Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Traffic Lights {18}

A dedication to Anonymous (the ones that commented in the previous post!) 

I was thinking of so many ways to avoid my family. The unbearable heat welcomed us as we stepped out of the airplane. The car arrived, Aibileen and I got in. I was tired from the flight and from not getting enough sleep back in Tokyo. The driver took as back to my place which is at The Palm Jumeirah. I got in and suddenly a wave of memories started to haunt me. I don’t miss this place, at all. We got stuck in the traffic, which delayed our arrival by around an hour. Once we arrived, I went upstairs to my bedroom and showered then I got dressed.
Aibileen I’m going to the salon. I said it out loudly so she would hear me.
Alright dear, I’m off to bed. She replied back and I got into the backseat of the car and the driver took me to the Salon. I texted Yousef telling him that I had to fly to Dubai because my sister is getting married.
I looked at my hair; the colour was dyed to a light shade of chestnut brown for the fashion show. So I decided to dye it back to my natural shade of brown – looks something like that. I trimmed the split ends, blow-dried my hair. The manicurists were surprised when they knew I was “The Fat Jawaher” and how I’d transformed into a normal thin person. I sat in my seat and they began cutting my nails. It has been 2 hours since I texted Yousef and he still didn’t reply, there’s only 5 hours difference between us which makes it around 6PM back in Tokyo. Maybe he travelled again, but he would tell me.
Isn’t that you? The manicurist emphasized on the you. That is you! You’re a model!? I looked at the direction she was look at and I saw a lady reading the issue of me on the front cover of Vogue Teen, the lady lowered her arms and looked at me then looked at the cover. I smiled nervously; I could feel my ears ringing and my cheeks turning red. I could hear their low whispers as the ladies looked at me. The manicurist applied the last coat of a deep shade of ruby red on my toes. I waited for my nails to dry then paid, I could feel their eyes burning my skin as they stared at me as I walked towards the exit. That was awkward.
I went back home and unlocked the door to the house and walked in.
Jawaher, is that you?
Yes. I’m hungry, I hope lunch is ready. I walked across the hallway and to the dining room where the food was prepared and Aibileen was pouring some juice in the cups.
I just got off the phone with your uncle. He says he urgently wants to see you tonight by 7 at his place.
Urgently? I hope everything’s all right.
He seemed rather demanding. He said that your cousins and relatives would be there too. I guess he’s throwing a party for you? Or perhaps for your bride-to-be sister.
Your hair looks beautiful. You remind me of your mother. She had the exact same shade. I smiled at her comment. We sat down and had lunch and I told her about what happened to me earlier when I was at the salon.
That’s what you wanted; you should’ve known you’d get such responses. I could hear the annoyance in her voice.

