Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Foolish Games.. (7)

I had no idea where to start. I couldn’t stop looking at him, if I kept this up I wouldn’t even have to explain to Khalood the predicament I’m in, he could easily guess it all. He started walking toward us, sending my mind into overdrive trying to think of one sentence to summarize my sudden uneasiness. I debated the success of attempting to turn back time with my eyes, but after a few squints, I realized it wasn’t getting me anywhere.

“Ghala.. you know that thing you do where you talk in your head and expect everyone else to hear it and understand?”

I nodded absently, still staring back at 3abdil3azeez, “What about it?” I managed to whisper

He adopted my hushed tones and whispered back, “Yeah, it’s not working babe, you’re gonna have to use your words.”

I gave myself a mini-pep talk in my head; Alright G, words, sentences, structure, coherency, you can do it, GO!

I managed to tear my eyes away from his, hoping that I’d regain my composure and the ability to speak properly, words G, WORDS! I looked back at Khalood.

“Mmm boy..” I said unintelligibly as I subtly moved my head in 3abdil3azeez‘s direction. Right, so much for coherency. I decided to try again, “Phone fell, he stepped on battery! Pencil in hair, he pulled it out! Ritaj’s friend’s cousin!!!!”

“Right..” He said as he nodded at me, pretending he understood.

I nodded back emphatically, easily fooled and quietly thanking god for my ability to communicate so well under pressure. Idiot.

“Hold that thought, thiwany bas w arid..”

“Okay.” I mumbled, fighting back the urge to latch myself onto his leg and make him take me wherever he was going, he CANNOT leave me here alone with him, it’s a disaster waiting to happen, it’s unbelievable, inconceivable, un-

My train of thoughts crashed and burned as I saw him walking up to 3abdil3azeez with a huge grin on his face and the next thing I heard was..

“Bo S3ayed!” He exclaimed as they hugged briefly, enthusiastically clapping their hands on each other’s backs.

“7imdillah 3ala ilsalaama!” 3abdil3azeez replied, with his own grin plastered on his face.

My ears switched off as I retreated to my own thoughts again. Wait, what was happening here? What was I missing? I imagine I looked quite silly sitting there by myself, staring down at my coffee cup waiting for it to answer back.

It didn’t get the chance to utter a response. Two large figures cast shadows on my table interrupting my thoughts once again. I looked up expectantly to find Khalood’s face smiling brightly at me and 3abdil3azeez’s smiling at me.. Apologetically?

“I want you to meet my friend, 3azooz,” Khaled said to me.

He stuck out his hand, I looked at it questioningly before deciding to shake it. I hoped to god neither of them saw my sharp intake of breath. The contact sizzled, his hands were so warm and I couldn’t help but feel a little lightheaded at the mere thought of his hands on mine. I reluctantly withdrew my hand and bit back a smile. We touched. For the briefest of moments we touched and it was perfect. Snap out of it G!

“3azooz, this is my better half, Ghala.” He said teasingly as he winked at me. I rolled my eyes.

“Umm.. We’ve actually already met,” 3azeez informed a surprised Khalood.

“Really? You don’t say?” He said as he lifted an inquisitive eyebrow, “It wouldn’t have anything to do with pencils, cousins and broken phones, would it?”

I blushed and stared at my lap, pretending to be absorbed with the fabric of my dress. It’s just like Khalood to say something like that and inadvertently make me feel stupid.

I heard 3azeez’s uneasy laughter, what was wrong with him? “Yeah man, about that, I’m-”

“Hold on! Sorry, I really have to take this phone call” He said, interrupting 3azeez.

Something weird was going on, why did 3azeez look so guilty? What was he about to say? I looked up to find him staring at me, he quickly looked away when he saw me. Weird. He was different today, not teasing, not flirtatious, not the 3azeez I knew. Well, barely knew. I felt like saying something about how he found us, but I didn’t really owe him an explanation, after all, who was he to me? Barely an acquaintance, granted, my feelings might be running a bit deeper than that, but I still felt like I didn’t owe him anything. I decided to make small talk.

“So how do you know Khalood?” I asked politely.

“Huh?” He looked at me blankly. I guess I must’ve intruded his thoughts, he obviously wasn’t paying attention.

“You? Khalood? How do you guys know each other?” I repeated my question.

“Oh, sorry, guess I must’ve spaced out.” Again with the apologies, this was getting weird, “We met a couple of years back in the summer, he came down to the states, we met through mutual friends and sorta hit it off.”

Interesting choice of words. “Oh? And who asked who out?” I said teasingly, hoping he’d return to his old self.

“I didn’t mean it like that!” He said while laughing.

Better, much better. He smiled at me, flashing that dimple, when he stopped laughing, I’m glad he finally felt comfortable again, he seemed really tense. I smiled back and his smile seemed to fade almost instantly. What the hell?

“Listen, I need to apologize, 7addi miftishil madri where to start..” He trailed off.

Apologize? Miftishil? Min shino? My eyebrows furrowed as I waited for him to reply.

“Umm.. Ghala?”

I belatedly realized I hadn’t asked those things out loud, “Sorry! I was talking in my head, forgot you can’t hear me! Why do you need to apologize? Laish miftishil?”

He opened his mouth to reply and Khalood showed up, “I’m really sorry to bail on you like this G, bas il3ayla ilkareema showed up unexpectedly at our house and I can’t get out of it.”

I laughed, “It’s fine hun, shda3wa? At least I got to see you!” I said as I beamed and got up to hug him, momentarily forgetting 3azeez’s presence. He squeezed me back and kissed the top of my head. I noticed 3azeez looked away.

“You don’t wanna come with?” He asked, with his arm around my waist. Khalood had all brothers, his parents always said I was the daughter they never had and were used to me being over at his place.

“And have to deal with your pervert cousins? NO, THANK YOU!”

He laughed, gave me a final small hug and said, “I’ll call you after your exam, shiday 7ailich, haa? Make me proud!”

“Yes, mom!” I said in my most perfect little school girl voice.

He laughed and addressed 3azeez, “Shift shlon ilrespect? Yalla 7abeebi inshoofk ha?”

“Ee akeed, allah ma3ak.”

“You guys should hang out, get to know Ghalooya shway, she’s pretty damn great once you get past the brattiness!”

I checked the impulse to flip him off and decided to stick my tongue out to further display my alleged “brattiness”. He just laughed and walked away.

-Awkward Silence-

He wouldn’t as much as LOOK in my direction. I touched my hair to make sure it wasn’t replaced any snakes. Nope, still me! Not going to turn anyone into stone! I sucked in some air and decided to make the first move.

“You’re still sitting down, do I interpret that as you taking Khalood up on his suggestion?” I ventured.

“Not quite.” He clipped.

