Sun & Moon: Chapter Five4:35 PM
It was 6 am. The light was peeping from the dark curtains. She grabbed the pillow to help in blocking the light; she didn’t want to wake up yet. She tried to squeeze in more sleep as possible. It was difficult for her to get sleep. It was still a strange alien place; she wasn't used to not having the air conditioner mask all the noises outside. Even though she was in the sixth floor, she could hear the bus pull over at the bus stop at 5 am, she could hear the drunken students sing a long loudly at the wee hours of the morning, she was even able to hear the footsteps and stomps of those who lived upstairs. Sleep became like a precious commodity to her; she was only able to sleep for a few hours per night only when she was absolutely exhausted and in deep sleep.
The light still managed to peep through the pillow, so she grabbed her duvet and covered her head with it. Sighing in relief she started being carried away by sleep until 'Oh MY God'. She got up as quickly as she could. It was the first day of orientation week, which was scheduled to commence at 7 am and she was already running late. She forgot that she would have to walk to campus rather than drive herself everywhere as she was used to. It slipped her mind that it was kicking off today, pulling herself from bed to get ready. There weren’t any housemaids to service her or a mother who would make sure to drag her out of bed and remind her how much time she got left before class was to start. She was alone and in a mess trying to get her uncooked breakfast ready while ironing her clothes. All the while expecting that her traditional black kohl liner and MAC nude lipstick would magically make it to her face and draw patterns to wow whoever looked at her. After what seemed eternity, she rushed towards the stairs knowing the elevator would take ages. But then with six inch killer red heels on; the ones she was used to wearing for college back home, she still ran late struggling to walk fast in shoes that weren't designed for comfort.
It was windy and cold with fluffy dark clouds gathering around. The canal nearby seemed so peaceful and serene and the occasional birds flying in made it even more picturesque. The small waves moved harmoniously as people from all walks of life rushed with their bikes to their workplace, school or just to catch coffee. She was shocked to encounter so many people this early. 'Does everyone wake up that early?' she wondered as she started making her way to the university's main building. Trying to clasp her bag from flying off, she got angered at this unpredictable weather. Ever since being locked outside, she has been keen on following the weather forecast so she could dress accordingly. She specifically recalled that the weather forecast mentioned that it was expected to be sunny with clear skies. It wasn't sunny at all. It was extremely windy, cloudy and dark. She still felt sleepy and her legs were already aching from the walking. 'Definitely not the perfect day for my first day' she yelled at her soaring feet only to get distracted on how beautiful of a fit those red shoes were; it complimented her feet and elongated her short legs perfectly. It was the exact pop of color she needed for her monochrome outfit with the black buckle strap settling beautifully on her feet. Feeling a sudden outburst of more pain, she scolded herself not to wear heels ever again if she were to walk on the jagged pavements across town which were anything but smooth.
Ring ring ring....
A bike bell rang from behind her while the wind blew off her hair in all directions. Trying to get her hair strands away from her eyes seemed to be an ordeal as the bike bell rang again. She chose to ignore whoever it may be. It might be an Indian worker asking if he could be her porter, was all she could think of. She forgot for a tiny moment that she was in Europe. After getting her henna dyed hair tamed and into a ponytail she suddenly heard 'Can I give you a lift?' from a deep husky voice which sounded familiar. 'Right' she rolled her eyes and chose to walk away ignoring the one behind her. 'Need a ride?' the voice was even much clearer and way more seductive than the last time she heard it. This time, she couldn't help but stop and turn around. It was a habit of hers that the first thing she would notice in someone was the pair of shoes adorning their feet, and this time was no exception; she took her own sweet time examining the spotless black and white converse pair. They would have looked absolutely brand new if it weren't for a tiny black streak at the right side of the left shoe. The black pair matched up with the dark vintage denim he had on, which in turn matched the green hoodie he was wearing. It was him again, with that lethal smile. The smile that was so contagious it would make you smile back. She still couldn't help but stare at his white teeth. It was too fascinating to miss out on. 'So?!' he interrupted her thoughts on how possibly could he maintain such a set of teeth. 'Need a ride?' he patted the back of his bicycle signaling for her to hop on.
