She never walks away…

Her hands  trembled and her eyes sparkled with shields of glass made of hot grains of anger. She cries easily. Whenever she is so emotionally charged, she pours it all out quickly and that  helps her shrug off anything quite fast.. fast enough for people to take her for granted. She could feel the thoughts in her head strangling the words in her throat, nothing is coming out of her. A knife is tearing her within and her brain is too shocked to trigger a scream or an SOS.

The current times are no different from the times before. Her life seems to have been going on for an era upon era and history always .. always repeats itself. She is older and wiser, and she could see that all her beginnings and all her endings are identical. Like low-budget movies happening in a poor studio with the same scenery and cast. The writer is masterful though, convincing her every time that she is starring in a new blockbuster, but in fact the story never changes.

She is the enemy of her own self . She has got to admit it. Her mind is always working to dwindle the efforts she exerts in search of a new road, where beginnings have a colorful sunrise, and endings are painted with a promising sunset.

But she thought she was finally approaching peaceful acceptance, this state of being but images (1)not actually being. It is the negativity enshrouded in a false positive aura. Acceptance.. the word created to subdue our ambition to change and our graceful attempts to reach higher.

However, it was pointless to struggle or hang on to false hopes; her relationships are all carbon copies. There will never be a right person, she always attracts the wrong ones. No.. that’s not accurate..SHE is the problem. She induces a strange behavior from those around her. Putting them under pressure with her expectations, protective instinct, and too much caring, they feel guilty .. morally obliged to reciprocate when they do not genuinely want to. And then, they go down the path of resistance.. the tormenting road of confusion and hesitation. They want her or they want her not. One day they bring her closer, the next they kick her out; driving her mad, with ruthless false shiny hopes, while they toil with decisions. Until one day… they tell her off, because too much care and love could kill.. both.. the lover and the beloved!

the_lost_ship_by_shue13-d7ogelhShe has to accept that the problem lies within, and fixing it is beyond her. All she could do is stop being passionate and hopeful. She must never get excited about new relationships. People are nicer when they are standing on the shore of her life.  They all think they want to join her boat, but the minute she lets them on board, it seems all they want to do is jump out. “No problem, but please do not break my ship before you go… please!” Yet, they do.. and the journey seems to always be about patching up the ship while it is aimlessly floating. The helm has no captain and the boat no haven.

Lately, she had believed she regained control. She had thought she finally acquired deceptive indifference towards life. So how did she end up feeling so violated and offended!

Approaching her thirties, and she still is as emotionally strung as a teenager. Words and looks affect her, take her up or down, shake her head, and bring her inside out. No confidence in herself whatsoever yet she still trusts people and she lets herself become vulnerable over and over.

Once more, she finds herself reliant on the subtlest gesture of tenderness and affection from someone else’s end,  and the simplest of words to soothe her and reassure her, to keep her balanced until it’s time for the next dose of confidence boost.

Obviously, he has read her book cover to cover. She has granted yet another person the power to play with her mind and mess it up, blow up her brains and tip off her fake sense of stability and inner peace. Someone else can make her very happy or very sad, ecstatic or depressed.

It’s all coming back to her now; the anxiety and the restless wait for emotional confirmation, for the very little attention, for a hint here or there to make her feel like the woman she never was and never will be.

They were all attracted to her because her care was limitless. They softened against her eagerness to give despite their stinginess. Her loyalty shocked them, it’s like nothing they have experienced before. They soothed her with their sweet words and then stabbed her with their indifference. They flew her to the moon and then flagrantly shrugged off responsibility the minute she had let her guards down. She would swallow her pride and continue to give, regardless. Never once did she leave. She stayed … while they walked all over her, sucking up her energy, drying up her fountain, and soaking up all the passion she could offer to the world.

Like many of her friends, she had declared earlier to the world her affirmed disbelief in white-horse-300x187Love. But as with all issues of the soul, secretly, she has never ceased wishing it existed. She has become a realist and a cynical on the surface, but a hopeless romantic inside, waiting for a prince charming to rock her earth from a parting between the clouds.

And here he is now. Casually, prancing around with a phony shield on a frail horse, armed with the fewest of words..words that her immature self still craves.

