(I) Revelation of you
What a sight. Stepping out of the shower she hurriedly wraps a towel around her body. Briskly she unscrews a bottle to pour lotion into her hands. Sitting on the edge of the bathtub she starts at the base of her heel smoothing her hands upwards returning to her ankles to begin on the next batch of skin. Reveling in the smell of grapefruit and wild ginger she is lost in the motion when suddenly she lingers on the designs displayed on her feet. Wiggling her glistening toes a bemused look crosses her face. As if needing further affirmation she stands and swipes her hand across the fogged mirror, holding up her arms to view the blackened flowers binding her delicate wrists. She contemplates this image for a while before giving a slight shrug to her shoulders and walks into the closet. Having picked her outfit as she is leaving she pauses by the multitudes of hangers and absent mindedly brushes an invisible fleck from a suit. She brings the lapel up to her nose, inhales and steps back to sigh in content. Noticing the time she hastily dresses and begins to apply her makeup at the dresser. As she is about to give the final defining line to her eyes she feels a strong vibration under her feet. Perplexed she walks to the bedroom door, gently pulling her hair around her neck to place her ear against the wood trying to discern the sound. As the melody progresses with the recognizable snare and organ beat she steps back to pout at the door. Closing her eyes she nods her head side to side
– … and her name was Brown Sugar….. See… we be making love constantly That’s why my eyes are a shade blood burgundy….
With a goofy smile she returns to the dresser and begins adorning her wrists with the golden bracelets, her neck with the simple fine necklace and her ears with the warm brown droplets. Still nodding her head to the addictive beat she chuckles at the off-key singing voice coming from down stairs.
– I want some of your Brown Brown Sugar….. Sugar Oohooh
Grabbing for the toub, she unravels it and watches in wonder at the cascading dark cloth. With an inexperienced hand she begins to encircle it around her waist, swishing her hips side to side with the ongoing beat. Still crooning the Oohooh’s she places the final foot of cloth over her shoulder, fussing over the already slipping toub. A low whistle is given from the door. Still dancing she slowly turns with an arched eyebrow.
– By the time your done their wont be any party…
– Shoo? Bit shoo feeny ana?
– Won’t you listen Brown Sugar babe….I gets high off your love I don’t know how to behave…
– Kida ma3laish
She blushingly drives him away as in mock seriousness he points to his watch. Standing before the mirror one last time she gives the final assessment. Viewing her profile from all angles she applies perfume to her neck, rubbing her lips together to freshen the dark hue. Slipping into her heels she descends the stairway slowly, feeling his eyes on her heavily kholed ones. Stopping at the base of the stairs she tries to calm her breathing and shyly looks up to stare at him. Standing quite a length apart both beam pleasure at the image before them, mighty pleased. Handsomely he wore his jalabiya and 3ima, not filling them awkwardly, but as if he was born to wear them. Her smile widens at the new pair of markoob she had bought for him. Being drawn to his undeniable scent she closes the gap between them, placing her nose directly below his chin and breathing in. Stepping back she catches his dazed expression.
– Shall we?
Both could only gaze and admire.. What had happened years back; the chase, the rush, the games, the quest, the full realization of, the full denial of and all the in-betweens. What had happened months back; the ushering in of true final feelings, the announcement, the elopement…. The Day.
And now… this.
Their first social outing, together, as man and wife. It would take years for them to master the dance of him wrapping his 3ima in perfection, or her tying her toub so that it would never once slip. And if would take years to understand, to know without even knowing, the odd movements, silly gestures and daily rituals that make them what, who they are.
But, for now, for this night, each holds the other as being completely perfect and they will celebrate each other as if newborns in every innate action.
Placing his fingertips on the small of her back he leads her towards the gate. Staring down at his guiding arm she dimples. To those passerbys who see this young glowing married couple, one could not help but give a genuine smile and exclaim, ‘What a sight!’.
A groan is given. Borrowing her head deeper into the pillows she grinds her teeth as she feels another cramp coming along. Letting out yet another groan she rolls onto her back, blinking away the grime in her eyes. She peers to her right, noticing the vacant side of the bed, his pillow rumpled, reeking with his scent. Tightening her jaw she avoids the vacant spot and instead rests her eyes on the clock located on the bed stand. 2:15 p.m. in glaring red meets her blurred vision.
– Ya Allah…. oufffffff
Placing a pillow atop her head she muffles her curses. Hearing a hoot of laughter from downstairs followed by a chant of an incoherent wail of victory over the losing soccer team, she throws the pillow against the door. Flinging herself back on the bed, she hugs herself into a tight ball, arms over her chest, glumly staring at the wall. He hadn’t even bothered waking me up in the morning… not even when I didn’t come downstairs for breakfast. He had the time to watch his stupid football match, but not enough time to stick that obtuse head of his and ask ‘what’s the matter’. Sniffling back unwanted tears she bites her lip, feeling sorry for herself.
– Insensitive bastar…
She feels a weight shift the bed, sitting near her curled feet. Suddenly warm gentle hands invade the covers, seeking out her feet.
Awkwardly she lets him take her feet and place them on his lap. Soothingly he positions the base of his hand on the ball of her foot, softly massaging upwards towards her toes, increasing the pressure with each grip. Closing her eyes she falls silent under his focused ministrations. This goes on for sometime before he finally, tenderly replaces her foot on his lap, leaving a straying finger to redraw the elegant lines of henna on her feet. Both watch his fingers repeat the design in a continuous, sensual loop.
