Sameera and the Forbidden Fruit (VIII)

A continuation
A week after Aberto and Sameera got back from their vacation in Spain, and before Sameera had any chance to open the subject about Alberto with her family, Alberto received a letter from his company informing him, apologetically, that his assigned position as a project manager in Kuwait had been terminated and that he had to return to Italy as soon as possible. Apparently the company that Alberto worked for, and through which he was stationed in Kuwait as part of a contract with one of the ministries, was facing some fanatical disputes that reached the courts of law. And although Alberto had two more years to hand in the project he was managing, his visa expired in three months.
And as a consequence, the couple found themselves in a physically and psychologically tiring situation; Alberto had two choices, each was harder to pursue than the other. One option was to go back to Italy, and risk his relationship with Sameera who wasn’t ready to leave her job, at least not before she paid off the remainder of the mortgage for her property in Dubai. Another option was to resign from his company and go job-hunting for another in Kuwait. And although the second option seemed more promising to the couple, it was not so easy in the realm of reality.
Alberto had only two months to seek another job. And the probability of getting a job suitable for his qualifications and at least as rewarding as his previous one, was very slim. After tedious times spent in writing applications and going through endless interviews, of which all the interviewers promised to call, he received nothing. He only heard through Sameera’s connections that some had rejected him because he was over qualified for thier vacant positions. And as the second month trailed ahead, Alberto started loosing hope, he knew he had to sell his car and furniture, and return the flat to the owners within one month and head to Italy jobless without Sameera. Not to mention that he was spending his savings with no return. But his fear of loosing Sameera created a jerk out of him as the third month stared to close. He simply could not imagine his life without her, and that practically ruined him psychologically, he had no idea what to do, but to find solitude in alcohol. Sameera, on the other hand, enslaved herself in finding the connections to aid Alberto in his mission. Her job was not easy, and sometimes humiliating, especially when she was promised help from someone who bragged more than took action.
When the situation got worse, he sold his car and rented a cheap one and started to sell his furniture through ads in Sultan Center’s boards. Sameera who had lost a lot of weight from lack of sleep, had another duty to keep her strength, at least in front of him, so that he wouldn’t collapse.
And although this incident was hard for both of them to fathom, and fights between them increased, especially with Alberto’s drinking that was becoming a daily routine, the couple was never closer to each other as they were at those hard times. Some days they spent in complete denial and partied, while other days they cried themselves to sleep.
They say that things get worse before they get better. And a few days before his departure, and as the flat was slowly being emptied, Alberto finally got the call he was long waiting for, and a new sun stared to rise over a stronger bond. Their love had passed its first test and was triumphant. They realized that the most important thing was to want a relationship bad enough to fight for it, in one boat.
Instead of the old furniture, new more suitable and elegant furniture replaced the old. These were the pieces they handpicked together to decorate their new lively nest. And the old bed that was Alberto’s alone was now replaced with a new one more suitable for the deserving bride, ushering them into a new life, as Alberto kept reminding Sameera.
This dilemma also assured them that nothing could stop in the way of their happiness; and now that he had secured his future, it was time for Alberto to officially propose. The couple had no other choice but to make their dreams come true, regardless of any obstacle that might come their way.

To be continued

Sameera and the Forbidden Fruit (VII)

A continuation
Summer also turned out to be a bliss with Alberto, except towards the end of their vacation. They rented a flat-hotel close to Nikki beach in Mabella, and made a daily routine to go and lay lazily on the beach-beds listening to none-stop music all day. The music at the beach started with hip-hop during midday and ended with romantic melodies. Brazilian girls with glistening tans, under the mid afternoon sun, danced everywhere. Some even danced over the bar counter, between glasses and bottles of alcohol that circled around the DJ. During those hours, everything went crazy, people, especially rich Arabs, shook Champaign bottles and opened them to splash all over the people who were in proximity, on behalf of any female figure that moved. Sometimes it got loud and annoying, but in general it gave a sense of celebration that everyone on the beach seemed to enjoy. Sameera didn’t care about the world so long she was in the company of Alberto. She wasn’t even attentive, unlike her usual self, if there where some familiar faces. By now she was determined to tell her family about Alberto as soon as she got back, and had no scruple whatsoever. But Alberto became like a watchful dog, paying attention to anyone who seemed, even unintentionally, to be making a pass at Sameera, without directly admitting it. Yet, jealousy was all over his face, and dictated his mysterious attitude, especially when Arabs cramped the beach. But those occurrences were not too often, and just before the Sunset, where the couple got closer to each other while they lied supine, listening to the most romantic and soothing music the DJ played, made it impossible for the couple to seek other beaches.
They only had one meal a day; dinner, where they chose different restaurants in town, but they made sure to have each other as appetizer before changing for their night that started with that meal. They also nibbled all day on assorted cheese and fruits with frozen bottles of beer on the beach all day. Best days were when they woke up relatively early, in those days they easily found some vacant beds in the area that Lowie was serving. He was their favorite, for he knew exactly what they wanted and got the couple their order without even asking them. Their nights were usually spent in nightclubs, where they danced to the small hours of the morning. Otherwise, they just strolled bare-footed on the cool sands of the beach under bright silver moons.
Only one time they went to the casino for the heck of it, and they had great fun, laughing all night at the naivety of Sameera at Blackjack. She almost made a stupid move, if it wasn’t for Alberto who rushed to her rescue at the last moment, begging her to pass her turn while she wanted to draw one more card. The table was alert to her next move, tension was apparent especially at the face of a gambler sitting directly next to her, whose chips were piled to form several mountains, while she only had two five-Euro chips. One wrong move from her side, and the rich, poor old gambler was bound to loose a fortune. Luckily for him though, she listened to Alberto. And this became their anecdote while they drove around in the sport, convertible BMW M3 they rented after leaving the casino. And under the open roof, Alberto taught her the basics of the game and how it’s team oriented. Similar, in that sense, to koot bo sitta she used to play with her friends, especially in long Ramadan nights before she met Alberto.