He says the cheesy lines, she soars, he turns around, and he acts indifferently. The actions once more leave her bewildered and abandoned, confused and wounded.

No.. this time it is a big fat NO.

She couldn’t remember how many streets did she roam before she found herself standing in front of his door. The tears with the words flooded out:

“Please Stop!

“The only thing I ask of you is to stop and to leave me alone. Stop saying the things you do. Stop using my vulnerabilities against me. I trusted you! If you are just doing this to make me constantly hooked .. to keep me addicted, don’t! I promise you I am not going any where. I will continue to give regardless, because I do care about you and I want to continue to give. But I beg you.. spare me the sweet talk, the insincere promises, the fake insinuations, and the vague commitments. If you do not want to be with me, do not make me think otherwise. 

If you cannot make a decision, then stop looking at me as if you want nothing else from the world but me. If you are scared of who you are when you are around me and you do not want this person, I understand. But you do not have to show me that cold face and push me away with shoulders made of steel.  I do not want yet another person who is torn between admitting or resisting me.

“Don’t play with me the wicked game of words. It could kill me and I do not want to believe that you would actually enjoy or want that.

“So just please let me be! “

images (2)She turned around and left! She knows she will still show up tomorrow and the days after, because she never walks away, but they always do…

 

 

 

 

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An Unfinished Story

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We are moving on…

She is always deleting pictures of her ex-husband.

She is deleting songs she performed with her ex-husband.

But there is just one problem. Her son.

Her 5-year old is always in the picture or his voice is always in the background of songs in her head. Her son is always in  her ex’s face and the latter exhibits himself confidently in her son’s eyes, cheeks, and smile. Sons always look like their fathers, but she will make sure he doesn’t become him.

She muttered under her breath while struggling with a decision to delete one of the pictures that has her husband carrying her son and waving to the camera.

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Every time she finishes a chapter of her life, she sticks a one-word description tag to it. Why do we always add a post-it note on our memories wall with a commentary or a judgment?

So what if people used to be nice, but they are not anymore? We still shared treasured moments.. moments when life stood still and passion was a driving force. People are not inherently bad. Essentially, it is claimed that all deeds are committed for a good cause, yet we still categorize ourselves and others.

The law of existence is change. Our bodies are the biggest validation of this nemesis. It is useless and unjustified to request of each other to carry on being the same people we met few years earlier or even an hour ago.

When relationships end, it doesn’t necessarily mean a party is bad and the other is better. It could just mean we changed in different directions. We used to work out; our personalities clicked at the “match-point”. But life continues to happen, time prints its marks on our faces, and other people invade our space diversifying our perception and our needs. We become sadder or happier, wiser in our very own way, but we may no longer match. The new me, may not be able to co-exist with the new you, because we are not who we were before, but you know what; that’s OK.

It doesn’t mean I am bad or you are. It doesn’t mean I am giving up on you or I want to intentionally hurt you. It just means the circle has turned around and new era is beginning. An era where I will always have you in my mind but I won’t be capable  download (2)of having you beside me. It’s a phase where others may get closer in the picture than you. I won’t accuse you of changing and you can’t either.  Changing is not a crime we could hold each other accountable for. It does hurt to accept that we are no longer going to be together, but as cheesy as it sounds, nothing lasts forever; even love or life, even passion, even obsession, even you .. even me!

I would never ask why we met if we weren’t meant to be. I would never wonder why you strayed away from the road we pledged to embark on at the beginning; I would never ask why or when have you stopped loving me, I would never ask questions with no context within our transient life frame.

Instead, I will be grateful for the times we had, for the memories we cultivated, for the life we breathed into people around us when we were who we used to be together. I will accept downloadthat our circles collided and hitched for a certain distance. I won’t try to erase you from my past, because I will be distorting my present and future, I will be deforming myself. And despite everything I still like “me” too. I like who I am and who I have become, and what I have now because of you.

So my friend, or love, or ex, or whoever you are, we shall move on. And I won’t tear your pictures or delete your songs. We are moving on.. no hard feelings, just wide-open arms and a graceful invitation for life: “Bring it on!”

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The Princess & The Witch

I am utterly disconnected from; my childhood and teenage dreams, intensity, and passion. I usually sit in the car looking at a sky dense with the world’s prayers, hopes, and fears, and I can sense little me somewhere there .. calling me, but I can’t see her.

