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If You Only Knew Me »

[31 Jan 2018 | Comments Off on If You Only Knew Me (20 ◇ Muneera) | 0 views]
Happy reading, 

Cashmere
***

Sunday, October 16th, 2016…

My phone buzzed in my hand.

Rawan: hi I’m going to vol 1 weya the girls ilyom itha you want to join

I chuckled at my phone. I knew she only wanted the ride and couldn’t find one.

Me: ee sure, what time?

Rawan: benrou7 at 7. tmureeny?

Okay now that was why she asked me.

Me: ee okk

Typical. I looked up from my phone to see Fajer sitting at the lounge of the gym. She was wearing a cute pair of yoga pants which were sheer in certain patterns, flattering her thin and long legs, and a short-sleeved gray v-neck shirt.
VCA.

I gulped as I pat my chest for the necklace, which was still on me and I could feel my heart beating loudly against my chest.
What if Danah was looking for it? I couldn’t believe I still hadn’t returned it.

I walked to the locker room where I gathered my gym bag to leave, passing by the lounge where Fajer was still sitting. I could feel her look at me.

Her eyes were a beautiful almond shape, her eyes were a dark brown but even so they felt special.
 A friendly smile played her plump lips but other than that it was the only form of contact she had with me. Was she fearing for me if Danah somehow knew we were talking to each other? Or was she too scared of Danah and she couldn’t leave because Danah knew too much about her?

I just wanted to know her side of the story.

I looked at the time on my phone.
5:45 PM. I was meeting him at 7.

The elevator arrived and I could hear some laughter right before the elevator door opened, only to open to Danah and three of her friends, who quieted down once they realized they reached the gym floor.

I gulped. I felt color drain from my face when my sister’s eyes met mine. She was still pissed at me for ruining the lounge and I knew she wouldn’t forgive me any time soon.

My heart raced faster when I realized I still had her necklace on me, did she notice it? She had to. Before she could say anything I awkwardly dashed for the elevator and pressed on the ground floor button.

“يالله”
I muttered to myself as I pressed on the close button. I saw her turn around to see me, and her eyes were furious and confused all at once.

I sighed in relief when the doors closed, that was close.

I went to the parking lot where my driver and nanny were waiting for me and I rubbed on the pendant again on the way home. Did Danah notice it? I was dead if she did.

I showered and got dressed how Jana would for her first “date” and I knew I had to look good. Too bad she was busy with Khalid to help me pick an outfit.

I wore a pair of skinny jeans that were now a bit loose since I’d lost weight and a fitted long sleeved black shirt that I would normally wear something on top of. I wrapped a plaid jacket around my waist and pulled on my white Golden Goose sneakers. The shirt really brought out my curves as did my jeans. I hoped he found me attractive.

As I was applying my makeup my phone pinged on the vanity.

Rawan: heey its 6:30, mta betmureeny?

I snickered as I picked up my phone to text her back. I couldn’t stop smiling.

Me: omg rawooun so sorry i can’t make it:( yatnii takhayilay 7adi ta3banaaa

I lied as I texted her. She was online and probably waiting for my message.

Rawan: jad?

Before I could reply, she called me. I gulped, this wasn’t funny anymore.

“الو”
I said, trying to sound weak through the phone.

“تستعبطين صح؟”
She said, sounding furious.

“لا؟”
I said, trying to sound brave but my voice was failing me.

“امبيه وشكو ما تقولينلي يعني لي متى ناوية تنَطريني”
She said through the phone.

“بس فجأة تعبت. محد يقدر يمرج؟ sorry”
I asked her.

“خلاص اقولهم يردون من الديرة لي اليرموك عشان ياخذوني، كلّش مو فشلة”
She said, annoyed.

“Sorry,”
I said again and she hung up.

I smiled and continued applying my makeup until I got the look I wanted. Winged liner, well-blended eyeshadow and of course, Rawan’s red lipstick.

“Freddy?” I called to my driver.

I texted my mother that I was going out with Jana as I got into the car.

