Liana telling the story in a nutshell

Love is the twin of a beautiful dream that survives birth to reality; but my love was a reality that survived arduous parturition only to remain a beautiful dream

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April 21, 2005

32. And The Love Bird Fluttered High In The Sky/Part Three

I replied with a nod. Ma-rrahh nekh-lass, isn’t’ this gonna end at all?’ Fury cried in a jittery protective manner, and she sat next to me, assuming the mantle of an older sister. ‘What did he do this time?’ she calmly asked. Despite the tears, I found myself smiling upon hearing her say ‘this time’, which I construed to be a barb at the angst he was invariably inducing, and which seemed to be inherent to his mode of approach on his three visits.
‘Nothing’, I replied wiping out residues of tears. I didn’t want to talk about it, but she insisted. She was like one of Saddam’s hawkish investigators, extracting every single tiny detail. I recounted, and she listened. Her face was sheathed with resentment and obvious uneasiness, which she could barely smother. Her eyes were fixed deeply on me, while she was seemingly struggling futilely to repress some words that were defiantly striving to find their way out. She drew a deep breath, and began cautiously trying to put some sense into my head.
‘Lu, this guy is a dangerous womaniser’, she began when I was done with the saga. ‘Why don’t you just forget about him, please, I beg you. El-baab il-ly yi-jeek me-nna reeh, si-dda wes’ta-reeh, shut the door and keep the ugly storm out. I don’t want you to get hurt, Lu. You’re an angel and you deserve better than this devil’.

Having said that, she remained silent and tentative, apparently pondering on the wisdom of continuing. It must be that she eventually decided not to say anything more, for she silently got up and turned away, heading for her office, sadly and in discernible pain. My whole body shuddered, 'a devil and an angel? What has she found out about him to call him a devil?’ She was angry, bothered, and hiding something. Yes, I was all too familiar with Fury to read in between the lines.
‘Hey, hey, ta’ali h-naa come back here. Wein raay-ha Where you going? Sh-inno hal ha-chi What’s this talk? Fury, let’s hear it. What is it that you’ve got against this devil?’ I impatiently commanded.
‘Forget it’, she responded. ‘Look at your face; you have blanched like the dead’, she said, and trotted towards the door. I dashed after her and caught up with her half-way down to her office. I grasped her by the sleeve, and jumped lightly in front of her preventing her escape, ‘You’d be crazy thinking I’m gonna let you go before you’re out with it’. Beaten by my evident tenacity, she started reluctantly telling me about some scuttlebutt that she had heard from the BMS group, about some intimacy that had been going on for some time between him and Fattin, a playful good-looking assistant, and that they were caught close to each other more than once. She mentioned that the girls were certain some sort of an intrigue was going on between the two, and the fact that they were seeing each other out of work was not a far-fetched conjecture.

Done with her ‘news bulletin’, she anxiously waited for my response to the ‘shocking’ revelation, to which I had listened attentively. ‘Is that it?’ I asked smiling. ‘Is that all you’ve got against this “devil”?’ And I walked away, heading for my office.
‘Straaaaaaange’, she shouted, ‘you’re smiling. I thought hearing it would drive you nuts’.

She trailed me, her eyes and ears, thirstily desirous to know the reason behind such unexpected indifference. We were back at my office now, and I sat in my chair, while she stood facing. ‘When was it when we first met Fury, I mean, he and I?’ I asked. ‘Ten days? Or perhaps, two weeks ago? Right?’ She assented nodding. ‘OK, great’, I proceeded with my elaboration, ‘assuming I do love the guy, though I am as yet uncertain of my feelings, do you think he is aware of such a thing as to mind my feelings in what he does or he doesn’t do?’ She replied shaking her head. ‘OK, assuming again that I do love him, does this give me the right to judge him for something he did or started doing before I was even around?’ She carried on with her body language. ‘He’s a male Fury’, I concluded, ‘and if an easy female is willing to give and please, why not take the opportunity and have some fun, particularly if, as in his case, one is divorced, lonely and away from home’.

She listened, absorbed, jaws hanging open, eyes widely focused on me, attentive to every single word. When I finished, she remained silent, eyes squinched, one hand hugging her waist, whilst the other supported her chin, ‘I pity the guy Lu, I really do’, she said calmly, shaking her head in astonishment, ‘you’re the devil not him. How come all this never occurred to me? But tell me here, why the tears then?’
‘Call it a moment of weakness Fury’, I replied. ‘I told you, the guy is quite appealing and smart and, above all, persistent. One thing puzzles me, though, Fur’, I asked in a serious tone, ‘how on earth, does she risk an open affair with an American with all these informants around. Is she nuts or what?’
‘Or what, rather’, Fury replied, sarcastically, patting me on the shoulder. ‘Who would dare touch a single hair of her head, darling, when she has a brother working at Mu-kha-ba-rrat intelligence. She is smart enough to disclose her brother’s secret identity and shut’ em all up’.
‘And what if the brother finds out?’ I asked. ‘Most of the people working at Mu-kha-ba-rrat are from rural areas and you know their hot-bloodedness when anyone infringes upon their honour and reputation; the stupid might get killed for that’.
‘Uh, and who is this hero to dare bring it up with the brother, and stain his fine honour or disgrace the honourable sister’, she replied sardonically. ‘It would be like buying a disaster with one’s own blood’.

Though utterly convinced of everything I said to Fury, jealousy was thick in the air, piercing me through. I was nonetheless delighted. My feminine instinct, which was my guidebook, besides his patent obsession, left no room for any hint of doubt that, while she was after him, it was I whom he was after. My certainty that he was love-smitten from the very first moment he laid eyes on me was beyond question. I hadn’t yet seen her, and I was in no need to, for I was positive the ‘match’ was solely mine; he wasn’t to prove me wrong in the least bit. Jealousy, however, was eating my heart. I wasn’t jealous of her, in particular. What I felt was the sort of pure feminine jealousy, blind irrational feminine jealousy, which was aroused by the existence of a rival, and which provoked more of those surreal feelings. Quite the opposite to what I told Fury, my jealousy was foolishly and harshly prosecuting him for the fun he had been having when I wasn’t even around. Strangely enough, I was still strongly denying being in love, and endeavouring my hardest to hold to such a possibility despite the fact that those disobedient, weird feelings and mounting jealousy were progressively draining my liveliness, and were painfully occupying my small head. ‘What’s happening to me? If this is love, I was better off without it, and my life was far happier’. I even began a gradual withdrawal from my family’s loving gatherings. My parents’ eyes were puzzled and questioning. Mum persistently inquired about what was wrong with me. She even suggested a visit to the doctor. To my good fortune, however, and despite her faith in God, she eventually blamed it on ‘the evil eye’, which she reckoned was behind what was robbing me my radiant countenance. ‘Jealousy is eating friends and relatives hearts’, she said, barely stifling anger. ‘They have been telling me how lucky you are having it all—beauty, education and a “good job” now, and they are pretty sure a fortunate marriage is around the corner’. I smiled silently, ‘Typical Iraqi mum, always blame it on superstitions, oh mum, if you just knew what’s happening’

I, once more, deliberated asking Dina’s advice, but I ruled it out, staving off the odds of a possibly unpleasant outcome. Confusion and powerlessness were draining my vivacity. The dire need for a rescuing straw was becoming vitally critical.
To Be Continued.......