There was a time when looking at the heavens unlocked heavy doors to worlds of infinities; where authentic streets blurred under  home-cooking smoke, spiraling from romantic chimneys of brown cottages overlooking heart-shaped lakes and streams of flowing possibilities.

But I can no longer pierce through the thick clouds.

There was a time when all I had to do was glance at the sea to be washed off its shore on a tender foam to universes where princesses dwell and gentlemen exist; where fairies fill up the air with magic dust, and happy endings prevailed. I could conjure myself on a 494534839terrace in a small house embraced by a mythical green mountain on a white cloud up high. I’d be having my morning coffee with my hair down while stories of people, life and love formed and dispersed before me. I’d be the heroine of my own paradise, a utopia where solitude doesn’t jeopardize popularity and beauty is immeasurable.

There was a time when all I had to do was close my eyes to sense the world through me, trace life as it cleanses my veins down to the smallest corner driven by my passion. My imagination refused to believe that I was living in replay, that life was actually lifeless, that dead people roamed on their feet and inhabited earth, that our needs can block the flow of possibilities, or that our minds can easily become our first enemy, sarcastically, in its own quest for a better life.

With imagine-less spirit, I watched with my daughter a Disney movie the other day. It sucked me in. I dive in intensely while I follow the eternal story of the princess and the witch, who would just not let her be happy. My eyes tear up mourning my princess who died giving up to my witch. My daughter asks: “Mommy, why are you watching?! These are not for big people!”

I look at her confused and in loss of words.

Princess-Snow-White-and-Witch-Coloring-PagesI was emotionally invested over a fairy tale. But I know now better than anyone, that fairy tales do not exist for real. The prince doesn’t come on a white horse, the princess beauty doesn’t always save her, and love doesn’t last forever, if at all. Passion is fleeting, but settling down is what we are fed. Put your feet down and try to stop the motion of the earth with your toes, try to stop moving, though everything around you is. We give in to the witch and eat her apple, because we are scared to taste other fruits.

The only true thing about fairy tales is the witch. Who is the witch? No one knows, but the witch exists every where. The witch is inside us, trying day and night to convince us that the story of the princess never happened; that such places where nature begets beauty everywhere doesn’t exist; that the prince was never born in the first place, and that as a witch she has never lost before.

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A Dusty Condo

He hung up the phone. It was a fixed phone on a small dusty white corner table in the living room of his white city condo. It was so noisy outside.. he has never noticed the download (1)neighborhood was that crowded. But he hardly lives here anyway. It is merely a transit station, a place where he can change, refill, or adjust a life he pursues out of a suitcase.

He closed the window and headed to the kitchenette counter, where a jar of black coffee was hot waiting for him to pour his early morning cup, the one that follows his first shot of tea with milk. He arrived yesterday so very late at night, but made sure his coffee machine was working for the morning.

It was a surprise for him to discover he has a traditional phone in his house. Irony hits again; traditional way for the last and final goodbye to a relic from a past he couldn’t todeschi-2AB-photo-courtesy-of-telephoneteca.com_accept letting go of. Something is nostalgic and hopelessly romantic about hanging on to fixed phone speaker when you are being dumped by a love you never had or realized you did.

Silence tumbled heavily upon the condo. He could smell it mixing with the dust circulating in the air every time he moves or shifts something from one place to the other. Extensive cleaning is required. All it needs is few hours of his time to take care of his condo, clean up all the unnecessary stuff and blow away the dust.

He walked slowly towards the window overlooking the ancient city, slowly sipping his bitter coffee. He has stirred in his regular one spoon of sugar, but it has obviously failed to sweeten it up this morning.

It is not the first time he has gone through this weird sense of loss. A strange and unexpected loss .. for how can one lose something one never had,  or never admitted its ownership. He didn’t want to own anything. Nothing binding. He was a naturally born roamer, all havens have failed to get him to drop his anchor.

He cultivates memories wherever he goes. He makes friends and acquaintances, get them used to him, but never getting attached. He has taught himself this lesson quite well. He never cries when he leaves no matter how tough it can be. He has let go of everything, except her.

She conjures a period in time that made him genuinely happy. And genuineness is something he rarely experienced. It was just what she represents, but not about her per se.

