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"O bas 3ad, hay ily 9ar.." she said, putting down the cutlery in her hands and smiling at her friend's astonished face.
"Ma a9adeg Noufo… I can't believe you said that! Are you sure you said you don't care if he swallowed the cigarettes?" said Manal, her face still showing her shock.
"Aha" she replied, smiling again triumphantly, "although I shouldn't have asked why he started smoking. Now he'll think I care."
"Well what?" she said avoiding her friend's gaze,
"Well do you?"
"Of course I don't" she answered, fidgeting with the napkin in her lap.
"3ala meen?"
"Wesho illy 3ala meen? I'm serious, I don't care; I was done caring a long time ago."
"Ok, if you say so" said Manal, deciding maybe it was better that she lets it go as her friend was starting to get uncomfortable.
On her way back home from dinner with Manal, Nouf sat in her car going over the events of the day, did she really still care? She could still remember the pain she went through, it wasn't only the pain of seeing him with someone else, it was the pain of realizing he was never entirely hers. She had thought that she knew him so well, and then that one event disrupted all her beliefs and shook her faith in everything, even herself. She had cried for a whole week, until one wise friend told her to set him free, if he was hers then he would come back, if he doesn't then it was never meant to be.
She squeezed her eyes shut as she remembered the humiliation she felt when she saw them together, and how she desperately waited for that phone to ring, announcing that he was back in her life again.
"I hate him" she thought, not only for cheating on her; she was ready to overlook that, she loved him that much, she hated him for the months of waiting and she hated him more because years later, he was still able to make her heart beat faster.