Sweet Dream or A Beautiful Nightmare?! (Part IV)

4:36 PM

That winter day of the 14th is still a memory that I remember every single detail of. From how everything smelt to how it felt to how I bumped into someone that only fate could have brought us together. It was a morning unlike any other. It was a day and time where a person wakes up with pink blossoming refreshing dreams and thoughts. The color red was the theme everywhere you go. Couples holding hands, wicked coy smiles being exchanged between lovers, friends hoping to be more than just friends, and lovely roses given away for everyone to see. It was the 14th of February, and love was in the air. It was Valentine’s Day.

Location: Weill Cornell Medical School Auditorium
Time: 9 in the morning
Weather: Sunny yet windy
View: Packed with prospect pre-med students

It was time for my examination. It was the ACT exams that I was dreading all my life. It was the moment of truth. Was I going to make my mom's dream come true and become a doctor? Or was I going to crush those dreams and my life in the process? It was a life decider, it was up to me to make it or break it. My mind started attacking me with images of me failing the test and receiving rejection letters from the programs I applied for. The images of my mom yelling and screaming at me because I was worthless and a failure started haunting me. My palms became sweaty and shaky. I was nervous for the very first time. I didn't know what the exam was going to be like unlike all the ones I've taken before. I felt lost and afraid, so I started reading verses from the Qur'an to ease my nerves. I started supplicating and praying for the testing to be a piece of cake and manageable."You'll do great. Don't worry", a voice from behind said to me. I look back to see a guy in a red lacoste t-shirt and a pair of jeans smiling at me. I even got more nervous, because it was the first time such a handsome gentleman talked to me. “Errrrr" taking a long pause "Thanks" as I smiled back nervously.

"Okay you have one hour for each module. We would have an hour for the English module and an hour for the Math module ..." The instructor started explaining the modules and the method of answering the questions. "Any questions before we start?" he asked at the end. I raised my hand and spoke up: "Is it possible if I could get an extra pencil?". "It's okay, I'll give her one" the same guy behind me said. Turning around to him, he wished me "Good luck” as he handed me the pencil. "Thank you, I'll give it back to you once I'm done" I whispered back. "No, you don't need to" he replied as I turned to the front to get the question & answer sheet from the instructor. He tapped on my shoulder and whispered: "The name's Jassim by the way" while showing off that million dollar smile of his. "Okay" I said confused while smiling and preparing myself to start the fearful testing process.

After what seemed to be days and days of testing, I finally handed all the papers. My heart felt heavy, I didn't know if I did well or not. I was putting too much thought into it, which was unnecessary. As soon, as I left the auditorium I tried looking for a familiar face with no luck. I tried browsing and going around in circles to find that only familiar face I was waiting for but he wasn’t there. "Now how am I going to give back this pencil of his?" I asked myself as I walked out to the benches to wait for my father who should be picking me up soon. The area looked like I was amidst a massacre or battle. Red was everywhere, I got surprised wondering why everyone was wearing such a provocative and eye straining color until I heard the ones around me "Kel 3am w inti b5eir 7abibti" "Happy Valentine’s Day..!!" "Any plans for V day?" "Who’s your Valentine?". It felt awkward to me because I never got exposed to that before. I was a junior in high school who was an absolute nerd, and my outfit obviously showcased it; the awful hideous pair of huge square frames as spectacles, a pony tail and no sense of fashion whatsoever when a poofy dress with poofy shoulders was what I wore. I was a perfect example of a book worm and science geek. I got astounded at the amount of people who made a fuss of such an insignificant day. I was among those who believed that Valentine’s Day was one of those days that had an economic purpose and nothing more. The culture shock threw me off and made me walk while turning around myself to have a glimpse of how my fellow prospect pre-med students were acting. I still went on that frenzy for a while and talking to myself on how plain stupid and pathetic people were to fall for such an economic hoax. Little did I know that I was about to fall for it on that same day.

I walked further away from the ever-growing crowd of pre-adolescent students and more towards the benches. Reaching to the only bench that was free but of a black messenger bag, I decided to make myself comfortable and sit there as I waited for my father to arrive. Opening my backpack to take out the novel I was engrossed in reading.  A deep voice above me said: “Nice..!! You are reading Gone With The Wind”. Wondering if this person was actually talking to me, I look up to see that it was the pencil guy, Jassim. I hated a person to intrude on my space, which instantly made my mood suddenly change to a grumpy one.

"Ironic though, that you are reading a romance novel on Valentine’s Day" he continued.
"I don’t believe in these V day stuff" I said in a very serious firm tone.
"Yeah right..!! Whom are you kidding?" he said sarcastically. I felt violated and anger fumes started filling up my lungs.
"I guess this bag is yours?" I asked.
"Yes it is actually" he answered.
"Well I’ll excuse myself then" I got up to head somewhere else, somewhere away from him. 
"Hey, where are you going?" he started coming closer.
"I’ll just find another spot" with a rude attitude.
"But all the other benches are taken"
"No worries I’ll manage" as I walked with faster paces while checking the time on my simple black leather watch.
"Watch out there’s a…" before he got to complete the sentence, I fell into a depression that had a palm tree planted in it.