He opened up the closed window. The cold air from outside evoked a tremor down his spine that brought him back to the present. He put on an empty smile and said with a loud voice:

– “Alright, then here goes another chapter. Moving on! let’s do some cleaning up,” he talked to himself .. and all the skeletons in the closets scattered around that small space, which represents his one and only investment in something rooted. He went to a long white cabinet in a corner behind the coffee counter, and took out few cleaning tools.

Loss is something he can deal with. It will be a couple of days before it’s all over, or won’t it? It is positively not about her. It is true she stirred something in him he couldn’t articulate, something intuitive and basic, a refreshing atmosphere every time their eyes collided. He may have gotten addicted at some point. Still She drove him crazy, made him angry like no one else did.

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Nothing was meant to go this way. It was all easy fun. But when things began to get so confusing that’s when he sympathized with people who claim to have encountered love. She is the only woman he wanted to slap and cry in her arms at the same time. He wanted to break her and love her till the world disappears. It was a maniac case of love and hate, need and resentment, obsession and indifference, passion and apathy. They were the modern “Wuthering Heights” protagonists.

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He couldn’t wait to run away, only to find himself crumbling helplessly around her. She was his muse and devil. The angel and the wanton.

Whether she has ever loved him or not is a question that will be sustained by sweet memories without an answer due to insufficient evidence and worse of all their decision not to take any bets.

It was a mutual decision. They both knew it was over before it even began.  Like a doctor struggling in a case he knows more than anyone else is predetermined to a tragic ending. They were drifting away. It doesn’t matter if he wasn’t willing to change or if she suffered from her own expectations, because the closer they got, the further away they were. It was life slipping away between their fingers.

They had to quit it, give up, end the story themselves before the writer decides for them! That’s how he has always done it and that’s how he will always do it. Fate is a matter we take in our own hands and he will never confiscate control of his own life to anyone or anything. It was the right thing to do.

Struggling with the broom and the soft hiding dust, he muttered to himself: “I was just being practical. We were never meant to be together, so leave me alone!”

Though how they affected each other was beyond him.

He cared for her but he would never let anyone walk on him willingly or not ever again. He loved himself more.

He moved on and so did she. But moving on turned out to be different from letting go. He remained attached to her shadow, her voice.. it was good to keep her on the side of his life where he can count on finding her whenever he needs but never let her in.

It was all in his hands until she decided to tie the chord of the speaker around his neck and set her shadow free … forever.

 

 

 

 

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Closures

Closures!

Because everything ends.

Regardless, how eternal we would like to believe some things are; closures, ends, finales are always looming around the corner. No matter how big the book is, all stories, all thoughts, all ideas, must come to an end. Some endings are final and some are open, left for time, yet time’s essence is mortality.

“This too shall pass,” says the old wise man. It doesn’t matter how far the sweet taste of happiness linger, or how long the heart bleeds; how long sadness descends like suffocating fog, or how far joy strikes through it. It will all pass. We are not here to stay and nothing remains forever. Cheesy, right? Nevertheless, it is such an abundant and recurrent fact of life that our minds have stopped realizing it.

Closure should be the one thing we teach ourselves and our children to accept. Some images (1)would argue, it’s not closures in itself, it’s change.. change is the nature of all things, but no.

When we change, we evolve.  We stop existing in a previous form, physical and mental. I have stopped being the younger me, I have stopped being the innocent hopeful, I have stopped  being the inexperienced, I have stopped being a believer in humanity, I have stopped being wishful. Even more, the process of change itself cease to happen at the point of no possibility for adaptation.

And so it shall be, forever and ever, closures. We embark on the journey and our mind will deny the reality of the road.. its vanity, its impeding ending, no matter how long it runs or how sweet or bitter the trip is.

And here goes another train, halting at the final station, once and for all.

 

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19 Personal Observations from Thailand

After a massive strategic lobbying campaign launched by my husband throughout the year, and after a series of unfortunate events, I was forced into accepting taking a winter break in Thailand for 10 days.

I have nothing against this part of Asia, but it isn’t on my list of priority destinations to visit. I am more of a Europe girl, may be because I am a middle-easterner, or because my love to nature is not as grand as my passion for cities. I have always thought that once I am done with as much Europe as I can do, I could start exploring Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and China.