“Souq Sharq please,” I said.

Me: bel6ereeej

Fahad: yallah ana basfe6

The traffic was unexpected and I arrived at Souq Sharq at 7:10, fashla!

“What time I come?” Freddy asked me.

“I will call you” I said.

I almost ran to Debenhams to get to Starbucks, upstairs, where he was.

I smiled as I saw him outside at the balcony on his phone, looking handsome in a white shirt and a pair of jeans.

I pulled open the door and walked out to the balcony.
I looked around. There was only one person besides us and he was busy on his laptop.

“Sorry ta2akhart,” I said as I walked to Fahad and he smiled, standing up. He looked incredible and I could sense the smell of his cologne surround me now, his thick dark hair brushed lightly against the wind as his lips went up in a smile. I smiled back before realizing my surroundings.

“لا عادي المهم يتي، شتشربين؟”
He asked me as I followed him inside.

“Cold brew,” I said and he raised a brow. God his eyes just reeled me into him…

“مو سهلة”
He said with a smirk and I laughed.

A woman with her daughter began to glare at us. Shtaby hathy?

“Two tall cold brews please,” he ordered and paid.

“Thank you,” I said with a smile and he smiled back. I couldn’t help but look at his lips and I remembered Jana saying that physical affection was inevitable. I was scared, what if I messed that up?

We walked back outside where he placed the drinks on the table in front of us. I looked out the balcony to see the view of the city in front of me with its gleaming lights and boats docked at the marina. It was the perfect spot for us to meet up.

“ما رحتي الشاليه هالويكند؟”
He asked and I shook my head as I took a sip of my drink.

“لا ولا جان قلتلك”
I said.

“اشوفج استانستي عليّ”
He teased, wiggling his brows and I felt myself heat up on the inside but I pretended not to be swayed by him.

“لا والله اعتقد انت استانست عليّ”
I teased back and he laughed, like genuinely laughed and I smiled.

“ما ينفع المغازل معاج”
He joked and I blushed again.

“اها اخيرا استحت؟”
He said, resting his arms on his elbows.

“جب جب جب”
I said and he laughed again.

He sighed and looked at me like he was looking at art when art was right next to him; the view in front of us was incredible but he didn’t seem to think so.

“امشي خل نتمشى داخل”
He finally said as he stood up and I followed him. I was worried I would run into someone I knew now but I just hoped for the best.

We went down the escalator to the main area of Souq Sharq where the shops were.

“اوله من زمان مو يايله”
He said.

“تذكر لما كنا نروحله واحنا صغار كان جنه الافنيوز”
I told him and he smiled.

“ايي والله كان وناسة وجنه كان فيه مكان العاب؟”
He said.

“تبي تشوفه؟”
I teased.

“!لا”
He replied and I laughed.

“امشي خل نفتر”
He said as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. We were walking next to the water clock now and I couldn’t help but look around to see if there was anyone I recognized. How was Jana not nervous when she went out with Khalid? Maybe she didn’t really care anymore.
I relaxed a bit.

“لا تخافين”
He said, as though reading my mind. He took one step to the right so our shoulders were almost touching and I chuckled.

“ترى اول مرة اطلع جذي”
I said with a chuckle.

“وان شاء الله مو اخر مرة معاي”
He said and I blushed.

We were walking close to Mac now and he must’ve sensed me looking at it because before I knew it he was walking towards the store.

“فهد؟”
I said.

He picked up a tester.

“راويني ايدج”
He said and I lifted my hand to him, where he drew a line with the lipstick.

“لا وايد فاتحة، احس هذي حلوة عليج”
He said and I felt myself heat up at his comment.

“شرايج فيها؟”
He said, his eyes were burning with lust now and I was sinking into them. I nodded. I forced myself to look away from him to the saleswoman.

“وجربي هذي بعد”
He said, drawing another line with a maroon-shade lipstick.

“اللون حلو”
I said with a smile.

