Tuesday, 30 June 2009
they say: * a perfect writer can make an emperor weep*, hope you guys enjoy this part;**
I poured the gravy carefully on top of Enola's special chicken and potato dish and put it down with the rest of the dishes on the big, wooden dining table. The strong odors of the cheese, garlic and curry made my stomach growl louder. I hadn't eaten all day and I couldn’t wait any longer.
We gathered around the dining table noisily and started reciting our prayers together, it was some sort of a tradition here to pray, and connect with each other through the food. Food was a symbol of love and care in this family that I belonged to now.
"Hey, Iris, your mother told me that you worked at that pink house in town" I stuffed more grilled potato in my mouth and shoved it down my throat with a big swig of lemon juice.
"What pink house?" she frowned. Iris was Enola's younger daughter and she used to work at houses to pay her college funds.
"Donna carina's house" Enola answered her.
"Oh, yeah that house was creepy" she made a face.
"Creepy? Why?!" I bit my lower lip in confusion.
She looked around the table, examining the curious faces, including the kids, fortunately for me they were distracted. "How do you know about that house Nessa? I thought you hated going to town"
" um, actually they're kinda my friends. Alex and his cousin Jon" I admitted.
" Nessa, I don't know about Jon, but you don’t want to be friends with Alex" she warned.
"And …why is that?!" Although he wasn’t really my friend, I felt defensive towards him.
"He's not really nice" she said. "And people say that he was cursed and his mother was a…sorceress" she was whispering by now.
"A what?" my eyes bulged out and my body became hotter. "And you believe this shit?!"
"Well, I've seen the mother, she looked normal" she shrugged. "But that house looks different and people talk, anyway how did you meet him Nessa?"
"He's the man who saved me" my stomach did a back flip as I muttered the words.
When I got home that night I was unnaturally and utterly exhausted, I brushed my teeth, combed my long hair hastily and put on my long, white night gown. I climbed into bed and covered my body with the sheets. The bed sheets were soft and welcoming as ever, I buried my face against the soft, fluffy pillow and sighed heavily before I fell to the darkness of that other world I rarely visited.
I struggled to wake up but couldn’t, the dream held me too tightly in its coils. It was the same dream I had a few days ago, same white bed, same pain. I couldn’t breathe or move, the pain hurt so much that it felt real. And Alex was there. He was wearing a white lab coat and was staring at me while I was moaning and screaming with agony and he didn’t do anything to stop it.
I was really dazed when I woke up first thing in the morning. I took a quick shower and spent longer than usual in front of my little closet. I wasn’t really obsessed about the way I looked. We all dressed the same in this island, especially in the village, since we lived near the beach and the weather was always so sunny. But this once it was different, I wanted to impress Jon since he was coming today as I promised him to bake him cookies. And Alex might come along with him. I wanted to impress Alex too.
I finally decided on an orange embroidered shirt and my same old jeans. I braided my hair and wrapped a colorful scarf around my head. I knew the permanent scar on my face would be showing fully with my hair away from my face but I just didn't care.
When I reached the scent shop it was already opened which meant that Wendy was already there.
I entered the shop, and to my surprise Wendy wasn’t alone, Jon's cheerful face appeared next to her's. "Good morning Wendy, Jon" I greeted them.
"Morning, you look good" Jon smiled that dazzling smile of his.
"Yes you look good" Wendy chuckled. I shot her a hard glance.
"Thank you Jon, you're… early!" I muttered excitedly.
"You're late" he laughed. " Nessa it's 10"
"I don’t come early on Saturdays"
"Oh, um. So can I steal you now?"
"I don’t think so, I have to be at least here for two hours" I said apologetically. His face fell with disappointment.
"You know Nessa I can manage alone" Wendy smiled at me.
"You sure?" I asked her.
"Oh please, go!" She ordered. I laughed.
"Thank you" I mouthed the words silently.
I took Jon around the village and showed him my favorite places, including my former happy place. He wasn’t amazed by the beauty, he sounded as if he had seen much better than this in his life.
"Nice" he said.
"Nice? This is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!"
"Ok ok, calm down" he grinned.
"You're mean!" I laughed.
He looked away and continued walking to the beautiful, glistening turquoise sea. I followed him and he turned around, facing me now.
