Beads Of Life – part one
The persistence of the tone woke her…
She wasn’t really sure of the time but she knew that it has to be night because it is still very dark. She reached for the lamp but couldn’t reach the button; she hated it when someone changed the position of the things placed by her.
The tone turned her unconsciousness into fear; who could ring her up at that time? Her heartbeat raced her hand to reach for the mobile. She didn’t look who it was as blood was rushing all over her face making her eyes tearing up. As she held the mobile, she miss-pressed one of the keys and heard: “sorry I didn’t want to wake you”. His deep warm voice came threw dashing cold water on her hot worried faced, “No” she said, “don’t be”.
His nervous voice and hurried words made her revive her worry. He said rushing his words out “I couldn’t sleep all night and I thought that you would wake now for Fajr prayer”.
Her sense of guilt overcame her worry, she should be awake by now, why wasn’t she, this damn mobile, it keeps messing the alarm, “yes, sure. What’s wrong? You worry me, please tell me. What’s wrong?”
“No, please don’t be. I know that you’ve suffered a lot, I don’t want you to suffer anymore. I have been speaking to my mum all night through”
“What’s wrong?” she was so curious now.
“We can talk later”
“No please. Tell me now”
“I don’t want to make you miss the prayer”
“Did you pray?”
“No, not yet”
“Let us pray and call afterward”
“Ok love” his silence made her heart beat even faster, “you know I love you, don’t you?”
“Love me” her voice came from her dreams. She wasn’t sure now that she was awake. “I have to go now. I’ll call you later”. She pressed the red key and kept the mobile in hand. She didn’t know what to do. She heard a movement in the living room and thanked God that her father was traveling on business at that night or it would have been a disaster. A man. A stranger, calling her in the middle of the night?
Her mother opened the door “I heard your mobile ringing. Who was it?”
“It was Ahmed. He told me he loves me”
Her mother smiled with a satisfied look, “Congratulations. You would never find a better person”
“I have to pray now and call him back”
“have you finished your period?”
“No, I completely missed that”
“Love can make more than that”
She got out of bed calling after her mum still looking for the button of her lamp. “Mum didn’t I say before don’t move a thing from its place”
“Clean your room, then, grumpy”
She went out of her room, to the bathroom. There was life now in the house as her sister woke up to pray as well. She smiled at her and closed the pink door of her and her sister’s bathroom. She stood opposite to the big mirror over the washing sink and looked at her face she felt beautiful for the first time. It is true that she was a little bit overweight and her hair doesn’t fall over her shoulders but she was the purest person she has ever met, also she deserves the best and he is the best. She splashed water on her face quickly wanting to go back to her room to sit by the phone and wait for his call. However, her urge to pee kept her in the bathroom for more moment. Now, she has to wash again and using the soap this time, more minutes. She didn’t dry her face, she can live with few drops on her face, those won’t kill her. But what will really kill her, was being away from him. He was her dream that she couldn’t even dare to dream. He was everything she has ever wanted and now he is coming to her.
True, he has just ended a three years old engagement, and maybe he is seeking comfort, but she can be his comfort, no his paradise. She knew deep in her heart that she is the woman that every man wants; young, beautiful, smart, good listener, calm, and sometimes funny – not with everyone though. She is every man’s dream and could actually be his, if only he gives himself a chance. She looked at the watch and realized that it has been 45 minutes, what is he praying all that time? They are only two Rak3az what is taking him so long? Did he change his mind already? Please God No. Please God No. Please God No. She repeated this over and over and over till her anxiety pushed her heart to her throat, it was thumping in her throat, she couldn’t breathe, She’ll faint now, now, or maybe die and all her misery fades.
“Do you want Nescafe?” Her sister’s voice interrupted her thoughts.
Should she call him, but if she calls he would feel that she is easy, or rushing him or pushing him. No, she should wait. But waiting is long, why doesn’t he just call?
“Here” The voice of her sister came again, handing her a big mug of coffee.
She sipped the coffee in silence looking to nowhere but feeling better as the warmth of the coffee penetrated her body calming it down. Her sister puts on the T.V. for the morning show, they were transmitting The Great Statue of Ramses the III from its square. The square has acquired its name from the great king’s existence, facing the Cairo Train Station welcoming, Cairo’s visitors and residents reaching their final destination in Cairo, the mother of the world as the reporter was explaining. Her mind took her again to wishing, and prying, oh how she wished to reach her final destination, she defiantly didn’t want to be stored in peace with no audience like that Ramsis Statue. They were showing how the slow movement of the statue, being put on a giant truck moving at the speed of 5 kilometers an hour. Her heart was must be moving faster, and if he is two hours late, so he has to be moving in the same paces as that statue. They have moved bridges, build ways, to make sure that that statue reaches its final destination, safely. The phone rang shaking her away from her absorption on the poor Ramsis Statue…
“Where have you been?” her voice came as worried as she could have ever voiced it.
“I’m sorry, my father saw me talking to you at that early time”
“He’s really so sensitive, you must have taken your sensitivity from him”
“No! He was ..” He stopped for a while then added: “Can we meet?” He stopped again as if in hesitation. “I know it is so very very wrong to meet”
“Why are you saying that?”
“We are not engaged or even talked about engagement, I am very sorry that I’m putting your reputation in danger, but I think I should meet you and tell you this face to face. I’m a man and I have to take responsibility to my actions”
“Of course you are a man, you are the best man I’ve ever known” She wanted to add that she has always been in love with him silently, but he has never felt her passion, but it is not important now he is hers finally.
“I’ve written you an email and I want you to read it, please”
“So this what took you so long, you sat there writing an email for me and leave me here to be eaten by worry”
“Don’t be, I’m really sorry, you are so precious and pure, you make me feel bad”
“Why? I would die first before making you feel bad. Please tell me What’s wrong?”
“I’m so so sorry.. I can’t tell you now.. I know I’m a coward” He stopped again then before she could tell him don’t say that you are my hero, he added “please I need to meet you”
“Don’t you want to ask your parents?”
She didn’t want to say “Don’t worry man, from when I ask my parents, and if I tell them it is you, they will jump out of happiness”
She said instead, “hold on, I’ll ask my mum and come back to you”
But he kept her, “I’m really sorry that I’m causing you those problems. Let me talk to her. I don’t want to cause you any annoyance. Should I call her on her mobile?”
“No, you don’t have to. She is already around” fearing his disappearance again.
She kept him on the phone and ran to her mum.
“mum, mummy, mama, mama, where are you?” She found her mum in bed sleeping a bit after praying fajr, She waked her up handing her the phone telling her “Ahmed, its Ahmed on the phone. He wants to speak to you”
“Hello, Ahmed! How are you dear?” Her voice carried all the welcome from every member in the family.
“Hello, Auntie! I’m just wondering if I could go out with Dina a bit, it would be quick and it can be in the morning.”
She jumped out of bed “of course dear, she is yours, and don’t rush back, take all the time you want, you need to stay together, of course I understand”
“No, I just want to tell her..”
“Of course dear. You just take care, she is with you”
She handed the phone back to her daughter raising her hands to the sky in prayers.
“Yes,” she said filled with content.
“So, 11 o’clock is fine”
“yes of course”
“Should we meet in front of the Cairo tower, we can go up a bit, it won’t take long.”
“But why the Cairo Tower?”
“I don’t want to put your reputation at risk”
“How is that?”
“if anyone sees you with me, a stranger, what would they say?”
“Ok! Let’s meet and decide where to go then”
“Ok, Love, buy”…