With her feet screaming out for comfort, and the distance she still had to walk was a fairly long distance. Her heart wanted to say yes but then her mind took control of her tongue as she politely declined and said no with a smile which was nowhere close to how breathtaking his was. 'You sure?' he asked her again and she nodded in agreement. 'Well you give me no choice but to walk you to campus' he said as he came off his bike and started to drag it to his side walking towards her. 'Wabooy' that typical Omani accent accidentally escaped from her mouth shocking her; she wasn’t expecting his reaction to be so.
With the golden rays of the warm fuzzy sun taking its rightful place on the greenery around, the darkness of the clouds got dispersed, the coldness was replaced with warmth and the wind drew to a halt. The birds chirping and bike bells ringing made their way into their ears. For a moment, she was glad she picked the French midi dress she wore. They walked silently for a while. The silence was to him a sign of her bashfulness while to her it was more of bliss. She was still angry at his awful way of talking to her the other day. 'Why did I stupidly agree to let him walk me?' she started getting angry with herself. 'Stupid idiot' she said it out loud. Baffled at her revelation, she looked at him wanting to explain why she said so but eventually chose not to explain herself. 'Whatever, I don't owe him an explanation. He's not even a friend' she told herself and continued enjoying the scenery. The coffee shops just opened and the chairs and tables were getting more occupied. The aroma of coffee mixed with the fresh breeze; she could smell those buttery breakfast delights along with the coffee, whipped cream and fruits. The sounds of the coffee machines mixed with people's talking making the atmosphere even cozier. The red bricked buildings shone even more as it got busier. The town became more inviting as the sun became warmer. She enjoyed the view, and she started to enjoy the town after not liking it for being too dead and empty during the weekends. But she still had one thing in her mind that she couldn't overlook; how rude he was a few days ago.
'Look I am very sorry' he said sincerely pulling his bicycle close while walking next to her. She looked at him shocked, it was as if they talked telepathically and he exactly knew what was still bothering her. 'I wasn't having the best day the other day, and I am very sorry if I sounded harsh' he explained. It took a simple apology to get her to forget any wrong doing a person might have caused her. After all, she knew how hard 'I'm sorry' was to utter. 'It's okay, I have temper issues anyway' she chuckled trying to ease what she now felt awkward. 'So yeah, apology accepted only if you accept mine as well' she told him as she smiled. 'Phew now that's a relief, and you don't have anything to apologize for doll' he said it in the cutest accent in her opinion; an accent which makes you certain that he isn't a native English speaker, that particular accent she adored. She couldn’t help but blush from the way ‘doll’ made it out of his mouth. Drawing his glossy flawless chocolate hand to hers 'I am Bastiaan' he said catching her off guard. 'Huh?' she paused and stood puzzled. Looking at his eager eyes, he actually wanted to know her name. 'Well, errrr' she tried recalling her name. 'Ohh, my name is Sana'a' she took a deep breath that she actually was able to remember her name and grasped his rough skinned hand into her small olive one and she shook it firmly. 'Wow what a hand shake and might I add a nice lovely name. So where are you from?' he asked her in an attempt to get to know her.
'I come from the Middle East? Oman?'
'Ahhhh Jordan I see, it's very beautiful'
'No no not Jordan. I don't come from Amman but from The Sultanate of Oman'
'You know where it is?'
'Yes yes it is where the country Dubai is ya?'
'Errrm well Dubai isn't a country, it's just a city'
'Oh so you come from Dubai yes?'
'Well no I come from Muscat'
'Why didn't you say that before?'
'That you come from Muuuscat'
'I said I came from Oman. Muscat is the capital of Oman'
'Yes yes you have the king who has the white beard yes?'
'Haha yes exactly'
'Okay now I know where it is. My brother works for Shell so I know a little bit about countries here and there'
'Oh that's fantastic. Oh so you are Dutch?'
'Yes of course, but I originally come from Suriname. It's a wonderful place.'
'Aha, so you migrated here?'
'Oh no Suriname is a Dutch colony? So I am Dutch by birth'
'Ahhh okay, that's interesting'
Sana'a felt at ease; she finally had someone she knew by name in a foreign strange country. She felt safe as they took steps forward walking side by side and exchanging simple conversation. She smiled yet again; she felt content and knew that good things were to come her way. She would be happy once more without remembering what haunted her every night.