Nevertheless, my husband, who is a huge Thailand fan, has put me under a huge moral pressure, and I ended up agreeing to travel, taking kids too. It was very tiring, but it wasn’t half bad.

Here are some personal observations from my trip, bearing in mind, I only got to see Phuket for four days and Bangkok for six:

1. Did you know that Thailand is now a destination for medical tourism? When my boss told me that, admitting that he, along with his entire family, fly every year for their annual full check-ups, I thought it was a bit over the top. Why would anyone go anywhere in Asia for medical advice?! It’s not Germany!

But Bangkok does receive thousands of medical tourists from all over the world. The best two hospitals downtown as I was advised, are: Bumrungrad and Bangkok hospitals. Doctors are not Europeans. They are either Thai or Chinese, and they are very good listeners. You would think they would want you to do as much tests as possible to rip money off your back, but that wasn’t the case. Tests that were generic in nature were never recommended. Our doctor actually mentioned they were unnecessary for us, a case which doesn’t happen where I come from, specifically where medical insurance is applicable.

Both hospitals were well-prepped to receive patients in the most convenient way, providing as many languages as possible. There was even a special registration desk for Arabic speakers. Interpretation was available for those who do not speak English at all to be able to communicate with a doctor. There was indeed a culture of customer service all over Thailand, which was highly evident in Burmrungrad hospital.

I wasn’t really excited about the check-ups. I thought it was going to be a one day full of errands and bureaucracy but that didn’t happen. Just talking based on my own personal experience, in comparison to the Middle East, medical care in Thailand even in such a fancy place as Bumrungrad is quite cheap. Again this view may not be shared by  Thai people themselves.

2. There is a huge discrepancy between what you see in Phuket and what you do in Bangkok. Phuket, and specifically Patong, is a very poor area, which westerners have chosen as a run-away from their expensive sophisticated lives. Thai culture and style is not very dominant in Phuket. Poorer Thai are there working for the business expats who are living like kings and queens with the peanuts they are spending. Open a Scuba diving business, ethnic food restaurant, a cafe’ or even a Vespa rental shop and you have enough money to make you a sultan in simple and cheap Phuket, where everything can be bought for a day including women sometimes.

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3. The beauty of nature in Phuket is not done just yet. It’s above and beyond anything, and I didn’t even get to see Phi-Phi Island! I know .. don’t laugh at me. I was only there for four days and the weather wasn’t very good during that time, they had to cancel our trip twice.

4. Phuket is essentially a honeymoon destination or a place to go to if you want to have some ‘me‘ time. If you are planning to go with your kids, you will be staying mostly inside your hotel to keep them within a safe beach and pool environment. In which case, any resort around the world would have done the trick.  But to see that part of Phuket you read about and hear of from your friends, you must have no fear of being in nature and you must be kids-free. Phuket can also get to be a very inappropriate place for kids especially in Patong by night! I am sure you know what I mean.

5. I discovered in this trip too that certainly Asian food is not all the same! I now know for sure that I do not like Thai food. I know lots of readers will find that strange but there was something about it that my taste buds utterly refused. I prefer Chinese.

6. In Phuket, we stayed at the “Merlin Beach Resort”. A nice place at the very end of Tri-Trang after Patong. It’s quite distanced from the buzzing life there. It has a small private beach, between two breathtaking green cliffs, but it seems that no one dared venture into its waters or sands. I saw a few animals crawling in the early morning, but I decided no way for me. Again, I know at heart I am not a fan of wild nature. The hotel though can do with a little more refurbishment. There were no insects or geckos or lizards in our room, but there were ants. Food served at all hotel restaurants is not the best. Nevertheless, their massage facility and therapists are exquisite and top-notch.

7. In Phuket and Bangkok alike, I found it very uncomfortable that some massage places have glass windows through which one can see people receiving treatments or waxing their eyebrows! Really?! It makes me feel awkward! Also most therapists were women, not sure again if this has any cultural implications or roots.

8. When you go to Bangkok, you immediately realize that Phuket was abandoned for tourists! Like all cities, Bangkok is where all Thai people go, to pursue urbanized life. We stayed at the Intercontinental, right in the heart of the city, But the minute you get in the car from the airport, Bangkok feels just like Cairo. check two pictures below, Bangkok on left, Cairo on right.

