As I sat there in silence looking at Flan, taking what he just told me in… I had no words to speak, I knew nothing would make my Flan feel better.
His mom had been diagnosed with cancer a few months back and he got a call this morning telling him to come spend time with her because she didn’t have that much time left.
“Promise me Flana, promise me you’ll be here for me” He said bursting into tears
I took his head and cradled it in my hands, holding him close to me. The sound of him crying, his tears streaming and seeping into my shirt, it brought me to tears.
“I promise 7ayati… I promise I’ll always be here for you”
We sat there for about 20 minutes locked in a silent embrace.
I was crouched down on the floor in my heels, holding his face in my hands. Our foreheads were touching.
He was sitting at his chair with his head down, arms by his side in a lifeless way. I felt so helpless to the situation.
I got up from the floor
“7abeebi, goom, let me fix you up…” I said as I held onto his hand bringing him to stand up
I pulled a tissue from the box and dabbed at his face, I picked up the ghetra from the table and before putting it on his head looked at his lifeless eyes.
“Look at me”
He looked up and looked me in the eye
“You’re gonna have to be strong 7abeebi, if you can’t be strong then act strong, I’ll be your rock that keeps you standing upright, I’ll be your pillow at night that you can cry on, I’ll be everything you need to pull you through this, just promise me we’ll pull through…”
“I promise …” He whispered
I held his face, cradling it like a baby. I gave him the longest hug ever. It wasn’t in anyway sexual, it was filled with love, a mothers love.
I realised how in love I was with Flan.
I’m not saying I’m heartless, but with all my ex boyfriends I never felt anything if something happened to a family member but with Flan it was different…
I felt like his mom was my mom
I felt like his pain was my pain.
I put his ghetra on his head and handed him his 3gal. I watched him as he fixed it into place.
“Flana, entay btiyeen ma3ay, my mother has to meet the mother of her grandchildren…”
“Bes 7abeebi shbetgool 3ani, our families don’t know about each other…”
“Trust me Flana, omy ghayr…”
“I trust you 7abeebi… “
“I’m leaving tonight, the mandoobwill drop your ticket off at your house tomorrow night, I will book your ticket for three days after I arrive in London, that will give me enough time to spend with her before you get there…”
“Ok 7abeebi… I’m really excited and scared baby”
“Don’t be scared 7abeebti” he said and he planted a kiss on my forehead “I’m gonna leave now, o ashoofich ihnak, I booked you in a hotelbeside the hospital, kil shay biyeeblich iya el mandoob tonight ok mama?”
“Okay 7abeebi, it’s gonna be weird without you”
“I’m gonna see you soon 7abeebti”
We said our last goodbyes, kissed our last kiss, he put his sun glasses on to hide his sorrow, tear filled eyes and he left. I walked out behind him walked to my cubicle he turned around said bye and walked ahead.
The next few hours were weird, he didn’t call, he didn’t text message.
I fell asleep with my phone in my hand and the vibration woke me up at around 2 AM. It was a message from him
1:52 Deeray balich 3ala nafsich Flana, o latsaween shay iza3ilny, I trust you, entai om 3yali. I will see you in three days
No kiss, no I love you… nothing?
1:53 Have a safe flight o text message me awal ma to9al… A7ibik :*
1:59 Ana ba3ad :*
I smiled, closed my eyes and went back to sleep.
The next morning was weird without him, I didn’t wanna keep bothering him with text messages or calls so I let him be.
9:00 Wath3ha wayid sayi2 Flana, I can’t see her like this… I need you
Without any hesitations I shut my computer down, picked up my bag and left the office. I drove home, picked up my passport, put some clothes in a suitcase. Then made my way to my mothers room. I kissed her head and said
“Mama I’m leaving to London, I just found out ina 3indina a meeting with our holding company. I will be back in less than a week”
I got all the sh7aga? Laysh chithee bser3a? I was so scared she would catch me out but thankfully she didn’t… I phoned my dad explained to him what was going on he understood me as usual.
I called up Juju asked her to come pick up my car from the airport, she got there before me. I ran in to the gate just in time to make it to the flight at 12:30. I booked my ticket at the gate, thankfully there was only about 2 odd seats left on the plane. I had a fear of flying alone so this was a gigantic step for me.
I closed my eyes and before I knew it I was woken up by the stewardess asking me to put my seat upright because we were landing.
I walked out, hailed a cab and got in.
“Cromwell hospital in South Kensington please”
London still smelt the same way it did last year, the smell of home cooked meals, fumes from buses, the leather from the seats in the cab.
I payed the cab driver and got out.
As soon as I got out my eyes landed on him. There he was, my baby, he was sitting on a step, head down, smoking a cigarette… I walked over, lugging my bag behind me, dropped it infront of me and stood there waiting for him to look up…
“You said you needed me…”
He looked up at me, our eyes met. He stood up and hugged me
“I can’t believe you came baby… I do need you…”
“Yalla, you wanna go meet your mother in law”
“Of course I do”
We took my bag and left it downstairs at the reception and then walked to her room.
“7abeebti ne6ray bara, I will talk to her then I’ll come get you… Okay?”
“Yes 7abeebi, akeedit’s okay…”
So I waited silently outside the room trying to listen to their conversation, all I heard was a few random words here and there…
“Flana Al Flani”
“Ma3ay bel dawam”
“Abee atzawajha mama”
I smiled to myself like a lunatic and stood there waiting to be called in…
NOTE: The above is a fictional story – NONE of it is real – It is ALL made up
Photograph: moschos on Flickr