“He died! You think he died? She said he just fell on the floor all of a sudden! He died Nadia he died!” cried Yara in panic.
“Will you calm down and stop thinking these crazy thoughts! People faint everyday!” said Nadia while driving Yara to the nearest Emergency Room.
“They faint for seconds or minutes but not until the ambulance reaches!”
“Pray Yara. Pray that he is fine and that it’s nothing major instead of wailing” said Nadia when her car suddenly stopped in the middle of the road.
“Oh no! Please no. NOT NOW” screamed Yara as Nadia tried restarting the engine several times but with no luck. “Troubles come at once!” mumbled Nadia and pressed on the Hazard lights.
“I will walk. I can’t stay here and wait anymore!” said Yara as she opened the door and was about to leave the car.
“Are you insane? Stay where you are! I’m calling the driver now” said Nadia pulling her back in.
“No no I can’t wait. WHY IS OSAMA NOT PICKING HIS PHONE!”
“Yara please calm down so we can reach the hospital fast. You call a cab and I will call our driver. Let’s see who’ll reach here first” said Nadia while dialing.
“TEN MINUTES. IF I WALK I WILL REACH FASTER!” Screamed Yara and ended the call with the cab agency.
“The driver will be here any minute. Relax, please. You don’t want Fahad to see you like this”
“SEE ME? HE’S UNCONSCIOUS REMEMBER?”
“Stop crying. He’ll be fine! He’s strong and you know it” said Nadia sweetly.
“I never called him. If something happens to him I will never forgive myself” sobbed Yara.
“You will see him and you’ll tell him everything that you wanted to say. He’s not going anywhere” said Nadia as she removed Yara’s hair off of her face and patted her shoulder.
Osama was smoking by the front entrance of the Emergency when Yara and Nadia arrived, “OSAMA, WHAT HAPPENED? WHERE IS HE?” asked Yara as she approached him fast.
“He’s fine, he just woke up. First floor room #2” he said calmly with a puff of smoke coming out of his mouth. Yara ran inside while Nadia stayed with Osama.
Yara opened the door of room #2 to find Fahad lying in bed weakly with an IV inserted in his hand. She paused by the door for a second, pleased to see him alive and breathing. “hamdella” she whispered thankful and overwhelmed that she didn’t pay much attention to the lady that was sitting next to him with her hand on his. “I’m so glad that you’re ok” she said as she walked to him with tears streaming down her face.
The other lady stepped away.
“I’m fine, don’t worry” said Fahad in a tired voice.
“I was so scared..i thought that I lost you” she put her head on his chest and he hardly placed his hand with the IV on her back.
“It’s ok. I’m here” he whispered and kissed her head.
“What happened?” she sat straight and wiped her tears.
“Diabetes” said the other lady as she stood up and closed the button of her red coat. Yara looked at her and back at Fahad in confusion. “Did you even know that he is diabetic? I don’t think so. He never cared and seems like he still doesn’t” said the lady as she picked up her huge black Dior bag. “I’m Alia. His x-wife” said the lady and offered her hand to Yara to shake.
“Nice to meet you” said Yara shocked as she shook her hand and wiped her tears with the other hand.
“I never knew that you’re seeing someone” said Alia smiling at Fahad.
“We’re going to get engaged” he said looking at Yara and smiling.
“That’s great. You take good care of him please” she said to Yara and headed to the door.
Yara watched her as she walked out. She was a bit tall with a perfect body. Her soft black hair was tied up in a ponytail and her features were blending beautifully together; wide eyes, pumped lips and a nose that linked them perfectly together. “She’s gorgeous” said Yara the moment she stepped out. Fahad ignored her comment and stared at her with a smile. “Why was she here?” wondered Yara.
“Her name and number was registered for emergencies. It was never changed I guess” he said as he put his hand on hers.
“I’m so sorry I never called. Walla I was planning to do so tonight” she said with guilt.
“You have nothing to apologize for. I started it all”
“Let’s not talk about it now. You are really weak and you need to rest” she said and brushed his head with her hand.
“No big deal. It’s just a high level of glucose”
“It is a big deal! And you will get your share of yelling later for not telling me that you are diabetic!”
“You’re cute when you’re worried” He said laughing and he pinched her cheek.
“You take injections everyday?” she asked concerned.
