Nouf stared at her phone mindlessly, waiting for her phone's alarm o'clock to announce her waking up, in ten minutes she was to rise up from bed, dress up and start her ordinary work day, except that there was nothing ordinary about today or the three dreadful days prior to it. For three days and nights, she deprived her fragile body from food and sleep due to the guilt and remorse that were eating her chagrined heart. She had began her investigations right after that dreadful phone call and to her own shock and relief he was telling her the truth and she was too damn ashamed to text or call him, that and the fact that he didn't show up for two days in a row at work made her days as dark as the bleak, sunless sky of the dawn.
With a savage,unlady like curse she dragged her limp body out of bed, washed her pale face hastily and put on the first shirt that was before her eyes along with the same black pants she wore for the last three days, only this time she added a small belt to her narrow waist to prevent the trousers from falling. The incredible weight loss was undeniable but she failed to notice it. She wrapped the chocolate waves of hair,cascading over her back and slender shoulders into a pony tail, put on her enormous sunglasses and left the house in an unexplainable, irrational hurry.
She strolled into the empty office and as usual she was the first to arrive. She was also the last to leave. In her breif coffee break, she went to his office, ignoring the suspicious eyes and blazing tongues of her colleagues, she waited in anticipation and a faint hope outside the wooden doors of his office, but to her utter dissapointment, his secretary informed her that her boss was not coming to work today because of some important matters he had to deal with. The annoying secretary refused to give her further information so she reluctantly dragged herself back to her office.
In the fifth day, whatever shreds of sanity she had left deserted her slowly. The sleep deprivation mixed with the aching longing to see him made her at the edge of tears all the times, when she was alone she shed a couple of tears, tears that were so strange and hot and painful ;tears which were aimed to dampen the tormenting, unbearable self loathing she was experiencing.
When she hasn't heard of him or seen him in the office that day, fury shot through her entire being and she found herself finally having the courage to write a message to him. "I need to see you, now!". The message was so unlady like but she was too angry to have noticed that and when he didn't reply her an hour later she began writing endless angry messages, begining with hopeless,empty threats to pathetic, heart wrenching pleas.
After two hours of false concentration in her work and to her joyous disbelief he replied. He replied and he was here in this building, in his office, in this very corridor! Joy and relief seeped through her while she read the small, precious message. " cum my office, 5:14"
The hours passed by so slowly and with each passing minute her heart shook with anticipation and her brain screamed with uncontrollable hysterical thoughts and unspoken words. She was also very afraid; she didn't know what to say to him and she didn't expect what he had to say to her in return.
At twelve minutes past five, the office was entirely empty. With wobbling legs, she pushed her chair back and stood to straighten her appearance before meeting him. She rubbed her sweaty palms against the fabric of her skirt, took a deep breath and dragged her numb body to his office.
Her trembling, delicate fingers knocked slowly on the wooden doors, waiting for him to signal her to come in, she turned the door knob when his gruff voice came strong behind the door.
She was fully aware that she was a sight,with her frizzy hair, pulled away from her pale face in a tangled, unattractive pony tail, black circled her enormous eyes matching the gloomy colors of her shapeless, gray T-shirt and dull black, pencil skirt and finally those hideous, dirty black ballet flats. She wished that earth would open up and swallow her whole! And it wasn't her sight that made her wish that, it was the beauty of the creature that was before her. Clad in an italian suit, (minus the blazer) Sagir was sitting there on his desk all relaxed and gorgeous, his sleevs rolled up to his muscular deep tanned elbows, the first three buttons of his shirt opened, and his dark hair messy and gorgeous against his glowing skin. The contrast of his crisp white shirt and the deep tan of his skin made him look like a greek god. Power and authority emanated from him and she found herself shuddering with fear and helplessness. How the hell did he get browner over the weekend?! he said he'd sleep the weekend off for god's sake! She thought angrily, achingly supressing the fresh urge to weep.
He was here and he was handsome and healthy! While she spent the last five days in torment and regret he was...tanning somewhere.
" Have a seat" He offered, motioning at the chair seated before his desk.
" I..I'm fine where I am" She said shakingly, her head held high, contradicting the quavering of her voice and the furious trembling of her hands.
His eyes danced with laughter but he coughed and nodded. " so, you wanted to talk..."
Suddenly the ground began trembling furiously or was it her legs? oh my god, she needed to sit down, now! or else something very embarrasing is bound to happen. She took a step backward and he watched her with amused interest. "So?" He raised his brow.
" Can I sit...down?" and before he could answer her she found herself landing on the floor with gentle carefulness not to show him how shaken she was.
" on the floor?" He asked, supressing the urge to laugh.
" I-I like to s-sit on the floor" She lied.
" then can I join you?" He asked with mock seriousness. " I can't hear you properly from up here"
" sure, maktibik..kaifik" She mumbled lamely.
He sat down next to her on the cold, marble floor and crossed his arms around his chest waiting for her to say something appropriate. When he noticed the furious trembling of her small hands, a wave of sympathy and tenderness shot through him and he decided that he'd do the talking for her. He noticed her appearance, the exhaustion that masked her beautiful face and the incredible weight loss in her little body and remembered the first day he had met her in Bahrain. She was as upset as she was now, as scared and worried as she was now, as outrageously beautiful as she was now.
