 3

Contrasting Realities 15

I woke up the next day feeling refreshed and overwhelmingly happy. I sprang out of bed quickly and walked towards the window. The weather was as beautiful as it was on the day we got here. I took all the air in and skipped towards M7ammad’s room.

I knocked on the door.

“9ba7 el5air M7ammad” I said, and I could feel positivity radiating from my voice.

Suddenly, the door opened and M7ammad appeared. With his messy hair, he was standing infront of me and rubbing his eyes just like a little baby.

He looked so adorable that I just wanted to pinch his cheeks. But that wasn’t why I was blushing – or stuttering for that matter.

He was wearing no shirt on top of his dark tracksuit pants. Standing there infront of me were six packs so well-toned, they put body builders to shame. Every line between his muscles made a perfect indentation in his slightly tanned body that lightly reeked of M7, allowing the surrounding muscles to bulge through. With his hands still rubbing his eyes, I could identify the margins of each muscle in his arm as well. The sight infront of me was enough to sweep any woman (and possibly any man) off her feet.

“9ba7 elnoor Haya…shlonich elyoum?” he spoke while still rubbing his eyes.

“umm…el7amdella…umm…much better….yala bser3a get dressed 3shan la net2a5ar”

“Yamdy I take a shower wla la2?” he moved his hand away from his face and looked into my eyes.

I heard what he said, but my brain was blocked so badly that, not only did I not reply, but I continued gazing into his eyes.

"8a9dy ya3ny cham elsa3a al7en?" he spoke after a few moments of silence.


"Aby a5eth shower...madree yamdy?" he repeated, not taking his eyes off of mine.

“ee ee embala yamdy 7ata ana al7en I’m gonna go shower”

I walked towards my room trying to shake his sanity-compromising image out of my head. I wasn’t planning on taking a shower, but I knew I needed some hot water to put my brain back to where it belonged, and maybe help me evaporate and wash away all those mental pictures going through my head.

A few moments after I got into the shower, I heard a knock on my room’s door.

“Haya?” said his very faint and muffled voice.

I stepped out of the shower and opened the bathroom’s door, peeking my head into the cold room.

“Hala?” I said from behind my room’s closed door.

“Aby a6lb mnch 6alab bs kind of mn7erej” he said

“Shda3wa M7ammad…t7acha”

“My fist mn ams…mo gader a7arka. Fa mo gader I iron my shirt. Oo I called the laundry people, oo galaw they can only return it in minimum 2 hours. Fa may5alef you iron it for me?”

I contemplated the thought for a few moments, then concluded that he sounded sincere enough for me to believe him.

“Ee ma 3endy mane3, bs mako iron bl room eli ana feeha”

“Ako eb mine. I tried using it gabl ma ayeech, bs I burnt a shirt in the process”

“5alas, ana a5ale9 oo ayeek”

“I’m so sorry about this Haya…wallah madree shagoolich”

“Shda3wa M7ammad mako shay. Its fine don’t worry”

After thanking me, he left to his room. I finished my shower and put on my clothes. I wore flat ballerinas today, since my feet were killing me after last night’s walking. I reached for my phone.

2 New Messages

From: Layla
I’m boarding in a little while. Will be there at around 3 or 4pm. See you there =)

From: Dad
Tried calling your phone, bs el56oo6 mo shay. Give us a call! Welahna 3laich!

Nothing from 3abboud…

As I called my dad up, I felt my heart sinking again at the thought that 3abboud didn’t even bother calling me up. It was very unlike him to act this way. It was the first time we’d ever gotten cross at each other, but I never imagined that he could act so immaturely. It was a new side of him that I’d never seen before.

My spirits were immediately lifted when I heard my dad’s voice, though. He seemed to have missed me so much. He even woke mom up from her sleep just to talk to me. I was surprised by their attitude; it wasn’t the first time that I was away for business. It was only after I hung up that I realized that it was the first time I was away since 3abboud. I think it hit them that their little baby girl is finally getting a life of her own and will soon be out of theirs.