I got dressed and tied my hair into a sleek straight ponytail, and applied the tiniest amount of makeup and some nude lipstick. 
Aibileen figured it would be best if I would go there on my own. I was on my way to my uncle’s house; I wanted to be there on time although every cell in my body rejected the idea of going there. My heart suddenly began pounding, beating harder and stronger. I could hear the beats out loud. The driver drove in to my uncle’s house, he parked the car by the main entrance. I got out of the car and walked to the door. The place seemed empty, until the maid escorted me to where they all sat.
Everyone was there. Everyone. Boys, girls from the babies to teenagers to adults and some elderly people, some I did not know and some I recognized. The room hushed as they all saw me.
I smiled, nervously. Essalam 3alaikm.(translation: hello) I waited for a response, but heard none.
J.. Jawaher? I could see the disgusted look on my stepmother’s face as she pronounced my name.
Na3am.(Yes.) I smiled softly. Yet no one was welcoming me. No one stood up for me, to greet me, or even the slightest gesture: a smile, was not on their faces. Instead they were all shocked by my appearance.
Mnoo 3zamch?(Who invited you?)
Ana. (Me.) My uncle spoke, walking towards me. He stood right in front of me. I was going to say hello but he interrupted me, avoiding any contact between the two of us.
Don’t you dare touch me. His breathing became unsteady, suddenly louder. He found out…  
The next second I could feel his hand slapping my face really hard, turning it to the other side. The women gasped in fear.
I feel so pitiful... Tears are rising up and suffocating my throat. But I won’t cry, because it isn’t something to cry about.
Everything he said muted out. I could only hear my heartbeats. He was so furious, he grabbed me by my arms and shook me hard.
YOU SOLD YOUR REPUTATION; YOU SOLD YOUR BODY FOR A FEW SHOTS. IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT TO BE KNOWN FOR? YOU BRING NOTHING BUT SHAME TO THIS FAMILY. YOU PUT OUR NAME INTO DIRT, JUST LIKE YOUR BEHAVIOUR. MA 3NDICH KARAMAH? 9DG INNICH W 8ALEELAT ADAB.(You truly have no dignity and you’re rude).  Their tongues like pistols, trying to trigger out wonders that are going to break me down, break me down into someone they could step onto and rise above the dirt. But my body and my mind resist each bullet, shielding myself from them. Bulletproof.
It went on, and on. I felt the world muting out and I wished it would just open up and swallow me. I didn’t know when he stopped talking, but I just walked out. I walked out on to the streets. I kept on walking. My tears wouldn’t stop falling. He slapped me back to life, suddenly everything was clear. What I did was a shameful sin, and every word he said was absolutely right. I’ve been such a fool, what have I done? I kept on walking; I couldn’t stand it, too many things happening in one day.
I walked all the way back home, which was roughly about 11Kms. It took me hours. Aibileen was waiting for me by the porch.
What happened? What’s wrong Jawaher tell me? What happened there? She gasped. Your face… I avoided looking at her, so I walked past her and went to my room. I locked the door and removed my shoes. Parts of feet were bleeding badly and the rest had blisters from the walking. I lied down on my bed and cried myself to sleep, like I always did when I am here in Dubai, but this time I didn’t cry because of my figure. I cried because I had enough of this world…  

Monday, 21 January 2013

Traffic Lights {17}

This post is dedicated to Rewaya Mfarzena <3, who are back with an amazing story! Xxxxx

I stood there, with only my dressing room light lit and the torch by my bed. I stood there, shivering because I was only dressed in underwear.

You’re back… Everything was like a dream, in fact the entire day felt like a dream. I felt unsure, and nauseous.

I couldn’t leave you behind. A promise is a promise. I was by your mothers’ side all along, until she went into that white room and never came back. She knew I couldn’t have babies; God never gave me the ability to. So she held my hand one night- she was 8 months pregnant, when your father was away, she looked deep into my eyes and then she spoke in a soft voice. A voice that did not resemble her or her strong personality. It was as if she knew what was coming. She told me how precious you two are even though she did not see you and she kept on talking about the two of you. Until she started talking about me, how long I’ve been with her, how much she trusts me. Then she said, “My children are your children. I give you the permission to do whatever you want to do with them because deep down I know you’ll take good care of them, Aibileen. The way I always wanted to…”.  Her voice was shaky, and the tears wouldn’t stop. I knew it meant a lot to her. I hugged her and cried along.
I’m so sorry… 
I quit modeling.
I’m proud of you. It wasn’t what I’d expect to hear from her. But tonight I felt like I made the right decision and that is making both her and Yousef proud. A bonus for me was that it was on the same day!