“لو سمحتي نبي هالأثنين وهذا بعد لايق حق عروس”
He said.

“!فهد لا”
I exclaimed and he chuckled.

“ما احب احد يقول لي لا”
He said.

“!فهد عندي وايد”
I lied.

“مالي شغل”
He said as he took out his wallet to pay. I felt so embarrassed, but it felt good too.

“thank you امبيه”
I said as I blushed.

“حيّاج، “
He said with a smile, handing me my bag of lipstick.s

“وين تبين نتعشى؟”
He asked me.

“؟Chili’s جنه اكو”
I told him, no way we were going to Baker & Spice where I guaranteed one of us would see someone they knew.

“صج؟ يالله”
He said. I smiled, this was going so so well.

We walked up to Chili’s, which was definitely the least romantic please we could go to second to McDonald’s. I knew it was those small moments that added up eventually.

“Good evening, table for two?” the waiter asked us as we stepped inside. We nodded and I placed my bags on the third chair next to us.

“Texas fries?” Fahad said as soon as we sat down.

“ايييي”
I said excitedly.

“والله شكلج من زمان مشتهيته”
He said and I chuckled.

“جد مادري متى اخر مرة رحتله”
I said.

“عيل متى ما تبين تروحينله قوليلي”
He said and I smiled.

“جد مشكور وايد على اليوم حدي استانست”
I said.

“حتى انا”
He said with a smile that was bracketed by his deep dimples. It was getting really hot now.

I watched his hand inch closer towards mine before he pulled his arm back, almost like he was controlling himself and I bit my lip to trap in a smile.

Jana was wrong, maybe he wasn’t like Khalid. Maybe physical affection wasn’t his thing and because of this I felt way more comfortable with him now.

I smiled at him and he smiled back at me. Whatever it was I was feeling I was more than sure he was feeling it too. 

If You Only Knew Me »

[30 Jan 2018 | Comments Off on If You Only Knew Me (19 ◇ Fajer) | 2 views]
Monday, October 17th, 2017

“Fajer, ready for the meeting?” my boss, Mr. Michael  asked me. 
During my second week here I came to realize that he was a sweetheart, very friendly and down to earth. He treated me like a colleague and not as my superior. 


Plus he apparently found me very skilled and asked me to join him on his meeting today. 
“Yes, Mr. Michael,” I said as I got up to join him and my two other colleagues, who were two Indians named Roger and Surish, at the elevator. I made sure my notebook and pen were with me while my phone was neatly stashed in my pocket.

“Where is the meeting again?” I asked my boss.

“Oh in Mazaya,” he said. It was at least ten minutes away from us walking, and in this heat I was sure I was going to die but I decided to suck it up anyway. At least I didn’t wear a pair of heels. I’d worn a pair of slacks with a white blouse and cute platform sandals.

“Careful of the cars, they almost never stop,” my boss said as we crossed the street. We crossed some more roads and I dreaded the way back. If I had my purse with me I definitely would’ve gotten in a taxi.

We finally reached the building, which was a modern skyscraper with a fancy entrance and a whole area just for valet. I was drained, but I stopped to stare at the lobby, which definitely looked like a piece of art with the paintings on the walls, the statues, and the piano at the center.

“That was a rush, huh?” my boss said and my two colleagues agreed while chuckling. I didn’t say anything because I was afraid I might explode. It was a nightmare. 

We waited while my boss talked to security and handed us badges. I walked into the elevator first and Mr. Michael pressed on the button, the 29th floor. I was beginning to cool down, Mr. Michael took the lead to talk to the front desk of the office we were meeting with and the secretary guided us to the meeting area, as I had assumed.

“Ready to meet your friend?” Mr. Michael asked me.


Friend?


Oh, god. My stomach twisted in knots as I remembered Abdullah…

He was the only “friend” I had that Mr. Michael knew of. 
I gulped. Did Abdullah give me the list of companies to apply to because those were the ones he was dealing with or did he really recommend the company?

