Monday, March 30

Contrasting Realities 20

I turned around slowly. The paleness of my face must have reflected my shock.

“There was something on your face…madree” he said, showing me his slightly black fingertip, and going back to my cheek to clean the rest of it.

My eyeliner. What the hell was it doing down there?

“E7em e7em” she cleared her throat from behind us.

Now, it was his turn to become pale. His cold fingertips and my face parted.

“Oh! You’re done already!” he said turning around to face her. I continued cleaning my cheek where his hand was before I turned around to face her.

I could swear she was giving him the death look, but it disappeared as soon as I turned around.


“Yala lets go” I said as I grabbed my bag from next to me. I realized that my phone had been lying on the coffee table since I entered the room earlier. Looking at it this time, though, it didn’t surprise me that its screen was blank.

It didn’t make me miss him any less though...

We walked towards the campus, stopping by a small cozy café on our way for breakfast and coffee. Our conversations were normal and tension-free. To the eyes of the passer-by, it would’ve been hard to believe that less than 24 hours ago, there were tears and arguments amongst the three people sitting at this little café and laughing life away.

Life can be so ironic sometimes…

When we arrived to the lecture hall, it just so happened that M7ammad ended up between Layla and me in the very small space that was left when we arrived.

“Haya” M7ammad whispered in my ears about 10 minutes into the lecture.

I leaned in closer to him with my eyes on the notebook I was writing in.

“Tra ryooly wayed t3awerny elyom, so I apologize in advance etha I hit yours while I move them…or you know…something”

“Its okay” I said without looking at him, concentrating immensely on the lecturer’s words.

Absorbed in the notes that I was taking, my body suddenly froze and I dropped my pen. M7ammad was resting his foot on my leg.

No need to freak out, I thought, he already apologized in advance.

I went back to my notes and the lecture. Once again, I was absorbed by all the ideas that the lecturer was giving me.

A few minutes later, his foot started trailing a path on my leg, moving very gently from my knee, all the way down to my ankle. Then, it went back up to the middle of my leg where it was resting earlier and stopped.

I ignored his action, and thought about his apology once more.

Moments later, his foot starts revisiting the path it made earlier. He went all the way from my knee to my ankle, pausing there for just a few moments and allowing his toes to playfully wander on the top of my foot.

He already apologized…

Only this time, he didn’t stop. His toes left my foot and crept along the shaft of my leg, reaching my knee once more. I kept trying to suppress any reactions coming from my behalf, still convinced that there was a reason he apologized – obviously he knew his restless legs would do something embarrassing today. Butterflies started forming in my tummy, which was doing back flips all over. Slowly, I felt my muscles relaxing and my heart slowing down. I sat there quietly, mesmerized at how good it felt and wondering why I stopped feeling awkward.


The loud noise of Layla’s heel being stomped sharply, possibly even angrily, against the floor came ringing throughout the hall. The lecturer stopped mid-sentence and looked up. Everyone looked around them, but it was difficult to locate where the sound was coming from as per the loud echo.

I realized the M7ammad was frozen next to me. Rigid. Like a pipe.

I was nearly just as rigid. I suddenly felt like a teenager, caught talking to her boyfriend behind her parents’ back. I wanted to sneak a peek at Layla’s face, but I was just…rigid.

The rest of the lecture passed by in a blur. I didn’t concentrate on a word being said and I couldn’t hear a whisper from around me. I couldn’t even respond when the lecture was over and Layla was telling us to get up.

I got up very slowly from my seat, allowing them both to move past me. I pretended to fidget with my skirt until they did, to avoid any form of eye contact. M7ammad went past me first, then came Layla. There was a moment of silence.

16-year old, caught making out with her boyfriend by the police...

“Shfeekom wagfeen chithee? Ma ra7 nroo7?” She was her usual friendly self.

Ashwa ashwa ashwa!! Ma shafat shay!

“Also, we’d like to remind you that, as your schedule says, there will be no sessions held tomorrow since its the day for social activites” announced the lecturer.

“Wanasa! Ejaza!” Layla giggled.

“Al7en we have to think of what to do tomorrow”

“Ma yabeelha! Shopping 6ab3an! Actually shraykom we give it an early start oo nro7 al7en?”

“Sounds good to me” I said, skipping steps.

“Heyyy heyyyy heyyy entaw! Ako rayyal hnee hamma 3la ba6na! Nakel oo b3dain nro7 wain ma taboon”

We went to a Chinese place nearby. Both Layla and I weren’t very hungry, and just ordered salads. M7ammad, on the other hand, ordered some kind of chicken noodles for his main course on top of his appetizers and salad.

“You guys, their noodles are amazing!! Akelhom 3ajeeb! You have to try them!!”

Layla instantaneously dug into his plate.

“Mmmm! 3ajeebeen! Ambaih akelhom mo 9ij! You must try this Hayoo”

Before I could react, M7ammad’s hand was outstretched and holding the chopsticks to my mouth.

Mo mn 9ija yaby y2akelny 9a7? Mo mn 9ija, 9a7?

“Laa thanks I’m full wallah” I declined politely.

“Yala Haya 3an eldala3 ana madd eedy. This bite won’t kill you” he said extending his hand further towards me.


Layla was silent. And I don’t think it was only because of the food she stuffed into her mouth.

I pulled my head backwards, away from his hands. My tone of voice became more serious. Possibly more hostile too.

“M7ammad bs maby, ok?”

He looked at me, with surprise pouring out of his eyes, obviously not seeing that coming. Then, he pulled his hand back.

“3la ra7tich, bs its your loss” he said. I thought I heard some disappointment in his voice, and it broke my heart just as quickly as I’d gotten upset with him; he was just trying to be polite I guess. He quickly changed the subject though, and we continued the rest of our lunch pleasantly.

