Awal shay sorry I haven't posted in a while, bes I'm the kind of person who can only write when I really feel inspired o hal cham yoom 9ayra 7ail BLAH fa mabi akhareb il story by writing something crappy just for the sake of writing. O ba3dain elyoom legait nafsii inspired with a new idea, fa it's a huge TWIST out of the original plot bes stick with it, i'm not planning on going tooo OFF-TOPIC.
Zeina threw herself onto the couch beside her mother letting out a loud huff.
“Eshfeech ba3ad? 9arlich yomain mu 3ala ba3thich” her mother spoke to her without removing her gaze from the television. This was the third day and Manaf still hadn’t called her back, she had left him two texts and a missed call and wasn’t planning on trying again anytime soon. She knew she had to explain what had happened these two weeks but she couldn’t bring herself to say it.
“Manaf, the love of my life died..” Those were words no man wanted to hear from the woman he loved, especially one who had been hurt badly in the past by another woman. There was also the issue of Dalal and what was going on between them that needed clearing up; if only he’d pick up!
“Youma malait madry shfeeni karha il dinya”
“Weeh ya7afeth yanaitay…7emday rabich bes…” her mother began lecturing. “…o ba3dain laish ma safartay?”
“CHAN ZAIN!” Zeina whined remembering the fact that she hadn’t made any plans thinking that chilling in Kuwait would have been much better. “Ana adry ina 9aifi be9eer chithee?”
Zeina’s mother shot her a glance, trying to figure out if Zeina was referring to what had happened to Faisal or not. Her mother was more than relieved to see her daughter back up on her feet and smiling and was worried that if she didn’t keep her distracted at all times that she might fall back into depression.
“Tabeen etsafreen ya3ni?” Her mother finally asked. As much as Zeina had complained about the boredom she hadn’t actually considered a place to travel to. She began thinking it over, why not? It’s not like she had anything to look forward to now that Manaf wasn’t coming back and Sara was still far away vacationing.
“Negdar? Mata2akhrna wayed?” Zeina asked referring to the bookings and flight plans that needed to be done.
“Etha legaina laish la2, bes intay tabeen? Mu etro7een mukan 7ag esboo3 wetgooleenli malait mithel akher mara ib London” Zeina’s mother threatened her tone changing slightly. Zeina remembered their last trip to London, not being a great fan of travelling Zeina always ended up locking herself in the hotel and complaining about how many days were left before they were supposed to go back to Kuwait. But that was always because she had much more going on for her in Kuwait and she was always dying to go back; but this time she experienced just the opposite. She was dying to leave.
“La hal mara wala ma asawii salfa…bes enroo7 ana weyach o baba?” Zeina asked referring to the fact that everyone else had travelled leaving her and her parents alone in the house.
“Hatha etha yabee esafer ma3ana..” Her mother replied, Zeina’s father was busy with work and didn’t always make it on their trips with them which angered Zeina’s mother at times.
“Enzain wain enroo7?”
“Madry, khalatich ib London tabeen nel7ag’hom?” Her mother suggested. Summer in London? With all the Kuwaitis?
“Hmm…” trying her best not to sound like she didn’t like the idea Zeina tried suggesting another place “…mafee amaken a7la?”
“3indich Aspanya bes mafe a7ad ihnaak en3arfa o el 9ara7a ana etha basafer abi il yam3a …ee ana agoolich sharm el sheikh!” Her mother’s face brightened with the idea. Zeina could list a few of her relatives that were already vacationing there as well as a thousand other Kuwaitis, especially the single-male variety. Zeina needed to stay as far away from Kuwaiti boys as possible.
“La mabi sharm…” and then it hit her and a wave of excitement jolted through her spine “youma I6ALYA!”
Her mother began thinking for a few seconds, “khal akalem ibooch wenshoof, mu akeed enzain la testansain wayed yemkin manelga 7joozat!” And with that her mother turned away towards the television.
Zeina bounced up and skipped to her room, picking up a small bowl of grapes on the way. She began munching on them as she Googled locations in Italy. She had been there a few times before but only when she was much younger and so she didn’t remember much of her trips; she would love to go again now at an age where she could better appreciate the country.
