This post is dedicated to Abeer Khalid!
Speak of the devil and he shall appear. I said as I walked in. Rashed! Funny I was just about to call you and tell you to come over or perhaps join me.
What a coincidence. I actually came over to say goodbye.
Already? So soon… Please don’t leave… I didn’t want him to but I couldn’t say a word. Is it too soon to become attached to someone you barely know? I’m growing fond of him and its scaring me somehow…
I have some cases to take care of. And besides my father is somehow suspicious from my short journey, which is so sudden. Out of the blue I decided to come and with the lamest excuse was that I needed to lighten up.
When will I see you again?
When will you go to Tokyo?
If you’re leaving then I’m leaving. My graduation is in 3 days so… I guess I’ll leave tomorrow or tonight if I find some seats in the airplane. What do you think Aibileen?
There’s nothing to do here, I think it’s a good idea to go to Tokyo tonight.
Rashed look down at his watch and sighed. Well, I have to go now.
I hugged him and whispered in his ears. I miss you already. I smiled. I could swear to you that that moment made me feel weak, as though he’s a part of me, which has settled but was about to leave me all alone.
Why does saying goodbye have to be so hard? Harder than even shutting a person away all of sudden. The word itself sends shivers down my spine and makes me shudder in fear of losing someone whom I’m now attached to. Oh god… I’m suddenly becoming attached to him, isn’t it too soon?
I watched him get into the car, I waved for as long as I could until I saw that car that had that one person I’m starting to rely on, disappear. I felt something heavy sit on my heart, stirring my feelings with its razor-sharp hawk like nail. It hurts so much. I went back to my room and packed my bag, unconsciously.
Three days have passed. I haven’t spoken to Rashed, in fact, I know nothing about him. My hair and makeup was done, I felt like I was back to modeling except its only my graduation. I cannot believe that I’m finally graduating. We walked towards our seats and the speeches began. I sat there confident about myself, and watched Aibileen waving at me on the second front row. I excitedly smiled back, too shy to wave back. The names list was being said, and there amongst the hundreds of other students my name was pronounced in a strong Japanese accent; a valedictorian. I was so proud of myself, so proud of who I’ve become I just wish so badly that my parents and Rodha were here to see… I delivered the valedictory, and I can tell you the standing ovation that I received made me feel like I was important, it suddenly placed value in my life.
After the graduation ceremony we had a huge party, which I attended for a moment because everything seems to mirror my experience with modeling, and now and then I got flashbacks of Yousef and I. I didn’t realize that I had feelings towards him; my feelings are still bottled up. A side of me wanted to go back to Yousef’s place, back to the atelier and it was the dominant side. I was just so curious to see him, how is he doing without me? And so I set my thoughts aside and went intentionally back to what my feelings were telling me, I had to find out.
I walked all the way to the building he lived in. I took the elevator upstairs and walked the same path I used to walk with him, holding hands. I stood by the door; I stared at the initials for as long as it took. My brain just couldn’t apprehend the letters, as if they were gibberish! I touched the gold plated letters; they’re no longer VY… Could it be? I soon realized what I had done; I pressed the bell without thinking. Oh. My. God. I felt a jolt of fear hit me, and I was immediately slapped back to reality, I turned around and walked the other way. I was halfway there, when someone opened the door.
How may I help you? An American.
Shit… What have I done? Why did I have to get myself into such a hassle!
Oh I’m sorry.. I was looking for an old friend. Vladimir? He used to live here but I then realized that the initials aren’t the same. Sorry to disturb you.
Oh. Not at all, the guy that owned the apartment wanted to get rid of this place as soon as possible so he sold it for some cheap price. And I got it.
Oh, well… Good for you! I have to go now, I’m really sorry.
No, no it’s fine. Besides I’m here on my own so you didn’t disturb or whatsoever. I’ll let him know you passed by.. Miss-?
Umm... No I’ll tell him I was here.
Are you sure? I mean I don’t mind.
Thank you. It’s ok, I’ll tell him myself.
Ok. Bye. He closed the door. Phew, that was close. I went back to my apartment, I had a feeling that there was something good, some good news or I don’t know just an instinct telling me to hurry back.
I put my key in the lock and turned it around. Bismillah, I hope there’s something special. I entered with my eyes shut, once I opened my eyes I felt an arm wrap around me tightly.
I’m so proud of you. Once I heard his voice, all the bottled up unwanted feelings escaped from my body. I felt like I was cured right away. His voice so soothing, I hugged him back.
I missed you so much.
I missed you too.
Why didn’t you call?
Well, I’m here to deliver some good and bad news. So which shall we start with first? The good or the bad?
The bad? I don’t know… How bad is it? He looked down for a bit. That’s bad. Let’s go sit somewhere outside. He nodded and followed me towards the balcony. Aibileen obviously knew he was going to visit, she set the table in the dinning room for three; the food all well prepared with a cake.
Would you like something to eat?
No, thank you. His mood suddenly switched to formal.
I sat right beside him, leaving a small gap beside him and looked at him. I placed my hand on his; maybe it would ease up the pain?
Well I’ll say this to you straightaway. I have to get married… To your youngest stepsister… I felt like someone just threw a bomb right at my face, my jaws literally dropped to the bottom of the building. I could hear my heartbeats clearly. Slowly. Painfully. Is this some kind of joke?
And.. I couldn’t speak up; my throat became so dry for no reason. Why is he doing this to me! The good news?
I won the case. Jawaher, you’re free. I could feel his empathetic smile forming, he felt sorry for me.
Thank you. I turned to the other side. I didn’t want to talk. And he knew, he stood up without saying a word and left. How could you do this to me!
I walked towards the railing, and stood there for so long. Should I just jump and end my life on this day? I thought about it for so long, this would just make life much easier for all of them and for me! My entire body was shaking, and my tears kept on rushing down my face. I felt miserable, and this is the only way I could end this chronic misery. I closed my eyes…