And Now Please Welcome The Ever So Lovely, Sama
I look at my ashen reflection in the mirror of the hotel bathroom. Ma3’oul Sama, what on earth have you done?
But, perhaps I should start from the beginning.
Born after three brothers, I had always been told that I was blessed and a blessing. My father, now a retired doctor who spent most of the day in his bathrobe shouting at the TV, would constantly tell me stories about how, as a little girl, people would stop in the street to look at me.
Yet growing up, my life never felt blessed. For as long as I can remember, I have been clawing my way out of my lackluster reality, trying to secure a seat at another table that will have me only if, if, if I marry well.
I still haven’t been able to make it happen.
While the rest of the world is asleep, I scour social media, searching for whoever it is that is meant to find me. Tonight’s hunt leads me to Rashed’s profile, a la’tah who I had heard of but had never met. I then search Noor, thin lips and sad eyes, no competition.
The next day I apply for a job at Rashed’s company, and several interviews later, I am hired.
On my first day at work I smooth out the creases in my black pantsuit and head to the glass elevator. I pretend to be lost in the view on my way up. But I know exactly where I am going.
It stops on the 11th floor. I step out and walk straight to the common area and wait. Twenty minutes later a large mahogany door swings open. I quickly rush over to the coffee station and pour myself a cup. Then I pretend to be very busy with my phone.
Rashed walks in. A bit confused as to why I am here, but grinning nonetheless. This is good. I walk over and introduce myself.
Next, I arrange to run into him in the parking lot after work. He smiles, I pretend to be surprised. “Shoo sitt Sama, you’re working late. Let me walk you to your car.”
As we walk, I remain quiet. In my years of experience, I have learned that most men would rather you said very little. It’s the moments of silence that give him the chance to create his own illusion of you, you are whatever he thinks you are, his perfect and wondrous new fantasy.
A few days later he calls me to his office. He asks me to close the door and begins to discuss a “mistake” he found in one of the contracts I had drafted. I don’t make mistakes, the typo was very much intentional. I apologize to him. He immediately suggests I make it up to him by buying him dinner.
I stand a bit taller. I was in.
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