Okaay, dagra much? I looked down embarrassedly. He was just making innuendos and suggestions two days ago what happened? Inzain itha mu 3aajbik, GET UP! This is MY table after all.

He realized what he said and quickly amended, “No, I don’t mean it like that, I just don’t think it’d be very wise of us to have a friendship of any kind considering our past? Or your present.” He looked at where Khaled was standing as he said present.

I was beyond confused, “I’m not sure I understand..?”

“Look, I’m not that guy okay? I won’t be stealing my friend’s girl and I sure as hell won’t be sneaking around his back with her, alright? I wanted to apologize for overstepping my limit the other night, I had no idea you were taken, in my defense, you made no move to signify that you were. You may not have any qualms about cheating on your boyfriend but I do. I might want you, but I won’t do that to Khalood.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa… WHOA! Hold your horses, do I at least get to explain before I’m branded with the scarlet letter? Or whatever letter, I’m not really an adulteress, okay maybe wrong metaphor, anyway, YEAH! Can I explain?”

He looked slightly amused but trying to hide it, “Go ahead.” He clipped.

I didn’t know where to start, what was I explaining again? Oh yeah, I’m contemplating cheating on my boyfriend Khalood with 3azeez. I burst out laughing, really? Khalood, my boyfriend? Just thinking of it sent me into another fit of giggles.

“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t laugh at me.” He looked so serious, it was adorable, I wanted to pinch he cheeks suddenly and the thought of doing that to the same man sitting in front of me with the stony eyes and hard jaw and beyond pissed off face was so funny, I started laughing again.

He got up to leave, “I see that it’s no use even trying to carry out a proper conversation with you.”

“No, no, no! I wasn‘t laughing at you I swear,” I quickly sobered up, “Stay, please? I‘d hate for you to leave with so many misconceptions”

I bit back a smile while waiting for his reply. He said he wanted me. He. Wants. Me.

“Many misconceptions?” He asked.

“TONS!” I replied as I bit back another smile. I knew in the back of my mind I should be offended by his implication that I would ever cheat, but I understood how it must’ve seemed like to him. And I was too busy being flattered by the fact that he wants me. He. Wants. Me.

“I’m listening.” He clipped. He needs to stop being so abrupt with me, it’s strangely making me want to jump on him.

I didn’t know where to start so I just began with the biggest misconception, “Khalood’s not my boyfriend.” I looked up to gauge his reaction, he looked like he didn’t believe me! “Walla! He’s my best friend of thirteen years. He’s the brother I never had. He’s an invaluable member of my family, but he most certainly is not my boyfriend.”

I saw a smile dancing around his lips. Yes, baby, you can do it! Smile for Ghala! Come on, come on!!! Success. He smiled. Sigh.

“You really should stop doing that, you’re tempting me to stuff cotton balls into that dimple!” I said, pretending to be mad at him.

His smile turned into full-blown laughter, now THIS was more like it. “Okay, now I really DO owe you an apology.”

“Oh, yes you do.” I said teasingly. “But I have some thoughts on how you can make it up to me.”

“Oh?” He raised his eyebrow, “How am I gonna do that?”

“Well,” I started, “I have two hours to kill before I need to be heading back to uni and I’m in desperate need for entertainment! So, story of your life, GO! Start at the womb and don’t you dare miss a detail!” I threatened.

He burst out laughing, “You’re crazy, you know that, right?”

I sighed, “I’ve been told, don’t change the subject!”

“Alright, alright..” It was very informative to say the least, he could surprisingly remember a lot of details. I discovered he was the youngest of 5, and was graduating this spring. He was also studying business, double majoring in finance and accounting. Wow. He regaled me with stories from his childhood and pranks from his middle school days and , to my utter dismay, stories about girls from his high school and early college days. I glanced my watch, it was 5:10, I freaked out!

“No, no, no, no!” I said as I looked up. “My midterm is in 20 minutes! I really need to get going! I’m sorry, I lost track of time.”

“Don’t apologize, that means you were having fun. And having fun with me, even better.” He said as he smiled at me flirtatiously.

There was something about his smile that never failed to make me blush, I looked away as I got up and straightened out my dress.

I saw him eyeing my legs and raised his eyebrows at me.

“Don’t even start!” I threatened.

“Hey, I’m not complaining.” He said as he stretched. I glared at him.

I threw a sugar packet at him, where did the sudden familiarity come from? He laughed at my indignation.

“So, not with Khalood?” He asked again.

“Definitely not.” I answered smilingly.

“So, I’m free to pursue you? So to speak.” He asked flirtatiously.

I laughed, “I won’t make the chase any easier for you..” I warned.

“Afa! Inzain, how bout we start with a number?”

“Hmm, how bout we don’t? Bye 3azeez.” I flashed him a smile as I walked away.

“Come on, you have to give me something!” He called out.

I turned around, “Well, you seem like a resourceful man, I’m sure you’ll come up with something.” I winked and walked away.

That day opened up a lot of maybes. I was proud of myself for not automatically reciting my number for him, I marveled over my self control. Maybe it could in fact be this easy. Maybe it didn’t have to end in heartache. Maybe I won’t be disappointed by him. Maybe I shouldn’t put so much hope into this but maybe, just maybe, my hope’s not misplaced this time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Foolish Games.. (6)

“You sure you don’t mind?” I asked Haifa on the way to Starbucks.

“La, it’s fine, shda3wa? It’s only Khaled.” She replied and flashed a smile.

It’s only Khaled. Right. If she only knew.

I smiled back and hooked up my Ipod to the sound system.

“Be my DJ?” I asked smilingly as if bestowing a great honor. I never let anyone choose songs while I’m in the same car and while finding a song to suit my mood, I let everything play for the span of two seconds before changing it, or coincidentally, just long enough for someone to get into it before changing it! It’s a coincidence, honest! But I can see how it may be perceived as infuriating by some.

She grinned widely and grabbed the Ipod, “BABY! I thought you’d never ask!” Seconds later, the speakers were blaring her newest obsession, Pitbull-Krazy.

We sang along to the repetitive lyrics while dancing and laughing and soon arrived at our destination. Haifa called her driver and instructed him to pick her up in half an hour. We walked in and greeted the staff.

“What can I get you?” Asked the giggling Philipino behind the counter. He was by far Haifa’s favorite member of the Starbucks family in all branches.

“Hi!” She beamed brightly, “I’ll have a double mocha macchiato and she’ll have a caramel macchiato.. What about Khaled?” She asked me.

“I’m almost tempted to get him a macchiato ba3ad to keep the trend going but he just woke up and if I want him to make any sense whatsoever, I need to get him something STRONG!” I thought out loud, their coffee is pretty weak anyway but I had to pick something, “Umm, a double shot espresso please!”