“No. Just pills. I might’ve missed it last night or today”
“And don’t you have to watch out with food?”
“You’re unbelievable! Why are you so careless? This is serious you have to be more careful. This time it passed, next time it could lead to a diabetic coma!”
“I will watch out I promise” he smile.
“I can’t lose you Fahad. I went crazy just for the thought that something might’ve happened to you. So please take care of yourself, for me!” she begged.
“Anything for you” he said and kissed her hand.
Osama and Nadia were still standing by the entrance when Alia walked out and waved goodbye to Osama. “Can you guess who that lady is?” asked Osama daringly.
“Hmm, I don’t know but she is damn gorgeous” said Nadia.
Osama laughed, “Guess”
“Someone that you used to date?”
“Nope” he said with a smile.
“Good because you’ll be stupid to leave her!”
Osama laughed out loud, “You’ll be surprised. She’s Fahad’s x-wife!”
“Go away! This is his x-wife? And he left her? Tough luck Yara!”
“They were insanely in love with each other. But, you know, a lot of things get revealed after marriage”
“Yeah, of course! Scary how the divorce rate is increasing by the day”
“Women are independent now, they think that they can do without a man in their life. Reality hits them shortly and they get lonely all over again!”
“Watch it” she said offended.
“No offense! You are so easy to tease” he laughed and noticed Sara approaching from the parking lot.
“Hey. This is Nadia. Yara’s best friend” said Osama.
“Nice to meet you” she said and shook her hand. “Why are you outside?”
“I was smoking and then Yara came terrified. Giving her space.”
“Oh I can imagine. She never faced this before with him”
“It happens often?” wondered Nadia.
“Not often but he is so careless that it happens from time to time. That’s why I’m calm” she smiled.
“Did you tell your parents yet?” asked Osama.
“Yes they are on their way”
“Then I’ll call Yara and tell her to leave.” Said Nadia and took out her mobile.
“I’ll see her on my way up then” said Sara walking away.
“I’ll come with you” said Osama following her.
They met Yara halfway through the corridor. “Feeling better?” asked Osama.
“I’m better. I was so worried!”
“It’s all right. You’ll get used to it” said Sara jokingly and hugged her.
“I can’t believe that I didn’t know about it!”
“He doesn’t like mentioning it!” said Sara.
“And we have to pretend that it doesn’t exist!” said Osama.
“Come on, the least we could do is to remind him to take his pills and eat right” said Yara whining.
“He hates that!” said Sara.
“Yes, you want to lose him? Do that!” said Osama jokingly.
“Things will have to change. We could’ve lost him!” she said frustrated.
“Well, you’re the wifey now!” said Sara.
“Not just yet but until then, promise me that you’ll take good care of him Sara”
“Ha? How are you feeling now?” asked Nadia as soon as Yara got in the driver’s car.
“And how is he?”
“He’s weak. Sorry to keep you waiting”
“It’s fine I was with Osama. I also met Sara, she looks sweet”
“She is. Did Osama tell you about Fahad?”
“Yes and I was shocked! How could he hide something like that”
“I didn’t want to stress him with that now. Will talk about it once he gets better”
“And the x-wife!!”
“I KNOW. What kind of test is this!” said Yara with her hand on her face.
“Don’t worry, I understood from Osama that she’s just a beautiful figure from the outside. What was she doing here?”
“I’m not worried.”
“You don’t feel jealous?” teased Nadia.
“No” said Yara rolling her eyes.
“Maybe a little! It’s just that.. she looks amazing! I’m just an average looking girl”
“Beauty comes from within” said Nadia in a cliché tone.
“What a day! I’m so tired. I haven’t slept in two days” said Yara yawning.
“You need a good night sleep. Tomorrow will be a better day”
“Inshalla” said Yara as she rested her head back and closed her eyes.
“Hello?” Nadia answered an unfamiliar Bahraini phone number.
“Mohammed? Are you in Bahrain?” asked Naida shocked.
Yara opened her eyes widely as she heard his name.
“Yes. I’m here for a couple of days” he said.
“Why? Mohammed I begged you not to call me again!” said Nadia in a pleading voice.
“I’m here for work, and I need to see you”
“See me why? No. No. We shouldn’t!”