"Breathtaking" he said.
My mouth opened involuntarily to say nothing in particular but he answered my thoughts. "Your eyes. They remind me of the beach, they are a different shade of blue obviously; hyacinth-blue, but they are so deep that’s why they remind me of the beach" he blushed.
I laughed. "That was so poetic, thanks, I guess"
"Yeah" he grinned.
We then walked along the beach and talked a lot. Jon was an easy person to be around, I enjoyed every second of being with him, I didn’t even feel self conscious with that hideous, big scar on my face and he didn’t seem to notice how ugly it looked. Instead he admired my eyes.
When we went to my house to bake the cookies I was already starving, we ate olives and drank water because that was the only thing in the kitchen that was ready without cooking.
"How's Alex?" I asked him.
"He's fine" he said with his mouth full of olives.
"wh-why didn’t he come along with you?" I hesitated.
" you want him to come with me?" he asked.
" I don’t care" I lied.
He smiled. "Aren’t they ready yet?"
"Oh, they'll take long" I grinned. "Sorry!" I looked apologetically at the oven.
"That's okay because it means I'll enjoy more of you" he said and laughed at the way he said it.
"You're definitely a poet, I'm sure of it!" I laughed along with him.
In the upcoming days we became closer, we'd meet every day and spend the entire day with each other, and I enjoyed it a lot, I didn’t want this simple friendship to end.
One day after I finished work, I closed the shop and headed home. Jon had promised me that he would come by for dinner tonight. It was seven pm and I was very tired, I had a long day and I didn’t have the time to cook a decent meal.
I changed my clothes quickly to a more comfy shirt and pants, washed my face and headed to the kitchen. He was there.
"How did you get in?" I asked him. I wasn’t surprised, I was just happy.
"The door was open" he said, smiling.
"I brought something, thought you’d be hungry"
"Oh I am, thanks Jon!" I put down two plates on the little, wooden table along with two forks and knives.
We talked a lot while we ate, as usual. I loved talking to Jon a lot, he was a good listener and a good well, speaker.
"I heard something very strange about Donna Carina's house, and…Alex" I said, finally deciding on telling him.
He looked up in surprise. "What did you hear?"
"That…that he was cursed and" I broke off hesitantly. " and that his mother is a...sorceress"
His face turned red, he looked utterly angry. "That's plain bullshit Nessa"
"I'm…sorry, I know it's not true" I looked away in shame.
"It's okay, people talk a lot when you're different" he sighed.
He was silent for a minute before he spoke"You probably need to sleep now, I'll see you tomorrow Ness" he put his fork down
"No!" I almost screamed. "Don’t leave, please. I don’t really sleep early, I barely sleep"
" it's okay Nessa I should go" he stood up.
Suddenly my eyes filled with huge, warm tears when I realized that he was gone without even looking at me in the eye.
Friday, 26 June 2009
" your aunt is very lucky, she has two lives; the one she's living and the book she's writing" the hours.
The yellow, bright sunlight was what woke me up. So yellow, so painfully shiny, coming from the crack between the curtains. I blinked several times as the sunlight shone directly on my face, burning my eyes yet it felt so good; sometimes I thought it what made me wake up every day and go on with my life, it just looked so cheerful and bright next to the dullness of my universe and that was an enough reason for my existence.
I was a lonely person. I lived between my house, Enola's and the scent shop. But it never really occurred to me that I was lonely. I mean I was okay with my life, not happy but I wasn’t sad either, until the age of innocence vanished. Until my mother killed herself and a year later, my dear old man's departure. It was the summer after I finished my school years. I was fifteen. A child, but I had a mind and a soul of a woman. I woke up that morning feeling uneasy; waiting for a disaster to happen. I headed to the kitchen in my white night gown; my father was already at the kitchen table. He wore a pained expression, it was another kind of pain; one I had never seen before.
"Morning…Ness" he'd begun. "I'm leaving"
"Of course you're leaving, you should go to work!" I avoided looking at his eyes.
"No, Carina" he'd said in his thick Italian accent. "I'm leaving for good"
"wh-why?" my voice trembled.
