Ya nas whom I love very much .. sam7ooni 3al post leg9eer bes i've had a long day o mafeeni shada aktib akthar min chithee ... enjoy ;*
Zeina tried to concentrate on her mother’s story as she glanced for the thousandth time at her mobile screen checking the time. It was a little past ten and she could barely keep her eyes open and she knew she’d have to wait another few hours for Manaf to get home and call her but she began to think that it wasn’t going to be possible. Excusing herself she said goodnight to everyone and headed to her room. Getting into her warm pjs and tucking herself under the covers she adjusted her ringtone on the loudest possible level so that it would wake her up when he called and closed her eyes to rest.
When she opened her eyes it was because of a noise blaring against her ear, startled she began fumbling with her phone to pick it up:
“Aloo..” she practically shouted into the speaker
“Hala..” Manaf’s voice spoke back, slightly taken aback by her tone, “shfeech nayma?”
Zeina glanced quickly at the screen it was 1:36 am, “la mensad7a” she replied throwing her head back against the pillows with a sigh, her heart still pounding from the sudden loudness of the ringtone that had jerked her awake.
“ah okay, shlon yoomich?” he asked. Zeina told him about having guests over, but left out who in specific, and raved about a new dessert she had tried vowing to try to make it for him sometime.
“laish te6bikheen?” he asked.
“la2, bes you’re going to eat it and like it” she laughed.
“qa9bin 3alay a9lan ..” he joked back, “enzain Zayoona mama, ana we9alt il bait khal abadil wakalmich ok… mu etnameen mani im6awel”
“Enshallah” she replied and disconnected her phone, she sat up to avoid falling back to sleep but Manaf didn’t give her a chance to fall back, within minutes he called her back.
“Mmmm…” he murmured instead of hello, the sound of the sink tap being shut off filled the background followed by a door slam.
“Mmm yourself..” she slid herself back under the covers and hugged an extra pillow she had lying next to her. “you wanted to ask me a few questions..” she reminded him.
“Ee I did…” he told her, the sound of ruffling cover sheets filling her ear as Manaf got under his own covers, a second later she heard a click of a lamp being turned off. “awal so2al?”
“Yala go ahead…”
Zeina closed her eyes hearing ever so loudly the silence of the shalaih which was now full of sleeping people, she smiled at an old line she had heard in a song once, ‘when at night everyone is asleep, only the lovers lie awake’ and thought of how it couldn’t be more true. Manaf’s voice was so clear in the silence and her imagination so powerful in the darkness surrounding her that if she closed her eyes and concentrated it was almost as if he was lying right beside her. At that moment she felt a wave of emotion so strong she couldn’t remember ever experiencing it before. She realized that the past few weeks had been spent in a bubble that held only her and Manaf; she had survived on him and him alone; if someone she had only just met was able to fill the voids in her life that belonged to Sara and Faisal, two people who took years to come into hers, what would happen when she spent a year with him? Ten? A lifetime.
She realized at that moment that when it came to Manaf, it would be enough for her just to listen to the sound of his breathing.
“Can we be honest with each other? Mahma sa2alna ba3ath, can we?” He asked her. Zeina understood where this conversation was going; they were about to lay out their cards. Admit to their pasts and discuss their future. Zeina had went through the exact same process with Faisal, except with him she had let him take the lead, tell her how he’d like things to be, and she was happy with whatever he had to offer her. This time Zeina wanted to do it right, she had decided to take a risk with Manaf and she wanted to be honest with him from the start. If he can’t handle it then maybe he wasn’t as great as she was building him up to be in her mind; but as she told herself these words of encouragement a tiny lump formed in her throat.
“I can, can you?” She asked him trying to sound confident.
“I can and I will…and to make it easier for you I’ll go first ba3ad. Bes only if you want to hear it…”
“I do..” she whispered, preparing herself for whatever was to come.