“Please Nadia. Just see me this time and hear me out and after that you’ll never hear from me again. That’s all I’m asking for”
“Ok, fine. I’ll take your word for that”
“Can we meet tomorrow morning?”
“Yes, do you know Yara’s studio?”
“Not really, it didn’t exist back then” he said in a cheerful tone remembering the past.
“I’ll text you directions now. See you tomorrow” she said and ended the call.
“Hey! My studio is not a dating spot!” said Yara.
“I don’t want to show up with him in public. Where else do I go?!”
“What’s going on? Why is he here and what does he want?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know..” answered Nadia nervous.
“We have to go and visit him” said Sajida the next morning when Yara told her about what had happened to Fahad.
“Visit him? But that won’t be appropriate. Nothing is official yet!” said Yara.
“The man is sick and we are his future in laws. It won’t be appropriate if we didn’t go! We have to show them that we have manners. And it will be a plus point for us, to show concern while they delayed their visit. They will only feel embarrassed” said Sajida mockingly.
“You’re wicked but I like your thinking this time!”
“Alright then, check on your sister, she must come too” said Sajida as she got up and headed to her room.
Yara stayed where she was, curled up on the sofa, thinking of what her mother had just said. A small part of her was worried about meeting his mother and how things will go between the two mums. It had to start somewhere. This was a golden opportunity for them to prove to Fouzia that her impression about Sajida could be wrong.
Nadia was waiting for Mohammed to arrive in Yara’s studio. She was nervous as much as she pretended that she wasn’t. Guilt didn’t allow her to dress up for him, but she wanted him to get fascinated by her beauty just like he always did. She wore skinny dark denim jeans with a dirty pink poncho style top. Her hair was falling on her shoulders in natural waves and she put on some light natural makeup.
She was sitting on one of the armchairs with her attention on her phone screen when he walked in. “Not so hard to find. Good location” he said as he took a step. Nadia raised her head up to see him by the door, flashing his beautiful smile with his Cartier shades covering his dark brown eyes. To her surprise, he was wearing a Grey wintery Thoab.
Her heart started beating fast unexpectedly. She had imagined this moment many times. She was certain that she would be able to rein in all her emotions and old feelings that had come up to the surface lately. But when she saw him smiling in that Thoab, looking as mature as he never looked before, and coming to see her after begging for it, she lost all control.
She stood up and he walked slowly to her until they stood face to face. He took off his shades and they stared at each other quietly. He was still smiling and she smiled as she looked into his eyes that spoke a thousand words. Without realizing how, she found herself buried in his arms. Her head was comfortably rested on his chest and her arms were around his back while he held her tight with his head on hers. “This is where I belong..” she whispered with teary eyes.
“I was hoping that we meet in better circumstances” said Sajida sitting next to Yara and Tamara in the hospital.
“This is Allah’s will. Inshalla many more to come and we were planning to meet you anyway” said Fouzia.
“How are you feeling Fahad?” asked Sajida.
“I’m fine hamdella. Happy that we finally got to meet, I heard so much about you” he said excited. Yara stared at him in a confused yet happy look.
“Me too my son” said Sajida as Sara offered her a tray of chocolates.
“Thank you dear I’m on a diet” said Sajida.
“Come on, just one for the gahwa” insisted Fouzia.
“Alright. Can’t say no to this pretty girl anyway” said Sajida as she picked up a piece. Sara blushed and moved to Yara with the chocolate trey. They looked at each other trying to hold a laugh.
“You only have those two daughters ha?” asked Fouzia.
“Yes, I just wanted one child. You can see the huge age gap between the two.” Said Sajida as she took a bite of the chocolate and Fouzia handed Sara the coffee thermos.
“Watch it. You don’t have to explain everything” Whispered Yara to her mother. “What did I say now?” whispered Sajida back.
“Which grade are you in Tamara?” asked Fouzia.
“8th grade” answered Tamara shyly.
“And which school do you go to?”
“Oh so you studied in a private school too Yara?”
“No, I went to government schools” answered Yara politely.
“Not that we had any financial problems. But Government schools were really good back then” explained Sajida in her usual money talk and Yara hit her leg. Fahad noticed and couldn’t help laughing.
“I was telling Fahad yesterday that we should go out and have dinner together to get to know each other” said Fouzia.