On the blackjack table that night, a handsome, nicely built, tall Arab guy, who appeared to be in his late twenties, grinned at the couple several times while they were arguing. A young blond girl stood behind that guy who seemed to be his girlfriend.
Next day at the beach, and while they were enjoying the craziness of the dancers, the Arab guy and his girl were two beds away. While he was splashing Champaign all over his girlfriend, some of the liquid showered Sameera. The guy came and apologized to Sameera, but Sameera replied that she didn’t mind, and commented about Champaign being good for her tanning. Alberto, who was jolly all day, suddenly became quiet and after less than fifteen minutes he rose and left. Sameera thought that he was going to use the washrooms. When sometime passed and he didn’t show up, she called his mobile and found out that he was in the hotel claiming that he had a headache.
Sameera gathered her beach stuff and rushed to the hotel to find Alberto in bed. “What was that all about? And why did you leave me at the beach without telling me that you were coming back to the hotel?” Sameera dashed at him angrily. “ I thought you were enjoying your time with your own people, so I wanted to give you some space” Alberto’s voice trailed between the pillows. And so a fight started between them and ended with each sleeping on the opposite, far side of the king size bed. At dinnertime, Alberto got closer to Sameera and apologized for his stupidity, but he also mentioned that this coupling may be wrong, for Sameera might be better off with someone from her superior social class. When she heard him say that, she burst into laughter, assuring him that this nonsense was only inside his head. And since that night was their last night together, she let the incident pass, but she knew that she had a problem that she had to deal with later.
To be continued

Sameera and the Forbidden Fruit (VI)

A continuation
Christmas was knocking at the door, and its jingling bells in Roberto thoughts persuaded him to take the opportunity and introduce Sameera to his family, especially that his sister, brother and their families, who lived in different cities of Italy, were also visiting the parents for the occasion. But Sameera received his suggestion with a somewhat cold attitude. And that was her way of responding to such circumstances when she was lost for words. First she did not plan to take the two weeks off from her job. And if she did that, she would have to shorten the long vacation she was planning to take in summer. Second, what was she going to tell her family? She was used to traveling abroad all the time, but all her trips were business oriented. And when she traveled with friends it was either to London to visit her friend Tahani, or to other close areas of the Gulf region or Lebanon, but she had never been to Italy, nor knew anyone there to use as an excuse. But that was not the only thing that bothered her.
“You don’t seem to be very excited with the idea!” Alberto mumbled. “It’s not that, it’s my family, I don’t know how they’ll take this,” she replied. But Alberto continued his persuasion, “You know how important this is to me, don’t you? My family was waiting for this since last summer, and I wouldn’t want to go there without you. This trip means a world to me, there are so many places I want to show you, and so many things that…” “Why is it always about you? Why don’t you for once think about me and what I have to go through?” Sameera found herself bursting with anger that she even surprised herself. Alberto who was taken aback by her sudden reaction replied with ease “ok, ok, cool down, it was just a thought, I will go alone then.” Alberto knew by now that when Sameera was in this mood, she usually had other things on her mind that she didn’t want to talk about, but he also knew that when this happens, she’d better be left alone, for soon she’ll come back to her senses, and would eventually talk about what’s troubling her.
And he was right, when Sameera saw Foziya for lunch the day after, her friend chided her for her reaction “ I think you over reacted, this to Alberto means official engagement, this is the way it’s done in the West, you have to think Easterner when you deal with your family, and Westerner when you deal with his. This is not like taking a casual vacation, you know.” “ But what am I going to tell my family, I’m so sick and tired of lying all the time, besides, I don’t know how to meet his family, I haven’t done that before and I don’t know how it would turn out, how would they receive me, I’m so nervous” Sameera finally confided in her friend. “So that’s your problem then?” Foziya glanced at her friend for an answer, but when she didn’t get any, she added “ what would be a better opportunity than this one to know what you’re getting yourself into? Don’t forget that you may have to leave with him one day and live in his country,” and then, as if in a stage play, she raised her hands in the air, saying teasingly “just imagine all the gorgeous Italian girls that he might run into while he’s alone there” “get out of here” Sameera dashed, tapping her friend’s shoulder jokingly.
And although Sameera was still hesitant about the trip, but she sought to take her friend’s advice, and reluctantly went ahead. But nevertheless, she arranged and rearranged her suitcase more than four times with thousands of questions on her mind; what clothes were proper for this occasion, and what weren’t, and may be more than ten calls a day to Alberto to confirm her choices. But the trip turned out to be more beneficial than she thought, other than the fact that she had the best time she could imagine in Tirano.
The family was more than hospitable, and the mother was a darling. She even gave the couple the main bedroom in the house, which was hers, and seized every opportunity to make the couple comfortable. She seemed very happy to meet Sameera, and voiced her appreciation and gratitude to Sameera for making Alberto happy. The mother never liked Alberto’s ex-girlfriend, she was well aware that he’s been used by her, and down in her heart, she always wished that they’d break up. And that added some salt and pepper to the ladies’ gossips, when they were alone. Yet, Sameera didn’t miss how religious the family was, especially the mother who took her to church the first Sunday she was there. And although Alberto objected at first, but he eventually gave in, when Sameera herself insisted. Sameera was more than happy to accept the mother’s invitation. To her, God existed everywhere, in the church, the temple or the mosque. But Sameera never ceased to make a mental comparison between her own family’s attitude and Alberto’s; She even dreaded thinking of the day when Alberto had to meet her family.
Sameera could never forget that early December day when Alberto took her to a wonderful lake that was frozen at that time of the year. Actually, they never slept the night before when they spent it in making love several times. The area was close to the border with Switzerland, and Alberto hugged her by that lake and told her about his dream of their future house. The place was heavenly; one could see the other side of the boarder with its cottage-like houses amidst bare trees. The very same image she had always fantasized herself in, as a kid, every time she opened Swiss chocolate boxes that she received as gifts. She knew that she would love to live in such a peaceful place, only if she could accommodate herself there, and the only way she could think of, was to start her own business. What would she do if this marriage didn’t work? Or if, for some reason, Alberto wasn’t able to provide for her? She had to make sure that she wasn’t going to loose everything then.
She had a property in Dubai in which she invested several years back. The property was rented and was paying its own mortgage. She could easily sell that property and start a business in Italy, but she had no idea where to start, and the language was another barrier. Sameera, who had started to learn Italian online for few months, and who practiced with Alberto on occasions, was baffled when Alberto communicated with his family. Several times she thought that they were fighting while the family was just having a normal conversation, and she wondered if Alberto had gone through the same with her people. But she thanked her stars that the family spoke English because when she tried to use the very few words she learned with the natives in the surrounding villages, she was completely lost for words.
When she came back she was more relaxed, she had made few major decisions, and she thanked her friend Foziya for persuading her to take this trip. The only other problem that remained pending was her family, and she was not ready to tell them yet. Not before she took the summer vacation with Alberto alone, to Spain in summer.