He sighed heavily. "I can no longer take care of you Nessa, my part is over"
"But…but I'm your favorite ugly duckling" I laughed bitterly. "You love me papa, I need you! You can't abandon me!"
"You're not an ugly duckling Carina, you’re a swan, you will always be my swan but I have to let go, the rest of your life is for you to discover, goodbye Ness" he kissed my forehead and left with his burlap suitcase before I could recover from the shock and move my wobbly legs to catch him.
I groaned as I struggled up, out of my warm, comfortable bed. A smear of blood against the white sheet caught my attention, and then my eyes moved involuntarily to the slight cut on my wrist. I sighed; I always seemed to forget how delicate my skin could be.
I poured myself into my old jeans and my orange, long sleeved kaftan, for some reason I had been feeling cold lately. I brushed my long hair hastily and as always, swept it to the side. I was already running late and tourists tended to come more often to the scent shop on weekends so I didn’t have time to pass by Enola's.
The amazing mixture of scents slapped my nose as soon as I arrived to the shop. My partner Wendy wasn’t there yet. I switched on the lights and put on the "open" sign outside the door. I played the usual, soothing Brazilian music CD and switched the air conditioner in moderate mode, I just couldn’t take the cold, maybe I was sick or something, I thought.
Today was a very thriving day for the shop. We didn’t stop mixing, we even ran out of fresh pomegranates and oranges. People really loved floral scents.
It was Wendy's lunch break when an unexpected customer came to visit our humble, little shop. I looked up in surprise when I saw Alex's imperfect face entering the store with another man. A very handsome man too. The man grinned and pointed at me, Alex nodded and they both approached my counter.
"Good afternoon Vanessa" Alex's voice came deep and husky.
"Good afternoon Alex and Alex's friend" I said in a businesslike tone. "How can I help you?"
His friend laughed. "Hello Vanessa, I heard so much about you, or may I say, your cookies"
I grinned widely. "Oh, we don’t sell cookies here"
He laughed again. "I know, but seriously girl, I nagged Alex for meeting the famous chef in person"
Alex rolled his eyes.
"I'm no chef, but I can cook" I said matter-of-factly.
"And you're beautiful too" he grinned.
I laughed, hiding my embarrassment. This guy was a total stranger but I felt as if I had known him forever.
"So what's your name Alex's friend?" I asked him, grinning.
"Jon" he stretched out his hand to shake mine.
"Nice to meet you Jon, call me Nessa" I shook his hand, It was soft and warm.
He nodded. "Sure, Nessa"
"So don’t we get to have free cookies?" he asked in a childish way. I laughed.
"Of course!" I muttered excitedly. "After all, Alex saved my life and you're his friend?"
"Cousin" Alex answered coldly, interrupting Jon. I could see the resemblance; they both had dark, bronze skin, thick eyebrows and beautiful, imperfect features. Except for the hair, Jon's hair was so short, almost bald.
"Sure" I smiled at Jon sweetly. "So, what are your favorite scents guys? I can certainly help you here!"
"I think we better get going" Alex said.
"You go, I'll stay. I want to have my own scent" Jon winked at me. I giggled. He was adorable.
Alex looked at Jon and then at me. "You know what? I think I want my own scent too, I can't leave you alone here Jon, she might hurt you" he had a half smile on his face, yet his eyes were serious.
"I don’t think she will" Jon smiled at me and I had the feeling that he might hurt me with that dazzling smile of his.
"Great" I said hesitantly.
"So what's your fave scent Jon?" I asked him.
He shrugged. "I don’t know, what do you think I'd like?"
I made a "come here" motion at him. He hesitated at first and then he saw my serious expression and got closer to me almost immediately. I sniffed his neck, his collarbone and his chest. I nodded.
"Apple spice" I answered his thoughts. "Wait a second I'll get the ingredients and you can watch me do it!"
"Great" he wore his dazzling grin again.
I sat the ingredients before me on the counter; apple juice, cinnamon, and drops of grapefruit. , I mixed the fresh apple juice with the rest of the ingredients and poured the liquid into the small glass bottle; both men were watching me in fascination.
I closed the bottle with the cork, wrapped a small baby blue ribbon around it and handed it to Jon.
"Wow" he said. "Thank you very much Nessa!, how much?"
