Written by Alaa (aka Lols)
“NEVINE! NEVINE!” shouted Ibrahim as he exited the restaurant after his fiancée. The woman was already a few paces ahead of him, marching fast despite the heels that she was wearing. Nevine didn’t seem to have heard Ibrahim because she didn’t stop, in fact her pace quickened. Finally catching up to her, Ibrahim walked beside her, out of breath and already feeling a stich to his side. He made a quick mental note to consider quitting smoking.
“Haven’t you heard me back there?” he asked.
“I did. I just chose to ignore you” answered Nevine as she scanned for a passing taxi to take home. “Where’s a damn cab when you need one?”
“Look I’m sorry about what I said but can we please go back to the restaurant and talk this out?” pleaded Ibrahim. He now faced Nevine, blocking her way and holding her by the shoulders.
“There is nothing to talk about, Ibrahim!” said Nevine irritatingly as she took Ibrahim’s hands off of her, “I have a lot on my plate right now to have to deal with your mood swings! A wedding to plan, a trial to prepare for, parents to always have to keep in check…I’m literally being roasted here. I can’t deal with this too!” Spotting a cab, she signaled it but since it was too dark, the driver didn’t notice her and kept going on his way.
“I realize that and I’m sorry I undermined you but can we please go back inside and have a nice quiet evening?” repeated Ibrahim, a tone of plea in his voice.
“I don’t feel like it anymore. I want to go home now” answered Nevine stiffly. Ibrahim sighed, his hands on his hips. “At least, let me drive you back home.” Considering the fact that only one taxi seemed to have passed by where she was standing, Nevine walked back to where they were parked followed by a displeased and annoyed Ibrahim.
The entire way back home the couple was utterly silent. Nevine was fuming and Ibrahim was smoking the last cigarette in his second pack of the day. The streets were quite empty and within half an hour or so, they were parked under Nevine’s building. Ibrahim turned off the engine. He sighed and looked at her.
“Again, I’m sorry about what I said tonight and the way I acted. You don’t deserve this especially from me” said Ibrahim. “To tell you the truth, I’ve been doing this a lot lately and…I don’t know what’s gotten into me.” Nevine didn’t respond but instead kept staring in front of her, arms folded. Silence stretched out even more between them and for a couple more minutes, they were silent.
“Aren’t you going to say something?” asked Ibrahim. Nevine turned her head around and eyed him.
“I have nothing to say. It’s you who has the problem. I’m simply waiting to hear more because “I don’t know what’s gotten into me” is not exactly an explanation. So if you have anything else to add, please be my guest” And she crossed her arms again waiting for Ibrahim to talk.
Ibrahim shifted in his seat nervously. He didn’t want to say any more than what he already said because whatever he was feeling wasn’t going to help things especially now but he was cornered. He knew that if he chose to hide this any longer from Nevine, she would exit the car fuming even more that she already was and things would get uglier so might as well face the music. He took a deep breath and told her everything that was on his mind. As a watchful Nevine listened, Ibrahim told her how nervous he is about getting married to her, that he has doubts about being the man she thinks he is, that he is intimidated by the idea of marriage because given his parents’ history and the general trend of marriage, it could either turn ugly or be the best thing that ever happened to them both. He continued on saying that he was petrified from the idea that their marriage will end up flavorless and an imprisonment for both of them and that after having children, they would lose their love for each other, their freedom, their youth; technically their lives. He didn’t want that to happen.
“I just don’t want to lose us, you know?” he ended, making an effort not to look into Nevine’s eyes. Nevine looked away from Ibrahim and drew a long sigh. She then placed her hands on his cheeks and lifted his head up. “Look at me. I know it’s frightening and I know it’s pressuring. Hell, I’ve had my scares and doubts too. Remember when I first told you about being the second chair on the trial and that I was too scared to mess it all up? What did you tell me back then?”
Ibrahim racked his brain around trying to remember then it hit him, “You’re only given as much as you can handle.”
Nevine smiled, “
Exactly! You were given this chance or this new step in life because you have what it takes to go through with it. With everything you just told me, I know you have your heart set on this to work otherwise, you wouldn’t have even considered all the scenarios however bleak they may be” She then kissed him on the cheek. Ibrahim returned it with a weak smile.
“I’ll call you in the morning” he said.
“Good night, Ibrahim” Nevine smiled at her fiancé and left the car, her heart heavier than it was earlier that evening.