There were times when I used to wonder, what good things have I done to deserve this good life? But life can suddenly push you from the highest mountain to the deepest sea. I now wonder how I got here. Back to a basic life where I struggle to afford my minimal needs. So many dreams I had. So many goals to acheive…
“What are you writing?” said Nadia as she passed by the dining table in her jogging clothes.
“Nothing, just some thoughts”, said Yara closing her notebook.
“I’m going for a jog.. see you in a bit” said Nadia as she picked up a bottle of water and left the house.
“Come watch this movie. It’s so romantic”, said Dalal who was sitting comfortably on a couch.
“No thank you. Save the romance for yourself. I’ll go read by the sea” said Yara.
“Oh no, please don’t tell me it’s Jane Austin again!”
“Nope! Malcolm Gladwell. You probably don’t know him as well”, said Yara as she picked up her book and mobile and headed outside through the sliding glass door.
She stood facing the sea and took a very deep breath. Her mobile rang interrupting her attempt to have a quiet moment. But she couldn’t help smiling when she saw Fahad’s name.
“Hala! I was hoping that you’d be at the studio but your background sounds windy”
“Yup. I’m outdoors” she giggled.
“Santosh called me and said that my photo is ready”
“He must’ve picked it up from the framing shop today then. You can pick it up from him, I’m sure that he’s there now”
“But I don’t want to”
“Because I want you to give it to me..”
Yara stayed quiet for a few moments, “what difference will it make?” she finally asked.
“All the difference.”
“You’ll have to wait then” she said teasing.
“Why is that? You’re not going to the studio today?”
“Nope. I am in the furthest part of Bahrain right now”
“Oh, you’re in Durra?” he asked interested.
“I am. Facing the blue sea and standing under beautiful white clouds”
“I’m coming tomorrow actually. Will you be there?”
“Yeah we are staying for the weekend.”
“Nice. My friend Osama owns a house there so we’re going for some beach activities”
Yara almost laughed and turned her head towards Dalal through the glass door. She was too intrigued to the movie not realizing that the adventure that she wished for might be happening. “Fun! We are staying at my friend Nadia’s house.”
“Great. So we’ll probably see you tomorrow?” he asked in a hopeful tone.
“Maybe” she teased again.
Nadia was jogging over the second bridge with her ipod on. Her long black hair was tied up in a ponytail that was swinging left and right with each step. Just when she made a right turn on the roundabout, she noticed a guy who was jogging as well. Their paths crossed for a moment but she couldn’t help noticing his masculine figure and handsome face. Her pace slowed down as she remembered her husband Manaf. An average looking guy with an average personality. There was nothing special about him whatsoever. No special talents, no hobbies, and no interests. He was one of the many guys who proposed to Nadia, and as time passed by, this question kept getting louder and louder in her head: Why did I choose him?
Out of the three girls who were friends since elementary school, Nadia was always the one who stood out. She was the most attractive one, the most desired one, and the one with the sweetest personality. Yara used to always tell her that she must’ve swallowed a magnet that kept pulling men to her. Her family played a big role in developing that personality. She was their only daughter and she got a great deal of attention. A BMW was her first car and she was one of the first girls in Bahrain who owned a Birkin. When it was time for her to answer fate’s call, she let down all the men who were crazy about her and chose the most average one. By that time she had enough of all the love drama and all she wanted was stability. She chose the guy who’d provide her with a secured life and a routine. His big salary and huge bonuses were new to him. He came from a middle class family and got lucky with his job. She didn’t care about that. She owned everything she desired but she was far from being materialistic.
Nadia felt a sudden sharp pain in the right side of her waist. She took deep breaths and drank lots of water but the pain got worse by the minute. She then started feeling dizzy and lost her balance for a moment. Her phone was in the house and she had no choice but to sit on the pavement and wait for the pain to go.
“Are you ok?”
She looked up to find the guy that crossed her way few minutes ago leaning over in concern.
“Not really” she answered pressing on her waist.
“What can I do for you?” he asked politely.
“Do you have a phone?”
“No, it’s not with me. I can go and get it from the car but it would make more sense to get the car and take you somewhere? You look very pale”
“I don’t think that I have another option! Please take me home” answered Nadia in a desperate need to get back to the house.
“Wait right here” he left running in the opposite direction.