"It's on me" I grinned.
He opened his mouth to say something but I didn’t let him. "Look, next time you can pay, just not this once, 'kay?"
"You're amazing girl" he said. "She's amazing" he turned to Alex.
And for the first time since I met him, Alex laughed. He looked different; much younger.
"So, you want to sniff me too?" Alex asked, preparing himself to get close to me.
"Nah, no need, I can smell you from across the room" I said casually.
" oh" he grunted.
"Almond joy" I said, catching his eyes accidently. "But…with a zest of lime.
Um, we have it ready, I'll just mix some lime with it"
Wendy's gold head appeared at the door. Her lunch break was already over. "Hi" she said to nobody in particular.
"Hey wends!" I exclaimed.
"We have customers" she grinned while eyeing them both. "Hot ones!" she whispered into my ears.
" hello, I'm Wendy, Nessa's partner" she introduced herself " I can see you guys are liking it here"
"Oh, you both have Disney names?" Jon asked. "Charming!"
We all laughed. "Vanessa is a Disney name?" I asked him, I watched Disney cartoons on my childhood, never came across a Vanessa.
"The little mermaid" he said, blushing. I laughed. "Little mermaid? I know an Ariel, not a Vanessa"
"Vanessa is the sea witch" he winked. "When she turns to a chick"
Wendy chuckled and nudged me playfully. I looked at Jon and gazed at the natrual content glow on his face.
When we closed the shop at sun set, I went to Enola's straight away. Every Friday we'd gather at her house for dinner, her daughters and all their kids would come. I loved them so much, they were my family now. Besides I was so eager to tell them about my new friends, about Jon in particular, I wouldn't consider Alex a friend. Yet.
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
I was going to go down to the small town to find my savior, I wanted to give him something and thank him for saving me since I didn’t even have the chance to say thank you. But I needed to do a special dish since that was the only thing I was capable of to show my gratitude.
I was baking my special coconut cookies all day. I added a few slices of mangos to make the cookies fancier. My neighbor and god mother Enola came over to help me, she stuck around the house for the past three days, she was really afraid to leave me alone.
At noon the cookies were warm and ready. I sprinkled coconut on top of them and left them with Enola while I went to my bedroom to get dressed. I put on my old jeans, and the top I wore for occasions; an embroidered blouse Enola got me for my birthday.
I let my hair down and swept it to the side to hide the permanent scar on my left cheek. I got my keys, threw them in my purse and went downstairs to find Enola waiting for me.
Enola saw the man who saved me and recognized him, he was a town resident, she declared. So I had to bring her along with me since she knew where to find him. We took a cab and drove all the way to the small town. I wasn’t fond of our little trip, cars made me nauseous and I wished we could walk but the heat and distance weren’t helping.
The house was huge comparing to the houses next to it. It was also very different. The house's bricks were a combination of baby pink and purple, surrounding enormous windows, and a little green door. And then came the little garden, which was breathtaking, it consisted of different kinds of flowers; peonies, lilies, jasmine, hibiscus and roses. It looked like a house from a fairytale.
"Should we knock?" I asked Enola.
She nodded and headed to the little door with me behind her.
A short old woman opened the door for us; she welcomed us inside after hearing what we wanted. "You probably mean Mr. Casseus, I'll give him a call, he'll be here in a minute" she said.
"Rosa said you wanted to meet me, How can I help you?" he asked politely.
" I think she got it wrong… I, um…do you have a brother Mr. casseus?" I asked hesitatingly.
"No" he frowned. "Are you sure you got the address right?"
"It is the one" a different male voice came behind us.
"Hey I'm Vanessa, I didn’t have the chance to say thank you the other day" I began. "So I…I decided to come by and…"
"I know who you are, sure" he interrupted me coldly.
"oh" I grunted. " um, I thought you might like this" I handed him the cookies.
He looked at me blankly.
"That's very nice of you Vanessa, Alex likes cookies, we all do" Casseius shot Alex a hard glance.
"Yeah, thanks" Alex said coldly, eyeing my scar.
I was taken by surprise by Alex's attitude. What was that all about? Maybe he was upset about something else. I thought, suddenly defending him.