So I woke up the next morning, knowing finally Aibileen is always going to be by my side no matter what. And I had to get dressed because I knew I was going to see Yousef.
I walked in my closet and stared at my neatly placed clothes and had to pick something lively and I found this perfect dress, I matched the accessories and shoes to it. I had a shower and got dressed. I applied some nude lipstick then I walked outside and was instantly welcomed to the smell of delicious French baking.
Bonjour princesse!
Bonjour Aibileen! I helped her with a few things then we sat together and had breakfast. I miss this food, I miss her and I’m so glad she’s back.
I helped her wash the dishes then excused myself. I got out into the open air, today felt different, something was in the air and I could sense it tingling my feelings. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to go to the atelier anymore since I am no longer modeling, so I stopped by at some local cafĂ© and called Yousef. I waited for so long, called him so many times, but there was no answer. So I called Alfie, he replied.
Good morning gorgeous!
Good morning Alfie, how are you?
I’m fine thank you. Babe, come to the atelier we can’t start the celebration without you!
Yeah! Common dear, don’t be shy we’re still friends you know.
Alright, I’ll be there in a few. What’s wrong with Vladimir?
Oh, I don’t know? Is he not answering?

Well why don’t you pop over, perhaps he’s there and forgot his phone on silent. Anyway I’ll see you at the atelier. Bye!
The instant he told me to ‘pop’ over to his place I got on my two feet and walked towards it. Every time my heart accelerating, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea or not but something was bound to happen. I arrived, the doorman saluting me as I walked in and I in return did the same. I took the elevator, and with a ping I arrived. I walked, remembering last night, remembering how I had only spent a few minutes with him. I took a deep breath, and let it out as I pushed the golden button. It rang. I waited. And waited. I knocked on the door then pressed the bell once more, perhaps he went to the atelier I thought. I called him twice before making a move but he did not reply. I was concerned, maybe something happened to him, so I took the shortcut to the atelier. I got in and saw only Momoko and Alfie, Mia and Yousef weren’t there.

Ja-wa-herrrr!! Waaaaaaii. I miss you. You looked breathtaking last night, right Alfie? She came and hugged me.
Absolutely! He remained seated, tuning his guitar.
Thank you. I blushed. I scanned the room, maybe they were in the closet but it was closed. I sat for a while and they talked together, I felt left out until they stopped.
Jawaher what’s wrong? Is everything all right?
Yes, everything is fine. Where’s Mia and Vladimir?
Mia took some of the designs for a magazine photoshoot a couple of blocks away from here. But I haven’t heard from V. Sweetheart, did V tell you where he is?
I called him a couple of times he didn’t answer. I thought you went over to his place.
I did. He wasn’t there… My voice suddenly became lower.

A couple of hours later, he called me. I jumped from my seat, excited and worried. I answered the minute my phone lit up.

3yoonha! There was tense mixture of emotions, I wanted to cry then scream out his name in excitement but I had to control myself.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you this earlier; I’m going to be abroad for a couple of days. How are you?
I… I was so worried about you. Are you all right?
Yes everything’s all right. Listen, I’m happy to hear your voice, I have to go now. I’ll talk to you later.
He hung up. No goodbye, no I love you. He spoke to me in a rush with a cold tone to his voice as if he was forced to call me. I told Alfie that Yousef travelled and I left. I could not bare the pressure that I felt on my chest so I went to the exact park where we had first kissed. The sun was setting, so I had to go back to the apartment. I sat with Aibileen for a while then I felt so tired, so I went to bed.

I woke up the next morning by Aibileen’s soft nudges.
What’s wrong? What time is it? I opened my eyes slowly, waiting for them to adjust to the bright sunlight that was peeping through my windows.
Well, it is quiet early, . I figured we could go out shopping but something interrupted me… I received a phone call from Dubai. Strange isn’t it? After 4 years, they remember you. And guess who called, your stepmother! She said she wants you to attend her daughter/ your stepsister’s wedding. It’s after 5 days. You better pack your bag because we have no time; our flight is in a couple of hours.
Hold on. Hold on. You’re talking too fast. I stretched a bit then went to the toilet. I washed my face with cold water and did whatever I had to do. Then I walked out. I slowly absorbed what she said.
To be precise, our flight is in 2 hours and 37 minutes.
Shit. We better hurry up.I folded my clothes neatly and placed them into 3 large suitcases and got some extra clothes in another small suitcase that I can carry with me to the flight.

I got dressed.
I’m going to Dubai. It’s been 4 years Dubai, I hope you’re ready for me because I certainly am not!