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Senses.. (23)

He waited anxiously for his mother and sister to come back. He couldn't believe it when his mother told him that Nouf's mother accepted the proposal and will start going through the formalities of the engagement, especially because Nouf has been avoiding him for the past week, since his mother made the first call to her mother. He had tried calling her a few times during the week, on her office, her mobile and had even gone over to her desk a few times under the pretense of looking for some report, but she either sent the reports with an assistant, or she happened to be busy in a meeting with someone. He smiled thinking of how they'll announce their engagement to their colleagues at work, and how their relationship will be out in the open, he imagined them everyday enjoying lunch together in his office, without worrying about people gossiping about them behind their backs.
'Mabrook yumma, zain ma i5tert, mashallah 3alaiha, jamal o adab o a5laq'
'Allah ybarek feech yumma, aham shay r'6ach 3alay' he replied kissing her head,
'Allah yer'6a 3alaik mithel ma galby ra'6y 3alaik inshallah' said his mother, hugging him with tears in her eyes.
The next morning he couldn't wait to get to the office, to see her, his fiancée, his wife to be. He took extra care as he was shaving, he made sure his thobe and ghetra were ironed to perfection and the burning 3ood was waiting for him on his way out of the house.
He typed a message to her as soon as he got to the office,
'I can't wait to see you 7abeebty, thank you for having faith in me, I promise you I won't disappoint you. You won't see me by the entrance today because I'm quitting smoking for you :)'
He smiled, waiting for her response, she hadn't replied to his message yesterday either, but he just assumed that she was overwhelmed by everything happening so quickly. He re-entered her life 6 weeks ago, and he's now her fiancé.
Three hours later she still hadn't replied to his message, he was starting to get worried, what if  she was sick? He left his office and walked over to hers wanting to ask her friend about her when he saw her sitting at her desk. He stood for a moment, watching her concentrate on the screen in front of her, biting her lower lip and frowning as she quickly typed in something on her computer.
'9ba7 il5air Dr. Fahad. Mabrook'
Manal's voice broke the silence and she abruptly looked up to where he was standing, as soon as their eyes met, she looked away from him. She must be shy, he reassured himself.
'Allah ybarek fe 7ayatech' he replied smiling, 'Nouf, do you mind coming to my office?'
'Umm.. I'm busy shwaya, can it wait?'
shock registered on his face as he took in her response, why was she avoiding him? He could no longer lie to himself and make up excuses for her behavior, he needed to find out now.
'No it can't wait, I need to see you now, please come to my office.'
'Na3am?' she asked, walking into his office,
'Please sakry ilbab warach' he answered quietly,
'la mayseer, shbeygoloon?'
'Nouf, close the door'
'Fine,' she said closing the door behind her, walking reluctantly into the room, and sitting on his leather sofa
'Noufa what's wrong?' he said as he sat next to her, putting his hand on hers,
'Fahad don't touch me' she whispered, pulling her hand away from him,
'What?' he stared at her in shock, what happened all of a sudden, things were going so well before the engagement, and then she said yes and he thought that everything is falling in to place, why is she shaking with anger? why is she revolted by his touch?
'I said don't touch me' she repeated, in a clearer voice,
'Noufa I don't understand?'
'Laish 5e6abtny? Laish tejberny 3ala shay ana ma abeeh? I don't want you, I never wanted to lay my eyes on you after that day! You breeze in to my life after six years and expect me to be waiting for you! I try to tolerate you and suggest that we become friends but you abuse that, and then bkel waqa7a etyey o te56ebny, and what makes it even worse is that my educated, open minded parents decide that you're too good to say no to, and agree between them that they know better and that I cannot make this decision for myself and so I'm forced to be your fiancée, and I have to pretend in front of everyone in this office today and probably for the next few weeks that I'm the happiest girl in the world. Of course, why shouldn't I be? I have the privilege of being engaged to the great Dr. Fahad! I can't believe after all these years you still find ways to hurt me. I thought I was over this pain, I thought I was ok with it, but I'm not, I'm really not.'
He could physically feel the pain of her words as she was saying them, the happy world that he has been imagining since last night came crashing down around him and all he could hear was the sound of her voice, the woman he loves, telling him how much she passionately hates him.
He stood up slowly, walking away from her as she sat on his sofa crying quietly. With his back to her, he tried to focus on what he could do now. He won't force her to marry him, he loved her too much to do that, but he also couldn't let go of her.
'I'm sorry, I didn't know' he said quietly, 'I thought things were going well and I wanted to prove to you that I was ready for commitment, ready to spend the rest of my life with you' he continued, his back still to her, he couldn't look her in the eye, he was too embarrassed but also, he didn't want her to see the pain in his eyes, 'it seems like I misunderstood.' he said finally turning around to look at her.
'O ba3dain?' she whispered, wiping her tears with the tissues he offered,
'We pretend that we're the happy couple for some time, and then you can say that you got to know me and didn't like me, your parents won't say anything because you gave it a shot, they won't force you to marry me, o ana ma ar'6aha 3alaich. I hurt you once before Nouf, and I promised myself that I would never do it again. I love you, I always have and I always will, so I will do anything you want. After we break the engagement I will leave this job, so you won't have to see me anymore and it won't be awkward for you or your family.'
She stared at him not knowing what to say, was she happy that he's giving her what she wanted? Or was she sad that he gave up that easily?