ELEVEN DAYS LATER
Zeina’s large suitcase lay open and flowing on top of her bed. She had stuffed almost everything she had in her closest into the first suitcase and was using the second one for the leftovers. Her mother walked back and forth between her room and Zeina’s picking up things she needed and giving Zeina others to put in her bag.
“Nagaitay sheno ibtalbeseen 7ag el ma6ar?” She asked her daughter. Without replying Zeina pointed at one of the few remaining outfits in her closet, it was a pair of white pants and a turquoise sleeveless top, Zeina would cover herself with a light cardigan until she got to Rome. “Enzain yala ebsir3a ibooch bewadee lejna6 o yasbigna el ma6ar”..To Zeina’s mother’s delight her husband has agreed to join them on the trip. Zipping up her bag she began dragging it off of the bed and shoving it barely outside her door before slamming it shut. She hurried to get into the shower; she was always known as being the one to delay her family when it came to elsifar o she didn’t want this time to be like the rest.
Finishing up from the shower she hurriedly plugged in the hair dryer and began running her fingers through her hair. Twenty-two record breaking minutes later Zeina was completely ready and skipping, like she had been doing since she heard the news of her trip, down the stairs.
“Khala9tay 7abeebti?” Zeina’s mother asked in between giving the maids and driver directions for when they were away. “Gefaltay ghorfitich?” she reminded her when she had finished. Zeina opened her palm to reveal her room key, her mother took it and put it into a small chest under the television.
“Please fasten your seatbelts we will be landing shortly. The current time in Rome is 5 in the afternoon, the current temperature is 44 degrees Fahrenheit we hope you enjoyed your flight and look forward to having you again soon.”
Zeina’s stomach began doing flips as she fastened her seatbelt, her father sitting next to her beamed and leaned in to kiss her head, “men ziman ma sheftich chithee mestansa” he laughed at his daughter who was practically bouncing giddily in her seat. When the plane had finally stopped moving and many of the passengers were taking off their seatbelts and standing up Zeina removed hers and jumped up hitting the seat in front of her and falling back into hers. Her dad chuckled and took her hand “ge3day ge3day taw enas” he mused slowly unfastening his seatbelt and waking Zeina’s mother up, who had slept through most of the 5 hour journey. Zeina slipped off her cardigan and stuffed into her gray cross-over LV bag. She pushed her way through the aisle leading the way as her mother and father followed her out of the plane. Once outside the airport she inhaled deeply shutting her eyes and taking in her first few breaths of changed air. She vowed to forget everything that had caused her pain or sadness in the past month or so while in Italy. Manaf and Faisal didn’t exist here.
As they got out of the cab and made their way inside the hotel Zeina linked her arm into her mother’s smiling broadly and looking around at the guests. She tried to spot any Kuwaitis but hard as she could they all looked like foreigners. “Youma baroo7 ag3ad an6erkom” Zeina said glancing over at a sofa in the center of the lobby; her mother followed her father to the counter and stood in line to check in.
The black leather sofa felt good against Zeina’s bare shoulders and back as she sunk deep into them; her hand itched her to check her mobile for messages but she fought the urge. This wasn’t Kuwait, she wasn’t going to sit and wait for Manaf to decide if he was going to message or not.
“Ciao” A voice spoke to her from behind, she twisted her neck to look at the person who owned the voice and there behind her stood a man that would knock any girl off of her feet. His white t-shirt over his knee length shorts rippled over his firm but not so muscled chest. His hair, slightly longer than she was used to on men was pulled back with a rubber band-like thing that she had seen often on European soccer players.
“Hi..” Zeina let out a small shy smile as she tried to adjust her hair, she knew that it couldn’t look too good after the flight. The man made his way around the leather sofa and stood in front of her hands in pockets; he was completely shaven revealing an extremely tanned face.
“You speak English?” He asked
“Yeah…I do” Zeina replied her American accent perfected from years of attending private American schools.
“Mano..” He smiled extending his arm to shake hers; his hand was large and enveloped hers nicely. He continued to look down at her and smile.
Just as Zeina began to say her name another Italian man joined them and began speaking loudly and quickly to Mano, who replied just as loudly back.
“I’m sorry, I have to go…you’re staying here?”
“Yeah” Zeina replied
“Good, maybe I’ll see you again” He smiled and with that he turned his back to her and followed his friend out, shouting at each other in the process. Zeina remembered the stereotype of how all Italians spoke as if they were yelling and laughed to herself. Zeina spotted her mother waving her over just then and she made her way to them, her father handed her the key to her room and directed the bell boy to follow her with her luggage.