“Hello,” Mr. Michael said as he walked in, and I signaled for my colleagues to walk in before I took a breath and walked into the meeting room myself.

I could see at least seven different men, all foreigners, and all in suits as they shook hands with my colleagues, and then me. I didn’t want to even look at their faces from how anxious I was. 
“Of course you know our new financial analyst,” Mr. Michael said and I heard Abdullah chuckle.


I looked up to see him, the only person in a dishdasha, looking relaxed and friendly and looking right at me. His eyes were teasing and wild as I made them out to be. His lips lifted into a smile, showing off his smile that made his eyes squint in return, which I found to be slightly relaxing.

 I felt pinned to the ground until he looked away from me and to Mr. Michael.

“Just barely,” he teased and Mr. Michael laughed placing a hand on both our backs. Abdullah smiled quickly back at me before returning to the meeting table, business was business and I admired that about him.

I took out my notebook while Surish handed me the documents that were needed for the meeting.

Mr. Michael began explaining to our clients the recent updates we had with the reports and analysis we had made.

“Miss Fajer, could you please explain on the board your recent findings? Along with the numbers and everything relevant,” Mr. Michael said. I gulped, all eyes were on me. Plus it didn’t help that I was the only woman in the room. 

“Of course,” I said, trying to sound confident as I walked up to the whiteboard and began to make a quick table with all the numbers and data they needed.

“This is based on a period of six months, correct?” Abdullah said as soon as I’d turned around. His accent was smooth: not too harsh, he didn’t roll his r’s, but not too forced either.

“Yes, it is,” I said as I stood by the board.

“Fajer detected a flaw in your old financial plan, one expense analysis was very off and she somehow found it,” Michael added with a chuckle. “She fixed it so now everything is accurate, even the predicted finances are all available for the next five-years,” he said.

I could feel Abdullah look right at me.

“Is that so?” he said as he leaned back on his chair, he crossed his arms and a soft smile that only I could see played on his lips. I could only look at the wall right ahead.


“Yes, and she’s only been here for two weeks!” Mr. Michael boasted. I could feel myself burning up now.
“Impressive,” Abdullah said, looking right at me with a soft smile. I was frozen to the point that I couldn’t smile back.

“Can I see the reports please?” Abdullah said as he turned to Roger and Surish. Thank god.
 They gave him the documents, which I had mostly done (and which also had my name on them). He put on his glasses, which were a pair of thick-framed Ray Bans that suited his face definitely as he went through them. I hoped no one was looking at me because I could not look away.

“Good work,” he said with a smile as he looked at Mr. Michael then at me.

“Thank you,” I replied with a nod. I took this as a cue to return back to my seat. I hadn’t realized my fingers were shaking until I held a pen to take meeting minutes, we’d stolen ice cream from a kid’s birthday party together, why was I so nervous?

The rest of the meeting was a blur, an I was glad I got down some notes that I’d written subconsciously. I was mostly worried if I’d made a fool out of myself while I was explaining or that I’d said something wrong.

“Thank you for your time,” one of the men working with Abdullah said and we all stood up to leave. About time. 

يعطيج العافية فجر” 

Abdullah said as we walked through the door. I smiled politely.

الله يعافيك

I said, if only he knew how much I slaved away just so I’d look good in front of him and Michael. It was so worth it. 


“Great job,” Mr. Michael told us as he pressed the elevator button.

“Thank you,” we said in unison.

I dreaded the walk back to the office that I knew was going to happen in fifteen seconds. I checked my phone for new messages, which was only one from my mother asking me for the number of the salon I went to.

“Careful,” Mr. Michael said as walked out the elevator. We put on our sunglasses and left the building. 

I sighed and followed the men back to our building, almost getting run over twice.

“You okay?” Mr. Michael said as we approached our building.

“I’m taking a cab next time,” I quipped and he laughed.

“You’ll learn,” he said back and I smiled. We got into the elevator and back to the office where I returned to my desk. I still had lots of work to do and there were four hours left until work was over. 

