Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Traffic Lights {22}

A dedication to the first commenter, a writer who is so talented and should continue writing N (we'd love to read more from you). Happy belated birthday The chic and cheap! Enjoy xo

Opening up a sensitive topic is one of the most difficult aspects in live, you can hide it, bury it which takes some individual effort. But trying to overcome it and write it down isn’t. A disturbing trauma was a phase of my life back then. You cannot simply imagine how hard it is to be the only survival in the family and then discovering the remains of your stepfamily elsewhere.
For as long as I’ve lived, I always thought I was a bad person and I was the cause of many deaths in my family. As a child, I hated my life; I hated myself so much that I couldn’t accept me. I cannot find another way to paraphrase this context. I lived in agony. In hell. Especially when I was introduced to my stepfamily. My stepmother did her job perfectly well; torturing me and making me believe that I was a bad person. She had a magic spell in which she casted upon the people I thought wouldn’t judge me- like my teachers-, and she managed to brainwash them with her magic dust. She showed no care whatsoever when I first arrived, hence that is why she tortured me. She hated me so much because I looked like my mother whom she never saw, because my father spent the rest of his life with us and not with her and her daughters.

You know how Cinderella’s stepmother tortured her? Well that’s nothing compared to what happened to me. At first, she kept on spoon-feeding me words to make me feel bad and worthless which worked effectively. I was not to enter the main house unless I clean their toilets, their dishes and their rooms. I lived in a basement outside the house that had a tacky old broken toilet; there were no windows so no sunlight entered the room. I had no bed so I slept on the floor. I had to wear this specialized jumpsuit that I would wear when I would work. I couldn’t eat with them, look at my stepsisters or compare my life to them. I would hear them play outside; feeling the warm sunrays hit their healthy skin. I cried myself to sleep every-single-day, constantly.

You might ask, so where’s Aibileen? Oh, my stepmother is two steps ahead of you, she knew Aibileen wouldn’t allow such a thing so she deported her and banned her from entering the house premises.

As a reward, I would be fed. Sometimes she would force me to throw up what I had just to entertain herself, and I would starve. I thought for so long what have I done to deserve this. So I stepped up for myself and she stopped me from doing the chores. But then that was not enough; to my utter dismay I realized that the entire bullying going on in school was her hiring those children- which weren't necessarily students in the school-, actually paying them to beat me up.

I had some money to travel, so I went to Aibileen in Paris. She took me to London, to my father’s house and gave me some of father’s money from the safe. She was devastated by my appalling appearance; she knew I became obese just to make myself feel better (comfort food / binge eating).
I finally graduated from high school; I entered university and was verbally abused by some of my classmates. Therefore the incident that happened, which I had mentioned in the first post allowed me to go to Tokyo.

Every ounce of me wanted to seek revenge. When I got the opportunity with modeling, I did think of the outcome, I thought of every step of the circumstances as if it were gone according to the plan.
In my point of view, the way I see it is whatever my stepmother has done to me, her shallow idiotic tricks did not make me smaller. Instead, I gave grown into this person, her worst nightmare. She has stripped every inch of love I had towards her and replaced it with misery and hatred. And I can’t wait for payback.
I did sometimes do some things that did drive her mad. I would put too much salt in her food, burn some of her clothes if I had to iron them, ‘accidently’ break some of her precious vases. That was the little 9 year old me who had the guts to do so. The teenage me? She wanted to get rid of that phase of me so badly and that's when I bought my house. 
So you got the impression or idea of how I lived. And I am glad to say, I love who I am now, I love me because of what she has done to me; of who she created out of me: A devil.

I had finally arrived to Tokyo. The city I love, where my soul mate lives. I went back to my apartment and it just feels so good to be back. I showered and changed my clothes. A part of me wanted to go to Yousef. But there was this constant nagging between my thoughts and feelings, whether I should go or not. I set my thoughts aside and followed my feelings; I wore a simple dress, applied some lipstick and made my way towards his apartment. I wanted to surprise him with my arrival. I thought maybe I should get a snack with me and a cup of coffee then go over to his place. I got into a coffee shop, ordered a few snacks and a drink and walked out. I took the elevator up to his place and rang the bell. No reply. I waited for five more minutes then pressed the button. Again, no reply. I was concerned, so I called him.
Hello sweet heart!

