Chapter 13, Lie


“HE’S PROPOSING” screamed Yara in excitement as soon as Nadia picked up the phone.

“What? Who? What? FAHAD?” gasped Nadia.

“Yes yes yes!!”

“Oh my God. YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED” screamed Nadia.

“My tummy is hurting. I’m so nervous I want throw up.” Panicked Yara.

“This is huge! What happened? TELL ME!”

“It was all very sudden! He called and said that his family is visiting a day after tomorrow to propose!”


“I know I know don’t make it worse!”

“We have so much to do. Where shall we start!!!!!”

“I haven’t even talked to my mum yet!! This is the worst part. If I pass this, everything else won’t matter!”

“What are you waiting for! GO TALK TO HER NOW!” ordered Nadia.


At the same time..

“Mama, it’s for you” said Tamara after picking up the house’s land line.

“Who is it? I told you a thousand times to always say that I’m not available!!” said Sajida in anger.

“It’s not family don’t worry. It’s your Kuwaiti friend!” said Tamara.


“Hala Sajida. Shloanech?” said the lady in a Kuwaiti accent.

“I’m fine. Good to hear from you. How are you and how is the family?” asked Sajida.

“All are fine. How are your daughters?”

Hamdilla. Haven’t heard from you for a while. Where have you been?”

Wallah my sister Mariam wasn’t feeling so well. And we’ve been back and forth between Kuwait and Beirut. She’s seeing a doctor there”

“Oh I didn’t know. Matchoof shar inshalla

“I saw Yara, your daughter, few months ago in Beirut. You never told me that she got engaged!”

“Engaged? But she isn’t!” giggled Sajida.

“How come? I saw her there with a guy!”

“He must be her friend’s brother or cousin” said Sajida confident.

“I don’t think so. They were holding hands! That’s why I thought that she got engaged” said the woman realizing the situation.

Sajida felt so embarrassed that the sitting room suddenly felt as hot as a sauna:  “I’m sure that it wasn’t her! Maybe it was someone who looked like her”

“No, I know Yara well. And if she was in Beirut back then, then it must be her!”

“Ooooh. Now I know. Remember my friend Afaf? The Minister of Works wife? Her son Haitham proposed to Yara a while ago. It must be him. Yeah yeah I’m sure that it’s him. They are seeing each other behind our backs!” said Sajida covering up and faking a laugh.

“That makes sense and it’s good news. You got yourself some pretty well-off in laws” said the woman impressed.

“Yeah they are getting to know each other now.” Said Sajida relieved that the woman believed her.

“Congratulations. Inshalla things work out smoothly between them” said the woman.

Yara walked out of her room quietly and nervously to find her mother sitting on a sofa with her hand on her cheek. “Mama, I need to talk to you..” said Yara.

The mother turned around and stared at her in anger, “who’s the guy that you’ve been seeing?” she asked straight forward.

“What guy?” said Yara shocked and froze where she was.

“Shame on you! WHO IS HE?” screamed Sajida with her anger growing.

“This is.. what I wanted to talk to you about” said Yara scared.

“Now? After everything that you’ve already done?”

“I haven’t done anything mama”

“You haven’t? What about walking around Beirut hand in hand!” screamed Sajida in a louder tone.

“He is proposing!” said Yara cautiously.


“His name is Fahad. He’s a very good guy and he comes from a good family.” Explained Yara shaking.

“A good guy won’t allow himself to have a relationship with a girl behind her family’s back!”

“Back in the 50s maybe! It’s the 21st century!”

“How do you know him?” asked Sajida curiously.

“He owns the café next to the studio”

“Aha! No wonder you almost live there!”

“It’s only been few months mama!”

“You know how I married your dad? His mum chose me for him. And we only dared to speak to each other after the melcha!”

“And I don’t want to end up like you!” said Yara disrespectfully.

Sajida took two fast steps to Yara and slapped her roughly on the cheek.

“I love him” said Yara with tears stating to run over her cheeks.

“And where will this love take you?”

“Nothing will stop me from marrying him!” she said walking back to her room.

“Over my dead body” screamed Sajida with her voice echoing around the house.


“She’s angry now.  Give her some time and she will come to you and discuss it all over again” said Fahad on the phone.

“You don’t know her at all then. Once she sets her mind on something then there is no going back” wept Yara.

“Don’t cry. It was just bad timing”

“I don’t know who told her! Someone saw us in Beirut”

“We should’ve been more careful”

“I don’t want to stay here tonight. I can’t. I have to get out of this house!”

“Where are you going at this hour? Stay where you are. Things will change tomorrow trust me.”

“Why can’t you understand? Nothing will change! It’s either we get married behind her back or not get married at all!”

“Behind her back? What are those crazy thoughts?”

“It’s the only way!”

“Yara, you don’t know what you’re saying now because you are upset. We’ll find a solution tomorrow.”

“I’m not staying here tonight! I’m going to Nadia’s house, her parents are out of Bahrain” said Yara as she opened her cupboard and picked a random outfit.

“You are not leaving this late and in this condition!” said Fahad firmly.

“I’m sorry but I’ll have to. I can’t listen to you this time.”

“Wait then, I will come and drive behind you till you get there!”


Yara pulled her small pulley bag and headed to Tamara’s room. She opened the door to find her on her bed with her laptop on her lap.

“What’s with the bag?” wondered Tamara.

Yara closed the door and sat next to her on bed. “I’m sure that you heard me and mum arguing”


“Did you figure out why?”

“No and I don’t want to know” said Tamara with her eyes fixed on the laptop screen.

“Ok. I’m leaving to Nadia’s house now. Are you ok with being alone in here with her?”

“Do I have any other choice?”

“Things are a bit complicated now Tamara. You are used to me being there for you all the time and there is a possibility that I might be getting married soon” said Yara and her heart dropped as she mentioned this and realized it.

Tamara ignored and typed something on the keyboard with a smile.

“I will always be there for you. But you have to learn how to survive on your own too. You’re not a baby anymore and you have to be responsible.” Said Yara and got a missed call from Fahad as a sign that he was outside.

“I have to go now. She will be very frustrated and firm with you but you know how to deal with her. Bye” said Yara as she got up, took her bag and walked out.


Fahad drove all the way to Nadia’s house behind Yara. They didn’t speak to each other on the phone, each of them was drowned in his own thoughts and worries while driving. But when Yara parked her car in front of Nadia’s house she walked to his car and he opened his window.

“Thank you..” she said.

“The least I could do to protect my fiancé” said Fahad and smiled.

Yara started crying all over again when he said that. “Please don’t cry habeebty. Everything is going to be just like we want it” said Fahad and held her hand through the window.

“You took me by surprise. I didn’t expect this!” said Yara between sobs.

“It’s nice no? Unexpected is nice!” he said trying to cheer her up.

“And it didn’t last for long. My mum killed it” she said crying.

“We’ll find the right way to make it happen. We’ll get married, have our own little house, and our own little kids” he said still holding her hand.

Yara smiled and wiped her tears with her other hand.

“The girl will be just like you, stubborn and high tempered. But the boy will be as handsome and cool as I am” he said jokingly and Yara hit his shoulder. “Yalla go inside and don’t think negatively. Think of how to convince your mother, and of all the beautiful days to come”.


