Excuse me sir; I need to talk to you for a second. Said the teacher’s secretary. He excused himself and walked out, it took him only a few seconds and he walked back in, he looked somehow concerned.
Jawaher al Flani, raise your hand please. I was surprised, so I slowly raised my hand up.
Yes sir. I stood up.
Someone outside needs you, some kind of urgent business. He looked at me, disappointed.
Class is dismissed, and Jawaher before you leave I need to have a word with you. My stomach was slowly turning into knots. I was worried. What happened? Why is he acting this way?
Can you please explain what’s going on?
What do you mean, sir?
Your grades are slowly falling, you’re mind is always in some other world, you’re not participating much in all of your classes. All your teachers are worried. What is it that is bothering you? What’s happening?
I felt dryness in my throat, I was still staring, I did not want to break the eye contact between us. But I had to. And so I did, I looked at the ground feeling a bit ashamed because of the lie I was about to blurt out.
Well my family was just concerned because I didn’t fly back to Dubai during the winter break and you know how it is, the time difference and all, we tend to Skype all night and I can't catch up with my normal routine and I’ve been working lately, everything is just messed up, you know? I just need to figure things out. I promise I’ll fix things and let everything go back to normal just the way it was.
Be careful young lady. I know I’m just an old teacher, but you are like my daughter. And I don’t want my daughter to hang out with people like the one that is waiting for you outside. Pointing at the car outside. My heartbeats accelerated.
Oh, V? He’s just an old family friend. He’s a good gentleman; don’t be fooled by his appearance. And thank you for your concern sir. I walked outside the building. And there he was, well dressed in his tailored suit leaning on his car while most of the students that passed by looked at him. He inhaled his cigarette closing his eyes and enjoying the moment. He took one last drag, and then gently flicked the cigarette with his finger as it flew in the air and hit the ground; his polished Italian shoes killed it.
Good morning beautiful! He slid his hand in mine and pulled it up to his lips and kissed it.
Good morning to you too. How are you?
El7emdellah good, you? That was the first time I ever heard him speak in Arabic. And let me tell you, that was the most seducing thing ever! I couldn’t stop blushing.
El7emdellah, I’m fine thank you. I bit my lower lip, trying to stop myself from blushing and laughing at how ridiculously stupid I looked.
We got in and we drove on our way to my 23rd photo shoot. The past months were a hectic and such a headache, I couldn’t cope with all the pressure, with finals and work and going to the atelier and trying to balance it by spending time with Aibileen. All in all it was just too much.
I looked at him, as we stopped by the traffic lights.
Yousef… Are you mad at me because I found out about you?
No. Why would I ever be angry? I found out all about you and I think we’re equal now. He held my hand.
This photo shoot was quite different to the others. It was more intense in a sense. The whole story was about a girl who was lost in her fairy tales but was found by a charming young prince dressed in tuxedos and instead of being on horsebacks he was driving luxurious cars; he made her the happiest girl.
I couldn’t believe we were finally done with that photo shoot; it was so long and so tiring. I barely slept last night. Or the nights before, surely I had dark circles under my eyes. I need a break, I want to fly away, just me and forget the world…
Once I dipped in the warm bubble bath I switched on the TV. That’s how bored I was, done working out, done with all the work. I barely switch on the TV. “If you’re good at something, never do it for free”- The Joker from Batman the Dark Knight was the first thing that was said and the first thing that caught my attention. I continued watching the movie; I was so engrossed. All my attention was to the screen. The movie ended, that was fast. I washed up then dried myself and put on my silk-satin kimono robe with my nightwear underneath. I went back to my room and put on some classic mixture of Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi and lied down on my bed. I wonder why I’m doing this. Why I bothered signing up to a modelling agency. What am I going to get from it? Is it beneficial? But with every question being asked, the answers were painful indeed, answers of flashbacks of Yousef and me. I want to go back, back to where I belong... Somewhere I myself don’t know where it is....
I closed my eyes. Darkness. Black. So peaceful.
I woke up from the loud noise coming from my opened window. It was raining heavily, thunder and lightning. I shivered; I got up and closed the window. 3:02AM, I unlocked my door and walked outside towards the living room. I turned on the kettle and made myself some chamomile tea and had Aibileen’s homemade cookies as a light snack. I sat down. I had a weird feeling growing within me, I was scared from the weather outside but what really scared me was the light knocking on the door. I wrapped my robe even tighter around my body; I wore my sandals and walked up to the door. I looked through the hole, and saw a man wearing his hoodie over his head drenched in water standing outside shivering. He knocked again, this time he looked at the hole. My heart stopped. It can’t be….