Sun & Moon: Chapter Sixteen (FINALE)

10:50 AM



Sighing out of tiresome she drags her tired feet to lay on her large tuxedo grey sofa. She rested her tired body against the soft fabric as it soothed her aching back. She closed her eyes smiling from the release of pressure as she placed her tote bag to the side on the shiny gleaming white and grey marble floor. Sanaa placed her hands underneath the navy blue cushion her head rested on as her tired body got carried away with exquisite relaxation and sleep she was fighting all morning.

He sat on the wooden chair facing the bartender. He felt cold and lonely, unable to grasp how his life has turned to the way it has. With his tired aging hands gripping the cold glass with a golden brown hue liquid settling at the bottom, he looked into the glass. He looked to see the reflection of his tired eyes; bloodshot, yellow, drained, and full of remorse. He sought and searched into the rippling liquid hitting the solid clear glass as he saw his life flashing before his eyes. It was once a blissful happy one, but now all he can do is sit and have sorrow fill his being. He felt remorse on all those lost cherished memories, on all of the lost chances he should have taken, and on all those he intended to harm. He looked around and saw himself alone with no one to talk to. Speaking to strangers wasn’t an option anymore, he never had anything interesting to tell or share. He wanted what he lost; that care, that love and that warmth which always wrapped him like a cocoon. He wanted what he couldn’t have, what he failed to cherish and what he missed the most out of his mediocre life.

The phone rang waking her up from her sleep. It rang continuously as she listened to the music playing. She smiled as she remembered why it played. She enjoyed the guitar strings as she felt the pit of her stomach turn. She knew what this song meant. Taking in the surrounding around her and how blessed and happy she was, she managed to pull out the phone from her bag laying right beside her. She looked at the phone and was alleviated and put at ease. It was him; exactly what her intuition told her.

Badar calling…

Badar calling…

Badar calling…

The phone continued to ring as she just sat mesmerized and taken by the beauty of the chords playing. She looked around at the grand living room she was in. Beautiful teal and blue, grey and beige shades painted her surroundings. It was overwhelmingly elegant; the walls in its inviting ocean blue tones, the grey tuxedo and sectional sofas taking its place as the main pieces in the room, the white oversized fireplace in front of her, and the beautiful lamps and centre crystal chandelier that gave the room an added glow and radiance. She sighed as the phone stopped ringing interrupting her thoughts of how perfect her life seemed to be.

Badar calling…

Badar calling…

The phone rang again flashing white; the intro music to ‘Paradise’, which captured her brown round big eyes. She picked up the phone and smiled as she answered the phone. ‘Hala 7abibi’ she said as she grew excited, fixing her messy untamed hair. ‘My lovely one, I so miss you’ he told her in an eager yet sad voice, the one he knew she loved to hear from him whenever they were apart.  ‘How was the conference 7ayati?’ she asked in a tone that was all flirtatious and playful mixed with anticipation to hear his response. ‘It was great, I wish you joined us. Everyone was asking about you’ he said as she heard the commotion going on with him. ‘What’s wrong? Everything fine ya ba3ad 8albi?’ she said wondering the source of all the noise she was hearing on the line. ‘Not fair, you keep flirting when I can’t’ he said in a faint voice that seemed like a whisper as she giggled shyly. ‘Finally!’ he exclaimed. He was glad that he was in the hotel room alone after the bellman left with his bags. He felt he was neglecting his wife with his busy schedule. ‘I’m sorry darling, they are loading my bags to the car and…’ he wanted to express all those hidden sentiments he had, but only for her to disrupt him.  ‘It’s okay 7abibi’ she said as she struggled to pull herself out of the sofa, she wanted him to value that she understood he was busy and that she trusted him.  ‘So how is my honey pie doing? Is she excited that her hubby is coming back to her arms?’ he asked in an attempt to change the subject. ‘Excited? I’m thrilled…’ she tried to explain in words what she sensed when she heard those words from him; that he was coming back home. It has been three years ever since they married and she never got used to his busy demanding schedules.

