No Matter What: Chapter Twenty Three

1:06 PM

Simple black and purple elegant and chic stencils decorated the simple ivory white wall. Two gigantic mirrors placed opposite each other made the room even wider and bigger than the tiny space that it was. The wooden floor matched perfectly with the door and the lightening was one that many would die for; a mix of ambient yellow light with the heavy bright lights secured on a specific corner. The ceiling was black and beautiful with the sparkly chandelier taking a huge space of the dark wall, she exhales getting out all that tension she felt. She couldn’t stop smiling to an extent she got scared her heart would jump out of its place from the happiness overcoming her. But then the nerves started taking its lawful place in the midst of it all; spreading throughout her limbs. She started shaking from how anxious she now felt; a bittersweet sensation that anyone would go through if they were put in her situation. Noor was seated on the recliner chair with her hair pulled upwards. It was time for her makeup which she didn’t know much about. ‘Fajr, 'I'll kill you if I turn out to be a cake’ she told Fajr who stood right next to her with an incense burner in her hand. ‘Don’t worry it will turn out to be as perfect as ever’ she winked at her nervous friend while moving around with her hand dispersing the smoke produced by the burning sweet bukhoor. The aroma of the room was uplifting and amazingly exhilarating. Taking the last deep breath, Noor inhaled as she left her face in the mercy of a stranger to beautify her. ‘Think corals, simple and beautiful’ Fajr told the makeup artist as she remembered how Taimur would always tell her how simple and beautiful her makeup and hair was. She smiled as she dazed into her own world; their last evening, their farewell and goodbye.

'And if I say yes?' she gulped her warm chai latte as she felt the pit of her stomach turn upside down. She knew she needed the closure, she needed to let go of that last thread that hung her to the past. She had to let go of him and sleep like everyone else; without him at the back of her mind, and without him causing her to tear. ‘I’d be the happiest man alive' he said as he put up a fake grin to assure her that all was well. He was determined to make it up to her, to what was lost; to what he never had the courage to face all these years. 'So shall we?' he asked as he opened the door to her car and took her by the hand.

It was a night that was unforgettable, a drive past what used to be their favorite place around town. Their favorite route when all they wanted was to escape everyone else. A road that had nothing but nature; you could see the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. Serene, peaceful and calm, just as how she always felt around him. He wished he could talk but he kept silent because no words would describe the many times they visited this path, nor would words describe the ‘I love you’s that once upon a time was exchanged, nor would words explain the magnitude of pain this road suffered from being alienated from both of them. All Fajr did was take it all in as her mind registered that it was finally the goodbye she wished for. Dinner was late night skewers of barbequed meat they both ever so loved. Sitting by the edge of the highway as she got startled by the view of the moon, she swayed to the left to land in his arms. Hugging him tight she closed her eyes shut waiting for a miracle to happen, hoping that all her pain would go away, she prayed for this to be a dream. She prayed that the past five years were just an April fool's joke or a prank that was played on her. She sat still and prayed while her meat skewer got cold. Opening her eyes, she still saw herself there at the edge with her feet dangling in the air while overseeing the breathtaking view of the moon and beach. Looking into her eyes, he could see her pain, 'I so wish it was a dream too but it isn't' he said as he brushed his hand on her cheek. Fajr gathered her strength to speak and never cared if she were to sob; she had to let it out. 'You hurt me to my core. My whole world stopped then. Was it me? Did they hate me? I could have done anything. Why? Why didn't you choose me?' she faced him as she snuffled for air. 'What did I do that was so bad for you not to fight for me? What did I do for you not to even tell me the reason?' she continued as anger shot into her veins and her voice grew louder 'Why? Why? Why? I loved you with all my heart' Fajr grabbed him by his shirt demanding an answer when all Taimur gave her was an ashamed face and a kiss on her forehead as he drew her closer to him that they were a breath apart.

'I didn't know how to face you. My family never wanted to hear my opinion about it. I tried pushing it so hard but they refused just because you were from a family we don’t marry into' he said holding on to her hands that were on his collar. 'I was looking out for you, even if I fought my family to be with you they would always treat you bad. They would have made your life miserable' Fajr shocked from his revelation remained silent as she made sense of what he was saying. 'I've hated my life every single day for falling for you when I knew nothing would have worked out. I swear I tried everything possible until I came to terms that it was for the best. I want you to live your life Fajr. I want you to enjoy it because you deserve it the most. I am awful, bad and selfish for doing this to you. You don’t deserve that, you don’t deserve me. You ...' he paused as he got choked up for words. 'You are a gem that deserves to be appreciated and cherished. I am here to make up for the awful cliffhanger, I am here to tell you that life is there to be enjoyed, it's a one way ticket so make the most out of it' he said as his voice lowered. He knew that it was time for him to let go of her as well. It was the only way she would move on. His heart started to race as his breathing became shallower; he felt a hard sharp pain in his heart, he was about to collapse and shut the world out to simply remain with her, but if only time could stay still. ‘I love you and I was blessed to have you in my life’ he said as he tried as hard as he could to be strong for her. ‘You shouldn’t break not now’ Taimur told himself as he took a deep breath and continued ‘You were my picture perfect image of the one I wanted to be my wife, my truth that I came to find. I love you, and will always and forever be thankful that you were a part of my life.’ He then paused as he took a look into those eyes for the very last time. They stayed there bidding farewell to each other through silence.

The cars along the road would sweep off dust and blow it at them but they never cared for it was the last goodbye. Then Taimur abruptly let go off Fajr’s arms to search for something in his pockets. Taking out his wallet, he pulled out something that made him smile. 'Remember this?' he asked her as he laughed lightly. She smiled as she took a look what he had in his hand; it was a replica of the business card he gave her the day their cars crashed into each other, the day their fates were sealed into each other. He sighed as he stole a kiss on the cheek and whispered ‘I’ll miss you’ in her ear as he took a sniff of her lavender hair then held her tight. With Fajr resting her head on his chest and her body held between his arms, Taimur went off tearing the card into tiny pieces. He reached out to her hand and whispered 'here, take this’ as he sheltered her body while she cried loudly with her hand gripping the pieces of the torn card. 'Taimur doesn't exist anymore', he tilted her hand for the pieces to flutter and fly off with the wind 'no more' he whispered as he hugged her one last hug as the love of his life.


The phone vibrates jolting Fajr back to reality. 

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