Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Excerpt from chapter 5 of The It! Refugee

Maya found the perfect location to top up her tan, lying away from prying eyes at the far end of the garden. She needed to keep a healthy complexion for the wedding.
Her fiancé, Ziad, called twenty-five minutes into the session.
He started with the mandatory “So what’s the situation like today?”
“Rubbish. The helicopters are flying extremely low, I worry they’re going to trim off the roofs of our houses.”
“They’re probably on reconnaissance to deter fighters from moving to the mountains,” Ziad said. “So what distractions have you and your cousins found today?”
“I’m by myself tanning in the garden. We were together earlier and then each went home for lunch. They must be napping or reading.”
“Do you mean you’re in your bikini?” he asked.
“You know how conservative Dhour is. You shouldn’t do this.”
“I’m at the far end of the garden. No one ever comes here.”
“You just said the jets are flying low.”
Maya smiled.
“You’re talking as if they can see me.”
“Yes, they can see you. I hate the thought of these soldiers peering over you in your bikini.”
Maya burst out laughing.
“Baby, you’re so sweet. I hope I’m a bombshell in your eyes, but believe me their radar won’t pick me up.”
“I mean it. They take all kinds of photos during surveillance missions. You’d be surprised at how clear they can be.”
Maya wasn’t sure whether he was serious or not, but she didn’t like being told not to tan in her own garden.
“My bikini’s white, so they’ll know I come in peace,” she mocked.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

There are days where I obsess with my mother's life. Today is one of them. It kills me that her best years were lost to the civil war. Hope we've been good children and made up for it. May God give you many more happy years, Mahmah.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Out Of My Shoes (Short story, full text)

What the ...! He just walked into me, the nitwit almost dislocated my shoulder.

He says he didn’t see me but I’m kind of hard to miss, standing in front of the dresser, putting on my make-up. And I’m wearing my little red dress. I can think of several ways to describe this dress and invisible isn’t one of them. “Tight” maybe, “revealing” probably, “unsuitable for a married woman” for sure, but definitely not “invisible”.

He’d just come out of the shower. Maybe he was worried about all the hair he lost in there, the bathtub must be full of it as usual. It’s disgusting. Thank God I declared myself a career woman early on and never had to do the domestic wifey bullshit. I’ll ask Ranjani to scrub it again. The poor woman has had to clean several times today; I can’t stand the thought of using the bathroom after him.

Anyway, I won’t bother thinking about it, my shoulder isn’t really hurting and we have a party to go to. Four hundred of Samir’s closest friends, an exclusive guest list and tight security at the gate of his mansion in the mountains; this is going to be fun. I’m sure Samir will ask the DJ to play my favourite hip-hop, he always does. They know how to get me going, they like to get all their guests going because that’s the way to ensure the who’s who of society talks about nothing but their party for the rest of the week. Of course we could have all gone to a night club instead of clamouring to be on Samir’s guest list, but the clubs are full of tourists and prostitutes.

So now he’s almost running to the car. Well, he’ll have to wait, there’s no way in hell I’m walking any faster than this. It’s at least thirty-five degrees and I don’t want to break out in sweat, not to mention my heels will crack.

I just hope he doesn’t take off without me. Maybe he won’t even notice that I’m not in the car yet. Funny we’ve ended up like this. I remember the day he said I was the perfect girl for his convertible. I was wearing oversized sun glasses and let my hair fly in the wind. We had our first kiss that day. I often think that’s why he married me: I made the ideal accessory for his Benz. He’s got a sedan now; maybe that explains it.