To be continued

Sameera and the Forbidden Fruit (V)

A continuation

The mother, who was now broken hearted, did not stop cursing her luck for not being able to raise her daughter properly, as was constantly reminded by the father. Few days after Eid, Sameera was in for another surprise. The mother, who spent the Eid holidays in Syria with her sister, came to Sameera and gave her some holey liquid in a jar and asked her to splash it on her body, in three consecutive baths. The mother apparently went on this trip especially to see a Mullah; a holly man who was famous for his miraculous powers in the Moslem community around her. She mentioned to Sameera that the Mullah saw how bleak was Sameera’s future. The mother also claimed that the Mullah told her that Sameera had been bewitched and as a result is living in sin with a foreigner, and she will never get married unless she uses that liquid and then goes to Omrah.
And of course Sameera guessed that the mother had made up the last part concerning “ the foreigner” in the story, she remembered that she once met Alberto in Marina Mall to give him some CDs and little Alia was with her. And she figured that the mother was only saying that to drag the truth out of her mouth, like what she (the mother) must have done with her sister. And although Sameera was taken by surprise at first, and denied any relationships, but she did not object, instead she took the liquid and thanked her mother for her concern, only to throw it in the garbage on her way out.
“Can you believe that my mother would go to that extend?” Sameera voiced her outrage to her friend Foziya later on, while having coffee at Starbuck Albede . “ I can’t believe that this witchcraft is still going on”, she added. “ Don’t forget that witchcraft became authentic because of its mention in Quran, and it became an essential part of Moslem’s belief and ritual as a consequence, if you want to see the source of all our troubles, it’s always the Quran” her friend replied disgustedly, then added mockingly “ I wonder what Alberto would think about this!” “Are you kidding, I would never tell Alberto, he’d most probably think that we’re some type of perverts, and I want him to respect my family, no matter what” Sameera dashed objectively. “He’ll find out soon enough” her friend closed her sentence with a wink.
But the real problem between Alberto and Sameera was the conversion issue. Alberto had to convert to Islam to be able to marry Sameera as per Shareea law. His friends advised him against it, since it is a one-way street, as they warned. Which meant that if he ever changed his mind and decided to convert back to his religion, he’d be sujected to execution where Mullahs and Mofti’s gave themselves the right to make his blood halaal. This also meant that anyone in the street who has nothing to do with him is encouraged to kill him to go directly to heaven, and Alberto considered this a sacrifice.
Other than that, Alberto was born and raised in a Roman Catholic household, and although he was not much of a religious person himself, but his parents were. And his conversion would mean a disaster to his religious, church committed mother, even if that was just on a piece of paper that meant nothing. But nevertheless, he was willing to do that for Sameera, especially when Sameera herself told him that she didn’t care for his conversion if it was not for her family and the society, besides being the only way for them to get married. But nevertheless he never stopped reminding her of the sacrifice that he’s willing to make for her sake. And so Sameera found herself torn apart between her lover, who was demanding in her opinion, and her parents, who made it hell for her at home.
Deep in her heart, Sameera wished that her marriage contract followed the rules of the civil laws of his country, seeing her married female friends unjustly suffer the consequences of bad marriages in courts of sharee3a was frightening. And so she told Alberto to include her right to break the contract (divorce) in the marriage contract, and Alberto agreed. But nevertheless; considered it another sacrifice for her sake.

To be continued

Sameera and the Forbidden Fruit (IV)