Denial can make elephants in any room disappear...

Friday, March 20

Contrasting Realities 19


thanks for all your comments. Your support meant so much to me wallah =)

I'm not really back yet but I woke up feeling a little better today, so I figured I should share my good mood with you!

Hope you enjoy it! =)

ps: again, MISS YOU WAYED ;**


I woke up the next day at 7am, an hour before my alarm went off. The sky was still dark outside; sunrise wasn’t until 7.30am. I turned to my side to find Layla sleeping peacefully with her phone next to her.

I haven’t heard from him in 4 days.

I missed 3abboud.


I got out of bed very quietly, making sure I didn’t wake her up. Finding my bag on the floor, I reached for my phone.


I missed 3abboud.


I stepped into the bathroom and looked at my face. My makeup was smudged below my eyes, making me look like someone who just got out of a fistfight. Even though I knew it was only because I had forgotten to clean it off before I went to bed yesterday, I realized that it did reflect the way I felt today.

I missed 3abboud.


I grabbed a change of clothes and hopped into the shower. Nothing could soothe me more than a hot shower. I let the heat liquefy all my problems. I let the force of its droplets untangle the knots in my back. I let the water wash all my troubles away.

Ten minutes later, I stepped out of the shower and rushed to my phone.


Tears made their way to my eyes, but I held them back as I put on my clothes. I decide to apply my makeup outside so I don’t turn on the lights that might wake Layla up. I grabbed my phone in my hand on my way out, contemplating on whether I should swallow my pride and let him know how much I needed him.

On how much I missed his good morning messages.

On how much I missed the sound of his voice.

On how much I missed feeling his lips on my forehead.

On how much I missed…him.

I stepped out of the room and closed the door behind me very, very slowly.

“9ba7 el5air” came a whisper, with a hint of laughter in it. It made me jump.

M7ammad was sunk in the sofa, wearing brown trousers and a beige shirt. His top three buttons were undone.

“9ba7 elnoor”

“Layla nayma?”


“Oo entay shmga3dch hal7azza?”

“Madree…elso2al ohwa ent shmga3dk?”

He took a deep breath and gave me a weak smile.

“I couldn’t sleep a9lan”

“Mn 9ijik?”

“Yup. Not at all. Stayed up all night.”

I sat on the sofa next to him. ”Oh, dude that sucks”

“Tell me about it. Wanna watch some TV?”

“Why not?”

We chatted a little and switched on the TV.

“No breakfast elyom?”

“I figured since Lilly hnee, we could go somewhere instead of eating in”

I pulled my mirror out and started applying my eyeliner. M7ammad grabbed his tie from the table infront of us and tried to put it on, struggling with his bandaged wrist in the process.

“Need help?”

“Maby a2atheech” he said shyly.

“Shda3wa? I’m the cause of the wrist damage anyway” I smiled gratefully, “bs goum I can’t tie it oo ent ga3ed”

He stood up and I stood infront of him. Somehow, it felt less awkward than yesterday. Nonetheless, his beating heart against my palm was still driving me crazy.

“Yala put this underneath here-“

“I’m a fast learner” I interrupted as I winked at him. I then proceeded to tie it in silence. Silence that didn’t include his throbbing heart.

I pulled his tie halfway up to his neck, then gently closed his undone buttons, noticing that my fingertips lingered a bit more on his bare skin that they probably should have. I then pulled his tie up to his neck, and left my palms against his chest. I didn’t move.

I felt his heart push the most sensitive part of my palm outwards.

His heartbeat.

Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub.

There was something so soothing about it. It somehow transformed me to a state of utter peace.

Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub.

I felt my muscles relaxing. I felt my worries disappearing. I felt my heart slowing down.

Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub.

Serenity. Tranquility.

Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub. Lub. Dub.

A few minutes passed by. I don’t know how much, but I could feel that minutes followed minutes as I stood there, indulged in his heartbeats.

“9ba7 el5air” echoed Layla’s voice.

M7ammad’s head turned and I saw lines forming against the muscles of his neck as I stared at it. I didn’t move. I couldn’t move. I was plastered in this position. I was a wax figure.

This would be a good time to acknowledge her existence, said the little voice in my head.


I felt his heartbeat becoming faster and more forceful. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it ripped his chest apart and landed into my hand at that very moment.

“El7amdellah…entay shlonich Lilly?”

When he spoke, the sound of his voice came from his entire chest. Every word and every letter and every syllable was felt through my palm before it was heard by my ears. The vibrations, though, finally managed to shoot me back to reality.

My brain had to remind me of the way things were looking infornt of Layla right now. Me and M7ammad, standing only inches apart. My hands on his chest. His head tilted so he can look at her and speak to her. I, on the other hand, am standing there in complete silence, simply staring at his him.

The realization of it all made me pull my hands suddenly and step away from M7ammad. I looked at Layla, but the disheveled look she gave me made me stare at the ground in shame.

“Shlonich Hayooya?” Her tone of voice was friendly, and so was the question. But there was something strange about it.

Curiosity maybe? Sympathy?

I couldn’t quite place my hands on it.

“El7amdella all good” I glanced at her quickly, and realized that her usual friendly expression was there. There was something else there too, but this time, I couldn’t tell what it was.

“Ay sa3a lazem namshy?”

“We have to be there by 9”

“Oh, 3ayal yala yamdeeny albes”

“Ee yala ba3ad 3shan yamdeena we grab some food before we go”

“Killa hamk 3la ba6nk ent?!”

He laughed whole-heartedly.

“What’s new?”

She went back to change and get ready, while M7ammad and I sat in silence infront of the TV. I don’t know about him, but I know I was staring at it absent-mindedly, seeing absolutely nothing of what the images infront of me portrayed.

Until I felt his cold fingertips on my cheek.