We paid and went upstairs to sit down, the place looked like it was deserted but we didn’t mind. It’s more comfortable this way anyway. Haifa got out a piece of paper with formulas on it and started revising.

I played with my phone while waiting for the drinks and Khalood to arrive. I’m very fidgety by nature, my fingers have to be moving at all times, whether I was playing with my hair or clicking a pen. I also have a tendency to bite my thumb, not suck on it, not bite the nails, just a habit of biting the skin on the pad of it, I have no idea how it started but it’s been that way for as long as I can remember.

I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and glanced up hopefully, I wasn’t disappointed. There he was, my Khaled, my family. I remembered how he stood by me during all the fights over the past years, how he’s always been my rock through all the drama I’ve been through and how I knew I could always count on him to make everything better. I saw his face stretch into a grin and felt an involuntary lump rising in my throat and and my eyes welled up with tears, it was as if all the pieces have finally fallen into place and I was finally home.

“Waaaaaaai daloooo3aaaaaaaa!” Haifa teased when she saw me at the verge of tears.

“Hehe, chub!” I sniffed and carefully wiped a tear that was precariously close to spilling down my cheek, smudged eyeliner does NOT become me. I got up when he reached our table and he enveloped me in a giant bear hug, effectively cutting off my air supply. My feet were no longer on the floor and were thrashing about wildly.

“Khalood! Put me down!!” I demanded.

As always, he ignored me and proceeded to spin me around, “Btibcheen?” He asked forcefully as he stopped, held me up and shook me.

“La2, walla la2!” I said as I squealed, my peals of laughter filling up the empty café. He set me back on the ground and I wobbled a little while regaining my balance. I held on to his arm for support.

“Zain, I didn’t want to have to resort to tickling you!”

I gasped dramatically and smacked his arm, “AKSIR EEDIK!” I threatened.

“Laa? Gimna inhadid ashoof? Ashwa innich 6ool my thumb!” he said disbelievingly as he put his arm around me kissed the top of my head. I stuck my tongue out, pushed him away and sat back down again.

“Haifa shlonich?” He inquired as he took the seat across from her and smiled warmly.

She returned the smile and replied, “Tamam il7imdilla, inta shloonik?”

“Doum inshalla, ana bkhair damich bkhair bas jetlagged!”

“La 3ad, sh-hal 3ayara? Kilha 3 sa3aat!”

“7ata law! Tifrig!” He insisted.

She laughed her musical laughter, “If you say so!” She agreed, still not convinced. Her phone rang and she picked it up. Turns out her driver was outside and came earlier than she expected. As if on cue , our drinks arrived the same moment she got up. “Magic, I swear! Khalaas 3ayal, I’ll see you at 5?”

“Sh3indikum at 5?” Khaled asked.

“Midterm accounting!” She pouted.

“Aha, allah i3eenkum,” Khaled said in an amused tone, accounting was a piece of cake to him, but then again, he didn’t have our teachers! He turned to look at me, “Wintay rahya ga3da itsolfeen? Ma tgomeen tdirseenlich cham kilma wayid a7san?”

I rolled my eyes at him, “You know I’m incapable of doing that!” I said as I threw a sugar packet at him. I got up to hug Haifa, “Bye 7abeebti, good luck!”

“You too, don’t be late!” She ordered, “Bye Khaled, 7imdillah 3ala ilsalaama!” She added belatedly.

He gave her another huge smile, “Allah esalmich. Biltawfeeg inshalla.”

“Thanks, bye!” She said and walked away.

I looked at Khaled and saw him watching her walk away, not checking her out, just watching her longingly, reverently almost.

“Still?” I asked him.

“Always.” He clipped with a sad smile. “Enough about that, shlonich ba3ad? What’ve you been up to? M6al3a your legs ilyoum? Shnawya 3ala shabab il Kuwait? Mi7lawa Ghalooy” He teased in an attempt to change the subject.

I blushed at his compliment. Khaled’s been in love with Haifa for 3 years now, unrequited love. Haifa doesn’t talk to guys in a more-than-friends capacity. I used to be that way before I met S3oud. He was everything I could’ve asked for in a guy and then some. Our relationship was beyond perfect, but I always had a niggling doubt about there something being off about it. His pursuit of me was so relentless, so resolute. I was flattered by it and didn’t think much of it, but having more experience, Juuj didn’t feel too good about it. Turns out she was right, the entire relationship was a farce, a game between him and a friend of his whom I had rejected. He claims that he developed genuine feelings for me in the process, but I wasn’t in a particularly forgiving mood. Shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fooled me twice. He left a pretty big scar behind, but I was over it. He manipulated me and weakened my resolve, he knew my deepest secrets and used them against me. Worst of all, I let it happen and I never forgave myself for it. Haifa isn’t like that, she’s very much set in her opinions and I’m very proud of her for being that way. I respected her beliefs and admired her conviction, but I don’t know if I’d return to my previous beliefs, should the right person come along, if he ever did.

Be that as it may, my heart ached for the predicament Khalood was in, being so close yet so far away. I still have hope for them though, maybe somewhere down the road, Khalood can have his happily ever after with Haifa. I decided a long time ago I would do whatever I could to facilitate that, it was the least I can do to repay him for being all that he is.

“Earth to Ghala?” He said, snapping his fingers in front of my face.

“Sorry, sorry, what were we saying?” I asked, “Oh yeah, you noticed the length? Hatha winta tawwik raad from abroad, you should be used to it! I really should change before my midterm!”

He snickered, “I was just kidding babe, it’s not that short, just shorter than what I’m used to seeing you in for uni.”

I told him about the tights and rested my head on his shoulders while I filled him in on what I’ve been up to. I told him everything and nothing, from the new workout program I’ve been using to the test I aced last week in uni. He never once complained about the amount of details I was giving, he was just happy to be there and I was ecstatic to finally have him back, even though it wasn’t going to last very long.

“W bas!” I concluded, carefully leaving out any details about 3abdil3azeez or our brief meetings, I wasn’t sure why I did that, maybe I didn’t want to jinx it yet? “Enough about me, adri I fascinate you bas I wanna know what you’ve been doing min waraay!”

He laughed, “Ya3ni lazim a6ali3 ilfathaayi7 kilhum? He asked.

“Uh.. YEAH! No summaries, no shortcuts, detaiils! Lots! Spill!” I commanded as I got up to take a sip of my coffee.

“Someone’s gotten very bossy while I was away,” he said as he raised his eyebrows, “too much Ritaj, I think?”

I giggled, “Laa you can never have too much Ritaj!” I said as I drew a heart in the air with my fingers. “Don’t change the subject, yalla, your turn.”

I rested on his shoulder once again and he looked down at me and smiled, I smiled back and looked away. From anybody else’s point of view, it would’ve seemed like a very intimate moment between two people in love.

