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Senses.. (14)

He impatiently tapped his foot on the pavement as he smoked his fourth cigarette, glancing at his watch. She has been absent for the past four days, he wondered what was wrong with her. He was looking forward to seeing her on Sunday, and he waited at the same spot he was standing at now for her car to glide through the parking lot, when she hadn't shown up on time he assumed she was running late, and had walked back to his office, angry at himself for standing in the heat for over half an hour waiting for her. Yet he stood in the same position the next day also waiting for her, again when she hadn't arrived he swore to himself that he wouldn't act so stupid again, and wouldn't wait for her, however a few hours later his thoughts gravitated towards her; he had sent her an email yesterday regarding the project they were working on and she hadn't replied, that was not like her, he thought. He clicked on the message he sent and looked through the tracking function to see if she had even read his message, when the system showed that it was still unread, he started to worry. What if she was sick? Or worse, what if she had met someone and that someone proposed? Was she getting ready to meet his family? Or preparing for an engagement party? He knew she was officially single, but what if that had changed in the past month since she'd entered his life again? His thoughts drove him into panic mode, he didn't know what to do, who can he ask?
He quickly left his desk and headed towards her office, maybe she came in late and I missed her, he thought, trying to reassure himself. He walked into her office and looked around, trying to locate her when his eyes met her friend's eyes, maybe he should ask her?
"El salam 3alaikum"
"3alaikum ilsalam" Manal replied, taking in his pale face, he seemed uncomfortable, so she smiled, trying to ease his discomfort. She knew her friend still had feelings for him, even if she denied it, and she could tell from the way his eyes were moving in the room searching for her, and even from the way he looked at her when he thought no one was watching, that he not only cared for her, but was madly in love with her friend. She wondered how two smart people like them, can act so stupid when around each other.
"Umm.. lo sema7ty ana kint adawer 3ala Nouf, I sent her an important email and she didn't respond so I wanted to follow up and.." he sounded desperate even to him self, since when do directors follow up in person? He should've just called her boss, he thought.
"Oh sorry, Nouf miskeena is sick, I don't know when she'll be back in the office, but I would say she still needs a couple of days."
"Oh.. Salamat.. Do you know what's wrong with her?" he quickly asked,
"Oh yeah, just a nasty cold, she should be ok in a couple of days"
"Aha.. inshallah.. ma tshoof shar" he replied quickly, withdrawing from her office, and away from her friend's penetrating looks, is it possible that her friend knew? Could he be that transparent?
He glanced at his watch again as he was contemplating whether or not he should light his sixth cigarette as he waited, the October heat seeping through his white thobe. He unbuttoned his top button as he decided that he will wait for another five minutes, she might show up today, he thought. He remembered how he used to take care of her when she got sick, how weak she used to get when she was feverish, how he would wait outside her bathroom door as she took cold showers to ease her fever, and how he would carry her back into bed and massage her cold feet until she fell asleep. He sighed as he finished off his cigarette and decided it was time he withdrew back into his office. Just as he was heading back into the building, he saw her car gleaming under the hot sun as she drove into the parking lot, he let out a sigh of relief and rushed back inside before she could see him.
She was still feeling lousy from the all the cold medication she had been on for the past few days, but she decided to come in to work anyway, all the lying around in bed doing nothing was driving her mad. All she did was think of him, dream of him, she even woke up from a delirious dream calling his name out loud. She frowned as she entered the parking lot, she must be going mad from all the medication, she thought, as she imagined his tall form rushing back in to the building.
She walked in to the office breathless, maybe coming in wasn't such a good idea, even the short walk up the stairs tired her out, but she instantly felt better when she saw her friend's smiling face,
"Noufoooo, you look like shit!" she said as she hugged her friends weak frame,
"Thanks, I also feel like shit" she replied smiling weakly,
"I can't believe a common cold would do that to you"
"La believe it, I feel wa3"
Nouf watched her friend as she smiled stupidly at her, she had a feeling she wanted to say something, but wanted to be asked first.
"Manool, you know there's nothing subtle about you right?
"Why?" her friend gasped in fake disbelief,
"Because it's so clear you want to tell me something, and you want to act as if you don't care but you're dying for me to ask you, so yallah, spill"
"My God you know me too well. Ok, guess who asked about you everyday for the past four days?"
"Who?" she asked her heart skipping a beat.
"Guess.." her friend smiled, taunting her.
"Manool 3ad 3an ilsa5afa, ya tgooleen ya I don't want to know"
"Eff. Ok, Fahad."
"EEE!" her friend jumped on her seat excitedly,
"Inzain laish meshta6a? 3adi, akeed it has to do with work"
"La? He could've sent me an email asking me to take care of it, but he didn't, he didn't even mention work, he would just come in, ask about you and then leave"
"What hmm? Go to his office!"
"Why would I?"
"Come on Noufo! The guy clearly still has feelings for you, and so do you!"
"I don't!"
"Yes you do, and if you don't see that you must be blind!"
"I don't have feelings for him, and if I did, it would be hate not love" she answered,
"I don't care what you say, you love him and he loves you, and if you're so sure you hate him, then prove it?"
"How? Burn his office? Scratch his car?"
"No no no."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you say he broke your heart, maybe it's time to break his.." said her friend casually, while studying her friend's face.
"Pay back?"
"Yes.." replied her friend, she knew this was a dangerous game, but if her friend agreed then she would get closer to him and realise that she still does care for him and all would be great in life, she smiled inwardly at her genious and prayed that her friend would take the bait.
"I guess you might have a point.." she whispered, thinking of all the pain he had caused her.
"Great, so slap on your lipstick and march over to his office!"
Nouf reluctantly pulled out her compact and started applying her lipstick, thinking whether or not this was such a great idea.