'So Khaled keeps calling me' I said fiddling with my teaspoon. Mariam and I were both sitting having our afternoon tea at the four seasons, enjoying the beautiful view over the west bay area.
'Did you answer?'
'No. I don't want to, I don't know why he keeps calling me, he stopped for a couple of weeks and now he started again'
'Tell him about Ahmed'
'Why would that be significant to him?'
'I don't know, so he knows you're taken'
'But I'm not'
'He told he loves you'
'Yeah, and then nothing, which also worries me'
'What do you mean?'
'I mean he said he loves me, but then what? Where is this going?'
'What do you want?'
'I don't know, which is also why I don't want to ask, I don't want to freak him out and I don't want to freak out either, I mean, it's too soon right?'
'I guess, I don't know'
I shrugged my shoulders, trying to ignore the feeling that's been nagging at me for a while. I know he loves me, and I care for him too, but eventually we were going to have to have a discussion about where this 'love' is heading. Whether we liked it or not, we lived in a conservative society and the last thing I wanted was people talking about me.
'So what about Khaled?'
'I don't know Mariam, I mean, I don't know if I have the energy to keep fighting him off'
'I mean, it's Khaled'
'I know what you mean'
'Despite everything, he will always be Khaled'
'You know, sometimes I think that maybe it really was for the best, and not only because of Ahmed, but also because I think if we had ended up together we would've been miserable'
'You think so? I always thought you two were the perfect couple'
'Really? I sometimes doubted us'
'Yeah, I never mentioned it before, but sometimes I used to feel that he loved me too much and I think partially that was why I took the break up so hard, I didn't see it coming'
'I felt that too, that he loved you more than you loved him'
'I must confess, I sometimes felt suffocated'
'Did you tell him that?'
'No, but I kind of pushed him away when I felt that. I think, had we ended up together he would've been miserable'
'No I don't think that'
'I do. Now that I can think about it rationally, he would've had to work so hard to keep me happy, that eventually he would've resented me'
'You're over thinking things'
'I don't know'
'Do you miss him?'
'Khaled?' I asked, trying to buy myself some time.
Did I miss him?
I wasn't sure, my relationship with Ahmed was different, it was easier, it was more mature and it made sense. With Khaled I felt like a spoilt child, a child whose every whim was indulged.
I looked back at Mariam,
'Of course I miss him, he'll always be my Khaled.'