Continuing their conversation, her feet met the cold mineral marble ground as she made her way to the bedroom. The wooden dark door was extravagant with its carvings and Arabian designs decorating the full length of the majestic tall door. Walking into the room endowed in beige and brown flooring, she took a glimpse at the crisp white cotton hugging the orthopedic mattress of their king-sized bed; she always seemed to appreciate at how startling the custom made bed and night stands stood out in its regal deep brown shade against the beige latte colored walls. The African theme which they both emphasized with an animal print rug in front of their bed and the beautiful antique souvenirs, they brought back from their honeymoon in Seychelles, was the setting that consoled her throughout his long trips away from her. She looked around as she saw the empty far end corner where she cuddled herself like a porcupine and cried herself to sleep through countless nights. She turned the other way as she saw her laptop resting on the chic Indian patterned chest of drawers; it was her companion and her way to chat and Skype with him. The pink Swarovski studded laptop was her savior whenever she craved a glimpse of his lovely face and smile. Regardless of how hard it was, she always managed to hide that part from him. It was the first time in months that he was coming home and she knew she had to look her best. ‘So any surprises for tonight?’ he asked her as she was taken by shock. ‘Errrm not really’ she smirked as she began fidgeting with the accessories cabinet trying to pick what would match with the dress she was planning to wear; a beautiful silk Grecian inspired black and gold gown; his favorite style of evening dresses, which hanged against the front of one of her closet’s doors. 

His hairs have grown all grey and white. His hands seemed wrinkled and old.  He caught a glimpse of himself at the mirror and shocked himself with his existence. He wondered why God allowed him to live till now? He knew he never deserved life nor a second chance. Why hasn’t He taken his life and spared him all this grief? He knew deep down that his time on Earth was numbered but the days were moving in slow motion. Nothing left to do, nothing worth repenting for, nor was there anything left to live and breathe for. He had lost everything and realized when it was too late. He coughed and coughed to the extent he felt his rib cage piercing right through his ill lungs. Holding a tissue close to his mouth, he muffled himself trying his best to prevent the loud sounds of his coughs. In a spare of a second and it was all drenched in deep ruby red; that two ply piece of soft papers was soaked in wet blood. He looked at the lumps he just released and felt disgusted. He was in agony, in pain and sadness. His chest was failing him, his heart was growing weak and his body grew frail. He felt like the way a person would feel when their bright sunny day gets ruined by a dark black rainy cloud; drenching them in wet drops of water. He looked at himself in the mirror yet again as he shocked himself on how thin he has become. The collar of his t- shirt seemed too loose-fitting for him, the jacket he had on made him look skinnier like a scarecrow in an abandoned farm, the trousers started to fall off as he tried to fasten his belt tight. He no longer was the fit, healthy, confident person he once used to be. People started entering the bar as he still remained lost in the past. A time where he once loved and got someone to love back, a time where everyone respected and gave him that stance of courtesy, a time when he was strong, young and hale and hearty. He stared at himself as he urged his limbs to pull out his phone from his pocket.  Reaching out to his phone he pressed the ‘Compose Email’ button and began to type a goodbye note to the love of his life.

She sat in front of the piano playing around with the keys and notes. She never knew how to professionally play a piano but knew her way around his beloved instrument. She missed him dearly and the beautiful melodic tunes that filled the house when he sat on the piano stool and played. She felt suffocated and choked as the feelings of longing overpowered her senses. She missed every single thing about him; his chuckle, his laugh, and his smile. She missed how he gazed into her eyes, how he stared and got lost into the ocean of emotions she carried. She missed his singing voice, his soothing touch but most importantly his delicate hands as he played the keys to a song that always managed to revive her memories; both bitter and sweet. She missed him playing the Coldplay songs on the baby grand; the music to her ears and soul. She continued to play the only piece she knew to play by heart; the Omani Royal Anthem.

It was those sunny hot days as she stood by the music band with her xylophone playing the anthem in front of hundreds of students as they sang along pledging their allegiance to God, the Country and the Sultan. The pale pink and faded grey interlocks tiles placed in an orderly fashion along with the green shade placed atop to prevent sunburns as the lines of students formed one after the other in blue pinafores, white trousers, shirts and head scarves; the traditional uniform Omani government schools had. Sanaa recalled the pride she felt as the instruments played a piece of music that got her to get goose bumps every time it got played to perfection. She would smile widely every single time they did, just the way she was smiling in her wide living room, seated opposite the white baby grand; the added piece to the symphony of furniture to give a wholesome look to the space. Enjoying the memorable sound, her phone rang an email tone as she quickly got herself up to pick it up.   