And that was the precise moment I saw a guy standing at the top of the stairs, our eyes locked and he lifted the corner of his lips in a mocking smile. 3abdil3azeez. My heart literally stopped beating. Well, this was a new look for him, his reaction baffled me, then comprehension dawned on me and I realized what it must look like to him.

I lifted my head off his shoulder once again, never taking my eyes off him and cleared my throat, “Umm Khalood.. There’s something I forgot to tell you…”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Foolish Games.. (5)

Hey you ;* ee intaw, my lovely readers <3 I honestly didn't think anyone would be reading this ghair my little advertiser/cheerleader, Lost! A7ibich ;** Basich da3ayaat! Anyway, I wanted to thank you for following/reading/commenting! Love you guys ;* This part was supposed to be longer but I have to leave now, so inshalla I'll post another one tonight, enjoy!


“And then what happened?” Haifa whispered with avid interest two days later in Human Rights. We had given up trying to understand what the professor was talking about lessons ago, his accent was too thick for us to even attempt to decipher. Besides, when we did stupidly pay attention, we’d end up laughing really loud and getting reprimanded for it and as a “punishment” we weren’t allowed to sit next to each other. We sat a few seats apart for a week, then gradually got closer until only a table separated us, technically we were still carrying out his wishes!

“And then nothing! Khift itha ga3adt I’d ask him to father my children, fa I said goodnight and walked away!” I answered as I banged my head on the desk in front of me.

I heard Haifa try to cover up her laughter with a cough , “Walla innich mu 9a7ya! I doubt you would’ve said that min awalha Ghalooy!”

I gave her an incredulous look, “Would you be willing to place money on that? You’ve known me long enough to see how much trouble my impulsiveness has gotten me into in the past! Maybe I wouldn’t have said that exactly, but definitely something to that effect..” I trailed off as I got lost in my thoughts once again.

I spent the last two days attempting to study for my midterm later on today and I succeeded, for the most part. But ever so often, I would find myself spacing out and thinking of him, then all prospects of continuing to study would be shot to hell and I suddenly develop the attention span of a goldfish. I wasn’t sure where my infatuation with him was going but I was dying to find out. I couldn’t wait to see him again, I didn’t know when that’d be but the thought of it gave me all kinds of butterflies and then some! As a result, I slept very little those two days and the added stress of the upcoming midterms didn’t help whatsoever.

I was debating whether I should go home and change after class as my dress was a little shorter than I originally thought. I was running late that morning and couldn’t find thick tights and opted for sheer ones. When I asked Juju that morning if it was okay I was given the reply of “LEGS!” accompanied by her widened eyes. That was the same response I got when I later asked her if I should change into flats at least, followed by a threat to decapitate me if I did.

I saw everyone in class gathering their things and walking out, i looked at my watch, 12.30, he let us out early for once! I threw all my books into my bag quickly, afraid that he’d change his mind if we didn’t get out of there fast enough. We were done with classes for the day and had our midterm next in 5 hours. The girls were meeting up at 3, I didn't want to go over the material yet again, I knew i would end up confusing myself, so to avoid temptation, I didn't bring the books with me. If I didn't know it all by this point, there was no hope for me.

Ritaj called to see if I was going to change my mind about joining them, after a lot of useless prodding on her part, she decided to give up, my refusal was beyond vehement.

"I think I'm either in the mood for coffee or McD's, but i can't decide!" Haifa announced.

I gave her an amused look, "Yes, I can see your dilemma, after all they are VERY similar!"

"Malat 3alaich, inzain? PICK or baroo7 atghada at home!" she threatened.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," I said as i fluttered my eyelashes unrepentantly, "Coffee? Then have lunch at home and meet up with the girls, so khalty doesn't complain about you being out for too long?" I suggested.

"You're a genius! Ta3alay let's make nicknick," She said as she wiggled her eyebrows. I can understand how people may get the wrong impression of us sometimes, we're just messing around but it doesn't help that I have a friend that licks my hands still and another one that keeps propositioning me at every turn.

I giggled and feigned shyness, "Haifaaaa, not here! I'll make it up to you later though," I promised as i wiggled my eyebrows back at her.

She burst out laughing, "Kinky! Ghalooy, you're such a tease!" She said jokingly.

"Eee that's how I roll baby, always keep 'em wanting more," I said as I put on my sunglasses.

We giggled as we walked to the parking lot, well, she walked, i mostly barely kept myself from stumbling to the parking lot. My phone started vibrating in my hand. I looked down to see who was calling, it was Khalood! His kuwaiti number, I couldn't believe he was back! I squealed and picked up the phone.

"KHALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!" I screamed into the phone.

"Aaii! Mu chithee Ghalooy, you warn a man before doing that so early in the morning!" He said in an annoyed tone, but I knew better.

"Bite me, you know you missed it! Besides, it's not morning anymore ya tambal, it's almost 1, GOOM!" I ordered him before i launched into a series of questions, "Laish ma giltly you're back?! When did you get back to Kuwait? How was your flight? Why didn't you call me? Is everything okay? You miss me? Did you get me chocolate? How's the girlfriend?"

I heard his laughter at the other side of the phone, I missed him so much it wasn't even funny. I haven't seen him since last year, he couldn't make it back for summer break. Khalood was a pilot-in-training, he was currently studying in the UK. He's always been my hero and the only man I could ever count on. My relationship with my father was practically nonexistent and painfully formal, suffice it to say it left a lot to be desired. I didn't doubt for a minute that my parents loved me, I just never saw them, my dad was a dedicated workaholic and when he finally got home, he would go out with friends. My mother always away at some social gathering or travelling with friends. I've tried to make an effort to be closer to her a countless number of times, but her world of fakeness, glitz and glamour is just one that I am not meant to be in. Being an only child, the void where my family is supposed to be was quickly filled up by Khalood, Ritaj and Haifa years ago and I thank God for their existence every day of my life, I honestly don't know where I'd be without them.

"EE! Shrayich 3ayal? Akeed I miss my energizer bunny, w yes I got you all the chocolate you can eat! The girlfriend is out of the picture, ma giltlich I'm back 3ashan i surprise you, adri mat7ibeen bas kaifich 3ad! I wouldn't have heard hal 9arkha il7ilwaa itha giltlich in advance. Ha did I answer all your questions?" God, I missed his voice.

"Ya 7maar I love youu! When am I seeing you?" I asked excitedly.

"Mita ma tabeen, ana ta7t amrich!"

I covered the phone with my hand, "Do you mind if Khalood joins us?" I whispered to Haifa. She looked a little hesitant but she nodded her consent.

"How does right now sound? Join us for coffee?"

"Fooga," He replied, "Mino wiyach?"

