He lifted his head, and looked at me. I knew I was wise enough not to look, but I did, even the shortest eye contact between the two of us felt like a century of emotions I could tell how he felt at that moment. Like I was the reason for his expression and mood to change from happy to guilt. I turned the other way to Aibileen and right at the corner of my eye I saw him stop and stare; puzzled and perplexed by my action of turning away and not running towards him. I could’ve done that. But I’m no longer his and he’s no longer mine, and that’s why he’s obviously with someone else. The moment I knew Rashed was getting married I died a thousand deaths. I knew I was moving too fast, I could tell, but I didn’t realize how unbearable life had become for me. I don’t understand why I find myself comparing Rashed to Yousef or even worse Rashed replacing Yousef when all along I knew we were so alike, I know Yousef more than Rashed…
I got in the plane and wore my earphones; Adele was like some kind of therapy to me. During the entire flight, I avoided watching movies so I read some books and continued listening to music.
Aibileen unlocked the door. We unpacked; I showered and changed my clothes. I heard the bell ring, once, then a pause, again, then another pause. Why isn’t Aibileen answering?
Aibileen? I called out. No reply. I walked to her room. She’s asleep… I ran downstairs and opened the door.
Good evening Ma’am.
Good evening to you too?
This is a package sent from Mr. Rashed AlX.
And you are?
Oh… Thank you.
Have a nice day Ma’am.
You too… Awkward.
Uh, Ma’am. Sir’s father wants you to come over to his house tomorrow. Dinner gathering at 7PM.
Oh? I see.. Well tell them I’ll be there. And thank you again.
You’re welcome Ma’am.
He didn’t have the courage to come here, huh?
I went to the living room; I opened the box only to find all of the papers; the apartments my dad owned, the houses, his companies, basically everything. They’re sending me a box filled with my dad’s properties as if they’re giving it away then they’re inviting me to dinner. I bet there’s something behind this. From one drama pit to another, they’ll just keep digging them up for me to fall in them.
I woke up at 8 something. I had breakfast with Aibileen and told her about what happened last night when she was asleep. She was as surprised as I was, we both concluded that tonight’s dinner has a mysterious meaning behind it. So we decided to go shopping together.
Aibileen what do you think? Too short?
Not for a dinner gathering.
Jawaher! I found it! This is exactly what we’re both looking for. Its backless with a hint of sexiness and a sophisticated stylish elasticated waist to give a little figure but to show some more skin. You know how this makes people’s heart throb, and if it was on you I think you’ll jolt them with your beauty: a state of art.
Oh Aibileen, you’re a genius! I hugged her.
I bought the dress, and then we went ahead and bought a couple of things for the both of us. We went to the salon, pampered ourselves then went back home. I got dressed and wore one of mommy’s diamond earrings. I tied my hair up into a bun and applied simple makeup. I then applied my favourite red lipstick. I wore my heels, went to Aibileen to say goodbye then got in the car. My heart was beating so fast, my hands were shaky. Last time I went, I got slapped. This time… God knows what’ll happen…
I arrived. My uncle was standing outside waiting for me...
Jawaher! So nice to see you again. He welcomed me with his arms open wide. He hugged me. You look beautiful. His smile slowly forming.
Thank you. Its nice to see you too. Thank you for inviting me over.
You don’t need to thank me dear, after all we are a family. Right… How kind of you to remember me after I inherited what’s written on the will.
We walked in and everyone was there, the exact same people that were invited to the previous dinner. My eyes scanned the room, it found its target; Rashed. There he was sitting with my stepsisters and cousins.
Everyone, Jawaher has arrived! They all looked at me, the place hushed for a moment and smiles began to form. Strange. This is so strange… I went ahead and said hello to everyone. They all greeted me so warmly. Last time they barely smiled… I could tell from the look in their eyes how much they disliked me, especially my stepmother. And my dress, was the cherry on top, it just made them hate me even more. It’s like the more they hated me the stronger it built me.
We were directly escorted towards the dining room; I sat on my uncle’s right side for he was seated at the head of the table. And right beside me was Rashed, then my stepsister. Already involved, they spoke together and he barely spoke to me as if he didn’t know me… The strongest pain is when you miss someone who is sitting right next to you…
I knew exactly what was going on, in fact I figured it out. They purposely made me sit beside Rashed because they found out that all along he was my lawyer, and perhaps there was something going on between the two of us. Something they despised, so in fear they came up with a solution before things got out of control. And my stepsister played her role so well, she would playfully feed him, flirtatiously talk to him and so on.
Dessert was being served, I excused myself to leave and that’s when it really became obvious.
Rashed would you mind dropping Jawaher off to her house?
The driver’s outside, I wouldn’t want Rashed to drop me.
Oh no, I told the driver to leave. His smile was the evilest smile I had ever seen. After all you don’t mind. You seem to know each other so well.
I looked at Rashed. He didn’t say a word; he was as surprised as I was.
Is that so? Well then, thank you for inviting me to dinner. Oh and please do come over to my house sometime, all of you. How about after tomorrow? I’m throwing a barbeque party! Well I better be going, so good night everyone.
Jawaher, let’s go. He held me hand and we left. My stepsister’s anger reached at its peak, I shyly smiled. I got into his car, I could feel how uncertain he was, but what he just did was unexpected. He took a different route; actually he drove to some other destination.
I wish…. I wish I had the power to ignore you like you ignore me.
I remained silent throughout the drive. He stopped at some place, he turned around and stared at my triple forward helix piercing, admiring it. I felt him reach out as his cold fingers softly touched my ears.
Won’t you say something?
I didn’t say a word.
Are you going to stay like this? The moment I need you most all you do is ignore me?
I’m not ignoring you… I just have nothing to say… My voice was suddenly shaky.
What am I supposed to do…
Do you ever feel like your life is a game of chess? They’re playing you and your feelings. Or even worse you’re a puppet obeying each command as if you’re obliged to do so, its not mandatory you know. He looked at me, I could see him lost in the depth of his thoughts.
Jawaher, how long will I have to wait?
Wait for what?
Can’t you see how much I need you?
Please take me home. I was suddenly scared; he hit me, my weak spot. Please… It was more of a whisper; I didn’t want this to happen. He held my hand, and I let him as long as he was taking me home. We arrived; the ride was dead quiet which was exactly what I wanted. I opened the door, about to leave but he didn’t let go from his grip around my hand.
When will I see you again?
Please let me go… Rashed. You need to move on. In the end, you have no choice. Even when you did, they took it away from you. My words paralyzed him and he let go of me. Good night...