I sat in my bed that night, thinking, grateful of what I had with a mix of grief of what I lost.
People are unpredictable. Everything and anything can happen in a millisecond that can result in a major change in one’s life. I wondered where would fate take me next.
I was ready-I am ready- to tell people I went to an Australia boarding school before I came here, but I was never asked the question. I am in most utter disbelief. It is very unlike Jawaher to not meddle in business that is not hers.
Was it Shamoos? Was it a persuasive influence of hers I am not aware of? No, I thought otherwise. Jawaher did what’s on her mind. She did not care of the consequence.
Something weird happened that week though. Remember the girl who asked me if I was lying? Yes? No? Okay. The other day she came forward to me and gave me a sincere apology. Noorah was her name. She told me her oldest brother was a licensed diver and very often explores the seas around the area. She also told me her brother knows most divers around the area, since they are few. I had to explain to her that I haven’t dived in so long that’s probably why he doesn’t know me and hadn’t heard of me. She seemed to believe me and must have studied about me, since I caught a glimpse of pity in her eyes when I told her I’ve neglected most of my hobbies. Overall the girl seemed genuinely nice.
The same week on Thursday 5aloowf called and asked if I wanted to join him and Mouzo to a trip to Dubai in my beach house. I couldn’t refuse of course; going to Dubai with 5aloowf exceeds the limitations of fun. I asked if Salamii and Shamoos are coming and he said they could but he hasn’t asked them yet. I offered to tell them the exciting news; he didn’t object of course. I asked Mary to pack my clothes and texted Shamoos asking if they could come with us to Dubai. Salami replied ten minutes later with a “Yes!” I called her and we recalled the good ole’ times.
Three hours later, Khalifa called me saying they were out. I told him I would be out in a few, while running downstairs I caught Mary and wished her a happy weekend. She told me to have a lot of fun and gave me the keys to my father’s beach-house in Palm Jumeira. Two minutes later I got into the car and greeted them. We chitchatted for a while.
“Ha banat tuboon tmroon mkan?” Khalifa yelled on top of the blasting music.
“Laa, we’ve got enough food for the road trip,” Salamii replied.
“Of course you do,” I teased
“6b3an ya3ne Salamii weyakum! You ain’t expecting her to get nothing, or are you now?” Shamoos rhetorically asked.
An hour later we all got out of the car.
“I miss the smell of the beach so freaking much!” Mouza said with her arms stretched into the air, enjoying the moment.
“Me tooooo!” Shamoos said.
“Me threee!” Salamii joined the I-miss-the-beach-clique.
“Mn mta ma yatoo hnee?” I asked.
“We came here a couple of times (referring to their other houses in Palm Jumeria) since you-know-what but it wasn’t as fun. You’re beach house is the finest-
“And has the most homey feeling that all our other beach houses lack.”
“So why didn’t you ask Mary for the keys? You know I wouldn’t mind…” I stated.
“You know what Arabs say: 3AIB!” 5aloowf joked.
“Enzain yalla laish che wagfeen d5lo!” Shamoos said.
“Oh shit, here are the keys,” I got them out as I realized we were standing in the parking lot.
“Khalifa, you may do the honors since it was your idea to spend the weekend f Dbai,” Mouza said as I held out the keys to practically no one yet to everyone.
“I’m flattered,” he said as he took the keys then unlocked the main door.
“Ahhhh! I love this place-
“Okay banat stop with the sound effects!” Khalifa said mockingly.
“The place hasn’t changed one bit! Mary has been taking good care of it,” I uttered as I examined the place.
“Well of course she has. It’s not like she had anything better to do,” Shamoos stated.
Too many memories were engraved in this house. It wasn’t just any house; it was a home to my cousins and I. We each found comfort within its walls. It is endearing how none of them found comfort in their houses, but in here where we practically grew up.
“7maaara! 5aysa! Thank God I left my phone on the table!” Mouza yelled.
Khalifa, Shamsa and I looked at each other knowingly.
