No Matter What: Chapter Five

1:35 PM


Previously
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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.
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'And this dedication goes to the beautiful lady in pink' was the deep voice of the MC in a crowded beach. All those who wore pink started questioning if it meant them. The MC just shook his head at each and every lady that looked his way while pointing to themselves. He had a specific girl in mind and hoped that she would notice. Turning back to the DJ, he headed over to him, so he could point out to that one particular girl. It was the DJ who was interested in the lady in pink. She was simply stunning in his eyes. Olive skin, beautiful smile and pure elegance shone from her persona. He kept on pointing at a hijabi girl in a pink and white summer dress with her pink sandals held in her hands. It was a Friday afternoon in Muscat Festival's beach location and the atmosphere was electrifying; bright summer colors adorned everybody, colorful kites of different shapes decorated the sky, parachuters and sky gliders were descending to greet the onlookers, and jet-skis and sailing boats were out at the sea. The entire place was lively and vibrant. It was a perfect day for a family picnic or a girl's day out. Beach volleyball, beach football, and a 4 o'clock concert were events set to begin soon and all those girls in pink were still figuring out who the MC's dedication was meant for. 'C'mon lady in pink look over here. The DJ is dedicating it to you' the MC said as he shook his head in denial for a girl who came forward. The search was still ongoing until Noor's friends noticed the DJ locking his eyes on her. 

'Noor it's you. It's you. The DJ meant you' her friends shrieked. 'Who?ME?' Noor exclaimed and pointed to herself in an awe. The DJ, now seeing Noor being grabbed and pulled by her friends while pointing towards his direction, came forward. 'Yes you' he took the microphone from the MC and spoke out loud on the microphone. Noor still was in denial 'No it can't be me, let's just go away from here' she suggested to the girls. Her friends made a whole issue about it forcing Noor to walk past the podium to see if she really was the lady in pink. Seeing how the entire staff at the podium were eyeing Noor made her friends and everyone sure it was her. Noor couldn't help but giggle while crimson red flushed her face; she felt embarrassed, shy yet somehow special. It was the first time someone made an intrepid move on her. 'So can I?' he asked but this time covering the microphone in the process and screaming it out. 'Can what?' she gathered the courage and spoke as she leaned forward. He pointed to the cue phrase of the song 'Touch My Hand'. Noor raised an eyebrow in surprise then hid her face from shyness. She wasn't that type of girl. It was the very first time her parents actually allowed her to go out on her own without an escort of her elder brother siblings. It was so out of place and unfamiliar for her; it didn't feel right at all. Her friends started convincing her to go ahead but she was hesitant. His look was a devious one that made her cringe a bit; she felt like a cat on a hot tin roof. 'C'mon how many times would you have such a chance?' her girlfriends started pushing her towards him. 'Plus like the song said, he'll never see you again' Fajr, her best friend and most stubborn out of them all, nagged. 'This is sooo romantic' Sarah her hopeless romantic friend sighed. 'Give it a try, there's no harm in that no?' Maha, the clumsy carefree one told her. 'And yeah shhh don't worry we won't tell a soul' Abrar the quiet one out of the lot whispered. She felt an adrenaline rush pumping her up, she didn't know what she was doing but it felt like it was worth it. 'Okay okay but errrm it’s only a quicky and if he does anything...' Noor got interrupted 'We know. We know, we'll make a scene and bring in the cops.' they all said squealing. Noor still had second thoughts. Should I go? Should I risk it? her heart thudded as she took baby steps forward.  'For God’s Sake, just GOOO' Fajr and Sarah said in unison pushing the small of her back. 

Noor freed herself from her friends’ pushes and shoves to start walking ahead faster with a nervous grin drawn on her face. She walked further till she reached the podium for her to see him approach her. He was tall with a well-defined physique quite like the way Noor dreamt her prince charming to be. She smiled even wider as she reached out her hand while he was reaching out his. And their hands finally touched on the last cue of the song. He held her hand for a little bit too long than expected until she freed herself from his big masculine tanned hands. She giggled shyly as she backed off slowly. He was infatuated by her in an instant, a wonderful smile paired with a cute face, red flushed cheeks and mesmerizing coffee brown eyes; the perfect definition of innocence. He was in a dream, he thought to himself but he wasn't. He noticed that she was now turning her back to him, he wanted to say something. ‘C’mon say something man..!! Anything, anything at all’ he told himself but his tongue was tied in a knot. He was lost for words for the very first time. 