"Yal 6aibah, are you okay?" he started rushing to help me up.
"I’m fine. Thank you" I replied.
"Let me help you up" he approached closer.
"Move away I can manage" while coughing out the sand that I managed to inhale. It all of a sudden became windier and I still refused to grab his hand. I felt terrified thinking that he was a stalker. "What should I do?" I asked myself, my mind started running paranoid images of me being kidnapped and strangled. I didn't want to die, I thought to myself.
"I'll manage thank you" I said while standing up to fall yet again
"You surely can't, just let me help you"
"No THANK YOU, BACK OFF" I started screaming at him for all to hear.
"Sheesh okay okay" he said walking away.
I got up only to find that the depression was too deep and I was too short to get out, so I had to suck it all up and call out for him after all: "Hey YOU, you can help now". It was such a terrible way to cry out for help, now that I think about it.
"Fine" he shook his head with a smile as he walked back to where I was, stuck out his hand and pulled me out.
"Thank you" I said politely with a shy smile drawing on my face.
"You’re so egg headed" he said to me
"Excuse me?"
"Just sit here, we’ll share the bench. I don’t bite"

I sat there quietly cleaning my spectacles that was filled with sand and pulled out Margaret Mitchel's novel so I could kill time reading till my father arrived. It was a while until he interrupted the silence by saying:

"Only from the heart can you touch the sky" with one hand raising up to the sky.
I giggled
"Why are you laughing?" he asked
"I wasn't" with my eyes still glued to the novel I was reading
"You were, I’m not deaf you know" his tone changed
"I was giggling not laughing  There’s such a big difference bimbo" I said to myself not noticing that I said it out loud.
"Okay sorry my bad" he said "Such an egg head I swear" he said to himself in a low voice though I could hear him.
"Right..!!" rolling my eyes "And the purpose of quoting Jalaluddin Rumi was?" I continued
"Oh you know the guy? I am reading this book which is a collection of his poems and I found it to be a perfect quote" he pointed at the book he was holding.
"Aha" I replied sarcastically

The weather was turning to be beautiful, windy but not too windy. The trees had their leaves move to the rhythm of the wind. One perfect melody it was; the sweepings of the winds colliding with everything else. It felt magical to be in such an open place reading. The sunshine wasn't too bright or intense. It was delicate; caressing everything it laid on with its warmth that contrasted with the cold breeze the wind gave. Amazing weather and the book I was reading was even much more splendid because it was my favorite. I’d constantly read it over and over again. It was the perfect novel for me and it had the perfect definition of what love was all about to me. I always managed to smile whenever I read it. It was my ultimate comfort that made me feel out of this world. It gave me hope that such caring and loving people existed. “You have a wonderful smile. Something about it is just soothing” he intruded my sanctuary cage with those words. I got paralyzed in an instant. I didn't know what to say. This was the very first time I ever got complimented. “Should I say thank you? Nah never mind I’d just shut up” I told myself. Realizing that it was out of place for him to flirt, he changed the topic and said:

“I’ve always been advised to read Gone With The Wind but never had the chance”
“It’s an amazing book to read” I said after a very long pause of figuring out what to reply.
“So do you advise me to read it?”
“Of course” I jumped in immediately “Actually you can have this, I have another copy at home” closing the book and handing it over to him.
“Are you sure?”
“Oh yes sure. I've read it a million times, you can have it” I replied back.
“Oh thanks a million. I’d surely read it then”

I lied. I never had another copy at home. That was my only one. Why oh why did I give it to him? I started an inner struggle between me, myself and I.

I: "Shit, shit, what did I do?"
Me: "Serves you right. I've been so sick of reading this over and over again"
Myself: "Hey he deserves it, poor thing never read it"
I: "But it’s my favorite book"
Me: "Nobody told you to give it to him"
Myself: "You gave it out already and you can’t ask for it back"
I: "But but …"
Me & Myself: "Get a grip on yourself, ENOUGH"

I sulked and mourned on the book I was not supposed to give out. I went on daydreaming and staring at the buildings and what not because I had nothing else to do. My book was gone, my favorite pass time got ruined by nobody other than ME. My father at that time arrived honking. So, I gathered my things and got up "I have to go now, bye" I said in a hurry and fled the scene rushing to the car. Once I got in, I waved goodbye to him one last time and left. The bag felt heavier than usual, it got me curious. I reached my hands to the zipper of the bag that was on my lap. As I started unzipping it, my father started asking me about the exam and how I felt I did. Once he got busy answering a phone call of his, I opened and checked my bag only to find that Jassim slipped in the Poetry book he was reading inside my bag without me knowing. I smiled and decided to browse through it. The title read "The Love Poems of Rumi".  Opening the book, I found a message on the first page. It read: “Turn to page 27. Yours, J. I turned to page 27 only to read the most romantic poem I've ever come across:
Looking For Your Face
From the beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
but today I have seen it
Today I have seen
the charm, the beauty,
the unfathomable grace
of the face
that I was looking for
Today I have found you
and those who laughed
and scorned me yesterday
are sorry that they were not looking
as I did
I am bewildered by the magnificence
of your beauty
and wish to see you
with a hundred eyes
My heart has burned with passion
and has searched forever
for this wondrous beauty
that I now behold
I am ashamed
to call this love human
and afraid of God
to call it divine
Your fragrant breath
like the morning breeze
has come to the stillness of the garden
You have breathed new life into me
I have become your sunshine
and also your shadow
My soul is screaming in ecstasy
Every fiber of my being
is in love with you
Your effulgence
has lit a fire in my heart
for me
the earth and sky
My arrow of love
has arrived at the target
I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer
At the bottom of the page he noted down his e-mail address and wrote beneath it: Be my Valentine! 

That day marked the beginning of our fairytale story. "You became my valentine and my life when you came online that day", he shattered that flashback and brought me back to reality to this rainy cloudy misty morning. " I can't believe it has been sev...

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  1. I'm literally hooked. Mashallah. Jassim is damn adorable, by the way :P

  2. Gosh you are fast..!!
    Thanks mittens ;)

  3. So are you Rummy! Fast :)
    I absolutely love your writing and story. This is so fairy tale-ish. I'm loving it. Keep it up, waiting for the next part!

  4. loved the poem ! the guy got style ;P !


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