Sunday, March 28

Contrasting Realities 32

It was a while before I heard his voice in the corridor looking for me. By that time, I was already halfway down the stairs, since I didnt have it in me to wait for the elevator. I took the stairs two steps at a time, being very careful not to trip. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I ran through the lobby, knowing very well I attracted lots of attention behind me.

Until I stepped out of the hotel.

Into the pouring rain.

Yet again, with nowhere to go.

I reckoned it was about 7pm now, but I had no phone, no watch, no wallet and no destination. And no intention of finding one either. So I just turned to my left and started walking. Not strike that, it was more like a jog. And from there on, I just kept walking, waiting for the streets to take me somewhere...anywhere.

I wish I could say I was thinking about this and that, or analyzing this and that, or feeling guilty over this and that..

but I wasnt...

I was just blank...completely blank.

No feelings, no emotions, no thoughts....


It was still early January, and the city was dressed in all sorts of lights from Christmas. I walked in the rain admiring their beauty, all the while amazed by how a bunch of lightbulbs could make me smile.

I wasnt sure if I was walking very slowly, or if the slow motion was all in my head, but eventually, I found myself at an intersection, and through the pouring rain I saw Hyde park across the street. Perfect, I thought to myself. It couldnt have come at a better timing. Deep down, though, I was pretty sure my subconscious dragged me here, if that was at all possible.

I crossed the very slippery streets, nearly losing my balance a few times, and ended up at the gate. Then I walked in, and made my way to my favorite place in the world: the lake.

As I passed that infamous tree struck by lightning, I muttered a silent prayer thanking God there was none today. I was glad to find that all the benches were empty, and I quickly skipped to my favorite bench next to the cafe, only to realize how stupid that was when I got there. After all, what was I expecting, that someone will beat me to it?

It was my first time in Hyde Park at night. I've been warned numerous times about how scary the place gets at night, and how its very easy to get mugged there. None of that mattered though. It was raining. It was quiet. It was peaceful.

I could hear nothing save for the sound of the rain falling on the grass and water. I could see nothing save for the rain falling on the grass and water.

It was perfect.

I took in all its serenity and tranquility, and with every breath I took I felt my heart rate slow down and I felt myself regaining composure. Slowly, the numbness started subsiding, and feelings slowly came back. I could now feel the rain trickling down my forehead from my soaked hair, and I could hear it playing melodies as it hit the lake in small and big droplets, quickly and slowly, forcefully and softly. Some falling straight from the heavens, and some off the dancing trees hanging above it. Some falling from the heavens, to the trees, to my hair, then trailing down my body and clothes, onto the floor and into the lake.

I closed my eyes and felt the connection between my body, and the lake, and the rain, and the trees, and the sky. Suddenly, a strange sense of peace dawned upon me, like nothing in the world could hurt me.

And even though I expected it to disappear as soon as I heard his voice, it didnt.


Even though I didnt hear his footsteps, he didnt startled me. I didnt cry. I didnt collapse. I didnt break down. I didnt even flinch. Or turn around for that matter.


There was a moment of silence. I could tell he was confused, thinking of what to say.

“Shga3tsawen?” He was standing still.

“Ga3da...” I spoke, once again without turning around.

“Eb hal mu6ar?” He spoke and this time, his voice grew closer as he walked towards me.


“Mo bardana?” He was now by the bench.

“La2” I spoke as I looked out into the darkness of the lake.

He walked over and kneeled infront of me, holding my hand. He was looking into my eyes, but I was still looking ahead. I could see his baby blues lighting up the place from the corner of my eyes, but I refused to face him.

“Haya...” He brought his hand to my face, turning it towards him, “are you okay?”

He was wearing the same clothes he was earlier. He obviously left in a rush since he wasnt even wearing a jacket. His hands were trembling on my face and as he gripped my hand. His eyes were filled with emotions, so many conflicting emotions that I couldnt even comprehend, but I'm pretty sure concern made the vast majority of them. The rain was flowing down his face so vigorously, but he wasnt even blinking as it hit his face. He was just staring at me.

It was now my turn to reach for his face. I placed my palm on his face, and traced his features with my fingertips. I felt his soaked hairline, his tense temples, his dripping eyebrows, the soft corners of his eyes, his strong cheekbones, and when they got to the corner of his lips, I looked up into his eyes once again. He was looking at me with a dazed expression on his face. I could tell he was confused, and unsure of how he should react. I felt his lips tremble underneath my fingers, as he opened his mouth, but sealed it shut again, changing his mind about whatever it is that he was going to say.

I smiled.

He placed his hand on top of mine as I gently stroked his face. Then, he moved it towards his mouth and kissed the inside of my palm with his eyes closed. Even through the rain, I still felt his soft lips gently caressing my palm.

He then opened his eyes and looked up at me with his big blue eyes.

“A7ibich Haya”

I looked down again, feeling the guilt coming over.

“Haya please 6al3eny”

I didnt. So, he turned my face towards him.

