I had written this a few months back as a part of my multi-titled, never ending, ever chaging book. Its had many story lines and several major alterations, but I have promised myself to be more diligent about it this year. With that in mind, I am sharing an excerpt from a portion of the story that I feel reflects this weeks blog thought. Its unedited and in my opinion quite raw, but exciting none the less, or so I think. Your comments, including ones like "dont quit your day job", are always welcome.
“This is it” he said looking at Khaled, “Wish me luck my friend I am going in for the kill.” Khaled smiled coyly and responded “it’s a bad omen to mention killing before initiating matters of love.” Nadir laughed and high-fived Khaled as he stepped out of his car, took a deep breath and headed towards the building entrance. He thought of something and turned around. “Here are the keys” he told Khaled as he flung his keychain towards him “keep the car running, we may have to rush for it.” This time he didn’t wait for Kahled’s response and turned back towards Marjan’s building.
The thought of revealing his emotions to Marjan had put a spring in his feet. He scampered towards the elevators and kept fidgeting with his Zippo while waiting for the elevator to come. The lines were spinning through his head. “Have you ever known someone who sweeps you of your feet, no not feet, have you ever known some who makes life feel complete. Yes, that’s it, a complete life that’s what you mean to me Marjan, you and I forever.” While he was still pondering over those thoughts the elevator door opened and Nadir jumped in.
“Take me to cloud number 9” he said pushing the button as though commanding the elevator to take him to Marjan’s floor. Like a performer preparing his ground breaking performance, Nadir kept his appearance in check in the mirror and rehearsed the lines. He had it all planned, Rafiq, the one man driver/cook/go-for-man at the Kahlili residence, would open the door . He would help himself in cracking a few jokes with Rafiq and walk into the drawing room. Rafiq would inform Mehreen of his arrival. He would ask Mehreen to get all the CDs he had loaned her so that he could pack them. Marjan would obviously come to meet him and while Mehreen was away he would spill the beans to Marjan.
He was still working over the finer details of the plan when the elevator came to a halt at the 9th floor. Nadir stepped out of the elevator; butterflies were doing rounds in his stomach like race cars in the Indy 500. He reached for the door bell and then paused. “What if Mehreen is offended” he thought to himself “what if Mehreen gives me a piece of her mind?” “But its Marjan, Nadir”, came his own response, “Its Marjan and its just not the same without Marjan.”
He raised his finger again to ring the bell when another thought struck him “What if her Dads home. He works from home some times, what if he is there today?” the daring side of him responded again “come on Nadir, you are just looking for excuses. It’s your last week in Karachi. You have to tell Marjan how you feel, it would be sinful not to.” And with that he rang the bell. A short little buzz once, followed by a longer one that was accompanied with a rap of knuckles on the doors.
The door opened and Nadir’s plans went back into the vacuum that they had spawned from. “Marjan” Nadir said with a true expression of surprise in his voice. “Hi Nadir, come on in” said Marjan as she led him into the apartment. “Close the door behind you, Rafiq has taken Mehreen to the studio, chai chalay gi na?”
“Yeah sure” Nadir responded half heartedly, thinking about how his algorithm of expressing profound affection was now facing an unforeseen event. “Maybe its better this way” he thought and went in the direction of the kitchen where Marjan had gone to make him a cup of tea.
He stood still at the kitchen entrance, struck by the beauty that was personified in Marjan. Rays from the afternoon sun diffracted through the kitchen window and fell straight over Marjan marking a sunlit silhouette. In that moment, he couldn’t really put a finger on any one thing that had attracted him to her. Maybe it was her deep black eyes in which the best of swimmers could drown. It could have been her long black hair that in all their variations over time had spun a web on his heart. It may have been her elegance and her mannerisms, how she put the tiny little clips in her hair to keep them from falling over her ears or how she balanced those square frames on her cute little nose.
While Nadir stood awestruck, Marjan put the kettle on the stove and turned around to see Nadir almost gaping her. She smiled and Nadir found his answer. He smiled back. “You seemed dazed” Marjan said as she walked up to him “have you been smoking up”. They both laughed “I am naturally high Marjan.” Nadir responded. In his mind, he was calculating his moves and trying to grasp the best moment to initiate his emotional spiel. But Marjan beat his thoughts “You know what, baba is working from home today, you should meet him. He wanted to meet you before you left.”
“Goddam Murphy’s law” muttered Nadir. Marjan gave him a puzzled look and he brushed it away with “That would be awesome.”
“Great, you go meet him in the study, Ill get tea for the both of you.”
Half an hour later Nadir came out of Marjan’s building bearing a bored and weary look. Khaled had reclined the car seat and was lying with his eyes shut and listening to R.E.M singing loosing my religion. “Give me the keys, lets go.” Nadir said as he sat back into the driving seat. “What happened, what did she say, what took you so long?” Khaled asked as he pointed to the keys in the ignition switch.
“Matters of the heart” responded Nadir “take their own time Khaled.”
“You didn’t tell her did you” asked Kahled rhetorically. He knew his friend too well
“No, but I think the seeds been planted”
“How is that?”
“I spent the last half hour talking to her dad and now I am certain that he thinks highly of me” said Nadir as he started the car.
Khaled nodded his head in disapproval. “You are hopeless Nadir” he said “I sent a friend in their and got a mali on the way out.”
They both laughed as Nadir took to the road, hoping to conjure up another plan of expressing his relentless love for Marjan before he left Karachi.