The City

I look through the window and try to touch the remaining drops of rain outside. Drops that were still on the glass window of my room after some heavy showers the previous night. I stood there staring at the sky from the 50 something floor. In a cold City, a City that never fails to rain. I rest my forehead on the window as my breath starts to form on the glass, I wipe it quickly with the edge of my n’eglig’ee. I hear a knock…
I hold my breath and squint my eyes, as if these actions would help me identify if the knock was on my door or not. It might be my imagination…..I really don’t know how long that person was knocking nor how long I stood there looking at the world outside my window. All I know is It felt so lonely. The longer I stood there….the more emptiness I felt. I put on my robe, as I approached the door to take a peek; I noticed someone walking away. I open my door only to find a package that fell on the floor as I turned the door knob where it was resting in peace. Something about the dew drops and the cloudy sky got me thinking, it took me far…far far away. I stood there staring at nothing for a long time, without even feeling anything else but the cool glass window against my hand as I tried to flick the drops and watch them fall…. He must have been knocking for a long time… It might have been the Do Not Disturb sign on my door, he didn’t allow him self to be so persistent. I quickly flip the sign, take my package and throw it on my bed. I didn’t even read where it was from, I assumed I already knew. I enter the bathroom for my morning shower before they bring my breakfast. I enjoy my warm french toast while sitting on the huge armchair in the corner. I pull it closer and watch the sun as it tries to peak from behind the clouds only to shy away seconds later. I feel something very weird. I take my warm cup of coffee and stand closer to the window, the steam from my coffee although not so hot… formed a little heart on the glass, or so I saw it. I felt something deep inside, I felt my eyes fill up with tears as if my heart was being squeezed. Is it for real? Am I standing and looking out at the same City I have sworn to never come back to? The city that set me free from a cruel engagement. I remember the first night I slept alone in my apartment near Pike St. The cold I felt inside and the hot tears that were running across my face. My dad had left without even waking me up. Only to awake frightened that he had left, I run to the living room and see a note on my coffee table, I grab it run back to my room , I look out the window and see his limo waiting on the curb. Suddenly, I go out in the hall and scream like a little girl… Dad…. He was coming back to take his briefcase after the concierge had let the chauffeur come up to help him with his suitcase. He hugged me with tears in his eyes… tears for knowing it may not be a choice. By allowing me to stay, he is saving his daughter from a life she will hate, one he will later also regret. He pulled his self away as I grasped on tight and closed my fingers on the note which was written on an open statement envelope(I still have it) as I printed my lips on his clean shaved cheek. The smell of his fresh aftershave… the same smell since.. I can even remember. We don’t normally hug or kiss when we were back in Riyadh. I would leave to school or work and he would still be having his coffee and checking his emails in his home office. The smell of his aftershave took me back to childhood memories, living in Palm Springs and kissing daddy goodbye before the school bus arrived.

I sat on the edge of my bed and read the note:

My Beloved Daughter It is 6:30 am I am leaving to the airport didn’t want to wake you up as I noticed you barely slept…as did I. I will call you from London… your dad Turki. I giggled for a minute…how many dads do I have? I then felt a bitter taste and called a friend/business partner. We had mutual respect between us and he always knew I was engaged. I saw him as a friend and life has taught me(not to shit where I eat) I told him my dad left, he was crying. He said I am also crying although I am not your dad. I don’t see any good from you staying there. I told him that my engagement was off..he said: and you still choose the city even when you knew that I was waiting for the engagement to end.

My dad saw all the good that might come from this and believed in me. He knew the endless possibilities, the good, the bad and the ugly. It was back when the movie Derailed was released, I choose we watch it before dinner. He was so uncomfortable and asked me for us to leave several times throughout the movie. He scowled at me for my bad choice. He continued to explain that he is now second guessing if he should leave me on my own in a world full of wolves. He receives a phone call from my brother in Sacramento saying: Is it true you are leaving my sister and your daughter 20 thousand miles away (it is only ~8000)? He repeated what my brother has told him and said my simple reply was: don’t be selfish and move in with her if you are that concerned or let me handle things my own way. I told him not to worry and it was only a movie. I thought the plot was not clever nor unthought of. It is consumed idea that we are bored of. It might also be the fact that he hasn’t watched a movie since Honey I Shrunk The Kids. He continued to speak in a very serious tone by saying your brother is in Sacramento where all the problems with drugs are and now I am going to leave you here. This was a very bad choice for a movie. Not just that it might happen to you or your brother it might happen to anyone even myself. On the other hand, I only felt the discomfort during the semi sex scene. I texted my sister right away and she said: you should have known better. Just take him tomorrow to Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire all the wizards and magic should do the trick. My dad was so tense throughout the next day and didn’t even care what I was getting my mother -for him to give her as if he were a considerate husband. He said I don’t want to get anyone anything. I am sorting out more important things before ditching my daughter on her own in a City where crime does not even come close to what we are used to. Although I am convinced that evil is everywhere as I told your brother who is not making things easy at all. I told him I will be back in two months and then your mom will visit and so on. I asked my dad to convince him to transfer if it will be easier on them. He later said that you are better off on your own, due to the fact you two never get along.
He later lectured me the night earlier to his departure about trust,morals and integrity, he continued to say that reputation effects you as a person, the people you represent and family you come from. He never referred to religion even once. My dad is the kind of person that will not confront you. You will never know if he has found out or not. He might spring it on you just when you were so relieved that you got away with something for so long. This resulted in everybody in our household fearing him even when he was not present. I still think he knows everything even after living on my own for this whole time. He refused to discuss anything while we were enjoying our last meal of slow roasted beef at The Von’s. I felt as if his words went on in my head forever… longer than the 10 hours this Cafe claims to have Roasted their meat.

…..I look at the package… just as I was about to reach for it the phone rings. I thought it was my wake up call… one I didn’t even need. It was my friend Sarah calling from the lobby. If you’ll be a while, I prefer to wait in your room instead of people staring at me as if I were an early morning escort. I will be down in 5 minutes. She shouts back on the other end…5 minutes… you are on the clock!

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~ by Purple Velvet on June 25, 2009.

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