I sighed and punched in numbers in my excel sheet on my laptop while also going through the notes. I couldn’t see my desk from all the papers on top of it, I even had to pin things on my cubicle wall.


My phone was in my drawer, silenced and locked so I wouldn’t be distracted. 

“You good?” Mr. Michael said, standing next to me.

“Yes I’m okay,” I said with a chuckle. 

“If you finished early you can leave,” he said and I smiled softly.

“Thank you,” I said. 

From the amount of work I had I definitely wasn’t leaving early.

I turned back to the computer as he walked away and punched in some more numbers on the file while also writing notes down on my note pad. I just hoped my focus would continue or I would really mess things up.

I looked at the time on the computer, only ten minutes left until lunch time. 
“Working hard wala hardly working?” a familiar voice boomed behind me. I turned around to see a smiling Abdullah with his hands in the pockets of his dishdasha. Before I knew it my lips were curling up into a smile. 

“Hardly working,” I teased and he chuckled. “Baghait the files?”
He shook his head. 

“باخذهم الاسبوع الياي، بس مريت اشوف مايكل” 

He explained and I nodded.

شكلج تعبانة” 

He said, cocking his head to look at me, I felt insecure, for once, under his stare. Before I could reply he motioned for me to get up.

امشي اخذيلج قهوة

He said, and his tone made it clear it wasn’t a request.

بس مايكل بيذبحني” 

I said as I walked with him to the lobby of the office. He turned to me and smiled before walking to my boss’s office and popping up two seconds later, laughing and still looking inside Mr. Michael’s office before saying good bye.
“okay قال

He said with a smirk, like he knew he was going to be right and I smiled. Sure it was great to be on a break but I worried about the work left to do. 

I followed him into the elevator and he pressed on the ground floor.

وين رايحين؟” 

I asked him.

“Mukan exclusive,” he said as he wiggled his brows and I cocked my brow. His smirk was still on his face as we walked out the elevator. We walked out of the building, took a right, then a left and walked into and to a small cafe that seemed incomplete. There was a counter in the center and it looked like it was open to certain customers only as not all the lights were turned on and some tiles needed to be added on the floor.

“Hello Mr. Abdullah,” one of the filipino servers said as he shook Abdullah’s hand.

“Jason, how are you?” he said as he took a seat on the stool by the counter. I joined in and sat by him. 

‘Two spanish lattes, oh and one double chocolate brownie,” Abdullah said as he pulled out his wallet. I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t know if I was too out of it to realize what was going on but I desperately needed the coffee.

قوليلي شرايج” 

He said.
مالك؟

I asked him and he shook his head.

مال رفيجي

He said as he tapped his fingers on the counter.

اها” 

I said as I looked around. It would look amazing when it was complete.

شلون هيا؟

I asked him as I watched the barista make our coffees.

زينة والله، طاح ضرسها امس وعلى حظها ما كان عندي الا ٢٠ فحطيتها تحت مخدتها، لا تشوفين ضحكتها الصبح

He said and I laughed. I couldn’t believe I was so intimidated by him an hour ago. He was hot and cold at the same time.

انا حتى دينار ما حصلت

I said.

ما رده بيروح على التقويم

He said and I laughed. I grabbed my iced latte and took a sip, aware of Abdullah who was watching me like a hawk. I couldn’t help but laugh, nearly choking on my coffee.

“!عبدالله لا تطالعني جذي” 

I said and he laughed.

شرايج؟” 

He asked, as he took a sip of his own. 

“just perfect, مو وايد سويت ولا وايد مر” 

I said and he smiled. 

The barista placed the brownie with two forks between us and Abdullah wiggled his brows at me to try it, I chuckled and took a bite. 

ابيه ذكرني بكيكة كنت اكلها وانا صغيرة

I said as I tried to make out the taste.

اللي بقوطي بنفسجي؟

He asked me and I nodded, and he suddenly seemed excited.

تدرين انج اول وحدة عرفته، شنو محد كان ياكلة؟

Abdullah said and I laughed.