“Who are we kidding? She will never accept!” said Yara laying on Nadia’s bed.

“Yes. She never will. And that’s why we have to think in another way. Sajida’s way” said Nadia.

“I’m really nervous, I don’t have a good feeling about all of this.”

“But you know what? I liked the element of surprise”

“Typical Fahad. All this time I was wondering if he ever thought about marriage. I had a feeling that he was scared since he is divorced and that really stressed me”

“I love his mysterious ways of getting to you. Coming to Beirut so suddenly to tell you that he loves you, and now proposing out of the blue. It’s cute”

“I love him. I really do. And I can’t see myself without him or with anyone else”

“I think I have an idea” said Nadia and got off her bed. She picked up a notebook and a pin from a nearby drawer and came back to bed. “What are Sajida’s priorities in life?” asked Nadia as she lay on her tummy.

“Money” said Yara and Nadia wrote it down.

“Ok that is priority number one. What else?”

“Social status”

“Aha” said Nadia as she wrote that down.

“Luxury? Or is that related to money too?”

“Hmm. No harm in writing it. What else?”

“She’s a show off. She hates communicating with normal people. She befriends rich people..”

“Ok. Now, how can we make Fahad’s family look attractive to Sajida? Let’s start from the beginning, money.”

“They own several businesses. They are a medium class family” said Yara.

“We’ll have to twist that to Sajida. We’ll tell her that they own that and that etc. We could talk to her about their cars and house. And lie about them owning real estate or something” suggested Nadia.

“You’re smart!” said Yara and laughed.

“Next. Status. Hmm, anything in mind?”

“She won’t care that he’s got MBA. But we can say that he’ll eventually become the owner of all family businesses when his dad retires. His mother has her own cookbooks and her name is well known. She’s an active woman”

“Excellent. What about the father? Is he a member in the Parliament or Shoura council?” asked Nadia jokingly.

“No. But I remember Fahad mentioning that he’s a member in Bahrain Chamber of Commerce once”

“Excellent. I think that should be enough to fill Sajida’s ego”

“But don’t forget that the reason she got upset is because we’ve been seeing each other behind her back”

“Come on. She will get over that the moment we display all those attractive information to her. She will even get over that fat ugly Haitham of hers”


Just when Nadia turned the light off and they were about to sleep, Yara received a BBM notification:

Fahad: Where is your dream honeymoon destination?

Yara: You are very optimistic!

Fahad: America or Australia?

Yara: Can we not jump to this now? We don’t want to get disappointed later.

Fahad: I think Australia is better since we both have never been there.

Yara: Inshalla we’ll discuss this at the right time..Me and Nadia have a plan..let’s hope it works.

Fahad: Did she find out that you left the house?

Yara: I don’t think so. Or she did and didn’t care as usual

Fahad: Sleep now and tomorrow is a better day

Yara: Good you

Fahad: Night xx


The next morning, Yara and Nadia woke up early and headed to Yara’s house to take action on their plan. They found Sajida having breakfast on the dining table with a piece of toast in one hand and a mug in the other. “Good morning!” said Nadia as she walked to her and kissed her.

“Nadio! Where have you been!” said Sajida roughly.

“I was out of Bahrain. Shloanech khalty?” asked Nadia sweetly and sat next to her.

“What is this news I heard about your divorce! I’m upset with you” said Sajida as she tightened her silky navy blue robe without paying any attention to Yara.

“I’ll find someone better don’t worry” joked Nadia.

“You better do!” she said and took a bite of her toast.

“Khalty can you allow me to discuss something with you?” asked Nadia politely as Yara took a seat.

“Ahhh. I’m about to have a headache! I can feel it coming so make it brief” said Sajida carelessly.

“We know that it wasn’t right for Yara to see someone behind your back. But as long as he is proposing maybe you should give him a chance and…” said Nadia and Sajida interrupted, “It’s either Haitham or no one else!” she said coldly.

“But what if this guy is better than Haitham?” asked Nadia.

“There is no one like Haitham” said Sajida confidently.

“That would be a loss then. You didn’t even ask who’s son is he!” said Nadia.

“Who’s son is he?” asked Sajida intrigued.

“Fouzia Abdul Ghaffar. I’m sure you know her!”

“Oh. Fouzia! I know Fouzia!” said Sajida astonished.

“Yeah. I’m sure you know her husband too. He’s well known” said Nadia and winked to Yara.

“Yes. Yes. They own several companies!”

“Yeah. And Fahad is highly involved in all of them”

“Aha. Interesting. Where do they live?”

“They have a huge villa in Saar”

“How old is he?”

“Hmm 31?” asked Nadia looking at Yara.

“32” corrected Yara quietly.

“Please think about it Khalty. He’s a good catch”

“He is!” said Sajida thinking deeply.

“Yesterday they requested to come and see you tomorrow. Meet them. What will you lose?” asked Nadia.

“Tomorrow? So soon! I got to go get ready now!” said Sajida and got up.

Yara and Nadia looked at each other gasping in excitement. “So can we confirm to them that the timing is ok?” asked Nadia.

“Yes yes” said Sajida walking away.

Yara and Nadia ran to each other and hugged, “I told you it will work!” said Nadia in excitement.

“I can’t believe this! I can’t believe that it’s happening for real!” said Yara with teary eyes.

“Ok let’s not panic! Where do we start!!!” said Nadia freaking out.

“I have to call Fahad first! Then we go look for a dress!” said Yara and rushed to her phone.

Nadia’s phone rang at the same time. She reached for it to find an international number that starts with +44. “London?” she thought and picked it up.


“Nadia?” said a familiar, warm and manly voice.

“Yes..” said Nadia shivering, realizing who it was.

“It’s me, Mohammad” said the man.

“I know. How can I not know..” she said nervously.

“Nadia, why didn’t you tell me that you got a divorce?” asked Mohammad concerned.

“Why would it matter” said Nadia, still not realizing that she was speaking to him.

“Of course it matters!”

“No. It doesn’t. Is this the reason you’re calling?” asked Nadia, firm but tensed.

“Seeing you messed me up, Nadia. And when I heard about your divorce..i dunno..i felt a strong urge to get in touch with you”

“Why?” she was trying hard to limit her joy and overcome it with restrictions.

“I missed you..”

She took a deep breath, taking high control of her emotions “Please don’t call me Mohammad. It’s not right!” she said straightforward.

“Don’t get me wrong, please.”

“You know very well that I’m not the kind of woman who’ll accept to catch up with her married ex!” she said with her heart shattering.

“When I heard that he cheated on you, I went mad. I felt like finding him and breaking him into pieces” said Mohammad angrily.

“It’s over now. Just like we’re over. You have a lovely family Mohammad. Don’t ruin it.” She said sincerely.

Mohammad remained quiet.

“I have to go. Bye..” said Nadia and ended the call.

She felt a very heavy weight on her chest and tears started streaming down her face as she placed her phone in her hand bag. “Are you crying?” asked Yara as she ended her call with Fahad and walked back to Nadia.

“I’m just too excited for you” lied Nadia and wiped her tears.


