Today, I was made senior partner and was presented with the opportunity to lead our operations in Doha. I will need to spend half the work week there for the next six months, it is the chance of a lifetime. “Mabrouk Noor, well deserved!” My boss tells me. Yay, I think so too.
My little boy tells me that’s so cool mama, my daughter tells me she is proud of me. I speak to Rashed about it. He could sense my excitement over the phone and makes a joke about me wanting to be as far away from him as possible. I could be mistaken but he sounds a tiny bit, was it sincere? I no longer care, I hadn’t for a while now. “Deer ba-lak 3aloowlad, I’ll be back soon to pick them up.”
And away I go.
Staring into the ocean from the floor to ceiling window of my lofty office, I feel calm and happy. Never had I imagined that such a short flight could take me so very far.
Armed in a navy Gabriela Hearst suit and a single white gold bangle I had bought for myself to celebrate my promotion, I am ready to meet my clients. Four gentlemen enter the room. One of them looks familiar, I cannot seem to place him. The meeting proceeds without a hitch. Afterwards, I stand up to walk them to the door, elegantly knocking over a tall glass of water in the process. It flies and hits the floor, drenching the chairs, papers, and the poor men in their tailored suits on its way down. Bravo Noor.
“First you take two dinars from me and now this?” he teases. It finally registers, my client is none other than the stranger I had harassed for spare change after that miserable gala months ago. Karma has a bizarre sense of humor that I still struggle to appreciate. He is beyond amused. I am beyond embarrassed. I shrug. “Ah, so now you remember?” he continues.
And I’m not sure how or why or when, but I found myself in a relationship with a man who is consistently wonderful and kind. He makes me laugh. And I, well, having been the giver for more years than I care to admit, found it all a bit confusing. God knows I gave him a hard time.
One day he comes over to the house to sort out my Wi-Fi. He arrives early and I’m still in my leggings, a small coffee stain adorns the lower part of my t-shirt, and I am wearing socks with Havaianas. I couldn’t have looked worse if I tried. Still, somewhere between the tool box and the pizza box, he tells me he loves me.
I call my mom to tell her the news, but before I get the chance, she tells me that I need to come back fawran. Something had happened to my son.
I run to the airport and take the next flight back home. Consumed by guilt all the way.
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