Shit. "Ma7ad, bas Haifa, meet us at Starbucks kaneesa?"

"Ah, okay. Alright babe, I'll see you in about 20 minutes."

"Yaaaay! Oh yeah, Khalood?"


"7imdillah 3ala ilsalama!!!"

"Hahahahah taw ilnas! allah isalmich 7abeebti, bye." Click.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Foolish Games.. (4)

How does he do that?! I’m a smart person, I really am. I’m more than confident with my speaking skills, what I would like to know is, how on earth does he manage to turn me into a stuttering, blithering idiot every time he looks at me?! I furrowed my eyebrows while thinking of an appropriate response, every thing I wanted to say died on my lips before I had the chance to get it out! This is not happening again, words! Anything! Where’s a black hole when you need one?

“Yes, nemesis,” I replied as I rolled my eyes, “now if you’ll excuse me, Catwoman has to leave now, I’ll see you in the next issue.”

I heard his bark-like laughter, “Come on now, Catwoman doesn’t give up that easily, does she?” He said teasingly, “Stay a while, sharpen those claws on me if you want to, I’m more than happy to act as your temporary scratching post.”

La walla? Did he really just say that? Did he just give me permission to tear his shirt off? Cuz that’s what it sounded like to me. Easy now, down girl. Metaphorically, he means metaphorically. Too bad.

I could see his smile widening and eyebrows lifting almost as if he heard the trail of my inappropriate thoughts at his suggestive words. Oh my God, CAN he read my mind? Never mind, too much twilight!

“You wish.” I replied in a very desperate attempt at damage control, “What are you even doing here?” I can’t believe I almost forgot to ask!

“Your powers of deduction amaze me,” he replied with the same flirtatious tone, “I’m Joori’s cousin, and that makes you.. Ritaj?”

As if on cue, Ritaj came out of nowhere saying, “No, I’M Ritaj! ANA!!” while jabbing her thumb in her direction and accidentally poking herself. “Ow!” she yelped. Karma finally decided to get Ritaj back for all the jokes about my clumsiness.

“Finally! The cosmic justice system is coming to my rescue! Juju, if you keep going at this rate, you’re gonna make me look like a swan by comparison,” I taunted her.

“Ee walla, shiftay shlon? 9ij allah ma yirtha!” She sounded so devastated, I couldn’t stop laughing, she’s such a drama queen.

“I’m enjoying the attitude and the scathing replies but I’m also finding myself drawn to your laughter and smiles,” he said.

Was he flirting with me? I felt my face getting hotter and the blushes reaching all the way down to my toes. There was no use pretending that I wasn’t flattered so I retaliated in kind, “Bas my laughter and smiles?” I used the same teasing tone he seemed to prefer while speaking to me, “I could’ve sworn it was my sparkling personality, twice in one day? Who’re you fooling?”

His laughter again. I had to make a conscious effort to stop myself from sighing.

“What can I say? Seems like the universe is trying to tell us something..” He trailed off suggestively.

“That I should start using regular hair accessories like everyone else? Yeah I got it.” I looked up in the sky and called out theatrically, “You can stop now!”

More laughter.

“Should any of this be making sense to me?” A confused voice asked.

Oh my God! Joori! I can’t believe I forgot about her, “It’s a long story,” I replied, “I’ll tell you later but I’m sure umm.. Your cousin-”

“3abdil3azeez.” He interjected.

“I’m sure 3abdil3azeez can fill you in on the way to your grandfather’s house.” I said, putting emphasis on his name. “I have to get going too, it was great meeting you hun, I’ll see you on Thursday inshalla!”

“Ee definitely, I can’t wait! Sara’s gonna be so surprised!”

We hugged and said our goodbyes as I temporarily faked forgetting about 3abdil3azeez while he consumed my every thought.

“Wait!” He called out as I was making my way to my car.

I looked over my shoulder making sure he was talking to me, “Yeah?”

“You know my name,” he stated.

“Well, thank you, Captain Obvious! I also know the alphabet and all the numbers from 1-10, would you like to hear that too?” I cheekily replied, lifting an eyebrow.

He flashed another dimpled grin, “What I meant was,” he continued, completely unhindered, “you know my full name and knowing how girls are, I’m sure my cousin will supply you with my address and a full biography on me in no time, in the spirit of fairness, shouldn’t I at least get a name? A letter? Anything?”

Why did he have to be so cute? I felt a reluctant smile tugging at my lips, “Ghala. But that’s all you’re getting!” I said teasingly.

“3ashat il asaamy,” he said and proceeded to fake-bow, “Couldn’t ask for more, Your Highness!”

Cute. Disgustingly cute.

To my horror, I heard myself giggling. “3ashat ayaamik.”

“T9b7een 3ala khair, ya Ghala.” He said, deliberately emphasizing my name and with an intense look in his eyes, daring me to move.

It worked, it was as if I was under a spell. My feet were glued to the ground. I couldn’t for the life of me even ATTEMPT to move an inch. I just stood there. Eyes locked, I returned his penetrating gaze. I don’t think my name has ever sounded that good before. Something about the tone of his voice suggested that he knew I’d go back home, throw myself into bed and do nothing but lay down there all night and think of him.

“Winta min ahla..” For some reason, it seemed appropriate for my voice to drop while saying that. You’d think it was pillow talk rather than exchanging a standard “good night” with an (almost) complete stranger.

Now this would be the perfect time for me to give a final smile and walk away, leaving him standing there watching me longingly, right?


Our silent eloquent stares were interrupted by my phone vibrating accompanied by my ring tone blaring loudly in the quiet night. I was irrationally nervous, as if I just got caught red handed committing a crime, I ended up dropping my phone. Again.

He chuckled and I bent down to collect the pieces. Again. Only this time, he got there before me and reassembled it for me.

“Here you go,” he said with a disarming smile, “A fitting ending, don’t you think? We started off the day with your phone falling and now we’re ending it the same way, full circle.”

“More signs, I assume?” I said, picking up what he meant by that.

“Exactly.” He replied, while giving me back my phone.

The intense look was back. I had to get out of there before I made an even bigger idiot out of myself.

I tucked in a wayward strand of hair behind my ears, smiled noncommittally but secretly hopeful and said, “Goodnight.”


I could feel his stare piercing holes in my back as I walked away. Please don’t trip, I pleaded with myself. I somehow managed to get into the car in one piece and drove away sighing.

Irrational as it may be, I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy before.