Damn it, he was begining to posses some pathetic strong feelings for the little girl sitting awkwardly next to him on the floor and it disgusted him, afterall men shouldn't fall in love, matters of the heart were women's concern not serious, grown up men, not Sagir.
"So..., we need to talk" He started awkwardly.
Please don't leave me. "yes"
quit looking so vulnerable, you're making this difficult for me." So last friday, there was er...some..misunderstanding, and well, enti wayid thayagteeni, esloobich, o 6areeqtich bil kalam 7asisatni enni-"
" I know, I-"
" khaleeni akamil kalami tali golai elli 3indich..." He said irritably.
Nouf ignored the aching lump in her throat and nodded.
damn it, she's going to weep. "elmohim Nouf I know where you came from, I understand raddat fi3lich bes ana fakkart bil mawthoo3 over the last a few days, oo elli sawaiteh ghala6...elmafrooth kinti tes2ileeni before you attack me like that, kanat el7araka killish malha da3ii o sadgeeni wayid wayid thayagteeni, matwaqa3tich enti et7acheeni chethi, o mithil ma ana withaqt feech o e7taramtich, I expected the same from you bes you dissapointed me oo ana etwasalt enna ana weyach manisla7 7ag ba3ath"
painful, hot tears burned the back of her tired eyes and she bit down hard on her lower lip to keep herself from crying. " I understand" She whispered brokenly.
" kil hl 7anna and you don't have nothing more to say?" He teased.
She shook her head furiously. " I just wanted to apologize, I know what I did was wrong and I'm terribly sorry bes you can't possibly blame me, I..I don't know you very well"
" You don't?" He asked, hiding the amuesment in his voice. He never really considered dumping her, she was too important for him but he intended to teach her a lesson to avoid a similar situation in the future and because she did hurt him.
" I'm sorry, I think I should leave" The words came out of her mouth in chocked whisperes.
She was about to stand up when his hand came forcefully, grasping her elbow, pushing her down to the floor. " We don't suit as erm..a..boyfriend and...and girlfriend"
A hot tear crept down her cheek. " you made that clear, can I leave now?"
" But I bet we'd be just perfect as a husband and wife"
" What?" She blinked, unable to believe the wonderful words he just spoke to her.
" marry me, Nouf" He said. " and stop crying"
She tried to say something but couldn't. She burst into tears.
" el7een laysh tabcheeen?? don't you want to marry me? kahals I'm sorry I didn't mean it"
Sobs wracked her slender frame and she covered her eyes with her both hands to save face." How the hell did you get your tan??" She mumbled between tears.
" your crying because I'm ...tanned?!" His eyes widened in disbelief.
" oh, shut up!" She sobbed.
He laughed. " mokhich thaarib, my sweet"
She reminded him of a puppy he used to have when he was a kid so he did what he used to do to it, he ruffled the top of her chocolate brown head. " don't cry, I don't like it when you do" His voice softened and he wasn't teasing her or jesting anymore.
She wiped her eyes and looked at him. " Do you really wish to marry me?"
He nodded. " I didn't mean to startle you, if you don't want to accept my offer I'll kindly-"
" I hope you did mean to..." She whispered.
His eyes danced with delight and he automatically reached for her hand. " I take that as a yes?"
" yes!" She exclaimed.
" mabrook" He kissed her knuckles.
"alla ebarik feek"
" Can I ask you something?" She said.
" that time in your house.." She trailed off, blushing furiously.
" I was scared" He confessed.
" scared? why?!" Her eyes widened in astonishment.
" You were too..., I couldn't stop..." He was rambling like an old woman but he made perfect sense to her and she understood fully, despite the fact that he didn't directly tell her the three words yet, she felt him. She felt his love.
With their hands interwined they both sat there on the floor for an hour, each lost in their own thoughts. She, thinking about her glorious wedding gown, the wedding ceremony and spreading the good news all over kuwait as soon as she left his office. He, however thought about the single thing that most males preferred in a marriage; getting her in his bed as soon as she was officially his.
If only she could hear his thoughts.
If only he could read her mind.
With greenish blue bruises in her young face, a big grin and high spirits, Nouf left the facelift clinic with her two best friends in the world.
" enzayn are these blue bruises normal? ero7oon bisr3aa?" Nouf asked worriedly, after her first botox appointment.
" eeeh 3aadii, I do it all the time, yomain o wayhich yet3adal!" Noura assured her friend. " Don't worry!"
" in a week beseeroon your cheekbones like a super model's!" Sheikha muttered excitedly.
" a week!!" Nouf clapmed her hand over her mouth, unable to hide her panic. " in 3 days beyoon ahala eshofoonii!! oh my god, OH MY GOD! I should'nt have listened to you two!"
" it won't show with make-up!! besides ana balaght yom gilt a week, the spots usually fade in 3 days..." Sheikha said reassuringly.
Nouf sighed loudly. " okay, I need a drink before the fake lashes appointment"
" starbucks?" Noura suggested. The girls nodded agreement in unison.
After getting brand new high cheekbones, extra-long, extra-thick eyelashes and extra-long, silky hair, Nouf was exhausted beyond belief and she needed the comfort of her bed and Sagir's soothing voice, so she decided she'd get home, retire to her bed and give him a call before moving to dream land, but her plans failed because as soon as she threw her weight in the satiny, inviting bed of her's she was dead and unconcerned to the world.
In three days, she'd meet his mother and the rest of his family, in three days they'd approve of her, in three days their engagement would be confirmed and official.
to be continued...