“Yumma, tomorrow is confirmed inshalla” said Fahad smilingly as he entered the living room where his mum and sister were sitting with the TV on.

The mother remained quiet as he sat down.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I’ve been asking around about the family. And to be honest with you, I didn’t hear good things about her mother. Everyone is saying that she’s shallow” said the mother with a concerned face.

“I know that. Her mother is not exactly the perfect mother in law. But it’s unfair to Yara. She is nothing like her mother”

“That’s right mama, it’s unfair to judge the girl by her mother. Every family member has a personality of his own nowadays” said Sara supporting her brother.

“I’m not judging the girl, but she comes with a package. They are going to be family after all. This lady is going to be the grandmother of your children! You are my only son Fahad, you already have one failed marriage and I don’t want you to suffer again!”

“She makes me happy.” said Fahad briefly.

“And I want to see you happy my son. But I’m not feeling comfortable about this for some reason”

“What really matters is that they make each other happy. Anything else could be dealt with” said Sara.

“I think that we should wait. Tomorrow is too soon. It’s better if we postpone, ask more about them and pray for the best” suggested the mother.

“It’s inappropriate mama. We already told them that we are going” said Sara.

“We could come up with an excuse easily. Tell them that I’m not feeling well or something”

“You should go Yumma. Meet them and see how it goes. Maybe you’ll feel comfortable after that” said Fahad.

“But if we go things will get official. You told them that we are going to propose, Allah yhadak bas. I wish that you only said that we are going to get to know them”

“So what now? You made up your mind? You’re not going?” asked Fahad frustrated.

“It’s better to wait. Talk to her and tell her that I’m not feeling well. And we’ll see what happens later” said the mother and Fahad got up and left the house angrily.


After heading to the office and getting distracted with some work, Fahad called Yara without really planning the conversation in his head and thinking of how or what to tell her.

“Where are you?” he asked.

“I’m in Saks trying on a dress for tomorrow.” She said excited.

“Do you like it?”

“Not much but Nadia is saying it’s perfect”

“Listen, there is no need to rush. My mother woke up today with the flu and I don’t think that she’ll be able to leave the bed by tomorrow.”

“Oh no! What happened so suddenly?” asked Yara concerned.

“I don’t know. It happens. So seems like we’ll have to postpone tomorrow till she gets better. Is that ok?”

“Of course! Actually I’m glad that we’ll have more time to get prepared!” said Yara relieved.

“Great then”


“Now how am I going to tell my mum?” wondered Yara after telling Nadia about it.

“I’m sure she’ll be glad to have more time too”

“She’s a Virgo!! She hates change of plans”

“Let’s distract her with something else then. Like ask her to come here to see the dress”

“Don’t think it will work. I really want to try and fix my relationship with her though. It won’t be appropriate to be married and keep treating each other this way”

“Why don’t we take her somewhere nice for dinner tonight? This could be a start” suggested Nadia.

“You think?”

“Yeah. I’ll book a table in Trader Vics and you call her and tell her”

“No! You will call her! She listens to you but she never listens to me”

“Ok, but that would be the last time! Starting tonight you will do all the talking!”

“Deal!” said Yara.


The three ladies walked in Trader Vics looking their best. They were seated and the waiter handed them the menus. Nadia and Yara started going through the menu while Sajida was looking around and scanning the place to check if anyone of importance was there when suddenly, someone caught her attention. “Isn’t that Fouzia?” asked Sajida squinting her eyes.

Both girls looked at the direction where Sajida was staring and to their shock, it was! “Oh my god! Isn’t that Fahad’s mum?” said Nadia.

“What the hell? Could she heal that fast!” wondered Yara.

“And you’re telling me that she’s sick in bed!” said Sajida offended.

“I’m sure that she got better. There is no other explanation” said Yara confused.

“There is! Maybe he lied to you!” snapped Sajida removing the napkin from her lap and standing up.

“Where are you going?” panicked Yara and held her arm.

“I’m going to introduce myself! And let’s see what she got!” said Sajida and moved a step forward.

“No no no please mama please” said Yara and stood in her way, “sit down and I will talk to Fahad. No need for dramatic scenes in public” she forced her to sit down.

Yara stared at Fahad’s mum with confusion and concern. The mother was wearing hijab, a silk maxi skirt and a shirt. She was with two other women who were clearly her friends. Yara decided to have this dinner quietly, enjoy her mum’s company for a change and deal with Fahad afterwards. But she couldn’t help thinking and considering the fact that her mother might be right and that Fahad could be hiding something. There was something fishy going on and she sensed it. She messaged Fahad discreetly and asked him to meet her in the studio in an hour.


Once Nadia dropped Yara and Sajida home, Yara had to come up with an excuse to leave the house and go to the studio. Her mother was tired by now of all the complaining she made in the car about Fahad’s mum. When Yara lied about having to go to the studio to lock the back door, she didn’t argue much.


“Hi” said Yara as soon as she got into Fahad’s car that was parked in front of the studio.

Ahlain. You look good!” said Fahad.

“Thanks. Guess who we saw tonight in Traders?”

“Who did you see?” asked Fahad interested.

“Your mum!” said Yara with a forced smile.

“Oh!” said Fahad in shock.

“Bahrain is so tiny.”

“Yeah” he lowered his head biting his lips.

“Fahad. Are you hiding anything from me?”

“Why do you think so?”

“You canceled on us tomorrow because, supposedly, your mother is sick in bed. How can someone who was sick in bed this morning be dressed up and dining out with friends?”

Fahad took a deep breath “I’m sorry..” He said in embarrassment.

“So you lied to me?”

“I had to.”

“Fahad, I want the whole truth, right now. Please don’t hide anything or lie. Please” she said in frustration.

“She needed more time. She thought that it was too soon and she..wasn’t feeling comfortable!” said Fahad hesitant.

“I don’t understand. Not feeling comfortable about what?”

“Yara. It’s normal. These things happen with every proposal. She just needs more time to ask about you and your family and I can’t force her not to. She’s my mother after all”

“She was ok with it! What changed her mind so suddenly?”

Fahad remained quiet.

“Does this have anything to do with my mum?”

“Kind of”

“What do you mean kind of? TALK!”

“She asked, about your family, and no one gave her any good feedback about your mum” said Fahad hardly speaking.

“Unbelievable!” said Yara shaking her head.

“I tried, I tried so much to tell her that you have nothing to do with her and how different you are. But her only wish was to wait a bit”

“She’s my mother Fahad! What do you mean I have nothing to do with her? No matter how awful she could be, she is my mum! And accepting me means accepting her as well!” snapped Yara.

“Well, excuse me if your mother has a bad reputation! There is nothing I can do about it!” said Fahad rudely.

“What the hell are you saying? You lie to me and then tell me that my mum has a bad reputation?” said Yara hurt.

“What do you want me to do? Really, tell me. Tell me if you can think of anything that I can do about it!” he said sarcastically.

“If you really want’ll know what to do!” said Yara and left the car upset.

Chapter 12. Reverie

Fahad walked out of Adliya Mosque after performing Friday prayer and shook hands with some acquaintances. While putting on his traditional slippers, he saw Osama approaching him in a white Thoab and without Ghetra, “Hey” he said and offered his hand.