“A7ibich Haya...w8asaman billah I do...wghalatich 3indy I do...oo if you give me a chance, just once chance, I promise you wont regret it. I'll treat you like a princess. No, I'll treat you like a goddess. Like the goddness that you are. I promise I'll make you the happiest girl in the world,” he spoke very quickly, like this was his last chance and he was desperately trying to squeeze in as much as he can in so little time, “oo I promise those tears you cried would be the last tears you ever cry as long as I'm with you. I promise eni a3awthech 3an all these tears. I promise I'll never make you cry. I swear Haya, just give me a chance and you'll be the happiest-” he rambled on.

Realizing he was out of breath, I placed my fingers over his lips “Shhhh...”

“Laa Haya mo shhh...I've been quiet for long enough and look where it's got me. Bas enough I cant keep it in anymore. I cant pretend watching you with someone else is okay anymore. I cant pretend watching you slipping through my fingers is okay anymore. Bas khalas Haya mani gader. I cant pretend-”

I leaned over and placed my lips on top of his, and kissed them softly. I felt him stiffen up for a few seconds, and I could feel his hesitancy. I kept my lips plastered on his until I felt him loosen up. Then, I felt his wet lips kissing me back as he cupped my face in his palms.

Feelings could not be described.

Neither could the intoxicating combination of sweat, rain and M7.

Love was in the air...or rather rain...

Friday, March 19


After a very long exhausting day at work, she finally got into her room and let her laptop slide off her shoulders, feeling its thud beneath her feet when it hit the floor. She changed into her favorite fluffy pajamas, and looked at her face. Her now-running makeup was still on, but she decided against removing it. Those two minutes would be better spent sleeping.

She rummaged through her bag blindly as she walked towards the light switch, only turning it off when her phone was within her reach. She then pulled it out and made her way to her bed in the pitch black darkness, trying her best to use her sense of direction to dodge the million things lying on the floor that came her way. Even though she knew fully well that she could very easily use the phone's backlight to find her path, she chose the serenity of the darkness over the convenience of an obstacle-free walk.

When her knee finally hit the side of her bed, she ran her hand over her soft blanket and was amazed at how its fibers seemed to soothe her. Using both hands, she flipped the blanket inside-out and made the soft side face the sheets. She then slipped underneath it, not merely covering herself, but rather wrapping herself up into her blanket. Making herself feel safe. Warm. Protected.

These arent feelings one is supposed to get from a blanket, she thought to herself...

But she quickly dismissed the thought. She was tired. Exhausted. Too exhausted to even do what she does best (and always): think till it drives her...well...mad.

She closed her eyes and stretched her aching body and strained muscles. Its been a rough couple of months for her. Things have been everything but easy. Yet even this much she only enjoyed for a few seconds before remembering that she forgot to set her alarm to 6am for tomorrow. Just like every other day.

She opened her eyes quickly, but just as quickly, she realized there was really no change in the view her back of her eyelids gave her as opposed to the dark room she was now facing. Reaching for her phone, she set the alarm and placed it back on the nightstand, settling back into her position under the blanket. She watched the outline of the room as the phone's backlight reflected on it. The closet, the nightstand, the desk...everything in shades of grey.

There was only one thing missing in the room....her.

Suddenly, the backlight went off and the dawn of blackness interrupted her thoughts yet again. Maybe it was a sign that she should stop thinking? Who is she kidding? She doesnt need a sign to tell her that.

She felt the pain in her back yet again, probably telling her body that she needs to get some rest before tomorrow comes and the cycle starts all over again. She had never been happier with her extremely busy lifestyle as she was now. She had never been happier she doesnt have time for anything as she was when she realized that she doesnt have time to even think.

She closed her eyes one last time, knowing fully well that her tired body would win the battle with her over-analytic brain soon, and that it would only take her a couple of minutes to fall asleep.

She cuddled deeper into her soft blanket, once again hoping it was something else. Or possibly someone else. And thats when that last final thought made her way to her brain.

"A7ib-" she whispered and then paused. The word slipped out of her soft pink lips, surprising her. Where did that come from, she thought to herself, surprised. It must be one of those dying battles that the brain is losing for the body. Its using every last weapon to survive, including throwing in random thoughts and emotions.

And it worked, mind you. She then started thinking of, not the thought, but why it didnt come out of her mouth. Why she stopped halfway through, leaving it hanging there, flapping around like a naked chicken.

And thats when she came to the conclusion that she didnt know what she wanted to hear. Did she want to hear herself say "A7ibik"? Or did she want to hear "A7ibich" coming to her from someone else? Did she want to be loved, or did she want to be in love? Which side of the story did she want to hear, or rather, live?

What was she fantasizing about?

"I love you so much...mwaaaaaaaah" she spoke louder this time, and in English, solving the issue and not specifying the gender. Or the receiver. Or the sender. It was the body's way of shutting the brain up for the night.

And it worked. She slept peacefully that night.

Well, that and the fact that....