The realization broke my heart too. Thinking of how much I’d miss my parents if I’d ever get married, I walked out of my room and headed towards M7ammad’s. I knocked on the door and waited for him. After I heard some shuffles and squeaks and things falling on things, he opened the door.

And I wish he hadn’t…

If I was stuttering a few minutes ago, I was completely speechless now. He was standing there, with his wet hair glistening against the light in the corridor. He was standing there with the water beads lightly trickling down his skin. He was standing there with a towel wrapped around his waist.

I, on the other hand, was standing there trying my best to control my senses. Breathing was never a more difficult task than in those few moments.

“Come in please. Thanks so much for this Haya” he said, closing the door behind me.

I was quiet. I was silent. I was tongue-tied.

And I was looking at the ground and making sure I never looked up.

“This is it” he said, handing me an apple green shirt.

He sat on the sofa at the opposite end of the room, while I was ironing the shirt. I placed the ironing table in such a way that my back was towards him the whole time, because I didn’t know what I would do if I lay my eyes on him once again.

“Balbesa m3 this suit oo this tie” he said pointing towards the olive green suit hung on the side of the cupboard door and the lime green tie hung on its side.

I continued ironing in silence.

“Haya, are you okay? Shfeech sakta?”

I wanted to tell him that I had absolutely nothing to say, but even that much wouldn’t come out.

I tried to think of anything. Anything.

“Layla is arriving this afternoon” I said after a long pause of silence.

“Elbajeen hamm ma 7a9elaw 7ajz?”


“Tra we have to do something about Rana when we get back. What she did is unacceptable”

I nodded.

He was quiet for a few moments, then spoke again. This time, his voice lighter and more...playful.

“Awwal marra ashoofich labsa flats elyom oo mo heels”

I still couldn’t speak, but I realized that I was clenching the iron harder.

“You’re probably not going to believe me when I say this, but you look much better chithee. So petite. So…” he paused for a second,"…cute.”

Breathing was becoming more difficult again. I was trying to interpret his voice.

Was he flirting with me?

No No NO!

That’s not possible. I’m not his type. He knows I hate him. He couldn’t possibly be flirting with me. His facial expression would explain to me what his intentions were, but I didn’t have enough courage to look at his face. I wasn’t sure if my knees would support me if I did.

When I was done ironing the shirt, I turned towards him. He was now lying on the sofa with his head tilted towards the ceiling. He was staring at it for a long time until he realized that I was done ironing. I still couldn’t speak.

“That was fast”, he said

He got up and walked towards me, and then stood infront of me, face to face. Our bodies were only a few inches apart. I knew he was burying holes in my forehead, so I kept looking at the shirt and pretended to fidget with it to avoid his gaze. Standing so close to me, his now not-so-faint M7 managed to churn my stomach, just like it always did. I wasn’t even sure if he was wearing any cologne, or if my brain had made the association on its own.

I knew that if I had looked into his eyes, it would have been very difficult to keep my hands off him, despite that fact that the person infront of me was M7ammad; the same person whom only hours earlier I couldn’t stand.

I finally managed to speak, after more than a whole minute of silence. I know this because I had been looking at my watch in attempts to avoid his piercing blue eyes.

“I..It…Its not as…as good as I would want it to be…bs…umm…the…erm…its not very good. Erm…that’s the best I could do”. Who knew forming sentences could be so hard?

He held the shirt with one hand, but still not quite pulling it out of mine. His voice went down to a mere whisper. It was as sexy as any male voice could get.

“It’s perfect" his whisper made every hair on my body stand up. "It doesn’t get anymore perfect than this…" he paused, "...Haya”

His voice transformed me to another planet, where Brad Pitt and George Clooney were average men. I was so fluttered, I couldn’t even react. A couple more minutes passed by with us standing there, only inches apart, as I stared at my watch. I could feel his hand moving somewhere around my head, but I didn’t know what he was doing or what he was trying to reach out for. For a moment, it stopped next to my face, and it felt like he was going to reach for it.