A continuation

That night was the first time Sameera’s father laid a hand on her. And since she was grouchy that day because of the start of her period, she preferred not to reply to his threatening words, so that she won’t say something that she’d regret later. She just went straight to her bedroom, while her father continued his yelling at her and everything that came his way. When she was about two meters away from him, he dashed closer to her and slapped her on the face with such a strength that made her left ear ring all night. He also kicked her several times, in different places of her body until the mother came between them begging “ for God’s sake take refuge in Him from Satan the outcast”, but the father who was drawn by his anger, kicked anything that came his way, including the mother and little Alia; Sameera’s little sister.
Inside her room; Sameera hugged her pillow in despair, and cried her eyes out, not wanting to hear the noise outside. And at the same time, her heart went out to her mother and sister, but she did not dare open the door, in hope that this would ease the tension when she temporarily stayed out of the way.
Sameera’s father then left the house to the mosque and the mother came knocking at her door carrying a tray with food. When Sameera opened, the poor mother whose eyes were puffed by now, placed the tray on the floor, and sat beside her daughter’s bed when Sameera refused to touch her food. And after few moments of persuasion, the mother took out a box of empty birth control pills asking Sameera “ can you tell me what is this?” And after few moments of hesitation, Sameera found her tongue and said, “it’s birth control Pills”, but seeing the disappointment in her mother’s eyes, she promptly added “ the doctor prescribed them to regulate my period”. And as soon as she finished her sentence, she noticed how the muscles relaxed in her mother’s face while she uttered words blaming herself “ it’s all my fault, my nagging drove your dad insane tonight”. But instead of feeling better, Sameera felt even more disgusted with herself, when one lie led to another.
Next morning, Sameera felt so exhausted and did not feel like accomplishing any job at her office. But luckily, she did not have much to do. It seemed like everyone was as grouchy as she was, and no one wanted to work in Ramadan. And when Tahani came online, Sameera was delighted to chat with her friend. She needed someone to talk to, and Foziya was nowhere to be reached.
On the messenger, Sameera told her friend about her situation, not missing to announce her disgust at herself for creating lies that got worse with time. But to her surprise Tahani said, ” lying is not sinfulness, as a matter of fact, sometimes it’s necessary, it all depends on the situation”, and she added, “ for example, if I were in trouble and you had to lie to save my neck, would you do it? Or would you tell the truth and have me killed?”, and here Sameera started having a shift in her perception as she replied, “ of course I’d lie, some things have more priority than other things”. And here Tahani wrote triumphantly “then shut the F#&! Up”.
Sameera, who felt much better now, started thinking all day of what Tahani had said, and what she herself replied. There were things in her life that had priorities, and she was not going to ruin them by giving in to less important things. She knew that she was doing the right thing, and that it was not time to tell the family the truth, because they simply would not understand. It was not as if she’d continue this course of action; someday, when the time is right, she promised herself, she will tell her parents the truth. But until then, she had to be more careful, at least for her family’s sake. She also decided to get closer to her mother without letting that affect her relationship to Alberto. As for her father, she was too shocked to even think of what became of him. Religion was supposed to make a better person of one and not create a monster, at least that was what she learned while growing up. She knew that her father’s intention was to provide the best for her, yet, she was convinced that whatever he thinks is right, is not necessarily so, and that was the whole issue at hand. She also realized that all her life she was playing the role of a victim, and it was time for her to change; she had to be the one in control of her life, and not anyone else.
Half way through Ramadan, her mother came to Sameera with her version of great news “your dad’s cousin Bu Mansour is coming to see us tonight, he hinted to your father that he’s interested in you” she mouthed the surprise excitedly. “Bu Mansour is as old as my father, and he’s married with six kids” Sameera said objectively. “You’re not in your twenties Sameera, and this is your only chance to get married, and besides, his wife is sick and she can’t perform her marital duties” her mother reassured. And after a huge debate between the two, Sameera agreed to what seemed like the parent’s plot to marry her off, on one condition.
Sameera knew that Islam forbids the marriage of the second wife without the first wife’s consonance, as per some interpretations. And she plotted to use that to her advantage despite her mother’s objection. Sameera did not want any of this for sure, but she knew that the only way for her to get out of this dilemma was to communicate with her mother in a language she understood. And of course the poor wife did not know about her husband’s plans, and Bu Mansour wasn’t going to let her into this, and so he didn’t accept her condition, which was a more reason for the mother to loose all hope.

To be continued

Sameera and the Forbidden Fruit (III)

Acontinuation
That first day of Ramadan was not an easy day for Sameera. First she had to give up her morning Turkish coffee and cigarettes, which had become her daily ritual for some time. Second, the work in her office was so light that day that she kept dosing all day long, blessing her stars when the working hours were done, and she finally got to go home. But even then she couldn’t take a nap because of that persistent headache, and also because of what Alberto told her the day before, after protesting to attend any of his gatherings in Ramadan, so long he served Alcohol.
“A hypocrite? Is that what he thinks I am?” she vented out to Foziya while they were walking in Mishrif before breaking her fast that day. But instead of comforting her friend, Foziya agreed with Alberto completely, and above that accused Sameera of being no different from Awatif. In her accusation Foziya was referring to few nights before Ramadan when Sameera attended a party with Alberto, in one of the rented apartments of Almasaleh complex in Bnaid Algar.
Bu Waleed, Alberto’s boss had invited Alberto to his parties many times, of which Alberto declined all. But knowing that Alberto had a Kuwaiti girlfriend, this time he invited the couple assuring them that no one would be invited to the party without Sameera’s approval. And to show his good intention, he gave Alberto the guests’ list and the privilege to scratch any name the couple didn’t feel comfortable with.
Sameera, who felt her lover’s embracement to decline his boss’s generous offer, agreed to accompany Alberto to that party after making sure that it was safe for her to do so. The apartment was very nice from inside. A huge glass wall overlooked the towers of Kuwait city that looked beautiful with its lights at night, other scattered lights as if gems shaped what looked like a marina. Along that wall chairs were placed all the way from the entrance to the bar that stood in front of the huge main entrance door. On the other side few sofas and ottomans in a semi-circle, all arranged on a one-step raised floor. And none of the guests looked familiar, which comforted Sameera a lot, and eased her tensed muscles. Which she needed to enjoy her first real party with Alberto.
And close to the time of her curfew, and on her way to the bathroom, Sameera noticed the host ushering six ladies who were all covered with black veils and abayas to the main bedroom. They seemed to have just entered the apartment, but they looked out of place, which raised her curiosity, a tad. And when she found that the bathroom outside was occupied, she knocked on the main bedroom with an excuse to use the bathroom that was located inside. And when one of the girls opened the door Sameera was shocked to find that all the girls were now in what looked more like negligees than evening dresses. But she lowered her head and walked towards the bathroom. On her way out she heard a voice calling ”Sameera, is that really you?” and it was Awatif.
Awatif, her old friend, left high school when she was hardly sixteen to get married, and Sameera never heard of her after that. Awatif’s father, who was a devout Moslem with seven daughters, married them off one by one through the mosque. When each reached puberty, the father would announce that in the mosque, and the suitors would come. All what Sameera knew about Awatif’s husband was that his only qualifications were that he was religious, with short Dishdasha and a long beard. And although Sameera tried to convince her young friend then, not to go ahead with this marriage, Awatif would not hear of it, she was too eager to get rid of her father’s tight grip. And his constant reminder of being cursed with the responsibility of having so many daughters showered Awatif with guilt. And what blew Sameera’s mind that night was when she realized that Awatif, who was a mother of two now, sneaked out of her marriage bed and came to this party with some cheap girls. And what made her even feel more disgusted was the fact that one of the other girls came with her mother, both of which sneaked out of their homes that night.
And that made Sameera rethink a lot of things in her life, only three days after Ramadan started and while she was praying Algiyam in the Grand Mosque with her mom and aunt Om Ahmad. She was totally confused and couldn’t decide which was crueler; Foziy’a accusation, or Alberto’s.
She wanted to believe that these rituals were necessary to cleanse her soul. Yet she felt nothing when her mind was busy thinking about Alberto, and praying for Alberto. It was silly to think that getting closer to God was her way to get closer to Alberto while she was driving Alberto away with her attitude. In the three days that passed, she was not only unhappy, but was miserable. She then decided that things had to change, and she had to be more honest to herself. Three days, she realized, was more than she could handle without seeing Alberto.
When she called him that night, after reaching home, Alberto did not answer, but next morning when she called, he was still in bed and was down with flu. And as soon as she finished her errands at the office she went to Sultan Center and then straight to his apartment where she made him chicken soup, fed him, and later slipped herself with him in bed. Spooning him, she drifted into a deep sleep. When she opened her eyes, she realized that it was already dark outside.
Hastily, she ran to her silenced mobile to see that she already had more than ten missed phone calls of which at least nine were from home. She did not wake Alberto who was still asleep and ran to her car where she called her mother telling her that she got occupied at work. But of course the family did not buy her lies, and a huge fight started between her and her father. And since that day, where she stopped communicating with her father, her life was never to be the same.