I’m on my way; I know you’re back.  
All right, see you.
He hung up. How did he know? Did Aibileen tell him?
A few minutes later, the elevator doors opened and he handsomely walked down the corridor with his proper shirt unbuttoned up to chest and his blazer neatly folded on one arm. I bit my lip, he looked drop dead handsome. 

Hey, He walked past me and unlocked the door. No kiss on my cheek? Strange.
How about we go to the park together? I’m bored of this routine.
Are you fine? Is everything okay?
He threw his blazer across the room and it landed on the table. He dropped himself on the couch and sighed loudly. We sat in silence for a couple of minutes then he got up and we walked out the door. He left a gap between the two of us, I held on to his hand and he lazily held on to mine. We got into the car and he drove us to the park.
We got into the ferris wheel, the exact same spot where I had my first kiss. The butterflies started fluttering in my tummy, I could feel the adrenaline rush. 
This is going to be one life-changing ride! Are you ready?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Traffic Lights {21}

This post is dedicated to the new and first commenter of the previous post  Fa6ma! Enjoy xo

The wedding invitation card arrived at my house on the day of the wedding. Funny, how they seem to “forget” about me all the time and wonder why I end up doing ‘strange’ and unacceptable things. I did not sit there hating the fact that I had to go to the wedding or simply ignore the invitation. No, I did what Rashed had advised me to do. I picked out a dress that would not take the eyes of the visitors away. It wasn’t a case of showing more skin, no, it was to look breathtaking in the simplest way.
So I picked a dress that reminded me of Yousef and how he liked things to look classy yet formal.

The makeup artist had come over and did the following makeup as directed; rich red lips, a bold classic eyeliner and pastel brown / nude eyeshadows. With a set of false lashes that were utterly gorgeous. I put on my mother’s diamond earrings, the one that Aibileen had told me about (My father bought to my mother as a present for their anniversary). I had my hair tied up into a braided up do. I wanted to be there on time and I was, my stepmother didn’t expect me to arrive. In your face!
I stood inline with the other women that greeted the guests, leaving a decent figure between my stepfamily and me. People barely recognized me, and if they did they would say ‘aren’t you the Fat Jawaher? Oh look at how you miraculously changed!’ Sb7anAllah.
There was an announcement that my stepsister -the bride- was about to come down and walk on the isle, so I went into the ballroom / hall and stood by her. As she walked on the isle I would help her now and then by fixing her dress so she wouldn’t fall, I was doing that because I honestly didn’t want any harm or whatsoever to happen to her especially since tonight is her night. She sat in her seat and I walked across the tables and made my way to the back, away from the people, and sat on a random table. I could clearly see the guests murmuring and eyeing me as I walked past their tables. Their words like bullets. It kills…
I smiled as I made my way through. Random girls would start dancing; others would take pictures with the bride. I felt someone’s cold fingers tap my bare shoulder and I slowly turned around.
You must be Jawaher AlFlani. That model from the front cover of magazines, right?
I know this may sound awkward, but can we sit by the isle? My mom doesn’t want me wandering around on my own. Plus I wanna ask you some questions just out of curiosity and I wanna take pictures with you. If you don’t mind.
Not at all. Let’s go.
She walked towards the isle and sat on a chair and patted the seat beside her for me to sit.
Ok, so, my name is 3alya (Alya) AlXZ. And my friends in school saw your pictures on a magazine and in a magazine, I mean wow you must be totally famous. And my mom who’s a family friend got this wedding invitation, when I read the family name I had like this inner feeling like I can’t describe it. Its like so tempting, like I had to come because I knew I would have the chance to see you, you know what I mean? You’re like some celebrity, right?
Really? I smiled, she kept on talking about her friends and school and I figured how socially interactive she was, just blurting out whatever came up in her mind. And then what struck me was the way her mother approached us after she took the picture with me. She seemed furious by the fact that she was talking to me; perhaps she thought I was trying to convince her to become someone like me? And it hurt.
Hey listen, it was really nice meeting you. I didn’t except you to be so open and welcoming, you are totally different than what I’ve heard about you. You keep on doing what you’re doing now, ok? Shine for the rest of us.
That’s so sweet for you 7abeebty! Nice to meet you too 3alya, I hope I bump into you sometime soon. That was the first decent conversation I had in this place- an unexpected one to be honest-, I remained seated. The men came in and joined us. I watched the family go up the isle and take group photos together as I sat in my seat, uninvited to take pictures with them. As the men walked down the isle, the hotel manager came to me and told me that my stepsister wanted to take a picture with me.
I was surprised, until I saw her staring at me smiling. I smiled then nodded and went up the isle.
Mabrook. (Congratulations)
Allah ybark fe 7ayatich. (God bless your life)
Are you sure you want this?
After all Jawaher, you are my youngest sister. Forget about mom, come sit beside me. She kindly introduced me to her husband, which I thought was so sweet of her. We spoke a little, and it didn’t feel so awkward. We took a couple of pictures together then I excused myself and walked down.
I walked towards the exit; I walked past my uncle ignoring his existence until I heard someone say something.
Excuse me? La7tha (one second).
I looked behind and saw Rashed.
Aren’t you Jawaher? He had this smirk on his face and kept on acting. I’m sure you don’t recognize me, I’ll introduce myself. I’m Rashed AlX. He waited for me to shake his hand. His father (my uncle) stood beside him, and I could feel the tension building up.
You wouldn’t want to shake hands with the devil, now would you? I smiled politely. I have to go now, but it is nice to meet you Rashed. I had to be somehow rude, you know that annoying little brat that everyone hated, yup that’s what I had to be. I had to play the exact role that Rashed was playing with introducing himself.
I got into the car and went back home. I removed my makeup, undid my hair then had a quick shower, got dressed into something comfortable and went to the airport with Aibileen. She had asked me about the wedding during the entire ride and I told her everything, not leaving a single detail left out.
I quickly texted Yousef informing him that I was on my way back to Tokyo, knowing he wouldn’t answer my phone call at that time.
I hope my appearance made a difference in the wedding, in both negative and positive ways. And I really do wish that my stepsister did mean every word she said because I forgive her, but I do not forgive my stepmother for what she did to me. You want to know why? I’ll tell you when I arrive; I’m too tired at the moment… I hope you’re ready, because what happened to me is inhuman. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Traffic Lights {20}