Shakhbar?” asked Fahad shaking his hand.


“Good that I’ve seen you. I owe you an apology” said Fahad as they walked down the steps.

“It’s me who should apologize” said Osama.

“We’re too old for this” joked Fahad.

Osama laughed, “Very last decade”

“Why don’t you come over for lunch? My parents will be happy to see you” offered Fahad.

“Sure.” Answered Osama gladly and they both walked to their cars like two little school boys who made peace after a fight in the school yard.


7aya Allah men yaneh” said Fahad’s mother as soon as Osama walked in the house.

“Where have you been?” said Fahad’s father glad to see him.

“The older we become the busier we get. I really miss your cooking khaltey” said Osama.

“Then let’s eat before the food gets cold” said Um Fahad. She was a typical Bahraini housewife in her 50s. After getting her diploma she started working for around a year and eventually gave up her career for the sake of her family. She was known for her excellent cooking, especially the traditional Bahraini dishes, that she published two popular cook books. After her son and daughter got old enough to take care of themselves, she started volunteering in non profitable organizations and spending her time between that and socializing like every other Bahraini woman.

“How is the business going?” asked Bu Fahad while holding a spoon full of rice.

“It’s slow. Companies have no money to pay for branding and advertising nowadays” said Osama.

“They rely on Facebook and Twitter. Free of charge and faster than any other form of advertising” said Fahad.

“Give it some time. You’re still new and you really need to build a reputation for your business” said Bu Fahad.

“How is your mother? It’s been a while since I last saw her!” asked Um Fahad placing some salad in Fahad’s plate.

“She’s good. Still refusing to leave her job in the Ministry”

“That’s good. She shouldn’t retire. One of the things that make Bahrain special is women like her. Being in high positions with high experience is something to be proud of”, said Um Fahad picking up Osama’s plate.

“Yeah but it’s stressing her. The procedure didn’t change and work is becoming harder by the day. It’s affecting her health” said Osama concerned.

“She’ll quit when she feels its time. But don’t try and convince her because she will only do what she wants” said Um Fahad returning Osama’s plate with lots of salad.

“How is work Sara?” asked Osama turning the attention to Fahad’s younger sister.

“Not so bad. Gets really busy sometimes but it’s quiet most of the time” said Sara.

“I’m trying to convince her to join the family business. She wanted experience and she gained it. Now it’s time to join us” said Bu Fahad pouring lemonade in his glass.

“I can’t have my brother and father as my colleagues. We have enough fights at home” joked Sara.

“That’s right. Leave your brother alone and let him concentrate on his job” said Um Fahad.

“Yeah Yeah take his side as usual” said Sara upset and everybody laughed.

Ana3m Allah 3elaikum. Best Machboos in the world!” said Osama once they were done with lunch and were moving to the sitting room.

“And now it’s time for Sara’s delicious dessert. I hope that you’ve left some space for that” said Fahad’s father.

“You better did. I made cheesecake today!” said Sara.

“See that’s why I don’t come here so often!” said Osama jokingly.

Um Fahad came out of the kitchen carrying a trey with a tea set on it.

“Now and that you’re all here, there is something that I want to talk to you about…” said Fahad.




Yara was lying lazily on her bed when Fahad called, “What are you doing?”

“In bed, watching TV”

“It’s 4pm! Why so lazy?”

“I was up all night and Tamara woke me up early to drop her to her friend’s house. Couldn’t go back to sleep and now I’m just tired” she answered in a low lazy tone.

“Why were you up all night?”

“I don’t know. Had a lot on my mind”

“Share please!”

“Don’t want to talk about it”

“Talk!” insisted Fahad.

“I miss my father. Everything is different without him. True that my mum was always out of control but he had his way of keeping this family together and make everything seems normal.. and warm”

“Ok. What else?” he asked trying to get her to open up more.

“The debts”

“Mhmmm. That’s what it’s all about then” he figured.

“Yes and it is a big deal. A very big deal. It’s the worst feeling in the world, to owe people money”

“You’ve got to stop thinking about it and think of a solution instead”

“Ok but not now. Please I don’t want to spend the day thinking about it”

“Then get up and do something” he ordered.

“Yeah Nadia is back. I will go see her later”

Yara’s bedroom door was suddenly opened and her mum walked in, “Who are you talking to?’ she asked.

“It’s Nadia. I’ll call you back” she ended the call.

“I’m going out now, with Haitham’s mother” said Sajida.

“And why are you telling me?”

“Because they are waiting for an answer and I’ve been delaying it as much as I can”

“I already told you my answer!” snapped Yara.

“No. This is not an answer. I want the answer that I’m waiting for. Talk to the guy, what will you lose? You don’t even know him and you have no valid reason for rejecting him”

“Good night mother. Have fun” said Yara and covered her face with the quilt.

“You are so your father’s daughter!” said Sajida and left the room frustrated.


“I missed you this time the most” said Yara while hugging Nadia.

“Thank you but I’m glad that I wasn’t here” teased Nadia as she hugged her back.

“I know, it was a mess!”

“I’m not so shocked that Dalool is still doing what she’s doing. Her anger will only grow with time. She lost everything!”

“Leave that now. Tell me all about Mohammed.” Said Yara in excitement.

“Let’s get out of this room first. I need fresh air, let’s sit in the garden” said Nadia.


“Everything changed since I saw him.” Said Nadia as soon as they sat outside and asked the maid to get them tea.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s a wonderful feeling. All the old feelings, all the old dreams suddenly came back to me. And it’s so freaky because I’ve been thinking about him since Beirut. Which makes me feel guilty all the time. I shouldn’t feel all of that to a married man” said Nadia.

“It’s just some old feelings that woke up inside you. It’s not like you are planning on making him cheat on his wife!”

“Of course not. Never!”

“Then it’s nice to feel what you’re feeling. It was real. It was THE love story of your life and you will never be able to erase it from your system. So don’t feel guilty, just enjoy it”

“I saw his wife!” said Nadia in disgust.

“Oh my god. You saw Reem?” screamed Yara.

“Yeah, she took him away, as usual. She didn’t see me though. I don’t think she did.”

“You think she’s still jealous of you?” said Yara and laughed.

“How am I supposed to know? I only met her once few years back and she almost murdered me with her looks”

“Very bad choice. He deserved someone better”

“Oh well. I think choosing my country over him was a mistake. If I could only go back in time, I’d leave everything behind and go with him” she said regretfully.

“I agree. I was against it before and I didn’t encourage you to give up your life for him, but now and after all what happened with Manaf, I think that you should’ve followed your heart and not your brain”


“But what a coincidence!”

“I know subhan Allah. What brought him to my way?”

“Everything happens for a reason”

“So what could the reason be? Seeing his cute son that was supposed to be mine? I can’t explain the feeling. I was shaking. Shaking from head to toe. And I was so nervous that I didn’t know how to react and I just stood there looking so stupid”

“It’s normal. And I’m sure that you didn’t look stupid”

“He said something before he left. It brought me back to life after years of being dead” said Nadia dreamingly.

“What did he say?”

“He said, you look as beautiful as you always did..” said Nadia with her eyes glittering.

“Aaawww. He still has feelings for you!!”