“She did it again,” I said as we ran towards the pool
“Payback is a bitch,” Salamii said as she saw us running towards them.
“Note to self: never do anything to Salamii that might and most likely will fireback.” 5aloof said.
“I didn’t know you can hold a grudge this long,” Shamoos said while laughing.
Mouza was pushing herself out of the pool her clothes soaking. Salamii wasted no time in taking revenge, we weren’t surprised by her actions but at how fast she got her revenge. She justified it as “It all came to me when I saw the pool and Mouzo examining it.” You see, Mouzo and Shamoos have a long history of pushing one another in the pool.
“Salamii come help me get out!” Mouzo said.
“HAHAHAHA NO. 3shan you push me in with you? You may as well continue dreaming hun.” Salamii responded with great triumph.
“I learn from the best,” Salamii said referring to Mouza’s techniques.
“Plus, revenge is a dish best served cold.”
“An eye for an eye will make you blind.” Shamoos said referring to the whole pool thing.
We all gathered around the table facing the beach. Mouza was drying herself using a towel. Everyone was using their iPhone; we are an Apple family.
“Which restaurant do you want to have dinner at?” Khalifa asked.
“Umm… Legends Steakhouse?” Mouza suggested.
“No, not that again.” Shamoos said.
“How about Switch? I’m craving their burger!” Salamii proposed.
“No, I want to limit my intake of sugar today.” Shamoos said.
“Um, remind me again, since when do you care about your "intake of sugar?"” Muzo said.
“I’ve always cared,” Shamoos replied defensively.
“Yeah right,” I said.
“What do you recommend Sara?” Khalifa asked.
“How about Aroma Garden?” I suggested.
“YES!” They all said simultaneously.
“We haven’t had that in three freakin’ years!” Shamoos said!
“Their Aroma fries! Even Mary could not prefect it,” Salamii said drooling.
“I swear Salama their fries and you is like love at first sight,” Khalifa said teasingly.
“Like love at first sight? No K, it IS love at first sight. It is the definition of love at first sight.” Mouza corrected.
“Salamii’s love for food,” Shamoos sighed.
“Shower, get dressed, put your make-up on or do whatever you girls do. I’ll meet you in the car in an hour!” Khalifa said leaving the table heading to his room.
“Don’t be late!” He yelled while walking away.
“I’m outta here!” Mouza said leaving to take a shower.
“Me too! See ya double S’s in a while,” I said as I followed Mouzo.
“Where is Salama?” Khalifa asked an hour later.
“Like always, normally late?” Shamoos said.
“Don’t even go there,” Salama said rushing down the stairs towards the living room.
“You locked yourself in the bathroom for 45 minutes doing God knows what!” Salama continued.
“5aiba Shamoos! 45 minutes?” Mouzo exclaimed.
“I didn’t know I took that long, ya3ne who knew you were counting down the minutes,” Shamoos said.
“Plus it’s not like you were dressed and everything waiting for me to get out so you can use the bathroom, you were using your laptop okay?” Shamoos backfired.
“5ala9, let’s not point fingers.” I interrupted.
“Let’s get going then!” 5aloof said loudly walking towards the main door.
“Yalla, goomo! Let’s not disrupt the peace,” Mouzo said.
We peacefully drove to the restaurant, sat in our regular table and had dinner. Khalifa went out to take an important phone call when Mouzo came up with this crazy idea.
“HEY! How about we order shisha?” Mouzo said excitedly.
“YES! Let’s do it!” Salamii said eagerly.
“5aloof is going to be SO MAD!” Shamoos said cautiously.
“But you know what they say YOLO is the motto right?” Shamoos continued.
“Yolo as in you obviously lack originality?” I said baffled.
“LOOOOOOL,” The girls cracked up.
“No darling, it stands for you only live once.” Mouzo said still laughing.
“Ohh, let’s do it then!” I said.
Mouza gestured for the waitresses to come.
“Can we please have, kam w7da?” She asked us.
“W7da,” Shamoos said.
“Can I please have one shisha?” Mouza said.
“What flavor?” The bored waitresses asked.