He walked down the spacious stairs as he held the plastic white access card in his hand. Walking to the concierge he handed over the card as he checked out of the hotel room and was given the royal blue velvet case he had placed in the hotel’s safe. Opening it, he smiled as he was sure she would love it. ‘Thank you’ he said after assuring that everything was in place and made his way to the door. It was a bright sunny clear afternoon, the perfect weather this time of the year. He wished he was able to trade his tailored herringbone business suit for those pair of plaid shorts she always said looked good on him, and those graphic t-shirts he adored. He smiled as he knew that soon enough he’d be doing all that and more; enjoying the sunshine and beach with her. The black polished stretch BMW was waiting as the chauffeur opened the door for him. He hurriedly got in as he unbuttoned his blazer and rested his back against the beige caramel leather. He felt nervous and anxious; it felt like it was the first time all over again. Reaching out for his phone, he clicked on his emails icon to read what he typed; something he has memorized now for years. He had typed down the letters, characters, and phrases the way they were supposed to. He typed in his confession, his love and his commitment in words.

Hours Later…

The corridor was lit beautifully with the dim spotlights brightening the spaces in an ambience that gave off warmth and affection. The Iranian claret and taupe carpet laid elegantly in magnificence as it covered the beige marbles underneath. The corners of her mouth rose as the wrinkles gathered around the perfect smile. She was ready to take in his cologne even before she could hear his footsteps against the hard top surface behind the door. She heard the car pull over the driveway and started to feel her inner butterflies fluttering in excitement, joy and longing for his strong toned arms to wrap around her body. She was aching for the tenderness of his touch and the huskiness of his voice. She knew how she would suddenly feel nervous once she hears the keys fiddling between his fingers as one simple golden key would make its way into the knob unlocking the coldness the house felt without his presence. Her heart raced as her hands shook from the nervousness she felt. It felt like she was saying I Love You to him for the first time, all over again.

The three little words she shouted it out to him like he once did, in a cold summer night as they strolled around her favorite city. It was calm, serene and peaceful just like how his love made her feel. Looking at her feet, she noted how the night that day wasn’t as dark as it always was. The sky was lit; navy, captivating and delicate. It was unlike any other sky she saw before; it felt like it was trying to tell her something, that it was time to confess all that she bared in her gentle heart. Placing one foot in front of the other she walked beside his endearing frame. She fixed her eyes on him, his silhouette, and his face. She looked deeper as she enjoyed how perfect his nose seemed to be, the perfect shape and size a nose should be. She loved how full his lips were, especially as he smiled at her. She continued walking beside him as something brighter than how she felt captured her eyes; the full moon embracing the dark sky. The feathery flimsy clouds made it even more picturesque as it bordered the scenic view she saw right in front of her. The cold sand gave out jolts of cold electricity running through her body as the sandy granules between her fingers made her realize the reality she was living in. She knew she had to say it back. The full moon was revisiting her the way it did in Coldplay’s concert.

She remembered how Bastiaan declared his love to her that day. She remembered how she timidly left him waiting for an answer as she dreaded to say it back and acted like nothing ever happened by saying ‘Thanks’ instead. She reminisced on that night as she recalled how the full moon seemed to shy away ashamed from her actions by hiding behind the frothy heavy clouds.

It was already getting dark as the chauffer opened the door for him. Stepping out of the black leather interior car, he saw his dark shadow and smiled. He remembered how his socks got soaked wet from the walk by the beach, how his hair was an uncombed mess hidden in a baseball cap, and how his shadow seemed to intertwine with hers as he walked beside her by the beach in her favorite part of the country; Scheveningen. The laid back atmosphere with amazing weather was what intrigued her the most. She used to love the beach there, the oversized large pillows by the cafés, the view of the ships as they made their journey towards North, and how it reminded her of back home. The wind always managed to blow towards his direction allowing him to steal a few whiffs from her oriental Arabic scent her hair and skin gave off. The mild whispers and cheers he could hear from the neighboring restaurants granted a sense of fondness and infatuation. How he wished he could have what he mostly wanted; her mind, spirit and soul. Tilting his head downwards in contemplation, he repeated to himself what he always did to raise his spirits ‘Patience is all you have left’. The feeling of disappointment overcame him as he looked up the sky to the full moon, the same full moon that reminded him of his defeat in the game of love. He felt beaten, torn, hurt, but in love.  