Every alarm sounded in my head as I drove home that night, but I couldn’t care less. Something about him drew me to him inexorably like a moth to a flame, the attraction was so intense, the chemistry sizzled, the connection was just so effortless and the thawing of my heart for him.. Inevitable.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Foolish Games.. (3)

I pulled up to Ritaj’s house and was greeted by the sight of her younger twin sisters skating around their courtyard, they saw me with the bags and came up to help me. We exchanged hellos and pleasantries and they told me to go right in as no one was home. I love her sisters, they still manage to be shy around me after all these years, but I know they think of me as member of their family and that feeling was mutual.

“Juuuuj!” I screamed the minute I got inside. I heard her running around upstairs and knocking everything down in her path. I’m afraid my clumsiness might be rubbing off on her.

“Kaani, kaaani!” She yelled back and I saw her skipping down, taking the steps two at a time. Her hair was all in tiny braids, A-Keys style, and she was in an oversized hoodie and shorts.

I took in what she was wearing and quickly got into character in accordance with her outfit, raised my eyebrows and said, “Sup, ma nigga?”

She burst into another one of her famous hysterical fit of giggles and replied. “ Nothin much homie, just chillin’. Gimme some respect!”

I willingly obliged and knocked fists with her and joined in with her contagious laughter. My skin tone is a mixture of my father’s darkness and my mother’s porcelain skin, as a result, I turned out with naturally tanned skin. Ritaj was obsessed with getting darker, so much to the point where she wants to be the next Rihanna. A far stretch from her milky white skin. Of course she’s no where near her goal color, but she definitely has the talking part down. As soon as we regained our composure she pulled me into a giant bear hug. She can squeeze really tight for such a tiny person.

“Where are we studying?” I asked her, “In your room or downstairs? And where’s everyone? I thought you said I was late!” I looked at her accusingly.

“Well..” she began, with the most angelic look on her face, “ I lied! I miss you, we haven’t had us time in forever, I’m always busy with uni or work or with what’shisface, I just feel like so much has happened and we need to catch up!”

I didn’t think she noticed and I didn’t make a big deal out of it, I always knew that at the end we’d find our way back to each other amidst all the craziness, “What’shisface?” I asked amused, “ Don’t you mean your precious MshMsh?” I pretended to stick my fingers down my throat and made gagging noises.

“HAHAHA, I’m gonna play the “good girlfriend” and defend him shwaya, hmm, let’s see.. Ya 7mara! Ma artha 3ala Mshary, MshMshy 7abeeebiiii!” She said as she playfully smacked my shoulder.

I rolled my eyes at her, people in love made me a little queasy. Scratch that. Juju in love made me a little queasy, but I could sense that this relationship was different and that she was in it for the long haul and was really happy for her.

“So do you wanna start pigging out now or when the girls all get here” I inquired.

“Khaleeha ba3daiin I’m in the mood for chay 7aleeb!” She announced with a huge smile on her face, I knew where this was heading and went to the kitchen with her. I sat up on a counter while I waited for the water to heat. She put teabags in two mugs and sugar and added the water and proceeded to play our favorite childhood game.

She got the canned condensed milk and started adding it little by little asking, “Is this your color?” repeatedly to which I would reply with a shake of my head until we got the exact shade and grinned at each other, thinking of the past.

When we were kids, Ritaj was fascinated by how we had different skin tones and marched up to me in kindergarten stating that I was the exact same shade as the very grown up tea with milk she had that morning and demanded that she tastes my skin to see if I indeed tasted like it too. Being the new kid I was terrified by the girl in front of me and absent mindedly gave her my hand. She licked it, nodded briefly, stated that she was wrong and sat down next to me and said the words that would signal the beginning of an everlasting friendship, “Hi, my name is juju and you’re going to be my best friend.”

I took an instant liking to Ritaj as a kid. Unlike the other kids, she never made fun of me for always speaking in English. She did the opposite, she appointed herself to be my personal champion and defended me to anyone who dared speak or even think an unpleasant thought about me. Her and Khalid.

I met Khalid while playing doctor in the sandbox. No, it’s not what you think, it wasn’t the “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” variety. I was crying and valiantly trying to save the butterfly with the torn wing by applying cello tape. In retrospect, it might not have been my brightest idea, but in my defense, I was only four. He came to me with a worried expression on his face and asked if I was okay, at that point words were beyond me and all I could do was look at him and point at the butterfly. He gently put his arm around my shoulders and said that his dad explained to him that sometimes, things or people die but it’s okay because they don’t feel pain anymore and they go to a better place, with monster trucks. I remember looking at him with an incredulous expression on my face and asking what could a butterfly possibly want with a monster truck. I’ll never forget the look on his face with his eyes open as wide as saucers as he said “They’d be GIANT butterflies and they’ll carry the trucks on their wings!” I laughed with him and instantly cheered up and we gave the butterfly a proper burial service in the sandbox.

“So, SPILL!” Ritaj demanded, snapping me out of my reverie.

I feigned innocence and pretended to be absorbed with my tea and milk as I took another sip, “Hmm? Wassat now? Tell you what?”

She glared at me, unleashing the full power of her dark hazel eyes at me, “You know exactly what yal 3ayyaara! The guy? With the voice? Who was it! I want every little detail, I can see you blushing behind that cup so I know there’s much to tell!” Again with the jumping to her own conclusions, but as was the norm for that day, she was correct. Dammit.

I knew I couldn’t keep anything from her for too long so I put down my mug, and banged my head a little too hard against the cabinets behind it, to Ritaj’s credit, she managed to stifle her laughter and waited for me to continue, “Ouch! Ritaaaj, he’s amazing! I can’t believe I just said that, I don’t even know the guy bas that he’s funny, charming in a weird way, speaks perfect English, has way too much confidence and makes me drool!”

“What else is there to know? GO FOR IT!” she yelled at me.

“Go for what? Intay 9a7ya? You do realized that what you heard was the end of the conversation, right? And that I probably wont ever see him again?”

“Ilkuwait sgheera babes, you never know,” she leaned up and kissed my cheek, “these things have a way of working themselves out, you’ll see!” Her predictions sometimes actually happened and if I allowed myself to be honest I would have to say that I was hoping that this would be one of them.

I let out a sigh and concluded that conversation with a simple, “We’ll see.” I asked Ritaj how she’s been and what she’s been up to lately and she gratefully took the cue and launched into about 892 stories that I’ve missed that month, it was great catching up with her and I made a mental note to exert more effort into making time for us alone in the future.

Soon it was two o’clock and Haifa finally arrived, uncharacteristically, right on time. She was in a navy blue tracksuit with Popeye the Sailorman showing off his muscles in the back. Even in a tracksuit, every inch of Haifa screamed femininity. We got up to hug her and made idle chatter. I remember how intimidated I used to be by Haifa when I first met her, she was so beautiful and well groomed I couldn’t help but feel dowdy around her. I quickly discovered that despite her unapproachable air, she was as sweet as they came and I immediately took a shine to her. Haifa’s mother was a family friend and after several failed attempts of forcing us to be friends, our mother’s finally succeeded at a wedding we were both invited to when we were thirteen. I soon introduced her to Ritaj and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Haifa and Ritaj weren’t as close as I had hoped they’d be but they still got along great.