“Um…” She said examining the list of flavors.
“Raspberry?” Mouza suggested.
“Coming up,” The waitresses said.
We chatted for a while when I spotted the waiter carrying it towards us.
“It’s coming!” I whispered nervously.
“Who wants to smoke first?” Mouza asked mischievously after the waiter left.
“Me!” Salamii offered excitedly.
“Go ahead!” Shamoos said mischievously.
“What happens here stay here,” Salamii warned, took the hose, inhaled and then exhaled smoke.
“How was it?” Mouzo asked.
“Honestly? It’s better than I expected.” Salamii answered.
“Oh là là” Mouzo remarked.
“Gimme I want to try,” Mouzo continued as she held the hose.
Mouzo inhaled and exhaled smoke.
“Ugh! The raspberry, it's so fruity, but sour! You left me with high hopes Salamii, it’s not that good!” Mouza said.
“It’s no secret you’re not a huge berries fan. I was surprised you order it,” I said.
“I don’t even know why I ordered it myself, the waitress was making me nervous with her negative energy.” Mouzo said.
“MY TURN!” Shamoos said as Muzo passed her the hookah.
Shamoos inhaled, but started coughing hard.
“Horrible –cough- experience –cough- ” Shamoos said in-between coughs.
We all cracked up at Shamoos’s fail attempt to smoke.
“Your turn,” Mouza said thrillingly.
“This better be good!” I said as Shamoos passed me the hookah.
I inhaled, breathed in and exhaled the smoke out.
“It’s actually not as bad-
“Sara? Not bad? You realize you are smoking!” Khalifa said angrily.
“Well, I thought maybe I could just try it,” I said
“You thought wrong!” Khalifa burst out.
“Plus it’s just shisha, half of the restaurant is smoking it,” I explained.
“It’s not just shisha! And you are not allowed to smoke!” Khalifa said irately.
“Dude, chill it’s just shisha, I wonder what you’ll do if you caught her smoking cigars.” Mouza said
“Stay out of it and don’t even dare smoke cigars.” Khalifa scolded.
“And for your information shisha is just as bad as cigars. It contains same risks and more exposure to carbon monoxide.” Khalifa continued.
“And he get’s all scientific-
“She wasn’t the only one who smoked, calm down” Salamii said.
“And how was that supposed to calm him down? Smart Salamii,” Shamoos responded sarcastically.
“So you all smoked? It’s just our first day here and you guys figured you could-
“Please save us the lecture. Mom and Zayed will do that for us.” Shamoos begged.
“I am not saving you anything! You will listen to every word I say and if you EVER try that again you’ll be sorry,” He angrily said.
Khalifa then lectured us about smoking and shisha and how they’re both dangerous, cause serious illness and heart disease. We promised not to smoke again and we left the restaurant since no one had any appetite left.
“Because I’m feeling generous today I won’t tell your guardians,” Khalifa calmly said.
“Thank you!” Shamoos said obviously relieved.
“We owe you one,” Shamoos continued.
“You think?” Khalifa said.
“Wait, but what’s the catch?” Salamii asked.
“No catch.” Khalifa replied.
“You live to see us get into trouble,” Salamii continued.
“I live to see you get into trouble. Ouch Salama, that hurt.” Khalifa said.
“Leave the man alone, he had a change of heart, if it works for us then you might as well shut up.” Shamoos defended.
“No, Salamii’s right, something’s fishy about this,” Mouza said.
“What? Can’t a man have a change of heart? If you want me to tell I have no problem doing so,” He defended.
“No, no, we’re good. Thanks for the offer though.” Salamii said.
“Okay then,” Khalifa said.
“Do you want to go anywhere?” He asked.
“No, just take us home.” I said.
Almost immediately after our arrival everyone left to his or her room. It was a long day and we were tired. I on the other hand couldn’t sleep. I haven’t felt this range of emotions in a very long time. I was happy and excited. As my head lay on my pillow I wondered about tomorrow and not yesterday, which was a thing I haven’t done in a very, very long time.