“Enshoofich ba3ad ni9 sa3a enroo7 enta3asha” he told her and made his way with her mother in the opposite direction. Zeina smiled at the bell boy and handing him the key slowly followed him to the elevator and towards her room. Not being able to hold herself any longer she stuck her hand into her bag and took out her mobile, her heart began racing as she saw the icon of a new a message, but to her limited disappointment it was from Sara. She texted back telling her that she had arrived safely and that she had just seen the cutest Italian boy. Sara immediately recommended a fling which Zeina sighed at “kelish mu nag9a” she told herself. It seemed that Manaf was fling enough for this summer, and for the next three to come a9lan.
Once inside the hotel she sat down on the corner of her bed and flipped the TV on; hotel rooms always gave her a rush. She associated them with romantic getaways with mysterious men who after an eventful day and romantic night would always lead her to the hotel room where they’d enter an entirely different world. It always felt like the things that happened in hotel rooms in foreign countries could be erased whenever the person came back home; even though Zeina knew that wasn’t always the case, yet she clung to the idea.
Running a comb through her hair she tied it up, it was hot and humid outside and she wanted to be as comfortable as possible. She quickly pulled her top over her head and threw it onto her bed before unzipping one of her two suitcases open and rummaging through it for a pink Junk-Food t-shirt. She slipped it over her head and grabbed her bag taking out her mobile and texting her mother; “khala9t ..wain alageekom?” Less than a minute later she received a text from her father, “ne6reena bil lobby 5 minutes”
She grabbed the hotel key and threw it into her bag before making her way downstairs. Deciding to ignore her dad about waiting in the lobby she headed outside the hotel, the doorman greeting her with a polite nod as he opened the door for her. Outside the hot breeze hit her and wove its way around her neck and through her hair. Across the street a small coffee shop filled with people and Italian music caught Zeina’s attention, she leaned on a railing and stared at the occupants, table by table. Finally her eyes rested on a table of young men, each one handsomer than the first, until finally she made out of the face of the last one to be Mano’s. Maybe just maybe a fling is just what she needed, she thought naughtily to herself. She could vaguely hear them conversing in Italian, loudly in fact for her to be able to hear them all the way from across the street.
Suddenly a beep from her mobile distracted her from her thoughts, assuming it was from her father she opened it not removing her eyes from Mano’s table.
“Hi” she glanced over the two letters in the message; this couldn’t be from her dad. Glancing up at the name her heart gave a little jump, it was Manaf. Finally.
Relief washed over her as she glanced over his name for the millionth time, she clicked on the reply button and began typing “hala..” before immediately erasing the message. She’d make him wait a little, she didn’t want to seem too eager, especially since he hadn’t been too eager to reply to her. In fact, he’s probably in Ma9er, bored and lonely and now he thinks of me, she thought to herself. Her phone rang in her hand and she picked it up to her father’s inquiries, “wainich?”
“Bara 3ind il bab” she replied, her father hung up and less than thirty seconds later he and her mother joined Zeina outside.
“Yala wain taboon nakel?” He asked the two women asking the doorman for a cab. Zeina glanced one more time at Mano’s table only to see to her disappointment that they had left. The taxi cab stopped in front of them and Zeina’s dad got into the front seat, opening the back door for her and her mother first. As her mother got into the cab Zeina picked up on someone speaking in a Kuwaiti dialect behind her, glancing behind her she noticed two Kuwaiti guys talking to each other while walking towards the entrance of the same hotel Zeina was staying in.
“Slaimano…” One of them shouted at someone behind Zeina, she glanced in the other direction to see who they were speaking to, the only two people that were coming in their direction were Mano and the friend who had dragged him away from Zeina when they had met in the lobby. Mano met up with the two Kuwaiti guys and kissed them once on the cheek just like Kuwaiti guys did back home, “shabab hatha weld khalty Giovanni” he said pointing to the man next to him before turning to him and rambling a bit in Italian. Giovanni leaned in and shook their hands.
“Zeina…yala!” Her father’s voice shook her and she stumbled into the cab.
“Eshga3da et6al3een?” Her mother asked leaning back.