As soon we sat down after exchanging not so formal formalities, the door bell rang again.

“Ohoo ya3ni cham marra lazim agoom afich ilbaab?!” Ritaj complained.

“Yalla 3ad bala 3ayaara, goomay show off that sexy nonexistent ass for us! Yalla!” Haifa urged Ritaj on.

I couldn’t help but laugh, that’s the other thing Ritaj really wanted. Some “junk in the trunk”.

She pouted and got up, shaking what little she had in that area all the way to the door, encouraged by our whistles and cat-calls. She opened the door, kissed her friends, grabbed one of them by the hand a pulled her to the center of the living room. She turned her around and announced huffily, “SEE? Fee cases MUCH worse than mine!”

The person on display suddenly shrieked and threatened, “Ya 7maara ana awareech!”

We all started laughing and Ritaj smiled angelically, “You gotta admit, it’s an interesting way to go about an introduction!” Did I mention how much I loved that girl? “Ghala, Haifa, these are Dana, Darine and Joori.” She pointed at each of us as she said our names.

“I refuse to let this be awkward so hello, my name is Darine! I already like you guys cuz you’re short!” She said as she gave Dana and Joori dirty looks, “Let’s get started, shall we?”

My earlier thoughts were right, the girls weren’t so bad, in fact I might even go as far as to say that I really liked them. It was hard not to, we soon gave up studying and started singing karaoke to blow off some steam. While a horribly off-tone rendition of Duffy’s Mercy was being sung by Dana and Darine, I got to know Joori a little better. Seemingly quiet at first, she turned out to be hilarious and in complete contradiction to her innocent looks- she was an evil genius. We discovered that we had a mutual friend I lost contact with ages ago after I moved to our current house and she suggested that we all get together that weekend after mid-terms. I felt comfortable enough around Joori to accept this invitation and exchanged numbers with her.

At 8 the Double D's announced that they had to leave and offered to drop Joori off home with them, she politely declined and said that her cousin was going to be picking her up soon and taking her to her grandfather’s house. He had just gotten out of the hospital and the whole family was gathered there to welcome him back. Her cousin called her apologizing and saying that he might be a little late, so we took advantage and decided to bake.

I occasionally caught Joori “accidentally” putting twice as much chocolate and sugar indicated in each recipe and laughed to myself, she looked up and we exchanged conspiratorial winks signifying that it was to be our little secret. An hour later her cousin arrived, It was just me, Juju and Joori. I was a bit miffed at him, not that I didn’t enjoy having Joori around, but because she felt like she was an imposition and I hated that she felt that way, I thoroughly enjoyed her company.

We belatedly realized that the D’s had left their books, I offered to help Joori carry them to the car and she accepted. I put the books in the backseat when I noticed the silhouette of a man smoking a few meters away from the car, “It took you long enough.” He said teasingly.

I froze. I recognized that voice. It couldn’t be.. Could it? No, of course not. I glanced back in his direction anyway to make sure, and I met his gaze. Even in the dark, I had no doubt that it was him. My Mystery Man.

He looked as shocked as I was to see him, if not more so, but he quickly recovered. He put out his cigarette, put on that devastating smile that had been playing in my head all day and said, "So, we meet again.."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Foolish Games.. (2)

Again with the conflicting feelings. Say something. Yalla! Yell, slap, drop-kick him, anything! Despite the blush that claimed my face at that moment, I refused to open my mouth and give him the satisfaction of knowing that he managed to ruffle my feathers. I could still feel the precise spot where his fingers briefly brushed the nape of my neck and the imprint of his finger on my shoulder. When did I become so sensitive to every little touch?

I belatedly realized that Ritaj was still on the phone and was making an effort to laugh quieter now as she heard what he had said and knew how loud my phone was, “Ya 7mara ridday!” she whispered, even while whispering, you could hear the authority in her every syllable.

I decided to take a cue from him and made a big show out of clearing my throat like he did and said, “I wasn’t aware that I had appointed you as my personal lost and found service,” perfectly clipping my words to ensure the discouragement of any further replies, “And I would appreciate it if you kept your hands to yourself next time.”

I heard Ritaj tsk-tsking in my ear, “WAIT! Take it back! I’m not sure I approve of the attitude, unless he’s ugly! Wait, is he hot?”

I wasn’t sure how I could answer that with him still looking at me with cockiness emanating from every inch of him. I sure as hell wasn’t going to tell her that at about a head and a half taller than our 155 cms he was indeed very hot, with him listening. Or that his features looked like they were carefully chiseled out of stone. Or that even beneath his shirt, it was obvious that his body could only be described by comparing him to a greek god. Or that his scent was insanely dizzying. Or that my mere proximity to him was driving me crazy. Or that, as cliché as it sounds, the deep timbre of his voice was sending chills down my spine. Nope, definitely not going to say that.

“Why aren’t you answering me? Ashkara he’s hot.” She sounded pissed but clearly she came to her own conclusion, I fought back the urge to smile, I love that girl.

“I’m not sure I understand,” he stated with a smile of his own, god help me, I think I see a dimple, I looked away and waited for him to continue, “are you telling me that pencils in your hair is a regular thing, or that I might be seeing you sometime in the near future?”

His smile got even wider. Yup, definitely a dimple. Allah yaster. Why aren’t my feet moving?! What do I say? I could feel my bones liquefying as I continued watching him smile, silently begging him to stop.

I let out an unladylike snort and shot back, “Don’t count on it.” I plastered a fake smile on my face and walked away.

“The nerve of some people!” I started complaining to Ritaj as soon as I got out of earshot. “La, w il presumptuousness, na3am 7abeebi? I didn’t choose my words carefully enough 3ala6ool he assumed abi ashoofa again? Wai3 wai3 shyabii!”

“Ooo someone managed to get under your skin,” she said teasingly, “I can already tell you like him, CHUB! IMBALA! I know you better than you know yourself, and you know it! I can’t wait to see you blush while you tell me all the details I missed! he’s hot isn’t he? Describe please wanseeni shway!” Ritaj was one of those people who could have an entire conversation with herself out loud, all it takes is an occasional sentence to keep her going and I guarantee you, she wont stop. She’s my red bull, it’s hard not to get hyper around that girl.

“Jeez juuj, keep it in your pants? Please? I will call up your boyfriend.” I tried turning the tables by threatening HER for a change!