– I missed you for breakfast…
Clearing her throat she ignores his comment. Nodding his head to an unknown source he pauses from his tracing.
– I’m not here to play with you ‘guess what I’m feeling today’, and I wish I could say that I could read your mind, but clearly I cannot…
She snorts and continues to disregard him.
– Now… this is an educated guess… but it’s apparent from the spike of al nigga these past few days, you are at that time of the month…
Widening her eyes she draws her feet from his lap.
– malik? Kalamy sa7 mosh kida?
– Taib ya shatir… if you had known why didn’t you even care to check on me? Ask me if I was okay? Be a damned Husband!!! Bas fali7 fil koora…
– Roogy wa asma3eeny….
Folding her arms over her chest she glowers at him. Trying not to smirk he repositions his body so that it would face hers.
– Shoofy ya mara… I’m not a mind reader, and frankly, although I know that your one of the prettiest girls that can snore, I don’t know what to expect or what to do when you’re going through your cycle. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember you listing the ‘to do and not do when PMS’ing’
Cuffing him on the arm he lets out a chuckle which only infuriates her.
– Look… rather than wasting time having me guess and wring my hands over ‘how/when/where/why’ your feelings, lady…. Just Tell Me! Ma bas kida… I WANT you to tell me, let me know you need me. Want me to be your masseuse? I’ll be that! Be your punchbag? I’ll be that! Whatever you want just tell me!
Her stiff posture slackening he reaches over to place his hand over her head.
– Wa inshAllah kida over the next couple of decades, I’ll be programmed to do without being told, but just know… it takes time… fahmany?
He ruffles her hair. Grumbling an answer she avoids his eyes.
– fa ya sity… mafy da3y lil domoo3… ba3dain mafy da3ly lil ‘insensitive bastard’ dy…
Turning scarlet she covers her face with her hands. Calming her breathing she peeks through her fingers and sees him only observing her with a passive expression, stroking his bearded chin with squinted eyes.
– Taib… wanna make out?
– …. no
– Come on…
– I said no…
– mat koony bai*7a!!
– Goolta La!…. ba3dain I didn’t brush my teeth….
– … so …
Suddenly sitting up she gives him a grave look.
– Your so… so…
– Wajeeh? Fazee3?? Mobala*3a???
Flashing a crooked smile he doesn’t bother to answer but only stares. As if taking a cue, she leans against the headboard and stares back at him. Trying to discern the look in his eyes, she finds there is pride. Prideful not only of himself, but in/for both. Delight is written all over his face as his smile widens, adding lines of pleasure near his eyes that appear only when he smiled. The satisfaction is contagious so in return she begins to laugh.
– goomy… goomy ya 3afana!!
Pulling her out of the bed he swings her toward the bathroom door, slapping her behind. Letting out a yelp she swivels to face him, placing a protective hand over her bottom, shaking a finger under his nose.
– tsk tsk tsk… ya wad hoooooooooy!!!!
He lunges at her only to have her squeal past him into the bathroom slamming the door. Putting his forehead against the door, he hears nothing. Placing his ear on the wood, he listens, steps back, shakes his head and grins like an idiot. She was still laughing.
Running her slim fingers over her eyes, she whispers ‘Alhamdulilah’. Sighing her thanks, asking for patience, grace, and humility she bows her head, slightly rocking back and forth to the rhythm of her intonations. Loosening the toub she relaxes her posture, picking up her prayer beads, taking her time for every tick, she pays no attention to her surroundings, but only on the unseen that she had no need to explain. He walks in to find her like this. She does not notice his presence, so he loosens his tie, puts his bag on a chair, takes a seat on the hard wood floor to admire her, bask in her calmness. It was a raggedy toub that she wore when she prayed, yet to him, she looked beautiful in every sense of the word. He appreciates the small portion of her neck that was revealed because of the slipping toub. The flash of red highlighted locks in her messy bun. The fall and rise of her delicate shoulders as she inhales and exhales her wishes, desires, hopes and pleas for amity. Resting his elbows on upright knees, he stares hard at his hands, ashamed, unsure, unsatisfied with the silence, loss of feeling, lack of magic, the mystery and the loyalty. He rests his hands atop his head, staring down, lost in his mayhem. Breathing out her final request, she opens her eyes, lays down her beads and slowly turns to observe her beloved, with his rumpled suit, askew tie, and disheveled hair. Shoulders slumped, knees drawn up, head resting in his hands, she kneels before him, a teasing smile playing on her lips. Cupping his bent head she does not lift up his face, but uncomplainingly waits. Steadily he looks up, letting his hands drop from his face. Letting her fingers do the speaking, she expresses her devotion as she follows the outline of his face, down to his stubborn chin, lips, nose, spreading her hand over his worried brows, smoothing away the troubled lines on his forehead returning to cup his face, and lay her lips on each eyelid without giving a kiss, saving it to bless it on the crown of his head. Drawing back from his face, she shakes her head slightly.
– Foolish man…
Silently he circles his hands around her waist, draws her to him so that he could lay his head on her collarbone, as if an infant to his mother. Enfolding his frame within her arms, she rests her chin on his forehead, murmuring whatever came to mind; her love for him for all, the knowledge that in due time all would be fine, and the peace that came to her whenever he was with or without her but always within her. Looking down at his face, she sees a growing smile, bringing her to newer heights, giving her the serenity, joy that she had always feverishly been yearning and had finally been granted.