“What about the proposal?” wondered Sajida. Yara hid her head with her hand in embarrassment.
“I think it would be much nicer if we get to know each other first so things won’t get so awkward when we come and propose” said Fouzia nicely.
“Yes you have a point” said Sajida convinced.
“Let’s plan it now then. Where would you like to go khalty?” asked Fahad sweetly.
“I like this boy!” said Sajida looking at Yara.
“It’s up to you, anywhere will do” said Yara out of respect to Fouzia.
“I insist. I want khalty Sajida to pick the place” said Fahad enjoying Sajida’s reactions.
“Hmm, not that I go out much but my favorite restaurant has always been Sato” said Sajida.
“You got it. When shall we go?” asked Fahad.
“Once you get better. How can you decide now when you’re still sick?” said Fouzia.
“I’ll be dismissed today”
“She’s right. We’ll plan it once you get your strength back. And you better do so soon” warned Sajida.
“I’m avoiding you for this very reason. I don’t want to lose control and say things that we’ll regret later” said Nadia as they were sitting on the armchairs.
“I’m missing you insanely these days. Especially after I heard about your divorce”
“But things will only get harder now. We didn’t see each other for years. You left the country and started a family. And in a moment out of time we met by coincidence and everything changed”
“So things changed for you too?”
“Of course. Everything turned upside down. But I had to be dry with you so things won’t escalate”
“I never forgot you. I had to move on. We both had to. I’m sure that you understand what I mean”
“Nadia you know that I was never in love with Reem. She was just an available option who had no goals in life other than getting married”
“Don’t say that about her. It’s not fair. She left her whole life here and went with you!”
“But I always wished that it was you Nadia. You were and still are special”
“But I chose my life over you. This could be enough reason for you to hate me” she said sadly.
“It worked for a while, and it helped me move on. But now all I can see is a different life that we could’ve had together. My current life is.. cold. I’m focusing on my career, and when I come home I don’t find the warmth that I need. Reem is a lovely girl. Me and Khalid are her whole life. But she fails to fascinate me, to steal me away from everything just like you do” he said and reached for her hand.
“I recently realized.. that choosing my life over you was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made” she said holding his hand.
He looked at her warmly and got closer, “and you realize that I’m not happy. I am content, but not happy”
“Don’t get me started. What did I get from this life that I chose? Manaf and his betrayal? Being with him was a failed attempt to get over you anyway” she confessed in frustration without looking at his face.
“Look at me Nadia. You think that we still have a chance?” he asked as he held her chin and turned her head to him gently.
“Are you crazy? Of course not” she panicked and pulled her hand out of his.
“There must be a way. We can’t let go of each other all over again and repeat the same mistake”
“How? You are a father and you have a stable marriage. Don’t expect me to ruin this for you!” she warned him.
“It doesn’t have to be ruined.”
“What the hell are you saying Mohammed? Please stop, please! We agreed that this will be the last time we talk and see each other” she said and stood up.
“Please wait. Don’t say anything now. Just think about it. Think of a way and I will too. I want to be with you, I really do. And I know that you want that too. Please think about it and be selfish. We have to be selfish and not live our whole life for others!”
“It’s too late. Let’s forget that this conversation had ever happened” She said as she picked up her handbag and walked out.
“She’s not bad!” said Sara as soon as Sajida and her daughters left the room.
“Ee walla, I expected her to be much worse than that!” said Fouzia.
“It’s lovely that you liked her but it’s funny how you’re judging the mother when I’m marrying the daughter” joked Fahad. They both laughed, “The girl seems nice. She’s not beautiful though, very average looking” said the mother.
“Don’t be mean mama!” said Sara.
“I’m only being honest” said Fouzia while pouring milk tea in a cup.
“Once you get to know her better you’ll see how beautiful she is” said Fahad with a happy smile.
“But that was a lesson for you mama. You shouldn’t judge people based on what you hear. You should always find out by yourself” said Sara.
“It was obvious that what I had heard through people was somehow true. She said some unreasonable stuff. But I expected much worse” said Fouzia defending herself while sipping some tea.
“Women always exaggerate” said Fahad sarcastically as he reached for his mobile and BBMed Yara:
Fahad: All good. She likes you both.
Yara: Really? What did she say???
Fahad: Doesn’t matter. Are you happy?