‘Sir?’ the chauffeur stood as he gestured to his wandering soul, the way back home. ‘Dank je’ he said stepped out and made his way between the spacious green grasses along a pathway to where the front Oriental infused decorated entrance was. He stood there in front of the door unable to pull up the courage to open it. ‘What If?’ he asked himself wondering on the possibility had he not found her home. He feared losing her the most, but he had a surprise in store for her. One he was sure would make up on all his long distance travels.  Placing the brief case on the floor, he eagerly opened the flap to reveal the velvet case inside. Opening the case, he placed a letter inside the imperial looking velvet case and closed it shut. It was the letter, which he stayed the entire plane ride writing as he copied every single letter and word from an email he sent to himself. He was a perfectionist by nature and he was certain that the letter was perfectly written without any silly mistakes. He was certain that the velvet case he held in his left hand would be the perfect gift he ever gave his wife. It was a warm evening as the sun began to set, leaving behind trails of red and orange lights in the horizon. He reached his hand to touch the coffee brown majestic door; it was chilly and cold to the touch as he traced his hand to the door knob. With his right hand he took out the keys from his pocket and began finding the golden key to the door, to his home and to her warm hug and heart. 

The door opened and it was his smile that greeted her. A tear managed to crawl down her cheek as she paced as quickly as her sore swollen feet could do, to greet her love, her soul and her life. ‘7amdillah 3al salamah Badar 7abibi’ she uttered those words that always comforted and soothed his being. With a kiss on her forehead planted, he felt at peace, at ease and in harmony. ‘I missed you’ he whispered into her ear as he felt heavenly intoxicated with her presence, scent and big rounded eyes. Wrapping her arms around him she felt a sense of calm and relief as her worries melted away. Feeling a sudden discomforting kick, he smiled as he closed the door behind him and knelt on his knees. ‘I didn’t forget you my angel, my Malak’ he kissed her growing belly as he felt his unborn daughter’s kicks and turns to the sound of his voice. ‘Someone’s happy daddy’s back’ Sanaa smiled as she enjoyed listening to her husband’s conversations with her belly. 

The white color of the hallway gave the illusion that the greeting area was large when it was relatively small. The large portrait opposite the main door was of the two of them in their black graduation cap and gown. A picture that explained the pure love they had; enchanting and adorable, adding more depth and meaning to the word ‘Home Sweet Home’ for him. Her shy innocent smile shining right through her eyes and his attractive grin and towering height against her small petite frame made the perfect combination of a cute adorable couple’s portrayal framed in a minimalistic simple frame. He looked at her still kneeling as he appreciated the beauty he was seeing. Even though Sanaa, was chubbier and heavier than before but he still saw what he did the very first time their eyes met; his future. ‘I have something for you’ he told her still managing to hide the case behind his back. ‘Really? What is it?’ Sanaa asked coyly with a big smile while already catching a glance of the case he desperately tried to hide. ‘Well’ he paused trying his best to say what he wanted to say in his head. ‘It’s something I have tried to say more than once but always never managed to put it in words. I want you to have it’ he paused as he stretched out his hand to reveal the case and stood up to meet her eyes. ‘As a token of my love, my appreciation, and my dedication to what we had, have and always will have’ he said those words as he placed his right hand on her growing tummy. He had the most shaken tone of voice she ever heard from him. Feelings of fear and intimidation began to creep in as it wasn’t usually something he would say.  Feelings that visited her before one chilly summer outing. She remembered fighting the feelings when she began to speak as the waves and winds made a humming tune to solace the mood. ‘The full moon…’ she paused as her tongue appeared to be tied in knots. It was dark with only the moonlight shining down on both of them. She could see his eyes clearly as she adjusted to the lack of light. She couldn’t take the tension anymore and just decided to ease the pressure she felt ‘I LOVE YOU TOO okay?’ Sanaa said it loud and rushed, walking away shy from looking at his face. Realizing what she just did, she stopped pacing away and covered her face in shame. ‘That’s not how I wanted to break it to him’ she told herself while her hands still remained to cover her face.  ‘Oh Gosh nooooo’ she shook her head in hopes that her actions were simple fantasy and a mere dream. In what seemed to be the longest minute Sanaa kept blaming herself on the timing of her confession until she felt herself floating. Her breathing became shallower unable to understand why she was seeing the world in circles. Closing her eyes, she felt the wind blowing past her ears. It was magical, exactly how her now exposed feelings made her feel. ‘I love you too’ he whispered to her as she opened her eyes. She was carried in Bastiaan’s arms, with her feet up in the air, turning around in circles. ‘Deeper than the ocean and deeper than the sea, it’s you and me’ he told her the words she wanted to hear as her feet met the sandy ground.