To be continued

Sameera and The Forbidden Fruit (II)

A continuation
And what made the situation even worse is that Sameera’s mother started to doubt her daughter’s behavior, especially when she disappeared from the house for long hours each day. She did not believe Sameera’s lies, she was sure that her daughter is seeing someone. And every time she’s out her mother would call and question her. One call after the other, sometimes even bursting into fights through the speaker, and that drove Alberto insane. Why does a woman in her late thirties have to lie to her parents, when she is having a perfectly normal relationship?
Not to mention that the whole household was beginning a new trend in religiosity. And although this move eased the tension between her parents, its effect on Sameera’s private life was somewhat destructive. Sameera’s father started spending more time at home, and that satisfied the mother a bit, but not Sameera who started to feel monitored all the time. The father made sure not to miss a prayer in the nearby mosque, and everyday he’d come home lecturing Sameera and her mother about morals and women, insisting that he’d be burned in hell because of Sameera’s behavior. And he did not miss an opportunity to make her feel guilty for not wearing hijab. And whenever Sameera is out, even with her friends, her mom would call and ask her to get back immediately at the orders of the father.
Sameera loved her parents, but the new wave was completely out of place for her, she always remembered her father’s easy-going attitude, she also remembered that when she was young her dad used to drink alcohol, and her mom wore mini-skirts. And the more they got into religion, the more they planted guilt into her head. And the tip of the ice-burg occurred during their first Ramdan together.
Sameera never believed in religions, at least not the version spreading around in this era. But she believed that whatever you believed in is fine so long it satisfied you, and is directed to God. For her, it did not matter what you practiced, and practicing something that she knew was better than not practicing at all, at least once a year. It gave her a sense of tranquility as she put it in her own words. Yes she believed in God, and that was the most important thing in her opinion. She believed that God is mercy and that He’d forgive her sins one day, that’s if she had any. She also believed that one should forget this world and turn to God at least in the month of Ramadan. And when Ramadan was at the door, she voiced her opinion toAlberto and told him that she wouldn’t be able to see him during that month, not in private anyway. And asked him to stay in touch by the phone alone. Alberto, who was sensing the change in his lover’s attitude, did not comment at first until one day before Ramadan when his doorbell rang as he was preparing his dinner.
When he opened it was Smeera, resting her head on the palm of one hand where her elbow rested on the wall, while the other hand rested on her torso in a seductive gesture. And as soon as he opened the door she said “you better take advantage of me right now before you regret it” Alberto who knew that Sameera was PMSing which also meant that she was horny, tried teasingly to play hard to get. So he pushed the door until it was ajar and mumbled “ get out of her”. He gave her his back and went towards the kitchen. Sameera pushed the door wide open, and ran towards him only to end up on his back where he carried her to the kitchen and placed her on the table, between the dishes he was preparing for his meal. And as he went towards the stove to check it, she took off all her clothed, threw them on the kitchen floor and crossed her legs on the table where she first landed. And as soon as Alberto saw her naked body when he turned around, he got an erection, took off his jeans and ran towards her. He opened her legs and shoved his manhood into her. Sameera hands that were placed on the table, carrying her weight, slipped and she fell on her back and the damp rice that was in one of the pots ran all over her face and hair, a more reason for both of them to get more excited.
Right then her mobile started ringing in the bag she threw by the door where she entered. A disturbance that they wouldn’t care about if it wasn’t for Sameera’s alertness.”It’s my mom, I’ve got to answer that call,” she kept uttering. “va funculo” Alberto cussed out loud. But she pushed him away saying ”va funculo you, and your modre and your padre” as she tried to release herself and run to her mobile. But Alberto wouldn’t hear of it, he carried her to the bathroom, turned on the shower while she continued yelling and cussing.
But as soon as he started massaging her wet tits, she gave in, indifferent to the ringing mobile. She then took the lofa and squeezed some bath gel on and started rubbing all parts of his body that was naked now, purposely leaving out his genitals, and ordering him to stand still. And when she finished she went to the hardened little Alberto, placing it between her soapy tits. And with a devilish gaze towards his face, she started sucking it. Alberto now that had been excited for a while started pulling her head closer and harder, trying to get it all in her mouth. But she stopped right there, begging him to shove it inside of her. He immediately brought her to her feet, turned her around and tried to get it in the doggy style. And since the bathtub was a bit small, Sameera wasn’t able to properly open her legs, and his penis kept slipping out. He then directed her out of the bathtub and made love to her on the bathroom floor.
Their loud moaning, which was amplified threefold, did not escape his French neighbor who had his bathroom adjacent to Alberto’s. So next day the neighbor made sure to tease his friend by asking what was he doing the day before in the bathroom in a somewhat indicative way. “Singing” Alberto, replied. “ I didn’t know that you were into opera” his neighbor replied. “I’m Italian, you should have known better” Alberto replied with a grin.