This post is dedicated to Ray & Your Secret Admirer! Enjoy Xo

I couldn’t sleep I was so excited about tomorrow. Too excited. Revenge. Justice. All on my side. El7emdellah (Thank you Allah). I looked at the time, 4:47AM. There’s no use with all this excitement I know I won’t be able to go to sleep. So I changed into a bikini and wore a kaftan on top. I decided to take a walk by the beach and then perhaps swim. When you put your faith in something or someone, then things will go on easily and workout the way you expected it to and even better. And that’s exactly what I did. There’s something special about that Rashed and I’m not sure what but there’s this positive strong vibe, like some kind of aura that he creates, him and his killer confidence.
There was nothing as breathtaking as watching the sunrise, the shy streaks of the sunrays slowly rising. Once I was by my house, I removed my kaftan wore a lifejacket and went kayaking. Something I’ve wanted to do for so long but my obesity has stopped me from doing so. I went on kayaking until I felt my arms were no longer able to paddle, so I went back. I still had some energy left, so I placed one of the float beds in the pool and lied down on it.

Jawaher. Jawaher.  How annoying, I wanna sleep!
JAWAHER! I jumped from my place
WHAT! Shit! Aibileen you freaked the hell out of me.
Rashed called a couple of minutes ago and said he’s coming over.
Oh my god! Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?
Because I’ve been trying to wake you up! Now hurry he’-doorbell rings- he’s here.
Ufffffff that must be him. I jumped in the pool and swam across then got out. I ran and got my kaftan then ran up again. I went into my room then locked the door. I had a shower then I wore my bathrobe. I walked into my closet and had to pick the suitable outfit, something house-y. Jawaher, who are you kidding, pick something chic. No no no, then he’ll think that I’m trying to dress up for him, I should go for something house-y. Urgh, something house-y and chic. That’s more like it. I blow-dried my hair and skipped a few steps down the stairs. Aibileen prepared the table outside for breakfast.
Sorry for being late, I went kayaking then forgot about our appointment.
Kayaking! We should do that sometime together.
Yeah, that’ll be fun. Awkward. I couldn’t think of a better reply.
Jawaher, I’ve got to run some errands. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.
Sure. I gave her the fake smile and the widest smile spread across her face. I watched her leave then we began.