صج؟ عاد كان لذيذ” 

I said.

مادري يبيعونه ولا لا

He said and I shrugged. His phone buzzed on the table.

مايكل يبيج عقب خمس دقايق

He said. I didn’t want to groan in front of him and seem like I hated my job when in fact I really liked it. 

يالله

I said as I sipped on my coffee. We thanked the barista, and then I thanked Abdullah for the much-needed coffee break. We walked into the lobby of my office building and pressed the button of the elevator 

عيل تيينله؟

He said, as if the coffee place was his. I nodded.

“Definitely,” I said and he smiled. 

Little did he know that it would be my friends regular meet up spot. 

I walked into the elevator while he waved at me before walking away and I raised my hand. I didn’t realize how hot and cold I felt towards him until now. I was nervous with him, yet calm. He intimidated me, yet he was trusting. I couldn’t not like him because I felt everything towards him. 

I walked back to my desk and sighed as I looked at the rest of my paperwork and slaved away. Mr. Michael popped in every thirty minutes to make sure I was doing okay and there wasn’t anything missing. 

At around 6 PM, an hour overtime, I got an image text from Abdullah.

It was of Haya beaming, with her front tooth missing, smiling with her face full of the purple-packaged cake Abdullah and I had talked about at the cafe.

جمعية قرطبة، ٢،٥ دك

He sent and I laughed.

Me: Thank you. Diet center next month is on you

Abduallah: Haha I’ll gladly join

I smiled and went back to work. Michael was counting on me and I needed to keep up my stellar employee reputation.
*

Khalid: Fajoura aby ashoufech tomorrow

Me: i caant:( dawam ba3dain gym weya the girls ba3dain zwaraa

Khalid: ditch the gym?
Me: ashouf inshallah o I’ll let you know

Khalid: ya3ny laa ok. 3ady shoufay ay yom 3ugubha

Me: khalas I’ll skip the gym ashoufek tomorrow inshallah

I texted him, now a bit annoyed.

“Guys magdar arou7 ilgym bacher Khalid yabeeny a6la3 ma3ah,” I said.

“حلفييي؟”
Lulu said, groaning.

“I know,” I said. “Inshallah sunday!”

“الحين شكثر صارلكم مع بعض؟”
Mariam asked me, drinking her usual Spanish latte.

“Eight months?” I said.

“Wow,” Sarah said, raising her brows and I chuckled.

“؟take it to the next level سوري على لقافتي بس يعني ما ودكم على قولتهم”
Lulu said, and the other two girls turned to me. I shrugged.

“I don’t mind, bas gal byt8adam when he’s ready,” I told them and they nodded understandably.

“امبيه كيوووت قاعدة اتخيلكم مع بعض الحين”
Mariam said and I felt myself blush, nudging them so they’d quit.

Danah walked in and we watched her make her way to our table, looking gorgeous in her white sleeveless vest that showed off her slender arms and pair of black pants, which I knew cost her at least 200 KD. Even her basics were designer. 

“شصاير؟”
Danah said, placing her bag on the chair next to her as she sat next to me.

Jesse, the waiter, brought her her drink. They didn’t do that to anyone else.

“بس نتحلى على فجور وخالد”
Lulu said with a grin, wiggling her brows at me.

“صح؟ حدهم يشوقون وانا وين ووين اقول هالجملة”
Danah said, whipping out her phone from her pocket.
A huge pang of guilt washed over me. 

They couldn’t know about Abdullah because I knew I would speak of him the way I shouldn’t. I couldn’t tell anyone that I was actually feeling some sort of way towards him, in a way that as much as I wanted to stop, I had no control over. The attraction was undeniable, and at this point it was all just teasing and child’s play. No one dared to take it a notch further and I was scared to. He was still a married man, despite what I’d seen, and I was already taken. 

I didn’t know if anything more would happen between us but I had a feeling something might. 

***

What do you think of Fajer’s behavior with Abdullah?
Appropriate or should she distance herself from him?