To be continued

Sameera and the Forbidden Fruit

A sequel to/ Sameera/the Struggle of a Single Woman

Almost two years passed since that incident, Sameera was now sure that Alberto is the person she wanted to commit to despite their differences. And as time passed, they grew madly in love with each other. But their relationship was not always milk and honey, and she did not rest one day ever since she got back from Beirut.
It all started when a fierce fight broke between Alberto and his girl right after she (the girlfriend) got back from her vacation. Actually their fight had started even before her leave, when she told him that “friends” were paying her travel expenses. Who were those friends? And why would they pay her, unless there were other things going on behind his back? Not only that, but while she was away, he received her bank statement in the mail. And although he’s not the type that would open her personal mail, but this time the situation was different. He had doubts about her, and he had to be sure. And although the statement did not indicate that she had much, actually only enough to keep the bank account active, but the amount that she used to send monthly to support her family stayed the same, even during the time when she was jobless. He also noticed that the same amount was usually entered few days before the transaction took place. And when he told her that he did not care anymore and he was with another woman, she got furious, and broke almost everything in the apartment, including his mobile, which she smashed to pieces, as he claimed. He also mentioned that she insisted to accompany him to Italy. After all, she was not a stranger to his family, and he didn’t mind paying her expenses. But she did not stay long in Italy; she left after two days and joined some friends in Spain, as she claimed.
It was strange though, that even after she moved out, Alberto’s ex never stopped calling, sometimes at awkward hours while they were intimate together. At times even for silly things, like “I’m feeling down, I need some booze”, and he’d promise to get her some soon.
Sameera knew that this girl was using Alberto, as did all his friends, but did Alberto know it? And so the first clash broke between them. In her opinion Alberto had to end that peculiar relationship right then and there. The girl moved to his colleague’s apartment, where she shared it with two other males and did not have to worry about the rent. She also started to work in one of the saloons, and therefore she was financially secure. Yet, Alberto disagreed and continued his financial and moral support despite Sameera’s pleas, claiming that he sympathized with her because “the girl is stupid and she does not know what she’s getting herself into” as he put it, he also added “She can’t even handle her finances since by the middle of each month she’d always be penniless”. Time and again, the same episode repeated. But as time passed, Alberto started slowly ignoring many of his ex’s phone calls and only occasionally answering some. It also seems that the ex herself got occupied, because her phone calls started decreasing to only occasional calls to say hello. But until then, the ex had always been a source of disturbance between them, sometimes to the point that they won’t talk to each other for a whole day after a nasty, out of place phone call from her. But one day period was the max that they could stay sore at each other, Alberto always called and apologized, even if it wasn’t his fault, he just couldn’t go to sleep knowing that Sameera was upset.
But that was not the only problem Sameera was facing with Alberto, her biggest problem was what I may call, culture clash. As a Kuwaiti woman in such a small society, she had to keep her relationship with Albert behind closed doors, and away from curious eyes, at least until she was sure that she is ready for marriage. And except for very few people who knew about them, the relationship stayed a secret, and this bothered Alberto immensely, especially after proposing to her that summer in Dubai.
It was one late June evening in Buddha bar, and their last night together after spending a week in Dubai. They both agreed that they needed this trip to test each other more closely. They weren’t actually testing their love, but rather, how could they get along as a couple, which was impossible to know in their hide-away refuge, few hours a day. But Sameera never expected that he’s going to propose, nor was she ready for it.
Alberto reserved a table for two by the high glass windows that night, and he ordered the chairs to be decorated and covered completely with fresh violets; her favorite flower. He also ordered a bouquet of red roses to be placed on the table. He wanted this night to be special; he wanted to surprise his lover. But as soon as Sameera saw the table her heart sank, she knew that Alberto was on to something, and that did not comfort her. And her cold attitude did not escape Alberto’s attention. Sameera was not like any other girl he had before, first she refused to let him pay for their traveling expenses and she insisted to share, and now the thoghts in her mind kept racing, not knowing what to say. She was well aware that love and relationships is something, but marriage and commitment is something else, especially that they came from different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. There were more sacrifices in such marriages from both sides, and much more calculations that had to be done before taking that step. The night started a disaster, but ended with wild sex till the wee hours of the morning.
Alberto did understand her concern for taking this step so soon, but what he could not understand is why keep their relationship a secret. In his mind, they were both ordinary mature people having ordinary dates that they shouldn’t be ashamed of. He even told his mom about her when he was in Italy and promised that someday soon they’ll meet.
The situation was not the same for Sameera, and she struggled to make Alberto understand that, but her mission was not always easy. Alberto was thinking logic, and she was thinking culture, and there is a big difference between the two. And since that night, Alberto kept reminding her how he’d sacrifice for her sake by converting to her religion, while she wouldn’t even tell her family that she is involved in a decent relationship with a man that might end up in marriage. To him, the relationship came first before any commitment. And although she did agree with him completely on that, but how could she make him realize that such a thought is considered revolutionary, if not a taboo where she lives? She even assured him that she believed that they needed to live with each other for a while before commitment, but how could she do that in a conservative country like hers, where she herself did not want to appear in public without being sure that this relationship is going to work? Another point was that if she was ever to make that commitment, she had to expect that someday she’d have to go live with him in Italy, and discard her life in her country, including her high position at the company. In other words, she’d be dependant on him financially. She had never done that before, and she was not ready to do that now, not before getting to know Alberto better, this was a life commitment, and not just a game to play.