“No, not really. He also said that he was happy that I got married” said Nadia in disappointment.

“Of course he’ll say that. What do you expect him to say?”

“Doesn’t matter. Each one of us moved on with his life” said Nadia sadly and Yara suddenly started singing, “hobbek fy galby Mhammad, ya oyoony ya hamoody”.

Nadia laughed, “You’re insane” she said as the maid came by and served them tea.




“I’ve been thinking about your idea, joining our businesses” said Yara while she and Fahad were going through the sales records of the exhibition.


“I think that we should go for it.” She said without hesitation.

“What makes you think so?”

“After the exhibition I realized that I need more exposure. I need my work to be displayed to the public. Maybe it’s time for me to go to people instead of asking them to come to me”

“I’m glad that you finally think so”

“I’m happy with the exhibition’s outcome. What I have sold in three days at the exhibition is what I normally sell in around two months at the studio!”

“Then we have a lot of work to do beautiful lady”

“First let’s deal with all the payments. All the exhibition’s income will be a partial payment to that man we owe BD10,000”

“Don’t you want to wait till you get the full amount?”

“I think it’s better to pay him now and then pay the rest when I have it. This way he will know that I’m working on it”

“Ok. Do whatever you think is right.”

“Thank you. What would I do without you?” she said and patted his hand.

Santosh entered the studio with several frames in his hands, “It’s ready Madame” he said and placed the frames on her desk. It was a collection of all press releases about the exhibition in both languages. Each press release was framed in a separate frame. “Excellent!” said Fahad amazed as he went through them. “Where shall I hang them?” she asked. “I say wait till we plan the merger. A lot of changes will be made” said Fahad.


Yara started organizing her desk as Fahad left. She got a phone call from Tamara, “When are you coming to pick me up?”

“I’m leaving now, I’ll be there in 10 minutes”

“Fatima’s mum is asking you to come in”

“Oho, why?” said Yara annoyed.

“I don’t know. She said she wants to meet you”

“Ufff. This is your mother’s job! Why do I have to socialize instead of her?” said Yara angrily.



The maid seated Yara at the formal sitting room. The mother then came and welcomed her: “It’s good to finally meet you. My daughter talks about you all the time and how much she envies you”

“That’s sweet. I love Fatima a lot” said Yara.

“They’ve been good friends for long, Fatoom and Tamara, and they visit each other all the time. But I have never met your mother and I see you with Tamara more”

“Yeah” said Yara embarrassed.

“My husband used to know your father Allah yerhema. He met him few times. And I know your aunts, your father’s sisters. You know in Bahrain it’s a good thing that we all know each other”

“Yeah. True.”

“But yet I have never met your mum or seen her anywhere with her in laws or with Tamara.” Said the mother digging for explanations.

“She’s not very social” said Yara politely.

“Aha, and even when I ask Tamara about her she never gives me any answer. She just smiles. So I just wanted to check if everything is ok or if you need anything?” said the mother sweetly but with hidden curiosity.

“Thank you very much. I appreciate it”

“What would you like to drink? Tea? Coffee? Juice?” offered the mother.

“Thanks I really have to get going.” Said Yara and got up.

“You’re welcome anytime to visit my dear. Regards to your mum” said the mother and shook her hand, “I will call Tamara for you now”.


“I don’t know what’s going on with me!” said Nadia while talking to Yara on the phone.

“What’s the matter?”

“My mind is not with me. My head is full of thoughts..”

“Is it about him?”

“Yes. I really wish that I hadn’t seen him. Suddenly I’m depressed and angry. Thinking of all the ‘what ifs’ and putting scenarios of what might happen next”

“Are you out of your mind? What might happen next? The guy is married with a kid! You just met by coincidence and that’s it!”

“But there must be a reason why our paths crossed after all those years”

“I can’t believe you. How come you didn’t think this way when you agreed to marry Manaf? Or when Mohammed asked you to leave your whole life here and go with him? You were always the mature one who thought with her brain. What’s happening to you now?”

“I’m telling you I’m going insane. It’s really painful. I want to go back in time. What was I thinking marrying that cold boring man who even cheated on me!”

“Listen to me. Go have a warm shower, read Quran and try to get some sleep.”

“No no no I can’t sleep.”

“I said TRY. You will go crazy with all those stupid thoughts. Just do something about it please. Fahad is calling, I’ll talk to you later. Bye” said Yara and went for the other line.


“Hey gorgeous. How are you?”

“Stressed. Really!”

“What happened?”

“I’m just tired of covering up for my psycho mum!” snapped Yara.

“But that’s nothing new!”

“That’s the thing. I’m getting fed up. I feel like running away so she starts being responsible”

“Talk to her. Try in different ways if she doesn’t listen. Find a secret door”

“I was put in a very embarrassing situation tonight because of her and I also had to deal with my best friend who is losing her mind!”

“Calm down please” said Fahad sweetly.

“I can’t. Too much frustration for one night”

“Calm down right now!”

“You’re right. I’m sorry. How was the movie?” she asked trying hard to switch moods.

“Leave the movie now. Are you at home?”

“Yes, in my room!”

“Is your mum home?”

“Yes! Why?”

“Is your sitting room organized and clean?”

“Fahad!!” she said annoyed.

“I want you to go out of your room now, go to your mum, tell her that the sitting room should be properly organized, and most importantly, to book herself a day after tomorrow”

“Excuse me? What are you saying?” wondered Yara in confusion.

“I’m sending some women over..” he laughed.

“Fahad this is really not the time for your jokes!” she said angrily.

“Yara…I’m proposing to you…a day after tomorrow….” He finally said..

Chapter 11, Mohammed

Two months later:

Yara was having coffee at the café while reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy when Nadia came in with a face that screamed joy. “Heyyyyyy” she walked towards Yara, grabbed her face and gave her a smooch.

“Ok! What’s the matter?”


“FINALLY!” said Yara and got up to give her a hug. “I’m so happy to hear that!” she squeezed her.

“I can’t describe how I’m feeling. Such a relief. Now I believe that freedom is the most precious thing in life” said Nadia as she sat down.

“That idiot! I can’t believe that he was refusing to grant you the divorce all this time”

“And now it’s time for some bad news” said Nadia.

“Why can’t happy news last for a while?”

“No big deal. It’s just that I won’t be around for your exhibition”

“Noooo!” said Yara in disappointment.

“I’m really sorry. I’ll have to leave to Europe in three days to buy pieces for the shop. I tried delaying but it didn’t work”

“Why? We can go together once the exhibition is over”

“I’ll have to go with my mum. I need her to be with me while choosing the pieces, she knows better. And she has to be in Germany a week after for my dad’s check ups so we are left with no choice but to go now.”

“That’s sad. It’s a big day for me and I really need you here”

“You have Fahad here. He’ll provide you with all the support and help that you’ll need”

“Yeah but still, I need you. I need my friends. If only Dalal was still Dalal”

“Funny how we miss her after all”

“I feel guilty sometimes. Maybe I should’ve given her a second chance.”

“I totally understand. It’s the good old days that make you think this way. But when you think of all the things she said and did, you find yourself unable to forgive” said Nadia.