‘I Love You’ she kissed his cheek while hugging him as tight as her pregnant physique allowed her to. He held her tight handing and closing in the velvet case between her small chunky swollen hands. Sanaa feared the case more than anything. She had no idea what would be inside and began a guessing game. Taking a deep breath, she leaned against the wall as she gulped in her qualms and unlocked the velvet box. Reaching out to the top flap she looked into his eyes as he gestured for her to open it. He was praying for her to love it, he had been researching for months on what type of jewelry Sanaa loved and what would be the one that would sweep her off her feet. He was sure with all the catalog torn pages, printed off pictures and suggestions from her family and friends that he had gotten the perfect piece. Closing his eyes shut, he squeezed his hands tight in hopes of hearing a gasp or awe inspiring moment. Unveiling the box Sanaa smiled and giggled instead. It was a golden custom made necklace that had her name and his Arabic name designed in Arabic calligraphy; simple, traditional, edgy and classic. Just the way Sanaa loved her jewelry.

The letter placed in the middle read her name. Recognizing it was his handwriting on the envelope, she immediately turned to him. ‘Read this when I leave the room’ he winked at her and left her in the mercy of the letter he had carefully worded.

Hurriedly Sanaa walked to the nearest chair to rest her heavy version of herself on a comfy chair. Her back was aching, and so were her feet after all the preparations and homemade cooking she did, which was always the perfect surprise in his definition.  Taking the letter out of the envelope and bringing it closer to her, she smelt his scent on the paper. It was the smell she always loved when it lingered around the elevator, the library or remained on her hands and clothes when he held her tight or hugged her during their studying days. Exhaling signs of relief as she began to feel comfortable against the chair, Sanaa ripped the envelope to unveil the handwritten letter in striking black cursive writing.  

I swear, since seeing your face,
The whole world is fraud and fantasy
The garden is bewildered as to what is leaf or blossom.
The distracted birds can't distinguish the birdseed from the snare.

A house of love with no limits,
a presence more beautiful than venus or the moon,
a beauty whose image fills the mirror of the heart.

I Love You Sanaa

These were the words I always practiced throughout these years to say to you. I never managed though and failed because your presence blurs my memory and vision.

They were the words I wanted to say the very first time I screamed out I Love You and made a fool out of myself, the words I wanted you to hear when you confessed and said those three little words, the words I wanted to say after my first time at a mosque, on our wedding day, on our first year anniversary, and the second, and the third? I never managed to, and it seems that if I hadn’t written this, then I never would have had the courage to say them to you.

This is my love and my confession to you. To you, my lovely wife, mother of my children, but most of all my soul mate.

I Love You …

The light grew dimmer as she read the last three words on the paper she held. The three words that never seemed to bore her whenever she read them or heard them roll out of his tongue.  She flushed and felt the heat her cheeks gave off as she heard a familiar tune come out from their living room. His footstep she could hear approaching her, his shadow darkened her view as he came closer.  ‘So care to allow your full moon to dance with his daughter?’ he showed those pearly whites as he leant over and took her by the hand. As she stood up, she carried the case and said ‘Not before her mommy gets the necklace around her neck’ as she chuckled bashfully. ‘Of course I wouldn’t have it any other way habibti’ he said as she smiled adoring his attempts in using Arabic words to flirt with her. It sounded as cute as a toddler learning to speak. She appreciated him for who he was; the caring friend, who became the loving husband, who will turn out to be; a compassionate father. As the necklace settled beautifully at the nape of her neck, he turned her to the reflection of the glass decoration bordering the entrance door.  She noted the mirror image of him standing behind her as his hands reached to her pregnant belly. Leaning her head to his shoulder, she smiled as she saw how surreal her constant dream turned out to be. She was with the one she loved; beside him, feeling his presence and hearing his soulful heart beating. He felt right at place, where he belonged; holding his future in his arms.  Turning her back around to face him, he placed his left hand around her waist pulling her closer. Her daydream was happening as they began to move to the rhythm of a memorable song; ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’. It was just the way she imagined it with her broomstick, only her flight of imagination was reality.  He was in front of her; her reverie, trance, and truth.  It was him, Bastiaan to everyone else, but Badar to her, the way she loved to call him; her full moon.

