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Senses.. (13)

"You're wearing flats" stated Manal as she watched Nouf slumping into her chair,
"Yeah, so?" she replied,
"So, that means you're stressed, you only wear flats when you're stressed"
"That's not true, my back hurts so I decided to take a day off the heels, besides it's good to change sometimes" she answered, avoiding her friend's eyes,
"What? Do I have to justify everything I do? For God's sake they're only shoes!" she snapped. Manal was taken aback with her friend's reaction so she decided to leave her alone for some time.

Nouf felt bad for the way she spoke to her friend, partly because she was right, she was stressed, in fact she hasn't been sleeping well at all. It was all because of Fahad, she thought, why did he have to come back into my life? She had made peace with what happened, she had let go of all her feelings for him, a long time ago, then why does his presence affect her so much? He hasn't spoken to her since the day she yelled at him and stormed out of his office, all their interaction has been via email since, and all work related, there was not even a smiley emoticon in any of his correspondence, he was keeping it professional, just like she wanted. 
Then why does her heart beat faster when his name shows up in her inbox?
She hasn't seen him since that day either, she heard he comes into the office at 6 in the morning and leaves late in the evening, she also heard that the CEO of the company is extremely impressed, he's been here for a few weeks and already they can see the difference he's making, she couldn't help but feel proud of him; she had always been proud of him. 
This morning as she drove into her usual parking spot she spotted him standing in the scorching heat, smoking his cigarettes. She stepped out of her car, preparing herself to smile in his direction, just to let him know that it doesn't have to be that professional, it's ok to be friendly, just a little bit. She turned around to look at him, just in time to see him quickly busying himself with his phone, and walking away from her, as if to avoid this little moment of interaction between them. Disappointed, she walked into her office, her head held down to be met by Manal's questions.
"I'm sorry" she whispered,
"It's ok," replied her friend, smiling reassuringly at her.
He has been avoiding her since that day, she was right, respect has to be earned, and there was nothing respectable about the way he had treated her before. This morning he finally saw her, after ten days of trying to stay away from her, he couldn't take it anymore, he had to see her, he stood in his usual spot half an hour early, he was worried he would miss her if he came too late. He stood smoking cigarette after cigarette so that when she came and saw him she wouldn't think he was standing there waiting for her. It was enough that she hated him, he didn’t want her to think he was also stalking her.
As soon as she drove into the parking lot he couldn't help but smile, but as she came out of the car he decided he didn't want her to see him, he didn't want her to feel awkward or uncomfortable, he was happy watching her from far, for now at least, so he walked away, pretending to be busy with his phone. He watched her, from under the safety of his sunglasses, as she gracefully went up the stairs into their building.
He was also afraid, the conversation he had with his sister that day scared him because he realized what he had lost once, and he realized that he cannot lose it again. A second chance is rarely given in life, and he is going to make sure that he doesn’t make any mistakes this time.