“And this place is finally getting exciting” said Dalal in amazement when Yara told her that Osama owns a house in Durra. Yara couldn’t focus on the book that she was reading by the sea. She went back in and sat with Dalal.
“I think that I should walk around with my camera. Might find some nice things to shoot. The sun will be setting shortly” thought Yara.
“Oh, you’re suddenly inspired. I wonder why” teased Dalal.
“No, silly. It’s just that the debts are increasing and I can’t sit back and relax. I have to try in every possible way”
“But that won’t be a permanent solution. Even if you shoot and sell, you will never cover those debts by doing that only.”
“I know! I think that I should start looking for a job”
Nadia walked in at that moment.
“What happened?” asked Yara in concern as she saw how weak she was.
“I don’t know. Sudden pain”
“Sit down I’ll get you water”
“Why didn’t you call us?” asked Dalal.
“I didn’t have my phone”
“And how did you manage to walk back?” wondered Dalal.
“I got a lift” said Nadia and threw her weak body on the sofa.
“A random lift?” asked Yara in confusion while handing her a bottle of water.
“Aha. A very handsome one”
“No way” said Yara and laughed loudly.
“Why don’t I ever jog!!” Dalal shook her head.
“Don’t make me laugh. I’m in pain”
“I can’t believe that you actually hitchhiked” said Yara still laughing.
“Telling you was a bad idea”
“Focus girls, who’s the handsome lift?” asked Dalal.
“ENOUGH. I was too tired to walk and the guy offered me a two minutes ride. I’m married in-case you forgot. End of topic”
The girls were walking to Al Osra supermarket the next day when Yara’s phone rang:
“Hey. How are you today?”
“I’m good. Are you here yet?”
“Yeah I’m riding my bike”
“Oh! We are walking to Al-Osra.”
“Great, I’ll meet you there then”
When they reached the supermarket, Fahad was standing near the entrance with the bike parked next to him. He chatted with them shortly then Nadia pulled Dalal inside the supermarket to give Yara and Fahad some space.
“I love your dress” said Fahad while staring at Yara’s white summer dress.
“Thanks. It’s from Greece” she blushed.
“Wanna go for a walk? Need a break from cycling”
“Sure” said said as they both started walking.
“How are things now? Getting better?”
“I’m not going to offer my services just so you won’t get offended.”
Yara laughed softly, “Seems like I scared you off”.
“Not really. It was cute!”
“It was rude!”
“It’s cute when a nice person tries to be rude”
“Fine, if you say so”
“Tell me. What’s your favorite song for Majida?”
“Take a guess” she dared.
“Hmm. I don’t think that it’s Kalimat because you don’t seem to be so cliché” he said with his hand brushing his almost bold head.
“True. You have three guesses. Two more to go” she said with her hands folded on her chest.
“You seem to be a classic person. It could be Ana am bahlam. But no. It must be something richer for an art lover”
“Last guess.” He turned around and faced her as he walked backwards.
“Come on. It’s not that hard to guess”
“By now I’m sure that it’s one of the poem songs. But there are so many of them!”
“Akhraja men me’atafih eljareeda…” he started singing .
“CORRECT” Yara screamed.
“YESSSSS. So what’s my prize?”
“I’ll guess your favorite song first and then we’ll think of a prize.”
“Deal! Go ahead” he said excited as he walked next to her. She stared at him with a smile. “Definitely not a poem song. You seem to be irrational and a bit insane”
Fahad laughed loudly: “What an impression”
“Actually it can be one of her new songs”
“There is a song I like called Bel alb khaleeny”
“It’s a nice song. But seriously, this is your favorite song?” She wondered shocked.
“One of my favorites” he nodded.
Yara laughed: “It is nice. But not for a Khaleeji guy!”
“Why the stereotyping? I like to break the rules!”
“Hmm. You are not typical then..” she smiled.
“What’s my prize?” he asked again.
“What do you want?”
“I want to know more about you..”
They kept on walking till they reached one of the beaches. It was getting dark. They sat on the sand not caring about their clothes getting stained. Yara started explaining her current situation starting from her father’s death till the very last debt she recently found out about.
“Your turn” she said turning her head to him.
“Maybe it should be only about you today” he suggested trying to get away with it.
“But that won’t be fair, right?”
He smiled, “What do you want to know?”
Fahad stared at the sea and stayed quiet for few moments: “I’m divorced…” he said.