I lay on the white, strange bed, I shriek and moan with agony, the pain is so close to my heart, my heart aches. I try to open my eyes, I can't. a very dark, evil force is pulling me down, down , down...until I'm out of bandwidth.
to be continued....
Sunday, 21 June 2009
There wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to be able to sleep so I decided to get up and head to my favorite place in this island; the private beach.
I wrapped my crochet shawl over my nightdress, pulled my thick long hair into a ponytail and took my keys. I caught my reflection accidently in the mirror and gasped, I avoided mirrors as much as I could. I never liked what I saw.
I ran down the short stairs of my small shack-like house, and into the narrow street. The air was crisp and delicate as it surrounded the midnight streets. It slapped me gently, as soon as I was out. I inhaled it deeply and started walking to my favorite place. I lived two streets away from the beach, so getting there by foot was easy. As I walked past the small buildings near my house I could see the moonlight painting patterns upon the dark, asleep island.
I could smell the salty sea breeze as I approached. The rich scent filling my lungs as I inhaled. I sat on my usual spot preparing myself for my own ultimate bliss. I slid down the rubber band that was in my hair and let my hair fall down my back forcefully. This was my personal heaven, my own little happy place; there was no need to hide. I shut my eyes. The air blew my nightdress furiously; I let out a giggle while I remained still with my eyes closed. My hands automatically reached for the sand, grabbing it gently, playing with its softness.
The usual feeling of relief washed over me, the relaxation that came with the sense of isolation and serenity, the ease and the familiar comfort. But there was something different about that relief, it wasn’t the same one I felt every single day since I started coming to this little haven of mine. And I couldn’t fully relax. There was definitely something different tonight and I couldn’t blame it on the suddenly cold weather. Different wasn’t even the word. Something was wrong about my happy place.
I shifted uneasily from my position, and opened my eyes slowly. I took in the beige sands and the glittering dark sea water under the moon light, the ridiculously bright green palm trees and the long grass. But something else caught my eyes, a new thing in my happy place, a scary thing…a dark shadow behind a tall tree.
A bead of cold sweat trickled down my forehead; I shivered slightly although it wasn’t really cold.
"What's wrong pumpkin? I'm not really scary" he flashed his yellow, jagged teeth in a very wicked grin.
"Um…I think I'll head home" I muttered softly.
Suddenly he ran towards me and held my arm in an incredible strength "not so fast" he said.
"Get off me you…" I was about to finish my sentence when his big hand reached for my face and shut my mouth. I tried to scream but he wouldn’t let me go. I struggled to free myself from his strong, dirty grasp, but he was much stronger than I was.
His other hand reached for my thigh, I screamed at the top of my lungs but it was muffled with his hand covering my mouth. "Don’t scream you bitch, I'll finish it quickly" he said huskily while he tried desperately kissing me.
I started crying violently because at this point I knew that I was completely alone and completely…dead. His small, dark eyes bore into mine and I couldn’t take it, I lifted my head up and looked at the beautiful moon above me, trying with the little strength that was left in me to ignore watching my slow death. I closed my eyes.
I didn’t feel a thing, not a single thing. No pain, no nothing. My death was so painless, so soft and comfortable, just like…bed sheets. My eyes hurt. I could feel a luminous light directing my eyes. Was this hell? I didn’t even deserve hell; I was raped and murdered for god's sake.
I struggled to open my eyes; the light wasn’t getting any better. Sour Tears stung my eyes as I opened them slowly; the bright light was surrounding someone before me. Someone I didn’t know; a man was sitting at my bedside, surrounded by the bright sun that was coming from the window. But it didn’t matter, I was dead.
"I'm dead aren’t I?" I whispered.
He laughed without humor. "No you're not"
"Then who are you?" I asked him, with my eyes closed.
"He didn’t touch you, he won't come near you again, or any other girl" he said sternly.
My eyes flew open, his anger surprised me. "You saved my life" my mouth muttered the words involuntarily.
"You're welcome" he smiled briefly, got up swiftly and left the room.
Monday, 1 June 2009
I have nothing to say I just wanna show you this doll:P! LOL, qalel adab;$
I'll be off to bora bora, next week enshallah:D
Hmmm, what else..yeah! I need hot swimsuits! any advice?