The music was sad and depressing, exactly the way he felt. It matched beautifully as his heart broke and got shattered to even smaller pieces. He closed his eyes as he recalled her oval face, he olive striking nose; his favorite part after her large romantic eyes and extended long eyelashes. He closed his eyes tighter as her chubby rosy cheeks, and her small smile got summoned to his mind. He felt like nails being hammered into his heart as he continued to remember those jolly times they once had. The wooden bar was scratched, hit, and old, just the way he was.  He related to it and would stay for hours every day just consoling the piece of timber the way it consoled him. He would sit in silence day in and day out, without a word to say. He felt void and empty; he had lost what made him alive and existent. Resting his head on his dry tired hands, he began to weep out loud. It was refreshing and invigorating, that pain he had was being unleashed and released. He sobbed silently as he realized all the mistakes he once made. ‘I’m sorry’ he said in a murmur.  ‘I’m so sorry’ he kept repeating it as his salty tear drops hit the stilted top. ‘I’m so sorry 7ayati’ he said as if she could hear him. ‘I’m sorry Sanaa’.

The song shifted to one that he has heard before, a trance infused melody began inviting his ears to the emancipation of the soreness he felt. His chest was in excruciating pain which he grew accustomed to. The trance rhythm alleviated him as it numbed the throbbing in his heart. It was uplifting him to a different state of mind. He felt for once as if he was walking between the clouds. The shift in music was helping him soothe that broken regretful feelings. He got up from his wooden bar chair and began removing his jacket unveiling what was left of him. The white short sleeves shirt and the short brown trousers made him look shabby. Onlookers sitting and enjoying their time suddenly had all they eyes fixed on him and his brown torn shoes and unmatched socks. The lyrics were even attracting him more to the empty wooden dance floor. 

Goodbye
Now I’m all on my own tonight

He swayed to the music and abruptly began dancing to the track. Kicking his left leg high in the air, he showcased his Michael Jackson moves as the song climaxed to the chorus.

We were in heaven you and I,
And when I lay with you and close my eyes
Our fingers touch the sky

He started singing along loudly as tears began streaming down his eyes. He went on dancing even more and doing the moonwalk which she once loved. The song continued as he still danced raising his hands up in the air and turning around himself as fast as he could. Doing the smooth criminal moves, he continued dancing and singing out the chorus loud.

I’m sorry baby,
You were the sun and moon to me
I’ll never get over you

He choked as he couldn’t continue to sing along the last verse; ‘You’ll never get over me’. He closed his eyes and remembered Sanaa’s smile as he stood on his toes as his hands tried to reach out to the heavens. He began sobbing as his chest began piercing him with pains that were worse than he ever experienced before. He started being short of breath as he pulled out his phone to take a last glimpse of her picture. Pain began building up as flashes of Sanaa’s weeping began taking over his mind; her loud screams, her cries, and her begs and pleas for him to stop abusing her. He looked up the ceiling asking himself why he ever did that to her. Feeling dizzy and short breathed he continued dancing as he shivered knowing it was his time soon. With more pain in his chest he began to cough gasping for air; air that never existed anymore. With his right hand drenched in blood as he tried to mute his coughs, stars began forming in front of his eyes.  The stinging aches began to subside as he felt elated, merry and mellow. He collapsed on the dance floor senseless, as onlookers circulated around him in dire attempts to resuscitate him.  His phone sprung towards the next room as it read an email that made him weep and wish he treasured her like she deserved to.

Hassan,

If God can forgive, how can  I not forgive you?
I have forgiven you a long time ago
You’ll forever be in my prayers

Sincerely,
Sanaa

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