‘I was mesmerized from that day onwards. You were breathtaking and I never thought that in a million years you would agree to touch my hand. But ‘Lo and Behold’, you did and I became hooked ever since. I want nothing else but to be with you’ he wrote for her on the white lined paper of the notepad as his order was called out. He grew so used to the order that he now would most happily have the two combinations, which he forever complained about, in a heartbeat. He would gulp the chunks of quiche and wash it down with the turtle mocha drink so rapidly so as to get back to writing to his beloved.  Even though, it wouldn’t be mailed to her and she would not receive it, he always wrote every single day since the last day he saw her. They promised each other irregardless of what happens, they would still scribble down their feelings to each other. ‘No Matter What’ he remembered her words as he frantically realized that he never checked for the post-it today. He got up from his seat and started searching around the corners of the hideous lazy lounge sofa in search for it, but he didn’t find it. Panic alerted his brain and limbs only for him to not find it. He began checking under the coffee tables and sofas all around only for him to still remain empty-handed. The people outside looking at him through the glass window found his attitude bizarre. The busy café flooded with coffee lovers also found him to be going crazy. Shihab went on a full sweep search mode while his heart raced and his mind got swamped with worrying thoughts. ‘Please God help me find it’ he started pleading under his fast breathing pace. ‘This can’t be happening’ his limbs and every single inch of his body and soul kept on screaming. He loved Noor too much and refused to let the idea of her getting hurt sink in. He went on searching and looking at every corner of the coffee place until a cold tap on his shoulder sent gilts down his spine. He stopped what he was doing and froze. It was the café manager behind him and he had a sad hurt look on his face. He knew what Shihab was going through. He knew everything about Shihab and Noor’s story. The story that made everyone who heard about it ache and pray for them. Their ‘No Matter What’ story was known to everybody who was dearly close to them and the manager was no exception. A long silence overtook the café as onlookers tried to listen in. ‘Shihab’ he took a long pause ‘It’s Friday’, the manager uttered those words and repeated them as he patted Shihab’s back for comfort. It then hit him and he collapsed on the floor with his head resting on his hands. How could I forget? He wondered to himself as he thanked the manager for informing him. He hated himself as he cursed under his breath but then sighed in relief that she was still okay.

The clock struck 11 AM, she was awake but didn't want to move from bed. She wanted to lay there and not do anything. She felt tired and exhausted. She was hungry and famished too but she refused to get up. Her heart and brain told her to stay in bed in the dark and she rightfully obeyed. Reaching out for her mp3 player, she placed the earphones in their rightful place in her ears, switched it on for a playlist of sad songs to play. She didn't want to snap out of her sadness; her mood for these past few months. She not only lost Shihab but lost Fajr too; her best friend who meant the world to her. Being called a fluke and mistake by her parents, being the only girl in the family of eight, she felt like an outcast. She never really enjoyed her life until Fajr & Shihab came into the picture. She wept and wept missing her now alienated friend. 'Why dear God? Why do I have to go through this?' she asked as she tried to hide her cries from being heard. Drowning herself into one of the big fluffy pillows she had, she cried louder shedding off all her pain that she has caused everyone. 'If I never existed none of this would have happened' she thought. She stayed on her tiny mattress which she calls her bed as darker and darker thoughts kept on creeping into her mind. She hated the pain she caused everybody. She hated that she was born in a family that never cared about her. She hated feeling a liability to people who wouldn't appreciate her. But now, she knew what she wanted to do. She was certain. ‘This is it’ she said to herself and lifted her petite body from the mattress. She got up and went over to her bag where she hid her notepad and started jotting down her thoughts to him. 

'Shihab, you are the light and always have been the light. You lighted my heart in a way that I would forever be thankful. Because of you I was better and felt better. I felt invincible from everything else. You empowered me, not even a fly would hurt me. I was super woman for a while. But now...' she couldn't complete what she wanted to tell him. She was choking on her tears, cut out off of air. She couldn't breathe. She cried till hiccups found their way. She couldn't write it. She couldn't say what she was planning to do. 'Get yourself downstairs and start cleaning' her mother walked in to see her in a state she labeled as pathetic. Noor feared that her mother might have noticed the notepad but luckily she left before she did. She hurried and placed the notepad back inside her bag. Looking through the door to make sure her mom left, she took out something from the side pouch of the bag and placed it in her pocket before she left the room.

'Shihab calling...' her phone flashed

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7 Comments

  1. This was somewhat long than the rest; I simply loved it. But you got to write twice a week, once isn't enough. I remember thinking last night about checking your blog the first thing and I did. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well it's long mittens coz I won't be posting during the eid break.

    But I'll try my best to post more once I get back from the eid holidays inshallah..!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i really feel sorry for them :(

    i wonder if she gona pick up

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is really interesting. I'm loving the cliff hangers at the end of each post

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awww Merci Maria. I'm glad you find the story interesting..!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well just read the story...this is simply captivating, addictive and well written story.
    Two thumps up!!!!!!!

    Choloboy

    ReplyDelete

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