“Shoofay mara7 achatheb 3alaich, ana kalamt min gabil o 7abait. O eli 7abait’ha kent misti3id atizawaj’ha bes ma3a el wagt ektishaft ina kethir ma ana kent a7ebha kanat t7ib ghairi. 3a6ait’ha el for9a enha te5tar baini o baina o ma a7taj agoolich mino e5tarat…min ba3ad’ha ta3araft 3ala wayed banat o marat ydishoon galbi, bes wela wa7da feehom gdarat etnaseeeni 3an hatheek. Awal yoom sheftich feeh bil Office kent tawni shayefha o darait ina hathak ma khathaha, o e7tarait akthar lana bil nihaya ili saweta feeni 6ala3 7ag wela shay. Il mohim sheftich ihnaak o adry ma bayantlich 7azat’ha bes 3ajabteeni 3ala6ool bes a6la3 7mar itha 7awalt at3araf 3alaich 3igub il qahar ili shefta min hatheek. Kelish mu nage9ni ana. Bes ma3a il wagt kelshay taghayar, the more I knew you the more el anger seems to go away. Bdaal la afaker feech waqarnich feeha mithel baji il banat, 9ert afaker feech wansaha. O lately I’ve been wondering etha entay 3indich a7ad ib 7ayatich now...teradadt as2al lana it was none of my business. Bes now I want to make it my business o abeech et3arfeen ina I’m not talking to any other girls mithel ma atmana inich mu ga3da etkalmeen ay a7ad ghairi.”
Zeina tried to take in everything he said at once.
“What do you want me to tell you now?” She asked him, not knowing where exactly she should start.
“Adry inich 7abaitay min gabil Zayoon…bes abi a3aref where you stand right now when it comes to your old relationship and when it comes to me…”
“Manaf, you promise you won’t get mad and you’ll keep an open mind about everything I’m going to tell you 9a7?” She asked him fearfully.
“I do, abeech etgooleenli il 9ij no matter how bad you think it is..”
“ee 7abait.. o it ended a long time ago. Taqreeban min sena… bes the truth is reja3…”
“Raje3 yabeech ya3ni?”
“Wentay? Tabeena?” Zeina could feel the pain in his voice as he said this. How many times would he have to ask the women he loved this very question?
“I was confused for a while. Bes now…no ma abeeh.”
“Etkalmeena? On the phone ya3ni?”
“And what are you going to do about it?” He asked her. She was shocked at how diplomatic he was being about all of this; she had expected him to trick her into confessing then using it against her but he seemed to really want to talk it out; Zeina suddenly realized that this sounded like a negotiation, the one that adults got into in a civilized way.
“I’m ending it 6ab3an, I planned on doing so minziman, gabel la we have this talk, bes ihwa imsafer o I wanted to wait until he gets back”
“Uhaa…” he kept quiet for a second, “momkin a6lib minich 6alab?”
“Can you end it bacher?” he asked her. “3ashani.”
Zeina kept silent for a second thinking about what he had just asked. He had every right to ask it of her and she wasn’t going to do anything she hadn’t planned on doing in the first place.
“Enshallah.” She answered finally.
“Mashkoora..” He whispered.
“you’re welcome…” She answered immediately beginning to feel nervous about the conversation she was going to have with Faisal tomorrow. “mafee any other questions?”
“Embala two more…the one I’ve waited so long to ask” he laughed.
“Ee ee .. yala ask!” She started giggling, she was relieved to know now that the question wasn’t something she would be nervous talking about since they had gotten everything out in the clear now.
Manaf took a deep breath and Zeina paused in the middle of hers waiting for him to continue.
“Et-hagain ra7 tegdireen et7ibeen akthar minah?”
“Yeah…I think so..” she replied, honestly believing her answer. “So2al ghareeb..”
“I’ve never thought I could love anyone kether’ha .. until I met you…fa I know how hard awal 7ob is to get over. I need to know you can..”
“I can…and I have already Manoof..” Zeina told him confidently.
“ekhli9…9ert Manoof” He chuckled.
“Ee laish mamnoo3?”
“La bel 3aks…”
“Enzain sheno so2alik el thany?” She asked him blushing.
“Is it too early to start buying you gifts?” He asked. Zeina’s heart fluttered at the unexpected question.
“Ee..enta hadeeti o you’re more than enough” She told him.
“Khaleeni ana I decide what’s enough for you ha mama” Manaf replied.
They spent the next hour talking before Zeina began to doze off mid sentence…
“Yala namay Zayoon o kalmeeni awal ma etgomeen ok..”
“Mmmm…” Zeina mumbled in response.
“O please Zayoon…la tensain what you have to do bacher ha?”
And with that Zeina promised him again to do the one thing he had ever asked from her and shut her phone off immediately drifting off to sleep.