“Yeah, exactly”

“My mum saw her in a wedding the other day. She was with her mother and aunts”

“I wonder how she explained all of this to her mum”

“I’m sure she came up with something new. It had become a habit for her” said Nadia.



It was finally time for Yara’s exhibition. Many popular photographers and artists were participating and the press coverage was enormous. Photo holders were spread around the First Floor of Seef Mall starting from Maya La Chocolaterie and making a circle around the railings overlooking the ice rink. Yara’s four photo holders, where four photos were hung on each, were located at the spot near Caribou Coffee. She was standing by one of the holders arranging some photos an hour after the opening ceremony when Fahad appeared behind her.

“Hey beautiful!” he said.

“Hey” she said smilingly as she turned around.

“How is it going?”

“Two photos are sold already!”

“No way!”

“Yeah! I was worried that I won’t sell anything”

“You’ll sell them all, trust me. I had a look on the stands on my way here and your work is one of the best” he assured her.

After helping her with re-arranging some photos, Fahad took out a small Tiffany & Co box from his pocket and handed it to her.

“What’s this?” she wondered surprised.

“Open it and see” he answered smiling.

She opened the box like an excited kid opening a birthday gift to find a silver Tiffany key necklace: “That’s really nice!”

“Do you like it?”

“I love it”

“It’s just to show you that I’m proud of you for being here and doing all this great work”

“Thank you. Means a lot” she said as she wore it.

“Shall I get you something to eat? A muffin or something?” offered Fahad.

“A cup of coffee will do.”

“Maya or Caribou?”

“Had Caribou earlier so Maya for a change”


Few minutes later, Osama showed up.

“Good job!” he said. He was looking very elegant in a suit.

“Thanks. What are you doing here?”

“I had a business meeting nearby and I passed by to check out the exhibition”

“Enjoy it” said Yara and turned around, not giving him much attention.



“Why are you treating me like that?”

“And how am I supposed to treat you. I’m being normal!”

“Yeah and too formal”

“I don’t know what you’re expecting after what happened!”

“How many times do I have to explain this? You can’t keep this attitude forever especially that we cleared things up ages ago!”

“Can we not talk about this again? I’m trying my best to forget it and be normal so Fahad won’t notice!” said Yara harshly.


At the same time, Fahad was waiting for the coffee in Maya when he noticed Dalal walking by. He waived politely and she turned around and walked to him, “Good to see you!” she said.

“You too. How have you been?”

“Great!” she said and faked a smile.

“Are you here for the exhibition?”

“No, not really. It’s my lunch break”

“Do you know that Yara is exhibiting here?” he said proudly.

“Oh really? Which side?”

“There” he said and pointed all the way to where she was.

“I see. Is that Osama standing next to her?” she wondered squinting her eyes.

“Oh yeah! I didn’t know that he was here!”

“Then you better go back soon” she said sarcastically.


“Not a good idea to leave them alone”

“What do you mean? Is that a joke?” he laughed nervously.

“She didn’t tell you?!”

“Tell me what? Are you playing with my head again?”

“Go and ask them yourself if you don’t believe me. He had his eyes on her, and she knew about it!”

Fahad walked away in frustration without picking up his order. By the time he reached, Osama was gone.

“What’s the matter?” asked Yara when she saw his state.

“Is it true?” he asked clinching his teeth.


“My closest friend had his eyes on you?” he screamed.

“Calm down” said Yara and took a closer step to him.

“And you knew? You knew and you stayed quiet?!” he said in disbelief.

“It was a misunderstanding! Please calm down”

He walked away in fast steps ignoring her until he disappeared from her sight. He called Osama.

“Where are you?” asked Fahad.

“I haven’t seen you so I left. I’m walking to my car”


“The parking lot of the new extension. By the fountain”

“Stay where you are!”

By the time Fahad reached the fountain, he spotted Osama standing next to his Audi with the front door open. Fahad took faster steps when he saw him and his breathing got heavier. He grabbed his shirt and pulled him closer roughly, “haqeer” he said.

Osama was taken aback by surprise and shock had numbed his tongue.

“Out of all the girls in this world you had your eyes on mine? What does that mean? Tell me what does that mean?” asked Fahad with his hand still grasping Osama’s shirt.

“Are you out of your mind?” said Osama and managed to pull himself out of Fahad’s attack, “people are staring! Get inside the car!”

Fahad looked around and saw that some people were staring from a distance. With his face flushed red, he swallowed his anger and got into the passenger seat. He sat quietly for few moments.

“I had no idea that you liked her”

“Come on!” screamed Fahad.

“Let me finish. I don’t know how you just found out about it, but back then you and Yara were not together. I noticed how you got closer to her but I thought that she was just a friend, just like many other girls we know.” Explained Osama while Fahad remained quiet. “And yes. She is a nice girl and you know how I was looking for a serious relationship. I asked Dalal to talk to her, to see if she was involved with someone or anything of that sort. And that was how I found out that you two had something going on”

“And that’s it? You’re saying that this is how it started and ended? The terrified look I just saw on her face said much more!”

“Dalal played a major role in this. Why do you think that they don’t hang out with her anymore?”

“That’s a total different issue. She tried to come between me and Yara” answered Fahad in confidence.

“Not just that. She tried to make me come between you and Yara!”

He let out a sarcastic laugh.

“Fahad. I’m like your brother and you know for sure that I won’t allow any girl to ruin our friendship. Dalal played with my head and made me believe that Yara liked me. I was a fool and I talked to Yara about it. But Yara got really offended and she was hurt for you!”

“Unbelievable!” said Fahad shaking his head.


Yara was wandering around the mall looking for a trace of Fahad. She was extremely worried and he wasn’t answering his phone. Running out of options, she called Nadia. “I told you not to leave me alone!” said Yara the moment Nadia picked up the phone.

“I’m in Rome. And no matter what is going on right now I really don’t care!” teased Nadia.

“Fahad found out about Osama and he disappeared in a very, very angry mood. I’m worried sick!”

“I told you that you should’ve told him about it”

“This is not the time for your lectures.”

“You can’t do anything now. Just wait till he calms down and he will call you”

“But what if he’s driving? He was very frustrated and I’m worried that he’ll hurt himself”

“He won’t! He’s a mature man. You should be able to have more control over your anxious thoughts. Now let me enjoy my last day in Rome and go deal with your mad issues” said Nadia and ended the call.

Yara didn’t find comfort in Nadia’s words and kept on calling Fahad till he finally picked up. “ARE YOU OK?” she asked in panic.

“Yes. I’m fine”

“Where are you? I looked everywhere!”

“Meet me by the entrance next to the fountain” he said and put the phone down. “We’re not done!” he said to Osama and left the car.

They both reached the entrance at the same time. “I’m sorry I never told you” said Yara.

“He just told me everything.”

“But what happened so suddenly? You just went to get coffee!”

“I met Dalal”

“What? And she brought it up? She’s still playing this game? And why would you believe her!”

“She didn’t lie this time! And it’s not appropriate to find out about it from her!” he said upset.

“I only did it because I didn’t want you to get hurt”

“I know but it’s not an excuse to hide it from me”

“I’m sorry” she said sincerely.