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You may have not been to Cairo before, but Bangkok to me and I am a Cairene feels just like home.

Same extreme juxtaposition between poverty and richness. The street vendors told off by police and security because they are bothering visitors of higher-end outlets and malls, pollution, unbelievable traffic, same bridges, same smell of smoke hanging in the air, same old grumpy people trodden by the fast paced life they could no longer keep up with.

If it wasn’t for the amazing extravagant malls and the SkyWalk as well as the Buddha statues everywhere, I would have thought we are in Cairo. Event their Bhat coin looks exactly like our One pound coin.

9. Bangkok is really a shopping destination during this time of year. Never seen such craze of discounts. I think I have done more shopping than I ever did anywhere else.

10. In terms of culture and art, there are definitely a lot to see. But they are all the same, given the fact that most of the temples or artifacts are about 200 years only! When it bkk_2792832bcomes to monuments and stuff like that, I wasn’t impressed. It is not about lack of beauty or wow factors, I don’t know… may be because I come from the lands of the Pharaohs.

11. The river boat trip was a big disappointment; could be due to the fact that I compared it to the Nile or may be because the trip pamphlet pitched it as a Venice-like cruise! The tour took us along the river where we met few of the floating vendors and saw how poor people are trying to keep their houses over the river suspended and habitable. They are not getting help from anyone. And just like in Cairo, the poor tin roofs are hanging by a thread side-by-side the teak-wood grand palaces.

12. Almost everyone in Bangkok is fashionable in their own way. It was amazing to see how Thai women and men can carry off everything.

13. If you have curly hair like my daughter, you will be a star in Thailand. There were instances when people had to stop me to take pictures with her. I think I will have to run an image search to see if she is all over social media now.

14. I found the salutation very discomforting. I know it’s a cultural thing but I really really do not want anyone to bow not even slightly to me, or feel like I have to respond that. Though, you don’t have to and you are not expected to, but of out politeness, wouldn’t one feel like reciprocating the salute they are receiving.

15. I have watched all prayer rituals to Buddha. I saw the donations of flowers and lighting of incenses. I still don’t understand why Buddhists open juice bottles, put a straw in it and leave it by the statutes. Would really appreciate if anyone could explain this part to me.

16. I thought it was mind-boggling to see such out-of-this-world celebration of Christmas in a country that has almost 5% Christians and 5% Muslims only! I thought the tolerance and co-existence was pretty amazing. Veiled women never got glares or raised eye-brows or even a second-look.

17. I have never seen such amount of street vendors and street-restaurants in my life.. and I am Egyptian! In fact, if I hear anyone in Cairo complaining for a second about street vendors or traffic, I will give them a piece of my mind. One needs to be grateful. Downtown in Bangkok and all around the big malls or on busy roads, you can hardly find a place to put your feet. Cars literally slip in-between each other.

18. I don’t like riding elephants.. I know that for sure now.

19. Last but not least, you can find anything in Bangkok’s downtown area; anything but USB Mics and Knee-length brown boots with heels!

 

 

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 630 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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You are a star!

I will continue to cheer you all up.. bring you joy and laughter. I will continue to shed light unto your deepest selves and dig out your light-hearted spirit..

I will continue to unlock your secrets, hear your whining and anger fits. I will continue to be your confident, your best friend, the sister you never had, or the wife you dream of…

And you…

You will continue to choose someone other than me..you will continue to look for someone who looks as close to me as possible.. you will continue to wish for but never select me, you will continue to put me on the pedestal, yet never in your arms. You will continue to keep me in the background and never prioritize me.

But no worries…

That’s the destiny of stars..

They bring us beacons of happiness and disperse our darkness. They guide the lost, and entertain the lonely, inspire the poet and cover the lover. They are always our dream of perfection fulfilled. We will always crave them, but will never dare to reach out for one..

That’s why I am your star.. your forbidden fruit..always yearned for but never picked!

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How I Lost You

artworks-000054147434-lelkx1-originalOn his left side, her specter walked beside him into his favorite small breakfast restaurant. With his fiancee’ clinging to his right hand, he headed to a cozy table for two in the corner beside a wide glass window overlooking the enormous centennial trees of the neighborhood. There was a biting but refreshing winter breeze, which tickled his skin even inside the warm restaurant.