To be continued

Sameera / the struggle of a single woman “XII”

Things aren’t always the way they seem
A continuation
Tahani once told Sameera that if one wants to forget the whole world, few days in Beirut is one hundred percent guaranteed to take care of that. Sameera wasn’t sure this time though, if it was Beirut itself or her busy schedule that took Alberto out of her mind completely. Or may be the beauties of Lebanon who made her talk to that image in the mirror, not to rediscover her beauty, but rather to find faults; few nasty white hairs that crept to that head attesting to the harshness of time, dragging along with it some ugly crowfoot wrinkles on the outside corner of the eyes every time she smiled to the mirror, and not to mention the wisdom lines of the forehead that attacked her femininity. No wonder Alberto chose that b#$% over her. How long had it been since she last looked in the mirror? It was this image and no one else whom she should worry about. And that thought pushed all others in her head. Tahani was right; Beirut does wonders, in many ways though.

As soon as her mission ended in Beirut, she fetched the plastic surgeon’s number she got years back from some friends in Kuwait to make an appointment for Botox. But she hesitated for a while; this doctor was famous in most circles of Kuwaitis. Chances to run into some familiar faces then, was high. And knowing how Kuwaitis exaggerate things was enough for her to expect a spread of a rumor in the country that she’s all fake. But nevertheless, fixing what time damaged took precedence in her decision, and she needed a famous doctor, it was her first time after all.

The reception hall of the Doctor’s office was huge and almost packed. The strange thing was that most patients were either teenagers or men. She grabbed a local magazine and started leafing its pages while waiting for her turn. “ Well, surprise, surprise, look who is here?” a familiar voice came to her ear range. When she looked up, it was Waleed. And although she got annoyed at his presence at first, the bandage on his nose started a funny conversation between them, he actually looked handsome with that thing on. Or was it Beirut? They didn’t stop joking and giggling the whole time. Sameera was beginning to find a different personality in Waleed, she almost cracked up when he mentioned how he got this nose complex after he French-kissed a girl, and she told him to shove it somewhere else instead of her mouth. They didn’t stop joking and giggling till the receptionist called her name. Waleed then invited her to dinner that night in an old fashioned Lebanese food restaurant in Solidaire, and she whole-heartedly accepted.

Inside his grand office, the doctor looked amazingly handsome for his age, which she guessed to be mid-fifties, but then again, who wasn’t in Beirut? He was very talkative and friendly, as if they’ve been old friends, yet he talked about everything except Botox. Her Roman nose desperately needed an operation, her lips did not have enough volume and her face needed some pumping. He also suggested an enlargement to her tits and butts to enhance her long narrow waist. In a nutshell, he was suggesting a whole makeover that sounded tempting to Sameera if it wasn’t for the 1500 dollar expense. But right after having those needles injected in her forehead and around her eyes, she felt much better and discarded any other thought, she was happy with the way she looked. And she couldn’t wait to see what Waleed thought.

The dinner was a blessing with Fairooz songs at the background and Waleed’s sense of humor. It wasn’t until the end of that date when she loosened up after having few drinks, and had the courage to ask about Alberto.

Waleed’s face changed right away as he broke the news of Alberto taking a leave and leaving for Italy to attend both his grandparent’s funeral, whom passed away immediately after a car accident about a week before.
The news fell on her head as if a tornado, her mood suddenly swung to a point that made Waleed regret that he ever mentioned it. Her thoughts started racing while she remained silent for a long time; things started falling into place, so that’s why Alberto never called. Poor guy was going through hard times and she didn’t know. But the shocking news was that his girlfriend also accompanied him on this trip.
Alberto had mentioned the day she last saw him that his girlfriend was in between jobs, and he was financially supporting her. He also mentioned that even when she moves, he had the responsibility to make sure that financially she is secure, until she gets a job. After all she had no one in Kuwait, and he just could not do that to her. And although this issue bothered Sameera a bit, but she did understand his position. Not only that, but she also secretively admired it. Yet, accompanying him to Italy was a totally different issue. Where did she get the ticket money? And where was she staying in Italy? And above all that, why would she go with him in the first place if the relationship was over? And again Alberto taking precedence in her thoughts, erasing any effect of alcohol she had that night, and the lovely presence of Waleed.

And in an attempt to change her mood, Waleed offered to take her to places he swore she’s never seen in Beirut before, but she politely declined and went to her hotel straight away. And before even changing her clothes, she opened her laptop, and started to write a long heart rendering e-mail to Alberto. At first she did not know what to say, but as soon as she started, words poured out. She wasn’t sure what she was writing, she was only venting all her feelings on that machine, a thing she never have done before, and she never knew how good it felt.

She never sent that e-mail though, she only kept it as a draft, knowing when the time is right, Alberto would speak up, and she was sure that there were more explanations to all her doubts that he will clear one day when he’s back, she felt it in her gut that he’ll be back, she couldn’t but trust Alberto. And for the first time in a long time she rested her head on the pillow and slipped into a deep sleep forgetting everything, but where to have lunch tomorrow with Waleed in Beirut.