“Hahahaha 7abeebti go ahead! You don’t scare me you midget! Ooo someone’s already possessive of her man-to-be!” She continued her little childish taunts. She kept going on for the better part of the 10 minutes it took me to pay for the stuff and get to McDonalds. I used her previously mentioned “ability” to my advantage and tuned her out and drowned in my own pool of thoughts.

I was quiet as I waited for the order to finish, occasionally letting out a “hmm” or “haha no way!” or an “I know, right?” to keep Juuj going. I kept hearing his voice and the teasing lilt it had to it, I kept seeing the puzzling expression on his face as he stared fixedly at me, I kept seeing the way his shirt molded to his muscles as he made the slightest movements. Strike that, I kept trying to block out the previous thought to keep from drooling. But most of all, I kept seeing that infuriating smile drawn on his perfect face and to my utter dismay I found myself finally letting out the smile I kept trying to hide all day. My smile soon turned into a full-fledged grin and I found myself involuntarily sighing. I liked the bantering, it was fun, but in all honesty, as small as Kuwait was, what were the chances of me ever running into him again?

I heard a knock on the window snap me out of my trance-like state and I rolled it down to pick up our order. I told Ritaj I had to hang up and I’d call her as soon as I got to her place, we said our see-you-soons and I drove away, oblivious to all my surroundings and thinking up fake scenarios of chance meetings between me and my mystery man.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Foolish Games.. (1)

I’d love to say it was one of those “love at first sight” things, but as palpable as the instantaneous attraction was, the most overwhelming feeling was annoyance. Supreme, unparalleled annoyance. We met in November, unofficially of course. It was around the time mid-terms were starting at uni and I was in the Sultan Centre getting study food for my cram session with my best friends Ritaj and Haifa. I left the house in the hurry in jeans and a huge pullover with Cornell emblazoned on it, my father’s Alma Mater <3 I was vaguely aware of something holding up my hair but I made no effort to check if it was still intact before rushing out.

I parked my car in the first empty space, went inside and proceeded to dump various contents of junk food into my basket. While I was debating whether I should get ginger cookies or chocolate chip, I felt holes boring the back of my head, I’ve always considered myself a bit of a clairvoyant, but it doesn’t take a psychic to acknowledge that the sudden rush of heat I felt is that which can only be brought on by sombody’s intent stare. I casually turned my head to the right and saw him.

He didn’t even attempt to keep up the pretense of being busy with something else, he just stood there impudently returning my level gaze. I flirted with the idea of continuing our little game for a while longer but realized I was probably making more of it than there really was. So I chalked it up to paranoia and moved on to the next aisle. There he was again. It was maddening, really. He didn’t even seem interested, just amused and slightly puzzled. I didn’t know what to make of his reaction and the vibrating of my phone interrupted my train of thought. I gasped and accidentally dropped it, causing the back cover and the battery to go flying across the floor, right at his feet. Great. Just great. I walked over as calmly as I could and picked up the cover, I looked for the battery and couldn’t find it, I saw a hint of something silver under his shoe and realized he was standing on it!

“Do you mind?” I furiously bit out, “My battery is under your shoe.”

“Not at all!” he cheekily replied as he smiled at me and moved his foot. I picked up the battery, mumbled a “thanks” and moved away as far as I could before I started reassembling the parts of my phone. I could still feel him staring with every step I took and wondered what could possibly be holding his interest for so long, did I have something stuck in my teeth? I realized the ludicrousness of that thought as soon as it finished, he was after all staring at the back of my head and didn’t even see my mouth!

I checked to see who called, it was Ritaj. I called her back and heard her scream into the phone as soon as she picked up.

“Where the hell are you?! You better not still be at home," she threatened, “I WILL cover you up in a red blanket and throw you in an arena with 5 bulls!”

I laughed, it’s so like her to make empty threats, she has an unbelievably strong violent streak in her, I’m just thankful she’s passive about it! “I’m getting YOUR study food, bala 7anna, I’ll be there in 10, do you want anything specific?”

“Well, now that you mention it, your forgiveness would be greatly appreciated!”

She informed me that a few other girls will be joining us, she knew how uncomfortable I was around girls I didn’t know very well but I trusted her judgment and knew they couldn’t be all that bad. I told her it was fine and insisted on bringing lunch along with the junk food.

“Are you sure? We could just order when you get here, it’s fine, REALLY!”

“Don’t be silly, it’s already on my way! Besides, there’s nothing that gets the brain working better than junk and fast food, we took that in biology, remember?" I asked.

I heard her laughter ringing out from the other side, “I’m not sure we were listening to the same thing hun, the message probably got jumbled up with your other million thoughts, how about McDonalds?” she suggested.

“Perfect, what should I get?”

“Okay, do you have a pen and paper on you? What am I thinking, of course you do, along with a bottle of sanitizer no doubt,” I could almost hear her rolling her eyes!

So I might have a slight case of OCD, it’s not a big deal, there’s nothing wrong with a healthy fondness for organization and cleanliness! A little sanitizer and post-its never hurt anyone. I took out my notepad and rummaged through my bag looking for something to write with.

“Uh-oh, I think the “curse” might finally be lifted! I, your best friend of 15 years, left the house without a pen or a pencil! Not even a highlighter!” I sounded extremely appalled, even to my own ears.

I heard her hysterical laughter once again, I managed to make out a distinct “maa9adiiiiiiiiiiiiig” in between her squeals.

Suddenly, I felt a light tapping on my shoulders and my hair being undone, I turned around startled. There he was again.

I heard him clear his throat, still looking thoroughly amused and saw him holding out a pencil, “I believe you were looking for this?” he asked with a wry inflection in his voice, “ I hate to interrupt your little tirade, but I found this in your hair.”

I felt my face being flooded with about 12 shades of red. Oh crap.

Foolish Games.. (Intro)

I’ll never forget the day I met him. The day that irrevocably and inevitably changed my life forever. For better or for worse is yet to be decided as I don’t quite relish the thought of someone entering my life and in the blink of an eye, turning it all upside down. I knew he had me the moment he sardonically lifted his eyebrow challengingly, I’ve never been known as one to easily bow down and I most certainly wasn’t going to start now. I kept trying to convince myself that that was the only reason I was getting myself into this, but I knew in the deepest recesses of my mind that I wanted this. That I wanted him. He riled my temper, he ignited a passion in me I thought was long dead, he knew nothing about me and at the same time, he knew everything there was to know. There was a mischievous twinkle in his eyes when he smiled at me, I’m still not sure if I liked it or not, but I’ll tell you this much, it was definitely disconcerting. He saw me studying his face while contemplating what to make of him and he chose that exact moment to grin at me, flashing all pearly whites. I felt an answering smile creeping up on me, but I quickly checked the impulse to smile back and busied my mouth by taking another sip of my coffee and looked away.

Challenge accepted, game on.
Header Image by Colorpiano Illustration