A polite waiter brought them the menus and left. He had a wide smile on his face while he skimmed through the pages that have been carved into his head along the years. His fiancee’ mustn’t see the specter beside him.

– “Are you ok?”

His heart sank. So engrossed in his own thoughts that for a second he confused the sounds in his head with the real voice checking on him from across the table. He shrugged his shoulders with the meaningless smile still on his face, scared if he speaks his voice will give him away.

– “OK. You just seem distracted or distant. Just checking,” she said, then looked back in her menu.

He turns his eyes back to his as well.

He will probably order his eggs and ham.

I will miss you!”

– “Excuse me?!”

– “I didn’t say anything.”

Awkward silence! Quickly, he puts on a silly smile and look away.

– “No worries, thought you said something.”

“I will miss you too!” He wasn’t sure if he was having a whole new conversation with the spectre sitting on the window rail beside him or if he was just recalling their last dialogue.

Yesterday, she looked so hurt. He wasn’t sure why, though. Everything was clear from the beginning. They knew where they were heading since the very minute they decided to go down that road. They knew their passion was not born to last; they knew that this was just about it. They agreed; yes everything was agreed upon, she shouldn’t be frustrated. But why is he then?

Something dropped inside his chest and his heart started racing after it, the minute she walked into his office.

“That’s it?” He wasn’t sure if he was asking or stating.

“Yeah,” She nodded. “It’s time to go.” Her eyes were piercing like she could see through him. He felt vulnerable.

“Ok- I guess it’s goodbye then,” he said with a sheepish smile trying to fence off the daggers of tension in the air.

He moved around his desk, put his hands on her shoulders, looked into her eyes and said:

“I wish we could’ve met tomorrow but she has already planned the entire day.”

Her mouth tilted with sarcasm. She extended her hand formally;

“We don’t want to ruin her weekend plans of course! Well, we have to say goodbye now then,” she said. “Take care and I wish you the best my friend.”

He never took her hand.

“Why are you talking as if we will never speak or meet again?” He was shocked. He knew she had to go, but was she giving him up completely? Are they not going to be friends again, ever?

“It’s obvious I do not think so.”

– “Yes, we will. You are my best friend.

-“I am not sure about that.

– “What do you mean you are not sure about that?” He moved nervously around the room and ran his fingers through his hair, took a deep breath, then looked at her, through her, tried to evoke anything in her and said with a sigh:

– “Alright. Please don’t do this to me. You know, I … am in love with you.

She raised an eyebrow and kept her silence.

– “C’mon. You know I have always been.

– “Then what about her?

– “I don’t KNOW!” He screamed it out.

Her tear-strangled stare ripped through him. She knew, he never lied, never promised, this was not the agreement.

“Listen, we both knew where this was going. We agreed.”

“Agreed?! well fine- you are a businessman. As far as I can see the scope of work has changed completely from the one we agreed upon.”

She stopped. He couldn’t say anything. He couldn’t reciprocate her looks.

“But you do not have to worry, I am not going to charge you more. Although the cost was much more than I estimated,” she added sarcastically.

– “Oh! Please do not talk like that.

“How do you want me to talk then?! What do you want me to say? You do not even want to upset her by spending the last weekend you’ve got with your best friend! Isn’t it funny that this has become as much as I could opt for now?! You have dragged me so low.”

– “Please don’t say that, stop it, don’t spoil the last few moments…”

– “It’s all my bad again.. as it has always been and always will be..”

“I don’t know what to do..”

“Really?! There is nothing I can do about that.”

Silence was a heavy guest in the room. He was standing with his back to her but he could taste the tears rolling down her cheeks.

– “I’ve got to go now. Goodbye.”

“Wait, I will try. I promise. I will call tomorrow.”

Hope glimmered in her eyes for a fraction of a second, and then she was broken again.

“Take care.”

– “So what are we doing today?!”

He was startled when his fiancee’ brought him back from yesterday. Nothing. He should take her home, leave, and call the best friend he’s ever had and ever will.

– “Whatever you want, sweetie,” he smiled.

The spectre looked him up and down with disgust and disappeared. And so did she…

 

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