The End

Sameera / the struggle of a single woman “XI”

A continuation
Zigzagging

Early next morning, Sameera, who tossed and turned all night in bed, was awakened by Alberto’s phone call, he sounded as if he hadn’t slept either. And this conversation took place between them:
Alberto: hi gorgeous, how did you sleep last night?
Sameera who was upset from his attitude the night before couldn’t disguise her true feelings and answered in a short, dry voice: normal, just like any other night.
Alberto: well, I couldn’t go to sleep at all, I was thinking about you all night. I also think that we are going too fast with this relationship and, as you know my girl is coming back in a week, and I’m getting attached to you.
Sameera, still angry: listen Alberto, if you feel guilty about this relationship, then do whatever is right for you.
Alberto: I don’t think it’s that sweetie, I think I need more time to settle things in my life without any influence. I don’t want anyone pushing me.
Sameera, furious now: pushing you? For God’s sake tell me how did I push you into this?
Alberto: what I meant is I need time alone to decide.
Sameera: and how long that should take?
Alberto: I don’t know.
Sameera: ok, suit yourself, whatever.
Alberto: please don’t get upset, I know how you must feel, and…
Sameera mockingly interrupting: yeh, sure you know.
Alberto: sorry babe, I can’t do this unless I’m one hundred percent sure.
Sameera, after a long pause: then what are you suggesting?
Alberto: I think that we should stop seeing each other and see how things turn out.
And here her heart skipped a beat, and she replied with a low voice: does this mean that I should wait for your call? for when you are ready?
Albert: No, I don’t know if I will call back or not, I don’t want to make a promise I can’t keep. I’m just suggesting that we leave this issue to destiny.
And that was the last she heard from him in two months.

The first month she spent on hellfire, knowing that Alberto’s girlfriend was back. Alberto never even messaged, nor did she, although she was dying to do so. She also avoided the places that she might run into him, seeing him with his girl was not an easy matter for her to handle. Foziya, on the other hand, did not spare any information; whenever she had a chance, she’d mention the couple and how they seemed to be happy together. Bangs of jealousy tore her chest, and by the end of the month, when nothing further developed, she lost all hope and decided to take a vacation and go visit her friend Tahani in London.
It was a good decision really since Tahani was the type that did not give in to emotions. She was more of the practical type who wanted to enjoy life. Driving Sameera in her nice dark blue Porch amidst the streets of London, and taking her to posh palaces, restaurants, bars, as well as the gatherings of her friends. But Sameera never stopped talking about Alberto, until that day when this conversation broke out between them:
Tahani: I can’t believe that a woman of your age would give in to her naïve emotions like a teenager, grow up girl, the guy did not even kiss you, how do you know if he can do it in bed?
Sameera: I know I won’t have a problem with that, if it wasn’t for the B&*^
Tahani: I’m sure you won’t, but I wasn’t talking about you, I was talking about him. A guy that has a beautiful girl whom he feels attracted to, right under his fingertip, and he lets go of her, might as well be neutered, you know.
And here Sameera started thinking that her friend might have a point.
Then Tahani resumed , with a grin: I think that you should have stood between him and the damn TV that night, slipped your clothes off, showing off your almost perfect tits, to test the reaction on his face, and see if he had it in him, in the first place or not.
Sameera: you know what? I had the urge that night to seduce him, but what would have happened if he didn’t respond? that would have been very humiliating, and I think I had enough of that from him already.
Tahani: give me a break, if that didn’t work, then you put your clothes back on and tell the SOB “bye bye lover boys, go get a shrink.” And she added: I think the only reason why you’re taken by this guy is because you didn’t have the chance to taste him, so quit fooling yourself and get laid, that should clear your mind of God himself, not only Alberto.
And although Sameera knew that she could never do that, not to herself, nor to Alberto, but her friend’s words kept buzzing in her ears, Alberto mentioned that he had problems with his girlfriend, but he never mentioned what type of problems.

This vacation was a good break that she really needed, she returned back home all fresh and anew. But the minute she reached Kuwait airport, a sharp pain ruptured her chest as she started thinking of Alberto and that night with him. In her heart she knew that he’d call, but as time passed by, she was not sure what to think any more. Almost another month dragged by without any word from him, nor she heard about any preparations of his marriage.

It wasn’t until that day when she was shopping in Salhiya with her friend foziya when she heard his distinguished tone on her mobile. For few seconds she froze, unable to respond, then she panicked “it’s Alberto, what shall I tell him? What does he want?” she babbled. “Well answer the damn phone so you’d know” Foziya replied impatiently, and so she did.
The conversation was very brief, Alberto wanted to see her right away saying that he had good news, but he wanted to tell it to her face. And in less than half an hour he showed up. Her heartbeats raced each other till she though that some would escape from her ears as he approached the table, where she sat with her friend in Starbucks café of that mall. He looked tired, and seemed like he has lost some weight. But nevertheless; his face brightened by the look of her. It was obvious that he was delighted to see her. And the first thing he said as soon as he sat down at the table was “now I’m sure I can’t live without you. And although I have not known you that long, but I know that you are the woman I’ve been looking for all my life, You are my pharaoh goddess”. And as for his girl, he said that she is looking for an apartment to move out, and that it was over between them.
It was all going fine, and Sameera was up on cloud nine, pinching herself time and again to make sure that she was not dreaming. But good things in life don’t last long; the peculiar thing was that his phone never stopped, and it was always his girlfriend calling. His conversation to her did not sound like two separated people; it sounded more like a casual talk between partners. And although Sameera noticed that, she never uttered a word, but she knew that Foziya would hammer her later with that, as so she did.

After seeing Alberto’s love display, Fowziya was dismayed; she could not believe what she witnessed. It seemed to her that this guy was hiding something. How could he say that his relationship with his girlfriend was over while he took care to answer her many disturbing calls? Not only that, but how could one just discard someone he lived with and loved for over two years for the sake of another? Wouldn’t that person do that again to her friend? And in between her happiness to see Alberto again, and the doubts that Fowziya implanted in her mind, Sameera was completely drained, confused and utterly clueless.

Another week passed and Alberto didn’t call. Not only that, but he also wouldn’t pick up his phone every time she called, nor replied to her many messages. And by the end of the week, she packed up her bag, and with tears flew to Beirut on a business trip. This time she knew that she lost Alberto for good; it was obvious that he’s happily back with his girl, and that was the end of the story between them, or was it?

To be continued

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