So, first I need you to find the will. The actual one, the one he wrote with his own handwriting to prove the fact that he wrote it. Because all the money you used to buy this house could be take away from you if you don’t find that papers.
I’m not sure where my dad kept his papers. He did have an office back in London at home but I don’t know where all of the confidential stuff is. I have to go back to London and look for it.
I need you to find anything, the will, whatever it is that you can find I need you to bring it with you. At the moment I do have the email your father sent to his attorney, it’s a photocopy of the original, which isn’t enough. When can you go to London?
I’m supposed to attend my stepsister’s wedding that is in a couple of days. I’m not sure if I want to, or if I should. You know, after what happened I don’t think anyone wants to see me again.
Why did you come here?
Because they told me I had to attend her wedding. And the instant I came back I went to the salon and got ready to go to your father’s house. I guess that was the dumbest thing I have ever done. I should’ve known it was a trap. He didn’t say a word. We remained silent for minutes until he took a deep breath and let it all out.
I know what you did was wrong. But, they can’t put all the blame on you when there’s no one there to guide you and tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. I looked at him, studying his face.
Can I ask you a question? I- my phone rang; interrupting a question I should’ve asked since the day he came to my house. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the caller’s name on the screen. I bit my lip trying so hard to control my emotions.
I have to take this; it’s a phone call from Tokyo.

I walked so fast, I went into the guest bedroom that was downstairs and closed the door behind me.
Hey. I saw your message, I’m sorry I couldn’t reply I had a lot of work to do. How are you?
I’m fine, how are you?
I’m good. When are you coming back?
I don’t know, I thought it’ll be a short trip but I’ve got so many things to do. I miss you so much.
Me too… I heard someone say something in Russian. I think it was his mom. I have to go, I’ll talk to you soon. Mom says Hi.
Oh… Send my regards to her.
I love you.
Me too.
He hung up. I looked down at the screen, and stared at the picture of us for so long. My heartbeats were loud, until I felt a tear trickle down to the screen. I miss him so much. I wiped my tears then went back to Rashed.

You okay?
Hmm? Umm.. Yeah yeah I’m fine. Where were we?
You were saying something about the wedding. Whether you wanted to go or not? I didn’t know what to say.
Do you think I should go?
I know you don’t want to go, but if you do show up they will talk. But that will put an end to it. What more can they say?
You don’t understand. Every move you make, they watch you. Every step you take they watch you. Waiting for the moment you break down or fall or show the tinniest tiniest glimpse of sadness they would run around like savage beasts feeding themselves making themselves better as they spread rumors about you… we live in a world like this…. Sadly..
I may not understand what you have been through; I may not have experienced what you did. But trust me, I’m a good listener…
I looked at him; I could see how sorry he felt. I could not help but smile at his comment.
Thank you.
Don’t you feel like crying when you look at your past?
I’ve wasted enough tears wallowing in my own misery. I’m a new person inside out. I’ve changed a lot. And I no longer care what they say about me.
Then you go to that wedding. And you prove them wrong. Book a flight for the next day and go to London; I need you to find these papers. I’ll come to London as well; I’ll help you look for the papers. Your dad’s attorney lives there, but I’ll have to contact him first, then I’ll arrange a meeting with him in which you must come with me.
Wait, we’re moving on too fast. I need to get permission from my professors to extend my deadlines if possible. It’s my final semester and I’ve got a lot of things to do. I’ll go back to Tokyo right after the wedding; I’ll stay there for 3 days, get the permission, then fly directly to London.
Sounds like a plan. I high5’Ed him and we laughed. I’m looking forward to ending this cold war between you and the family. But we’re going to have to start a fire before ending it.
Oh you have no idea what I have in mind… The devil within wants to come out and play