The Happiest || Part 5

I mop up the spilled coffee. It is midnight and I am overcome with a violent urge to clean. That date had made me feel like I had lost what little control I had over my life. I needed to reclaim it. I attack the house, top to bottom, front to back.

The next morning, I am exhausted. I tell my new friend about my temporary transition into the world of obsessive-compulsive disorder. She says she’s been there.

Yes, my new friend. I was terribly excited, she was in fact one of several I had recently met. A random encounter, an impromptu smoothie, a side conversation at the salon, and I now had a group. Strong and interesting women, all resilient and beautiful and poised, all single just like me. I finally felt accepted.

Their mandate was a common love of all things lovely and light from the topics of discussion, to their reactions to situations in their personal life, to the unannounced yet mandatory uniform of baggy jeans, black L’Agence camisoles, and flats, which we wore practically everywhere. The look effused an I-don’t-care-but-I-do vibe. My mother was less than enchanted. She tells me sayra sharshou7a, I was letting myself go. No Mama, I was letting myself be.

The camisole clan had a schedule. Mondays and Thursdays were for hitting a dive bar where we would jump up and down to the songs of some obscure duo, Raj and Dino, or something to that effect. We would talk loudly over the music and make a toast to friendship and living our best life. We were so happy. In fact, we were the absolute happiest. To prove it we posted stories on social media and tagged each other, our captions reading, “Fab night with my loves.” Again and again, secretly hoping that that one person would see it.

On Fridays we would hang out at one of their houses to recount the events of the week. We binged on edamame and George Michael, and discussed fillers and series and books. We also gossiped, but in a roundabout way, where we added “to each their own” or “I don’t judge” to the end of each sentence.

Tonight, they were talking about Sama, a mid-thirties lawyer who had never married. I had seen her around, she seemed fine. I didn’t really know her. One girl said she lacked substance and another said her style was baladi. I wasn’t sure why we were talking about her.

No clue at all, until one of the women looked me straight in the eyes and finally said,

“She’s dating Rashed. But to each their own, Noor.”

I grab my jacket. “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” is playing in the background as I shut the door behind me.

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