No Matter What: Chapter Four

12:01 PM


Previously
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'Ahleen boss? Mu 5abar? Long time no see ya5i' a friend of Shihab interrupted the moment his soul shared with his notepad. He simpered widely in an attempt to hide his drowning teary eyes, greeting his friend who he hasn't seen in months and closed the pad for him to write some other time.
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Windy and dark, the place might seem lifeless to the deaf. Chuckles of couples enjoying some romance together were the sounds the wind carried. He looked out of his car’s windshield in search of a particular sound. A sound that reminded him of her giggles, when he used to walk back in a wobbly manner while bringing in their coffee order. With the driver’s seat slanted to the back, he rested his feet on the dashboard as his eyes wandered around looking at all those who were walking past him. He then remembered that it couldn’t be her, how could she come here when her family were breathing down her neck? How could she come when what they had was bound to be over? He sighed in despair while he enjoyed the melodies filling his ear drums and laid his head back holding on to the little hope he had left. 


‘Everything’ by Lifehouse is playing at the background as the car is parked at their favorite spot in the city. It has become a ritual for him to drown himself from all that inflicts pain with that of a memory ever so sweet; the place they first talked under the beautiful sunset overlooking the sandy golden beach and the emerald green sea. It is their song that is in the airwaves traveling down the path of his ears. The lyrics meant everything to both of them; it somehow gave him a sense of her presence around him no matter how far away she was from him. A tear so rare managed to escape from the corner of his left eye. He needed to feel her and hear from her. In the end, she was the light that led him to the place where he found peace.* He went through a lot of hard times in his life but a gaze from Noor's eyes took all the bitterness and heartaches away. A glance at her next to him made him all better. Noor was without a doubt his everything. 


It has been three months since he heard a single word from her, but he was sure that she was okay and missing him. Shihab has been preparing himself for the worst each morning he wakes and starts panicking on his loved one, hoping that her family didn't do anything to physically hurt her. He worries himself to death, struggles with his inner heart and ends up breathless each day until he lays his eyes on the color pink, a color which never failed to calm his senses down; her favorite color. A florescent pink post-it he gets everyday but Fridays was the sign he always received from her; that she was fine and safe. He smiles remembering the post-it and reaches out for his pockets to pull out the one he got today that had her handwriting and scent all over it. He sniffed a long sniff, taking her aroma in and read what she always wrote on it, 'No Matter What'.


The speakers shook vigorously from the base as the song shuffled to another. His heart raced in a scare and disrupted his daydream. As he got his thinking straight, he heard closely to the song and smiled. A boost he got once the CD track switched to ‘Touch My Hand’. He beamed like a beacon while remembering how this was exactly how they met. With the dark sky beginning to light up with tiny sparkling stars, he stepped out of the car wiping away his tears while the music blasted. He grabbed the notepad that had the post-it glued on its front page and imagined the notepad was her. Dancing his way to the beats, he wrapped his arms around imaginary Noor while swaying left and right.


Noor was looking out the window the same night picturing how her life would have been if she had different parents. She started sobbing on how she was locked up in four walls with only a meal per day. She hated her life but how can she hate it when Shihab was her life? He is the reason she is still holding on to the ropes of hope. She looked at her watch waiting for the clock to strike 8 sharp. As soon as it did, she rushed reaching out for her mp3 player and switched it on. The FM Radio tuner was set to 90.4 English FM, and she knew that she would listen to something that was an indication that he was fine. Then she heard it, the song that made her heart stop; 'Touch My Hand'. She became hysterical and laughed her first laugh in a very long while. She laid on her tiny mattress as she sighed and increased the volume to the max. Shutting her eyes, she let the music take her to the memory they both shared.


* Lyrics from 'Everything' - Lifehouse 
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