Yara: Of course I am. I was so worried that my mum would say something and ruin it all.
Fahad: I LOVED her. She’s so much fun!!
Yara: Wait until you get enough of her.
Fahad: I never will! She’s not bad at all! You just have to know how to get to her.
Yara: That’s what Nadia says!!
Fahad: As long as everything is set for me and you, what do you say about hooking up Nadia with Osama??
Yara: haha why so suddenly!
Fahad: Why not.. and it will be so cool, the four of us hanging out together.. I can imagine Dalal killing herself.
Yara: You just have to go on and on and on with your plans.. we can’t force it.. let it be.. they are old enough to realize it if they have feelings for each other..
Fahad: We should push it.. It will be good for both of them
Yara: Can we focus on us for now? We still have a lot to do!
Fahad: Right. Love you xx
“I was too nervous to meet his mum! She’s not so easy going and I felt that I was being judged. But Fahad said that she liked both of us” said Yara while having lunch with Nadia at Café Italia in City Center.
“Good” said Nadia with a distant mind.
“What’s wrong? You’re too quiet! Will you please tell me what happened with Mohammed!! What did he want?!”
“Nothing. It was more of a good bye” said Nadia quietly.
“Come on! What happened?”
“Can we make today about you only please? It’s a big day for you and I don’t want to talk about my issues”
“But I can see that you’re sad!”
“And I want to be happy for you. So let’s put my issues aside today and I promise that we’ll talk about it tomorrow”
“Whatever makes you comfortable”
“Dalool called me a couple of days ago”
“Oho! What does she want now?”
“You won’t believe it! She was asking if it’s true that Fahad proposed to you!”
“WHAT? How did she know? I can’t believe her. She has sources from all around the country!”
“I know! She tried to make me feel guilty for taking sides”
“So the news spread already?!” asked Yara in shock.
“Can you believe it? But it’s normal since Fahad’s mother asked around about you and your family”
“I guess. I really don’t care anymore. As long as things are ok let the whole world know” said Yara in excitement.
“I’m so happy for you. It’s a dream come true for me, seeing you married to the one you love” said Nadia emotionally.
“Aww. Let’s not get so carried away with feelings now, I’m starving! What shall we order?” said Yara as she opened the menu.
“Damn! I got overwhelmed with all what happened yesterday and I totally forgot about the debt!” said Yara and put her knife and fork down half way through lunch.
“What debt?” asked Nadia while eating her penne pasta.
“That man called me and he was really upset! He wants his money back immediately and he threatened to go to court!”
“Oh no! What will you do?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t. But I really really need to get done with this even if it will mean selling the studio”
“Why don’t you talk to Fahad?” suggested Nadia and took a sip of her diet coke.
“Not now. He will feel responsible since we are practically engaged and he will insist on paying. I really don’t want that to happen”
“True. Finish your food now and we’ll think of something to do. There must be a solution”
Just when they paid the bill, Yara’s phone rang. It was Fahad. She answered as she was putting her wallet back in her classic Louis Vuitton spy bag.
“Where are you?” asked Fahad angrily.
“City Center. What’s wrong?” asked Yara confused.
“City Center? Really? I am sick in the hospital and you are roaming around City Center?” screamed Fahad.
“What is the matter Fahad? Calm down”
“How considerate of you! I’m extremely disappointed”
“Calm down this is not good for your health! Why all the anger?”
“Come here right now!” he said pissed off and ended the call.
After leaving the mall immediately and heading to the hospital nervously, Yara entered Fahad’s room to find him lying on his bed calmly with a smile on his face. She stared at him with a blank face. He laughed out loud on her reaction, “come here” he said.
“What happened to you? One minute you’re yelling and the other you’re laughing! You will drive me insane!” she said too confused as she walked to his bed.
“Sit down” he ordered.
She shook her head, sat on the edge of the bed with her hands folded on her chest waiting for an explanation.
“Close your eyes” he said and reached for the drawer next to him, opened it and got a small jewelry box out of it. He then reached for her right hand and pulled it towards him, “open your eyes” he said.
The moment she opened her eyes he placed a sparkling solitaire ring in her ring finger that took her breath away. She gasped and put her left hand on her chest with her eyes glittering. “Now you’re officially mine” he said as he lift her hand up and kissed it.