“I just want you to be focused on your exhibition right now. Let me walk you up”



Sloane Street was Nadia’s weakest point in London. It was cold but sunny that morning. She was walking around with her long hair looking as gorgeous as always with its big waves. Huge D&G shades covered most of her face and she had a fashionable black coat on with a belt that was tightened around her waist.

She was on her way out of Louis Vuitton carrying their brown bag in her hand when she suddenly spotted a very familiar face. An average height man, white skin and a goatee. He was wearing a black leather coat and holding a little boy’s hand. The world stopped. She stood where she was, and everything around her seemed to be on hold too. She stared at him pulling that kid carefully, watching his steps with a caring smile. That smile took her back in time, long back. She took slow steps towards him, and he turned around at the same time. He stared at her with his eyes glittering. “Nadia?”

Nadia was washed away by emotions, memories and crushed dreams. She stared at the kid smilingly with teary eyes:


“Yes. He finally came to the world”

Nadia lowered herself down and opened her arms for the kid. He refused to go to her and clinched around his father’s leg. “Go give auntie a big hug” he said and tried pushing him to her, but he refused again. Nadia smiled and stood up, “He has your nose” she said, still overwhelmed and shivering. He smiled and kept staring at her, “Shloanech?” he finally asked.

“I’m good, hamdilla” she answered nodding.

“It’s been years..”

“Long years”

“I heard that you got married” he said as he patted the kid’s head.

“I did..” she answered quietly and briefly.

“I was.. happy.. to hear that..” he said hesitant.

“You still live here?”

“Yeah. This little boy is British” he laughed.

Nadia smiled.

“What are you doing in London?” he asked.

“Short visit” she said and was interrupted by a woman who appeared from behind: “MOHAMMED” screamed the woman with her red lipstick and short, thick black hair. “COMING” he answered as he looked back at her. “It was really nice to see you, Nadia” he said and carried the little boy up.

“You too” she replied quietly.

“You still look as beautiful as you always did..” he said gently and walked away.

She watched him walk away carrying his son, Khalid. The son that they dreamed about once upon a time. She watched him walk to his wife, the woman who stole her love, her dreams and a man that was once hers..

Chapter 10. Complications

As he usually did every morning at ten, Fahad passed by the studio to give Yara a cup of her favorite coffee. She was sitting on her desk, focused on the laptop and going through the pictures she took in Beirut.

“Wow. That’s an excellent one” he said as he saw a picture of the sunset behind the Rawcheh.

“Yeah! I’m glad I got it right!” she said happily.

“I want to see the one of me and you. The one that Nadia took with that same view”

“Wait! I haven’t seen them yet!” she said and started skipping till she found it. “There..” she said grinning.

“I LOVE it” he said as they both stared at the picture. The Rawcheh was right behind them and they were standing on the left side of the photo. He had his arm around her and they both were laughing. He was in a black jacket with a striped black and gray scarf around his neck while she had a fuchsia shawl hanging loosely around her shoulders.

“E-mail it to me. I love how natural it is.”

Santosh walked in at that moment: “Madame, this came for you” he handed Yara a letter.

“What is it?” asked Fahad while Yara was reading it.

“It’s an invitation to participate in an exhibition in two months” she answered with her attention still on the letter.

“Oh! Where?”

“It will be held in Seef Mall.. and we’ll get to sell our photos”

“That’s awesome. An excellent opportunity for you”

“You think? I’m nervous!” she said as she put the letter down.

“Why nervous? You have a great collection. And you can always re-print old collections!”

“I’d rather have a theme”

“Even better. You can do it and you have enough time.”

“And I need money!”

“Don’t make this about the money. It’s your passion and it’s your career!”

“You’re right. I’ll just have to commit myself the coming two months to this event”

The door opened and they both turned around. They froze when they saw the face of that unwanted visitor. It was Manaf.

Al Salam Alaikum” he said.

Alaikum elsalam” they both replied dryly.

“Sorry to show up so suddenly. I need to speak to you” said Manaf . Yara looked at Fahad in a, you-can-go-now look, but he was hesitant to leave her alone with him. “I’ll be fine” she whispered.

“Call me” said Fahad and walked out without saying a word to Manaf.

“Yes?” said Yara facing him.

“Talk to her. Please”

“About what?” asked Yara folding her hands on her chest.

“You are the only person she listens to. Tell her that we should work this out. I don’t want to lose her”

“You just realized that?”

“She won’t listen to me, but she listens to you.”

“Listen to me Manaf. Nadia got hurt before, but none of the people who hurt her did what you did to her. None of them stooped down to your level”

He remained quiet.

“Are you really expecting her to forgive you? Or for any of us to try and put her in the arms of a cheater? We trusted you and treated you like family. We let you in our lives with open arms and you turn out to be that cheap?!”

“I know. Trust me, I know that what I did was bad, but..”

“Nadia is strong, she will get over this in no time and she will move on, but something inside of her will always remember this ugly feeling of being cheated on.” She said as they were still standing in the middle of the studio.

“I made a mistake. Being away most of the week is not easy..”

“Not an excuse. You lost our respect. Please don’t show up again. And stay away from Nadia!”

Meanwhile, Fahad was having coffee with Osama in the café and discussing the football match that Fahad attended. Yara walked in to pick up another cup of coffee and had a short chat with them both. Osama wasn’t focused on what she was saying, he was remembering what Dalal said about her not being honest to Fahad. He watched the way she communicated with Fahad, the way she looked at him and even the words she chose while speaking to him. There was something going on for sure between the two, he thought. But what if she really was not sincere like Dalal had said? He would never do anything that would risk his friendship with Fahad. But he still couldn’t put the doubt aside that it’s possible for Dalal’s words to be true, that Yara maybe wished that he was the one instead of Fahad. His admiration grew as he watched her speak passionately about her work and plans. And he felt the urge to try, to fight, and to do what it takes to find out her true feelings.

Yara meant to mention Dalal’s name to sense if anything was going on between her and Osama: “Did you tell Dalal to make you a copy of that CD you liked in Beirut?” asked Yara while staring at Fahad but monitoring Osama’s face expressions discreetly.

No expressions.

“No, not yet. I will call her now” said Fahad as Yara went back to the studio and Osama left the café.

“Hello” answered Dalal.

“Dalool, shloanech?


“Where is the CD that you promised?”

“Oh I forgot. I will do it today and pass it to you”


“Anytime. Is Yara with you?”

“No, she’s in the studio”

Dalal let out a sarcastic laugh.

“What?” asked Fahad.

“Yesterday she was saying that she needs a break from you!” said Dalal laughingly.

“Why would she say that?”

“Maybe she was joking. She was just saying that after spending so much time with you the past few days she needs some me-time! Give her some space..”


“Oh no don’t worry I’m sure that she didn’t mean it. Anyway, I’ll do the CD and pass it to you. See you.” She said and ended the call.

The new love excitement was suddenly replaced with doubt and fear. Yara never confessed her feelings to him. Her feelings were revealed through what she did and said, but she never spoke them out even when he did. He flew from a continent to another to see her and he had some strong feelings towards her and towards this relationship. It was the first time for him to fall in love with a woman after his divorce. He didn’t want it to go wrong again and he feared that maybe he was moving too fast.

His feet suddenly walked him to the studio with his doubts leading the way. Yara was holding her camera in her hand and staring at its screen when he suddenly walked in and stood right in front of her.

“What?” she asked and lowered the camera.

“Do you love me?”

Yara laughed nervously: “What’s with the question?”

“It’s a simple question. Yes or no?” he asked seriously.

“Fahad? What’s going on?”

“I waited for the perfect moment to say it but you never did! Does that mean anything?” he was becoming more serious with every word.

“I don’t have to say the words to show you that I do.” she said sweetly.

Fahad stared at her for few moments: “You can’t say it. You’re still not confident about your feelings and that’s why you can’t say it”

“So you’re doubting my feelings?”

Fahad took a deep breath and didn’t answer.

“And you’re saying that you can’t see it in my eyes? Or in the way I worry about you and care for you?” she asked in disappointment.

“Don’t turn this on me now!” he said angrily.

“What happened to you so suddenly? You were completely normal few minutes ago!”

“You’re still refusing to answer!”

“Come with me” she said as she walked to the armchairs still holding her camera. “Sit” she ordered him and he obeyed. She then sat next to him on the arm of the chair, put her hand around his shoulder and went through some photos of them in Beirut. “Look at all this. You don’t think that it means anything? Did I fail in any way to make you feel special? It’s normal for you to make the first moves and confess first because you are the man. You know that i’m not the kind of girl who’d make first moves or play games to get what she wants. It doesn’t mean that I love you any less”

He then picked her hand that was around his shoulder and kissed it softly, “You’re right. I’m sorry”

“I don’t know where did all this come from..” she said as she brushed his almost bald head with her hand, “but if it means so much to you…I love you”

Few hours later, Osama called Yara and asked her to meet him anywhere other than the studio or the café. Yara was certain that he wanted to talk to her about Dalal and avoid the chance of her running into them. They decided to meet up at Crepe Café in Budaiya right away.

“I love the smell of Crepe. One of my favorite things in life” said Yara after taking a deep breath.

Osama looked at her and smiled quietly.

“So, what’s so urgent?” asked Yara.

“I was hesitant, to tell you this, actually. But Dalal gave me the courage to do so..” He said.

“Oh you did the right thing. I’m here for both of you and I’m glad to help in any way I can. Me and Nadia have been sensing that something is going on between you two but Dalal refused to speak. She’s been acting strange lately. I hope that everything is ok?”

“Seems like we have a misunderstanding here” said Osama as he scratched his head.


“Dalal told me that the three of you thought that I was interested in her when I asked for her number, right?”

“Yeah! She told us that your call was work related. After that she started acting all different and weird!”

“When I called Dalal, I told her that I am interested in one of you, but it wasn’t her!”

“Nadia????” asked Yara in shock.

“No. You!”

“WHAT? Me? What do you mean ME?”

“I had no idea that you and Fahad liked each other. I thought that you were only friends.”

“I can’t believe this. No wonder she was hurt and quiet all this time”

“I didn’t mean to hurt her and I apologized. She then told me that you and Fahad liked each other. But few days later she told me a total different thing. And that’s why I asked to see you”

“What did she tell you?!”

“She said that you’re starting to get annoyed of Fahad following you around. And..that you wished that.. it was me instead!”

“I don’t believe this. This is impossible. Dalal would never say such a thing. Why would she?” said Yara trying to keep her voice down.

“So…that’s obviously not true then..”

“Osama. You are driving me insane right now and I am trying my best to remain calm. All I can tell you is that I love Fahad and he loves me and I can’t believe that you actually have your eyes on the girl he loves. I don’t know if you are coming up with all this or if Dalal lied to you but all this drama is very childish!!!!”

“I would never stab Fahad in the back. Trust me! And that’s why I’m talking to you privately. I needed to know the truth.”

“Why would Dalal do this to me? Dalal is my lifetime best friend and she would never come up with stories to ruin my life!”

“If I had any idea that you and Fahad were together I wouldn’t have called Dalal in first place. I might be responsible for all this mess but i didn’t mean for it to happen”

“I will not say any of this to Fahad because I don’t want him to get hurt. I wouldn’t want him to go through the pain of losing a friend just like I’m about to lose one!” said Yara as she got up and left furiously.

As soon as she got in the car she called Nadia and told her what had just happened. They both agreed that she should confront Dalal right away before accusing her of anything. She then called Dalal and asked to meet her urgently in Nadia’s house as soon as she can.

Yara was too frustrated when she arrived to Nadia’s house but she had to go through all the chitchats with Nadia’s family. She only got rid of that when Dalal arrived and they moved to Nadia’s room.

“Hello?” said Nadia answering her phone.

“Hey Nadia, is Yara with you?” said Fahad.

“Yeah she’s here, just a second” said Nadia and handed Yara the phone.

“Hi Fahad”

Wainech? I’ve been calling you for a while!”

“Oh. I’m sorry I must have left my phone in the car”

“Where are you?”

“Nadia’s house. Can I call you back later”

“Why do you sound irritated?”

“I’m not. I have to go now I will call you once I leave”

“Yara. What’s wrong?”

“Nothingggggg. I’ll call you later!” she said and ended up the call.


“What’s so urgent?” asked Dalal nervously sitting on Nadia’s bed.

“I was with Osama a while ago!” said Yara.

Without saying a word, Dalal suddenly broke down and cried.

“You did say that..” said Yara in disbelief.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry” said Dalal sobbing, “I don’t know what I was saying and doing. I couldn’t bare seeing you so happy with Fahad while the guy I had my eyes on was interested in you!”

Yara and Nadia stared at each other in shock. “So you try and ruin that for her? What kind of a friend are you!” screamed Nadia.

“You realize that by doing that you didn’t ruin anything for me, you ruined your whole life” said Yara.

“I never did anything like that before and you know that very well. You two are like my sisters. I just don’t know what had got into me this time!” said Dalal while wiping her tears.

“I lost my trust in you and I don’t think that I can forgive you for this. You tried to ruin my relationship with the man I love and make him lose his friend!! This is huge Dalal and I still can’t believe that you out of all people did this!”

“Trust is fragile. Once it’s broken, it’s hard to fix..” said Nadia.

Dalal gathered herself and got up, “Sometimes life gets tough and it becomes hard to control your feelings. You should understand. And I hope that you do someday!” she said and picked up her handbag.

“If you think that life is just about men then your life will always be tough. You traded our friendship with a guy who wasn’t even interested in you. This is Friendship 101: Never let a guy come between you and your friends” said Nadia.

“I’m sorry. I love you so much..” said Dalal and walked out..

Yara was driving home with her mind occupied with everything that happened on that day; Manaf’s return, Osama’s confession, and on top of all that, Dalal’s betrayal. She then remembered Fahad and his doubts. Is it possible that Dalal caused that too?! She called Fahad immediately.

“Did you talk to Dalal today?” asked Yara.

“Yes. To ask about the CD, remember?”


“Will you please tell me what’s going on?”

“Let’s just say that today..i have lost a good friend..”

Fahad came to understand that Dalal was trying to ruin his relationship with Yara, but he had no clue that the one who unintentionally caused all of this at first place was his good friend, Osama.